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Durango Weddings Magazine

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flowers: April’s Garden // photo: Ginger Moose Photography

CONTENTS 2020 ISSUE

WEDDING STORIES 8 14 18 26 32 36 40 44 48 52 56 60 62 68 70 72 76 80 82 84 88

KELLEY & ADRIAN - Purgatory Resort AVERY & MATTHEW - Strater Hotel BRITT & BEN - River Bend Ranch AMY & JASON - Ridgewood KAYLA & TOMAS - Silverpick Lodge JAMIE & DAVID - Purgatory Resort MAREA & BRETT - River Bend Ranch SARAH & AARON - Ridgewood EMILY & KURTISS - Triple J Ranch COURTNEY & RYAN - Silverpick Lodge MEGAN & RYAN - Echo Basin Resort AMBER & JAKE - Double R Ranch CHELSEA & SEAN - Silverpick Lodge STEPHANIE & JOHN - Ridgewood MISSY & JOSH - Triple J Ranch HANNAH & ZACH - Purgatory Resort LUCY & TYLER - Durango CASSIE & KYLE -Silverpick Lodge HOLLY & CHASE - Double R Ranch EMILIE & CHAD - Cascade Village BRITTANY & JONATHAN - Ridgewood

PLANNING & ADVICE 30 FIRST LOOK 94 LOOKING BACK 96 INDEX

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FROM THE PUBLISHER I am so excited to present the 19th edition of Durango Wedding Magazine. This fabulous issue features twenty-one southwest Colorado weddings. From the initial stages of planning to months after the wedding, our featured couples shared their heart-felt stories, comical mishaps, and most memorable moments. I hope all their advice, ideas, and inspiration will help you create your own one-of-a-kind wedding day. Every January, the magazine hosts the annual Durango Wedding Expo, now in it’s 19th 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. We 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 wedding day stories, 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 as we showcase southwest Colorado weddings throughout the year. durangoweddingsmagazine.com contains a comprehensive up-todate 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 debbie@durangoweddingsmagazine.com @durangoweddingsmagazine @dgoweddingsmag @durangoweddingsmag

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.

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On the Front Cover: Image by Kara Cavalca Photo + Video karacavalca.com Read the story on page 68


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shop, sample, plan food, fashion, fun inspo overload

images by illuminarts | floral & decor by Joan Alford, Ridgewood Event Center

Get Inspired

Stroll down ‘Inspiration Lane’ and view the hottest wedding trends of 2020. Aisle after aisle of wedding inspiration awaits.

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Wedding Fashion

Find your dream wedding gown. Browse attire options for the groom and your entire wedding party.

Where to say I do

Find the perfect location for your ceremony & reception. Every venue option in town will be at the show.


Saturday,

January 11, 2020

Show Admission: $10 per person Advance VIP Tickets + info:

La Plata County Fairgrounds 2500 Main Ave, Durango CO Noon - 3 PM

durangoweddingsmagazine.com

images by illuminarts | floral & decor by Joan Alford, Ridgewood Event Center

Floral & Decor

Tour spectacular tablescapes and floral displays dressed in a variety of styles. View creative ideas to make your day extraordinary.

Local Pros

Meet Durango’s A-list event professionals. From DJs to photographers, you’ll have the opportunity to find the vendors you “click” with.

Food Tastings

Indulge in a mouth-watering array of tasty bites, sweet treats, cake, and sparkling mocktails.

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DESTINATION WEDDING From the bride‌

Kelley & Adrian 09.21.19

Venue, Caterer & Lodging Purgatory Resort Floral Designer April’s Garden Hair & Makeup Hair Fusion Photographer Ginger Moose Photography 10

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Why Durango We are from Miami, Florida, and did a two month road trip around the United States. Colorado was our favorite state. We decided we wanted to host our wedding surrounded by mountains, close friends, and family. Our first time visiting Durango was two days before our wedding, and were not disappointed! It is a beautiful town with the most breathtaking mountains I have ever seen.

The Venue

We chose Purgatory Resort because of the stunning mountain surroundings with the most magical views. The wedding team at Purgatory was absolutely amazing, they truly made us feel like royalty.

The Style

We wanted a rustic, small, and intimate day highlighted with greenery and pops of burgundy.


The Flowers

Oh wow! I have never seen such amazing, beautiful flowers. April’s Garden exceeded my expectations. They made me so happy!

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The Morning-of

We had breakfast together and listened to music while driving to Purgatory Resort. It was a great morning of getting ready for the wedding.

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Preparation

Mary Beth from Hair Fusion started the day with us at 11am. She helped ease my nerves the whole morning and she made sure our hair and makeup were flawless.


Kelley & Adrian

Officiant: Southwest Ceremony

Gift to the Groom

On our first Valentine’s Day together I gave Adrian a bracelet with Disney World’s coordinates. That’s when he asked me to be his girlfriend. Before the ceremony, I gave him a bracelet with Purgatory’s coordinates.

The Ceremony

My favorite moments were walking down the aisle towards Adrian and holding his hands during the ceremony. I loved hearing his vows. I felt so blessed that he chose to love me.

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Kelley & Adrian

Advice

Enjoy every second of the planning phase and the day-of your wedding. The days go by very quickly.

Cake: Skillfully Decadent

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DESTINATION WEDDING

Avery & Matthew 07.27.19

From the bride‌

Why Durango

Ten years ago we met in Durango and fell in love. We lived in Durango, on and off, for about 8 years. We love the outdoor recreation opportunities, the supportive community, the food, and all the friends we have made along the way. We love Durango.

The Vision

Our vision was a mixture between mountain and city, along with some boho vibes.

The Venue

For the ceremony, we chose the Lion’s Den for the beautiful views of our favorite town. We held the reception at the Strater Hotel for its downtown, close to everything, historic charm. We loved working with Emily Spencer at the Strater Hotel and knew everything would be taken care of.

Photographer: Colt & Hannah

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The Ceremony

We kept things simple and allowed the views to speak for themselves. The most memorable moment was saying our vows. We took turns speaking and walking in a circle to signify our promise to the vows we made, each alternating when to lead and when to follow.

