Annie & Nick | September 2, 2017
From the bride: Nick and I love Durango, it is our go-to vacation spot because it’s so laid back and beautiful! We love the scenery, the people, the activities, the breweries, and of course, the food! If we didn’t pick a September date, I would have gone for a winter wonderland wedding! Durango anytime of the year is amazing!!
Whimsical – elegant – creative – romantic. Nick and I are very social people, we love to entertain and be around friends and family. We wanted our wedding to be fun and involved but have a romantic feel, impressive yet intimate. This was my time to let my creative energies flow!
We held the ceremony facing the field with the mountains as our backdrop. Picture perfect! Our floral arch was draped in oversized garden roses, peonies, lilies and eucalyptus garland – it was everything I dreamed of. We had Nick’s Grandmas, both over 80 years old, walked down as our flower girls. They were so honored to be asked and loved being a part of the ceremony. I loved the vows we wrote to one another. They were so heartfelt. For me, the most memorable moments were walking down the aisle with my parents by my side, seeing Nick for the first time, and seeing all of our friends and family there to support our love. I will cherish those memories forever.
The reception was filled with eating, drinking, dancing, and laughing. Dinner was held outside under a massive tent. The dessert tables and band were located a few feet away in the event center. I loved how everyone enjoyed the entire venue and garden.
Our color palette was midnight blue with copper and gold accents. We threw in some burgundy to give the tables some contrast and dimension. We had fresh flowers in gold vases and garland hung everywhere. Our place settings were small geometric gold terrariums with a potted succulent, each has the guest’s name calligraphed on a palm sized blue agate slice that hung from the terrarium. They were beautiful decoration pieces that also served as our gifts, everyone loved them.
FOR THE KIDS
We had over 20 kids attend the wedding so I had two ‘Kid only’ tables put together in the middle of the dinner tables. The centers of the tables were filled with candy, games and fidget spinners. The place settings were customized ‘Annie & Nick’s Wedding’ coloring books.
The day flew by, I wish I had taken time to stop by each table and say hi to everyone. I know there were guests who attended the wedding that I didn’t get to thank personally for coming. I also wish we had video of the entire wedding. No one recorded the entire ceremony or the speeches and it makes me sad that we’ll never get to watch it again.
Enjoy the engagement time, it goes by so quickly. You only have a few months for all the excitement and attention to be on your blossoming relationship.
THE WEDDING TEAM
Planning Resource: I found Durango Weddings Magazine very helpful when doing research on vendors and venues in the Durango area. I also love all the diverse types of weddings featured. The website is very user friendly. I really liked how you could go back through older issues and look at weddings that were held at Ridgewood Events Center to get ideas and see how each couple utilized the space. I snagged several ideas from Durango Weddings Magazine!
Venue, Planning, Flowers: Ridgewood Event Center. It was important to us to have the ceremony and reception at the same venue. Ridgewood is perfect for this because it has so much space. You can truly separate both the ceremony and reception. The gardens are extremely well maintained. The staff is very nice. You can rent a lot of décor and linens directly from them, this was a huge advantage for a destination wedding. Joan was our event planner and she is a doll. She listened to all my wild and extravagant ideas and did everything in her power to try and pull it off. I ended up using her as our florist and she did a great job.
Lodging: Blue Lake Ranch Bed & Breakfast. We rented out the entire bed and breakfast for our family and wedding party. It houses 70 guests and each room is different and eclectic. It is so magical, like little fairies should live there. It is located right across the highway from the venue, ideal for running back and forth.
Caterer: Durangourmet. The food and signature cocktails were amazing!
Photographer: Elizabeth Wells
Reprinted from the 2018 Magazine
Robyn & Jerai | October 1, 2017 | Durango, Colorado
From the bride: We chose a site that no one had used before at Purgatory, the meadow at the top of Lift One, where Paradise, 7th Heaven, and Upper Hades runs intersect. The clearing was still speckled with mountain daisies in October, and the views of Spud and Engineer Mountains were incredible.
Having our dog, Loki, as the ring bearer and present at our ceremony was so special to us. It would not have been complete without him.
October 1st was a cloudy day, with snow fall in the days leading up to it, and the tops of the mountains were covered in snow while the aspens were a stunning array of gold. We kept it small and chose to invite our family members and a few close friends. We felt very supported by the love surrounding us!
My favorite memory was riding the lift back down with my husband after it all was said and done, taking in the moment and being in the middle of the mountains on the most beautiful fall day.
Looking back, it really was the wedding of our dreams and it was more amazing than we could have ever anticipated. I have never had a happier day!
THE DURANGO WEDDING TEAM
Ceremony Site: Purgatory Resort. Carly, the wedding coordinator for the mountain, was an amazing person to work with!
Floral Designer: April’s Garden Weddings. Colleen has such an eye for and knowledge of flowers! She takes all factors into account to ensure beautiful and individually crafted bouquets and adornments.
Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion. Great to work with so many talented stylists.
Photographer: Allison Ragsdale Photography
Reprinted from the 2018 issue
John & Mandy | Photography by Wegher Photo + Film
John and Mandy met while Mandy was attending Fort Lewis College in John’s hometown of Durango, Colorado. They spent the whole summer exploring the mountains, camping, and fishing. Mandy and John already knew they were going to be together forever so they weren’t in a huge rush to make it official. After more than seven years of being together, John threw Mandy a surprise party for her 28th birthday. Already shocked from having so many of her friends there to celebrate, Mandy was even more shocked when she turned around expecting a cake with candles to blow out but instead saw the man she loves down on one knee with a ring in his hand. She was so excited she almost fell backwards off the deck! After saying “really?!” a couple times Mandy, of course, said yes and we had a new reason to celebrate! They are planning an August wedding at Cascade Village.
See more engagement shoots
Trish & Stefan | 08.05.17 | Durango, Colorado
From the bride: We’d had dinner at The Strater Hotel once and I was amazed by the elegant antique detail it held along with the history. Once I picked my dress and theme I knew The Strater Hotel was the place for our wedding.
I’ve always loved the vintage feel and look! Having our wedding on a mountaintop with a reception at the Historic Strater Hotel was perfect.
We held the ceremony at the Lions Den on a stormy afternoon. An acoustic guitarist played Your Song by Elton John as I walked down the aisle, side by side, with my 8 & 10 year olds. My oldest and I cried the whole way down. I could also hear the crowd crying; happy tears, of course.
The reception was held in the Mirror room at The Strater Hotel. The storm from that afternoon knocked out power throughout Durango and luckily the Mirrored room had a backup generator. It gave the room a Squeakeasy feel with low light from the vintage chandeliers and candles, it was stunning. Our DJ couldn’t play any music during dinner, but no one cared. During the speeches, power kicked on and the entire room cheered and clapped with joy. It sounded like we were at a sporting event. It set the night to party mode!
Don’t be Bridezilla. Take it one day at a time and follow your heart when deciding on what colors, venue, dress, etc. Most importantly, roll with the punches. The power going out could have ruined our wedding, but we made the best of it and now we have a badass story.
I realized we had a successful destination wedding, and all our guests got a vacation. Our wedding party was a mix of ages, and everyone enjoyed themselves. Our younger crowd club hopped while the older crowd explored historic downtown Durango, restaurants, and the many sightseeing options around town. It was the best of both worlds.
THE DURANGO WEDDING TEAM
Caterer, Lodging, Reception Site: The Strater Hotel | Event Planner: Emily Spencer | Photographer: Kelly Miranda Photography | Ceremony Site: Lions Den | DJ: Aiko Aiko Sound | Guitarist: Tim Hillwood
Reprinted from the 2018 issue