Petrika & Ward | July 12th | Ouray, Colorado
From the bride, Petrika:
Ouray is very special to us–we had our first kiss in Ouray and many shared memories from the area. We wanted our family and friends to experience this special place with us! We love the mountains and that is where we feel the most spiritual, for us it was the perfect place to join in marriage.
We wanted to make everything as local as possible, so we worked with all of our vendors to ensure that whenever possible things were sourced locally; this helped us stay “green” and gave our guests a real taste of “local” fare in Colorado. For example, Colorado Boy Brewery in Ouray provided awesome local drinks, and Mesa Park Vineyards in Palisade provided delicious local wine.
Our “First Look” was a surprise to my husband set up at the place of our first kiss before we headed to the ceremony site together—having this special moment with him before the ceremony was worth a thousand words and made it oh so intimate.
It rained during our rehearsal (thus making for the shortest rehearsal time ever!), and it rained for our ceremony. It poured right before we started, drizzled as the ceremony was conducted and poured again afterwards. Folks just pulled out their umbrellas, huddled together and made toasts!—it was wonderful.
We used several elements of nature in our ceremony; standing in a circle for the ceremony, a water ceremony and wooden rings. In the end, Mother Nature decided to give her own contribution and “blessed” us with thunderstorms!
We had our parents bring water from our home towns to “unite” with our Colorado water in our “unity” ceremony. We had our dog (and best friend)—be our ring bearer. It was so wonderful to have our pup with us!
We took a quick moment alone right after the ceremony to privately congratulate ourselves!—This is something I highly recommend! It’s so easy to get so wrapped up in all of your guests that it crucial to carve out a few moments for just you and your new spouse.
Our wedding weekend was unique because it was so small, we gathered for drinks on Thursday evening, were able to go for a hike with our guests on Friday and share a special rehearsal dinner that night. The day of the ceremony we hired a private yoga instructor to start the day off right—it was so much fun! We also had a brunch, shared some special gifts with our wedding party and I even had time for a soak in the hot springs before starting to get ready! I don’t think a lot of brides get to experience that. We really felt like we had time to spend with each of our guests, we read about so many people feeling so frazzled on their wedding day, so they missed out on spending time with folks that have traveled so far to celebrate with them. We did not want this experience, so having an entire weekend with only a few folks provided us with exactly what we were looking for—time with our closest family and friends.
My advice: Take some time when you first get engaged to just experience “being engaged”—it’s a wonderful time that should not be clouded immediately with the stresses of wedding planning. When you do start planning, sit down with your fiancé and discuss your overall vision and what is most important to you—stick to that no matter what anyone else says. Everyone seems to have opinions about how your wedding should be, but remember it is your day! My biggest recommendation is that in the end– it’s just one day— we should put more energy on the rest of your life together than our weddings. Lastly, whatever happens in the end will feel perfect—so don’t sweat the small stuff.
Petrika’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Photographer: IlluminArts Photography. Very flexible and accommodating!
Ceremony Site: National Forest Land, Ouray
Reception Site & Lodging: Weisbaden Hotel. Very relaxed atmosphere and we loved having hot springs on site!
Caterer: Pine Cone Catering. Willing to do something so small and special and use all local vendors/ingredients—amazing!
Tent & Party Rentals: Park Avenue Parties. They have everything you could need.
Honeymoon Location: Skiing in Banff, Canada!
Melissa & Steve | July 15th | Durango Mountain Resort
From the bride, Melissa:
We knew we wanted a non-traditional outdoor wedding that was both relaxed and fun. I found bright retro bridesmaid dresses that inspired our colorful color palette.
Our ceremony was very intimate. We planted a tree with dirt our parents brought from our hometowns. We said vows to our daughter, which was very special and we included a Dr. Seuss quote that fit us to a tee.
We wore Chuck Taylor shoes, something that is so ‘us’ and every time we wear them, we think about our wonderful day.
**This wedding was featured in the 2013 issue of Durango Weddings Magazine.
Véronique & Jake | August 4th | Vallecito Lake, Colorado
From the bride, Veronique:
We really wanted the whole event to be laid-back and playful, representing our relationship, and to showcase the beauty of the Colorado mountains that we had both grown up in. Our goal was to be environmentally-friendly. We vintage picnic blankets and baskets, vintage glass bottles, built the bar and all of the event signs out of old wooden pallets, and purchased recycled napkins and compostable cups.
We were so very lucky to have a family friend that allowed use to their ranch in Vallecito Lake.
I wore a very nontraditional green dress from Anthropologie. As Jake and I were getting dressed in the woods, one of the horses came up to us and stood there as we changed. It was hilarious and very unexpected.
