Featured Weddings 6
A Perfect Day in Vail
Casual at Durango Mountain Resort
On the Ranch in Montrose
Simply Us in Breckenridge
20 Winter Bliss in Pagosa 24 Whimsical Fun in Durango
28 Romance at Fox Fire Farms
Magic in Silverthorne
Destination Durango Love in Silverton
Casual & Fun in Durango
Artsy Boho in Telluride
Bliss at Durango Mountain Resort
Woodsy Elegance in Pagosa
Ranch Elegance in Aspen
Laid-back in Crested Butte
80 Destination Steamboat 80 Vows with a View
Simplicity in Vail
Western Chic in Durango
Rain on Vail Mountain
Southern Style in Durango
Elevated Elopement in Telluride
Sci Fi Fest in Mancos
Remembering Loved Ones
Casual in Keystone
Under the Rainbow
Autumn in Telluride
Vendor Directory 3
A Perfect Day in Vail Images by Jason + Gina Wedding Photographers
From the bride WHY VAIL itâ€™s our favorite mountain to snowboard and it just feels like home. BEFORE THE CEREMONY, we got each other a gift to open. Santino gave me these beautiful love knot earnings and I gave him love knot cuff links. The catch is that neither of us knew what the other had purchased! So, it brought a huge smile to my face when I opened my gift and realized what we had just done. OUR CEREMONY was held on the Vail Wedding Deck and it was literally the perfect day. A light breeze had my cathedral length veil blowing in the wind. The mountains were just beautiful, we couldnâ€™t have been luckier.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT Dancing with my husband for our first dance under the stars. Everything was perfect. It was an incredible beginning to the rest of our lives. LOOKING BACK, I went into the day knowing that you can’t expect everything to be perfect and by having that mind set, I was able to just let go, smile, and enjoy one of the best days of my life. ADVICE Enjoy each other, understand what each of you want and need (two different things), sometimes you have to compromise- it’s not just about one person any more because you are a team.
Lauren & Santino’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors Ceremony Site: Vail Wedding Deck Reception Site: Donovan Pavilion Event Design & Planning: Save the Date Events Photographer: Jason + Gina Wedding Photographers Decor: Pink Monkey Caterer: Footers Catering Cake: Intricate Icings Flowers: Boesen the Florist Officiant: Tara van Dernoot Bride’s Gown: Josephine by Vera Wang Hair: Inga Cox Makeup: Michele McKamie
Casual at Durango Mountain Resort Images by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride OUR CEREMONY took place among the aspens with Engineer Mountain as a backdrop. It was the perfect day, despite having snowed the night before, which was a treat in itself for many of our out-of-town guests. The ceremony kicked off with the song â€œYou and Meâ€? by Dave Matthews, and it was sung by my cousin who was accompanied by a family friend on the guitar. Jesse and I are both big fans of the Dave Matthews band, and the songs made the ceremony that much more special as we also got engaged at a Dave Matthews concert. We wrote our own vows and barely kept it together while we were reading them.
OUR GUEST SIGN-IN was a painting of a grove of aspen trees and we asked guests to stamp their thumbprint and sign their names on the painting. While I’ve seen the idea at many weddings, the fact that my best friend painted it for us made it very special and will be something we can hang in our house forever.
HANDMADE TOUCH Jesse’s dad made the cake/cupcake stand for us, but it wasn’t ordinary wood – he used wood taken from Jesse’s great-grandparents’ homestead in South Dakota that has been in the family for more than 100 years.
OUR FIRST DANCE was very special. We danced to “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison. My younger brother and Jesse’s oldest brother – both of which sing and play guitar – learned the song and performed it. It made our first dance a very special and symbolic moment for both of our families.
Amanda & Jesse’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors VENUE, CATERER & LODGING: Durango Mountain Resort (see inside cover). The food and service was great and our wedding was truly everything we hoped it would be and the staff at DMR had a large role in that. PHOTOGRAPHER: IlluminArts Photography (page 5). I loved working with IlluminArts. They were very detail-oriented, made sure that I got all the images I wanted and were very thorough. They were completely unobtrusive during the ceremony and reception and we got along with them great! CAKE: Skillfully Decadent Desserts (page 70). We did cupcakes and then a cutting cake. Jocelyn worked with me to match my wedding décor and decorated each cupcake flavor separately. They were so delicious, everyone was raving about them. See resources for additional vendors.
On the Ranch in Montrose Images by Shelley Paulson Photography
From the bride WHY MONTROSE I have wanted a Colorado wedding since I was a little girl, so we were married on Matthew’s Aunt and Uncle’s ranch in a field with a wonderful view of the Grand Mesa. THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT was our first look. Everything led up to that moment where it became real. I will never forget the look on Matthew’s face. OUR CEREMONY A storm blew in at exactly 6:00 PM when the wedding was to start. We delayed the ceremony by fifteen minutes. It blew over and was followed by perfect weather for the rest of the evening.
HOMEMADE TOUCHES We combined the skills of different family members, which made everything more special. Matthew’s cousin did all the flowers, my mother made the cakes, and his mother planned the food. We are blessed with a very large and wonderful family, and this made everything that much more personal. ADVICE Schedule “debrief time” the last few days leading up to the wedding. Time to be together and just remember why this wedding is happening in the first place.
Destination Telluride Images by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride WHY TELLURIDE We met and fell in love in Telluride and we couldnâ€™t have imagined our wedding day taking place at any other destination on earth. Telluride will always be a special place to us and now more than ever, it holds a significant place in our hearts. OUR CEREMONY was rich with Serbian Orthodox traditions such as chanting, tying our hands together to represent that we are one unit, taking our first steps as husband and wife, and being crowned as King and Queen of our marriage.