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Avery & Matthew

My favorite memories were all the speeches from friends and family, as well as everyone dancing.

The Reception

The reception was held in the ballroom of the Strater Hotel. We served crafted, signature drinks named after our puppy and the Animas River. I really enjoyed having a table for just us during dinner. Following dinner, we got to walk around and mingle with everyone. It was really fun and it felt like we had more time with our guests.

Looking Back

We would have included a goodbye or closing activity the next day with family and friends, especially for those who lived far away.

THE WEDDING TEAM Venue, Caterer & Lodging: The Strater Hotel Photographer: Colt & Hannah Hair & Makeup: The Chair Durango Weddings Magazine

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DESTINATION WEDDING

Britt & Ben 07.26.19

From the bride‌

The Vision We embraced a little bit of everything with a combination of vintage, elegant, and rustic farmhouse. We wanted to incorporate the things we love with meaningful family traditions and heritage.

The Venue We chose River Bend Ranch for the gorgeous setting and close proximity to town.

The Flowers My bouquet had a white and green palette. I was so excited to have a King Protea in my bouquet! April’s Garden was so helpful and nice. They had great ideas on the design and style. The flowers were beautiful! They really helped bring my vision to the wedding!

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I loved my Stella York dress and short cowgirl boots adorned with flowers.

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The Bridesmaids

The bouquets held vintage roses, eucalyptus, and white flowers with a touch of pink. The pop of color added fun to their dusty sage dress and brown boots. The bridesmaids wore pearl necklaces and a small strand of pearl in the hair pieces, along with a white or pink flower.

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My favorite memory was walking down the aisle, looking at all of our guests in the crowd and feeling truly loved. It was so special to have everyone in Durango.


Britt & Ben

The Ceremony

The ceremony overlooked the pond with red sandstone cliffs in the background. A friend played the violin during the procession. Another friend played a Bob Dylan song. We used a vintage wine glass for the communion, which was really memorable and special to us.

Family Heirlooms

We brought out personal elements that honored family. My grandma’s night stand was used as the program table, it held Ben’s grandfather’s typewriter with newspaper programs coming out.

The ring bearer, age 3, almost ran away. He was brave and handed the ring box to the best man but sprinted down the aisle to his dad as fast as he could. The guests loved it! Durango Weddings Magazine

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Sneaking away for photos on the dock was one of our favorite memories.

The Cake

Ben’s mom made the most beautiful cake and cake pops. The cake even had lace frosting, giving it a vintage feel. His dad made the dessert table using wood from Ben’s grandparents’ barn. It added to the decor and was so special to have.

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The Favors

We gave favors from Honeyville. Everyone enjoyed taking a taste of Durango home.


Britt & Ben We loved having the reception at the same venue as the ceremony.

Memorable Moments

I stopped for a moment during dinner to take it all in, sitting at the head table I could look out at everyone. It was so pretty and I loved seeing all of our friends and family!

Looking Back

We forgot to set up the photo booth. I do wish we would have delegated those DIY projects to other people the day of (or before). We also wish we would have eaten more cake and cake pops.

Advice

Have a welcome party. It was so much fun to connect with our guests before the wedding. The wedding day is so busy and goes so fast. We appreciated the time spent with everyone the day before.

The Wedding Team

Venue: River Bend Ranch Floral Designer: April’s Gardens Favors: Honeyville Rentals & Linens: Durango Party Rental Photographer: Ginger Moose Photography Filmmaker: Kara Cavalca Photo + Video Caterer: Zia Taqueria Guest Lodging: The Strater Hotel Hair & Makeup: The Chair

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C R E AT I V E V I S U A L N A R R AT I V E S

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

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studio: 970-759-2040 Durango Weddings Magazine

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DESTINATION WEDDING

Amy & Jason 09.18.19

Venue Ridgewood Event Center Photographer illuminarts Floral Designer Adela Floral Rentals Durango Party Rental 28

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From the bride…

Why Durango We love Colorado! We wanted to make sure everyone had a fun weekend of exploring and playing, there’s no better place than Colorado to adventure. We had a Sunday brunch wedding, it had a rustic and natural feel with modern flare. It was important for us to have a small wedding so we had time to talk with and hug each guest.

The Ceremony

I’ve wanted to get married my whole life, this moment was long awaited and absolutely perfect. One special moment was the foot washing ceremony. Somehow the towels to dry our feet were not at the site. I improvised and gave Jason my sister’s handkerchief to dry my feet. When it was my turn to wash his, I knelt on the handkerchief and couldn’t get to it from under my dress. So, I pulled back the three layers of tulle on the dress and used the satin layer to dry his feet.


Special Touches I had a very talented Dallas artist hand paint “Mrs. Smith” with flowers in the same design as my dress across the back of a leather jacket. It was so absolutely fun to wear!

I wore rose gold heels, strappy with butterfly wings on the back. They’re the fanciest shoes I own, delicate yet bold, and worth every penny!

I placed my grandmother’s handkerchief around my bouquet. My mom stitched J&A and our wedding date on the handkerchief.

Under my dress and Jason’s tie, I had our initials and wedding date embroidered.

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Amy & Jason

Cake: Skillfully Decadent Desserts

The Reception

We wanted a tent so that we could be close to our friends and family. Simple greenery allowed guests to see and talk to one another, accents of geometric gold candle and flower holders elevated the rustic, natural feel. My favorite detail was the butterflies hanging from the tent. Looking back, I wish it would have lasted longer. Being with our friends, all who traveled from out of town, was overwhelmingly special.

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The First Look

We shared our first look by the river, wearing socks with each others’ faces on them while eating Italian wedding soup Anthony’s favorite food.

Durango newlyweds share their first look memories. By far the most memorable moment was the first look. Lou was standing down by the creek, under golden leaves from the trees above. I could tell he was nervous but had no idea just how emotional he would be seeing me in my wedding dress. After he turned around, we embraced each other for what felt like forever. Having that moment together was so special, I will forever cherish our first look.

