Do you remember Morgan and Derek's sweet and sentimental fly fishing engagement session captured by Andy Barnhart? Well, Morgan and Derek are back to share their gorgeous fall wedding in the mountains. Morgan and Derek pulled inspiration from the land, their values, and from Morgan's family cabin that was filled with antiques from the antique store her grandfather once owned. The result is a heartfelt, honest mountain wedding with lovely details.
Morgan + Derek
September 28, 2013
Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?
Where do I begin…the Colorado mountains have been a part of me my whole life. They've shaped my life's journey, and are a part of who I am. I can't imagine an event so significant as my wedding to be anywhere but in the mountains.
Back story: My grandparents were the best of friends. They lived in the same town in rural Illinois. At retirement, they purchased land next to each other in Clark, CO. Before I was a year old, I was out to visit them and was hooked on the Rocky Mountain high without even knowing it.
Derek and I were married on the property of my dads’ parents. Although not in body, I knew my four grandparents were at our wedding. I could feel it. They were kickin' their heals up with the rest of us!
My husband, Derek, is from Colorado, we met in the mountains and on our first date he confessed that his ‘church' is the wilderness-the mountains. For all these reasons it made sense we committed to one another in the mountains.
Wedding Day Weather
In true Colorado form we woke up on our wedding day to the first snow dusting of the season and were greeted with a shining sun. I don't remember a cloud in the sky. The air was perfectly crisp. We couldn't have dialed in a more perfect Colorado day, especially for our wedding.
Did you have a theme for your wedding?
We wanted our wedding to reflect us and our personal environmental, cultural, and social values… Our readings were Native American, we planted a tree during our ceremony, our families were central to our ceremony, long tables at our reception represented our belief in importance of community, vendors were local, food was organic, fresh, local and in season where possible (the pig was raised just outside of steamboat springs!), we had personal relationships with many if our vendors.
Where did you find your inspiration?
I’ve always loved the femininity of vintage, and the naturalness of rustic, so we combined the two! Inspiration came from our family cabin filled with antiques from the antique store my grandfather once owned, and from outside our back door: the mountains, river and forest of Clark, CO! We also wanted our wedding to be representation of us, and our values.
We love to eat good, fresh, local, organic food. We spent extra money to bring that fare to our guests.
The right photographer was also highly important. A picture says a thousand words-we want to vividly remember our day through reflecting on photographs in many years down the road.
Since anyone can marry anyone in the state of CO, my brother and Derek's sister married us. However,
this was a decision of wanting to include family in our ceremony more than that of saving a buck…but it did save some money :-)
What was your favorite moment of the day?
I have two.
- Being able to escape with Derek for our wedding photos after the ceremony. We drove up to a favorite nearby trailhead where we were surrounded by autumn foliage, the Elk River and the Continental Divide as our backdrop. It was our personal time to acknowledge our marriage, have a laugh, a kiss and relish in the beautiful fall day.
- Family Dance: My dad and I started off dancing for the father/daughter dance, but it turned into a dance that included my immediate family (mom, dad, brother, sister). We danced to Garth Brooks, ‘Friends in Low Places’. When CDs came out, this was one of the first my dad bought, and the three of us kids can remember him blasting it in the car, and all of us singing along.
What are three things you're super glad you did?
- Location, location, location!
- Had a small, intimate wedding party-our siblings and our best friends.
- Had our siblings wed us.
What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?
I wished I could have done more planning with my mom. My parents live in Chicago. Although I talked with them nearly every day in the 8 months leading up to our wedding, I would have loved to have my mom along to help with the details. Not because I necessarily needed the help, but would have liked to have shared the experience with her. But, in the days before the wedding, she was my right hand lady and that was great.
How did you find and choose your vendors?
We're big advocates of ‘buying local.' We love our small town, and strive to support our local economy whenever possible. All our vendors are based in Steamboat Springs (with exception to clothing vendors) and how lucky we were this was the case. I'd challenge any big city to meet the standards and quality our vendors provided- from catering to photos to planning to wedding day grooming to music to tent rentals… They're all amazing!!
What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?
Don't wish the planning away… Soak up the moments, the time, the process-it's all part of your marriage journey! You’re getting married in the mountains—feature the true awesomeness of that!
Steamboat Springs Wedding Vendors
Photography: Andy Barnhart Photography | Venue: Private Residence in Clark, CO beside the Elk River | Planner & Florist: Lindsey Grannis, One Fine Day Productions | Hair: Alicia Ellson, Brio Salon | Makeup: Cari Ann Gelbart | Caterer: Sharon Zinker, Stay at Home Chef | Pig: Rich Landon| Band: Old Town Pickers | DJ: Brian Alpart | Cake: Mountain Brew | Tent, etc. Colorado Event Rentals | Dress: Pronovias | Men's attire: Manuel Mota purchased at Doris Bridal, Highwood, IL | Shoes: Design Your Pedestal: Kate Friedman | Jacket: J. Crew, Ludlow style Italian Linen sport jacket | Shirt: J. Crew White Ludlow dress shirt | Tie: The Tie Bar, Gingham, Liquid color | Pants: Jeans by Seven for all mankind | Officiants: Susan Boles, Ben Moss | Fresh bread: bistro c.v., Aaron Baumann | Cake and desserts: Mountain Brew, Tasha Compos | Tent, chair, lighting, linen, table setting rentals: Colorado Event Rentals | Ceremony music: Old Town Pickers | Save the date design and printing: Lovejoy Graphics, Leslie Lovejoy | Invitation/menu/program design and printing: Element Print and Design | Feather boutonnieres/corsages and wedding dress belt: Feather Flies, Ali Giese