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A Rustic Bluegrass Wedding at River Bend Ranch

Halie & Alex  |  July 6, 2019

 

From the bride… Alex proposed at an overlook on the Ouray Perimeter Trail, and although the setting was breathtaking, my most cherished moment is that he proposed in his snowshoes! In all the excitement, both of us kept our snowshoes on the entire time through all the crying, smiling, dancing, and photos!

 

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

THE WEDDING VIBE

Our vision for our wedding was a day full of love, laughter, and dancing with our families and closest friends. We first fell in love due to our passion for live music and the outdoors and our goal was to fully encompass both in our wedding day. We envisioned a laidback feel in the mountains where everyone could relax in the summer air.  Our color palette was a mix of earthy, pale tones: light blue, peach, cream, sage green, and splashes of violet. One of our main goals was to make our wedding feel as homey and relaxed as possible.

 

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

THE PLANNING

We attended the Durango Wedding Expo and loved it! The event led us to our florist and caterer, both unfamiliar to us before the expo, as well as solidifying our transportation and refreshment providers. We have also enjoyed reading the Durango Wedding Magazine and loved gazing at other couples’ wedding styles and found the list of vendors especially helpful. We both found the Durango Wedding Expo and Durango Wedding Magazine very helpful in connecting us to local vendors.

 

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

THE STYLE

Our wedding style was simple and rustic yet meaningful. It teetered between a countryside feel and bohemian DIY wedding. Our inspiration was the New York countryside, where half of my family lives, holds a special place in my heart: the old barns, wood pallets, farmhouse window panes, and rolling hills. Local artisans and farmers are an essential part of the culture in both NY and Durango, and we wanted to incorporate the same culture in our wedding. The mountains and bluegrass scene in Durango are huge aspects of our lives and played a significant role in choosing our wedding venue and band.

 

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

THE FLOWERS

Our flowers were above and beyond what I was expecting! Natalie from Adela Floral hit our color scheme spot on and created breathtaking arrangements. We especially loved the succulents in the flower crown and groom’s boutonniere. She is so talented!

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

THE ATTIRE

My dress came from the BHLDN collection. It was the only one I tried on and fell in love with it immediately. The open back was my favorite stylistic component. Alex’s attire was pieced together, and all groomsmen complimented his style with self-chosen khakis, blue shirts, and dark grey or brown vests. Likewise, the bridesmaid chose their own dresses in a light blue color. We wanted our bridal party to feel like they could pick out something they liked and felt comfortable in, and the result was a mix-and-match vibe that looked great!

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt FreemanRiver Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

THE VENUE

We chose River Bend Ranch because of its natural beauty, convenience, and incredible hospitality by owners Jenny and Dan. The barn’s open feel and string lights emulated the rustic feel we were looking for. We have to admit, the dock and paddleboats were another huge attraction for us! Who doesn’t enjoy a sunset boat ride on the pond?

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

THE CEREMONY

The natural scenery provided enough decor with the red Hermosa Cliffs and pond in the background. I’ll never forget walking down the aisle and spotting the rainbow from the pond’s fountain arching behind Alex. We wrote our own vows, and my Dad delivered a personalized message that tugged at the heart strings. Our good friend Mark Walser played the fiddle for our entrance and exit which was very special and of course who can forget the train rolling through in all it’s might during the ceremony readings!

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

My dad officiated the wedding and personalized all the messages in a way no one else could and all parents and grandparents played a role.

 

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

My favorite ceremony memory was our kiss after the exchange of rings, but not necessarily for the reason you may think! In all our excitement we thought the ceremony was over, and after some excited wiggles and hands in the air almost started walking down the aisle, forgetting the last couple of parts we had rehearsed!

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

THE RECEPTION

The reception kicked off with appetizers and cocktail hour and was followed by our entrance and sizzling barbeque by Back Porch. Our best man and matron of honor presented heartfelt and hilarious speeches. Our first dance was to the tune “Lovin’ You” by Railroad Earth, and our mother-son and father-daughter dance was to “Meet Me on the Mountain” by Fruition–the band from one of our first dates. High Country Hustle brought the bluegrass jams for several hours, leading to congo lines and dance circles and smiles all around! We ended the night with some old school funk songs in the barn, and everyone continued to dance until time ran out. Alex and I also snuck out for a paddleboard ride under the moonlight!

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

THE SEATING CHART

We handwrote the table assignments on window panes. We also coordinated the table settings ourselves from various sources.

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

MEMORABLE MOMENT

After cutting the cake, Alex and I snuck to the kitchen to split one of the homemade cupcakes…It was only a few minutes, but we loved the peace of the moment and savored every cupcake crumb!

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

Being on the dock at twilight was a highlight. It was really romantic to remove ourselves from the party for a second and take a photo by the pond.

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

LOOKING BACK

We both honestly can’t imagine how the day could have been more perfect.

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

 

ADVICE

At a certain point, you can’t worry about how the day will go. Everything will happen as it does, and even if something does go wrong, it doesn’t matter. The real focus is on you and your partner beginning the most important journey of your lives.

 

River Bend Ranch Durango Wedding by Colt Freeman

THE WEDDING TEAM

Photographer: Colt Freeman {more info}
Venue:  River Bend Ranch  {more info}
Floral Designer: Adela Floral  {more info}
Caterer: Backporch BBQ
Hair Stylist: Sarah York from ReyLynn’s Hair Salon
Band: High Country Hustle
Transportation: Buck Horn Limo

 

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Durango, Colorado Wedding Guide. The local resource to plan a destination wedding or elopement in Southwest Colorado. Find amazing wedding locations, fabulous wedding vendors, local wedding inspiration, tips, and advice to plan the perfect Durango area wedding. Durango Weddings Magazine is a planning guide, print magazine, wedding blog, and producer of the annual Durango Wedding Expo.  Read more
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