Ashley & Shaun | September 24th
From the bride: The day was incredibly personal because we were able to get married in our backyard! Originally, we had booked a venue closer to Purgatory and then two months before the wedding we closed on our first house in La Plata Canyon. Once we moved in we realized our own backyard was the perfect wedding venue so one month out before our wedding we canceled our other plans, frantically called guests, reserved a tent and moved the venue to our backyard.
Our style was laid back, farmhouse, handmade, rustic and bohemian with a dark purple, green, and cream color palette.
Our ceremony location was right in our yard with the La Plata mountains as the backdrop. The day before the wedding a freak September snowstorm blanketed everything in 3 inches of snow which thankfully melted in the hours leading up to the ceremony. For days the weather had been grey and snowy and then an hour before the ceremony the clouds parted and the sun appeared. It was a very special moment during our vows when the sun finally broke through and everyone erupted in applause that the weather finally cooperated.
My most memorable moment was walking down the aisle and seeing Shaun for the first time. Looking out at the mountains and seeing all our friends and family gathered in our new backyard was so magical. Knowing this was our new home and where we were going to build our life and family was so special. Given we had only been living there for 2 months it immediately gave us a very special connection to our new home.
My brother acted as our officiant, which was very special to us and gave the whole ceremony a very relaxed and personal feel.
We laughed our way through our vows. We were cracking jokes and getting everyone to laugh throughout the whole ceremony.
Our seating chart was made from a window from our family barn in Massachusetts, which was flown all the way out to Durango to bring in a piece of New England.
We held the reception just a few feet away from the ceremony site under a big 40×40 tent provided by Durango Party Rental. We opted for renting long farmhouse tables with benches and decorated with simple burlap runners and wildflowers in mason jars. All aspects of our reception were simple and handmade. We inherited the old bar from the Cyprus Café and served local Ska beer.
Our tables were named after a peak in the La Plata Mountains.
We had a Pie Bar and I baked the cake we cut which was a recipe from my grandmother.
Our wedding got rowdy! The dance floor was always occupied and the music didn’t stop until late in the early morning hours. Given it was our own house we had no one kicking us out!
The snowstorm the night before our wedding during our rehearsal dinner sent me into a panic. We had to scramble and drape a tarp over the opening of the tent because we had snow blowing in sideways. Luckily, all our rehearsal guests pitched in and we moved in heaters in order to host the dinner. It was one of those moments that we just had to laugh at because there was nothing we could do and I still look back and chuckle realizing how worked up I got over it.
Accept the help of everyone who wants to make the day special for you and spend the money on a wedding planner. Even if you hire a planner just to coordinate the day-of logistics, it’s so nice to have someone else handling the details so you can relax on your wedding day.
THE WEDDING TEAM
Caterer: Durangourmet. Working with Jimmy was awesome. His commitment to sourcing locally was such a big part of why we chose to work with him and he came up with a great Southwest themed menu. Many of our guests came from the east coast so being able to show them the flavor of the area was very important to us. The food was incredibly fresh and everyone raved about it.
Tent & Farmhouse Tables: Durango Party Rental surpassed our expectations with fantastic customer service and a great eye for detail. Working with Jill was a great experience and she really took the time to understand the kind of laid-back event we really wanted. They respected our budget and helped us think of creative ways to make our rentals work for what we needed. When the weather took a turn we were so glad we were able to add a tent heater to our reservation a few days before the wedding. Also, the setup and breakdown crew did an awesome job of moving things in and out with minimal disturbances. After they took the tent down, you would have never known we had hosted a wedding in our yard.