Joanna & Max | October 14, 2017 | Mancos, Colorado
From the bride: My inspiration was outdoor elegance with light toned autumnal colors and dark accents. My family owns the property we were married on so much of the design and inspiration was related to the aesthetic of the land. The bridesmaids wore a range of champagne and blush dresses and the groomsmen wore matching grey suits.
We picked and made the bridal bouquets from a combination of foraged plants, lavender we grew specifically for the bouquets, and a few select flowers from April’s Garden.
Our ceremony was located in a field that guests had to cross a bridge to get to. The altar was made from aspen trees and decorated in a beautiful garland made by April’s Garden. The ceremony was officiated by a dear friend. Our dog, Akela was our ring bearer. We had a Persian rug for Max and I to stand on. We crafted our own vows, it was an absolute highlight of the ceremony.
The reception was located in a tent in the adjacent field. We ate an incredible meal by Durangourmet of elk tenderloin and salmon. Our band, The Diamond Empire Band, put on a classic, creative, and upbeat show!
Barn wood tables, eclectic floral patterned plates, a range of silk napkins that were my grandmothers, numerous candles of various sizes and centerpieces with fall foliage adorned every table.
Our favors were bundles of garlic grown in our garden and handcrafted olive oil from friends in Tuscany.
The reception was insanely cold, somewhere around 23 degrees that night. I would say the ONLY regret I have is not making the tent warm enough. After dinner everyone put on square beanies from the 80s and danced like crazy to keep warm. It was pretty hilarious.
Wedding planning is stressful and is all too easy to lose sight of how important and celebratory this transformational ritual is. Don’t wish the engagement period away or become fixated on little details. Be present in the process so when the best day of your life comes, you will be better prepared to stay present in the moment.
THE WEDDING TEAM
Photographer & Video: Illuminarts. Drew went above and beyond to help me create the day. In many ways he was our wedding planner as well.
Flowers: April’s Garden. They really pay attention to your creative vision.
Caterer: Durangourmet. Jimmy is hands down amazing. Everyone devoured the delicious late night barbeque ribs.
Rehearsal Dinner: Ridgewood Event Center. I highly recommend for its rustic elegance and outstanding fall views.
Tent & Rentals: Durango Party Rental
Guest Lodging: Blue Lake Ranch
Wedding featured in the 2018 issue
Morgan & Gary | June 16, 2017
From the bride: We wanted a fun and laid back wedding, which we knew we would get in Durango. We threw out the rule book on things you can and cannot do for weddings and did it our own way. We decided what we both wanted and figured out ways to make it happen. We love traditional Irish music so we made sure to get an Irish band to play our music and we picked a venue that resonated with both of us.
THE WEDDING SHOES
I wanted moccasins to tie in the Native American culture I grew up around and have used in my own spiritual beliefs. Merrill Page with Into the Wild Way handmade my gorgeous white shoes.
I loved my Rue De Seine Poppy gown! I found it within my first week looking. The second I tried it on, I knew it was the one.
The guys got ready at The Bookcase & Barber. From getting a nice neat haircut and shave to sipping whiskeys to calm the nerves, they had a fantastic time!
I walked down the aisle to an Irish tin whistle. I loved laughing during our vows, our sense of humour brought us together in the first place. The unconditional love and support surrounding us was extraordinary.
During the ceremony there was cotton falling from the trees. Could it get anymore classic & romantic than pretending to snow? It was the most perfect, magical day!
The reception was fantastic! The food, speeches, and first dance happened outside under a tent nestled between all the cottonwood trees. We felt SO much love!
We loved watching new friendships form between all of the people we have met in all parts of the world. It was so cool to see everyone having a great time. We wanted our wedding to be FUN and it couldn’t have been any better, simply amazing.
The day goes so quickly, take a step back together during your wedding to observe everything you have accomplished. Enjoy the planning process together, it is a fun and exciting time. Do not overthink the small stuff, it always turns out perfectly!
THE WEDDING TEAM
Photographer, Video, Photo Booth: Shutterfreek. It was one of the best investments we made for our wedding! We wanted to have unique photos and gorgeous video to look back on. REALLY fun people to work with as you can see their passion for what they do. Paul and Katie were so personable and friendly, and constantly making us laugh. The photo booth was a hilarious way for guests to mingle and meet.
Venue & Flowers: Ridgewood Event Center. The venue is naturally stunning and fit both of our personalities perfectly. We never gave it a second thought. As we were going for a rustic look it was quite effortless in terms of decoration. Joan Alford had a great vision of what we wanted from the beginning. She listened and understood what we were looking for, making it much easier for us planning an overseas wedding. We felt at ease letting Joan handle it.
Caterer: Durangourmet. Jimmy is such an accommodating and friendly guy. The food was outstanding and won compliments from all of our guests. He was happy to meet any dietary needs. Our waiters were very professional and polite and always checking in on us to see if we needed food or drinks during the night.