HOMEMADE TOUCHES Michael’s mom is a fantastic baker and she made homemade cookies for our wedding. We had chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, root beer, and sugar cookies. They were beautiful and delicious! We also made our own ski signs for directions to the ceremony and reception because skiing is our favorite thing to do. Naturally, the party was a “double black diamond” because the dance floor was for experts only.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT was our first dance as husband and wife. We had so much fun laughing, dancing and singing together. I know that we will get through life exactly like that.
Nina & Michael’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: IlluminArts Photography (page 5). They were so prepared and I didn’t notice them the entire day. Drew and crew did a wonderful job of capturing every single moment. I will always cherish our photos. See resources for additional vendors.
Simply Us in Breckenridge Images by Kerinsa Marie Photography
From the bride THE INSPIRATION I’m in love with the chevron pattern that seems so beautifully expressed in the mountain peaks around Breckenridge, so it seemed natural to blend our decor with the natural beauty of our wedding location. We also used hearts as a reoccurring décor theme. Above everything, we wanted a wedding that was one hundred percent “us”. OUR CEREMONY was short, sweet, and to the point, but heartfelt. Right after we exchanged rings and our pastor was giving his declaration of marriage, out of the pure silence a hawk starting screeching right above us. It was such a beautiful moment, and so unscripted.
HANDMADE TOUCH I cut and glued over onethousand paper hearts onto wood craft sticks that I planted in the grass around the ceremony site. THE RECEPTION We had lots of lawn games set up for guests so they could enjoy the beautiful weather. We served Chipotle for dinner (my husband’s favorite food), which was a huge hit! That also helped set the mood for the casual, relaxed atmosphere we wanted. At the end of the night, it was hard to peel everyone away.
THE DÉCOR We had a clear top tent and clear side walls so guests could enjoy the mountain scenery, but escape the chilly night air. We used long banquet tables which helped immensely with our seating chart (30+ people per table). We kept the décor very simple, with burlap runners, low centerpieces using glass bottles and planter boxes with flowers, and paper lanterns. We infused the chevron theme on the ends of the table runners with custom chevron napkins and a chevron cake. We really tried to let the gorgeous mountain setting be the main décor.
THE DESSERT TABLE tied in our chevron, hearts, and color scheme.
ADVICE The best thing we did was take one month to just enjoy the fact that we were engaged and not have to stress about planning a wedding. It was my husband’s idea and I was skeptical at first, but it turned out to be a great idea. That first month was definitely the best part about being engaged! As for the actual wedding, I’d say don’t be afraid to cut or add parts to your day to make it special.
Jenny & Jimmy’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors Photographer: Kerinsa Marie Photography Planning: Piece of Cake Wedding and Events Venue: V3 Ranch Flowers: Cori Cook Floral Design Caterer: Chipotle Cake: Sugar Tent & Rentals: Colorado Tents and Events DJ: Elite Entertainment Invitations & Chalkboards: Paper & Ink Bride’s Gown: Augusta Jones Hair: Charmed Beauty Makeup: The Maquillage
Winter Bliss in Pagosa Images by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride WHY PAGOSA SPRINGS At our yearly New Yearâ€™s ski trip to Wolf Creek, Paul got down on one knee and surprised me in front of all our friends on top of the mountain! One year later, we tied the knot in the same place. Colorado will always have our hearts. OUR INSPIRATION We wanted an intimate, classic, chic, winter wedding in the snow. As luck would have it, it started snowing the morning of our wedding and didnâ€™t stop the whole weekend.
OUR CEREMONY vows were created especially for us and everyone present could relate to them, I will treasure them always. HOMEMADE TOUCH My grandmother made fabric yo-yo’s from my deceased grandfather’s favorite shirt and incorporated them into the boutonnieres.
Ashlea & Paul’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors VENUE & LODGING: Keyah Grande (page 53). PHOTOGRAPHER: IlluminArts Photography (page 5). Drew & Amy’s assistance before the wedding and their eye for detail are unequaled. EVENT PLANNER: Durango Party Rental (page 23). Krii came in the afternoon of the wedding, took a look around, met everyone and went to work. She took so much stress off the wedding party, she completed some of the ideas we hadn’t gotten to, she took over handling the vendors so we could focus on each other, and she was the most gracious hostess you could ask for. CATERER: The Yellow Carrot (page 27). They created a beautiful buffet and amazing hors d’oeuvres for our guests and the wedding cake and desserts tasted even better than they looked.
Whimsical Fun in Durango Images by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride WHY DURANGO We wanted to have a small wedding in a place we love. We are both passionate about mountain areas and there was not a second thought that Durango would be the place for our wedding and a perfect destination to share with our friends and family. OUR STYLE We definitely sought to have a casual and fun wedding with attention to the small details. It was personal and unpretentious - like a party in the backyard with our closest friends. We really strived to be ourselves. We wanted to be able to look back at our day and our pictures and know that we were true to our personalities. Having fun outdoors and a great party enjoying the company of our friends and family was our main focus.
CEREMONY HIGHLIGHT When we both spoke our vows - which were more or less a story to each other – we both knew this was meant to be. We weren’t nervous (and we are shy people that don’t like to be in the spotlight)!
HANDMADE TOUCHES We hung banners that I designed on all the light posts along the driveway leading up to the wedding site. We also had a corn hole (bean bag toss) game designed to match our theme for our guests to play after the wedding ceremony.
THE FAVORS Blackberry jam and salsa canned with fresh produce from our garden were displayed in a wagon and given to our guests as gifts. THE CAKE TOPPER was made by one of our favorite artists, Karen Woodward. It is a tradition that I give Matt one of Karen’s pieces for Valentine’s Day every year and it seemed perfect to have her make our wedding cake topper. We told her we wanted a chicken and bike theme. We have pet chickens on our mini-farm in Missouri. It was whimsical and fun, exactly what we imagined.