Photo: Amy Crooks Photography

-Liz & Anthony married at Ridgewood in June

Photo: Karla Wedding Photography

-Hannah & Lou married in Durango in September

Our first look was the most memorable part of our day. We loved having time for just the two of us and we couldn’t stop crying. We both needed it to ease some nerves and quietly enjoy our time together.

Photo: Jenne Anne

Photo: Allison Ragsdale Photography

-Cassie & Kyle married at Silverpick Lodge in April

Our first look was definitely one of my favorite moments. We decided to do a first look because we wanted to see each other in private so we wouldn’t have to hide our emotions. Jacob thought he was going to cry. It turned out I was already tearing up while walking towards him. When he turned around he teared up as well and we immediately hugged. I was so happy we chose to do the first look because it was such a special moment to see each other and to relax a little before the actual ceremony. -Kelli & Jacob married in Durango in June

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DESTINATION WEDDING

Kayla & Tomas 09.21.19

Venue, Caterer & Lodging Silverpick Lodge Wedding Dress Occasions Bridal Photographer Eppich Photography Floral Designer Linnaea Design

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From the bride‌

The Venue

When we toured the Silverpick Lodge and met the owner Chris Wing, we immediately knew this was our venue. He was so relaxed and the Lodge provided the right amount of comfortable mountain charm with a little luxury. The views from the lodge are absolutely stunning and we wanted our guests to enjoy their experience in the mountains. Chris made all of our choices so easy and never pressured us. If we wanted to do everything ourselves and bring in our own vendors, great! If we wanted to have the lodge do everything, that was great too! We loved the autonomy we had to create the weekend we wanted; doing some things ourselves with outside caterers and lots of family help to having the lodge take care of cocktail hour and dinner on the wedding day. Knowing they could do whatever we needed really freed us up to enjoy the day of our wedding. I could go on and on, the venue and working with Chris really made the wedding for us. Oh, and it was dog friendly! Having our dog with us over the weekend was really important and I’m so happy we could bring him to the lodge.


The Vision & Vibe

Our focus was less on the day and more on a whole weekend experience with an emphasis on the natural surroundings. I wanted our stunning location to be the highlight and the wedding day to feel easy and chill, even if the weeks leading up were frazzled and unorganized. It was important to us to make our guest experience effortless - just show up and enjoy yourselves for the next few days. Staying at the Silverpick Lodge for three nights made it super easy to deliver those things.

The Ceremony

We held the ceremony in the meadow behind Silverpick Lodge. It was really important for us to be outside and in nature. We used rustic seating on log benches provided by the lodge and our arbor was decorated with flowers and greenery. Seeing all of our friends and family, walking down the aisle with my parents, was all so special. Durango Weddings Magazine

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Kayla & Tomas

The Reception

The dinner for the reception was help upstairs in the lodge at the Sow’s Ear. The food was amazing and Chris helped us put together a great menu that accommodated guests’ dietary restrictions. The room was decorated with yellow Aspen leaves and candles. The real highlight was the beautiful mountain views.

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DESTINATION WEDDING From the bride…

Jamie & David 10.05.19

Venue, Caterer, Lodging Purgatory Resort Hair & Makeup Hair Fusion Photographer Ginger Moose Photography 38

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The Venue

We chose Purgatory Resort because of the opportunity for an outdoor ceremony and Purgy’s mountain cabin resort look. We love Purgy’s big open space, the wall of windows, and the wall of wood rounds. The space feels intimate and warm, and also open and bright. We wanted our guests to stay close to the reception venue for safety and comfort. As we went through the process of working with Purgatory we knew we made the right choice, the staff was helpful and the food was amazing!

The Planning

We looked through several issues of Durango Weddings Magazine for inspiration. It was very helpful and fun to see how others created their ideas and themes. It gave us the encouragement to do what we truly wanted.


We wanted a more traditional, fall wedding with an English floral theme in the mountains. Aspen trees, leaves, and wood were a big design element. Durango Weddings Magazine

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The Ceremony

I’ve known, since I was a kid, I wanted to be married in an Aspen grove. Durango was just the place! We picked the ceremony site with Aspens and mountains in the background. It was so perfect to be set in our own little hideaway. I just know fairies live there and it’s pretty magical. David’s step-dad built the arch and we added big, beautiful floral swags to the top. As the crier in the relationship (I cry at everything) I was overjoyed to see David crying.

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Florals: Albuquerque Florist


Jamie & David

Advice: Take time and effort to include the pieces of your lives that are important to you. Do something because you want to do it, decide and agree on why it is important. Have the type of fun that is important to the two of you.

The Reception

Looking Back

Our reception was at Purgy’s Restaurant. We loved the big, open space and wall of windows. It felt cozy and bright at the same time.

A family tradition, we asked guests to bring their favorite cookies along with the recipe to share.

We would have made a point to soak up more of the day together. With all the partying it was too easy to get pulled away from each other to talk or dance with friends and family. I wish we had more time during the reception to dance together and greet our guests together.

My favorite dĂŠcor element was the bunting that my grandparents made. It was so extra special they were able to finish the bunting before the wedding as they both passed away a month before the wedding. I felt like they were with us.

We made our table numbers from our favorite TV show posters: The Crown, The Big Bang Theory, Stranger Things, etc. Durango Weddings Magazine

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DESTINATION WEDDING

Marea & Brett 09.27.19

Venue River Bend Ranch Floral Designer Adela Floral Hair & Makeup Hair Fusion Rentals Durango Party Rental Photographer Allison Ragsdale Photography

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From the bride… We met at work in 2016 but hit it off at lunch with a group of co-workers. During lunch we started talking about our favorite beers and Ska Brewery came up. During this conversation we discovered we had both attended Fort Lewis College and became “best friends”. The rest is history.

Why Durango

We both attended Fort Lewis College although we didn’t know each other while attending, so technically this was a destination wedding. We live in Denver and have a special place in our hearts for Durango. After searching high and low for a wedding venue in the Denver Metro area, nothing stood out to us. We wanted an easy going, stress free, and a heck of a good time wedding. We decided Durango had what we were looking for, with its laid back, mountain town feel.

