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From the Magazine: Homegrown in Mancos

2015 Durango Weddings Magazine

 Emily & John  |  September 24, 2014

From the bride: Our meeting was love at first sight 6 years ago, in the very spot we got married! We wanted to do things ourselves and keep the wedding in tune with who we are. Simple became our catch-phrase when deciding things. We grew all the flowers ourselves, all 160 napkins were from my late grandmother, and our favors were homemade (“made with love!”) calendula salve. Every dinner plate was different (a collection of old family plates, thrift store, and borrowed plates).

From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Coloradoill07 From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado

We wrote our own vows on yellow lined paper up in the mountains, and as we read them to each other our dog came up to the altar and laid down beside us!

From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado

We planted a plant with our parents to symbolize our families coming together.

From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado

It rain during the reception, which was beautiful, especially since we were safe in the tent.

From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado

From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado

Our favors were customized bottles of really good olive oil from friends in Italy who couldn’t make the wedding.

From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado From the Magazine: A Homegrown Wedding in Mancos, Colorado

Emily’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS

Photographer: IlluminArts Photography {more info}. Drew is an incredible photographer, and a seasoned warrior with wedding photography. We appreciated his experience and calm commanding presence within the buzz of our wedding day. He was patient and professional with our changing schedule and ideas. And he took beautiful photos on our wedding day.  All our guests have continued to rave about how awesome Drew was, and what pictures he took! I highly recommend IlluminArts.

Caterer: Durangourmet {more info}. AMAZING. We all loved working with Jimmy. He took our whole experience above and beyond what we expected. From our first meeting, to sampling the meal and appetizers, to negotiations for local food, to the final weekend meal presentation, Durangourmet was fabulous to work with. I would highly recommend Durangourmet to all, for any occasion.

Tent & Rental: Durango Party Rental  {more info}. They have an extensive supply of everything celebration! We appreciated the choices and options available to customize our wedding.

*See more of this wedding in the 2015 issue – Order a copy HERE!

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A Barbecue with a Wedding on the Side

Joy & Nick  |  June 22nd  |  Durango, Colorado

From the bride, Joy:
We love playing outside, especially in the mountains, and wanted a day that reflected the easy-breeziness of the simple joys of sunshine and wildflowers enhanced by the refreshing taste of ice-cold beer on a perfect Colorado summers day.

Shutterfreek01We kept it simple and stayed true to doing exactly what we wanted to do – we wanted everyone to go home tired from all of the good things, refreshed and excited from a fun-filled, stress-free weekend.

Shutterfreek10We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen because Nick and I have both been in our fair share of weddings and hate spending money on clothes we’ll never wear again. Instead, we invited those nearest and dearest to us who would’ve been the bridal party to go kayaking (with Mountain Waters Rafting) the day before the wedding. This was a genius activity, a better use of dollars, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s having a summer wedding in Durango!!

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 We rented a school bus to shuttle guests to the wedding site.  After getting dropped off, guests walked up a lupine-laden road that ended at the opening of the property, where guests were met with the smell of barbecue and the sound of bluegrass. A half dozen towering oak trees in full green splendor shaded a primitive wooden cabin with a wrap-around porch that featured a popcorn machine, personalized mugs for lemonade, iced tea, wine, whiskey, or Ska beer, and a picnic table Nick and I built that served as our guest book.

new1 new2We aimed for the ceremony to begin around four o’clock in the afternoon on  the day of the Super full moon. The weather was absolutely perfect: 72 degrees, blue sky, slight breeze, and sunshine!

Shutterfreek04The bluegrass band played “Come Thou Fount” while my dad and I rode in on a beautiful black-and-white horse. As I came out of the woods and into the clearing, I saw all of my favorite people in the world standing in a casual circle around the hitching post.

Shutterfreek05We had written our vows, so Nick went first and knocked it out of the park. Not a dry eye in the crowd. 

Shutterfreek07I read mine, and we exchanged rings. The whole ‘ceremony’ took about five minutes.

