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Colorado Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

A Mountain Chic, Summer Wedding in Beaver Creek, Colorado

 Colorado, Real Weddings  Comments Off on A Mountain Chic, Summer Wedding in Beaver Creek, Colorado
Oct 122016

One of the perks of living in Denver, Colorado, is the easy access to the mountains. Just ask Kyndal Hayes and Daniel Close, who spend almost every weekend at Beaver Creek, whether it's biking in the summer or skiing in the winter. "It's a special place where we've created a lot of memories," says Kyndal. So it's no surprise that, after getting engaged in May of 2014 on a boat off the coast of Florida, the pair chose Beaver Creek as the perfect destination for their August 1, 2015, wedding. "Neither of us grew up in Denver, so having the wedding somewhere we love was a great compromise," the bride says.

They combined Kyndal's Atlanta roots with their mountaintop venue for a party that blended southern comfort with mountain chic vibes. "Think: Guests in black tie, pops of pink, and antler, crystal, and wooden accents," says Kyndal. They chose Beano's Cabin, a luxe log cabin nestled in one of Beaver Creek's bowls, as the venue, bringing 205 guests to the rustic property on a gorgeous summer afternoon. While the couple only lives two hours from Beaver Creek, the brides' family resides in Florida, so they new a wedding planner would be key to getting the details in order. Enter Bella Design & Planning, who brought Kyndal's ideas to life. The details, photographed by Studio JK Photography, will make you want to book a trip to the Rockies!

As her something blue, Kyndal wore made-to-order suede Manolo Blahnik pumps. "I found my wedding dress on my birthday while shopping in my hometown of Atlanta with my mom," says the bride of finding her Monique Lhuillier gown. "We looked at each other when I put it on, and I totally got chills!"

Her four bridesmaids wore one-shoulder gowns in petal pink, a flattering choice that was perfect for the formal summer celebration. Each woman carried a bouquet of white and hot pink roses and hydrangeas, while Kyndal's bouquet mixed blush and white garden roses with ranunculus and hydrangeas.

In keeping with the black tie dress code, Daniel wore a custom tuxedo, which was lined with pink and embroidered with the couple's wedding date.

The ceremony, which took place at The Chapel at Beaver Creek, was decorated with candles and pink roses in rustic wooden lanterns, as well as tall vases with birch branches. "Choosing the date was the easiest part of planning," Kyndal reveals. "We called the Chapel, and they only had two dates available in 2015, so we picked one!" Two singers from Elan Artists' The Social sang "The Prayer" before Kyndal's father walked her down the aisle to Canon in D.

After they said "I do," Daniel, Kyndal, and their wedding party headed up onto Beaver Creek Mountain for portraits amongst the towering trees.

Inside Beano's Cabin, long tables were set beneath antler chandeliers, while light streamed in from the floor-to-ceiling windows that offered breathtaking mountain views. Centerpieces combined arrangements of garden roses, ranunculus, and hydrangeas in shades of blush and white with votive candles in tall glass holders. Antlers were draped with magnolia leaves and fresh ferns, and the chandeliers were accented with garlands and hydrangeas.

Guests found their table assignments on a white-framed poster, then took a seat for a meal of grilled Skuna Bay salmon with brown butter, chicken breast with polenta and Swiss chard, and beef tenderloin with smoked potato gratin and lobster jus.

"When we first got to Beano's, we were able to sneak into the venue and take in all the details we'd spent so much time perfecting before our guests came inside. It was a spectacular moment to enjoy all the little details we'd worked on before everyone entered!" says Kyndal.

Beneath a clear tent set up next to Beano's Cabin, two lounge areas flanked the dance floor. White couches were paired with cowhide ottomans, mirror-topped coffee tables, and antler chandeliers draped in crystals.

The dance floor was decked out with Kyndal and Daniel's monogram, which was designed by the bride's aunt. Says Kyndal, "It was on the dance floor, cocktail napkins, and the ChapStick and water bottles in the welcome bags. Now we use the monogram on items in our home." She and Daniel shared their first dance to "Everything" by Michael Bublé.

When The Social began to play "I Loved Her First" by Heartland, Kyndal and her father surprised guests with a choreographed waltz they'd been rehearsing together.

The pair's monogram also made an appearance on the five-tiered wedding cake, which featured alternating layers of smooth and textured buttercream over vanilla cake with vanilla frosting — all accented with fresh garden roses and hydrangeas, of course!

With such a great band on stage, you can be sure the couple had a raging dance party! When it was all over, Kyndal and Daniel escaped the mountains for a honeymoon in Maui and Kauai.

Says the bride, "Once you make a decision about your wedding, go with it and don't look at other options. You'll always see a new idea, but it's best to go with your gut instead of going crazy over the maybe, should-have, could-haves."

Ceremony Venue: The Chapel at Beaver Creek || Reception Venue & Catering: Beano's Cabin || Wedding Planner: Bella Design & Planning || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier, purchased at Joan Pillow Bridal Salon || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Hair & Makeup: Divine Beauty Artists || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Becker's Jewelers || Floral Design: Bloom Flower Shop || Invitations & Paper Goods: Richard's Notebook || Music: The Social, Élan Artists || Cake: Sugar || Rentals: Pink Monkey Solutions; Alpine Party Rentals || Photographer: Studio JK Photography

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Planning your own rustic-chic celebration? Then check out another couple's gorgeous wedding in the video below.

Aug 282016
Best Bridal Salons of the Western US

Photo: LOHO Bride; Josh Gruetzmacher

Finding the right wedding dress may be trial-and-error, but finding a bridal salon shouldn't be. Our editors polled more than 1,500 brides to discover the places with the prettiest dresses (from the designers like Carolina Herrera, Mira Zwillinger, and Houghton, just to name a few!), nicest consultants, and chicest spaces from coast to coast. Every single shop on this list is a true standout in style, service, and atmosphere whether it's the white dress mecca in your state or a gem in the middle of nowhere (we didn't judge!). Get ready for our curated, tested, and fully endorsed list of The Best Bridal Salons in America. Here, our editors narrow down the best bridal salons in the Western United States. Happy shopping!

Bateau Bridal Boutique, Anchorage, Alaska
With both hot designers and fab consignment finds, this salon is a true standout. But it's really the owner, Tara, our reviewers are obsessed with: "She got on the floor at nine months pregnant to fluff my dress!" says one.

