Kacie + Kurt
Beaver Creek, CO
Look at this perfect wedding! Is it giving you a complex because it's so gorgeous and perfect? Well let me let you in on a little secret. This bride and groom had one unfortunate thing after another happen to them. Scroll down for the recap and some awesome Hindsight Advice about high altitude drinking, wind and long veils, and the art and beauty of wearing ballet flats instead of heels.
Behind the Scenes of a “Perfect Wedding”
OK ladies, check this recap out from the bride. Then read her amazing Hindsight Advice about her high altitude wedding!
- Kurt's dad broke 3 ribs the day before the wedding when they went mountain biking. He missed the rehearsal, had to stay in the hospital overnight, then keep an oxygen tank with him for the rest of the trip.
- A bridesmaid's flight was delayed and she almost didn't make the wedding.
- The night before the wedding, a good family friend was rushed to hospital because she had a seizure. I got 3 hours of sleep that night!
- While I was getting ready the day of the wedding, my mom started feeling ill. She was then rushed to the ER and we were pretty sure she wasn't going to make the ceremony. They gave her O2 and an IV and sent her on her way. She got back just as I was getting into my dress, and she and my dad got ready in 5 mins….no joke!
- As we were preparing to head to the lift, it started to thunder and lightening, which delayed the lift and caused a huge void in communication with our wedding planner. Somehow we made it to the top of the mountain and the sun shone just long enough for our ceremony. Then, immediately after, it started pouring and another storm rolled in as we were on the ski lift back down. Somehow, we didn't get struck by lightening :-)
All that and it was *still* a perfectly gorgeous and lovely wedding. So my hindsight advice today is Enjoy your wedding no matter what!!!
Why a mountain wedding?
Funny, we've gotten that question a lot! No, we don't have family members that live there, and we are not originally from that area. Kurt & I knew before we even got engaged that we wanted to get married somewhere “off the beaten path.” We like the beach, but we love the mountains. We've been up and down the east coast countless times. Most of our friends and family had never even been out west. The Appalachian Mountains are rolling hills compared to the Rockies! We figured this would be a perfect opportunity to bring our loved ones together to celebrate and also to expose them to an incredible part of the country.
Where did you find your inspiration?
- For the location: Snowboarding! One of Kurt's favorite places to snowboard is Beaver Creek. It started out as a joke, but once we started researching the idea a little more, we knew it would be the perfect spot to bring our family and friends together. The BC Village is easy to navigate and had a ton of activities for our guests. I've always envisioned myself getting married on top of a mountain, and as it happens, BC opened up their Wedding Deck the summer before we decided to get hitched.
- For the venues: Our personalities. We love to hike and explore, so getting married on top of a mountain seemed fitting for our personalities. Getting married in a church wasn't really our style. My parents live in a log cabin, so Saddle Ridge felt like home.
- Our vision: “Rustic Elegance” seems like the trendy way to put it. We wanted our guests to be able to embrace the beauty of Colorado and not be distracted by lavish decorations or over-the-top themes. We wanted people to remember their experience with us.
What are you glad you did?
- We hired the best professional wedding photographers we could find. It was one of the very first things we did! Our wedding day was composed of absolute madness. When it was all over, I felt a little sad because I wanted to be that “care-free, easy-going bride without a care in the world,” and I wasn't. But, when we saw the pictures and the moments they captured, it was like a breath of fresh air. We were able to laugh at all the craziness and relive the emotional and heart-felt moments through their pictures.
- We booked a band that we loved and that fit our style and theme. They absolutely ROCKED! White Water Ramble made our reception an evening no one will ever be able to forget.
- We arrived in CO 3 days before the wedding and took time to settle in. We didn't want to feel rushed. We were able to enjoy Beaver Creek and be with our family members beforehand.
- I booked a top-notch hair and make-up artist. Even through rain and wind, I continued to receive comments on my hair and make-up throughout the evening. It was one less thing I had to worry about. We did a trial run before the wedding, which I highly recommend doing.
- I wore a cure pair of flats: I tore ligaments in my ankle over the winter, so I wasn't able to wear heels. Wearing flats was the best decision I could have made because I never had aching feet!
- We had great welcome bags: My parents drove across the country from PA, so they loaded up their car with my wedding dress, Kurt's suit, and about 50 welcome bags! They were jam-packed with granola, suntan lotion, gum, water bottles, shoe bags, maps and other goodies for our guests. My mom also hand-stitched washcloths for everyone. Our guests loved them, and everybody used their water bottles and shoe bags.
Three things you wish you had done?
- We wish we would had better coordination for our ceremony. The BC Wedding Deck is beautiful (and expensive), but mountain weather can be relentless and unpredictable. We were not able to rehearse our ceremony on top of the mountain (this is something I would strongly encourage any bride to fight against. Seeing and understanding you ceremony site is important not only for your attendants, but you as well). Instead, we had to rehearse on the front lawn of the restaurant. The coordinators assured us this would be fine, but the day of the ceremony was hectic and stressful. The weather caused delay and confusion about the chair lift and shuttle operations. Plus, the bridal party and groomsmen were given little to no direction about where they were to walk, when they were to walk, etc. There was very little direction for us, so leading up to the ceremony, everything felt scattered and unprepared.
