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Durango Weddings Magazine




Durango Weddings Magazine




Durango Weddings Magazine


IN THIS ISSUE Note from the Publisher

From simple elegance to whimsical romance, our 18th issue features twenty Durango weddings that reflect the rustic charm and adventurous lifestyle of the southwest. Our featured couples have shared their heart-felt stories, comical mishaps, and most memorable moments. Many had the “perfect” wedding day while others dealt with the challenge of a wildfire requiring them to relocate and re-plan their entire wedding (pages 28, 36, 56). Looking back, despite the obstacles, each couple agreed that they would not change a thing. Their weddings were filled with memories they will forever cherish. I hope their wedded wisdom will help you plan YOUR perfect day! Every January, we host the annual Durango Wedding Expo, now in its 18th year of production. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit with the local wedding community, view beautiful wedding exhibits, and walk away with lots of creative ideas. I hope to see you there! If you are considering a destination wedding in Durango, the most beautiful landscape in all of Colorado, you will not be disappointed. In addition to breathtaking scenery, Durango is home to a talented group of wedding professionals who can make your destination wedding dreams a reality! After viewing the images throughout the magazine and reading the destination wedding stories (pages 18, 22, 36, 40, 61, 68, 74, 80, 86, 88), I hope you’ll be inspired to choose Durango for your celebration. Our local wedding community welcomes you with open arms! As you plan your celebration, don’t forget to visit us online ( to view hundreds of local wedding day stories along with a comprehensive up-to-date directory of local venues and wedding professionals. Always remember it’s YOUR wedding, so make it unique, enjoy the process, and have lots of FUN along the way. Throw a celebration that truly reflects the two of you.

Best Wishes & Happy Planning,

Debbie Devereaux, Founder & Publisher Durango Weddings Magazine Phone: (970) 882-3049 PO Box 762, Dolores, CO 81323 @durangoweddingsmagazine @dgoweddingsmag @durangoweddingsmag

On the Front Cover: Image by Read the story on page 8

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein. Reproduction of any material, copy or artwork herein without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved, Weddings Magazine, Inc.



image by illuminarts


LOVE STORIES 8 12 18 22 28 33 36 40 44 48 52 56 60 64 68 74 78 80 86 88

ASHLEY & JOEL - Silverton CHANEL & MATT - Purgatory Resort TRISTAN & SAM - Ridgewood KATY & JUSTIN - Silverpick Lodge ABIGAIL & DYLAN - Strater Hotel KAYCIE & ALEX - Ridgewood AMY & DOUG - River Bend Ranch WHITNEY & KYLE - Purgatory Resort JESSIE & RYAN - Glacier Club SHANNON & KORY - Triple J Ranch LAUREN & RYAN - Ridgewood KAYLA & CHRIS - Sophia Retreat LINDA & BRETT - Silverpick Lodge KOLBY & CHARLES - Ridgewood SASHA & DAN - Cascade Village ZAVANNAH & JOHN - Silverpick Lodge REBECCA & MATT - Purgatory Resort LUKE & LUCAS - Durango LIZ & JEFF - Cascade Village BROOKE & CAMERON - Purgatory

PLANNING & ADVICE 50 84 93 94 96


Durango Weddings Magazine


Spring Creek Carriage


images by illuminarts / flowers & candy cart by April’s Garden


Spring Creek Carriage


Known as “The BIG show” by locals, Durango Weddings Magazine produces the annual Durango Wedding Expo. It is the largest and longest running bridal show in the region. The 2020 show will mark the magazine’s 19th year organizing the upscale event featuring a handselected collaboration of Durango’s most inspiring wedding professionals.

Shop, Sample, Plan!

images by illuminarts / flowers, donut & arch decor by April’s Garden

:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Find the perfect ceremony and reception location Hire an event planner Find your dream gown Choose attire for your bridesmaids & groomsmen Find your floral designer Attend wedding planning 101 workshops Browse all your party rental & design options Find your photographer Book your DJ, musicians, & reception entertainment View an array of favors, invitations, & programs Sample mouth-watering food & dessert Explore your liquor options Book a luxurious spa day Strike a pose in the photo booth Coordinate your wedding day transportation Book your hair stylist & makeup artist Gather lodging options for your out-of-town guests Find the perfect gifts for your wedding party Book your rehearsal dinner location See the hottest wedding trends

Join us for an afternoon dedicated to planning YOUR perfect wedding!

January 11, 2020 Tickets and info:


Durango Weddings Magazine


THE COVER COUPLE Silverton, Colorado

Ashley & Joel August 18, 2018 Photography by illuminarts



From the bride… Our inspiration for everything about our wedding is what brought us together, strengthens our relationship, and inspires our love – the mountains. We believe southwest Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We have a cabin outside of Silverton, it is our own personal base camp for most of our adventures. We got engaged while back country skiing at the top of the peak behind the cabin. It is our “happy place”, the foundation of our relationship and love. THE CEREMONY The ceremony was held in the Minnehaha basin. It isn’t the easiest place to get to, it is about 7 miles outside of Silverton and then another 2 miles up a mining road. Given the difficulty of getting to the ceremony site, we only invited family. We desperately wanted them to experience the beauty and magic of the San Juan Mountains that we get to experience every day. Getting them safely up the mountain during monsoon season was no easy feat!

THE WEDDING DAY We chose a morning ceremony to avoid the afternoon mountain monsoons. The mountains had other plans and there were significant monsoons all morning. We started feeling defeated thinking we may not get to have our family up on the mountain because of the storm and the danger of lightning. Luckily for us, bright blue skies were on the horizon. Using our satellite phone (because there’s no cell service at 11,400 feet), we texted our family to hurry up and get to the base of the mountain. Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours shuttled everyone up to the ceremony site. We rushed to get everything ready for the ceremony. As we were wrapping up, a thunder storm was rolling back in. We finished the ceremony in the nick of time and rushed everyone back off the mountain before another thunderstorm rolled through. We truly found the perfect window of time to pull off our mountain ceremony.

Durango Weddings Magazine




Ashley & Joel THE FLORALS I remember always dreaming of having a ridiculous amount of flowers at my wedding. I absolutely love the wildflowers that grow in the mountains here – so the theme was to try to have my flowers look like mountain wildflowers within my color scheme. THE RECEPTION The Kendall Mountain Community Center was the perfect place to accommodate all our guests in the town of Silverton. The highlights were the dance party and our western themed photo booth – it was hilarious! I also loved the speeches and just spending time with all our friends and family. ADVICE No matter how hard it is, remember that the day is about celebrating your love and the start of your family. While it is easy to do, don’t get wrapped up in the details.

THE WEDDING TEAM Photographer: illuminarts. Drew is absolutely amazing to work with. I knew from the beginning, that capturing the memories of the day was truly important to Drew. He wanted to know about Joel and I beforehand to ensure that we had an authentic, memorable day; it really meant a lot to me. Caterer: Oh my goodness – Durangourmet all the way! Our food was OUT OF THIS WORLD. No joke, I would have ordered our food at any restaurant any day of the week. While I may be biased, I have never had such good food at a wedding before. The staff was amazing and professional as well. Can’t recommend Durangourmet enough. Rentals: Durango Party Rental. Jill Davis from Durango Party Rental is absolutely amazing. I love her. She tells it like it is. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience working with different vendors and weddings in this area. I reached out to her multiple times a week and she was always so incredibly helpful.

VIEW MORE >> Durango Weddings Magazine


LOCAL WEDDING Purgatory Resort

THE VISION Matt and I wanted a wedding in the mountains where we could host our family and friends surrounded by the natural beauty of the Rockies. We also wanted a romantic, rustic mountain theme with a touch of glam.

