I love Colorado for many reasons. The breathtaking scenery, the majestic mountains, the plethora of outdoor fun to be had. But my favorite thing about Colorado? The weddings. The weddings that simply scream rustic elegance with every ounce of their being. And this gorgeous day filmed to absolute perfection by Kevin Von Qualen is the perfect example of just what I mean. It’s two beautiful sweethearts meets the uber-gorgeous stylings of Bella Design meets a stunning Diamond J Ranch setting, aka, all kinds of Colorado lovely. Click play to soak in all of the pretty.
Oh, and we’re not done yet. We have an entire gallery of rustic goodness from the always amazing Jason + Gina to kick start your week. I’m talking beautiful blooms from Susan’s Flowers, a Marisa gown that will literally knock your socks off and a whole lot of happy. Join me there for more.
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From the Bride… Jeremy and I met through mutual friends while I was in medical fellowship in Chicago and he was working in Indianapolis. We had a whirlwind romance; he drove up to Chicago every weekend for six months until we moved together to Portland, Oregon for new jobs. We were engaged two months later when he popped the question after a (very long and sweaty) eight-hour hike! For Jeremy and me, our dream wedding was a relaxed weekend, with close family and friends, in a stunning location. We felt that having a wedding in the Rockies reflected us both individually and as a couple.
My grandfather stumbled upon the Fryingpan River Valley 40 years ago and built a log cabin there with the help of his friends. My family has spent nearly every summer at the cabin since I was born – my sister and I grew up playing violin in the local church, riding horses at the Diamond J (our wedding venue) and hiking in the valley. And my sister was married in the valley 10 years ago from the week that Jeremy and I were married! I’m from New Orleans and Jeremy is from Minnesota… so, in addition to the Fryingpan being a place close to my heart, we thought it would be a beautiful destination for our family and friends to enjoy, as well.
My vision was a romantic chic wedding with a soft color palette (navy blue, pale pinks and pale apricots) and a casual, fun outdoor vibe. Largely inspired by Style Me Pretty and other wedding blogs, we wanted to create a weekend with many personal touches. For example, our table numbers were numbers that had significance to our relationship with an explanation below so that guests could understand. One table was #6,222 (No. of miles that Jeremy drove between Indianapolis and Chicago to see Kathryn). Another table was #1 (No. of questions that Jeremy got wrong as Kathryn’s “mobile shout-out” on Cash Cab Chicago). Table #79 (No. of American Idol episodes that Kathryn “forced” Jeremy to watch). Guests loved walking around to the other tables to read all of them – it was a great conversation starter!
Since we had guests travelling from all over (including Spain!), we wanted to show our appreciation for their devotion and how far they travelled to share our day with us. Jeremy and I cut and painted old barn wood with the cities represented and their distance from the wedding location. A few days before the wedding, we couldn’t find a post to nail them to, so Dad and Jeremy concocted a tri-pod made out of aspen tree trunks. It ended up being so cute and unique! People loved it and had fun posing for pictures in front of their city.
The night before the wedding we had a huge Pig Roast for all of the guests. Jeremy is a horticulturalist at a large conifer nursery; he arranged to have 40 miniature conifers shipped from Oregon to Colorado to serve as the centerpieces. We then gave one to each couple to take home with them and plant in memory of the weekend. It’s been touching to see these little trees planted in the yards of our friends and family when we visit!
We had a photo booth, but instead of the standard photo booth props, we used props that reflected us – my grandmother and grandfather’s old hats that we keep at the cabin, Mardi Gras beads and masks that represent my NOLA home. Apparently, on the day of the wedding, my Dad also rounded up shovels, pitchforks and picks from our cabin shed for the photo booth. I had no idea, but had a great laugh when he posed with my bridesmaids and myself in the photo booth with all of the random yard tools!
Our favorite 10-year old Mountain Poodle, Macy, was in our wedding as the Best Dog. After she walked down the aisle, she had to “say Hi!” to each of my seven Bridesmaids by walking by and licking each one before taking her rightful seat with our dog-handler on the front row. Such a cute moment and so Macy! Loved it!
For ten months, beginning the day after we got engaged, my mother worked on compiling a scrapbook that documented Jeremy and my relationship, from the day that we met until the day that we got married. It was the most beautiful, thoughtful, hilarious, and touching gift. We displayed the (two-volume!) scrapbook at our reception, so that we could share our story with everyone.
Our favors were also very personal to us. Every summer since I can remember, my mom spends hours at the cabin canning homemade jelly, made with fruit from the valley. For our wedding, she made 140 jars of raspberry jelly and peach jelly, which we gave out as gifts to our guests.
Being from New Orleans, nearly every wedding I’ve been to has a Groom’s cake – a Southern tradition and one that my husband was clueless about. This provided a great opportunity for me to surprise him! I had his favorite cake, German chocolate, made into the shape of a giant Rainbow Trout, with a banner that said “This one’s a keeper!” The pastry chef did an amazing job – it is one of Jeremy’s favorite things about our wedding to this day!
Wedding Photography: Jason + Gina | Wedding Venue: Diamond J Ranch, Meredith, Colorado | Wedding Cinematography: Kevin Von Qualen | Flowers: Susan’s Flowers | Event Planning + Design: Bella Design | Invitations: Paper Bloom Studio | Cake + Desserts: Susan Keating | Wedding Dress: Marisa | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Hair + Makeup: Full Circle | Necklace: Kendra Scott