The Venue

We definitely wanted an outdoor wedding with an indoor option for the unpredictable Colorado weather. River Bend Ranch had the best of everything: beautiful mountain views, luscious willow trees, and water features. River Bend Ranch also had a beautiful indoor wedding space where we held our reception. River Bend Ranch went above and beyond for us through the wedding planning and the wedding day.


The Flowers

Our flowers were out of this world! We couldn’t be happier with Natalie at Adela Floral. She was a joy to work with and outdid herself with our arrangements. Natalie included dramatic dahlias, big ranunculus bulbs, and garden roses for the bouquets and the centerpieces. Everyone was in awe of her work. She is a floral genius and made our wedding absolutely stunning.

The Planning

Durango Weddings Magazine helped us locate vendors and make our final decisions. It was a great tool for us to get opinions and ideas of other weddings in the area. We also attended the Durango Wedding Expo and found it extremely helpful.

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We got engaged in Cuba after drinking a mojito on the beach. During our ceremony we made a mojito together and drank it in honor of our engagement. It was unique and nontraditional.

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Marea & Brett

Reception Decor

Geometric gold terrariums were filled with flowers and gold tea lights for our centerpieces. Everything was simple and elegant. We named the tables after our favorite spots in Durango: Bakers Bridge, Purgatory, Cascade, Smelter Mountain, etc. We made them with stained wood pieces and adhesive vinyl for the lettering.

Advice Looking back, we loved spending our wedding in Durango: reminiscing over our college years, eating at our favorite restaurants, and bumping into friends & family around town.

Don’t stress the small stuff! So many people told us this great advice but it’s hard to listen when you’re in the thick of it. Seriously, none of it matters the day of. You are getting married to the love of your life and that’s the most important part. Enjoy your engagement and have fun with wedding planning. It goes by in the blink of an eye. Also, splurge on the photographer. You won’t regret it when you see the stunning pictures from your big day!

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LOCAL WEDDING From the bride‌

Sarah & Aaron 09.28.19

Venue & Floral Designer Ridgewood Event Center Photographer Candace Cross

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The Vision

Our wedding vibe was inspired by the majestic mountains that surround Durango. We wanted to feature rocks, gems, and minerals. We went with a color theme for each table, from the rocks to the flowers, vases, and glassware all followed one assigned color. Walking in the venue was like walking into an art gallery. We planned a wedding that was very personalized to us, as individuals and as a couple. The whole day was just how we wanted it.

The Planning

The Durango Weddings Magazine & Expo were very helpful for information and inspiration, they helped us get ideas and meet vendors. Joan Alford at Ridgewood Event Center helped to make our vision come to life with all of her passion and resources.


The flowers were chosen from a palette of eight colors and arranged together by the same tone. We added neutral accents to make the colors pop.

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The Ceremony

The ceremony was outside, looking at the majestic La Plata Mountains. Our dog Ruger was the ring bearer, he is a ham for the camera and we knew he would be great for this special job. We wrote our own vows, they were very special and touching. We had a few guests stand up and offer the most heart-felt words about us, it really felt as if everyone was part of the ceremony.

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Sarah & Aaron

We held the reception outside in a white tent under the Cottonwoods. The day was beautiful and the evening light set the party scene.

Looking Back

I would take more photos before the ceremony with my wedding party and family, giving us more time after the ceremony with guests, chatting and enjoying drinks and appetizers.

Advice Our wedding cake was a large beautiful geode.

Enjoy your day and be present, do not get caught up in the details at that point. Enjoy your guests and take time to eat with them and have fun.

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LOCAL WEDDING

Emily & Kurtiss 09.20.19

Venue Triple J Ranch Photographer Aspen Jade Photography Rentals & Decor Something Borrowed Floral Designer Leslie Morris

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From the bride‌

The Vision

Our vision was rustic fall with a country chic theme and laid back vibe.

The Venue

Triple J Ranch is seriously the most beautiful venue. The owner, Susan, is amazing. She was so kind and caring and helped make our day perfect. It has so much to offer for a wedding venue, it has everything you need.


The florals were organized chaos and it was perfect! We harvested most of the flowers for my bouquet from my mother-in-law’s garden. I wrapped Kurtiss’ dog tags from his last combat tour around my bouquet. Durango Weddings Magazine

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Emily & Kurtiss

The Ceremony

I’m sure everyone says their ceremony is the best, and ours was the best! We held the ceremony by the pond at Triple J Ranch. It was so simple and absolutely stunning at the same time. We had a mixture of laughter, tears of joy, and prayer. It was simply perfect.

Our favorite memory was seeing each other for the first time. When I walked down the aisle we saw our love and our future in that moment.

Advice

Hire out for everything. Don’t try to do it all yourself. It was so nice not to be stressed the day of. Live in the moment and cherish every second!

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DESTINATION WEDDING

Courtney & Ryan 08.31.19

Venue, Caterer, Lodging Silverpick Lodge Floral Designer Adela Floral Photographer Jenne Anne Photography Event Planer Heirlooms

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From the bride…

Why Durango

We knew we wanted to get married in the Durango area from the start. After falling in love in those mountains we knew getting married there was no question. We wanted everyone to make great memories and for the wedding weekend to feel genuine to us, as a couple. The wedding we envisioned was filled with fun and happiness, surrounded by love.

The Venue

We wanted to get married where it was possible to keep our guests close by for a weekend of fun. We rented out the Silverpick Lodge and the Sow’s Ear for our wedding. It is beautiful up there and we spent so much time with family and friends that we hadn’t seen in a long time. It was the perfect venue for us.


The Flowers

Natalie, the owner of Adela Floral, took the time to work with our budget and created beautiful floral designs for us. She kept our natural vibe throughout the entire reception area with loose foliage on the tables mixed with geometric terrariums. All of the bouquets and boutonnieres were gorgeous as well. My bouquet was one of my favorite pieces of the wedding, it was incredible.

