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
Joanna & Max | October 14, 2017 | Mancos, Colorado
From the bride: My inspiration was outdoor elegance with light toned autumnal colors and dark accents. My family owns the property we were married on so much of the design and inspiration was related to the aesthetic of the land. The bridesmaids wore a range of champagne and blush dresses and the groomsmen wore matching grey suits.
We picked and made the bridal bouquets from a combination of foraged plants, lavender we grew specifically for the bouquets, and a few select flowers from April’s Garden.
Our ceremony was located in a field that guests had to cross a bridge to get to. The altar was made from aspen trees and decorated in a beautiful garland made by April’s Garden. The ceremony was officiated by a dear friend. Our dog, Akela was our ring bearer. We had a Persian rug for Max and I to stand on. We crafted our own vows, it was an absolute highlight of the ceremony.
The reception was located in a tent in the adjacent field. We ate an incredible meal by Durangourmet of elk tenderloin and salmon. Our band, The Diamond Empire Band, put on a classic, creative, and upbeat show!
Barn wood tables, eclectic floral patterned plates, a range of silk napkins that were my grandmothers, numerous candles of various sizes and centerpieces with fall foliage adorned every table.
Our favors were bundles of garlic grown in our garden and handcrafted olive oil from friends in Tuscany.
The reception was insanely cold, somewhere around 23 degrees that night. I would say the ONLY regret I have is not making the tent warm enough. After dinner everyone put on square beanies from the 80s and danced like crazy to keep warm. It was pretty hilarious.
Wedding planning is stressful and is all too easy to lose sight of how important and celebratory this transformational ritual is. Don’t wish the engagement period away or become fixated on little details. Be present in the process so when the best day of your life comes, you will be better prepared to stay present in the moment.
THE WEDDING TEAM
Photographer & Video: Illuminarts. Drew went above and beyond to help me create the day. In many ways he was our wedding planner as well.
Flowers: April’s Garden. They really pay attention to your creative vision.
Caterer: Durangourmet. Jimmy is hands down amazing. Everyone devoured the delicious late night barbeque ribs.
Rehearsal Dinner: Ridgewood Event Center. I highly recommend for its rustic elegance and outstanding fall views.
Tent & Rentals: Durango Party Rental
Guest Lodging: Blue Lake Ranch
Wedding featured in the 2018 issue
Morgan & Gary | June 16, 2017
From the bride: We wanted a fun and laid back wedding, which we knew we would get in Durango. We threw out the rule book on things you can and cannot do for weddings and did it our own way. We decided what we both wanted and figured out ways to make it happen. We love traditional Irish music so we made sure to get an Irish band to play our music and we picked a venue that resonated with both of us.
THE WEDDING SHOES
I wanted moccasins to tie in the Native American culture I grew up around and have used in my own spiritual beliefs. Merrill Page with Into the Wild Way handmade my gorgeous white shoes.
I loved my Rue De Seine Poppy gown! I found it within my first week looking. The second I tried it on, I knew it was the one.
The guys got ready at The Bookcase & Barber. From getting a nice neat haircut and shave to sipping whiskeys to calm the nerves, they had a fantastic time!
I walked down the aisle to an Irish tin whistle. I loved laughing during our vows, our sense of humour brought us together in the first place. The unconditional love and support surrounding us was extraordinary.
During the ceremony there was cotton falling from the trees. Could it get anymore classic & romantic than pretending to snow? It was the most perfect, magical day!
The reception was fantastic! The food, speeches, and first dance happened outside under a tent nestled between all the cottonwood trees. We felt SO much love!
We loved watching new friendships form between all of the people we have met in all parts of the world. It was so cool to see everyone having a great time. We wanted our wedding to be FUN and it couldn’t have been any better, simply amazing.
The day goes so quickly, take a step back together during your wedding to observe everything you have accomplished. Enjoy the planning process together, it is a fun and exciting time. Do not overthink the small stuff, it always turns out perfectly!
THE WEDDING TEAM
Photographer, Video, Photo Booth: Shutterfreek. It was one of the best investments we made for our wedding! We wanted to have unique photos and gorgeous video to look back on. REALLY fun people to work with as you can see their passion for what they do. Paul and Katie were so personable and friendly, and constantly making us laugh. The photo booth was a hilarious way for guests to mingle and meet.
Venue & Flowers: Ridgewood Event Center. The venue is naturally stunning and fit both of our personalities perfectly. We never gave it a second thought. As we were going for a rustic look it was quite effortless in terms of decoration. Joan Alford had a great vision of what we wanted from the beginning. She listened and understood what we were looking for, making it much easier for us planning an overseas wedding. We felt at ease letting Joan handle it.
Caterer: Durangourmet. Jimmy is such an accommodating and friendly guy. The food was outstanding and won compliments from all of our guests. He was happy to meet any dietary needs. Our waiters were very professional and polite and always checking in on us to see if we needed food or drinks during the night.
Reprinted from the 2018 Magazine
Carey & Ryan | Photography by Wegher Photo and Film
From the bride-to-be: We met three years ago on a Saturday night at the Wild Horse Saloon in Durango and we’ve been dating ever since. We live with our two dogs, Primrose a 5 year old Miniature American Shepherd and Sullivan a 1 year old Border Collie. We enjoy all things canine related and often take them boating, hiking and snowshoeing with us. I was gifted the photo shoot with Wegher Photo and Film by my best friend as a birthday present last summer. The gift certificate expired July 2018, I wasn’t sure if Ryan and I would be engaged by then and I really wanted fall pictures with our dogs so I booked the shoot with Kayle. Engagement or not. Turns out just four short months later we would be engaged on a beach in Tulum, Mexico while on vacation! Ryan planned an elaborate sunrise proposal on the beach of our resort the morning of February 13th and it was perfect. Of course, I said yes! We are planning on getting married in Durango sometime in 2019!
Engagement Photography by Wegher Photo and Film | View more engagement shoots