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.
Aliesha and John love visiting Colorado so much that they decided to get married in Colorado. They planned a small, intimate wedding that also served as a mini-vacation for their guests. The ceremony took place at 10,700 feet overlooking the Continental Divide followed by a mountaintop reception at the The Lodge at Sunspot. Bella Calla designed all the pretty florals and decor while Dylan Burr perfectly photographed the celebration.
From the bride, Christie:
We wanted to give our families and friends traveling from New York (where Andrew is from) and Boston a true Colorado experience. We were looking for a location that gave everyone a mountain feel without having to travel to far into the mountains to get to it.
The military and collectables from my family (old camera’s, books, etc.) with a color palette of black, champagne, gold, ivory and burgundy.
We got married at St. Mary’s Cathedral and my childhood priest performed the ceremony. Andrew’s grandmother sang “Ave Maria”, which was such a beautiful moment.
We had Marines perform a sword ceremony after the ceremony at St. Mary’s and a bagpipe player who performed the Marine Corps hymn.
THE GUEST BOOK
We had wine bottles for different years and asked our guests to write to us. Before the wedding, my Aunt sent all of our living grandparents papers to write for each year. This means on our 25th and 50th wedding anniversary we will be able to read advice and loving words from grandparents who have long passed.
Andrew’s mother handmade her famous jam.
HONORING MILITARY SERVICE
All four of our grandfathers were in the military so, we had a table honoring them and our family members who were not able to be with us that day.
THE TABLE NAMES
Each table was a different Marine Corps Base and our sign for the place cards said “Where are you stationed?”.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
My husband pulling me aside, holding up an invisible camera in front of me and telling me to take it all in for a moment. We watched our friends dance, people eat, smiles, laughs and got to cherish that moment together.
Enjoy every moment. The men are more involved when they make decisions and the day-of is so special.
From the bride, Morgan: Our ceremony took place against the gorgeous backdrop of downtown Denver seen through the foothills and surrounded by the faces of our biggest fans and those we love most deeply. We wrote our own ceremony and vows, which definitely set the stage of this day as our very own.
The aisle was lined with mint DIY distressed mason jars and beautiful fresh flowers.
I made all of the centerpieces which included gathering photographs of my husband and me at the age of each table, collecting unique and eclectic picture frames, and painting and distressing mason jars. We also had a variety of herbs placed around tea lights at each table, which I loved as a fresh, feel good touch from nature since we are both very outdoorsy.
My advice: Smile, you found your forever person! Don’t get bogged down in the details of planning. Take wedding planning as another reason to have fun interacting with your significant other rather than a point of stress.
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.
From the photographer, Chris McLaughlin: It rained and rained and then finally let up moments before the ceremony started. The bride, Mandy, had her heart set on an outside ceremony so we rushed a few chairs outside, had the guests gather around, and pulled off a last minute miracle!