Keira + Jesse
March 16, 2013
Keira planned this sweet wedding all the way from Alaska! Located near a real ghost town in the Colorado Rockies, Keira choose a secluded getaway where guests could relax and enjoy the weekend. For her vendors, the bride wanted local, smal town folks, but made sure she did her research, got recommendations, and read reviews before booking anyone. Find out more about how Keira planned her destination Mountain wedding and her best Hindsight Advice below…
Why a Mountain Wedding?
Jesse and I both grew up loving the mountains and take any opportunity we can to get in them. Mountains offer adventure, beauty and tranquility for us. We currently live out in the bush of Alaska so city life, crowds and chaos are not our thing. Having a wedding in a city just wasn’t us. Just the thought of it raised our blood pressure! Jesse is from Wyoming and I’m from Colorado. We were looking for a non-tourist, small mountain town and I happen to love the Buena Vista area after many summers of rafting and camping in the area. After much searching we found Mt Princeton Hot Springs Resort which could not have, in any way, been more perfect.
What was your inspiration?
Our inspiration was nature. It sounds cheesy, but we both love things that are built using natural wood and stone. It probably stems from our love of the mountains and rivers. And out in the bush, it’s often easier to build what you want than have it shipped out. Pallets come in mass quantity out in the bush from shipping things out so we have lots of furniture made from old, rustic pallets. We love it! So our colors ended up being brown and grey (wood and stone) with an accent of mustard yellow.
What were some personal details you incorporated?
All of my decorations were made using old jars and bottles (and little pebbles/stones) from a sheep farm that I lived on for 5 months in 2012 out in eastern Oregon.
I was out working in the area as a physical therapist and the family (the Wings) adopted me and I lived in their bunkhouse. It was such a memorable time for me for so many reasons but especially because of the family. And the place had so much rustic, natural charm (and not because rustic is the cool thing right now. That’s just how they live). They had offered to host my wedding on their farm but it was too far from our families. So, we brought a piece of it to the wedding in CO. They brought and put together all of my decorations using things from the farm and we gathered a view more things from the natural surroundings at the wedding site.
As far as music – we picked the kind of music we love and made a playlist for the pre-ceremony music, during dinner music, etc. All folk/bluegrass. The traditional symphony type music just seem stuffy and not us (no offense!). I even walked down the aisle to a bluegrass version of the bridal march.
Favors – both sides of our families made our favors. Little family recipe treats put into small bags with a kraft paper “thank you” sticker. Bride’s aunt made chocolate fudge crackers and groom’s mom made oyster crackers and also puppy chow.
Favorite moment of the day?
Taking pictures with Jesse before the ceremony. It was just the two of us (and the photographers) out in a field with the mountains in the background. It was sleeting and snowing but I didn’t care. I wasn’t sure about a “first look” because I didn’t want to ruin that moment when you see each other when walking down the aisle. But this was far better. We got to have the special moment and bathe in it for a little bit. It was so intimate and special AND it calmed my nerves completely and made me enjoy the rest of the photos with the wedding party.
What Are you glad you did?
- The First Look: for reasons stated above. Also, it prevented our guests from waiting an hour or more for us to take photos before the reception started.
- I opted to exclude many of the small details: no place cards at the reception; no organizing which type of meal went with which guest (buffet instead); no sand pouring/knot tying/song singing additions to the ceremony; no perfectly matching bridesmaids dresses and shoes (they picked their own but in the same family of color).
- Having everything at the same place. No need to drive across town for the reception. This also allowed us to capture our vision of a wedding weekend getaway – a relaxed time for everyone. We and some of our wedding party stayed on site starting Thursday night. Having multiple days to hang out with people made it so fun for us and certainly decreased the stress of trying to visit with everyone for the first time at the reception.
Anything you wish you had done?
- Video of the ceremony and little snap shots of the reception. I’m not wishing I had hired a professional, just had a friend or family member video it.
Best piece of wedding advice you got:
- Don’t skimp on your photographer. Sure, maybe your friend’s cousin is willing to do it for cheap but DON’T. Your wedding photos are what you have to remember the event for the rest of your life. You want to like them. And really, it’s the biggest day of your life (even if you’re like me and didn’t start planning or dreaming of your wedding day when you were a little girl. It’s still a big deal).
What piece of wedding planing advice do you wish you followed?
- Nothing really. I made up my mind in the beginning that I wasn’t going to make it an over-the-top wedding because I didn’t want to be one of those brides who stressed and exhausted and can’t even remember half of the day because she’s so caught up in details. I wanted to ENJOY my husband and my guests and that’s exactly what happened. Even the gal that did my hair commented on how relaxed I was.
How did you choose your vendors?
I wanted local people…small town folk. We had pies instead of cake (we love pie!!) and had a local gal make them for us. She came highly recommended by the event coordinator at Mt Princeton and her pies were a hit.
I chose the photographer based on her website, her previous work, and the way she communicated with me via email – very kind, very informative, professional but personal, and prompt. She ended up being amazing!!!
As far as the site – I read reviews, looked at photos and then talked to the coordinator. She too was prompt, personal and kind. That makes a big difference to me.
Best Hindsight Advice:
Do not get caught up in too many details. No one will remember them anyway! The more details there are the more there is for you to worry about. People (including your husband) remember if the bride is glowing or if she is stressed. You WILL affect everyone that day :)
Also, with the details that are required…let people help you! So many gals will offer to help and you need to let them! Trust me, it will make your wedding flow so much smoother and you will ENJOY it that way. I planned my wedding from Alaska and only had a 3 1/2 month engagement and it wasn’t stressful because I didn’t sweat the small stuff, I started early, and so many people helped!! Don’t get caught up in what the industry tells you you should do. Make it what you want!
Oh, another little bit – we liked the idea of our friends and family having time away from their hectic lives to celebrate their love. It’s a wedding after all – a celebration of love! So we relayed this vision to our guests, stated that their children were welcome but that this could be an opportunity to leave the kiddos at home and have some alone time. This was such a good decision that our guests really appreciated and enjoyed. They all left glowing too – not just Jesse and I. That’s exactly what we envisioned.
Nanthrop, CO Wedding Vendors
- Photographer: Autumn Twilight: Also, without a doubt I would recommend Autumn Twilight Photography. Her work is incredible (I look at our photos and can’t believe those are MY wedding pictures. It’s like a dream!) but she also is so wonderful to work with. She communicates with you, hears what you like and works to capture that, and is so warm-hearted.
- Wedding Pies Michelle Gapp with Kalamatapit Katering
- Dress David’s Bridal
- Venue: Mt Princeton Hot Springs Resort is the most amazing wedding site any mountain bride could hope for. There are hotel rooms (all have a mountain lodge feel) and cabins, hot spring pools, a spa, a river, gorgeous scenery, incredible Pavilion for the reception (and ceremony in our case) and the best staff.
- Zelma, the Mt Princton Hot Springs coordinator, is amazing and most helpful