The Ceremony

Our ceremony was our way of making the day personal for us. My step-father was our officiant. Our immediate family came up and prayed over us at the beginning of the ceremony, it was such a touching moment to share with our parents and siblings. We wrote our own vows and sharing them ended up being our favorite moment of the entire day. The whole ceremony was truly so beautiful and fit to us.

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Courtney & Ryan

One of our favorite moments was sneaking off with our photographers at sunset. Having the time to be alone for a moment and soak in being married was so nice.

The Reception

We chose to have our reception on site at the Sow’s Ear Restaurant. It was just before sunset and everyone had dinner with the mountains in view. Oh my gosh, everything was just stunning.

Our favorite memory from the reception was dancing the night away with everyone. We had so much fun together! Seriously, those moments when you see everyone having a good time makes it all worth it!

Advice

Soak it all in, it goes by so fast. Take the time with your significant other and enjoy the special moments with one another.

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Silverton, Colorado Cracked Compass Photography

JOIN YOUR HEARTS IN THE HEART OF THE SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS

UNIQUE VENUES FOR THE PERFECT MOUNTAIN WEDDING Kendall Mountain ~ Historic Town Hall ~ Molas Lake ~ Memorial Park Gazebo

www.silvertonweddings.com | 970-387-5522

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LOCAL WEDDING

Megan & Ryan 08.03.19

Venue Echo Basin Resort Floral Designer April’s Garden Hair & Makeup Hair Fusion Photographer Mirabal Photography 58

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From the bride...

The Venue

I chose Echo Basin Resort because it was an amazing place to have everyone stay together and for our out-of-town guests to enjoy how beautiful southwest Colorado is.

Memorable Moment

My husband and I snuck away to give each other letters we wrote to one another. We read them for the wedding video. We hadn’t done a “first look” so it was a special time together to sit alone and read what the other wrote. I call it our “beautiful chaos” moment; we hadn’t seen each other all day and when we did, we were pulled in every direction to say hi, or talk to someone, or dance. We never had time to ourselves except for that moment.


My only living grandparent gave me his wedding band to tie onto my bouquet for the day since he was unable to make the trip from Texas.

The Flowers

Our flowers were astonishing! They were a mix of different flowers all found in southwestern Colorado. April’s Garden did an amazing job, I honestly can’t say enough amazing things about them.

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My favorite ceremony memory was the rain. Yes, it rained during our wedding; for us it made sense. On all of the important moments for us, it has rained: the day we got engaged, the day we announced our baby’s gender, the day he was born, and now the day we got married.

Emotions

I cried a lot that day. I cried when I saw my dad, when I saw my husband, and when we had our first dance. We laughed more than we cried, though. Our friends and family got along so well; we shared laughs, hugs, shots, and toasts. We had an amazing time.

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Megan & Ryan

The Ceremony

The ceremony was outside and perfect. April’s Garden made sure everything was set up the way I wanted it.

The Reception

It was a giant party! Our decor was beautiful. The photo booth gave everyone an outlet to be their goofy selves. Everyone danced and had fun.

Advice

No matter what, make time for you and your spouse that day to sneak away to have alone time to either hug and kiss, hold hands and walk, or sit down and talk. It kept us in the moment and we didn’t feel overwhelmed with the amount of attention from everyone.

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LOCAL WEDDING

Amber & Jake 09.29.19

Venue Double R Ranch Rentals Durango Party Rental Hair Stylist Gina Sturdevant, Mountain Hair Photographer Wild Dawn Photo + Film

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From the bride‌

The Vibe

We wanted a romantic, country wedding in the mountains during peak fall color. Our friends and family did all of the floral arrangements and decorating. My mother-in-law made our wedding cake, a friend made the altar, and I created my own custom jean jacket.

The Venue

Double R Ranch is absolutely breathtaking and the views speak for themselves. Add in a beautiful main house, cookhouse, and tent that can easily accommodate a large reception, it was a no-brainer Double R Ranch would provide the best mountain setting for our special day. There were multiple options for guest accommodations on the property and several choices for the ceremony site. The fall colors made our decor pop and provided a gorgeous backdrop.


The Ceremony

We held the ceremony in a pasture overlooking the Mancos Valley, with the fall colors perfectly framing the scene. Flower petals and lanterns lined the aisle to our handmade altar draped in florals and blush fabric. Seeing Jake tear up as I turned the corner to walk down the aisle was my favorite memory.

The Reception

The reception was held under a large white tent aglow with twinkle lights. It was great to see our loved ones enjoying the food and music in this beautiful setting.

Advice

Enjoy every moment. Remember that it is your special day and no one else’s opinion is as important as yours. Don’t let the stress of the wedding distract from why you wanted to get married in the first place.

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DESTINATION WEDDING

Chelsea & Sean 09.14.19

Venue, Caterer, Lodging Silverpick Lodge Floral Designer April’s Garden Rentals Durango Party Rental Photographer Elizabeth Wells Photography

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From the bride… we met at a coffee shop in Portland, OR. After talking for a bit, Sean said “You know, I’m writing a book and I really think you could help me.” It was a phone book and he got my number. The rest is history!

Why Durango

This was a destination wedding for us. Growing up, my family went on many road trips to southwest Colorado. I was so excited to take Sean for the first time and he loved it as much as I did. We knew it would be a great place to get married, even before we were engaged. Since we’re not local, Durango Weddings Magazine was a fantastic way to discover venues and vendors. We loved seeing the many different styles of wedding options in southwest Colorado.

The Vision

We wanted an intimate and thoughtful wedding. The rest of the vision fell into place as we focused on those two components. The overall vibe was fun, relaxed, and unique to our relationship.


The Flowers

I gave April’s Garden some very loose ideas of what we wanted and they did an awesome job! I wanted something different but didn’t quite know how to articulate it. They created two beautiful arrangements for the ceremony that we also repurposed at the reception. My bouquet was filled with so many different textures and colors, I actually cried upon seeing it. The bridesmaids had amazing, lush foliage bouquets and the groomsmen’s boutonnieres matched. I could go on and on but I’ll sum it up by saying, the flowers were perfect!