Lillian Lottie Bridal Couture, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Every reviewer was referred by a friend — and has since spread the word herself. And with a huge stock of gowns under $1,500 and consultants who "have your back," that's no surprise. "My rep even called after the wedding to see how everything went," says one customer.

Erin Cole Couture Bridal, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Sure, SoCal brides could buy directly from a designer salon in Beverly Hills, but the ladies we talked to came here instead because of the awesome alterations team. "I'm a size 16, and they made me feel like Vera Wang designed my dress just for me," says one.

The White Flower Bridal Boutique, San Diego
Brides count shopping here, with its super-fun vibe (think paper umbrellas on the ceiling and Selena Gomez on the speakers) and "a team that really cares," as a highlight of planning. In fact, one says, "I wanted to invite the staff to my wedding!"

Jin Wang, San Francisco
Designer Jin Wang's thing is a modern-meets-classic aesthetic, and her penthouse oozes that with cases of statement jewels, floor-to-ceiling windows, and gowns from the likes of Angel Sanchez.

LOHO Bride, San Francisco
Owner Christy Baird's specialty: a bride who wants to rock something cool and unique on her wedding day. (It's very Solange.) In San Fran and now L.A., her customers snatch up looks from Rime Arodaky and Houghton. Says one, "Forget the whole princess thing; this place makes you feel like a woman."

Anna Bé, Denver
This Front Range favorite is a go-to for chic Colorado brides, thanks to its "nearly endless selection" of the designers you love (Berta, Anna Maier) and up-and-coming ones you need on your radar stat (Sareh Nouri, Tara LaTour).

Little White Dress Bridal Shop, Denver
You'll be finding more than a LWD at this downtown salon, which is basically the coolest dress shop ever. Why? It's located in a restored church that's spacious and awesome, and it's the only place in the state selling J. Mendel and Naeem Khan.

Velvet Bride, Missoula, Mont.
Some Montana brides trekked 400 miles on mountain roads to shop the gorge gowns (from Leanne Marshall, Willowby, and more), vintage jewels, and uber-feminine lingerie.

Swoon... A Bridal Salon, Reno, Nev.
Go-big-or-go-home types will get lightheaded over pristine samples from ball-gown favorites Hayley Paige and Lazaro. And the owner knows wedding dresses; she literally wrote her graduate thesis on them.

Ania Collection, Portland, Oreg.
Grab your gals and head here to choose between Theia and Watters for yourself and a rainbow of gowns for your 'maids. Take it from this client: "There's a bridesmaids' dress for every price point, every size, and every style."

The Dress Theory, Seattle
Calling all cool girls! This airy boutique features a unique collection (Truvelle, Claire Pettibone) that's hand picked and carefully edited.

Alta Moda Bridal, Salt Lake City
Indecisive? Don't fret if you're torn between that Katie May and a Yolan Cris because the salesladies here are, in a word, patient. "I must've tried on my final two dresses 100 times each, and they didn't pressure me once," says a bride.

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See More: 50 Things to Know About Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress

This Colorado Couple’s Riverside Wedding Was Soft, Natural, and Totally Elegant

 Colorado, Real Weddings  Comments Off on This Colorado Couple’s Riverside Wedding Was Soft, Natural, and Totally Elegant
Aug 252016
An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Bride and Groom Portrait Outside

Photo: Kerinsa

It was a mutual love of college football that first brought Colleen and Paul together in October of 2012. "I was living in an old Victorian house in Colorado Springs that was converted into apartments, and my neighbor was a friend of Paul's," Colleen remembers. Almost two years later, on a random Tuesday (says Colleen, "We know it was random because I got engaged with a raincoat tied around my waist!"), the couple took a hike just west of Denver. "It was drizzling when we started, but by the time we got to the top, the sun was peeking out. I stopped to take a picture of the rainbow, and when I turned around, Paul was on one knee asking me to marry him!" Colleen says.

Though they're not Colorado natives, it's where Paul and Colleen met and fell in love, so they knew it was where they wanted to get married. They headed north of Boulder to Lyons and found the gorgeous Lyons Farmette & River Bend, nestled between a river and towering cliffs. "We wanted something elegant and natural, so we kept the color scheme very neutral and planned a romantic dinner in the middle of this rugged canyon," says the bride. With lush florals, gold accents, and beautiful Colorado sunshine, you'll fall in love with this October 10, 2015, wedding, photographed by Kerinsa and planned by We Tie The Knots.

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Classic White Invitation with Modern Calligraphy

Photo: Kerinsa

Modern calligraphy and classic white paper came together in this sleek, sophisticated invitation.

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Sparkly Jimmy Choo Wedding Shoes An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Sparkly Clutch An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Bride's Rings

Photo: Kerinsa

Colleen is tall ("I'm actually a little taller than Paul!" she says), so she chose sparkly flats over heels. She paired the glam shoes with a silver clutch that her sisters and sister-in-law also carried on their wedding days — and a stunning ring, of course!

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Bride in Lace Monique Lhuillier Wedding Dress An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Lush Romantic Blush Bouquet

Photo: Kerinsa

Colleen captured the relaxed, romantic vibe perfectly with her Monique Lhuillier wedding dress. "It was the first gown I spotted, but I didn't immediately try it on," she says. "I loved the fitted sheath silhouette, the feminine lace, and the unique twist from the illusion neckline and layered skirt."

Her lush bouquet, by Liz Griffith of Cori Cook Floral Design, combined dahlias, garden roses, freesia, and ranunculus in shades of ivory and blush.

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Bride Family An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Bridesmaids in Nude Dresses

Photo: Kerinsa

"I went to Bella Bridesmaids with my sisters, sister-in-law, and friend before I'd even found a dress of my own," says Colleen. The mix of neutral colors and styles ended up inspiring the color scheme for the rest of the wedding.

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Bridesmaids Bouquets An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Boutonnieres An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Groom and Groomsmen in Black Tuxedos

Photo: Kerinsa

The bridesmaids carried smaller versions of the bride's bouquet, with added pops of peach and brighter pink. The groomsmen's boutonnieres were a mix of white and green flowers, seeded eucalyptus, and dark leaves, which popped against their classic tuxedos (with Paul in a white bow tie).

