From the bride, Madi: We wanted to keep the day very natural and elegant. We also wanted to play off the simplicity and elegance of greenery. The décor was all a natural wood color with eucalyptus as the accent. My little sister added a soft feminine touch with her calligraphy and lettering. I absolutely loved our décor because it was all made by our families. It made the wedding feel so personal and intimate.
Our color palette was cream, white, green and light blush.
It rained all afternoon and gave me a slight heart attack because the ceremony was scheduled to occur outside. However, the clouds parted right as the ceremony was to begin and the rain held off until we drove off at the end of the night!
The ceremony was located in a field called “Grace’s Chapel.” The altar is located under this giant tree and looks out towards the foothills. It is absolutely stunning. We had our pastor from my church growing up marrying us. We also had our sisters read verses during the ceremony. My favorite memory was saying our vows to one another. It felt like it was just him and I in that moment. We wrote our own vows and also said some traditional vows. It was perfect for us.
During our ceremony, we planned to take communion. They had the wine all set at the outside ceremony site. However, because it had been raining all day the wine had accumulated a bunch of sticks and leaves in it! So, they poured it out before the ceremony and had planned to refill it right before it started. However, if you have ever been to a wedding, you know that right before can be somewhat craziness with all the nerves and excitement. So, when the ceremony started, the wine cup was still empty! When it came time for communion, our Pastor laughed and casually whispered in our ear to just pretend like we were drinking the wine. I remember giggling under my breathe as I watched Noah act like he was drinking the wine.
We made wooden boxes for the centerpieces and stained them to get a natural worn wood color. In the boxes we had three different sized vases with simple white candles in them and eucalyptus threaded throughout the candles. We used the extra wood as our table number signs. My little sister designed the table number signs with her amazing calligraphy.
My mom made a big marquee “d” (our new last name is Drake) that sat by the fireplace mantel at our reception.
Coffee beans in personalized bags.
The best advice that I received during our engagement was to embrace the imperfections. The imperfections are what makes the stories rich and memorable and totally and completely ours. Embrace the imperfections of everything! God has your day and your marriage under control, so just enjoy the day like it’s a gift!
Photographer: Melissa Yocum Photography // Floral Designer: Petals Lakewood // Wedding Gown Designer: Hailey Paige // Bridesmaid Dresses: Lauren Conrad // Men’s Wear: Combatant Gentlemen // Veils and headpieces: Sara Gabriel Veiling & Headpieces // Venue: Spruce Mountain Ranch
From the photographer, Jamie Beth Photography: There is a misconception that minimalistic decor can’t be bold. We disagree! We wanted something classy, simple and elegant… something that featured the natural mountain backdrop of Colorado, but also highlighted the green and white color palette of the spring season in the mountains. Subtle touches of rich wood decor and just the slightest hint of gold made this pretty package absolute mountainside perfection.
VENDORS: Photographer: Jamie Beth Photography // Event Planner: The Simply Elegant Group // Design and Decor: Patina Preferred: A Vintage Rental Boutique // Invitation Designer: Lucky Onion // Dress Store: Brilliant Bridal // Groomsman Attire: Knotty Tie Co. // Makeup Artist: Kylie Youmans Makeup Artistry // Restaurant: Tavern West
From the bride, Katie:
We chose Pagosa Springs as our wedding destination because Pagosa was our first vacation together. We went skiing at Wolf Creek over spring break in 2015. We would highly recommend a wedding in Pagosa because everyone was very accommodating and the hospitality is second to none. Plus there was plenty of things to do – white water rafting, hiking, shopping, ziplining, and of course dining options.
The ceremony was held outside overlooking a breathtaking view of the canyon. The décor was fairly simple and consisted of flowers and hanging baskets lining the aisles and pergola. People could not believe how beautiful and romantic it was.
My favorite reception memory was our first dance. We took weeks of dance lessons and had prepared a choreographed dance to Ed Sheerans, ‘Thinking Out Loud.” It was so much fun preparing with Tom and when our special day was here it made it so special to dance together. It felt like we were the only two people in the room and was so romantic. We still love doing our dance together.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
The most memorable moment was when there was a triple rainbow over our reception tent. All of our guests came out of the tent to look and watched as our photographer caught the magical moment.
One thing that I wish that we had done was hire a videographer. I so wish I had the day documented.
Venue, Event Planner, Caterer, Cake, Flowers: Canyon Crest Lodge | Photographer: Fizelwink Photography
From the bride, Lili: With snowy peaks and a beautiful river in the background, I can’t imagine a better location for a wedding. Our family and friends from Venezuela, Miami, Michigan, Washington, DC and California made the long trip to this remote place in Silverton, Colorado for our wedding. We blended two cultures, my Venezuelan one and Chris’ culture from Michigan, which mixed together, resulted in a pretty fun, colorful, and amazing celebration.
I started getting ready across the bridge, with my closest girlfriends, and at 3pm sharp was ready for the scheduled ceremony. A surprise to my American husband who always jokes that I am always running late on Latin Time. However, when we sent someone across the bridge (over the river to the lodge) to look if the groom and guests were ready, my friend said, “Nobody is there”. Nervousness kicked in and thus champagne was key. Somehow within 15 minutes, the groom, families and 150 guests magically appeared.
