A Rustic Fall Wedding at Purg

Rebecca & Matt  |  September 29, 2018


From the bride…

We wanted a wedding to celebrate who we are as a couple, as well as individuals. Having our wedding at Purgatory Resort allowed us to celebrate our marriage in the mountains that have shaped us into who we are today. The resort had everything we were looking for in a wedding venue, no shortages of stunning views and incredible scenery. We knew Durango would offer our out-of-town guests a multitude of activities to round out their travels.


Bridesmaids in the fall



I’ve always loved the rustic touches that are found throughout the Southwest, and fall is my favorite season. We were fortunate enough to be able to utilize much of the local vegetation in our décor – aspen leaves, pine tree stumps, and oak leaves. I’ve also never been one for over-the-top frill, so having little touches of elegance intermixed with the rustic feel of the Southwest was what we aimed for when deciding the ceremony and reception feel.

The bridal bouquet had white roses and hydrangeas, with two red roses placed as accents within the bouquet. My grandmother, who passed away several years ago, was a rose enthusiast. This was my way of honoring her presence in my life at our wedding.


Durango, Colorado bride



On the morning of our wedding day, some family and family friends hosted a pre-wedding brunch. It was nice for Matt and I to spend time with friends and family in a casual setting before the excitement of the day began.



A Fall ceremony at Purgatory Resort, Durango, Colorado



Our ceremony took place at Engineer Meadow with Engineer Mountain framed by the aspens and evergreens. For the bridal procession, we played “All I Want Is You” by Barry Louis Polisar, which set everything off on a fun, upbeat note.



A Fall ceremony at Purgatory Resort, Durango, ColoradoA Fall ceremony at Purgatory Resort, Durango, Colorado


We’ll treasure forever having our dogs accompany us as we concluded the ceremony.



A Fall wedding at Purgatory Resort, Durango, Colorado

A Fall wedding at Purgatory Resort, Durango, Colorado



 Our reception at Purge’s restaurant had a rustic yet elegant feel. The room was filled with aspen stumps topped with candles. Red and yellow aspen branches with evergreen arrangements adorned the tables. We loved seeing our diverse group of guests sharing cigars around the fire. Watching everyone’s dance moves was highly entertaining.



Wedding reception at Purgatory Resort, Durango CO



My dad passed away unexpectedly a month before the wedding. I was on the fence about what to do for this part of the reception, and it hit me about a week after he passed that this would be a wonderful opportunity to honor his memory. I picked two songs by artists that he loved (Led Zeppelin and The Beatles) and invited our guests to join me for a group dance. It was a great way to remember David and kick off the rest of the evening. The night ended with a small group of us singing “Friends in Low Places,” we will never forget that moment.



Wedding reception at Purgatory Resort, Durango CO



Make time to have fun and be with those you love, don’t stress the little things. If something goes wrong, it will only make the day more memorable.



A Fall wedding at Purgatory Resort, Durango, Colorado



Venue, Caterer & Lodging: Purgatory Resort
Makeup Artist: Kimberly King, The Spaaah Shop
Photographer: Ginger Moose Photography | DJ: Stand Alone Entertainment |  Wedding Gown Designer: Kelly Faetanini  | Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie |  Floral Designer: Kelly Kirkpatrick | Hair Stylist: Emily Martin, About Face Aesthetics| Honeymoon Location: New Zealand



An Intimate Ceremony at Antlers on the Creek B&B + Reception at The Strater Hotel

Hannah & Lou  |  September 28, 2018


From the bride… We visited Durango in the fall and fell in love with the San Juan Mountains and the quaint, and beautiful town of Durango. We got engaged at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison almost a year before our wedding date. I had always dreamed of having a fall wedding in the mountains. It seemed momentous to return a year later to Colorado to share our vows.



Antlers on the Creek B&B



Antlers on the Creek B &B was the right venue for us… seeing as we wanted a small and intimate family wedding. Having the ceremony at the B&B gave us a sense of comfort – that was our home for three days, so we got to know the staff and the grounds.  Overall, it felt more personable to us to get married in such an environment.