Shutterfreek06 As soon as we kissed, the speakers began playing “Stand by Me” by The Drifters, and the ceremony rolled right into the reception. Shutterfreek08

Shutterfreek09 Shutterfreek11Nick and I danced to “You and Me” by Penny and the Quarters as our official first dance. Shutterfreek14Each picnic table was decorated with brown burlap sacks, off-white linen cloths, and empty old whiskey bottles with simple flower arrangements of mostly baby’s breath and sunflowers.

Shutterfreek13We had mason jar mugs personalized with a bicycle stamp that guests used for the party and then took home as a favor.

Shutterfreek15Everyone ate ribs, cornbread, and mac n’ cheese, while the Flume Canyon Boys played some tunes.

Shutterfreek12 Shutterfreek16The moon was enormous, casting long shadows over our ridiculous display of white people making moves. So many smiling, sweaty, happy faces around! It. Was. Epic.

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My Advice: Take this opportunity to plan your idea of the PERFECT day. Whatever you enjoy doing, imagine sharing that with your dearest friends. Don’t be selfish, but don’t sacrifice what you think others expect you should do for what you REALLY want to do… DREAM BIG!!!

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Joy’s  RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Photographer: Shutterfreek. Paul captured some awesome candid moments. Fast mover!

Rentals: Durango Party Rental. They were timely and accommodating. We rented a popcorn machine, dance floor, and horse trough (for beer kegs and ice).

Venue: Family property  // Caterer: Back Porch BBQ  //  Drinks: Ska Brewing  //  Groom’s Ring: Diane West Jewelry & Art  //  Transportation: Mountain Waters Rafting  // Portable Restrooms: Bob’s John’s   //  Band: The Flume Canyon Boys  //  Wedding Gown: The Almond Tree Wedding Boutique //  Invitations: Ourwedvite

Honeymoon Location: Nick and I drove to Telluride the next morning for the end of the Bluegrass Festival and saw Jackson Browne that evening. We camped that night and then spent the next two days hiking, climbing, swimming, and relaxing in our luxurious hotel robes from the Mountain Lodge where we were upgraded to a sweet suite just because it was our honeymoon. And so ended the best week of my life!

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DIY in Durango

Erin & Spencer  |  July 30th |  Family Home, Durango

From the bride:
We wanted our wedding day to be simple and natural looking.

I knew I wanted a tea length dress, but didn’t like any of the ‘bridal’ tea length dresses, so I tried on a bridesmaids dress and then had it made in white – HUGE cost savings over a traditional bridal gown.

It rained, so we had to move the ceremony inside.  We had planned on that contingency (typical evening weather for July in Colorado) so we weren’t bummed.  

 Instead of having flower girls, I had my two younger cousins carry a handmade wooden sign down the aisle that said “Here Comes the Bride”.

My cousin officiated the ceremony and we let him pretty much say what he wanted (only do this with someone you trust implicitly!).  The things that he said were heartfelt and specific to us as a couple – it made the ceremony so much more special than if a stranger had just read something generically scripted.

We took salsa lessons and so, of course, our first dance was a salsa.

We chose to have appetizers verse a sit down dinner to save on cost.  We wanted our guests to feel like they had plenty to eat, so we did 7 different appetizers.

I know it seems cliché lately, but cupakes were much less expensive than a cake because we didn’t have to hire someone to cut it, or pay for plate & fork rentals.  Also, we didn’t care to do the traditional bride and groom ‘cutting of the cake’ and subsequent shoving into each others faces, so cupcakes worked great for us.

My Dad gave an unexpected toast in which he said he had something very special to give to my Husband from the Old Country (my ancestors are from Ireland).  He went on and on and built it up like it was this priceless family heirloom and then finally he pulled a potato from behind his back and handed it to Spencer!  It was super funny. 

My advice:  Don’t worry about what everyone tells you a wedding is ‘supposed’ to be like or things you are ‘supposed’ to do.  If there is a detail that is stressing you out, then just leave it out if possible.  Chances are, at the end of the day, it’s not going to matter.
What would I do different?  Worry less!

RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Photographer:  Allison Ragsdale Photography

Caterer:
Durangourmet we got lots of greats compliments about the food!

Tent & Party Rentals: Durango Party Rental was really easy to work with.  They delivered and picked up right on time and everything was exactly what it was supposed to be.

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