OUR ADVICE Plan early. It’s easy to say “I have time” but eventually one day you realize that it’s no longer true. Granted, we had a simpler wedding with the reception on site and less vendors, BUT we worked on it a piece at a time and we could relax going into the last month of planning. Communication is critical when planning a destination wedding. We went to Durango six months prior to the wedding to meet and choose vendors. That was a major key to our successful destination wedding – meeting vendors face-to-face, touring the venues, and getting a feel for the region. Finally, determine a budget then assume it will grow over time. Be conservative because before you know it – know matter how hard you try – there will be unforeseen aspects of the wedding you forget to budget.
Lisa & Matt’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: IlluminArts Photography (page 5). Enough cannot be said about how terrific it was to work with Drew and Amy. They are one of the reasons our destination wedding was successful. Their photography is beautiful and they kept on task throughout the day. CATERER & CAKE: The Yellow Carrot (page 27). Their food is elegant and amazing and the presentation is phenomenal. OFFICIANT: Reverend Chessa Gill (page 85). Chessa guided us in the right direction, listened intently and calmed our wedding day “nerves”. She understood what we were looking for and delivered a beautiful ceremony. TENT & RENTALS: Durango Party Rental (page 23). See resources for additional vendors.
Romance at Fox Fire Farms Images by Shutterfreek
From the bride OUR CEREMONY was sweet and romantic with lots of happy tears! HOMEMADE TOUCHES We made signs and personalized boxes for our flowers from old barn wood. My aunt made her famous biscochitos. OUR ADVICE Hire a wedding planner. Our planner, Mandy, took care of everything and made our day totally stress free.
Taryn & Russellâ€™s
RECOMMENDED Vendors VENUE: Fox Fire Farms (page 30). The property is beautiful. The patio is very intimate and just what we dreamed of. EVENT PLANNER: Celebrations (page 44). Mandy is a rockstar. She kept the planning on track. She was there for us with any questions we had and made the day of our wedding flawless. PHOTOGRAPHER: Shutterfreek (page 31). They are so talented! Such wonderful people to work with! DESSERT: The Yellow Carrot (page 27). The cake and cupcakes were wonderful! TENT & RENTALS: Durango Party Rental (page 23). LODGING: Sky Ute Casino (page 71). See resources for additional vendors.
Magic in Silverthorne Images by Kelli Nixon Photography
From the bride WHY SILVERTHORNE Our family is from the midwest and we wanted them to experience the beauty of the mountains. Kellen and I met in Colorado and we love to escape to the mountains to get away from it all. Kellen proposed on a mountain getaway so it only seemed right that we spend the most magical day of our lives surrounded by the mountains. OUR INSPIRATION Music is a big part of our relationship. We met at a music festival (Electric Avenue) and have been enjoying going to concerts and listening to good tunes together ever since. We wanted to communicate this part of our relationship to our guests.
OUR CEREMONY was on the lake with wonderful views of the water and mountains. There were even sailboats on the water that really completed the amazing view. Usually, rain is a bride’s worst nightmare, but I feel like it made the ceremony even more memorable. It started sprinkling as I walked down the aisle and it really began to rain hard in the middle of the ceremony. Luckily, we decided to rent white umbrellas at the last minute. We were happy so the guests were happy despite the rain. As the ceremony was wrapping up, the sun came out just in time for our vows and first kiss. It was magical! My favorite saying has become, “you can’t untie a wet knot!”
KNOT TYING We have a Irish heritage and included and old Irish/Scottish ritual of hand-fasting in our ceremony. During our vows we did a knot tying. After Kellen and I recited part of our vows, one member of our family would wrap a rope around clasped hands and tie a knot to make the binding that would seal our vows. By the end, we had 4 ropes tied around our hands.
LOVE LETTER RITUAL Kellen and I exchanged love letters before the ceremony to read privately. During the ceremony, both our mothers stepped forward with the letters, a box that Kellen and I had made together, and a bottle of wine. The letter and wine (Stark Raving wine! Stark is our last name) were put into the box with the help of our moms and they tied a ribbon around the box to seal it. For every wedding anniversary, Kellen and I will write each other a love letter and read it over a bottle of our favorite wine.
MEMORABLE MOMENT My dad has Frontotemporal Dementia and he is my hero. It meant so much to me that we were able to have a first dance together and he made it through the whole dance. I will cherish that memory forever.
PERSONAL TOUCHES Our guestbook was a puzzle. It represented the unique place that everyone has in our lives that complete our puzzle. We named our reception tables after bands and artists we love and the seating cards were concert tickets that guests picked up at ‘will call’ during the cocktail hour. FAVORS We made a donation to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) in honor of my dad.
Sara & Kellen’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors Reception Site: Silverthorne Pavilion (page 35). As soon as we walked into the Silverthorne Pavilion we knew it was right for our reception! It had a lovely rustic feeling we wanted for our mountain wedding and plenty of room to accommodate all of our guests. The combination of indoor and outdoor space for the cocktail hour was a huge bonus. We loved the outdoor fireplace, too. I also liked that the doors to the reception room could stay closed until the start of dinner to have a big reveal. The stage was also a huge plus for us since we had a very large band! The Silverthorne Pavilion is a dream mountain venue without breaking the bank. See resources for additional vendors.
Destination Durango Images by SAB Photography
From the bride WHY DURANGO We got engaged on a weekend trip to Durango and loved the aspens in the fall, the mountain weather, and all of the activities available. THE WEDDING WEEKEND We wanted a fun, relaxing atmosphere where our guests could enjoy the best that Durango had to offer. We started with a BBQ on Thursday night that blended the Cuban and American cuisines of our families. We hosted breakfast for our guests each morning, then everyone would go hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fly fishing, hang out in town, or just drive through the scenic mountains, then we would all get together again for dinner.