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Chelsea & Sean

The Venue

We knew we wanted to get married at Silverpick Lodge about 5 minutes into the tour. The owner, Chris has created such a special place. It was important to us that we had space for all the people that would be traveling to Durango. We booked the lodge for three nights; using the second reception space for a welcome dinner, the meadow for our ceremony, the second ceremony spot for cocktail hour, and the Sow’s Ear for our reception. This venue has it all.

The Ceremony

The meadow at Silverpick has the perfect backdrop: mountains, wildflowers, and aspens. We had a runner for the aisle, aspen benches for guests, aspen stumps for floral arrangements, and we stood on a circular rug. It was simple because the setting was beautiful enough.

We both agreed our favorite ceremony memory was reading our vows to each other, they were so similar without having planned it. We were laughing and crying at the same time. 66

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The Reception

We added some candles and small vases with florals to the tables and individualized menus with tile place cards at each seat. The chandeliers held Aspen branches, and a neon sign hung above our sweetheart table. It looked beautiful.

While eating dinner, we stopped for a couple of minutes to watch and take it all in. As we looked around everyone was laughing, smiling, and enjoying the food and wine. It was a magical moment to see.

Advice

You do you! Remind yourself what is important to you. Keep those things as the focus and everything else will fall into place.

I loved our first dance! Sean really got down and it took me and everyone else by surprise. I remember laughing so hard and dancing my heart out, while feeling so happy.

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THE COVER COUPLE

LOCAL WEDDING

Stephanie & John 05.04.19

Venue Ridgewood Event Center Hair & Makeup Hair Fusion Photographer Kara Cavalca Photo + Video

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From the bride‌

The Venue

We loved the idea of having an outdoor wedding. John was born and raised in Durango, so naturally we thought of having the wedding in southwest Colorado. The mountain backdrop at Ridgewood Event Center was beautiful and absolutely what we envisioned. We loved the flexibility to do an indoor wedding if the weather became an issue. It was also lovely to have our family members stay at Blue Lake Ranch nearby.


The bridesmaids wore dresses in plum and wine.

The Ceremony

We wrote our own ceremony and a family friend officiated, making it feel even more special to us. We really wanted our parents to have a role in the ceremony and asked them to come up to plant wildflowers and bulbs with us as a symbol of our family’s growth. For our vows, we chose to each tell a story about each other rather than recite traditional vows. It was touching and fun to hear what the other had decided to share.

Advice

While in the planning process, we each realized a few specific aspects of the wedding that were most important to us. Identifying those helped us to focus on the things we cared most about and to split up some of the planning and organizing.

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LOCAL WEDDING

Missy & Josh 09.12.19

Venue Triple J Ranch Photographer Aimee Whitmer Photography

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From the bride‌ We met online and two years later got engaged on Christmas Day. We wanted a simple wedding that was fun and comfortable.

The Venue

Triple J Ranch had it all. Each event at our wedding was in a separate location and within walking distance to the next. The ceremony was outside in a large grassy field with white fences and 100 year old cottonwood trees. The reception was held in another building with roll up doors and had a rustic vibe with dark wood tables and chairs. Seating was inside and outside, lots of candles and flowers accented the tables, and the food was served buffet style. Dancing was held in an 1800s barn, it was very rustic and romantic with twinkling lights, chandeliers, and big antique chairs to sit in while taking a break. We had lawn games for the kids and a big fire pit to cook s’mores. The 1800s saloon was open for drinks or to play pool for the adults.


The Ceremony

When we arrived at the ceremony I saw my son waiting for me in his Marine dress blues. I broke into happy tears and my heart wanted to explode out of my chest. Walking down the aisle with him was a special moment I will treasure for the rest of my life. When I locked eyes with Josh, he had a huge smile and started tearing up. It was another moment I will forever cherish.

One thing I loved most was filling our flower girl’s basket with petals from the roses Josh had given to me throughout our relationship. I had saved every one and took the petals off the stems for the basket.

Advice

Enjoy every moment and live in that moment. I was so busy making sure everyone was having a good time, I missed most of my wedding. I look back at the pictures and think “where was I when that happened?”

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DESTINATION WEDDING

Hannah & Zach 06.22.19

Venue, Caterer, Lodging Purgatory Resort Floral Designer April’s Garden Photographer Shutterfreek

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From the bride… We met in 6th grade and had crushes on each other since then, we never dated until later in college.

Why Durango

This was somewhat of a destination wedding as we’re from the Front Range of Colorado. I went to school at Fort Lewis College, falling in love with Durango and the surrounding area. I always wanted to bring all my friends and family and found the perfect way by having our wedding there. We highly recommend a wedding in southwest Colorado! The vendors were all amazing to work with and have worked together so often it seems like they’re family.

The Planning

We attended the Durango Wedding Expo and it was extremely helpful to meet our vendors in person and talk to them. The Durango Weddings Magazine was highly useful to show my florist exactly which floral arrangements I liked, turns out she had done all of them. I liked seeing what the brides and grooms wished they had done and the lists of vendors they used. We mainly used the Durango Weddings Magazine because it showcased all the local vendors and gave me great inspiration for what I wanted in my wedding. The local Durango vendors were so helpful in giving advice and assisting me considering I was planning from far away.


The whole ceremony was magical and entirely perfect.

The Venue

Our venue choice was easy because we love skiing and wanted to get married at a ski resort and in Durango, so Purgatory Resort was the perfect place. We also loved that our guests could stay right at the resort and we didn’t have to worry about transportation after our great night of fun. There were many activities and amenities for people of all ages to do while staying at the resort. We chose Purgies for the reception and Engineer Site for our ceremony because they both had the perfect mountain vibes and views to fit our wedding.

The Ceremony Our style was slightly rustic and laid-back with an emphasis on Durango’s amazing natural qualities. We wanted to keep it simple yet fit the Durango vibe as best as possible. We love the city, the people, and the mountains and wanted our wedding to be an example of that. We wanted guests to experience the laid-back feel of the Durango area and the simple beauty of the mountains and nature surrounding it.