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Riverside Ceremony Space Under Cafe Lights An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Ceremony Decor with Geometric Lanterns

Photo: Kerinsa

The open-air ceremony took place with the river in the background. Café lights were strung from the trees, and the aisle was flanked on either end by arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, and candles in modern lanterns.

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Ring Bearers Walking Down the Aisle An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Flower Girl Waving An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Bride and Father Walking Down the AIsle An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Bride and Groom First Kiss

Photo: Kerinsa

The four ring bearers walked down the aisle, hand in hand, followed by the oldest flower girl. "We had five, but she was the only one old enough to walk down the aisle by herself. She waved like a Disney princess on a parade float!" Colleen laughs.

Deciding not to get married in a church was a big decision for Paul and Colleen, so they wanted a spiritual space for their vows. They worked with their officiant to create a format for their vows, then each wrote their own following the same theme. "I was hoping I would be less emotional if our vows weren't a surprise, so we emailed them to one another the week before the wedding," says Colleen. Unfortunately it didn't work — "I immediately started crying when the ceremony started!"

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Escort Card Display An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, DIY Place Cards with Animals An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Personalized Cocktail Napkins An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Personalized Koozies

Photo: Kerinsa

"We are a little bit city, a little bit outdoorsy, so we tried to combine that into our wedding," says Colleen. "Our venue engaged both sides of our personalities, both laid-back and elegant."

The escort and place cards were Colleen's only DIY project. "The escort cards were easy, but the place cards were a little more involved. I saw them on Pinterest and thought 'That can't be too hard!' — the death sentence of any DIY project — and ended up hand-painting gold stripes on 140 cards. That was enough for me!"

Personalization was important to this duo, so they created custom cocktail napkins and koozies adorned with their names in an a Colorado-appropriate leafy wreath.

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Tented Reception Entrance with Flowers and Lanterns An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Pink and Gold Table Settings An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Low Floral Arrangements and Gold Geometric Lanterns An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Pink Napkins with Sprig of Greenery An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Romantic Floral Centerpieces

Photo: Kerinsa

The couple reused their ceremony flowers to flank the entrance to the reception tent, adding extra candles for a romantic glow. Inside, gold candlesticks and flatware popped against the soft pink hues used on each table, and a sprig of greenery was tucked into every napkin.

Centerpieces combined flowing greenery, ranunculus, roses, and dahlias in shades of pink that were all arranged in ornate footed bowls. Geometric lanterns kept the space feeling modern.

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Gold Footed Vessels for Centerpieces An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Long Tables with Low Centerpieces and Modern Lanterns

Photo: Kerinsa

The menu was based on foods the couple loves to cook at home. Hors d'oeuvres were bite-sized caprese with white balsamic foam and Dungeness crab cakes inspired by Colleen's mom's recipe. For dinner, the pair served a choice of Colorado buffalo medallion or seared salmon with herbed pistou.

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Three-Tiered Wedding Cake

Photo: Kerinsa

Dessert was a three-tiered vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. Fresh blooms accented the textured design.

An Elegant Riverside Wedding in Colorado, Cafe Lights Over Dance FLoor

Photo: Kerinsa

"We created a list of songs we wanted our DJ to play, but what we really wanted was to get as many people on the dance floor as possible," says the bride. "Our wedding was about us, but also about all the people who have gotten us to where we are in life."

Her advice is to keep things in perspective. "The end result will be the same no matter what: You'll be married. Frustrations happen, but even if things aren't totally perfect, it will still be the best day."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Lyons Farmette & River Bend || Wedding Planner: We Tie the Knots || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Fluff Denver || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids || Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Shane Co. || Floral Design: Liz Griffith for Cori Cook Floral Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Spark Letterpress from Wordshop Paperie; Dinglewood Design || Music: Ribbons & Strings Ensembles; A Music Plus || Catering: Epicurean || Cake: Sugar Bakeshop || Rentals: Yonder Floral & Decor House; Event Rents || Videographer: Aflatis Films || Photographer: Kerinsa

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Did you love this beautiful outdoor wedding? Then get inspired by another couple's open-air celebration in the video below.

These High School Sweethearts Wed in a Classic, Airy Bash in the Mountains of Telluride

 Colorado, Real Weddings  Comments Off on These High School Sweethearts Wed in a Classic, Airy Bash in the Mountains of Telluride
Jun 092016

While 17-year-olds might not get everything right, sometimes they do. Just ask Arianna and Jesse, high school sweethearts who met in May of 2003 and said "I do" 12 years later, on August 8, 2015. "We got engaged in June of 2012, right after Jesse finished his Medical Licensing Exam," says Arianna. The pair took a romantic vacation to Puerto Rico to celebrate, but Arianna had no idea that, in addition to studying, Jesse had also gone ring shopping with one of her friends and had asked her dad for her hand in marriage. "He proposed on the beach at sunset. It was perfect," says the bride.

They're both from California wine country, but Jesse and Arianna moved to Denver for the groom's orthopedic surgery residency and knew they wanted to invite their guests to their new home. During a drive from New York to Colorado, the pair went on an epic road trip, stopping in D.C., Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, Austin, Santa Fe, and finally ending up in Telluride, Colorado, before moving to their new home. "We fell in love at first sight, and asked the hotel staff where people like to get married in town. They recommended Gorrono Ranch, and it was perfect!" The outdoorsy couple mixed Ojai and Big Sur's gardens and natural elements with their new mountain home, combining classic elements with the more rustic venue. The result? An airy, elegant celebration that would be at home in the mountains, on the beach, or in a country home. See all the soft, summery details, photographed by Taylored Weddings & Portraits, below!

Arianna fell for this English lace gown by Allure Bridals, citing the keyhole back and sheer neckline as some of her favorite details. "It was classic but with a little bit of a western vibe," she explains. Her flower girl matched in an ivory dress with a floral overlay and a sheer yoke. "I thought it was so adorable for her to match me in a younger version of the dress," says Arianna. The flower girl topped her look with a crown of baby's breath.

The bride added a pop of color with a bouquet of different rose varieties in ivory, cream, and soft pink, accented with hints of purple.

For her "something blue," Arianna wore Badgley Mischka peep-toe pumps, topped with crystal brooches. She and Jesse both keep their wedding rings in custom-carved wooden ring boxes.

