Lanee & Brian | July 15, 2017
From the bride: Our wedding style was fun and whimsical with bright vibrant colors, balloons and pom-poms. The rainbow was our color palette from hot pink to lime green to purple to electric blue. We love to dance, so we got married under a disco ball. We also love to dress up and go to costume parties. We asked our guests to join in the fun and wear bright colors and fancy hats.
We got married at my grandmother’s house, where I spent part of my childhood. We crafted the ceremony ourselves. We asked only the kids in our family to be part of our ceremony. I walked down the aisle to the Sesame Street theme song, it was my favorite show as a little one. We wrote our own vows together and delivered them via alternating lines. We also did a handfasting, in which our parents laid the ropes over our hands.
We LOVED getting married under a disco ball!
We had incredibly good food, served on farmhouse tables under a beautiful white tent, a last minute addition because of the threat of rain. The décor was simple with Peruvian striped colorful runners and tons of copper vases with wildflowers. Our table vases were all upcycled glass bottles we spray painted copper. The dessert table was decorated with our mascot: a rainbow colored unicorn piñata. We had an adorable and incredibly fun custom painted canvas as the backdrop for our photobooth. We also had square dancing, with a live band and caller, our guests loved it.
Focus on what IS going right and not what isn’t. There will be SO much beauty, love, and fun to put your attention on.
THE WEDDING TEAM
Ellie & Andy | River Bend Ranch
From the bride: I have always dreamed of an outdoor wedding with the San Juan Mountains as a backdrop. Durango have some of the most breathtaking views in the world! Your guests have the opportunity to make a real vacation with their trip and enjoy all the activities that the Durango area has to offer. Our guests rafted the Animas River, rode the Alpine Slide at Purgatory, visited Mesa Verde National Park, went on hikes in the mountains and enjoyed the shops and restaurants on historic Main Street.
The Durango Weddings Magazine was one of the first things my mother and I looked at when we began planning. It was a great tool to help us get over the initial overwhelming hurdle of planning a wedding. It listed many venues that we looked into, as well as the one we finally settled on. It gave great resources for food, music, flowers, and everything else you need. My mother attended the Durango Wedding Expo twice, our 18 month engagement allowing for plenty of planning.
Most of the ceremony Andy and I were just giddy and ready to be married already, we actually started 7 minutes early because I was tired of waiting. At one point, Andy eagerly interrupted my dad before he finished reciting vows for him to repeat. The crowd had a good laugh and it was nice to know that he was just as excited and impatient as I was. My dad reminded him to slow down and that we had our whole lives ahead of us to be together.
I was so adamant that I didn’t want to see Andy until I was walking down the aisle. In hindsight, I wish we had done a private first look, it would have been nice to have some quiet time with Andy before the festivities. Also, I would have taken the wedding party photos before the ceremony. It took a lot of time away from our time with our guests during the reception.
The reception was just a few feet away from the ceremony in the barn style hall. The guests enjoyed lawn games and a fun photo booth during cocktail hour.
Andy and I had a private dinner on the deck away from the reception area. It was one of my favorite parts of the whole day; with all of the craziness of the wedding, it was refreshing to slow down, gaze into each other’s eyes, and enjoy the moment.
My mother and I cut and sewed the 300 feet of bunting flags that hung throughout the venue. The back wall of the barn was covered in twinkle lights. They made a beautiful backdrop for great photos and the flags added dimension, color, and a sense of joy to the space. We wanted the wedding to be a big celebration of love. The lights, dancing and festive bunting flags just added to the celebratory aspect of the day!
We started off the dancing with “Hava Nagila”. The groomsmen and my brothers hoisted Andy and I up in chairs while our guests sang and danced around us. The rest of the evening was a blur of loved ones, dancing, and ended with a sparkler send off.
When it comes to the big day, give yourself lots of extra time. Take the time to relax and talk to your guests. Most of all, plan to do a private dinner! Having even a few quiet moments with your new husband is so very special.
Walking through a tunnel of lights and smiling faces was a wonderful way to make our exit. The greatest joy was driving away with my new husband holding my hand.
THE WEDDING TEAM
Venue: River Bend Ranch. Not only does the venue offer beautiful views, Dave, the host and caretaker, was our hero. He allowed us to visit the venue for planning and brainstorming numerous times and was ready and willing to do anything to assist us!
Favors: We ordered honey sticks from Honeyville to share some local sweetness with our guests. The ordering process was simple and easy. The favors inspired some guests to visit Honeyville and enjoy all the other products they have to offer!
Napkins: Durango Party Rental made renting easy.
View this wedding in the 2018 issue
Katie & Brian | 07.15.17 | Purgatory Resort
From the bride: Brian and I have spent many family trips in Colorado, and now vacation there every year together. The views are breathtaking. We are most in our element while in Colorado. As we started to discuss the location of our wedding, an outside ceremony on top of a mountain in Durango seemed perfect for us.