We held the ceremony in a secluded and wooded site that provided an amazing view of Engineer Mountain in the background. It truly felt like we were in the forest with only our guests and each other, it was exactly what we wanted! The whole day was very rainy and gloomy, we thought the wedding would have to move inside. However, we were absolutely determined to keep the wedding outside and luckily after postponing for an hour, the sun broke out and the rain paused just long enough for the ceremony. We both cried seeing each other at the ceremony for the first time and while reading our vows. They were such touching moments, nothing can prepare you for them.

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The Flowers

Our flowers were truly incredible. We wanted them to have an essence of wildflowers because we love being outdoors and enjoy the mountains when wildflowers are in full bloom. The flowers were also 100% local, this was very important to us to support the local economy and have things that were truly from the area. They were absolutely perfect and added the exact amount of color and brightness to the reception and ceremony. April’s Garden deserves 5 stars and beyond, they were amazing and even fixed the flowers outside in the rain.

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Hannah & Zach

Our cake topper represented our life together: a skier girl, a snowboarder guy, and a corgi.

The Reception

Highlights were definitely dancing the night away with all of our friends, seeing how much fun everyone was having, and sharing laughs all night at our reception. We loved that everyone was having a great time!

Our table numbers were small mountains that Zach’s dad made.

Advice

Try and focus more on the big picture; you’re getting married and that’s what matters. The small stuff is only big to you, no one else notices. Our first look was amazing, it helped settle the nerves before walking down the aisle and let us enjoy the ceremony all the more.

We named the signature cocktails after our dog, Benny. Durango Weddings Magazine

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LOCAL WEDDING From the bride…

Lucy & Tyler 09.14.19 Floral Designer April’s Garden Photographer Candace Cross Photography Rentals Durango Party Rental Violet Mae, Dirty Dishes

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Why Durango

We live in New Hampshire, but my parents live in Durango. We wanted to get married in Durango because of its beauty and we met in Colorado, so it holds a special place in our hearts. Durango was a great choice for our friends and relatives who traveled to the wedding. Many stayed for a week and combined the wedding with vacation - there was something for everyone from shopping and dining downtown to hiking, rafting, and hot springs. Durango is the best place ever, each season has its own beauty, and everyone is so friendly and helpful.

The Venue

The ceremony and reception were in my parent’s backyard because it had everything we wanted and was quintessential Colorado with old trees, water, and the Hermosa Mountains in the background.

The Planning

We attended the Durango Wedding Expo and it was very helpful, gave us lots of ideas, and we worked with a lot of the vendors we met there.


The Vision & Vibe

We wanted an English garden party combined with boho chic Colorado; lots of flowers, lace, dreamcatchers, vintage accents, and cowboy boots. We wanted the day to be family oriented, fun, and intimate. We enjoyed a relaxed vibe with time to enjoy each other as many of the guests came from all over the world.

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The Ceremony

Our ceremony took place in the garden with guests seated on vintage armchairs and benches. A pair of ten foot high cactus skeletons adorned with flowers provided the entrance for my father and I to walk through. We had a personal and unique ceremony; it included making a family vow, my godmother from England reading a Rumi poem, and a rose planting ceremony with our seven month old son. The family Bernese Mountain Dog walked down the aisle to present the rings. The decor was vintage with loads of flowers and the weather was perfect. The ceremony was moving, intimate, and beautiful. There were a lot of tears, Tyler cried all the way through it.

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Lucy & Tyler

The Reception

A family style cookout for the meal featured favorites from both Tyler and I. Brisket and bacon for Tyler and Olathe corn, James Ranch cheese, and chicken wings for me. We enjoyed games on the lawn, a fire pit, and s’mores and sparklers at the end of day.

Advice

Enjoy the day to the fullest and remember to stay in the present. Go into your day happy and positive because everyone is there to love and support you. Don’t let other people’s stress take away from your day.

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DESTINATION WEDDING From the bride...

Cassie & Kyle 04.27.19

Venue, Caterer, Lodging Silverpick Lodge Photographer Jenne Anne

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Why Durango

We both love spending time in the mountains and have memories of Durango from our childhoods. We knew from our first vacation there together that we wanted to get married in Durango. It was on our second trip that we wandered into Sorrel Sky Gallery and found my dream engagement ring and there was no turning back from there. We were determined to get married in front of the beautiful, scenic mountains among the aspen trees. Durango has such a friendly atmosphere, all the vendors we worked with were amazing.

The Venue

We wanted our wedding to be laid back and inclusive; to feel more like a family reunion or a gathering of friends than a formal wedding. Silverpick was the perfect venue to make it a reality. The owner, Chris Wing, understood our vision and the feel we wanted for our wedding. He went over the moon to make our wedding day a dream come true. We rented the lodge for two days, our guests were able to hang out with us all weekend. They raved about the lodge and all of its amenities.

The Planning

I attended the 2018 Durango Wedding Expo (before Kyle even proposed) and found several of our vendors. I used the Durango Weddings Magazine while planning, I loved reading all the different wedding stories. It helped me choose my vendor team and was a great resource for planning our destination wedding.


The Ceremony

We were determined to have our ceremony outdoors and told people for months “rain or shine”. We also hoped that there would be snow on the ground, yet we didn’t expect the six inches on the ground when visiting two weeks before the wedding. We were prepared to arrive with shovels in hand and Chris surprised us with a clear ceremony site the day before our wedding. Then came the rain, a steady downpour throughout the whole ceremony. Chris brought umbrellas to our guests and we had our wedding outside like we’d dreamed.

Memorable Moments My favorite ceremony memory is when we read our vows and said, “I do”, Kyle forgot to put the ring on my finger. As a little girl, it was a moment I thought would be absolutely magical on my wedding day, instead it was a moment of comedy. I had to ask him for my wedding ring! Kyle: My favorite ceremony memory is when we first joined hands at the altar and I asked Cassie if she was cold, because it was pouring rain. She said no and we smiled, I got tunnel vision and it felt like we were the only two people on the planet (hence forgetting the ring).