Chanel & Matt August 18, 2018 Photography by Ginger Moose Photography

THE PLANNING Planning a wedding from Denver, it was nice to have Durango Weddings Magazine as a local resource for inspiration. I appreciated hearing from actual brides, what they liked and didn’t like. I’m a very visual person and seeing the end result from different vendors in the print magazine was very helpful. Also, the Durango Weddings Magazine website ( was incredibly easy to use and helped me decide on my vendors. THE VENUE Matt and I both love skiing together, it was special for us to get married at a ski resort. I grew up skiing at Purgatory, it’s my home mountain and was the perfect place to exchange our vows. We loved the views from the ceremony spot and the awesome wood wall in Purgy’s. THE DRESS & ATTIRE I fell in love with a beautiful Wtoo by Watters gown that was fun and playful for our mountain setting. The gown, complete with stunning Justine M Couture accessories and veil, made me feel like a princess. Matt wore a Kenneth Cole navy suit with a burgundy tie, silver vest, and a pocket square with his family’s McDowell tartan on it. His best man also got him pink wedding socks with my face all over, they were hilarious!



”My flowers were stunning! Working with Colleen from April’s Garden, I realized how important her creative eye was to my wedding décor. The arbor was one of my favorite pieces Colleen created. The bouquets, boutonnieres, and reception décor were all beautiful and added to our romantic mountain theme.”

Durango Weddings Magazine


THE CEREMONY DECOR I worked with April’s Garden to design the ceremony space. They exceeded my expectations. Hand-tied flowers on the arbor were stunning. Mountain florals and greenery in hanging birch vases lined the aisles. Guests loved our custom welcome sign, one of the most photographed decorations, with a beautiful floral arrangement on top. It was the perfect setting for our vows.



THE CEREMONY We wanted our ceremony to reflect the love and joy we feel for each other and include our family and friends in our love story. We were married under the most beautiful arbor with the sun shining on the mountains behind us. It all felt magical. Matt’s dad walked our dog, Kingsley, down the aisle. It was so special to have him with us because he’s been there since the beginning. I’ll never forget having my parents walk me down the aisle. I loved holding on to both of them as I walked towards Matt. We wrote our own vows, and Matt’s were so beautiful that he had everyone crying, even our officiant.

Chanel & Matt

Matt’s vows included a story about a type of penguin that “proposes” with a pebble to the one it wants to be with. Toward the end of the story, he pulled out the white pebble he had found on a beach and given to me almost 4 years ago. Everyone was crying happy tears by that point, especially me!

Durango Weddings Magazine


Chanel & Matt THE FIRST DANCE We took dance lessons and planned to do the foxtrot to our jazzy first dance song, which requires me to step backwards but my dress was so big in the back I couldn’t do it. We laughed, improvised, and had a great first dance I will never forget. MEMORABLE MOMENT Once it was dark out, Matt pulled me outside to sit on the chairlift and look at the stars. It was our first moment completely alone to appreciate the day and the fact that we were officially married. LOOKING BACK Everyone commented how incredibly happy Matt and I looked all day and it was true. It was the happiest day of our lives, and so very special to spend it with our favorite people in a beautiful place. ADVICE There are a ton of details that go into a large wedding but don’t stress about them on your wedding day. Once the day finally arrives, you’ve done everything and it’s just time to go marry your man, let others take over. Enjoy every single minute of your wedding day! Take a moment to sit back and realize how lucky you are to be surrounded by so much love.

THE WEDDING TEAM Venue: Durango Mountain Weddings. We received so many compliments on the food at Purgy’s. It was delicious. Floral Designer: Colleen with April’s Garden was incredible to work with. She exceed our expectations on our wedding day with her beautiful arbor, flowers, and decorations. She has an amazing eye and style that brings your vision to life! Video: Paul & Katie with Shutterfreek were a joy to work with. You can tell how much they love what they do and they bring that excitement all day. Hair & Makeup: Mary Beth Livermore with Hair Fusion went above and beyond for my wedding look. From ordering perfect extensions, to making me feel peaceful and beautiful on my wedding day, I can’t thank her enough. Photographer: Vanessa with Ginger Moose Photography was phenomenal starting with our engagement photos to helping plan our wedding timeline and taking the most stunning photos of our wedding day. DJ: Aiko Aiko Sound Officiant: Chessa Gill



Durango Weddings Magazine


DESTINATION WEDDING Ridgewood Event Center

Tristan &

Sam May 27, 2018

Photography by Ginger Moose Photography



From the bride... Our inspiration was our love for Durango. Sam and I both grew up in Durango. Both of our families still live there, so it was a really special to have our wedding in a location that is near and dear to our hearts. THE VENUE We wanted our ceremony to be outside and the reception to be in the same location. We loved the idea of having our extended family and friends stay together near the venue. THE DRESS & ATTIRE I wore the veil my mother made and wore at her wedding. It was important to find a dress that worked well with the veil. I also wanted something that was simple and would allow me to dance the night away. I wanted my wedding party to pick their own dresses that made them feel comfortable and confident.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Tristan & Sam Instead of favors, Sam and I selected three non-profits we support and made donations to each based on tokens guests used to show their preference. THE WEDDING TEAM Venue: Ridgewood Event Center Caterer: Durangourmet Photographer: Ginger Moose Photography 22


Durango Weddings Magazine



Katy & Justin July 28, 2018

Photography by Hazel & Lace



From the bride... I loved the boho style but didn’t want our wedding to be “casual”. We decided on simple yet classy with neutral colors, tons of greenery, and floral style. WHY DURANGO We chose Durango because of the beautiful Animas River, the gorgeous mountains, the San Juan National Forest, and the fun, vibrant, small town vibe. I fell in love with the town the very first time I visited. There’s no other place like Durango. THE VENUE We wanted a venue that would allow us to spend as much time with our family and guests, Silverpick Lodge provided exactly that. When we met the owner Chris, we knew this was the venue for us. It was a dream come true to be married in one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited.

Durango Weddings Magazine




THE CEREMONY As I walked down the aisle time stood still. I won’t ever forget seeing all of our loved ones come together from all over the world to celebrate our love. It was a very surreal moment. I was overwhelmed with joy when I saw Justin’s eyes watering, he’s not an emotional guy. As we continued to walk, I was so excited to get to the end, my dad reminded me to slow down. I was smiling so hard my face hurt by the time I got to Justin.

Durango Weddings Magazine


THE FIRST DANCE We took lessons for months but were still nervous. When Justin and I got out on the dance floor it felt like we were the only two people in the room. I messed-up but it didn’t matter at that point because we were filled with so much happiness. ADVICE Enjoy the planning and the journey. Justin and I learned things about each other during the planning that helped us grow as a couple. It can be very stressful, make it fun and enjoy the process.

THE WEDDING TEAM Venue, Caterer & Lodging: Silverpick Lodge Floral Designer: April’s Garden Cocktail Tables: Durango Party Rental Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion Day-of Planner: Lucky Services Photographer: Hazel & Lace



The reception was so much fun!

Durango Weddings Magazine


LOCAL WEDDING Durango / The Strater Hotel

Abigail & Dylan June 23, 2018

Photography by Ginger Moose Photography



From the bride... We both like being outdoors and wanted to get dressed up, so we decided on a unique combination of casual and formal. Our color palette was slate blue, berry, and green. THE VENUE We originally were planning to get married at Dante’s at Purgatory Resort, but because of the 416 fire, we changed all of our plans one week before the wedding. THE DRESS My sister found my dress at the first store we went to. I thought I would hate it, but I tried it on to humor her. Turned out it was the one.

THE CEREMONY Our ceremony was moved to a friend of a friends’ ranch at Lake Durango that had a beautiful view of the La Plata Mountains. Dylan built the arch we got married under. Sprays of locally grown flowers were hung from the arch and set by each row. Dylan walked me down the aisle. His dad performed the ceremony. The ceremony itself was a teary one, we are high school sweethearts who have gone through a lot together. However, there was a moment of levity when Dylan’s ring refused to fit on his finger during the ring exchange.