Reprinted from the 2018 Magazine
Carey & Ryan | Photography by Wegher Photo and Film
From the bride-to-be: We met three years ago on a Saturday night at the Wild Horse Saloon in Durango and we’ve been dating ever since. We live with our two dogs, Primrose a 5 year old Miniature American Shepherd and Sullivan a 1 year old Border Collie. We enjoy all things canine related and often take them boating, hiking and snowshoeing with us. I was gifted the photo shoot with Wegher Photo and Film by my best friend as a birthday present last summer. The gift certificate expired July 2018, I wasn’t sure if Ryan and I would be engaged by then and I really wanted fall pictures with our dogs so I booked the shoot with Kayle. Engagement or not. Turns out just four short months later we would be engaged on a beach in Tulum, Mexico while on vacation! Ryan planned an elaborate sunrise proposal on the beach of our resort the morning of February 13th and it was perfect. Of course, I said yes! We are planning on getting married in Durango sometime in 2019!
Engagement Photography by Wegher Photo and Film | View more engagement shoots
Annie & Nick | September 2, 2017
From the bride: Nick and I love Durango, it is our go-to vacation spot because it’s so laid back and beautiful! We love the scenery, the people, the activities, the breweries, and of course, the food! If we didn’t pick a September date, I would have gone for a winter wonderland wedding! Durango anytime of the year is amazing!!
Whimsical – elegant – creative – romantic. Nick and I are very social people, we love to entertain and be around friends and family. We wanted our wedding to be fun and involved but have a romantic feel, impressive yet intimate. This was my time to let my creative energies flow!
We held the ceremony facing the field with the mountains as our backdrop. Picture perfect! Our floral arch was draped in oversized garden roses, peonies, lilies and eucalyptus garland – it was everything I dreamed of. We had Nick’s Grandmas, both over 80 years old, walked down as our flower girls. They were so honored to be asked and loved being a part of the ceremony. I loved the vows we wrote to one another. They were so heartfelt. For me, the most memorable moments were walking down the aisle with my parents by my side, seeing Nick for the first time, and seeing all of our friends and family there to support our love. I will cherish those memories forever.
The reception was filled with eating, drinking, dancing, and laughing. Dinner was held outside under a massive tent. The dessert tables and band were located a few feet away in the event center. I loved how everyone enjoyed the entire venue and garden.
Our color palette was midnight blue with copper and gold accents. We threw in some burgundy to give the tables some contrast and dimension. We had fresh flowers in gold vases and garland hung everywhere. Our place settings were small geometric gold terrariums with a potted succulent, each has the guest’s name calligraphed on a palm sized blue agate slice that hung from the terrarium. They were beautiful decoration pieces that also served as our gifts, everyone loved them.
FOR THE KIDS
We had over 20 kids attend the wedding so I had two ‘Kid only’ tables put together in the middle of the dinner tables. The centers of the tables were filled with candy, games and fidget spinners. The place settings were customized ‘Annie & Nick’s Wedding’ coloring books.
The day flew by, I wish I had taken time to stop by each table and say hi to everyone. I know there were guests who attended the wedding that I didn’t get to thank personally for coming. I also wish we had video of the entire wedding. No one recorded the entire ceremony or the speeches and it makes me sad that we’ll never get to watch it again.
Enjoy the engagement time, it goes by so quickly. You only have a few months for all the excitement and attention to be on your blossoming relationship.
THE WEDDING TEAM
Planning Resource: I found Durango Weddings Magazine very helpful when doing research on vendors and venues in the Durango area. I also love all the diverse types of weddings featured. The website is very user friendly. I really liked how you could go back through older issues and look at weddings that were held at Ridgewood Events Center to get ideas and see how each couple utilized the space. I snagged several ideas from Durango Weddings Magazine!
Venue, Planning, Flowers: Ridgewood Event Center. It was important to us to have the ceremony and reception at the same venue. Ridgewood is perfect for this because it has so much space. You can truly separate both the ceremony and reception. The gardens are extremely well maintained. The staff is very nice. You can rent a lot of décor and linens directly from them, this was a huge advantage for a destination wedding. Joan was our event planner and she is a doll. She listened to all my wild and extravagant ideas and did everything in her power to try and pull it off. I ended up using her as our florist and she did a great job.
Lodging: Blue Lake Ranch Bed & Breakfast. We rented out the entire bed and breakfast for our family and wedding party. It houses 70 guests and each room is different and eclectic. It is so magical, like little fairies should live there. It is located right across the highway from the venue, ideal for running back and forth.
Caterer: Durangourmet. The food and signature cocktails were amazing!
Photographer: Elizabeth Wells
Reprinted from the 2018 Magazine