Nature Inspired Winter Park Mountain Wedding with vintage and handmade details

Caroline and Kyle

Caroline and Kyle decided from the beginning of their wedding planning process that they “didn’t do anything [they] didn’t feel passionate about. The result is a wedding that is honest, unique, fun, and totally them!

Kyle is a home brewer so he made beer for their closet friends and family to enjoy during their wedding weekend. With the combination of craft beer, there was plenty of pickles, sausages, and Vodka to celebrate Caroline's Polish background.
Their handmade and vintage wedding was everything she dreamed up. From her homemade bride cage veil and bouquet of flowers, Caroline and her mom thought about everything. The entire wedding was DIY with almost everything being made by Caroline, her mom, or friends of the bride and groom. One of my favorite details from their wedding was the vintage shot glasses given to everyone at the reception to indulge in a sip of Vodka!

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Carolina + Kyle
June 2013
Winter Park, CO

Why a Mountain Wedding?

My husband and I had just moved to Denver from California. We were searching for venues in California before we moved, and no matter how hard we tried, nothing felt right. As soon as we arrived at the Wild Horse Inn we knew it was the right place for our wedding- it has an incredible natural landscape and an intimate feel. It was the perfect place to celebrate the beginning of our marriage and new life in Colorado together.

Where did you find your inspiration?

We wanted our wedding to be very authentic and reflect us as a couple. We didn’t do anything we didn’t feel passionate about. The biggest inspirations were the natural surroundings and our passions (food, beer, and music).

What were some personal details you incorporated?

There were so many!

  • My family is from Poland so we incorporated some elements from the mother country. We had pickles and cured meets during cocktail hour. We collected vintage shot glasses and had vodka on ice for toasts during dinner. The glasses were the favors people took home at the end of the weekend. One of my favorite moments was when my father and I danced the Polka for our father/ daughter dance. I have never seen my dad kick his legs so high! I thought he was going to rip his pants. It was so fun!
  • My husband brews beer and brewed 3 beers for the wedding. For the rehearsal dinner he worked with the WHI developing a food pairing for the beers and we had a tasting.
  • Our wonderful friends played a huge role in our wedding. They all contributed so much from illustrating our save-the-date card, playing music at our ceremony to DJ-ing and pounding the streets of the fabric district in LA to find the right fabric for the table clothes.
  • My mom is a woman with many talents and made my head piece, belt and all the flower arrangements for the wedding party. My wedding dress was a sample and had rips and things that needed mending. She reworked the dress and made it incredible.

Your favorite moment of the day.

The whole weekend was amazing! If I have to choose just one moment it would be when my husband and I exchanged vows in front of the people we love most in the amazing mountain atmosphere.

Three things you're glad you did.

  • We rented out the whole Inn for the weekend. We loved being able to spend time with all the people that had traveled to Colorado to be at our wedding. It was also awesome to have all the events in one spot, it made everything relaxed and allowed everyone to have a mini vacation.
  • For the flowers my mom and I made live arrangements. Not only was it fun and relaxing to make them together the week before the wedding but I still have some of the plants in my garden today.
  • We limited our guest list to 80 people, and it felt like the perfect size for us. I felt that we got to spend some quality time with everyone that attended.

What was the best piece of wedding advice you got?

You get a lot of advice when you are planning your wedding. Everyone from family to vendors mean well but at the end of the day it is your wedding.
My advice would be to make your big day a reflection of who you are as a couple. Be authentic!

What piece of wedding planning advice do you wish you followed?

I wish I had figured out my undergarments earlier. I was scrambling until the last moment to find something that worked under my backless dress!

 Anything you wish you hadn't worried about?

We had family style dinner with no seating charts. For a second I was worried that some guests might feel left out. It turned out wonderful because our guests mixed and it ended up bringing a great dynamic to the party.

How did you choose your vendors?

We sort of felt them out. We met Adam our photographer for beers and just sort of hung out. We wanted to make sure we liked him and that he would fit in well with our wedding party. The Wild Horse Inn supplied the beautiful venue, food, lodging, and tent but allowed us to customize our wedding. A lot of other venues give you limited choices and restrictions which didn’t appeal to us.

What is your very best advice to other mountain brides?

  • Prepare your out of town guests for altitude sickness. It is definitely something to think about when you have guests flying in from lower elevations and driving up to the mountains drinking vodka.
  • The natural landscape is so incredible in Colorado, you don’t have to do much!

Please also include vendors you recommend and any special, DIY, or handmade details you incorporated.

Winter Park Wedding Vendors

(recommended by the bride)

Additional Details

  • Vintage vases collected from thrift stores on the tables.
  • Ceremony Marker: My friends erected a simple birch structure at the ceremony spot. My sisters boyfriend cut down the saplings for it. My sisters created garlands of feathers dipped in gold paint and glitter.
  • Purchased the plaid fabric at the LA fabric district for the table linens.
  • We are lucky to have many talented musician friends: Silas Hite, Tommy Fugelsang, Gary Mecija all provided awesome entertainment and playlists.