From the bride: We were married in a meadow with the mountains as our backdrop. We adorned the ceremony structure with clusters of sunflowers and a crystal chandelier. During the ceremony, one lonely cloud showed up and dumped on us so umbrellas were hastily handed out as we exchanged vows under the raindrops. Fortunately, as a bride, I was so happy to be getting married that I giggled instead of cried.
Read the entire wedding day story HERE!
Rockstar Venue, Caterer, Cake, Lodging: Devil’s Thumb Ranch
Photographer: Frances Photography // Event Planner: JA Special Events // Event Design & Linens: JA Special Events and DesignWorks // Floral Designer: DesignWorks
Allison & Matt | October 9th | Devil’s Thumb Ranch
From the bride:
Our wedding was planned to be a weekend getaway for our families and friends. We wanted to select a wedding location that had a “destination wedding” feel, but also felt close to home and familiar to us. We selected Devil’s Thumb Ranch as it had everything we wanted in a wedding location and more! From the beautiful views of the mountains, to the home-like feel of the ranch, it was the perfect setting for our rustic, nature inspired wedding. With both of us growing up in Colorado, we share a love of hiking, camping, and just spending time in the great outdoors. This location made us feel like we were in our element. We were celebrating a common love that we have for Colorado, nature and each other, with our family and friends.
I would say seeing each other for the first time was our favorite memory. It was a big decision that we made not having a first look, as it cut our couple picture time into only 40 minutes after the ceremony. However, it was one of the best decisions that we made. The anticipation leading up to the ceremony was intense and made the processional so very emotional. Also, saying our own vows to each other was very special. It was nice to tell each other how we feel for one another and what we hope for the future. Both of our vows brought up similar themes, such as being each other’s best friend, the adventures we hope to have together in the future, and the willingness we both have to learn from one another.
We chose a blush and navy color palette with subtle oranges as an accent.
The ceremony took place outdoors, with the views of the beautiful mountains, blue skies, and changing oranges of the aspens, as our backdrop.
The ceremony was our favorite part of the wedding and something we will always remember. We put a lot of time and effort planning and writing the ceremony. We also wrote our own vows, which was something we didn’t decide to do until two weeks before the wedding. We are so happy that we did this, as it made the ceremony very personal and special. We also had Matt’s grandfather marry us, which was wonderful. Seeing him get emotional during our vows showed us that it was not only special for us, but for him as well.
One of the many things that Matt has taught me is how to rock climb. We decided to incorporate this into our ceremony, with a knot tying ceremony. It was also special because Matt’s grandfather had also taught Matt how to tie a number of knots for boating, during the summers Matt spent wit him in Indiana. We practiced the knot tying before the ceremony and even up to the day of our wedding, I was nervous, I would mess it all up. Luckily, when we pulled the knot, we created a perfect knot, to symbolize our new life together. We have the rope on our mantle, to remember that moment every day.
Our guest book was a record set, which was created by one of our good friends. The records came with a beautiful wooden record case, which held the records one they were signed.
Our reception took place in the High Lonesome Barn, which was located right next to our ceremony location. The barn was reconstructed from a War-era Ohio barn and was a beautiful place to celebrate our wedding. The barn had beautiful East facing views of the Continental Divide. We wanted to bring the outdoors inside, so our centerpieces included foraged aspen branches, and flowers in the beautiful fall colors of Colorado. My favorite detail was the large twine balls and the hanging lights. They were a pain to put up, and took up most of the morning for the groomsmen to set up, but really brought the whole room together.
Our family also helped create the centerpieces, which were framed pictures of native Colorado trees. Being a biology teacher, I included the scientific Latin name, below each of the trees, to add a little more personalization.
Our favors included a small jar of honey with a honey dipper, a set of beeswax candles, and homemade trail mix for the children. Our family worked hard to put all the favors together, and create labels to incorporate them into our nature theme.
The one thing we splurged on was having a live band at our wedding, and this couldn’t have been a better decision. Music is very important to us, and seeing live shows is something that we have shared together throughout our relationship. We got engaged at Life is Beautiful Music and Arts Festival, and celebrated our engagement enjoying wonderful shows, seeing beautiful art, and eating delicious food. Because this was such a special moment in our lives, we wanted to bring back some of those memories at our wedding. We were also able to get more diversity with a live band. During cocktail hour some of the band members played jazz music, as guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and the beautiful mountain views. Then, during our reception, they played a mix of covers that we love and had all our guests out on the dance floor. Seeing a packed dance floor, and everyone having a great time, made this decision worth the extra money.
Matt and I decided to have choreographed first dance. We took dance lessons, but after a few classes, were not even close to finishing the choreography, and our wedding was only one week away. The week before our wedding, we cleared out our garage and practiced our dance every night. After many hours of practice, and a few beers, we finally were ready. Our first dance was so much fun and such a surprise for our guests (especially with me being not the most coordinated person). Everyone loved the dance, especially Matt’s grandfather, who was on his feet once we finished our last dip. It was something we will remember always.