Durango Weddings Magazine




Abigail & Dylan THE RECEPTION We held the reception at the Henry Strater Theatre in downtown Durango. The toasts were amazing, almost everyone in our wedding party gave a toast. They each represented a time in our lives from childhood, high school, college, and adulthood. All shared a common theme, “I knew Dylan and Abigail would get married when…” We finished the toasts with our own, thanking our guests and vendors for being so flexible because of the wildfire. THE FAVORS Instead of wedding favors, we had people put bottle caps in one of five jars, each representing a charity that they wanted us to donate to. LOOKING BACK We re-planned our whole wedding in ten days because of the wildfire. We also bought a house a week before our wedding day and moved two days after we got married. It was a pretty hectic week. ADVICE Don’t get caught up in the drama. When we had to change all of our plans it forced us to think about the things that were really important to us. The venue didn’t actually matter, we were just happy to be together and surrounded by all of our friends and family.

THE WEDDING TEAM Reception Site: The Strater Hotel was so helpful and flexible when we needed a new place to hold our reception. Caterer: Norton’s Catering. We hired them a week before the wedding and they helped us fulfill our original vision, which included banana pudding instead of a wedding cake. The food was incredible. Floral Designer: April’s Garden. Our flowers were gorgeous. Photographer: Ginger Moose Photography was amazing. DJ: Stand Alone Entertainment Hair Stylist: Beauty Mark Durango Weddings Magazine




LOCAL WEDDING Ridgewood Event Center

Kaycie & Alex October 13, 2018

Photography by Eppich Photography

From the couple... Meeting in the fall of 2014 it gave us a new love for the “changing of seasons”. We wanted a fall wedding with a rustic, mountain vibe. Something very casual, simple, and inviting that felt warm and cozy. Our colors were pumpkin orange, mustard yellow, and deep navy. We chose the Ridgewood Event Center because we saw it featured in Durango Weddings Magazine and knew right away the wedding would be held there, it gave us the rustic atmosphere and warm fall feeling we were after.

We chose to do a “first look” prior to the actual ceremony to share the special moment and walk down the aisle together.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Kaycie & Alex

THE CEREMONY We wanted to have an outdoor location with snow-capped mountains in the background. The day of the ceremony was pleasant and warm, the mountains got their snow earlier that week. It was the perfect time of year, looking back we feel really fortunate. Aside from the first look, which truly was a magical moment, we enjoyed looking out into the crowd of people that came to support us. It was very emotional to know that many people love us and were there to be a part of our special day. The exchange of our vows was a sentimental moment that we will cherish forever. 36


THE VENUE Ridgewood Event Center was the perfect fit for our rustic wedding. We stayed at Blue Lake Ranch in the Upper and Lower Spring house to keep our bridal parties separate, yet within the same space. It gave us a mini vacation getaway, we could relax leading up to the big ceremony and get ready surrounded by beautiful scenery. Most of our guests stayed at Blue Lake Ranch as well.

LOOKING BACK Alex broke her hand one day before the wedding which created a lot of obstacles to work around. We had to postpone our honeymoon due to her needing immediate surgery. What’s a wedding without a little chaos. ADVICE Give yourself plenty of time to work out the kinks and obstacles that you may face. Plan for unexpected expenses, there were several little expenses that we did not account for.

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Amy & Doug June 2, 2018

Photography by Jenne Anne



From the bride: WHY DURANGO Doug and I both love being in the mountains, we got engaged in the Canadian Rockies in Banff. We loved the thought of having all of our family and friends come together in Durango to help us kick off our marriage. Everyone in Durango is so friendly and laid back without skipping a beat in hospitality. THE VISION Classic and minimal. Our vision included a lot of greenery, white flowers, and candles. We wanted it to feel classic and timeless, yet relaxed. When Doug and I first started dating, we took a trip to Italy together. Italian food is our favorite and the initial menu at Glacier was Italian inspired.

THE 416 FIRE Our wedding was originally planned to be at the Glacier Club. The ceremony was to be held on the tee box of the first hole of the golf course, overlooking the amazing valley. When the fire started ½ a mile from Glacier on Friday, June 1st, a mandatory evacuation of the area was enforced. The decision was made that night around 11:00 PM that we needed to move the entire event and secure another venue. I was devastated, all of the plans we had made were completely gone. I couldn’t imagine how it would even be possible to change everything in less than 24 hours. The Glacier Club made miracles happen and secured River Bend Ranch and worked tirelessly to arrange all of the vendors for our new venue.

THE CEREMONY The ceremony was outside facing the pond at River Bend Ranch which helicopters were using to help put out the fire.

My favorite memory was seeing the look in Doug’s eyes as we stood there and took our vows. Also, when our reverend unintentionally made a pun about “the flame of love”.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Amy & Doug

THE RECEPTION When my bridesmaids and I arrived at River Bend Ranch, I did not have high expectations. Due to the location change, we no longer had the décor of the Glacier Club that we relied heavily on for our vision. When I walked into the reception space at River Bend Ranch, I immediately burst into tears. It was so beautiful. In that moment, I knew that a lot of people went above and beyond to not only make our wedding day happen, but to make it as beautiful as possible. LOOKING BACK We laughed because you end up worrying about so many little details in the planning process. Due to the wildfire forcing a last-minute venue change, drinks were served in red solo cups. While we personally have nothing against solo cups, at the time it seemed to be a perfect metaphor for life and marriage: “When you’re busy making plans, life happens”.



FAVORITE MEMORY When my new husband surprised me by playing the guitar and singing “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. My heart felt like it might explode, it was a moment I will never forget. ADVICE Do your best to make decisions based on what is most meaningful to you, then delegate, and don’t try to control every detail. You never know what could happen that is completely out of your control. The most beautiful thing about a wedding is having the people you love all come together to celebrate one of the most important days in your life. THE WEDDING TEAM Staff, Caterer & Event Planner: Glacier Club Venue: River Bend Ranch Hair & Makeup: Reign Hair Salon Flowers: Adela Floral | Officiant: Chessa Gill Design: Heirlooms | Photographer: Jenne Anne

Durango Weddings Magazine



Whitney & Kyle September 22, 2018 Photography by illuminarts



From the bride... We wanted an elegant and romantic mountain wedding with jewel tones. Our welcome bags had elements from both sides of our family; peanuts and chocolates from Virginia, Mexican wedding cookies, and local Durango honey. One of my bridesmaids designed a logo that merged the Zia symbol on the state of Virginia. We used the logo on our wedding favors, program and corn hole boards (which Kyle’s parents made for us). THE VENUE We loved the view from Dante’s at Purgatory. Once we saw the ceremony site, we knew where we needed to get married, on a mountaintop. THE DRESS My dress was from Maggie Sottero. It had a lace bodice, illusion neckline, and lace back with keyholes & buttons. As soon as I put it on, I couldn’t stop smiling. My mother and best friend starting crying when I walked out in the gown so I knew it was the one.

THE CEREMONY My favorite memory was walking down the aisle towards Kyle. In that moment, surrounded by our friends and family, nothing else mattered. Our good friend who is a chaplain, tailored the ceremony in a very personal way for Kyle and I. It shared how our relationship grew and included the story of the first time we said “I love you”. Kyle’s favorite memory was of me trying to put his ring on the wrong hand.

Durango Weddings Magazine


RECEPTION DECOR We had a mix of round and long tables for the reception. The long tables had a row of greenery with large blooms down the center of the table while the round table had centerpieces in bubble vases. We placed a single stem of greenery on each plate for the reception. THE FLORALS The bouquets had magnolia leaves mixed in as a tribute to my southern roots. 44


ADVICE Keep it personal and what you want. THE WEDDING TEAM Venue & Caterer: Purgatory Resort Photographer: illuminarts Floral Designer: April’s Garden Hair & Makeup: Reign Salon Event Planner: Heirlooms Cake: Skillfully Decadent

Durango Weddings Magazine


LOCAL WEDDING The Glacier Club

Jessie & Ryan September 22, 2018

Photography by Allison Ragsdale Photography



From the bride... We wanted our wedding to be touching and memorable. We envisioned a mountain wedding, during our favorite season, with our closest friends and family. The fall colors were at their peak and the weather was perfect. We had a personalized wedding week to host Ryan’s out-of-town family. We all went golfing at Dalton Ranch and Glacier, had a pig roast party, and spent quality time with the ones we love. THE VENUE We chose Glacier for several reasons. We both imagined an outdoor, mountain wedding and the Glacier Club’s breathtaking views made it the perfect venue. We had the option to have our reception outdoor or indoor, depending on the days weather. The Lodge at Tamarron had many rooms available for our family and friends. It gave our guests a comfortable place to stay so they could enjoy themselves during the reception.