OUR CEREMONY was held in a meadow with a beautiful mountain backdrop surrounded by aspens. The ceremony was very sweet and I couldn’t help but tear up during our vows, which caused several bridesmaids and guests to cry as well. I carried a handkerchief that my great grandmother held on her wedding day, as did my grandmother, and mother. All of which have had loving and lasting marriages.
OUR ADVICE Enjoy your time as an engaged couple and don’t negotiate on what you want to please others. We planned the perfect wedding for us and have no regrets although there were some tough conversations with others who had different expectations.
Courtney & Carlos’
RECOMMENDED Vendors VENUE, CATERER & LODGING: Sow’s Ear & Silverpick Lodge (page 22). George and Chris were both extremely nice, helpful and very responsive via email, which was important since we were planning a destination wedding. EVENT PLANNER: Celebrations (page 44). Mandy is great to work with and made our wedding vision come to life. She stepped in when needed to keep the wedding day moving along through weather conditions and lively guests. OFFICIANT: Reverend Chessa Gill (page 85). Chessa conducted a wonderful and touching ceremony that was customized to us. REHEARSAL DINNER: Cascade Village (page 41). See resources for additional vendors.
Love in Silverton Images by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride WHY SILVERTON Dave and I love Silverton and have spent a great deal of time up in the mountains in and around the town. OUR CEREMONY was held at the Silverton park gazebo. Thereâ€™s a creek right behind the gazebo with a great view of the mountains. We had our friend Danny marry us. We thought it was important to have someone who really knows us be the one to marry us. Dave and I wrote the ceremony together. We wanted something that was a reflection of our life together. During the reading of our vows the tears flowed! CEREMONY HIGHLIGHT My little nephew brought our rings to us tied to an old climbing hex.
THE RECEPTION was held in two places. We first walked everyone over to the Silverton museum. This place is amazing and so much fun to walk around and see all the history Silverton has. The Yellow Carrot set up a mac and cheese bar that was to die for! People are still raving about the food! Everyone mingled around with food and drink and were able to see the whole museum. After the museum, we all stopped on the steps of the court house for a group photo then we headed to Montanyaâ€™s rum bar for the evening. We had a toasting hour where friends and family toasted (well, sometimes more like roasting) us, which was one of the most fun parts of the day!
Walking down the aisle with Dave after the ceremony was the most incredible feeling.
LOOKING BACK I wish I would have eaten more food! Things can be busy and I realized I didn’t get to try all the toppings for the mac and cheese bar! ADVICE Just remember this is a celebration for you and your partner. Do what makes you two happy. That’s all your family and friends truly want to see!
Caitland & Dave’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors VENUE: Town of Silverton (page 41). They are very accommodating. PHOTOGRAPHER: IlluminArts Photography (page 5). These guys work hard! I was amazed at how they were able to work a huge crowd, keep everyone smiling, and the pictures are wonderful! They also were extremely helpful in the planning of the actual day. CATERER & FLOWERS: The Yellow Carrot (page 27). The food was outstanding. Truly above and beyond anything we had thought it could be. Our guests still talk about the food. The team there is so professional and helpful. This goes for the food, cake and flowers. They even provided us with rental chairs, tables, linens. They made planning a wedding almost easy!
Casual & Fun in Durango Images by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride WHY DURANGO We met and fell in love in Durango and wanted all of our guests to experience some of the things we love about the area: beautiful scenery, bluegrass music, cowboy boots, and casual attire. THE PLANNING It was helpful to look through the Durango Weddings Magazine to get ideas for our wedding and information on vendors. We didn’t look at many mainstream magazines because we wanted something more “Durango” for our wedding. OUR CEREMONY was heartfelt with vows that we winged (that’s the kind of people we are). Our dog ran out in the middle of the ceremony, totally unplanned, but it was perfect timing! We couldn’t have imagined our day without him.
ADVICE Try not to let the planning stress you out. It’s inevitable something will not go as planned, but no one will know that except you! Enjoy the process and enjoy the family time – and of course, don’t forget to enjoy the day! When the day comes, just go with what you got – it’ll be perfect!
Megan & Victor’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: IlluminArts Photography (page 5) EVENT PLANNER: Celebrations (page 44) CATERER, CAKE & FLORIST: The Yellow Carrot (page 27) RENTALS: Durango Party Rental (page 23) VENUE: Ridgewood Event Center (page 44)
Artsy Boho in Telluride Images by Nathan Russell Photography
From the bride WHY TELLURIDE Brianâ€™s mom and step dad had visited Telluride for their anniversary a year prior to when we started planning our wedding and the pictures they brought back were stunning. We thought Telluride was the perfect mix of a gorgeous dramatic landscape matched with a down-to-earth small town vibe and that was exactly what we wanted. OUR STYLE Weâ€™re both painters and have odd interests, so we really wanted our wedding to reflect our unique and sometimes off-the-wall personalities. We really paid attention to personalizing the details. It was our day, and even if no one else caught it, we did. And I love that.
OUR CEREMONY had an at-home kind of feel with our closest friends and family, but with an unrivaled background. It rained and hailed briefly right before we started then, right at sunset, we had a double rainbow shoot across the backdrop right behind the altar. It was perfect. Brian got sick with an upper respiratory infection the day before our wedding. He was such a trooper, but barely had a voice and when he repeated “in sickness and in health” in our vows, his voice cracked and he sounded so sick. It made us both, and everyone at the ceremony crack up. It was so sweet and funny. After the ceremony, we walked with our guests to Sheridan Opera House for the reception. FAVORITE DETAIL the cake toppers we found from an artist on Etsy. They were the perfect way to tie in our eccentric artsy personalities.