Looking back, I would have not stressed so much during the last couple of weeks before our wedding. I was doing silly things, like checking the weather report constantly, and having nightmares about falling over during our first dance. All of these things you have no control over and it is not worth the worry. In the end, it was a beautiful day, and there were no clumsy moments that led to falling over. There was no need for all the worry.
My advice: When planning your wedding, you will find that many times you try to make the wedding about making family and friends happy. While this is important, remember, the wedding is about mostly about you and the love you have for one another. We made sure to remember this when writing our own ceremony and vows. Have a special moment that is just about you and your partner and take a quiet moment with just the two of you to take it all in. Like every bride says, it goes by so fast, so don’t stress and enjoy the day.
Allison & Matt’s Recommended Vendors
We would recommend Devil’s Thumb Ranch. It was a dream location for our wedding and everything went very well with the help of their wonderful team.
We would also highly recommend Plum Sage Flowers. Their vision, dedication, and kindness made them a joy to work with. The flowers and rentals that they provided were better than I could have imagined. They worked hard to help us make our vision come to life. Could not recommend more.
Tyler Freear was our photographer and was perfect for our wedding. We made sure to get all the pictures that we wanted, stayed calm and professional throughout our wedding, and provided us with beautiful pictures in a very timely manner.
Our band, Diamond Empire Band was amazing and even did on encore song after their paid time was up. They kept every one dancing and were very professional and impressive musicians.
Hillary & Tyler | July 18th | Gunnison, Colorado
Hillary and Tyler met while they were both going to school in Gunnison, Colorado. They moved to Utah to live, but traveled back to Gunnison for their wedding because it was such a special place to them. Their wedding day was an intimate celebration filled with handcrafted country decor.
Hillary’s bouquet was made of wood chips.
A photo booth with cream, blush and navy ribbons was set up against a log cabin.
Joey & Kelsey | September 20th | Meeker, Colorado
From the groom: We were married on my brother-in-law’s ranch set in the picturesque countryside outside Meeker. I’ve always been in love with the land, and when I first met Kelsey I flew her for her first visit to Colorado for a snowy New Years in a cabin. The site we were married at was the exact field we snowmobiled in 5 years before, when I’d only known Kelsey a few months.
Letting nature take care of the decorations and beauty was key for us. The setting was gorgeous, and we wanted to let it do most of the work.
We are still shocked at how amazing the flowers turned out- we had nearly a zero flower budget and our phenomenal bridesmaids worked tirelessly to create beautiful bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces.
Kelsey always knew she wanted bridesmaids dresses to be a deep red wine, and the remaining colors of golds, yellows and purples came as a result of the wildflowers and natural setting around us. We always knew we wanted a Fall wedding, so the turning color of the trees added to it all.
Our vows were extremely personal and touched on our extensive travels around the world together. The sermon was written and delivered by my father. My brother built the amazing arch.
Neither of us made it more than 3 words into our vows with dry eyes, and we both started the waterworks early when we first saw each other from across the field.
Our most memorable moment was dancing the night away in such a surreal environment: the fields were glowing, the stars were unreal above us, and the wine kept flowing!
My advice: If you don’t have a wedding planner like us, delegate tasks and don’t try to do it all on your own. People consistently asked what they could do or how they could help, and we too often didn’t want to burden them and took the responsibility on ourselves… there’s just too much to do and the when the time comes the last thing you’ll be thinking about is all the little details- so let others help!
Joey’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Honeymoon Location: Nicaragua– best choice ever!
Sage & Ira | March 18th | Devil’s Thumb Ranch
From the bride:
Ira and I love Colorado and we very much enjoy the mountains! We are both Colorado natives, I grew up outside of Durango and Ira grew up in Colorado Springs. We both love the snow and all the magic that comes along with Colorado winters. We wanted to have a wedding that was not only beautiful, but memorable and magical.
Every detail was arranged with such care and perfection, which is exactly who I am.
We had the ceremony outside. It had snowed for 4 days prior to our wedding, so the snow was fresh and plentiful.
As our guests arrived, they were greeted with hot cider and hand + toe warmers. I am a horse fanatic, and it has always been a dream of mine to ride in on a horse. A black horse, of course, with my beautiful white dress draped over his back. When I met with Devil’s Thumb Ranch and expressed this dream, there was no hesitation! My dream came true, I rode Bo, a gigantic black Percheron. He was amazing!!! I arrived at Devil’s Thumb Ranch days ahead of time, to make sure I had plenty of time to ride and get to know him before the big day. The last thing I wanted was to be a run-a-way bride!
The two older flower girls pulled a sled with our baby flower girl and ring bearer.
The crowd gasped as I came around the corner on Bo. It was very emotional.
The ceremony was short and sweet and full of love.
A 2 horse sleigh came and picked Ira and I up after the ceremony. We headed out to celebrate the first few minutes of married life. Our guests enjoyed a live blue grass band, hand crafted cocktails, appetizers and sleigh rides!!
We had a surprise first dance that started out with a sweet love song, then broke into a super fun hip hop dance session then back to a sweet love song. People were super impressed because Ira is not fond of dancing, but he was a really good sport.
Our wedding day was a dream come true and executed perfectly! I would say, let’s do it again, but it was perfect!!
Sage & Ira’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS