Nontraditional Mountain Wedding With an Intimate Guest List
This Austin couple planned a destination wedding in Steamboat, Colorado with a very small guest list for an intimate feel.
You already know this stylish couple from their Austin engagement session, but today we're diving right into the wedding celebration that followed. Think a destination "I do" in the Colorado mountains with only the couple's nearest and dearest to bear witness. One Fine Day Productions planned, the amazing Andy Barnhart photographed, and we're welcoming it all into The Vault.
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From The Bride...When Will & I started planning our wedding we had no idea where to start. I am from California, he is from Texas, but we wanted to find a place that felt like “us,” and have a celebration that was relaxed, non-traditional, and just fun. We began looking at venues in the Vail area, where Will’s parents live, and decided that the perfect setting would be a backyard wedding that felt small & intimate, ideally on a larger property where people could stay, hang out, and all get to know one another over the course of a long weekend. That’s when we found the Bella Vista Estate – it wasn’t in Vail, but in Steamboat Springs, a place that I had never even heard of at the time! But it was everything we were looking for: a large private estate that could house plenty of family & friends, with a huge lawn, and sweeping views of the breath-taking Yampa River Valley below. It was the perfect place to have a wedding AND a vacation with 100 of our closest family & friends, and we jumped at the chance to have our wedding there.

After finding the venue, the hard part started. How were we supposed to plan a wedding in a city I had never even been to, 1,000 miles away from our home in Austin, Texas? Luckily we were able to hire the best in the biz: Lindsey Grannis of One Fine Day Productions, a local legend in Steamboat. Lindsey understood our vision for the event: a wedding for non-wedding people. She immediately connected us to all of the best vendors in the area and our Dream Team was built – Andy Barnhart Photography, Marno's Custom Catering, Cupcake Minibar Bakery, and Colorado Event Rentals. The best part about it was this Dream Team felt like family by the time of the wedding – we had spent time with Andy & his wife, Emily, during Steamboat planning visits & in Austin for our engagement photoshoot. Cassie Crooke of Cupcake Minibar ended up being the best friend of my coworker and a fellow bride-to-be herself. They helped our wedding feel intimate and uniquely us, even before the big day happened.

Instead of a wedding day, Will & I wanted a wedding weekend, where we could spend more time with all of our loved ones that had made the long trek to Steamboat. We kicked off the weekend with a tubing trip down the Yampa river the Thursday before. On Friday, we decided against a big rehearsal dinner and instead opted for an intimate brunch with immediate family, followed by a welcome pool party on the Bella Vista property complete with swimming, lawn games, a BBQ, s’mores by the fire pit at dusk, and a photo slideshow organized by our best friends. By the actual wedding day, all of our friends had already gotten to know one another well and everyone was ready to party together for the main event! On our actual wedding day, we lucked out with perfect weather. Our two dogs served as our ring-bearers, and our close mutual friend & coworker, Chris Burton, officiated our intimate ceremony that was held on the estate’s lawn overlooking Lake Catamount.

Afterward, guests enjoyed sparkling rosé and appetizers around the pool before the reception began in the nearby tent that was set-up over the property’s tennis court. Halfway through the reception, we were blessed with the most vibrant pink & orange sunset, and the entire crowd went back out to the lawn for pictures & the bouquet toss. The subsequent party & after-party went well into the night, fueled by tunes from the DJ and a late night pizza delivery. The next day, we saw our guests off with a goodbye brunch, and – of course – a swim party at the Bella Vista to cap off an amazing weekend. We will always look back on our wedding weekend and remember how much fun we had with our closest family & friends, and we hope they will, too.