THE CEREMONY We had our ceremony on the Glacier property surrounded by the greens of the golf course. The view was magnificent with aspen and oak leaves changing color. A horse and carriage brought me to the top of the aisle to the song, “Speechless�. It was like a fairy tale. I visualized the moment of walking down the aisle to my future husband for years. It was everything I imagined; an internal feeling of total bliss.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Jessie & Ryan

THE RECEPTION Our reception was an absolute blast at the Glacier Valley Clubhouse. The best thing about the reception was having the option to be both, inside and outside. Big garage doors opened up to a tent outside with the dance floor and games. Our party favors had a “meant to bee” theme with local honey, candies, and sunflower seeds. ADVICE It is an indescribable feeling as a bride and couple when admiring the details that you spent months planning, fantasizing, and stressing about finally come together. The night will go by so fast, slow down and soak in as many special moments as possible.



THE WEDDING TEAM Venue: Glacier Valley Clubhouse. Glacier gave us countless ideas and options during the planning process. Their staff allowed Ryan and I to enjoy our wedding day with absolutely no worries. They ensured everything went as planned and took exceptional care of us. We had a vision of what we wanted and the Glacier team put it all together. Wedding Gown & Men’s Attire: Occasions. This Durango bridal boutique has a large variety of beautiful gowns. I’m glad that I did not have to travel to look elsewhere. Makeup Artist: Harley Carney at Hair Fusion. She is very talented. I definitely recommend her. Ceremony Chairs: Durango Party Rental Hair Stylist: Jamie Staley Floral Designer: Adela Floral

Enchanting. Picture Perfect. Romantic. At Glacier, your special day will be all this and more. Glacier creates unforgettable experiences in a magnificent mountain setting. Our wedding venue space includes a spacious indoor hall with contemporary touches and a beautiful outdoor patio with sweeping views. We can even arrange your ceremony right on the golf green! Glacier's team of expert planners will take care of all the details, customizing fresh and seasonal menus, wine and craft cocktail selections and more. With an eye for luxury, style and sophistication, let Glacier make your wedding dreams come true!


970.382.7824 Durango Weddings Magazine



Shannon & Kory June 2, 2018

Photography by Shutterfreek



From the bride: I let my daughter, Kinley, pick the color palette for our wedding day. She chose pink. I also let her pick most of the decorations. She was just as excited, if not more, for the wedding day. She also made it clear, because I got to invite all of my friends to be in the wedding, she got to invite all of her friends to be flower girls. THE VENUE Kory and I have always loved the Triple J Ranch. We talked about getting married there before the owner, Susan made it a possible venue. We love the country rustic look and I couldn’t imagine a more perfect place for our wedding. THE DAY OF Our wedding day was beautiful. It was the perfect summer day. I cried when we arrived at the venue. Everything I had planned came together and it was all so gorgeous.

THE CEREMONY We chose to have the ceremony by the pond. Kory made a big red wooden cross for our altar. The flowers decorating the cross were designed by April’s Garden. My cousin Brad officiated the ceremony and he was absolutely amazing. My favorite memory was our first kiss as husband and wife. MEMORABLE MOMENT My daughter’s toast when she said she was happy that I married Kory because he is her best friend. ADVICE If you are planning a big wedding, hire a wedding coordinator!

THE WEDDING TEAM Photographer: Shutterfreek Venue: Triple J Ranch Wedding Gown: Occasions Flowers: April’s Garden Caterer: Serious Texas Bar-B-Q Event Planner: Something Borrowed

Durango Weddings Magazine



Words of wisdom from the Newly Wed

Photo: Allison Ragsdale Photography

“Just know and accept the fact in advance that SOMETHING will probably not go as planned on your wedding day and try your best not to sweat it. No matter what happens, you will still be surrounded by your loved ones as you celebrate a truly amazing moment in your life, and at the end of the day, nothing is more important than that.” - Liz & Jeff married 9/30/18 at Cascade Village

1) Remember what it’s all about. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stress of planning a wedding. Try to spend one day/night a month together where you don’t talk about anything wedding related. 2) If you can, hire a day-of coordinator and let someone else worry about everything. This day is for you. 3) The whole day really does go by so quickly, try to slow down and take it all in. - Katie & Alex married 09/15/18 in Durango Photo: Alexi Hubbell Photography Photo: Colt Freeman

“Plan your wedding exactly how YOU want it, not what other people want. Make the wedding as stress-free and drama-free as possible. Don’t argue over the little things. It’s okay if you forget something, improvise and laugh about it!

Read these wedding day stories online.

It’s NOT just about the bride. By asking my husband what he wanted and adding those things into the mix, it made it easier for me. It was so wonderful to see him participate and feel included, because it’s his day too! Enjoy yourself fully. Allow yourself to FEEL the emotions and not just go through the motions. The wedding day is the best day ever!” - Naomi & Brice eloped 10/26/18 in Durango



Durango Weddings Magazine


LOCAL WEDDING Ridgewood Event Center

Lauren & Ryan September 22, 2018 Photography by illuminarts



From the bride‌ I’ve always wanted an outdoor wedding with a laid-back vibe and a little bit of rustic charm. Turns out my Mom is basically Martha Stewart and pulled off a lot of DIY crafts for the wedding. While I was busy trying to keep my head above water at work, she really came through and brought a touch of Michigan all the way to Durango. THE DRESS I thought for the longest time that choosing my dress would be the hardest part about planning a wedding. My mom and dad were in town a month after I got engaged and we decided to go to Occasions in Durango and try on dresses for the first time. Occasions helped me figure out what I really wanted. They put me in a dress that just took all of us by surprise. My dad started crying and I knew that was it. There were no compromises with this dress, I loved everything about it!

THE VENUE I only looked at two locations. I absolutely fell in love with Ridgewood; the reception building, the lawn, the views and the trees. When we saw the ceremony spot by the river with all the wooden benches, it completely sold it for me. They only had one Saturday left in September, which is what I was hoping for. We put the deposit down that day and never looked back.

THE CEREMONY The ceremony spot was surrounded by beautiful trees that had all turned a fantastic yellow just in time for our wedding. Ryan’s dad made our arbor, which we plan to keep in our yard. I knew it was going to be sunny so we set out a couple baskets filled with sunglasses and hand fans for our guests. Ryan and I wrote our own vows and hearing his was my favorite part of the ceremony.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Lauren & Ryan

THE RECEPTION Ryan and I really wanted to be a part of our cocktail hour, so we did first looks before the ceremony. We got a lot of pictures out of the way which gave us more time to enjoy ourselves and greet people at our cocktail hour. I highly recommend this! THE DANCING Hands down, the most memorable moment was dancing with my dad. When it was time for the father-daughter dance, we started dancing and he was already saying, “don’t make me cry, don’t make me cry”. Of course, I started crying and we both cried while we danced. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. We danced to ”Wherever You Will Go” by Charlene Soraja. ADVICE I approached this wedding with three things I really cared about in mind: getting married outside, having my family there, and loving my dress. I left a TON of details up to the vendors. I found ideas on Pinterest, vibes I liked and pictures that inspired me. I showed these to our vendors and let the experts think out the details, because that’s what they do best.