The ceremony took place on Gorrono Ranch's sprawling patio, with views of the Rockies in the background. Arianna's father walked her down the aisle to the altar, where a friend of the couple officiated the personalized ceremony. "Our vows were love letters to each other," says the bride. "We talked about what we love most about each other, what we loved most about our 12 years together, and how excited we are to build our lives together."

After the first kiss, guests tossed rose petals and lavender, one of the bride and groom's favorite scents. "I incorporated lavender into as much of our wedding as possible," Arianna says.

Jesse and his groomsmen wore matching dark blue suits, a gift from the groom to his closest friends. Arianna's bridesmaids all donned light blue chiffon dresses that perfectly caught the mountain breeze.

"Jesse is so busy with his residency, so we made a point to make time to sit down and plan things together," says Arianna. "I didn't want him to feel like the wedding was a surprise party, but that it was something we created together."

Cocktails were served at Gorrono Ranch's vintage bar, which included a bourbon tasting station. "We both love it, so we knew we wanted to offer a few different types to our guests," Arianna says. At the reception inside the barn, tables were topped with a variety of centerpieces including tall silver candelabras, low arrangements of white roses and greenery, and urns full of baby's breath.

The pair put together a local Colorado menu that included produce like Palisade peaches, Haystack farm cheeses, locally raised steak, and Rocky Mountain trout. "We wanted our guests to have a real Colorado experience," the bride explains.

For dessert, the bride and groom cut into a lemon and lavender cake with buttercream frosting. "My grandmother passed away when I was in high school, but I have such good memories of eating lemon cookies with her. I know she would have loved eating our wedding cake!" says Arianna.

After a night of getting down to the DJ's tunes (including "Jesse's Girl," a special request from the groomsmen!), the pair made a sparkler exit — three times! "The first time was a regular run, the second time we danced our way through, and the third time Jesse scooped me up in his arms and gave me a kiss. Then we made it to our getaway car!" Arianna laughs.

She advises brides to keep the stress level as low as possible. "It will be the best day of your life, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is you and your husband."

Venue & Catering: Gorrono Ranch || Wedding Coordinator: Holli Owen of Telluride Ski Resort || Bride's Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals || Shoes: Badgley Mischka
|| Veil: Paris by Debra Moreland || Hair: Shayla Wilkes of YX Salon || Makeup: Alline Sloan Arguelles of Alpenglow Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank || Floral Design: New Leaf Design || Invitations amp; Paper Goods: Minted || Music: Soul Atomic || Cake: Jean-Louis Capelli || Favors: Telluride Truffle; Telluride Brewing Company || Photographer: Taylored Weddings & Portraits

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Are you loving this Colorado wedding? Then check out another couple's rustic celebration in the video below.

One Couple’s Open-Air Wedding on a Working Farm in Lyons, Colorado

 Colorado, Real Weddings  Comments Off on One Couple’s Open-Air Wedding on a Working Farm in Lyons, Colorado
Mar 182016

Despite being packed into a crowd of rockers who'd gathered to hear a hard-core metal band take the stage, Ellie Greenhalgh and Bryan Baker — two self-described clean-cut kids — stood out to one another. After bonding over their mutual love of the indie band they had both shown up to see, the pair began dating. "A month after meeting we were already in love, seven months later we moved in together, and seven years later we got married," Ellie says.

For their July 25, 2015, wedding, the couple combined their mutual passions for horseback riding and hiking by welcoming 105 guests to the Lyons Farmette, a Colorado institution that allowed friends and family to experience the couple's outdoor interests. And with the farm (and its earthy-yet-elegant vibe) as their backdrop, the couple was able to bring to life their vision of an organic garden party to life — but with a touch of 1920s glamour (inspired by the ornate beading on the bride's dress). Photographer Tara Polly was on hand to capture all of the gorgeous details that you'll surely want to steal for your own day.

Though the couple personalized their day with every imaginable detail (and even a DIY project or two), Ellie says the planning process was a breeze. "It was amazing, and we loved every second of it," she says. "There was never a time we felt that we felt the process was stressful or overwhelming. We cherished the opportunity to celebrate our excitement with our friends and family during the year leading up to the wedding."

The couple enlisted the help of stationer Heart & Fox to create their illustrated wedding invitations. Floral details and quirky portraits drove home the charming theme of Ellie and Bryan's big day.

Ellie dressed in her head-to-toe beaded BHLDN gown before the wedding, but not at a hotel or family home, but rather inside a classic silver trailer. Her gown, with its dramatic and ornate bead work, became the inspiration for the couple's entire wedding day. "We really played up the vintage inspired feel the beading of the dress conveyed," Ellie explains. Although the couple used the bride's dramatic gown as inspiration to play up the décor throughout the wedding, Ellie played down her accessories, allowing the dress to stand out. She skipped jewelry entirely, adding only a floral crown to her bridal ensemble. "It was hand-beaded by our florist and was one of my favorite details from the wedding," she says of her halo of crystal-studded blooms.

Ellie says that she didn't want to limit her bridesmaids to a single color or style dress, so each attendant wore their favorite fabric and hue, ranging from pale pink to champagne. "It was great because they all looked gorgeous and you could tell they loved their dresses."

When it came to the guys, Ellie says, "I wanted the men to look rustic and handsome, with a little playfulness." That meant Bryan wore a deep blue suit and polka dot tie, while his groomsmen went somewhat more relaxed in tan suspenders with white shirts.

Ellie carried a loose, asymmetrical bouquet of garden roses, dahlias, ranunculus, and greenery. The result was a dreamy, natural arrangement and exactly what she had imagined.

The couple's ceremony was understandably the most meaningful element of the day for the bride and groom. The Bryan's uncle strummed Beatles tunes on his guitar as both the bride and groom walked down the aisle with each of their respective parents. Then, the couple exchanged vows they wrote themselves — sharing visions they had for their future and how lucky both felt to have found the other.

"We wanted to create a statement piece for our seating chart," Ellie says of transforming a vintage truck into a fun display. Their florist created a cascade of greenery and garden roses that was draped over an old tree branch and arranged in the bed of the truck. From there, the couple used wire to hang the seating cards for guests to read. "It turned out to be even more beautiful than we anticipated!"

As another DIY project, the couple created a photo display of themselves and their friends and family for everyone to enjoy during cocktail hour. They attached miniature photos to twine, which they then tied around trees throughout the property.

