Rustic DIY Ranch Wedding in Aspen Colorado

Real Hindsight Advice

Aspen wedding ceremony

wagon ride at an Aspen Wedding

I don’t know about you, but when I think of an Aspen wedding I picture a high end banquet at a grand lodge. So when I saw this fun, rustic, funky, DIY Aspen wedding I just had to share it with you. Yup, you read that right, a DIY wedding in Aspen! And this bride wholeheartedly recommends personalizing your wedding with DIY projects, but make sure you start early.  Other things I love: the rustic birth bark decorations combined with funky aspects like the purple chucks. And I LOVE those lovely tattoos with the rich purple bridesmaids dress. The hindsight advice very very good. Make sure you read it!

Horses and birch bark at an Aspen Wedding

Bride and groom in a wooded copse

Tell us a bit about your wedding, the planning process.

Once we were engaged, we decided on the three most important things we wanted to really make special. For us we chose the venue, the dress, and the photographers. We looked through tons and tons of magazines and blogs for ideas and tried to found ways to make them our own. I loved the idea of a mountain wedding near my home town, so once we chose our venue we were able to make sure everything else with that. We wanted our style to be very natural and fresh. We decided to do a lot of DIY projects so that we could incorporate the outdoors into every aspect of the day. Some of our favorites were tossing leaves instead of bubbles or bird seed, carving our names and the date into homemade flower vases, and using pine cones to hold up place cards. We also put sepia prints of our engagement photos in mason jars and placed them around the entryway. A lot of our decorations were green and brown so we chose a beautiful lapis purple for the dresses and flowers so they would pop in the meadow. We loved everything about our big day!


tattooed bridesmaid in a purple dress

purple, green and white Aspen wedding details

What are three things you’re glad you did?

  • Hired a day-of-coordinator: We kept going back and forth between hiring one and not because of our budget. Hiring her was one of our best decisions! Every question, issue, and concern was directed to her and my husband and I were able to enjoy everything without worrying about all the details that may or may not get done. She kept everything flowing smoothly and made sure any decision she made fit with our vision of the wedding. It really freed us up to enjoy every single moment!
  • DIY Projects: Not everything we did was a DIY project, but we did a lot! Even though it took a lot of time in the weeks before the wedding I’m so glad the details were exactly the way I wanted. My husband helped with most of the projects and was a great bonding experience. It made all the important details so personal–we added our initials, the wedding date, and loving words to many of our decorations. To be honest, our DIY projects got more attention than decorations we purchased! It can be time consuming, but it’s cheaper and adds a personal touch to your wedding that other weddings don’t have. Ladies, it’s worth it!
  • Had my make-up professionally done: Trust me, on the morning of your wedding you do not want to be getting flustered over your make-up. I don’t usually wear a lot of make-up so I was nervous about it. I didn’t want to do it myself and have it turn out bad in pictures. Do some research to find an inexpensive and trustworthy one and get a trial run beforehand. That way, the morning of is spent being pampered…it was so relaxing and really helped me calm my nerves. Plus, make-up artists have a better idea of what photographs well and what looks great inside vs. outside.


Aspen pine cone details

Bride and Groom in a mountain meadow


Three things you wish you had done?

  • Ate some dinner and some of my cake! There were so many people to talk to and things to do, but I wish I had taken time to really try some of the food and cake. I remember feeling sooo hungry by the end of the night and all the food was put away. You may not feel like eating, but you’ll feel better later that night.
  • Wrote thank you cards as gifts arrived: We were feeling so busy in the weeks before, but I wish we had taken the time to write thank you notes to the people who sent gifts a few days before. It sure would have saved time after!
  • Talked to our photographer about a photo booth first: We knew we wanted a photo booth and so we booked it pretty early…we found out later that our absolutely AMAZING photographers had the ability to set up an outdoor photo booth, which would have saved us a ton of money and would have been just as fun for the guests! Either way, the photo booth was a huge hit and I highly recommend it!


purple mountain details

Bridal portraits

Three things you wish you hadn’t done?

  • I wish I wasn’t so vague with our baker: We went in to order our cake and we discussed options and what we wanted, but we really wanted to trust them as professionals when they said they had all the information they needed. I don’t think our vision for the cake was transferred as well as we had hoped. If I could go back, I would be so much more specific with design and color and not assume our vision was the same.
  • Did our entire registry in one day: One word: exhausting! Split up your time and try doing your registry in two or more days.
  • Invited so many people to the rehearsal dinner: Once we started inviting some family, we felt bad about not inviting others. We had family, attendants, friends and more there—practically all the people who were invited to the wedding who didn’t live out of town! We should have stuck to closest family and the wedding party.


Mountain wedding in Aspen Colorado

memory wall at a rustic Aspen wedding

pine and birch wedding details

Three things you wish you hadn’t worried about?

  • Not worried so much about our number of attendants! My husband has so many friends and he was really struggling narrowing them down–I was really worried about it because I had envisioned a smaller wedding. We ended up with 8 bridesmaids and 9 groomsmen. It actually turned out to be great. We didn’t have to feel bad about not including anyone, we had support wherever we went, and they danced ALL night and got the other guests up and dancing too! I was so glad we had all of our loved ones there to share our special day.
  • The dress: I found the one I absolutely L.O.V.E.D., but I let others opinions get to me. I really value my mom and sister’s opinion, and they liked a different dress. I really stressed about whether I made the right decision or not. I chose the dress I loved in the end and after seeing the pictures, I am so glad I did. I am so glad that I was able to have my family there for support, but choose what I really want in the end. It left me with no regrets!
  • Getting everything done in time: I worried constantly about getting things done. There just didn’t seem to be enough time for everything! However, I found that people were so supportive and really willing to help. Surprisingly, some were begging for something to do. I should have given them something sooner! I had to learn to designate tasks–everything else fell into place.


Aspen wedding Ceremony on a ranch

Aspen reception details

bride and groom dance on a purple dance floor

What is your very best hindsight advice?

Enjoy the day! So many brides say that the day goes by so fast and then it’s suddenly over. It’s true that the day flies by, but I would urge other brides to try to be in the moment. Enjoy the company and family and friends and dancing—don’t get caught up in the little things that go wrong and appreciate the beauty of all your hard work.


Wedding S'mores

wedding photo booth

first dance aspen wedding

Parents dance and wedding exit with sparklers


Team Wedding