THE WEDDING TEAM Venue: Ridgewood Event Center. I would recommend Ridgewood in a heartbeat. Photographer: illuminarts. The photography was one place that I really splurged on and illuminarts delivered. I loved my pictures so much, I am so happy I went with them. They took amazing pictures and really helped us think through our timeline and how the entire day would flow which was incredibly helpful. Caterer: Norton’s Catering. Chuck is an amazing caterer. Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion. They did a great job. I thought all the girls looked amazing. Mary Beth did my hair and makeup- she nailed both and had such a calming energy for a crazy day. Wedding Gown, Groom, & Groomsmen’s Attire: Occasions.




w w w. i l l u m i n a r t s . u s


studio: 970-759-2040 Durango Weddings Magazine


LOCAL WEDDING Sophia Retreat Center

Kayla & Chris June 9, 2018

Photography by Shutterfreek



From the bride… We had originally planned for our wedding to be in Durango at the Silverpick Lodge, but the 416 fire put a little bit of a damper on the wedding plans. The fire started the Friday before our wedding week. Family and friends traveled into Colorado on Tuesday and wedding events began on Thursday. We surprised each other in how well we responded to the news of the fire. We immediately started brainstorming to figure out how we could have the wedding weekend of our dreams in a new location. Our main priority was to spend as much time as possible with our guests and have most of them together in one location. We hosted the welcome BBQ at our home in Mancos Thursday evening. We moved the “Hike with the Bride” to the McPhee Overlook trail, and the “Mountain Bike Ride with the Groom” to Boggy Draw. We decided to keep the rehearsal dinner in Durango on Friday night. On Saturday, we held the wedding at the Sophia Retreat Center. It took a dedicated team to pull it all off. It was remarkable to see it all come together.

Instead of doing a first look with Chris, I did a first look with my Dad. This was an incredibly special moment for me. As the oldest child, my Dad and I have always shared a special bond.

Chris & I wrote private vows to each other in cards we exchanged just before the ceremony. Our photographer, Shutterfreek, helped arrange the exchange without us seeing one another, but we got to speak, hold hands, and calm each others’ butterflies.

My bouquet was wrapped with a lace sleeve from my late mom’s wedding dress. Durango Weddings Magazine


Walking down the aisle, my veil blew off my head and landed on my dad’s head. Everyone burst into laughter. I lost my mom when I was young, and my dad later said to me that he thought it was Mom’s way of saying she was with us.



Kayla & Chris

THE RECEPTION Dancing with everyone was a blast! I got to dance with my daddy, do the twist with my grandmother, shout with my friends and cousins, and slow dance with my new husband.

I will never forget just sitting there and realizing all of the people in the room were there for us; most traveled across the country, adjusted to the last-minute changes of the venue & lodging, and helped us pull of an epic wedding weekend. It was an incredible feeling.

LOOKING BACK Our wedding day was not what we had originally envisioned due to the 416 fire. However, the final outcome was better than we could have imagined. We were so honored to witness our community around us come together to help re-plan a wedding week (which took over a year to plan) in just a few short days! Our vendors were all incredibly accommodating despite the circumstances. Ultimately, we were surrounded by love and all of our friends and family. What more could we ask for? If anything, it made it all that more special. ADVICE Stay calm as you plan. Planning a wedding in a year and then re-planning in it a few days made us realize that we could do anything together, especially with the help of family and friends. Don’t be afraid to take people up on their offer to help. We wouldn’t have pulled off our big day, in our new venue, if it weren’t for the generosity and assistance from a multitude of people. We had dear friends cater, serve, and bartend. Some help decorate and set up chairs and tables, others ran errands. It would not have been possible without everyone coming together and we are incredibly grateful. It made the weekend so very special!

THE WEDDING TEAM Photographer & Video: Shutterfreek. Paul & Katie are so downto- earth and wonderful to work with. They helped us, our wedding party, and guests feel at ease. I would recommend them to anyone! Floral Designer: April’s Garden was beyond accommodating given the circumstances of the fire. Our flowers were gorgeous. Favors: Honeyville. We did travel size jars of whipped honey for our favors. Our guests loved taking home a little taste of Durango. We’re already getting requests to mail some out for Christmas gifts.


Durango Weddings Magazine



Linda & Brett October 20, 2018 Photography by illuminarts



From the bride... We have been together for 10 years and for us, it was important to be surrounded by our children, family, and friends. We wanted to celebrate “Til Death Do Us Part” all weekend long and planned a welcome dinner, reception, and brunch for our guests. The welcome dinner theme of Dia de Los Muertos was a blast and set the tone for the weekend. THE PLANNING I read every page of every issue of Durango Weddings Magazine. This magazine fit my wedding vision better than any other resource. THE DRESS I really wanted to wear turquoise jewelry and cowboy boots. I fell in love with an off the shoulder Rue de Seine dress with fringe. I found the perfect cowboy boots in Santa Fe, NM.

THE CEREMONY We held the ceremony in the meadow adjacent to Silverpick Lodge, with a stunning view of Twilight Peaks. We had a beautiful aspen arch adorned with antlers and florals from April’s Garden. We asked each of our kids to select a reading that was meaningful to them. The readings were from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Dr. Seuss, When Harry Met Sally, The Gilmore Girls, and How I Met Your Mother. They all related back to love and our relationship. We were completely surprised by their selections. As they shared the reason for their selection, we laughed and cried tears of joy.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Linda & Brett THE RECEPTION We had cocktail hour on the porch and lobby of the Silverpick Lodge and later dinner and dancing at the Sow’s Ear. We decorated the chandeliers with aspen leaves. The tables were adorned with turquoise, glass vintage jars with flowers, and small white pumpkins. Hand calligraphy place cards were loosely tied to white napkins with a sprig of rosemary, welcoming guests to their seat. THE FAVORS “The Mountains Are Calling” beer glasses and sugar skull cookies. ADVICE Plan and work on the wedding together, it’s much easier to stick to a budget and timeline this way. Complete tasks even further ahead than recommended timelines; time creeps up on you.

THE WEDDING TEAM Venue, Caterer & Lodging: Silverpick Lodge. The views from the wedding meadow are stunning and the restaurant has incredible food and service! Photographer: illuminarts. I knew the quality of Drew’s work was exceptional and it stood out when I was reviewing photographers. I had extremely high expectations going into our wedding day and when we received our pictures I was in awe, all expectations were exceeded. I’m so happy to have these lifelong memories of our special day. Drew is a true artist. Floral Designer: April’s Garden. Exquisite! The most beautiful flowers and arrangements I have ever seen. Better than anything you will ever see on Pinterest. I was so moved when Molly walked in with the flowers I broke into tears. Makeup Artist: Team of 3 fabulous artists from Hair Fusion. They are professional, fast, and felt like part of the family. They make you feel like a celebrity. I cannot say enough about these ladies. Ceremony Benches & Linens: Durango Party Rental. Welcome Dinner Caterer: Zia Taqueria.



Durango Weddings Magazine


LOCAL WEDDING Ridgewood Event Center

Kolby & Charles May 26, 2018 Photography by Shutterfreek



From the bride‌ We wanted our wedding to be fun for all; for everyone to feel included and appreciated. It was important to share with our guests the relationship Charles and I have, how the different things about us as individuals comes together to make us whole. Charles is a firefighter and that makes up a large portion of who we are as a couple. It takes a lot of support and trust to lead this lifestyle. It’s something we take very seriously and love each day that it brings.

THE PLANNING The Durango Weddings Magazine was honestly the most helpful resource I used to plan our wedding. I was able to see other weddings and all the different venue options Durango has to offer. Planning from out-of-state, it was helpful to see the finished work of local vendors and reassured our choice to work with them. The ideas and advice from past brides was encouraging and very helpful!

THE CEREMONY My favorite moment of the ceremony was stepping out of the two beautiful doors and my dad walking me down the aisle. That was the moment that I had been waiting for my whole life.

The flowers were my favorite decor detail. They tied our wedding theme together and added color to everything.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Kolby & Charles

LOOKING BACK I took not seeing Charles before the ceremony really seriously. I would have liked to do a “first look” to give us an intimate moment and time to spend together before the wedding itself.