Smack in the center of Lyons Farmette's property sits a tree with a branch so low it would nearly touch the couple's dining tables. But instead of working around nature, Ellie and Bryan took advantage of this massive limb and decided to incorporate it into their décor. They hung mason jar lanterns from the branch and wrapped string lights around the trunk to create a romantic, whimsical feel.

Guests dined family-style at three long banquet tables covered in white linens and several styles of centerpieces, including gold mercury vases filled with flowers, wooden boxes with blooms, and gold votive candles. The mix helped to create the lush garden party feel the couple was after. The bride and groom's vintage metal chairs, which had been spray-painted in an eggshell blue, were also decorated with swags of punchy flowers.

Food was a priority for the couple, so they served an assortment of appetizers as well as pan-seared trout, grilled flank steak, and pappardelle with wild mushrooms for dinner. Rather than a cake, Ellie and Bryan offered guests ice cream from a local creamery, in flavors like salted Oreo, chocolate, chai, vegan munchies, and raspberry-peach hibiscus sorbet.

A seven-piece band played Motown hits that kept guests dancing all night long. But Ellie and Bryan shared their first dance to the band's cover of "Flowers In Her Hair" by the Lumineers.

For their honeymoon, the couple spent two weeks island hopping around Croatia before coming home to enjoy married life. Reflecting on their wedding day, Ellie says, "You quickly realize nothing else matters the day of the wedding other than just enjoying yourself."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Lyons Farmette || Bride's Wedding Dress & Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN || Veil: Toni Federici || Hair & Makeup: Janie Rocek || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Banana Republic and Nordstrom || Florist: A Florae || Invitations: Heart & Fox || Music: Mark Diamond Music || Dessert: Little Man Ice Cream || Rentals: All Events Rentals || Photography: Tara Polly Photography

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Looking for more vintage-inspired celebration? Then check out another couple's beautiful outdoor wedding with a similar look in the video below!

How to Plan a Destination Wedding in Aspen, Colorado

 Colorado, Destination Weddings, Honeymoons & Destination Weddings  Comments Off on How to Plan a Destination Wedding in Aspen, Colorado
Mar 032016
Aspen, Colorado destination wedding

Photo: Kate Holstein Photography

A mountain town with a penchant for luxury, Aspen is at once scenically stunning, charming, rustic, and refined. At an elevation of 7,890 feet, against a backdrop of mountain peaks rising even higher, Aspen always dresses to impress: Summer is marked by lush green foliage and an abundance of wildflowers; each fall the Aspen trees put on a spectacular color show; and Aspen decked out in winter whites is truly the epitome of a "winter wonderland."

For brides-to-be dreaming of a destination wedding surrounded by some of Mother Nature's finest work, the good news is that Aspen's venues accommodate a range of budgets. Perhaps an Aspen wedding is more attainable than you might think.

On one end of the spectrum is the Hotel Jerome's "Licensed to Wed" package, which is inclusive of every last detail down to wedding rings from Aspen's Meridian Jewelers, and then some. But even this elegant Victorian-era hotel, one of Aspen's most sought-after wedding venues, offers a package many brides could justify. Priced at $5,000, the "Elope to Aspen" package attends to every detail for an intimate wedding ceremony, including photographer, officiant, flowers, a wedding cake, and Champagne toast.

See More: The Best Wedding Venues in the U.S.

For an outdoors ceremony, nothing bests the majesty of The Little Nell's Aspen Mountain Wedding Deck. At an elevation of 11,212 feet, the venue offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountain peaks. Two possible reception sites — the Sundeck and the Aspen Mountain Club ‐ are adjacent. The Little Nell adds special touches, such as providing guests with hot chocolate for the three-mile gondola ride up the mountain, and yoga on the mountain for the wedding party.

For venues with a cultural flair, Theatre Aspen's Hurst Theatre is available for weddings and receptions between late spring and fall; large garage doors roll up to create an indoor-outdoor atmosphere between the lobby and the grounds, which feature tranquil paths dotted with wildflowers during the warmer months. The rooftop at the Aspen Art Museum is an elegant space with dramatic, architectural elements. Panoramic views of Aspen and mountains beyond can be seen in almost every direction.

The Aspen Chapel, an intimate stone church tucked in the mountains as you enter Aspen's city limits, will facilitate weddings on-site in the sanctuary or garden, or off-site at venues throughout Aspen, for a reasonably-priced "requested donations" (the chapel is a non-profit). The interfaith chapel is also a great rain back up plan for outdoor ceremonies elsewhere — $500 covers an inclement weather contingency plan.

And for the bohemian bride dreaming of getting married barefoot in the grass, any of Aspen's beautiful public parks can be reserved for a wedding ceremony — all you need is a written Parks Use Permit, granted by the City of Aspen. This kind of DIY wedding requires a whole lot more logistical planning, but when the Big Day arrives, no doubt it will be magical.

One Couple’s Mountaintop Wedding in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

 Colorado, Real Weddings  Comments Off on One Couple’s Mountaintop Wedding in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Feb 252016

After four years of dating, Moses Taylor knew that Ali Smith, who he met at Colorado College, was the One. In July of 2014, he asked Ali to join him on a hike at Rabbit Ears Pass in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and when the pair reached the summit, he popped the question. So when they started planning their August 15, 2015, wedding, it seemed only natural to return to the mountain town they love to tie the knot. So they planned a mountaintop reception followed by a reception 9,080 feet above sea level.

With stunning Steamboat and the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop for their big day, Ali and Moses knew they wanted the wedding to be casual yet elegant with a romantic mountain theme. "The view from the top of the mountain is unbeatable and we wanted to share this special place and its natural beauty with our guests," Ali says. So, with 210 guests in tow, the couple rode the gondola to the very top of the mountain — seriously! — and exchanged vows while taking in near panoramic-views of the surrounding mountains. Keep reading to see all of the breathtaking photos that Andy Barnhart Photography captured throughout the day.

The bride, a graphic designer by trade, created the couple's wedding invitations. Their gray and white suite featured a mountain motif, which she carried over into other elements used during the day, including labels for bottles of beer that Moses brewed for the couple's welcome bags.