Stunning wedding bouquet by April's Garden



Susan and her staff went above and beyond to prepare all of my wedding requests. Living in Austin, I wasn’t able to coordinate with them in person, so I made sure to send them pictures and Pinterest ideas for the cake, flowers, colors, etc. They took my requests and turned them into more than I could have ever asked for.



Stunning wedding bouquet by April's Garden



I had asked for a wildflower or seasonal bouquet expecting to get something pretty and modest. But I was so shocked when I saw the flowers in my bouquet because they were more beautiful than I had ever imagined.



I’m very much into florals, so I enjoyed watching staff member, Julia Floran at Antlers decorate the arch with these rich purples and earthy green flowers. Absolutely stunning. I felt like royalty having such gorgeous spray on the arch.


Stunning ceremony florals by April's Garden


The day was perfect. It was a mild 60-degree, sunny day with clear blue skies. It was almost too good to believe. The wedding morning started with chef prepared breakfast with the entire family. That was such a beautiful morning to spend together before the big event later in the day. It felt so comforting to have all of our family there to soak in every little moment with us – and to not rush through the day keeping up with bridesmaids, and friends and family,  like most brides do!

The remainder of the day was spent preparing and pampering for the ceremony. Antlers on the Creek B&B  has the most amazing wedding suite with a jacuzzi bath where I probably could’ve spent the whole day just relaxing and enjoying the cool breeze through the window.



Intimate ceremony at Antlers on the Creek B&B



By far the most memorable moment was the first look. Lou was standing down by the creek, under the golden leaves of the trees above. I could tell he was nervous but had no idea just how emotional he would be to see me in my wedding dress. After he turned around, we embraced each other for what seemed like forever. Having that moment together was so special.  I will forever cherish our first look.




The ceremony itself seemed to fly by as I felt like I was living in a dream – the weather, the flowers, having our family there, seeing my husband for the first look, and finally, saying our ‘I Do’s’ … it was all I’d ever dreamed of. The officiant, Rev Chessa Gill spoke so eloquently and even blessed us with a Native American blessing – which meant so much to us. Oh, and I forgot to mention a very important guest in attendance at our wedding, our sweet pup, Dixie!


Intimate ceremony at Antlers on the Creek B&BIntimate ceremony at Antlers on the Creek B&B




The ‘I-Do’s’ seemed like a surreal moment. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Lou. I could try, but I was fixated on the emotion of that moment, the love and promise that I could see in his eyes. He still looks at me like that but it the love felt so powerful in that moment, in promising to love through better or for worse.



Intimate ceremony at Antlers on the Creek B&BIntimate ceremony at Antlers on the Creek B&BIntimate ceremony at Antlers on the Creek B&B




We all got a ride over to the Strater Hotel for dinner afterward. We wanted to switch up the venue for dinner and what better place to enjoy wine and a steak than the Historic Strater Hotel?! It was so delicious, and the staff was so friendly and attentive. We had a wonderful dinner with music, laughter, lots of wine and incredible red velvet cake with buttercream icing (I still have some sitting in my freezer!).



Intimate ceremony at Antlers on the Creek B&B



I tossed around the idea of having a big wedding and then tossed around the idea of having a small wedding. We thought we might want to elope at one point instead of having a traditional wedding at all.

Do what makes you happy, not your friends, not your family, especially not your mom. This is your day and it’s the one and only day you get to marry the love of your life. Don’t listen to anyone else, don’t sweat the small stuff,  and your wedding day will be perfect.

I highly recommend hiring a planner! I had the pleasure of working with Antlers staff who prepared all of the logistics of the day.  I just had to show up!. Don’t do it all yourself; it’s just too much to take on. Your job should be to enjoy every moment leading up to the wedding, especially the planning process. Otherwise, you’ll just be worn out when it comes to your wedding day.

Pace yourself and delegate the big tasks to someone else – just make sure it’s someone you can trust to fulfill all of your wedding wishes!