We had a great dinner and danced the night away. Everyone let loose and really enjoyed themselves. ADVICE Your wedding day goes by so fast, enjoy and treasure the small moments! Enjoy your time being engaged. Don’t get lost in the planning so much that you forget the end result. No matter what happens or goes wrong (things will go wrong) you will be married to the person of your dreams at the end!

THE HONEYMOON We spent our honeymoon camping in Silverton, Colorado with my family and two sets of close friends! It was absolutely perfect and we had so much fun.

THE WEDDING TEAM Photographer & Photo Booth: Shutterfreek. I recommend them to every bride. Paul and Katie are so sweet and will make your wedding day perfect with their attention to detail. Floral Designer: April’s Garden. Wow! I would recommend April’s Garden to all brides looking for a floral designer to really capture and harness your unique design. They grew my flowers for me and kept in touch throughout the year. Molly created my amazing bouquet and our ceremony spray. She tied our entire wedding together by understanding my vision and using her creative spirit. It was a match made in heaven! Venue: Ridgewood Event Center.



Durango Weddings Magazine



Sasha & Dan

From the bride... We like to hike and explore, and when we took a trip to Durango we immediately fell in love with the area. We were in awe of the changing leaves and weather that made the already beautiful area even more stunning. We visited the first weekend of October 2017, and decided right then and there if we got married, it would be in Durango at the exact same time of year.

October 4, 2018

Photography by Carley Nelson Photography

THE VISION Whimsical, free spirited, romantic, adventurous, bohemian, and very “us�. THE VENUE Having a mountain backdrop was a must for us. The second we visited Cascade Village we knew this was the place. We were blown away by the view of the Twilight peaks. Even the views from inside the reception, through the windows, were just as amazing as outside.



THE CEREMONY We had a small bit of rain at first, only to have the sky open up to perfect blue with the sun shining during our vows. We rode horses to the ceremony aisle (and rode them out) which was a surprise for nearly all of our guests. Everyone commented how memorable it was to watch the bride and her dad riding out from the mountains on horseback. We walked down the aisle to “You Are My Sunshine” by Morgane Stapleton, a song my mom has sung to me since I was a newborn. We wrote the entire ceremony ourselves and gave Dan’s daughter a special knot ring to represent our family ties. Durango Weddings Magazine


Sasha & Dan

PERSONAL TOUCHES 1) Before the ceremony, I gave my dad a handkerchief with a special memory on it. He gave me the beanie he placed on my head the day I was born. He told me that when he put it on my head that day, he thought of my wedding day. Of course, we both cried! 2) Starting 50 days out from our wedding day, I kept a monogrammed journal. I wrote in it daily about something that happened each day that confirmed why I loved and was marrying Dan. It was my gift to him on our wedding day.



3) We used a family Bible that was gifted to us as our guest book. Guests wrote us notes and highlighted special verses. 4) My mom has been collecting sets of China since I was 12 years old. She always told me they were for my wedding day. Two months before our wedding, she drove from Pennsylvania to hand deliver all of the China sets. Every guest table had a different set of China on it. 5) Our signature drink was a personal favorite we named the Twilight Twister; in honor of the Twilight peaks seen from the windows at Cascade Village.

THE RECEPTION We danced in front of the fireplace all evening. This was the highlight of the reception because every single person was up there dancing and singing along. ADVICE Focus on the marriage not the wedding. Base your wedding on the marriage you want to have and the life you and your future spouse already live.

THE WEDDING TEAM Venue: Cascade Village. The staff did an amazing job helping out with everything. They went out of their way to make sure every detail was perfect and exactly how we envisioned it. Everyone involved from Cascade was such a huge help throughout the entire process. We could not be happier with how everything turned out. We HIGHLY recommend Cascade Village. Caterer: Durangourmet. The food was amazing! Jimmy and his staff are great to work with and made everything perfect down to the littlest details. Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion.

Durango Weddings Magazine


“The next morning, we hiked up to Ice Lakes with our photographer and a few friends. On the trail, we passed some of our wedding guests. None of them thought we’d actually make it because we’d be sleeping in. We hiked 8 miles and gained 2,500 feet of elevation to the most beautiful clear blue alpine lake. Dan carried my dress and his suit in his pack and just as we changed into our attire the snow began to fall. It was the first snowfall of the year.”

-Sasha & Dan 74


Durango Weddings Magazine



Zavannah & John July 7, 2018

Photography by Shutterfreek



From the bride‌ It rained for the entirety of our wedding day - ceremony and all! Despite the rain, the happiness and love we felt from our family and friends made it not matter one bit. It was definitely a whirlwind but the most happy, fun, and amazing day of our lives! THE VISION We wanted a view of the mountains. That was our number one requirement. THE VENUE We travelled to the Silverpick Lodge where Chris showed us the meadow and we instantly fell in love. That view is unbeatable! We were also thrilled that we could book the whole lodge for the weekend at a price that fit our budget. We had a lot of family coming from out of state, it was important they could stay at the venue.

THE CEREMONY Shortly before our ceremony was scheduled to begin, it began to rain with no sign of stopping. I sat in the car as John, the groomsmen, and our guests huddled in the rain outside hoping it would subside. Eventually, John decided it was go-time and off it went. It was such a blur! All I remember is walking down the aisle and seeing John with his goofy grin and then saying our vows. There’s a picture that was taken right after the ceremony ended with all of our bridesmaids and groomsmen but none of us can remember it happening at all.

Seeing our family and friends smiling at us during our ceremony despite the rain was by far the most memorable moment! We had our dog, Captain, as our ring-bearer and he was a trooper in the rain. He was a huge hit and so cute! Our longtime friend and John’s freshman roommate, also named John, served as our officiant. His prepared ceremony was beautiful, even though he wasn’t able to do the entire thing because of the rain.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Zavannah & John

LOOKING BACK I would focus more on our guests. It was such a whirlwind with pictures, cake cutting, etc., by the time we finally got to relax and dance it felt like we only had a short time left. ADVICE 1. Be very straightforward on the role of your vendors. Keep track of who is taking care of what, especially in the last few weeks before the wedding. 2. Don’t stress the small stuff! We got bogged down on details that got left out or unused and had to remind ourselves how little it mattered overall. The end result, us getting married, was perfect. 3. Be clear about your “absolutely nots”. For example, we knew that we absolutely did not want our outdoor wedding to be moved indoors but people still tried to push us that way.



THE WEDDING TEAM Venue: Silverpick Lodge. The view in the meadow is hard to beat! Chris is also so easy to work with. Photographer: Shutterfreek. The photographers were the rockstars of our wedding. Katie and her second photographer helped me and my party get to the ceremony site unseen and in the rain. They helped keep the right timing for the whole shebang – including eyeing the weather for the best time to begin the ceremony despite the rain. I can’t praise them enough! I highly recommend Shutterfreek. Caterer: Norton’s Catering was awesome to work with. The food was AMAZING. Chuck Norton makes you feel at home when you go to his restaurant. The staff on the day of our wedding were on it the whole time. Floral Designer: April’s Garden. Our flowers turned out far beyond our wildest dreams. We gave them a pretty vague idea of what we wanted and they blew it out of the park. I still have my bouquet dried in a vase that I will cherish forever.

Durango Weddings Magazine


LOCAL WEDDING Purgatory Resort

Rebecca & Matt September 29, 2018 Photography by Ginger Moose Photography We’ll treasure forever having our dogs accompany us as we concluded the ceremony. 80


From the bride... Having our wedding at Purgatory Resort allowed us to celebrate our marriage in the mountains that have shaped us into who we are today. The resort had everything we were looking for in a wedding venue, no shortages of stunning views and incredible scenery. We knew Durango would offer our out-of-town guests a multitude of activities to round out their travels. THE DAY OF On the morning of our wedding day, some family and family friends hosted a pre-wedding brunch. It was nice for Matt and I to spend time with friends and family in a casual setting before the excitement of the day began. Our ceremony took place at Engineer Meadow with Engineer Mountain framed by the aspens and evergreens. For the bridal procession, we played “All I Want Is You” by Barry Louis Polisar, which set everything off on a fun, upbeat note. The night ended with a small group of us singing “Friends in Low Places”, l we will never forget that moment.