Ali wanted a wedding dress that felt different and unique, and she found just what she was looking for in the second dress she tired on: an embroidered silk charmeuse Claire Pettibone gown. "It was so me," she says. "My mom agreed. I just stopped looking after that because I knew the more dresses I tried on the more confused I would get." The bride admits she cried when she purchased the stunning style, but not out of joy. "I didn't cry because I was so happy, but because I spent so much money! That being said, it was worth it. I felt like a million bucks in that dress."

Looking back, she has no regrets about the figure-flattering gown. She accessorized with vintage white cowboy boots, her sister's sapphire ring and matching drop earrings, and a bracelet her mother made out of pearls and charms from jewelry that had belonged to both of the bride's grandmothers. Her bouquet was the perfect fit for the natural terrain around their ceremony and reception. The semi-cascading arrangement was packed with succulents, butterfly bush sprigs, eucalyptus, and garden roses.

Moses wore a blue three-piece suit and a boutonniere of ranunculus and evergreen springs.

"My bridesmaids wore different dresses in neutral shades like champagne, blush, light tan, and some had gold accents," Ali says. "They chose their own dresses based on the colors I gave them." Their bouquets were similar to the bride's, but on a smaller scale and with a somewhat more wild shape.

The groomsmen wore three-piece gray suits, which they paired with ties the couple had custom made by the Knotty Tie in Denver. "They were custom made to match the bridesmaids' dresses," Ali says.

Ali and Moses had smaller attendants, too. Their two junior bridesmaids wore white dresses while their flower girl donned a tiered blush dress. The couple's bulldog, Zeus, served as the ring bearer and walked down the aisle in a bowtie. While he was an adorable addition to the wedding, Zeus was not the most cooperative ring bearer. "He ate all of the petals that our flower girl dropped as he walked behind her down the aisle," the bride says.

The only way to the ceremony site was by riding the gondola to the mountain's summit, where the bride and groom exchanged vows on the Thunderhead Lodge. Ali wasn't afraid of taking on DIY projects for her big day. For their ceremony, she created a vintage-inspired sign to welcome their guests to the wedding.

"My dad built our ceremony arch out of birch trees that came from Wisconsin, where I'm originally from," Ali says of their décor. "We decorated it with a spray of flowers." The couple exchanged vows they wrote themselves, and further personalized the ceremony by selecting music that spoke to their relationship.

The bride walked down the aisle with her mother and father as musicians performed Iron and Wine's "Flightless Bird," and the couple recessed to Dave Matthews Band's "Ants Marching." "We spent a lot of time working on our ceremony to give it a personal feel," the bride says. "We wanted all of our guests to understand our past and why were getting married. We broke all the 'rules' that didn't have significance to us."

The couple's reception was held in the nearby Champagne Powder room, where guests were treated to stunning views of the Yampa Valley below. Tables were decorated with white linens and textural arrangements, including roses, forget me not, and greenery. "We picked local and seasonal foliage and grasses, which were draped onto the table," Ali says. "We also had uprooted succulents, figs and kiwi fruits."

Ali and Moses served a gluten-free dinner, which included locally sourced meat dishes like lamb, steak, and chicken served with seasonal roasted vegetables, risotto cakes, and polenta. Guests also sipped a selection of drinks, along with the couple's signature cocktails. Ali picked a spicy margarita while Moses went for a classic old fashioned.

The bride and groom shared their first dance to Ray LaMontagne's "You Are the Best Thing." "We took four dance lessons and were both so nervous," Ali admits, "but we got right up there and crushed it!"

For dessert, everyone enjoyed a gluten-free vanilla wedding cake, as well an assortment of cupcakes in tasty flavors like salted caramel, chocolate peanut butter, chai latte, and raspberry cream.

At the end of the evening, Moses and Ali offered guests two thoughtful favors: Herb-infused honey and rosemary sea salt, both made by the bride!

"Just have run planning your wedding and don't feel like you have to follow the rules if it's not your personality," Ali says. "Remember to take in every moment of the day and days leading up to it. It goes by so fast, so just be present and revel in the moment."

Venue & Catering: Steamboat Ski Resort || Wedding Coordinators: Kevin Lang and Chris Vasquez || Bride's Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone || Shoes: Kowboyz || Hair & Makeup: Waterside Day Spa || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss || Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse || Flower Girl Attire: BHLDN || Engagement Ring: Croghan's Jewel Box || Wedding Bands: Fifth Avenue Designs; Larry Berk || Florist: Lalé Florals || Calligraphy: Myrtle and Lloyd || Music: Jerry and Joy; Thumpin || Cake: Steamboat Baker || Photographer: Andy Barnhart Photography

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Want to see more outdoor celebrations? Then check out another couple's open-air bash in the video below.

Feb 052016

Sometimes in the great search for the perfect wedding venue, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? Browsing the top-notch spots to get married. Ever. In our new February/March 2016 issue (on newsstands now!) we call out the best venues— indoor and outdoor, big and small, luxury and budget-friendly— across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,500 real brides and grooms nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to say "I do" by rating their own wedding location on everything from the service to the food to the view. From great plantations and rustic farms in the South to elegant libraries and grand hotels in the Northeast to romantic, swoon-worthy wineries on the West Coast, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite bridal boutiques in the Midwest.

Wide-open spaces are your backdrop at these luxe ranches, wineries, and mountain Resorts

The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado (Above)
A few reasons to get married at this perennial favorite's 11,212-foot-high wedding deck: the awesome Rocky Mountain backdrop, the giant vaulted restaurant, and the chance to use a gondola as your getaway ride.

El Chorro, Paradise Valley, Arizona
After a ceremony with epic views of Camelback Mountain, lead your guests to the adobe-style hotel's great room or light-strung lawn for seasonal southwestern cuisine.

Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
Saddle up for a pre-wedding horseback ride with your girls, then kick off your boots and celebrate with vows among cacti that are at least twice your height.

Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California
This posh Mediterranean-style resort features a gorge garden, colorful tiled patios, and an airy ballroom overlooking the sea. fourseasons.com.

Bear Flag Farm, Winters, California
Come for the private estate's sprawling vineyards, fragrant fields of lavender, and on-site event design and coordination; stay for the Ferris-wheel photo ops. (Seriously!)

St. Regis Aspen, Aspen, Colorado
The sunken courtyard is the quintessential winter ceremony spot, filled with Aspen trees, fire pits, and sights of the nearby peaks.

See More: Say Yes to The Dress at One of These Bridal Salons in the West!

Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores, Colorado
Wild West wedding alert! If you'd like, you can have this entire ghost town turned five-star resort for the weekend, including an open-air chapel, 13 log cabins, and a saloon that once served Butch Cassidy.

Kukahiko Estate, Maui, Hawaii
This tropical oasis is set on some of the island's most beautiful coastline. Have your ceremony on a lawn overlooking the Pacific, then watch for whales as you dine by the lava-rock beach.

Sun Valley Resort, Sun Valley, Idaho
Breathtaking Bald Mountain will play a starring role in your photos all night, whether you're exchanging vows on Trail Creek Cabin's lawn or partying in the window-filled ballroom at River Run Lodge.

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Three floors up, the neutral-hued ballroom offers a sleek, chic space for your bash, plus floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the city's famous Strip.

Maysara Winery, McMinville, Oregon
After exchanging vows among 250 acres of vines, move to this massive stone-and-wood space in the Willamette Valley for a night of local pinot noir and dancing.

Montage Deer Valley, Deer Valley, Utah
In the hills above Park City, this modern resort woos mountain-loving brides with its in-the-forest ceremony site, artisanal menus, and cozy, elegant great room.

Sodo Park, Seattle
Just south of downtown, this 100-year-old restored factory features soaring ceilings, exposed beams, and a kick-ass catering team.

Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES February/March 2016 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!

Want to see more venues in the West? Check out our West Venues page to find your dream location!

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Two New Yorkers Tied the Knot in the Colorado Mountains

 Colorado, Real Weddings  Comments Off on Two New Yorkers Tied the Knot in the Colorado Mountains
Jan 122016

When a mutual friend found out that Tricia and Rob were both heading to the same 2010 charity event in New York City, he made sure that Tricia ended up at Rob's pre-party celebration — and, of course, that they met! "I met Rob as soon as I walked into his apartment, and he was so sweet and charming," she remembers. Nearly four years later, after months of planning for both of their parents and families to be out on Nantucket in June of 2014, Rob and Tricia headed to the island themselves. "He made up a fake charity event, got me to dress up, then we stopped on the way for mimosas on the beach," Tricia says. She was ecstatic when he got down on one knee, but Tricia was even more surprised to see their loved ones gathered at the Great Harbor Yacht Club when they stopped in for a celebratory drink.

With Colorado in her blood (Tricia has been skiing in Aspen since she was little, her mom lives near Denver, and she attended UC Boulder), Tricia knew that a mountain-chic wedding in Basalt was exactly how she and Rob would make it official. They kept the hectic long-distance planning process under control with help from PJ West Events, and celebrated with an evening full of lush greenery, crisp white blooms, and a lot of rustic elegance, all photographed by Robin Proctor Photography.

Though the bride works in PR for Lela Rose, she ended up walking down the aisle in a stunning lace gown from Monique Lhuillier. "I bought it right before I started my new job, so we joke in the office that I wore Lela in spirit!" Tricia did, however, accessorize with a custom Lela Rose veil.

Her loose bouquet combined white peonies, ranunculus, anemones, and seeded eucalyptus.

Soft tulle Jenny Yoo gowns in a barely-gray hue were the perfect complement to the airy color scheme. "You can tie them any way you want, so they each had an individual look," says Tricia. The groom and his groomsmen wore blue suits with brown shoes, and their slightly different styles gave them a unified yet eclectic look.

The ceremony took place at a greenery-covered altar beneath a clear-topped tent. Tricia's family golden-doodle, Eddie, was the ring bearer, wearing a wreath of greenery around his neck.

Rob and Tricia exchanged traditional vows in front of 215 guests, between large arrangements of peonies, lavender, roses, ranunculus, hydrangeas, purple waxflower, and Russian sage. After their first kiss, guests tossed aspen leaves and white rose petals over the newlyweds.

"It was such a magical feeling to see Rob at the end of the aisle waiting for me," says the bride.

In a nearby tent draped with ivory fabric, round tables were arranged beneath chandeliers of seeded eucalyptus. Centerpieces were a mix of tall arrangements of budding branches and low mercury vases full of hydrangeas and peonies. Each guest's place setting featured a sprig of fresh lavender.

The head table was topped with low vases brimming with lavender, white peonies, and blush pink garden roses. Says Tricia, "I love candles, so we had clusters of votive and pillar candles everywhere to fill in the blanks and create a romantic vibe."

The couple served two signature cocktails, a glass of champagne with a sprig of lavender and the "Dud-arita," a cool cucumber margarita named after the bride and groom.

The four-tiered cake, decorated with fresh garden roses, had alternating layers of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and vanilla cake with vanilla pastry cream and fresh berries.

As the evening continued, strands of café lights cast a warm glow in the tent, as well as over the adjacent dance floor, where Rob and Tricia had their first dance to Van Morrison's "Crazy Love."

Does Tricia know the secret to making long-distance planning easy? She might! "Relax, enjoy it, and trust in your vendors that the details will come together!" she says.

Venue & Catering: Roaring Fork Club || Wedding Planner: PJ West Events || Officiant: Reverend Jill Pidcock || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Veil: Lela Rose || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Hair & Makeup: Studio B Beaute || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo from BHLDN || Groom's Attire: Acustom Apparel || Bride's Engagement Ring & Wedding Band: Jewels by Viggi || Florist: Carolyn's Flowers || Invitations: Regas Studio; Pretty Writing || Ceremony Music: Silver City Strings || Reception Music: Soul School || Cake: All Things Sweet by Lisa Jo || Rentals: Halcyon Productions || Photo Booth: Social Light || Videography: Forget Me Not Media || Photography: Robin Proctor Photography

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Did you love all the natural details in this wedding? Then check out another couple's outdoor bash in the video below.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains Were the Perfect Backdrop for This Couple’s Rustic-Chic Wedding

 Colorado, Real Weddings  Comments Off on Colorado’s Rocky Mountains Were the Perfect Backdrop for This Couple’s Rustic-Chic Wedding
Dec 292015

Annie Strickland and Cody Jenick met at a Colorado bluegrass festival, dancing the night away as fiddles, five-string banjos, guitars, mandolins, and upright basses strummed American roots music. So when it came time to plan their June 27, 2015, nuptials, it was obvious where the couple would look for a venue. "We wanted a mountain chic, rustic, and elegant affair," says Annie. "We knew we wanted to get married in the Rocky Mountains where we met and have kindled some of our fondest memories together." The couple envisioned exchanging vows outdoors, with the mountains serving as a stunning natural decoration.