Our ceremony was made of people who have been a part of our life’s stories and love story together. We did a hands ceremony in Spanish and English.
What started as a pretty standard reception, soon became a colorful scene with African-Venezuelan drums, Flamenco and baskets of carnival, which included masks, beads, colorful feathers, skirts, wigs, hats, sunglasses and more.
The sunset turned into a stunning starry night, and stories of “the best wedding ever” filled the brunch table the next day.
From the bride, Heidi: I wanted to compliment the beauty of Colorado and the mountains with a lot of natural colors and tons of plant greenery because I love plants. I also just wanted a timeless look; something that would be beautiful for years and years.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
I really loved our first look. It was exciting and also calming to see Mac for the first time. I feel like it broke the ice and allowed me to just relax and enjoy the whole day.
Our ceremony was held in a field with the gorgeous Rocky Mountains as our backdrop, big open sky, and lots of trees; the location really felt secluded. The aisles were decorated with tree rounds cut to various heights with lanterns on top. Mac’s dad married us and gave a wonderful message. Every part of the ceremony just felt so personal.
On our walk down the aisle as a newly married couple Mac stopped and kissed me and then carried me the rest of the way. That was pretty cute and got a nice crowd reaction.
THE RECEPTION DECOR
We decorated each guest table with ivory tablecloths, trailing greenery, lanterns, and candles.
I loved our cake, which was decorated with a mountain and tree outline. It tasted SO good! I had my brother bring me a few extra pieces after we’d made our exit because I wanted to eat more!
It’s possible to have a really amazing and perfect day with a short period of planning. We got engaged in February and married in July and we were able to get everything done and set up in a relatively short period of time. We were just so excited about being married and the wedding is only one day. Don’t get me wrong it’s the BEST day, but I think it’s just as important to plan and get excited for the marriage as it is for the wedding.
Also, I recommend having a social time prior to the wedding, especially if you have a lot of out-of-town guests (or you yourself are coming from out of town). We opened a period of time after our rehearsal dinner to invite anyone who was around to come hang out. It just took a lot of the stress off the wedding day because people already had some time to mingle with us. Mac and I didn’t feel like we were being bombarded with people at the wedding.
From the bride, Carey: Paul and I really wanted our wedding day to be about us and our love for each other. We’re both very introverted and planning a wedding ourselves was very stressful at times. We wanted to share our big day with family and friends because they mean so much to us, but we had to keep reminding ourselves throughout the whole process that it wasn’t about them and it wasn’t about making anyone else happy but us.
WHY OURAY, COLORADO
Ouray was a special spot for both of us separately before we even started dating – I liked the hot springs and Paul loves to ice climb. I said Ouray was one of my favorite spots in my Match.com profile and he totally picked up on that. It was one of our bonding moments. Since being together we have traveled to Ouray regularly and have decided we really want to move there someday. We are currently in the process of trying to figure out how to make that work, sooner rather than later. We almost instantly agreed that it’s where we should get married. It’s such a gorgeous little mountain town and we really wanted to share it with our family and friends.
THE FIRST LOOK
The first look was so special and important for us. It allowed us to take a breath, recenter and refocus on each other, and have a really profound and beautiful moment just the two of us, before heading into the blissful revelry of the wedding.
Have fun and make it about YOU and nobody else. Don’t stress the small stuff, but do as much as you can upfront so you don’t have to run around like crazy people on the days leading up to the wedding.
SAVE THE DATE: 01.14.17 – Durango Wedding Expo
View the hottest wedding trends, meet Durango’s A-list vendors, savor delicious food and divine cocktails, attend wedding planning workshops, tour spectacular tablescapes and displays. VIP Tickets will go on sale soon! In the meantime, pre-register below and join the event page on Facebook.
From the photographer, Meredith Jane Photography: We headed up the mountain, even those in the group that weren’t skiing decided to hop on the gondola for a “group photo” at the top. I claimed you only get views like this once in a lifetime and it was necessary to bring my camera along for the ride. We all knew Joelle’s life was about to change, but we all acted as normal as humanly possible. We started with a group photo and then quickly peeled away to those that, Joelle didn’t realize yet, were going to be part of her new family. As they pulled away Alex dropped to one knee and Joelle tried to pull him up. Apparently he’d “tied his shoes” in front of her a few too many times! But when she realized what was in his hand, her face was priceless…The first thing Joelle did after saying “yes” and giving Alex a huge kiss was ask, “Do my parents know?” We all pretended to play dumb as we quickly made our way down the mountain for a champagne toast.. where her parents were waiting. Alex made a toast and we all shared our videos and pictures of the excitement that that just unfolded (millennial generation style). After everything winded down we went on one last run to cap off the day.
This intimate styled elopement at the base of the Flatirons in Boulder, Colorado was shot on a gorgeous sun-filled day that quickly turned into an epic rainy thunderstorm. Both the bride and groom were drenched after their initial portraits, but the summer storm brought in the most romantic lighting that accentuated this intimate love story.