The Reception

We had our reception dinner in the Sow’s Ear restaurant at Silverpick Lodge. Chris worked with us to create a custom menu. The restaurant is gorgeous as is, we didn’t add many decorations to it besides our celestial table numbers and place cards.

Advice Stay true to your vision. It is hard to plan a wedding because everyone has their own idea of what a wedding should be. This is a day for you and your partner, make it what you want it to be and have fun doing so!

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LOCAL WEDDING

Holly & Chase 08.01.18

Venue Double R Ranch Photographer Aspen Jade Photography

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From the bride‌

The Venue

Double R Ranch allowed us to have a Colorado outdoor wedding with tent coverage for the reception. They also provided space to prepare food and have some family stay on site the night before and the night of the wedding.

The Vision

We wanted a rustic wedding with a Colorado feel and hand crafted touches. A lot of family came in from out-of-state so we wanted them to see why we love southwest Colorado.


The Ceremony

We held the ceremony in a field surrounded by Aspen trees. We crafted an entryway with doors and a sign above that read “Let the adventure begin” and as we walked out through the doors after the ceremony it read “And they lived happily ever after”. It rained, snowed, and hailed that day, but during the ceremony, the sky cleared and it was beautiful. We wrote and recited our own vows. My oldest brother married us making it special and unique by adding personal touches and humor.

The Reception

We held the reception under a large tent in close proximity to the ceremony site making it convenient for our guests. We had a “sweetheart” table because I knew we were both going to be very social and didn’t want to be tied behind a long table. I also wanted the groomsmen and bridesmaids to be able to sit with their dates. My mother and I made our own centerpieces. We had a milk & cookies bar for dessert. Everyone partook at some point or another in the dancing, even our grandmothers!

Looking back, I wished we would have hired a day-of event coordinator. This would have allowed our families to step back and enjoy themselves.

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LOCAL WEDDING

Emilie & Chad 09.28.19

Venue Cascade Village Photographer Ginger Moose Photography

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From the bride‌

The Venue

Since we met while skiing at Purgatory, we knew we wanted to have our wedding in the San Juan Mountains. Cascade Village was very easy to work with and open to us getting creative with the venue space. We also loved the idea of our guests renting condos and staying close together for the weekend. Neither of us have much family living in Durango, so having all our family and friends travel in to spend the weekend with us was so very special.

The Ceremony

We were married in the Cascade meadow overlooking the Needles Mountains. We kept the decor simple with small boxes of flowers and a large garland of greenery for the arch. We kept the wedding party small to keep the ceremony as intimate and personal as possible.


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Flowers: Lori Poppins

Since we chose Cascade Village for the beautiful mountain backdrop, we focused on using a lot of green foliage and Aspens for the decor.

Advice: Delegate tasks for the day of the wedding so you can relax and not feel rushed. Most friends and family are looking to help anyway. 88

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LOCAL WEDDING

Brittany & Jonathan 06.29.19

From the bride...

The Proposal

Jonathan proposed on the Ice Lakes Trail at the first waterfall. Originally, he wanted to propose up at Clear Lake but a tree on the road prevented us from getting up there. He totally kept his cool and improvised plan B. I never would have known it was the backup plan if he hadn’t told me.

Venue, Planning, Flowers Ridgewood Event Center Photographer illuminarts Wedding Gown Occasions Bridal

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The Vision

We wanted an earthy and simple vibe for our wedding day. We chose a navy blue, gray, and yellow color scheme with pops of white and green.


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Brittany & Jonathan

The Venue

We chose the gorgeous Ridgewood Event Center. Joan designed all our flowers including a beautiful spray on the ceremony arbor.

The Ceremony

Jon built the arbor we were married under. My grandmother was our officiant. A memorable moment was when Jon said, “I do� before he was supposed to. He was so anxious to get married and it was so sweet.

Favorite Moment

My favorite moment was our first dance and Jon swinging me around the dance floor.

Advice

Get a wedding coordinator, they save you so much stress.

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GET INSPIRED! 94

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images by illuminarts | floral & decor by April’s Garden


Let the wedding planning begin! Walk the show, snap pictures of things you love, and get to know local industry pros. See the latest bridal fashions, swoon over stylish dĂŠcor and floral designs, gather fresh ideas, view the hottest wedding trends, and find your dream team of vendors.

Shop, Sample, Plan! :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: images by illuminarts | floral & 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 Strike a pose in multiple photo booths Coordinate your wedding day transportation Gather lodging options for your out-of-town guests Find the perfect gifts for your wedding party Book your rehearsal dinner location

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

Saturday,

January 11, 2020

NOON - 3 PM La Plata County Fairgrounds, Durango Show Admission: $10 per person VIP Tickets + further info: DURANGOWEDDINGSMAGAZINE.COM Durango Weddings Magazine

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Photo: Kara Cavalca Photo + Video

LOOKING BACK Durango newlyweds share what they would do different on their wedding day.

If we could do anything differently, it would be to better manage our time that day. We felt time slipping by so quickly and didn’t get enough moments with everyone. Everyone warns you that the time flies by - they were right! -Liz & Anthony married at Ridgewood

Looking back, the only thing I would do differently is make the night last longer! -Katie & DJ married in Durango

Looking back, I wish we had eaten more cake!

Photo: Amy Crooks Photography

-Tori & David married in Durango

I wish I would not have stressed so much about my wedding dress. Once we were there, I wasn’t even thinking about what I was wearing. -Margo & John married at Reising Stage

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Photo: Kara Cavalca Photo + Video

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READ PAST ISSUES

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Profile for Luxe Mountain Weddings

Durango Weddings Magazine - 2020 ISSUE  

The 2020 issue features twenty-one southwest Colorado wedding day stories, pages of helpful advice, and lots of wedded wisdom from the newly...

Durango Weddings Magazine - 2020 ISSUE  

The 2020 issue features twenty-one southwest Colorado wedding day stories, pages of helpful advice, and lots of wedded wisdom from the newly...