From the bride, Shannon:
We live in New Orleans but all of our family/friends are back in Wisconsin & Minnesota so we decided a smaller destination wedding was our best option. We love the mountains and knew we wanted a snowy winter wedding. We love to ski/snowboard but wanted a location that had a variety of activities for our friends/family that don’t ski.
My favorite memory was walking down the aisle to Donny.
We had garland and candles over the mantel in the foyer.
For our wedding favors, my sister and I hand dipped pinecones in wax to create pinecone fire starters.
Instead of having a guestbook, we had our friends/family sign some vintage snow skis.
My favorite decorations were the gold picture frames with love quotes on each table because Donny and I picked the quotes out together.
Looking back, I was a nervous wreck leading up to it the wedding and I wish I would have just relaxed cause everything turned out great and we had the most amazing wedding day, but nothing compares to being married to your soulmate.
RECOMMENDED VENDORS: Photographer: Danna Frost Photography // Floral Designer: Petal and Bean // Venue, Caterer & Lodging: The Lodge at Breckenridge // Wedding Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero // Men’s Wear: JCPenny’s // Hair & Makeup: Mink Salon // Invitations: Minted.com // Love quote prints: SongbirdPaperie
From the bride, Jaimie: We wanted to really show who we are as a couple with the style of our wedding. CJ grew up on a Simmental cattle ranch in Wellington, CO and has grown up surrounded in the western lifestyle. My grandpa was a melon farmer in Swink. He grew the best cantaloupe and watermelon that I have ever tasted. I grew up as a country kid and even wore my red cowgirl boots with my Little Mermaid dress to Disneyland when I was 5 years old. Our roots never left us, and we wanted it to have the touches of western style.
The ceremony was quick, simple and to the point…10 minutes long. We chose songs that meant a lot to us and described how we felt about one another to walk down the aisle to. My favorite part of the ceremony, by far, was our vows. They were so heartfelt and personal and it just makes my heart sing to remember that moment and that feeling. What a way to start a marriage! Hearing CJ tell me, in front of our family and friends, how he felt about me and us and our life together was something that I will never forget.
Looking back, it truly was the best day of our lives. We laughed, we cried, we danced. God lead us to one another, and it was truly meant to be. We had the best start to our marriage, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for our future. I would not change one thing about our wedding day.
ADVICE: Stay in line with what YOU want, no one else. Everyone will have opinions about your wedding and what you should or shouldn’t do. Don’t listen. I had 11 bridesmaids. ELEVEN. CJ had 4 groomsmen. FOUR. Who cares? It was our wedding and we did what we wanted. We didn’t light a unity candle. So what? You’re supposed to do a garter toss and bouquet toss and cake cutting ceremony. We didn’t. Do things your way to make your day perfect for YOU. No one else.
From the bride, Liz: We have always enjoyed the outdoor spaces that we get to explore here in Colorado. So, when it came time to pick a spot for our ceremony, it was fitting to pick a mountain setting with a backdrop of the continental divide! Our location was about 30 minutes, west of our home in Denver, in the foothills, at Genesee Park. The edge of the park provided the perfect setting for our small group and had all the features we had hoped to find when we first started looking. The majority of our guests were from out-of-state.
Josh drove his 1966 GMC truck and I hand painted the Just Married banner. It was really special to use my grandmother’s jewelry instead of purchasing something new.
The weather was spot on, the guests were happy, a deer crossed my path as I walked toward Josh. My husband-to-be fumbled the line in the vows about listening, and no joke, an eagle screeched as the officiant read the ceremony! My favorite part was getting to hold each others hand and look each other in the eye while we recited vows.
Our unity painting was also a lot of fun.
THE FIRST DANCE
Before we entered the reception, the neighborhood ice cream shop began playing music and we had a spontaneous first dance in front 50+ strangers.
Our cake was left in the walk-in cooler a little too long, so Josh and I had to cut through a very cold cake with a very warm knife which ended up being very entertaining for us.
From the bride, Bonnie: Our wedding was simple, rustic and classic. Since we had a lot of family coming in from out-of-town we wanted to show them the rustic charm of Colorado. The beautiful barn and the surrounding botanic gardens at Chatfield Botanic Gardens was our inspiration.
THE COLOR PALETTE
Yellow (I love sunflowers!), navy, and grey.
We held our ceremony at the open air chapel (a cute gazebo). The ceremony was really simple and quick, we had a family friend as our officiant. Ben and I aren’t particularly religious, but we love Harry Potter so we had our officiant hold a Harry Potter book!
Simple and rustic. We put together sunflowers and small daisies in mason jars for the centerpieces, and our moms made wine bottles with fairy lights. That was about it!
This is really hard to take and everyone says it but just step back every so often and remember that it’s a party you are throwing to celebrate your new life together. It should be fun! It shouldn’t be stressful. Also, spend money on a great photographer. That is what you will look back on for the rest of your lives, no one will remember the food but you will always look at the pictures!
RECOMMENDED WEDDING VENDORS
Venue: Chatfield Botanic Gardens. The staff was so helpful and we didn’t have to worry about anything the day of. Plus, it’s so gorgeous and pretty reasonable priced as compared to other outdoor venues we looked at.
Stephanie & Jared | June 13th
From the bride: Three words…..One. Long. Engagement. We were engaged for almost two years prior to the wedding day. Jared was in school until the December prior to the wedding. So, with that kind of stress we thought it was best for us to hold some of the wedding planning until he was finished. That left us six months to actually accomplish most of the work.
We wanted our wedding to match our lifestyle….we love the outdoors and boating. So we went with a bit of outdoor rustic theme with nautical elements.
All in all, the wedding planning ended up being mostly a team effort. We had some rocky roads in the planning, but we managed to not kill each other! It was not always a fun process, so we hated and enjoyed it all at the same time. We just had to remember to celebrate the big decision maker days and try to enjoy as much as possible. I feel like we accomplished that task… End of day…we are married! And we are happy!
Stephanie’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Photographer: Ali & Garrett Wedding Photographers // Floral Designer: Bella Lu Floral // DJ: Mannequin DJ // Cake Designer: Mulberries Cakes // Venue: Sevens Restaurant
Eve and Don met in Afghanistan, got engaged in Ireland, and tied the knot at one of our favorite Colorado venues, Devil’s Thumb Ranch. JA Special Events planned this heart-felt celebration that was perfectly captured by Brinton Studios. The bride wore a custom-made dress by Deedee Vicory at The Wedding Seamstress while the groom chose a custom-made suit by Luke Faricy at Rutledge’s. Add in gorgeous florals by Statice Floral, a pretty cake by Devil’s Thumb Ranch with a color palette of navy, light blue, copper, and cream and you can see why we could not resist featuring this unique wedding in the magazine!
Advice from the couple: Include the things which you love and make you happy; let your choices be a reflection of the two of you. Most importantly, have fun planning your wedding TOGETHER. We strongly recommend hiring a wedding planner!
Read the entire wedding day story HERE!