A Destination Wedding at Purgatory Resort

Ellysa & Casey | August 20th


From the bride:  I wanted to tie together vintage elegance and natural beauty. Most of all, I wanted our day to be classic and understated. I loved the style of my grandmothers’ weddings. Both wore tea-length dresses and were married in small churches surrounded by family. Ever since I was a child, that quaint wedding image has been in my mind for my wedding day.


When choosing a venue for our reception, our biggest concern was having rooms at the same location for guests to stay. We wanted our guests to enjoy the party and not have to worry about driving anywhere after. Purgatory Resort was the perfect choice for us, not only because it could host our numbers at the reception, it also had plenty of rooms available for our guests.

My dad set up two French doors for us to walk through. He painted them sage green to blend in with the greenery around them and I thought they were just perfect. The doors helped bring a little classic architecture to the outdoor ceremony.

Our flower girl learned how to walk on her own about a week before the wedding. We had a wagon ready to wheel her down the aisle, but last minute decided to let her walk with the help of the eldest ring bearer. About half way down the aisle, she tottered and sat down. Her helper didn’t know what to do, but a kind guest reached out his hand and helped her stand up. It took those two a while to make it down the aisle, but it was adorable to witness.

When my turn came to walk down the aisle, I jumped out of the car and was so excited that I didn’t even notice I was missing my bouquet! I just held onto my dad as we walked down the aisle together. It wasn’t until after the ceremony when my mom asked me if my bouquet had run away from home, that I realized its absence.

Casey and I wrote our vows to one another. Listening to his vows knocked me speechless, something that doesn’t happen to me very often! Public speaking isn’t something that scares me and usually comes quite naturally. But, after he said his vows to me, I was a wreck! My first line was supposed to be, “Before I fell in love with you…” but what I said was, “Before I fell on you… Oh… Whoops!” Everyone laughed and it really helped me shake out those nerves a little bit!

For Casey’s wedding surprise, his parents and I arranged to tow his childhood vehicle to Durango from Flagstaff, AZ. Casey loves this Land Crusier, and has pictures from: prom, homecoming, off-roading, and numerous other adventure shots with this truck. It was really special to have it be part of our wedding day.


Take a deep breath before jumping into planning. Talk about what is really important to each of you. We each had a couple must-haves that shaped how we planned the wedding. Once you know the things you just must-have, it is much easier to be united when making decisions.


Venue, Caterer, Lodging: Purgatory Resort
Photographer, Video & Photo Booth: Shutterfreek
Favors: Whipped Honey & Chokecherry Jelly from Honeyville




  1. Devon Welch (Roberts) on March 6, 2019 at 12:42 am

    Woah! What a great moment catcher! We are hoping to do a 2020 wedding in the Durango/Silverton area with our jeeps. This is awesome.

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