Anna & Brian’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors RECEPTION: The Sheridan Opera House (page 48). A venue with such character, why would you ever choose anywhere else. Event Planner: Realize Planning Photographer: Nathan Russell Photography Caterer: Aemono Cake: The Butcher & Baker Cafe Florist: New Leaf Design Bride’s Gown: Bhldn
remembering loved ones
I made the headband I wore with one of my great grandma’s bracelets. It was so unique and special. ~Erin Our rings were tied on top of my great grandmother’s bible and carried down the aisle by our ring bearer. The bible had many birth announcements, pictures, special notes, and funeral programs that my grandmother had tucked into its pages. It was like having a special piece of my family’s history by including her bible into our wedding.
My bouquet was made with family brooches and a charm of my late grandmother. My grandmother had always been an important part of my life, and having her in my bouquet made me feel like she was there with me. ~Megan My father passed away from cancer so it was important for me to include him in our special day. Our florist wrapped my bouquet with one of his dress shirts that had his initials on the cuff. As I walked down the aisle with my bouquet, it was like he was there holding my hand. ~Tracy
Image credits: Top row from left to right: Josh Luna Fine Art Photography, Shutterchic Photography, Photography by Julie. Bottom row from left to right: Frances Photography, IlluminArts Photography, Brinton Studios.
Bliss at Durango Mountain Resort Images by Photo Divine
From the bride OUR CEREMONY was held at Durango Mountain Resort with the Twilight Peaks in the background. The aisle was lined in handmade purple pomander balls, and purple and fuchsia rose petals. Even though it rained all day, I was set on being married outside at this beautiful site, but it seemed like the weather had a different idea for us. Fortunately, the rain stopped just in time for the ceremony to start!
Sarah & Kevinâ€™s
RECOMMENDED Vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: Photo Divine (page 86). Kyla and Wesley have such a calming presence about them that they made the day very enjoyable. We love our photos! VENUE, CATERER & LODGING: Durango Mountain Resort (see inside cover). Gorgeous views! The food was great (we had many compliments) and I couldnâ€™t believe how amazing the staff was. They were always willing to help, always had a smile on their face and made themselves available at all times. Most of our guests, even the locals, stayed at Durango Mountain Resort because they made it so easy and accommodating. See resources for additional vendors.
Woodsy Elegance in Pagosa Images by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride OUR CEREMONY was a traditional South African Jewish religious ceremony. The chuppah was made of the tallit, the prayer shawl, of my late brother. We had a pair of Shabbat candlesticks that belonged to Joshâ€™s late mother. My uncle played the grand piano for the processional, which was a traditional South African song and we had a South African three-man choir made up of wedding guests, which was a complete surprise to us! FAVORITE DETAIL I wore my momâ€™s wedding dress.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS, the WHOLE week. Pagosa Springs was the perfect setting. Thursday night, Josh met all of my family who were in town for the occasion from South Africa and Australia. Friday night, we had a catered Shabbat dinner at the Keyah Grande for both families. Saturday night, Joshâ€™s parents threw a fantastic party and we danced the night away. Sunday night was the wedding and Monday morning we had a catered brunch to send off all our guests.
LOOKING BACK It was one of the best weeks of our lives. ADVICE Let somebody else plan your wedding! Our parents planned ours so we got to enjoy every moment!
Jodi & Joshâ€™s
RECOMMENDED Vendors VENUE: Keyah Grande (page 53) was perfect for us. Not only was it a gorgeous place to get married, but we stayed there with thirty of our closest friends. The ranch has all the amenities... what else could you want! And, they were fabulous to work with. PHOTOGRAPHER: IlluminArts Photography (page 5). Drew Semel was FANTASTIC. His photographs are all over our new home, and he was lovely to have around on the day of. RENTALS: Durango Party Rental (page 23). Krii Black organized everything that needed to be organized down to the generators we needed. Durango Party Rental was wonderful to work with, responsive, had great suggestions and just made everything happen.
I wrote personal notes to my husband-to-be on slips of paper cut from a Chipotle bag. As each of my eight bridesmaids met him at the altar, they handed him a note. On one I wrote, “I’ll always let you order Chipotle!” Quoting Shakespeare, another said, “When I saw you, I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” I watched from the back of the church as he laughed and wiped tears from his eyes as he read each note. My husband-to-be made us a wine box. We did our first toast as a couple and stored a second unopened bottle of wine along with a flower from my bridal bouquet and the outlined speech he had written, but never used when he asked me to marry him. The box itself and the items inside hold special memories for us to keep, and revisit in the years to come. ~Kristin For our fall wedding in the mountains, we draped pashimas in our wedding colors over chairs for our guests. ~Amanda For our unity ceremony, we planted a strawberry plant together in a box we built and decorated together.
Ryan took one of his love poems to me from our dating and had my cousin write music to it. My cousin performed the song while we had our first communion together. We had all of our guests participate in the ceremony by bringing forward buttons to represent their hopes and wishes for our marriage by placing them in a “Hope Jar.” Four our unity ceremony, we had our parents bring water from our home towns to “unite” with our Colorado water. ~Petrika
Image credits: Top row, Van Buren Photography. Middle row left, Trystan Photograhy. Middle row right, IlluminArts Photography. Bottom row left, In Photography. Bottom row right, Polis Photography.
Ranch Elegance in Aspen Images by Gina Zeidler Photography
From the bride OUR INSPIRATION We wanted the day to feel like a big, fun party. We wanted a very Aspen casual wedding and from the beginning we wanted to have it at T-Lazy-7 Ranch. THE DAY OF it snowed! Weather is one thing that you cannot stress out about. It will rain, snow, hail, be sunny – there is nothing you can do about it! On the day of our wedding the T-Lazy-7 Meadow, where we had expected to have our ceremony, had 8 inches of snow on it. TLazy-7 called me that morning to say they were definitely going to have to move the ceremony inside. Had this been something that I let myself stress out about, the day could have been a fiasco. Instead, it was absolutely perfect – and while it wasn’t planned, it was even more beautiful than we ever expected.
