A Fall Wedding at Ridgewood Event Center

Rachel & Kevin | October 9th

From the bride: I was very nervous the day of our wedding because it was raining all morning. We really wanted to get married outdoors but it rained right up until we were about to start taking pictures. I don’t know what or how, but the clouds opened up and gave us an absolutely perfect fall day. We were able to hold our ceremony outside facing the stunning La Plata Mountains.

A Fall Wedding at Ridgewood Event Center, Durango, Colorado A Fall Wedding at Ridgewood Event Center, Durango, Colorado A Fall Wedding at Ridgewood Event Center, Durango, Colorado A Fall Wedding at Ridgewood Event Center, Durango, Colorado


Kevin made a two-tiered rustic standalone destressed popcorn bar with chalk acsents, which included apple baskets to hold six types of candy on the top level and three type of popcorn on the lower level.


A Fall Wedding at Ridgewood Event Center, Durango, Colorado A Fall Wedding at Ridgewood Event Center, Durango, Colorado


Shop around for vendors and go with the people that make you feel the most comfortable. I do wish I would have paid extra to have someone come out to do my hair so I didn’t have to worry about going back to town. This would have allowed me to spend more time with my wedding party to relax a little more.


A Fall Wedding at Ridgewood Event Center, Durango, Colorado


Recommended Vendors

Photographer: Illuminarts. Drew and his team were more than I could have imagined. From start to finish, it was absolute perfection. He took the time to get every little and important detail. I received so many compliments on how professional they were from countless guests and family. Drew was able to capture moments that I will hold close to my heart for the rest of my life. I would recommend IlluminArts to any and everyone – it was the best service I have had in Durango.

Lodging: Blue Lake Ranch housed all of our family and some guest and it was wonderful. The rooms and grounds are absolutely wonderful. You cannot beat the vsiews of the La Plata’s and the charm of the all of the cabins and casitas. The breakfast is die for as well.

Venue: Ridgewood Event Center  //  Caterer: The Yellow Carrot





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Saturday, January 13, 2018 from Noon – 3PM
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A Glamour Meets Rustic Wedding on Durango Mountain

Chelsea & Justin | September 9th

From the bride: A couple came into my work in Phoenix, AZ who recently got married at Dante’s Peak in Durango. They showed me pictures of them standing at the altar and I, having recently gotten engaged, said, “I want to get married RIGHT there!”

My gorgeous bouquet contained white roses dipped in gold paint, mixed with greenery.

Justin made our ceremony entrance. It was two old wooden white doors with a big wooden sign painted, “What God has joined together, let no man separate” on one side and “Here comes the bride” on the other side.

As soon as I got up to the altar, the wind blew, and my veil was beautifully flowing up in the wind. Justin’s dad officiated and it couldn’t have been more special! My favorite memory was reading our personal vows to each other.

Justin made our altar arch from some old railroad ties and a chandelier of mason jars. The chandelier now hangs over our kitchen table.

The guest tables were adorned with sparkly gold table runners, candles, wine bottles painted gold and dipped in glitter, and tall skinny vases filled with white roses and dendrobiums.

Justin made a large sign that said, “The Hoese’s” (our last name). He found the letters at this special vintage yard sale that is hosted once a month in Phoenix. He then found a bunch of rustic wood and nailed them together to place the letters on. He put several light bulbs in each letter so it would light up similar to the classic “Las Vegas” sign. It turned out GREAT. He put the sign on 2 poles and then stuck those in cement inside some old whiskey barrels. Everyone walked under our sign to enter the wedding, “like entering the fair” as Justin said.



Venue: Dante’s Peak at Purgatory Resort. The breathtaking view speaks for itself and the wedding coordinators were great!

Photographer: IlluminArts. Drew is just a fantastic guy! He has a wonderful easy going personality and was very organized and detailed. Not to mention, his work is fabulous!

Hair & Makeup: Mary Beth at Hair Fusion was AMAZING!!!




A Destination Wedding at Purgatory Resort

Ellysa & Casey | August 20th

From the bride:  I wanted to tie together vintage elegance and natural beauty. Most of all, I wanted our day to be classic and understated. I loved the style of my grandmothers’ weddings. Both wore tea-length dresses and were married in small churches surrounded by family. Ever since I was a child, that quaint wedding image has been in my mind for my wedding day.

When choosing a venue for our reception, our biggest concern was having rooms at the same location for guests to stay. We wanted our guests to enjoy the party and not have to worry about driving anywhere after. Purgatory Resort was the perfect choice for us, not only because it could host our numbers at the reception, it also had plenty of rooms available for our guests.

My dad set up two French doors for us to walk through. He painted them sage green to blend in with the greenery around them and I thought they were just perfect. The doors helped bring a little classic architecture to the outdoor ceremony.

Our flower girl learned how to walk on her own about a week before the wedding. We had a wagon ready to wheel her down the aisle, but last minute decided to let her walk with the help of the eldest ring bearer. About half way down the aisle, she tottered and sat down. Her helper didn’t know what to do, but a kind guest reached out his hand and helped her stand up. It took those two a while to make it down the aisle, but it was adorable to witness.

When my turn came to walk down the aisle, I jumped out of the car and was so excited that I didn’t even notice I was missing my bouquet! I just held onto my dad as we walked down the aisle together. It wasn’t until after the ceremony when my mom asked me if my bouquet had run away from home, that I realized its absence.

Casey and I wrote our vows to one another. Listening to his vows knocked me speechless, something that doesn’t happen to me very often! Public speaking isn’t something that scares me and usually comes quite naturally. But, after he said his vows to me, I was a wreck! My first line was supposed to be, “Before I fell in love with you…” but what I said was, “Before I fell on you… Oh… Whoops!” Everyone laughed and it really helped me shake out those nerves a little bit!

For Casey’s wedding surprise, his parents and I arranged to tow his childhood vehicle to Durango from Flagstaff, AZ. Casey loves this Land Crusier, and has pictures from: prom, homecoming, off-roading, and numerous other adventure shots with this truck. It was really special to have it be part of our wedding day.


Take a deep breath before jumping into planning. Talk about what is really important to each of you. We each had a couple must-haves that shaped how we planned the wedding. Once you know the things you just must-have, it is much easier to be united when making decisions.


Venue, Caterer, Lodging: Purgatory Resort
Photographer, Video & Photo Booth: Shutterfreek
Favors: Whipped Honey & Chokecherry Jelly from Honeyville

Reprinted from the 2017 issue.


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