Intimate ceremony at Antlers on the Creek B&B


Venue, Lodging, Planning: Antlers on the Creek B&B. Absolutely beautiful and PERFECT for our small family wedding.  The details were really in most of the work that the Antler’s staff did to make this day, this entire wedding weekend, so incredibly special. From the moment we arrived with warm cookies at the front door, to the ‘to-die-for’ breakfast prepared fresh by the chef, to the flowers, the softest bed sheets I’ve ever slept on, to the professional hospitality and service. I can’t say enough good things about them. Susan and her staff love what they do, and it shows in everything that they do for all of their guests. My family and I felt so lucky to have had such a perfect weekend.

Reception Dinner: The Strater Hotel. The food was so delicious, and the staff was so friendly and attentive.

Floral Design: April’s Gardens. Absolutely stunning. I cried when I saw the bouquet. The intricacy of the arrangement was a work of art.

Officiant: Rev Chessa Gill. Chessa spoke so eloquently and even blessed us with a Native American blessing – which meant so much to us.

Photographer: Karla Wedding Photography


Wedding Style | Top 10

Every week, we browse hundreds of blogs, instagram posts, and pins looking for unique wedding ideas and stylish trends.  Here’s ten of our favorite ideas we hope to see more of this season.




Spicy blackberry jalapeno margaritas also served as escort “cards” with individuated calligraphed glasses.


margarita escort cards
Photo: Simply Sarah via Source




Instead of having a traditional guest book, this couple addressed each of the postcards to their home and asked their guests to mail them with a ‘love note’ that would be waiting for the couple when they returned from their mini-moon. The couple are still getting postcards back, a few each week, and it lets them relive the wedding each time they receive one. 


Love note guest book

Photo: Ana & Jerome via Source




A trio of wooden frames with pastel florals framed the mountain backdrop of this ceremony.

Trio of wooden ceremony frames

 Photos: Alicia Mink via Source







These adorable pups wore floral collars that perfectly matched the wedding bouquets making for the cutest pics!


Flowers & pups

Photos: Erin Wilson via Source





A mix of ceramic, plastic, and metal flower pots serve as the seating chart display for this garden wedding.


garden inspired seating display

Photos: Wisteria Photography via Source




These couples created custom signature cocktails to honor the pets (aka children) in their lives.

Pet inspired signature drinks

Photo: Red Boat Photography via Source      |     Etsy artist




A live painter captured the magic of the ceremony and the breathtaking view. The artist later transferred to the reception with guests to complete the painting- a fun interactive detail as guests marveled at the masterpiece coming to life!


Wedding live painter

Photo: Lauren Fair Photography via Source




Guests popped on their very own personalized pair of Converse trainers during the reception. Definitely a wedding favor that will get used again and again.


Converse trainers favors

Photo: Sara Lobla via Source







Tiny art easels hold handmade table numbers. Perfect for a pair of artists.

Tiny art easels hold handmade table numbers.
Photo: Sara Weir Photography via Source





Tegan & Travis created a unique ceremony program with caricatures of the wedding party.

Ceremony programs

Photo: From The Hip via Luxe Mountain Weddings




7 Ski/Snowboard Wedding Details


We’ve gathered seven creative ways to include your love of skiing into your wedding day. Whether you envision your entire wedding around a ski/snowboard theme or just want to add a few details to let your guests know skiing is a sport you love, these ideas are easy and fun to implement.




Ski signs for wedding

Photos: Allison Ragsdale Photography  //  See this WEDDING >>





Custom ceremony ski arbor

Photo: Moosehead Design  // See this WEDDING >>





Lift Ticket Seating Chart

Photos: Third Eye  // See this WEDDING >>






Vintage postcards used as ski escort cards

Photo: Frances Photography





Vintage ski guestbook

Photos: Jenne Anne  //  See this WEDDING >>






Tables named after fave ski runs

Photo: From The Hip // View this WEDDING >>




Wedding cake with snowboard cake topper

Photos: Sarah Roshan //  See this WEDDING >>


Wedding cake with ski family cake topper

Photo: Loree Photography  //  See this WEDDING >>




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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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