The Secrets Revealed: How I Planned the Perfect Mountain Wedding
They say, “time flies when you’re having fun.” Which has definitely been the case in our marriage. We got married six months ago today in the perfect Colorado wedding. I can’t believe how fast time flies! Six months ago I had all the exciting wedding jitters and was walking down the aisle in the mountains to marry Trav.
Our wedding in the Colorado Mountains was perfect.
When we started the wedding planning process, we both agreed we wanted a really small wedding. Trav and I even explored the option of eloping. We made that decision based on a few factors. I’m born and raised in Orange County, California and Trav was raised in Palm Springs. Between the two of us, we would have had about 300 family members showing up and then another 50 friends who would want to come. If you’ve ever planned a wedding, you know how expensive that would have been. We also wanted our perfect wedding to be about us and not dictated by a wedding venue.
We wanted a memorable wedding without the debt
Trav and I really connect when it comes to money. He and I both value hard work and saving money. With that being said, we didn’t want to spend all of our money on an 8-hour day. That concept is so silly to me. We have goals to buy a house, save up for a rainy day, and didn’t want to enter our marriage with debt. Finances are one of the biggest fights in marriage.
That’s why we decided to have a destination wedding
We got married in Estes Park, Colorado at a 25-acre estate with 45 of our closest friends and family by our side.
The wedding venue wasn’t really a wedding venue but we made it one. We found the estate on Air B&B. It was absolutely perfect for the day we wanted. The house was 6 bedrooms, slept 18 people, and was approximately 8, sq. Ft. The house sat on 25 acres complete with a guest cabin, elk, and a lake. My mom and I were very hands on with the wedding planning. I hired all the vendors while my mom took care of all the decorations. My mom was a total rockstar with the decorations. She really made the house look like a wedding. We booked the venue off of photos but since my parents live in Colorado, Cash and I went to visit. While we were there, we did a walk-through of the property. Trav is afraid of flying so he didn’t come and his first time seeing the house was the week of our wedding!
Our perfect wedding was 5 days long.
Since our wedding was a bit of traveling, Trav and I wanted to use our wedding as a mini vacation for our guests. We rented the house for 5 days which allowed us to really experience Estes Park. We had 18 people stay on property and everyone else rented cabins nearby. One of my favorite highlights was the itinerary made by Minted Weddings. I planned out activities for us every day and dinners every night. On Wednesday we did horseback riding and pasta night and on Thursday we did craft beer tasting and taco night. Friday was a mellow day where we went hiking and then had the rehearsal dinner at The Dunraven Inn. Everyone loved our custom itineraries.
If they wanted to be included, they could or guests could explore on their own. I really relied a lot on Yelp.com to figure out what to do in Estes Park, Colorado.
Then there was the BIG DAY!
Neither Trav nor I are very traditional people. We wanted a wedding that was true to us. We stuck to some of the wedding traditions but left out the ones that didn’t feel right for us. I still did a boudoir shoot for Trav. He and I exchanged wedding gifts. Mine was a Dodgers garter belt and a “little black book” for my husband’s eyes only. But Trav really knocked me off my feet when he bought me my first Chanel bag!!
Trav stayed the night in the guest cabin with the boys while I stayed in the main house. We made sure not to see one another until the wedding ceremony. We opted out of having bridesmaids and groomsmen because it didn’t feel right for us. Having a wedding party usually adds a little more drama too. The master bedroom of the house was a perfect bridal suite. My good friend, Amanda, is also my makeup artist and hair dresser. I go to her whenever I need to look my best. I also had the cutest custom champagne glasses sent over from Cambridge Avenue, I highly recommend for all your bridal needs!
We started with champagne, brunch, and makeup in the afternoon. I pretty much stayed in the room but my girls were always in and out checking to see if I needed anything. Along with traditions, my dad and I did a first look, where I almost cried off all my make up!
The ceremony was down by the lake and my dad walked me down the aisle.
I wore the dress my mother in law wore at her wedding to Trav’s dad. I spent 8 months restoring it and altering it to be the dress of my dreams. Don’t worry, I’ll share all those details on another post!
We had a string duet playing contemporary and classic music.
My dad walked me down the aisle to Pachebel’s Canon and Trav and I walked away as husband and wife to “Home” by Phillip Phillips. The beautiful string duet was provided by Michael Mawles. Our friend Wil married us and we had my Uncle Bob say a prayer during the ceremony. Trav and I said our own vows and Cash joined us at the end for a kiss.
We hired Basecamp Visuals to do our video and Shelby Z Photography to take our photos. After the ceremony, we took some family photos and our married portraits. After that we headed up to the main house where we enjoyed dinner, drinks, cake, and dancing. Our caterer was awful so I won’t mention him, but we really wanted to treat our guests. We had a plated meal of beef shoulder and salmon that was cooked in the kitchen on site. We had a bartender and service staff to serve everyone individually. Our cake was from The Cupcake Gypsies and it was one of the best funfetti wedding cakes I’d ever had. We got a smaller tier cake with cake pops. It was exactly what I wanted – a practical, delicious cake that people would actually eat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a wedding where no one actually eats the cake.
After dinner, all of the vendors left, I changed dresses, and we danced the night away. Most wedding venues have a noise curfew but being so far up in the mountains, we had no one to report to. We lit a fire, had some wine, and stayed up till 4am just enjoying our night with our friends and family.
We never asked for gifts.
Another thing Trav and I felt weird about was asking people to bring us gifts. But of course, people still wanted to bring us gifts. Instead of denying all gifts completely, we asked for bottles of wine for our wine collection. Now we have a great wine collection with some really nice wines.
The following morning, we continued to celebrate.
My mom had breakfast, mimosas, and Wil made some delicious Bloody Mary’s. The only only thing I would have changed would have been to rent the house for one more night after the wedding. We had to pack up and check out Sunday which was bitter sweet after such a fun night. I would have loved to have one more day to relax before getting back to real life.
Our wedding was perfect
Yes, there was a little drama: a friend I no longer speak to and a shitty caterer but the rest was perfect. Our friends told us it was the best wedding they ever went to. It was so uniquely Travis and I. And that’s what made it a perfect time. We didn’t do anything we didn’t want to and everything we wanted to.