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嘀椀猀椀琀 眀眀眀⸀猀椀氀瘀攀爀琀漀渀眀攀搀搀椀渀最猀⸀挀漀洀 漀爀 挀愀氀氀 琀栀攀 吀漀眀渀 漀昀 匀椀氀瘀攀爀琀漀渀 愀琀 㤀㜀 ⴀ㌀㠀㜀ⴀ㔀㔀㈀㈀ 昀漀爀 洀漀爀攀 椀渀昀漀爀洀愀琀椀漀渀⸀ 





Durango Weddings Magazine



Luke & Lucas

September 29, 2018 Photography by Allison Ragsdale Photography



From the couple… It was a magical day surrounded with love and beauty. We were celebrating our marriage and declaring our love unabashedly, which we never truly did before in fear of judgment or shame. We were surrounded by our closest of family and friends who encouraged and loved us as a couple. THE CEREMONY Luke prepared a special tribute during the ring ceremony about Lucas’ grandparents, who immigrated from Cuba to America with only the shirts on their back. His grandmother hid her wedding ring from authorities in the sole of her shoe. During the ceremony, Lucas’ ring was stored in his shoe. After Luke pulled it out, he read a statement honoring Lucas’ grandparents and wishing our marriage the same love and endurance as his grandparents marriage.

Our officiant Lisa truly took the time to get to know us and our story. She gave us “homework” that helped us answer questions about why we were getting married, what that means to us, what type of marriage we wanted, and what the future held for us. She made us grow closer and learn more about one another. She knew all about us by the time we actually had the wedding ceremony. Many of our guests commented on how personalized the service was, all credit goes to Lisa for that. She’s super detailed oriented and had a fully printed out script for the wedding. It eased all fears or concerns about what would transpire the day of the wedding and during the ceremony.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Luke & Lucas

I’m so glad we didn’t try to rush a wedding together in a few months. We took a year to plan our wedding and needed every bit of it. It was the perfect amount of time to get everything done in a thoughtful but not rushed manner. Anything sooner would have been really stressful.

ADVICE When you first begin the planning process, set a budget and stick with it. To do this, you will need to list what parts of the wedding are most important to you and which are least important. For example, at the top of our list was our photographer and catering, it’s where we spent the bulk of our budget. A DJ was not as high a priority for us, so we spent months downloading music that fit our style. While this was time consuming and stressful, it was worth the time and energy to stay on budget. 84


LOOKING BACK Many couples dismiss having a wedding due to cost and stress. I would contend that weddings are worth every penny because of the memories created. The wedding celebrates a huge milestone within our life. THE WEDDING TEAM Officiant: Ceremonies With Lisa | Caterer & Flowers: The Yellow Carrot Photographer: Allison Ragsdale Photography | Venue: Irma J Ranch

Durango Weddings Magazine



Words of w isdom f rom t he Ne w l y We d ... Photo: Aspen Groen Media

“Less is more. We took on a lot of personalized things and DIY-ed a lot. We had a ton of fun doing them, but it was much more work. Remember to enjoy as much of the day as possible.”

Photo: Jenne Anne

- Melinda & Jeff married 2/10/18 at Silverpick Lodge

1. Give yourself at least a year to plan your wedding. 2. Get all of the details especially price from vendors well ahead of time. 3. Make sure you are not rushed on the day of. 4. Relax! Your guests are there to celebrate your special

day and won’t care if something goes wrong.

- Brittany & Hunter married 9/29/18 at Dalton Ranch Photo: Kara Cavalca Photo + Video

1. Make it yours. Get ideas from wherever you want to but keep it personal for the two of you. Whatever is uniquely yours as a couple, whatever type of food you like, etc. If everyone doesn’t love it, it is okay. 2. Hire a videographer. Seriously. This was something I did not plan on. My mom basically talked me into splurging on it because she said I wouldn’t regret it. Of course, she was right. The day flew by and the video captured so much we didn’t get to see, like each other getting ready and our guests throughout the night. We are 100% happy we hired a videographer.

3. Try to slow down and enjoy it! The day absolutely does just fly by. - Layne & Teel married 6/16/18 in Durango



Photo: Shutterfreek

“Plan, plan, plan! When the time comes, call upon every friend you have. They want to help, are honored to help, and you will need all the hands you can get. Make sure to thank them when the day is all done. Lastly, hire a day-of coordinator. It’s worth the money and takes stress off of the bride and groom.” - Whitney & Nick married 6/23/18 in Durango

1. Pick a few elements about your wedding that are the most important to you. Spend most of your energy and money on those things. 2. Find a moment to “soak it all in” during your ceremony.

“We ignored (for the most part) what everyone else wanted and put together a day that would make us happy. We planned this together. I think that is the best way to plan your wedding.” -Alana & Michael married 9/29/18 at River Bend Ranch

3. Take time to plan extra self-care in the weeks leading up to the big day, in whatever way that looks like for you both.

-Corinne & Cole married 6/23/18 in Durango

] Photo: Monika Leopold Photography

Re ad th es e we dding st or ies on




Photo: Allison Ragsdale Photography

Durango Weddings Magazine



Liz & Jeff September 30, 2018

Photography by Alexi Hubbell Photography

From the bride... Jeff and I both fell in love with Durango when he lived there for a short period for work. We couldn’t get enough of the Southwest charm and breathtaking mountain scenery. We knew it would be the perfect destination and experience for our guests. Fairly early into our engagement, we decided to have a fall wedding, when the striking yellow aspens would be on full display. Since both of us spend a ton of time in the mountains, a breathtaking mountain backdrop was a must for our ceremony. The rest of our vision really stemmed from that. THE VENUE Truth be told, Cascade Village was only the second venue we looked at, but it had exactly what we were looking for in terms of the mountain backdrop for the ceremony site, a spacious lodge for the reception, and lodging for our guests on site. It was important to us that our guests could stay on location, no need for transportation and everyone could easily gather together throughout the wedding weekend. THE CEREMONY I loved everything about our ceremony. The weather was perfect, our officiant nailed his speech, Jeff and I’s vows perfectly captured the two of us, and our friends and family who gave readings did an amazing job. MEMORABLE MOMENT Around sunset, Jeff and I went outside to take pictures and there was a huge moose that made a cameo appearance. Jeff and I love spotting wildlife when we’re out on our adventures, and this was an incredible moment to witness on such a special day for the two of us.



Our officiant accidentally started the ring portion of his speech at the wrong time, which he then had to backpedal on. Jeff and I, along with all of our guests, could not stop laughing. We loved it!

Durango Weddings Magazine



Brooke & Cameron July 28, 2018

Photography by Shutterfreek



From the couple‌ My parents went to Durango for their 30th wedding anniversary and told us how beautiful it was. While visiting Purgatory Resort, we found the 360-degree mountain top views breathtaking. I knew it was the place to say, I do!

I wanted a beautiful flowy, comfortable dress that I felt beautiful in and could dance the night away in. THE CEREMONY We got married at 10,000 feet at Dante’s Peak with amazing mountain views. The ceremony aisle was lined with flowers and greenery. Our beautiful floral-filled birch arch was the focal point for the stunning backdrop. We initially worried about it raining, but as our ceremony started and we began to say our vows, the sun came out and shined beautifully on our ceremony. It was a magical moment!

Durango Weddings Magazine


Brooke & Cameron

THE RECEPTION The décor included lots of twinkling candlelight, mercury glass, wood, and greenery. During the speeches, we lost electricity (wind had knocked out a power line) but we just kept rolling. Thank goodness we had planned to use lots of candles.