BEFORE THE CEREMONY I knew the ceremony was moved inside – but I couldn’t picture it in my head. As soon as I walked into the Lodge, I nearly started crying because it was just so much prettier than I could have ever expected. The way that the T-Lazy-7 staff brought the outside in was just so special. THE CEREMONY was pretty casual. We had a friend officiate for us, and I think, all-in-all it was about 4 minutes long. We wanted to get to the party!
ADVICE Don’t stress! I know, easy to say now – and I definitely had a few meltdowns that in hindsight were just silly. Your family and friends are all excited that you’ve found the love of your life and you’re getting married. Don’t let silly details stress you out and make you crazy. In the end, people are going to remember how much fun they had and the day the two of you got married – not whether your table was perfectly set or you had a white rose in your bouquet.
Erin & Steve’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors VENUE: T-Lazy-7 Ranch (page 57). The views of the Maroon Bells are amazing, and the Lodge is, to us, quintessentially Aspen. It is rustic and casually beautiful - perfect for a Colorado wedding. Photographer: Gina Zeidler Photography Caterer: Pan and Fork Supper Club Flowers: Mountain Flowers Linens & Rentals: Premier Party Rentals
Laid Back in Crested Butte Images by Alison White Photography
From the bride WHY CRESTED BUTTE I have been visiting Crested Butte since I was a young girl, and have always had a special place in my heart for the town. I knew I wanted a destination, and an outdoor wedding in Crested Butte. My husband and I are both very laid-back people, so we wanted the wedding to be simple and classic, and we didnâ€™t want to compete with the natural beauty of Crested Butte. While the day was about us, we also worked hard to make it about all the people that came to celebrate with us. OUR CEREMONY was held on the deck at Uleyâ€™s Cabin, under an arch made from two aspen trees. I am really not one to like attention, but I enjoyed my walk down the aisle with my dad, as nervous as I was, it was beautiful and calm. We kept the ceremony short and sweet (and shorter and sweeter than planned thanks to Mother Nature).
OUR RECEPTION was under a white tent on the lawn of Uley’s Cabin and the rain really made it special since it kept everyone together. The tent was lined with ivory draping and lights. Varying sizes of prelight twig balls hung from the ceiling. The linens were all ivory, and the flowers were a mix of white, blue, and green in varying mercury glass and green glass vases. I had to reassure my father about the necessity of all the draping and lighting in the tent during the planning/budgeting process, and when it poured all evening, it was really wonderful to have spent that little extra money on the tent décor since it was where everyone spent the evening.
ADVICE Don’t rush, be firm on what you want, and enjoy it all! People are not kidding when they say that things will be a blur, so make sure you have a great photographer, and a great planner so you (and your family) can enjoy every moment.
Kathryn & Mark’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors VENUE & CATERER: Uley’s Cabin, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (page 57) Event Planner: Crested Butte Events Photographer: Alison White Photography Tent Rental: Pink Monkey Cake: Gateau Fab Flowers: Misty Mountain Florals Hair & Makeup: The Cut Above Bride’s Gown: Watters Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo Men’s Wear: Vera Wang
Southwest Flair Images by Photo Divine
From the bride OUR THEME was casual elegance with a southwest flair. We used lots of succulents, terra cotta and turquoise. HOMEMADE TOUCHES Family friends did my flowers and most of the decorations. We made a candy bar to match our color scheme. We had “John and Kara” trivia on each table. We made personalized welcome bags for out of town guests, I made all my bridesmaid’s jewelry and we made napkin rings with burlap fabric and a succulent. We also painted an antique table for the guest sign-in book. LOOKING BACK, our photographers, Kyla and Wesley of Photo Divine did not miss a thing. They took such care in making sure they captured every detail, every moment, and every loved one.
Our wedding day was warm, casual and fun!
Simplicity in Vail Images by David Lynn Photography
From the bride OUR INSPIRATION We are pretty simple people who love the outdoors and love having fun! We wanted to give our guests a true mountain experience. We wanted to share this beautiful place with them while celebrating our love and having a great time! OUR CEREMONY The processional had started and I was about to walk down the aisle when there was a huge crack of thunder and hail fell from the sky. When we decided to have our wedding at four oâ€™clock in the mountains, we knew we ran the risk of rain, but I had not considered hail! We moved the entire ceremony under the pavilion and began the processional again after a fifteen minute delay. The hail lifted a fog off the lake and the ceremony was even more beautiful and intimate thanks to the inclement weather!
OUR GUEST BOOK was a handcrafted custom set of gorgeous Streetswell Longboards specially designed for our occasion. Each of our guests signed them. They are beautiful reminders of all the love that surrounded us that day! AFTER THE RECEPTION, we sat around a campfire telling stories, playing music, and enjoying a meteor shower until the early morning hours when everyone found their tents or sleeping bags under the stars. It was absolutely beautiful.
Sarah & Sylvanâ€™s
RECOMMENDED Vendors Venue: Piney River Ranch Photographer: David Lynn Photography Flowers: Lace and Lilies
Western Chic in Durango Images by Allison Ragsdale Photography
From the bride OUR CEREMONY was held at my parentsâ€™ home on the Florida River in Durango. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and the weather couldnâ€™t have been more perfect. We were married under an aspen trellis my dad and brother made from fallen trees found on their ranch. We chose to exchange love letters, and also were given letters of encouragement and advice from each of our parents. We locked all of the letters into a box along with a bottle of wine. We plan to open the box on our one-year anniversary and read the letters while we sip the wine.
THE RECEPTION was held in the party barn on the ranch. My parents built the barn with the wedding in mind, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect structure for the event. HOMEMADE TOUCH My dad cut and sanded individual pieces of wood from the ranch to use as the table names while my step-mom wood-burned each unique table name into the wood pieces. We named each table after a place in Durango that was special to us.
