Lauren & Ryan | September 22nd
From the bride… I’ve always wanted an outdoor wedding with a laidback vibe and a little bit of rustic charm. It turns out my Mom is basically Martha Stewart. She pulled off a lot of DIY crafts for the wedding. While I was busy trying to keep my head above water at work, my mom really came through with bringing a touch of Michigan all the way to Durango.
My flowers were amazing. Natalie of Adela Floral literally could not have done a better job. She completely blew away any expectations I had. I showed her a few pictures of the vibe I wanted, being the greenery, and flowy-ness with just some stand out flowers. My headpiece was also real greenery. I showed her a picture I found of that too, and she replicated it EXACTLY. It was unbelievable. She made a beautiful corner piece for the arbor, and the centerpieces flowed with everything else with some pink flowers and lots of greenery.
I thought for the longest time that choosing my dress would be the hardest part of planning a wedding. I found my dress on the first time out shopping. My Mom and Dad were in town a month after I got engaged, so we decided to go to Occasions Bridal and try on dresses for the first time. They did a fantastic job of helping me figure out what I really wanted. And then they put me in a dress that just took all of us by surprise. My dad started crying, and I knew that was it. I told people, there were no “buts” with this dress… as in I love it, but…. There were no buts. I just loved it, and I loved everything about it.
I only looked at two locations, Ridgewood Event Center being the second one. I absolutely fell in love with the reception building, the yard, the views, and the trees. And then when we saw the ceremony spot by the river with all the wooden benches, it completely sold it for me. Also, they only had one Saturday left, and it happened to be in September, which is what I was hoping for, so we put the deposit down that day and never looked back.
The ceremony spot was surrounded by beautiful trees that had all turned a fantastic yellow just in time for our wedding. Ryan’s Dad made our arbor, which we plan to keep in our yard once we find a more permanent spot. Because I knew it was going to be sunny, we had a couple of baskets filled with sunglasses and hand fans for our guests. Ryan and I wrote our own vows, and hearing his was my favorite part of the ceremony.
We had yard games set up, a small propane fireplace by the bar, and heaters along the porch. In September it gets cold when the sun sets! Ryan and I really wanted to be a part of our cocktail hour, so we did first looks and got a lot of pictures out of the way, so we didn’t have to do too many right after the ceremony and would have time to start enjoying ourselves and greeting people. I highly recommend this!
My favorite reception memory was my dads speech. September 22nd was the solar equinox and he talked about how Ryan and I balance each other out, which is so true.
My most memorable moment was hands down dancing with my dad! It was time for the father-daughter dance, and we start dancing, and he’s already saying, “don’t make me cry, don’t make me cry,” and then, of course, I started crying so there we were up there crying while we danced. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. We danced to
Charlene Soraia ‘Wherever You Will Go’ – YouTube
We completely forgot to have any non-alcoholic beverages available. I don’t know how this never came up during the planning, but we talked about having beer, wine, and we had two signature cocktails (a Manhattan and a Paloma). No one reminded us that not everyone drinks….Whoops.
I approached this wedding with three things I really cared about in mind: getting married outside, having my family there, and loving my dress. I left a TON of details up to the vendors. I found ideas on Pinterest, vibes I liked, pictures that inspired me- showed them to our vendors and let the experts think out the details because that’s what they do best.
THE DREAM VENDOR TEAM
Venue: Ridgewood Event Center. I would recommend Ridgewood in a heartbeat!
Photographer: Illuminarts. The photography was one place that I really splurged on, and they delivered. I loved my pictures so much, and I am so happy I went with illuminarts. They not only took amazing pictures but really helped us think through our timeline and how the entire day would flow, which was incredibly helpful.
Floral Designer: Natalie McLain, Adela Floral Designs. WOW, I can not recommend Natalie enough. She went above and beyond. You can tell every piece she makes is made with love.
Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion. They did an amazing job. I thought all the girls looked amazing. Mary Beth did my hair and makeup- she nailed both and has such a good calming energy for a crazy day.
Wedding Gown & Men’s Attire: Occasions Bridal. They did a fantastic job of helping me figure out what I really wanted.
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