An Intimate Durango Ceremony + Reception at The Strater Hotel
Hannah & Lou | September 28th
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 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.
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.
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.
THE DAY OF
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.
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!
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.
THE RECEPTION DINNER
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!).
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!
THE WEDDING TEAM
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
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