OOPS, the music for our first dance cut off towards the beginning of the song (technical glitch) and all of the guests started singing “Danny’s Song” without the music. It ended up being one of our favorite moments and we absolutely loved every minute of being serenaded by family and friends. OUR ADVICE Go with the flow! Remember, this is just one day out of an entire lifetime full of days.
Kristi & James’
RECOMMENDED Vendors RENTALS: Durango Party Rentals (page 23). Jon & Krii are the ultimate professionals! HAIR & MAKEUP: Signature Spa (page 84). Katrina Farris was AMAZING! My hair looked fabulous… she listened to everything I asked for and did so much more. REHEARSAL DINNER: Strater Hotel (page 11). See resources for additional vendors.
Rain on Vail Mountain Images by Daylene Wilson Photographic
From the bride OUR CEREMONY The “highlight”, if you can call it that, of our ceremony, was without a doubt the rain! Minutes into our ceremony and with black ominous cloud over our heads, the heavens opened up and dumped a torrential downpour on us and our guests. It then rained, without any signs of mercy, for the rest of our ceremony. As our Maid of Honor and Best Man relentlessly held white umbrellas over our heads, and as water streamed down our pastor’s glasses, Nick and I said “I do”. Strangely enough, our favorite ceremony moment was simply that we got married in the rain. There is no doubt that the rain was definitely not in our plans for the day, but is without a doubt something that Nick and I and our guests will never forget!
OUR RECEPTION was the perfect combination of intimate moments with our friends and family, laughter, and a great party! The feeling of love and happiness completely filled the room. It was as if everyone was saying, “Alright, we just survived that epic rain storm…now let’s party!”
THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT during the reception came after Nick and I were repeatedly asked by all of our guests to re-say our personal vows to each other. Most people didn’t hear them during the ceremony, due to the rain. After dinner, we decided to go ahead and re-read them to each other and it truly was one of the most special moments of the whole day.
Allison & Nick’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors Photographer: Daylene Wilson Photographic Ceremony Site: Vail Wedding Deck Reception Site & Caterer: Four Seasons Resort Vail Event Planner: Touch of Bliss Event Design: LMD Productions Florals & Linens: The Perfect Petal Invitations: Scribbles Bride’s Gown: Victor Harper, The Little White Dress Shop Hair: Aura Salon Makeup: Michele McKamie Bridesmaid Dresses: B2 by Jasmine
Southern Style in Durango Images by Eppich Photography
From the bride OUR INSPIRATION we really gravitated towards a southwestern wedding style and anything that was vintage and rustic. We also wanted the wedding to reflect our personality. OUR CEREMONY was very personal. We wanted to keep it simple and really focus on us. My aunt did a reading with an excerpt taken from Jake’s parents’ vows when they were married. LOOKING BACK, we were on such a high we wouldn’t have even noticed if something didn’t go according to plan. We spent a lot of time planning for the day and it honestly wouldn’t have mattered if anything went wrong.
THE RECEPTION was a blast, but it was over too soon! We had a cigar and bourbon bar, which was a big hit! For the tables, we collected driftwood at Vallecito Lake and used it to hold the flowers. The food was very important to us and we tried to keep it local so our friends at Homegrown Biodynamics supplied all the veggies for the event. Instead of seating cards on a table, we used two barn wood frames, strung twine and used mini clothes pins to hang the place cards. We had five outstanding cakes for dessert. We did the Hora, which is a traditional dance of celebration where the couple is raised up on chairs and everyone dances around them.
Julie & Jacob’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors VENUE: Ridgewood Event Center (page 44). I walked down the aisle with mountains in the background. We had dinner in an outside tent with heaters and moved inside for dancing. The space was perfect. EVENT PLANNER: Celebrations (page 44). Mandy is amazing and we seriously couldn’t have done the wedding without her. Because she is so experienced, she was able to help us with so many details that we wouldn’t have thought of on our own. CAKE: Flour Sack (page 44). Their cakes are beyond stunning and delicious and we cannot rave enough about them. TENT & RENTALS: Durango Party Rental (page 23). See resources for additional vendors.
Elevated Elopement in Telluride Images by Barton Glasser Photography
From the bride THE CEREMONY Our intimate ceremony was held on Bridal Veil Falls. I had my best friend sing a “Katie & Matt” personalized version of Adam Sandler’s ‘Want to Grow Old with You.’ We wrote our vows on papyrus scrolls, which are proudly displayed in our home. PERSONAL TOUCHES I got some foxtails to add a little bit of home to my bouquet. Also, we had a crest made to commemorate our personalities and our big day. We applied this detail to our champagne labels and announcement stationery.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS The moments between the elements. The wind would howl, the snow fell silently, and the rain clouds would let the sun through with impeccable timing. It felt like the heavens were on board with our marriage. ADVICE Think about how you want to remember the day, and make it happen. Whether you want to be surrounded by family and friends, or you just want a quiet affair, do what will make THE TWO OF YOU happiest!
Katie & Matt’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors Photographer: Barton Glasser Photography Cake & Caterer: Butcher & the Baker Café Flowers: New Leaf Design Lodging: Camel’s Garden Hair & Makeup: The Peaks Salon & Spa
SciFi Fest in Mancos Images by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride FOR OUR CEREMONY, we composed the script ourselves, with the wording inspired by Ancient Greek ritual, Vulcan marriage rite and a few key points from our shared knowledge of fundamental physics. The idea was to keep the ceremony focused toward our exchanging vows and completing the unity ritual, which was mixing wine (actually single malt scotch and a unique type of strong rice wine from China). We linked arms to drink, which is a tradition from Chinese wedding rituals. We were pronounced husband and wife with a final physics inspired blessing: â€œMay the Dimensions be with you... Always.â€?
