Craig and Laura said their vows in front of friends and family in an intimate setting in between the Maroon Bells and flowers in Aspen, Colorado. Their beloved dog, Cosmo Kramer was an important part of the ceremony and I don't think I've seen a dog as happy to see his parents get hitched. They had their first dance at the base of the mountain, and then they joined their guests for a small dinner at the Wild Fig Restaurant in downtown Aspen. EC Campbell Photography captured every sweet moment and detail.
Laura + Craig
Maroon Bells in Aspen, CO
July 18, 2014
Wedding day weather: 60's and partly sunny (We did get a quick afternoon thunderstorm after the ceremony!)
Number of guests: 15
Your budget: $12,000
Biggest splurge: The meal (Except Craig's dad ended up sneaking in and picking up the tab! Thank you, Dennis!)
Biggest savings: Surprisngly, the ceremony site at Maroon Bells
Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?
The first time I had ever been to Maroon Bells in Aspen, I remember my eyes immediately welling up with tears from the sheer beauty in front of me. The setting seemed so magical, so much larger than life and yet so profoundly peaceful. I wanted to have that same feeling at our wedding.
Wedding day theme:
We didn't really have a theme. Hippie, maybe? Craig and I wanted our wedding to be very laid back and for all of our guests to be relaxed as well.
Where did you find your inspiration?
Pinterest, of course! But even more so, our wedding photographer, E'Lisa Campell's, photography. Her personal photos and style exude earthiness and peace. She's also one of the happiest people I've ever met. (I don't know if she realizes how much influence she has on her clients and everyone else around her!) She's truly an inspirational person and I wanted our wedding to basically embody the same joyous and peaceful nature of her and her photography.
How did you choose to personalize your wedding?
My super cool brother got himself ordained online and performed the ceremony for us! He had stories about both of us and made us laugh the whole way through. That set the tone for the whole day and I am forever grateful for that.
Also, Craig and I wrote our own vows. Craig's vows were above and beyond anything I could have imagined. They were so much more personal than the proverbial “I do's.”
My dad crafted a wooden goblet and engraved our names and wedding date on them for our toasts. Since we really didn't have just one best man or maid of honor we asked anyone who was willing, to say a few words for us. It was wonderful to hear what people had to say and we were so thankful for that. It helped me feel even more welcome in becoming a part of his family.
What was your favorite part of the reception?
We didn't really have a reception in Aspen, we had dinner with our guests at a restaurant called the Wild Fig. All I remember is how happy we felt to have our families with us in our favorite spot in Colorado. We felt so loved and so grateful.
What are three things you're super glad you did?
- We were glad that we were able to get married at the Maroon Bells! (We almost didn't even look at Maroon Bells because we assumed we wouldn't be able to afford it. But a friend of mine (Thanks, Denise!) asked if I could get married anywhere regardless of price, where would it be and why hadn't I priced it out? Naturally, I remember saying Maroon Bells and ended up checking the price. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was by far the cheapest site we had looked at! I'm so glad that my friend urged me to look because I got my dream wedding!!)
- Of course, we were super glad that our photographers were able to fly out from Michigan for us.
- We were so happy our dog, Cosmo Kramer, was a part of our wedding. (He's our special boy!) If he hadn't been allowed on site, the family wouldn't have been complete.
What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was trying to please everyone. Since we are both from Michigan (but living in Colorado), it would have been much easier on our guests for us to fly to them. But we both had our hearts set on getting married in the mountains and we wanted our wedding to be about us, not necessarily our guests. (That might sound selfish, but it truly is about the bride and groom and how they want to celebrate their love!) In the end, we just invited immediate family and our closest friends that live in Colorado.
How did you find and choose your vendors?
We already knew our photographer and had always hoped we could book them when the time came. They had photographed several of our friend's weddings and their images are nothing short of stunning. When they photographed us after the ceremony, I felt like we were just having fun with them- not like we were being posed or photographed. The photos ended up looking very natural and exuded all of the joy and love that we felt that day.
We saw Mountain Flowers of Aspen on yelp and they had incredible reviews. When we visited their store, the staff was wonderful and seemed to know exactly what I was trying to go for. I think we spent a total of 15 minutes with them and what they created for us was magical. It was everything I could of dreamed of for our wedding! And they made it very easy!
We were just walking down the street in Aspen when we found our restaurant. The Wild Fig Restaurant had a beautiful deck that was covered in flowers and both their food and staff were outstanding.
I found Emma and Grace bridal by googling wedding gowns in Denver. When I visited their store and discovered that they designed and tailored many of the gowns onsite for each bride, I knew I had to use them. I'm very tall and any gown I had tried on at other stores were at least 6 inches too short (and I'd have to pay an absurd amount for extra length) and did not compare to Emma and Grace's gorgeous gowns. The woman that made my dress for me even made personal changes on her own design to make it more comfortable for me. She was incredible!
And we found our wedding favors on etsy!
What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?
We got married six months after we got engaged and had all of the vendors picked out soon after the engagement. Try to get all of your vendors lined up quickly so that you can kick back and enjoy your engagement for longer- because that's what it's about, enjoying each other! Don't draw it out over months, or you'll stress yourself out too much.
Also, if you are on a very tight budget you can still have your dream wedding! Just decide what is most important to you and start with that.
Aspen Wedding Vendors
Wedding Photography: EC Campbell Photography | Bouquets and Florals: Mountain Flowers of Aspen | Reception Venue: The Wild Fig Restaurant | Ceremony Venue: Maroon Bells Amphitheater | Guest Favor Bags: Visualingual Etsy Shop | Wedding Grown: Emma and Grace Bridal