We had so much fun dancing the night away with nothing but candlelight. Obviously losing electricity wasn’t planned but it ended up being really romantic!



ADVICE Do whatever makes you happy. Others will have opinions but the bride and groom’s are the most important. Try and enjoy the planning process. Make sure to tell your mom how much you love her. THE WEDDING TEAM Venue, Caterer & Lodging: Purgatory Resort. The food was amazing! Loved having the shuttle at Purgatory Resort to shuttle guests to and from the wedding! Photographer: Shutterfreek. Paul and Katie are the nicest people and so easy to work with. Highly recommend them. Floral Designer: April’s Garden. We loved our flowers. April’s Garden was so amazing to work with. Having a destination wedding, we had to coordinate everything through phone calls and emails. Colleen and the whole team were easy and professional to work with. Everything looked beautiful. It was exactly what I wanted.


Durango Weddings Magazine





We w ish we would h ave ...

“I would have not gotten so stressed about the little things. It all comes together in the end and our wedding day was absolutely beautiful.” -MaKaila & David married 7/7/18 at River Bend Ranch

“I wish we hired our day-of coordinator sooner. We didn’t plan on having one but when it came down to finalizing the ceremony plans, with specific timelines (wedding party entrance, first dance, cake cutting, etc.), and all the other little logistical things, we realized we didn’t have a clue what we were doing! Looking back, I don’t think I could have done it without her. She handled the logistics, making sure we were where we needed to be and when, and allowed me to just enjoy the day.” - Katie & Alex married 09/15/18 in Durango

“Given another run I would have ironed the table cloths the night before and started hair and makeup earlier.” - Brittany & Hunter married 9/29/2018 at Dalton Ranch

Read these wedding day stories online.

“I wish that we got a picture of us with our two dogs. We forgot and didn’t realize until after. Make a photo list for a wedding party member to hold and remember to bring it. We made one but forgot it.”

“We completely forgot to have any nonalcoholic beverages available. I don’t know how it never came up during the planning. We talked about having beer, wine, and had two signature cocktails (a Manhattan and a Paloma). No one reminded us that not everyone drinks….whoops.” - Lauren & Ryan married 9/22/18 at Ridgewood

-Kayla & Chris married 6/9/18 in Dolores image: illuminarts Durango Weddings Magazine


Looking Back... z

“I now understand why people say that their wedding day is one of the best days of their lives. It is truly a indescribable moment when you profess vows to your best friend and partner and hear them in return.” - Whitney & Nick married 6/23/18 in Durango

“Our wedding day was such bliss. It felt like the best gift to be surrounded by our friends and family and blessed by rain (which I was anxious about, but ended up being wonderful in so many ways). It was colorful, personal, and meaningful. It was so much FUN to finally tie the knot to my best friend. I wouldn’t change one thing.” - Layne & Teel married 6/16/18 in Durango

image: Kara Cavalca Photo + Video

image: Shutterfreek

“We laughed and loved the whole day. Everyone always says something goes wrong on your wedding day, but we didn’t feel it! Perhaps it was all out of our system, worrying so much over the 416 fire. Once we knew we had our original venue, vendors, and each other, it didn’t matter.” image: Colt Freeman

-Krista & Zach married 6/30/18 at Glacier Club

“Our wedding day was exactly as we dreamed. Looking back, all I do is smile.”

Read these wedding day stories online.

- Taylor & Evan married 9/29/18 in Dolores image: Allison Ragsdale Photography



Durango Weddings Magazine


digital supplement REAL WEDDING Powerhouse Science Center

Corrine & Cole Photography by Allison Ragsdale Photography

From the bride... Our wedding day ended up being infused with all of our favorite parts of Durango. We held our ceremony at a grassy spot alongside the beautiful Animas river, where local wildflowers were the stars of the bouquets. The happy kids, dogs and occasional rafters floating by made it feel like an idyllic, lazy Durango summer day. THE CEREMONY Because we had so many loved ones in one place, the majority of whom traveled thousands of miles to be here, we wanted to find a way to incorporate them meaningfully into our ceremony. So, we took a chance and decided to do an interactive “ring blessing” where a thread is passed to every guest and our rings passed along it, giving each guest a chance to bless them in their own way. Although this ended up taking a lot longer than we thought, it actually gave us this unplanned, precious silence and reflection during the ceremony that has been the most solid memory we have looking back. In a moment when our adrenaline was rushing, we are grateful for that pause, it let us soak up and be in the moment and even laugh a little with our guests!

We decided early on to make our focus the ceremony and “getting married” in the support of our family and friends, which enabled us to go with the flow on the day-of, ignore the inevitable snags, and enjoy everything else as frosting on the cake. After our ceremony, all of our guests were bused to the Powerhouse Science Museum for a night of cocktails, outdoor games, dinner and dancing (and the occasional science experiment)! We chose Zia Catering because it’s one of our favorite weeknight meals, and the Powerhouse Museum where we’ve spent many nights playing trivia. 98


Durango Weddings Magazine


After our ceremony, all of our guests were bused to the Powerhouse Science Museum for a night of cocktails, outdoor games, dinner and dancing (and the occasional science experiment)! We chose Zia Catering because it’s one of our favorite weeknight meals, and the Powerhouse Museum where we’ve spent many nights playing trivia.

We decided early on to make our focus the ceremony and “getting married” in the support of our family and friends, which enabled us to go with the flow on the day-of, ignore the inevitable snags, and enjoy everything else as frosting on the cake.



ADVICE Pick a few elements about your wedding that are the most important to you, and spend most of your energy and money on those things. Find a moment to “soak it all in” during your ceremony. Take time to plan extra self-care in the weeks leading up to the big day, in whatever way that looks like for you both. THE WEDDING TEAM Venue: Powerhouse Science Center Photographer: Allison Ragsdale Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion Caterer: Zia Catering Flowers: Grand Fete Décor: ReLove Planning: A-Frame Communications

digital supplement REAL WEDDING Ridgewood Event Center

Jordan & Lukas April 14, 2018

Photography by Shutterfreek

From the bride‌ We wanted to keep everything simple and classy but very much us. We felt that everything we put in place truly reflected our relationship and wishes. Our wedding was the perfect day in every way.

I had suddenly lost my grandfather, whom I was very close with. Lukas surprised me the day of our wedding with a necklace- It was a gold aspen leaf. Aspen trees, in Celtic culture and tradition, are believed to be a gateway to your ancestors. I wore it that day in memory of my grandfather.

Durango Weddings Magazine


digital supplement

THE CEREMONY We were married outside on the lawn. It was a little chilly, but the sun was shining and the sky was clear. The ceremony was super windy, making it a little hard to hear. As we prepared to say our vows, the wind just suddenly stopped, and you could hear perfectly. As weird as it sounds, I truly believe that was my grandfather so he could hear us dedicate our lives to each other. It was sooo special! 102


The toasts and dancing were our favorite parts of the evening! Our first dance with each other and our parents are moments we will not forget!

ADVICE Do as much as you can planning wise early, and make sure to soak it all in!! Enjoy the day with your family and friends, and make sure to look at your bride or groom as they walk down the aisle- it is the most special view in the whole world.

THE WEDDING TEAM Venue, Flowers, Event Design & Planning: Ridgewood Event Center. Joan is absolutely AMAZING. Use her, you will not regret it!!! Guest Lodging: Blue Lake Ranch Photographer, Photo Booth & Video: Shutterfreek Caterer: Serious Texas. We did a “Make your own taco� bar. Favors: Honeyville Durango Weddings Magazine





Profile for Luxe Mountain Weddings

Durango Weddings Magazine - 2019 issue  

This issue features 20 southwest Colorado wedding day stories, pages of helpful advice, dozens of great ideas, and lots of wedded wisdom fro...

Durango Weddings Magazine - 2019 issue  

This issue features 20 southwest Colorado wedding day stories, pages of helpful advice, dozens of great ideas, and lots of wedded wisdom fro...