HANDMADE TOUCH I wrote quotes from the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ on all our cocktail napkins.
Ou & Lances’
RECOMMENDED Vendors PHOTOGRAPHER: IlluminArts Photography (page 5). EVENT PLANNER: Celebrations (page 44). TENT & RENTALS: Durango Party Rental (page 23). Venue: Willowtail Springs
Casual in Keystone Images by Daylene Wilson Photographic
From the bride OUR INSPIRATION We wanted our wedding to be a laid-back day in a beautiful setting where everyone could have fun and celebrate our love for each other. We invited all of our wedding guests to a casual rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding so everyone could be together and get to know each other before the actual wedding. OUR CEREMONY Guests rode the gondolas up to the top of the mountain to our ceremony site, which overlooked a gorgeous, expansive vista. Our ceremony space was simple with the focus being on the surrounding beauty. We wrote the whole ceremony, including letters to each other, vows, and personalized readings. Overall, it was short but sweet and I liked that it was really personal to Adam and I and our love for each other.
LOOKING BACK I literally had a smile on my face the whole night and couldn’t imagine a better wedding day (the most beautiful setting, a wonderful husband, and such a fun celebration with our best friends). ADVICE Hire a day-of wedding planner so things run smoothly. I was so grateful to have a stress-free day. If there were problems that day, I wasn’t aware! Pick a few things to splurge on and try not to worry too much about the rest. Focus more on what is most important to you and your spouse rather than your guests.
Deanna & Adam’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors Photographer: Daylene Wilson Photographic Venue: Keystone Resort Event Planner: Bliss Elevated Flowers: The Little Flower Shop DJ: DJ Maestro Bride’s Gown: Bliss by Monique Lhullier Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale Hair & Makeup: Spa Divas Mobile Spa
Under the Rainbow Images by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride MY INSPIRATION I wanted an artistic celebration and since I love the look of all the colors together in a rainbow, I decided on a rainbow palette of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. MY FAVORITE DETAIL was the color beading I had added to my dress. OUR CEREMONY was humorous, tailored to our quirky love and humor. My brother officiated and Guy’s father did a prayer in Navajo. LOOKING BACK, I would allow for more time to get ready. I felt rushed and stressed toward the end. ADVICE Do EXACTLY what you want and have fun with it!
Shaula & Guy’s
RECOMMENDED Vendors PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER: IlluminArts Photography (page 5). Creative, detail-oriented, calm and friendly. CAKE: Flour Sack (page 44). They made the perfect cake that tasted AMAZING. VENUE: Ridgewood Event Center (page 44). See resources for additional vendors .
Destination Steamboat Images by Cali Frankovic Photography
From the bride WHY STEAMBOAT We fell in love with the town and wanted to get married in a beautiful outdoor location that was quaint and intimate. The top of the gondola has one of the most amazing views and we decided then, thatâ€™s where we would get married. OUR CEREMONY It rained all morning but fortunately, it cleared up in time for our ceremony. I think we were both nervous beforehand but once we were standing together looking at the beautiful view and saying our vows, it really sunk in that this day had finally come! The priest who married us, also married my parents 40 years ago.
Vows with a View Images by Shutterfreek
From the bride OUR CEREMONY was held outside in a beautiful meadow facing Engineer Mountain at Durango Mountain Resort. Fortunately, the rain cleared and the sun came out just in time for the ceremony. Ben’s father became ordained to officiate our wedding. We asked him to do this for us and he made it so meaningful. It is something we will never forget and is the best decision we made. We had a sand ceremony with my sand coming from a beach in Santa Cruz, California where I grew up and Ben’s coming from a wash in New Mexico where he grew up. While we poured our sand together, we had Ben’s Brother and our two best friends sing/play “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Cailliet, a song that we both love and that describes our relationship.
Autumn in Telluride Images by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride WHY TELLURIDE We’ve always known that we wanted to get married on top of a mountain in the fall, when the temperature is crisp, and the smell of turning leaves fills the air. On a previous trip to the San Juan Mountains, we were both drawn to the history and the mystique of the Telluride box canyon. We took a jeep tour up and over Bridal Veil Falls and it took our breath away. Telluride stole our hearts! THE CEREMONY We wrote our entire ceremony with verses, sayings, and readings that truly described us. We did the “Blessings of the Hands” with each of our mothers reading alternating lines of the poem. It was really touching, and felt like our mothers were sending us off into the rest of our lives with happiness and good will.
THE RECEPTION Floral arrangements highlighted with warm candles set the perfect romantic and cozy mood for the evening. Wine cork place-card holders added a fun element of something we enjoy. At the end of the night, we sent everyone home with a cute gourmet to-go grilled cheese and French fries for a late night snack.
ADVICE Take a breath. It really does come together and will be amazing. It might not seem like it at the time you are planning it, but look at it in small projects versus the major to-do list. Focus on one project at a time. Most important, remember to have fun. Everyone told us that the day would fly by, and it does. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a day to celebrate your love.
Morgan & Nateâ€™s
RECOMMENDED Vendors Photographer: Illuminarts Photography (page 5). Event Planner: Celebrations (page 44). DJ: Ken Brott, Durango DJ (page 70). Venue: Telluride Ski Resort
Mountain Wedding Inspiration Image credits: This page, top row from left: Photo Divine, IlluminArts Photography, IlluminArts Photography. Bottom row from left: IlluminArts Photography, June Cochran Photography, IlluminArts Photography. Facing page top row from left: IlluminArts Photography, Daylene Wilson Photographic, Brinton Studios. Bottom row from left: Autumn Twilight Photography, June Cochran Photography, Frances Photography.
David Lynn Photography
Mountain Wedding Inspiration LuxeMountainWeddings.com 76