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.