We held our ceremony in a little field surrounded by large pines, a pond and a meandering creek. We collected picnic blankets from the thrift stores in town and spread them out in the field. Each group got a basket filled with baguettes, grapes, cheese and crackers.
Jake and I said our vows to each other with the granite peaks in the background. We all enjoyed a quick picnic with some wine and then the rain shower began. I had bought some beautiful paper umbrellas to serve as sun protection, which turned out to be extremely useful for the rain. The rain was beautiful and added to the fun of the day.
We had a large, open tent surrounded by lawn games (corn hole, lawn darts, croquet, extreme croquet, and ladder ball). My best friend is extremely artistic so she painted all of the signs and handmade all of the game directions. The guests absolutely loved having the games and we found them to be a perfect activity to help everyone become acquainted.
We collected vintage glass bottles and used them as centerpieces.
My dad made the bar with old wooden pallets. We served homemade pies rather than a cake.
Instead of handing out wedding favors, we donated money in the names of all of our guests to the National Resource Defense Council and to Ellicott Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Colorado Springs to help the animals injured during the terrible wildfires over the summer. We thought something like that would be more meaningful to everyone there.
Jake is a fighter pilot for the Air Force so we wanted to do a little something to honor him. His sister and mom folded 50+ paper airplanes of an assorted variety of colors and patterns. We then hung them inside of the tent. They were amazing. Later in the afternoon, a big group of us pulled them down and flew them.
My advice: Enjoy the wedding planning process and, most importantly, try to stay relaxed about it all the day of the wedding. Some of the things you aren’t planning for, like rain, turn out to be the most wonderful addition. You just have to stay flexible and remember, it is supposed to be a fun and wonderful day.
Tent & Party Rentals: Durango Party Rental. They were great and very easy to work with.
Photographer: Chowen Photography. Heidi and Daniel are amazing photographers! They documented the day in a perfect way that reflected the playfulness and beauty of the day. They were so easy and fun to work with. We couldn’t have asked for better photographers.
Honeymoon Location: We are planning to take one later this summer in New Zealand. We want to do an adventure trip where we hike, canoe, or something along those lines.
Kate & Tim | August 17th | Ouray, Colorado
From the bride, Kate
The weather was perfect for our morning ceremony at the beautiful St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ouray. It was an exciting and wonderful day. All our family and friends loved traveling to the mountains for our wedding.
I was named after my great grandma Virginia and I used her old leather bible as my ring bearer pillow.
On the back of my husband’s tie, I had embroidered the words, I Love You.
I had a strawberry pink champagne wedding cake on top of an emerald glass cake stand. My mother in law bought the cake stand for me at my bridal shower. The cake was delicious and the pink and green was so pretty together.
Lauren & Chad | October 1st | Strater Hotel, Durango
From the bride, Lauren:
Our wedding day was perfect! The weather was brisk, but it turned out to be a gorgeous fall day. We both loved being surrounded by all our friends and family. Our reception at the Strater Hotel was the best party I’ve been to! All our guests were up on the dance floor the entire night – great fun!! The Strater Hotel was an excellent location for our reception they eased our stress and worked so hard to make everything work smoothly, making the evening more fun than we could have imagined.
Photography by Christina Kiffney Photography
Photography by IlluminArts Photography
From the bride, Kohli:
I chose Telluride for my wedding long before I chose my husband. I love Telluride and consider it my second home. Fortunately, my husband loves it too!
We had our bouquets wrapped with antique embroidered handkerchiefs and we all wore Hunter (mud) boots in different colors. We also created a wreath design with an “F” emblem that we used at the ceremony site and on the cake. I collected dozens of old aqua mason jars that we placed on the tables and filled with either fresh flowers or candles. We had a three layer carrot cake covered in white fondant, sage green piping and our emblem. Our favors were sugar cookies, a journal and pen tied with green satin ribbon.
-Our welcome baskets for guests were tea towel satchels that I constructed and filled with bottled water, trail mix, cookies, chewing gum, eye drops and the weekend itineraries.
-I always wanted a pair of custom designed cowboy boots so I had some made to wear with my wedding dress.
-We tried to buy things that we would use again (cowboy boots, jewelry, mud boots, etc.) with the added benefit of remembering our day every time we wore those items.
-Saturday morning, my dad led a hike to Bear Creek with all the guests.
-We had a welcome reception for all our guests Friday and Saturday night along with a farewell brunch on Sunday morning.
Photographer: IlluminArts Photography // Music: Antone’s DJ // Event Planner: Soiree Telluride