- We wish we would have had a better back-up plan for rain. Our timeline was very well thought out, but it didn't allow for any rain delays or even a change of venues if it did rain, at least not that I was aware of. Had everything worked out according to planned, our wedding would have gone off without a hitch. However, with the crazy mountain weather, especially this past year, there needs to be a back-up plan in place. We should have had our ceremony earlier in the day. Thunderstorms typically roll in during the afternoons, which is exactly what happened.
- We wish we would have done a first look, even if we hadn't planned for it: Originally Kurt and I wanted to keep the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony, but looking back on it, I think we both would have felt calmer and more relaxed if we had just seen each other. As soon as the ceremony was over and we were alone on the top of the mountain, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from our shoulders. When paramedics were running in and out of our rooms while we were getting ready, the only person I wanted and needed was him. Despite what I kept telling myself, I should have just run down the hall and jumped into his arms!
Anything you wish you hadn't done?
- Partied hard the nights leading up to the wedding: It was difficult to resist downing shots of Breckenridge whiskey with a family member from across the country you rarely see, or staying up until the early morning with your buddies from college reminiscing about old times. However, 99% of our guests were not used to the high altitude and didn't take it's impact very seriously. Many people felt sick or “not themselves” because they didn't realize how the difference in elevation would effect their bodies and recovery.
- Worn a veil: I had originally wanted to wear the veil my mom wore for her wedding. It was beautiful and super long and I loved it. However, the wind on top of the mountain was sporadic and forceful. My veil got stepped on, got caught on things, and really felt more like nuisance than anything. I literally took it off as soon as Kurt and I got to the top of the steps. Not worth it at all!
- Thought that everything or even most things would run smoothly because we hired a wedding coordinator: That was not the case at all! I expected that they would be able to handle everything, so when things started going wrong, I felt helpless because I hadn't planned for the possibility of feeling stressed or anxious.
- Had our ceremony and reception in 2 different places. Looking back on it, it would have made more sense to stay on top of the mountain and have our reception there. Shuttling your guests and yourselves all over the place and trying to stick to a timeline proves to be quite the challenge. Make life a little easier and stay in one place!
Three things you wish you hadn't worried about?
- The bustle on my dress: It kept coming undone and it was a huge hassle. My train was really pretty, and I liked having it, but it was a pain once the reception started. If I could do it all again, I'm not sure that I would have had a long train.
- The coordination of the Wedding Deck the day of the ceremony. I felt that the responsibility fell onto the shoulders of our photographers and that wasn't fair. I'm not sure where communication fell short, but I never expected to feel as anxious and somewhat helpless as I did that day.
- Losing meaningful possessions: When your ceremony is not the same location as your reception and you are pressed for time, if you lose something, chances are, you're not going to find it. I lost a pin that was attached to my bouquet and Kurt lost his sunglasses on the top of the mountain. We couldn't ask anyone to look for them because it was pouring rain and everyone was already at the bottom of the lift. If you borrow something, make sure that it is constantly on your radar, or someone elses.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
I think that my best advice would be “acceptance.” Looking at the lineup of vendors and professionals we were working with, no one would ever suspect that so many things could go wrong in one day, let alone a few hours. In my mind, I was paying people so that I wouldn't experience the stress of coordinating such an important event.
When my mom was rushed to the hospital, when we forgot our marriage licence on the dining room table, when the lightening started to strike and the thunder rolled in, when Kurt lost his sunglasses and started to feel ill, when my father-in-law broke his ribs and our friend had a seizure the day before the wedding, and when my bustle started to fall apart at the seems, I was unwilling to accept that this is just the way our day was going to go. I felt like I was in denial, thinking “This can't be happening. How can this be happening to us? The worst is over, and it will get better. It has to get better!” And when things continued to go wrong, I started to feel upset and I spiraled deeper and deeper into denial. I think when my friend accidentally poured her entire glass of red wine down my dress while we were dancing, it was then that I started laughing and thinking “well, this is the way it is and I just have to accept that!”
You can spend every minute of every day leading up to your wedding planning and preparing, but you can't control everything, and you certainly can't control mother nature. Rather than visualizing how your day will look so that it ends up on theknot.com or in a trendy magazine, focus on how you want to feel. When push comes to shove, whether there's blue bird skies, snowflakes, or pouring rain, you're going to get married, and that in itself makes for the absolutely perfect day of your life. Now that our wedding day is over, I can see past all of the chaos and accept that it truly was a beautiful and amazing event. Wouldn't have missed it for the world!
- Kurt was given a belt buckle and tie pin from his grandfathers to wear.
- Kacie wore my mom's vail.
- They also took the lace from Kacie's mom's original head piece and wrapped it around Kacie's bouquet.
- The hanky Kacie used was her great grandmother's.