But it was also important for the couple to incorporate a bit of New Orleans flair into their day. "We lived there together and adore the music, food and cultural traditions of the town," the bride says. So the couple set out to plan a mountain chic celebration with Southern details, like as a second-line exit from their ceremony and barbecued shrimp appetizers, at the Red Sky Ranch in Wolcott, Colorado. Keeping reading to see each perfect detail, as captured by Laura Murray Photography.

As an artist, Annie felt it was important for her to design their wedding invitations. But the task was not easy, she admits, and finding the right envelopes to match the stunning cream, peach, and gray design she created was tough. "I fell in love with a cream-colored European card stock that had deckled edges," Annie describes. "The problem was that I envisioned light grey envelopes with white addresses, and the manufacturer only made cream envelopes to match the stock." But she didn't give up, and, eventually, Annie tracked down the perfect envelopes to complete the suite.

When Annie slipped on her embellished blush Monique Lhuillier gown, she could feel it in her bones that it was the one. The mermaid design and tulle skirt made the dress both comfortable and light, but still extra-special. "It immediately made me feel like a fairy princess wearing it," she says. Annie's sparkling silver flats stood out against her otherwise romantic ensemble, which she completed with a delicate veil and feather sash.

Annie's two sisters served as her bridesmaids and chose their own dresses. "We wanted something simple, elegant, versatile, and comfortable, made from a flowing, glimmering fabric." The winner? Ivory dresses from Two Birds stole everyone's heart. In fact, the ladies loved the gowns so much (not to mention found them so flattering!) that the bride's mother elected to purchase the same style in a different color. Annie and her attendants carried wild bouquets of peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, poppies, protea, astilbe, sweet peas, scabiosa pods, azalea, dahlias, sage, air plants and more.

Cody donned a three-piece grey suit that complemented the couple's color palette, adding brown leather shoes and shot gun shell cufflinks and carrying a custom-engraved leather flask for the day. His boutonniere was made of ranunculus and succulents, plus seasonal greenery such as sage, while his groomsmen wore a variety of blooms mixed with berries and greenery.

"We wanted an outdoor ceremony site with a mountain view," says Annie. "We loved the sagebrush high desert landscape, so naturally we fell in love with the views from the ceremony site." The couple also envisioned a blossoming arch under which they could exchange their vows, and Lale Florals knew how deliver just the look they were dreaming of. The floral designer created a wild, windblown, woodsy arch that felt like it was part of the natural landscape. "It was almost as if years and years of twigs had collected to create a stunning natural structure," Annie says. Their florist finished the stunning arch with flowers and vines in shades of peach, pink, and red to match the bride's bouquet.

Like the invitations, Annie took the lead in designing their ceremony programs, which included confetti for their guests to toss as they recessed down the aisle. "Designing our own graphic suite meant that all of our correspondence was so gratifying," says Annie. "All of the finished products turned out phenomenally, and we have this suite that is authentic to our personalities and style."

To further personalize their wedding, the couple had their eight-year-old Havanese, Jackson, walk the aisle with their ring bearers, who led him on a leash to the altar. The pup also "stayed and partied all night with us," Annie says.

Annie and Cody's two flower girls wore cap-sleeved leotards, pink tutus, and floral crowns as they sprinkled rose petals down the aisle. The bride walked down the aisle to a live performance of "In My Life" by the Beatles.

"We created our own ceremony based on a handful of examples that we liked," says Annie. That meant a mixture of Buddhist, secular, and Christian wedding traditions that best reflected the couple's own blend of spirituality and sentiment. Then, the couple left in a traditional New Orleans second line recessional. "We danced up the hill to the reception to live horns, in a giant parade complete with parasols, handkerchiefs and all," says Annie. "Not everybody knew what the tradition was all about, but it brought a little southern flavor to our mountain wedding."

The couple hosted their reception under a clear tent strung with cream-colored flags that were assembled by the bride's mother. The rows of flags were inspired by prayer flags that decorate the couple's favorite yoga studio in Denver. "They added so much to the ambiance inside the dinner tent," the bride says. As did Edison bulbs, which were hung at varying heights above tables.

On each table, guests found their names scrolled on place cards, while children were greeted with gold-painted dinosaurs and crayons at their place settings. Flowers included a mix of vibrant and lush arrangements, terrariums filled with herbs, and succulents, moss and, air plants scattered between mercury glass votive candles.

Annie, Cody, and their guests noshed on New Orleans-style barbequed shrimp, and toasted with Moscow Mules in hand.

The couple couldn't choose just one cake, so they had three: A three-tiered confection iced with blush cream, flanked by two two-tier creations that were left unfrosted. Each cake offered a taste of a tantalizing flavor: layers of dark chocolate stout cake, peach butter cake, olive oil cake were sliced up for guests to enjoy, along with dark chocolate caramel, lemon, and peach tartlets.

Annie and Cody shared their first dance as husband and wife to the Grateful Dead's "Ripple." Looking back on that moment and the entire day, Annie says she wished it never ended. To other brides, she offers this advice: "Make it last as long as possible. It goes way too fast. Don't choose a venue that is going to make you shut it down before you're ready, and if you do, then have a plan for the after party."

Venue & Catering: Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club || Wedding Planner: A Vintage Affair Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Veil: Donna Beth Creations || Jewelry: Larkspur & Hawk || Shoes: Bottega Veneta || Hair & Makeup: Three Little Birds Salon || Bridesmaids & Mother of the Bride Dresses: Two Birds Bridesmaids || Groom's Attire: J. Crew || Wedding Bands: Catbird || Florist: Lalé Florals || Invitations: Annie Strickland Design || Music: The Drunken Hearts; The Motet || Cake: Megan Joy Cakes || Rentals: Colorado Tents & Events; Elite Entertainment || Transportation: All Mountain Transportation || Accommodations: Sonnenalp Hotel and Evergreen Lodge || Photography: Laura Murray Photography

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Did you love this outdoor wedding? Then you'll surely be inspired by another couple's open-air bash in the video below.

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