My favorite detail was the giant floral bouquets that stood on pedestals.
We invited only close friends and family to our ceremony, it made the evening so special to us.
Take time to think about your vision for the wedding, and once you have an idea, execute it. Don’t spend too much time mulling over different options, you’ll never make a decision if you think too long over all the possibilities.
I would have planned a farewell brunch with our guests the day after. We both wanted to spend more time with our friends and family before we left for the honeymoon.
THE WEDDING TEAM
Venue & Food: Dante’s at Purgatory Resort. Beautiful location, can’t beat the views and the food was amazing!
Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion. They were so great, did a wonderful job, and were so fun and relaxed. It made the day of really easy and stress free.
Photographer: Ginger Moose Photography
Florist: Bloom House Oklahoma
View this wedding in the 2018 issue
Aubrey & Jonathan | June 24th | Canyon Crest Lodge
From the bride: I love Colorado. My parents live in Pagosa Springs and offered the idea of having the wedding in Pagosa and we jumped on it! I chose a Bohemian and vintage style with a “bike” theme since we both have a love for cycling.
I wanted to go with more of a vintage look. I feel like things back in time had more detail and hard work put in them than the things made of today. I also love reading fantasy books so I wanted a fantasy kind of look. I chose a Bohemian look with the outdoors, natural flowers and colors that pop. I wanted “fairy tale,” but not princesses with big poofy dresses and pumpkin carriages kind of fairy tale, I wanted elves in the woods like Middle Earth and Narnia type of fairy tale, with beautiful mountain landscapes and trees, a flowy dress and flowers in my hair.
Because it was a small destination wedding, friends and family members came together to make this day so special for us. My mother-in-law baked pies, my dad hung the signs on the road, my cousin played the music for the ceremony, and my mom put together many of the details.
I had not given thought of writing vows and reading them during the ceremony, it was actually Jonathan’s idea and it turned out to be my favorite part of the entire wedding. It was very intimate and it gave our guest a closer insight into our relationship.
The best advice was given to both Jonathan and I by our officiant. He said something like… “Pick one moment you want to focus on, because after it is all over, it will just be a blurred memory, but if you focus on that one moment, it will be a memory that will stick with you forever.” That statement was very true. My focus point was saying our vows to each other and I remember every detail of it. Funny enough, Jonathan also chose to focus on that same moment.
My favorite detail was the green bike that my mom used to hold the “Welcome” sign by the sign-in table. She planted fresh flowers in the basket of the bike. We got a string of gold triangle flags from Hobby Lobby and I put a letter sticker on each flag to make the word “welcome.”
We held the reception in a large white tent at Canyon Crest Lodge. The tables had black table cloths and white chairs. We chose white plates with gold rims and gold flatware. We had black napkins tied with pink ribbon. The centerpieces had pink fabric overlaid with lace and pink, maroon, and blue flowers in vintage vases and a vintage bike was placed on each table.
One of my regrets was having the wedding so early. We started at 3:30 PM and we didn’t realize until the week of that our date was one of the hottest and the longest days of the year. Not only was it really hot, for Colorado, but we were really rushed, Jonathan and I wanted to do a “first look,” but we were very rushed to get through it and to get the pictures taken before the ceremony started. I think we even started the ceremony about 15 to 20 minutes late. If I could go back in time, I would have started the wedding around 5:00 instead of 3:30.
Another regret was not getting around to each table to say hello and talk to each one of our guests.
My advice to future brides is give yourself plenty of time to enjoy your day before even the ceremony starts. All of those moments are precious. Also, communication is key. If you want your makeup reapplied, then tell the makeup artist! If you want a type of icing on your cake, then tell the baker! If you want a certain song played, then tell the DJ! If you want pictures taken in a certain place or a certain way, then tell the photographer! There were several times when I said “I don’t care” or “do it your way” when I actually did want it a certain way, but I did not communicate it right. It’s not the vendors fault if you fail to communicate how you would like to do things.
THE WEDDING TEAM
Venue: Canyon Crest Lodge. I would totally recommend because the site is beautiful and had everything to offer! I knew that Valerie genuinely cared to make my wedding happen the way I imagined it. All I had to do was tell her what I imagined and she made it happen! I loved her! Valerie did everything for us, she put together the catering, the DJ, the tent and decorations. She even planted flowers to try to match our wedding colors. Not only did she put together the big stuff like the food and tent, but she focused on the little details such as planted flowers, lights and chandeliers strung in the tent, and small touches of decor everywhere. She was like a fairy godmother, everything she touched was fantastic!
Photographer: Jen Brazeal Photography | Officiant: Joey Dean, Pastor of Grace in Pagosa