National Park Wedding in Utah

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Lauren and Brian had a beautiful intimate destination wedding among the vast rock formations of Utah in Arches National Park, where a select group of friends and family gathered to witness their nuptials before celebrating beneath the stars, and later, heading to Denver for a reception. The couple’s wedding planner, Meredith Commender of Significant Events of Texas, shared with us the story of this oh-so unique destination wedding.

Years ago when our bride Lauren finished veterinarian school, she headed West for some much needed decompression time and landed in Moab, UT. An outdoors adventurer by nature, Lauren fell in love with the beautiful rock formations in Arches National Park and decided that when it came time for her to get married, this would be the place. And indeed it was, as Brian and Lauren chose this very location for the site of their incredible destination wedding.

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A small group of family and closest friends traveled to our ceremony location in Moab, UT for the multi-day celebration. They were welcomed at their hotel with a branded Welcome Box full of treats and outdoor adventure essentials.

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On the day of the wedding, guests were picked up by bus and taken around Arches National Park on a guided tour of the lovely landscape before their final stop at Double Arch, the majestic site of Brian and Lauren’s unforgettable wedding ceremony.

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Following the ceremony, the guests were transported to the Colorado River where they enjoyed a guided sunset boat cruise, complete with drinks and hors d’oeurves. The next stop was dinner atop a cliff with the best views in all of Moab. Guests sat at a long table with beautiful succulent centerpieces, copper chargers, and our custom designed menus.

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After dinner, we took the guests to their hotel for the night: an incredible “glamping” experience under the Utah sky with luxury tent accommodations. But, before bed, it was time for our campfire which included S’mores, mini pies, and mini Pop Tarts which could all be roasted over the fire accompanied by cold and hot beverages. Guests had the best time celebrating the newlyweds in this truly once-in-a-lifetime fashion.

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After giving guests a few days to explore the area, we held our reception for a larger group of family and friends at a beautiful downtown Denver hotel.

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The ballroom reflected our Moab sunset design with mountain lighting designs on the wall, amber uplighting, Southwestern style furniture, and more of our mountain and desert inspired floral.

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Our dinner stations each reflected a location where Brian and Lauren have lived – Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado – and featured food particular to each region. We even had a Utah dessert station as a nod to their recent nuptials.

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Guests were treated to a slideshow of the stunning photos from their Moab ceremony. Their wedding cake was designed to reflect the outdoors setting we had created for the entire week as well. Guests enjoyed connecting with old friends, toasting the couple, and dancing before ending the night with Texas Pecans as their parting gift. It was truly a wedding we will never forget!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: The Willinghams

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony Site: Arches National Park (Moab, UT), Post-Ceremony Dinner: Sunset Grill, Reception Site, Catering + Cake: The Four Seasons Hotel (Denver, CO), Wedding Planner + Designer: Significant Events of Texas | Meredith Commender, Hair + Makeup: Atomic Salon | Rebecca Wanless, Invitations: Significantly Said: Invitations by Significant Events, Transportation: Canyonlands by Night, Accommodations: Moab Under Canvas, Campfire Desserts: Pistachio Pastries, Floral: Plum Sage Flowers, Rentals: Butler Rents, DJ + Lighting: Skyline Productions, Lounge Furniture: Eclectic Hive, Favors: Alamo Pecans, Gown: Anna B, Suit: Q Clothier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ranch Destination Wedding in Durango, Colorado

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Erin and Tom were a perfect match right from the start. The day after a mutual friend introduced them, this blushing bride told her mom, “If I don’t marry Tom Sawyer, I’m going to marry someone just like him.” The rest was history! The couple eventually opted for a destination wedding in Colorado at Blue Lake Ranch and Erin shared the details with us. “As a little girl, mom and I bought flowers from the Ranch and she talked about having my wedding there. When I got engaged I wanted a venue in an exotic location and we looked all over the world. After 9 months, my mom reminded me of the Ranch and it was exactly what we were looking for all along.”

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The bridesmaids wore an eclectic mix of blues and purple bridesmaid dresses all their own.  Beautiful!

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At a destination wedding, not everything goes according to plan, especially with the weather. But this mishap made for a special memory! “Rain poured on our outdoor ceremony and we all took cover in a nearby barn. As I hid in the back, everyone gathered on the porch and we had our ceremony surrounded by our loved ones in a thundering rainstorm. It was so beautiful and exciting. Our guests still talk about how special it was.”

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“Our officiant is a close friend so our ceremony felt deeply personal.”

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Erin and Tom used the natural surroundings to help set the tone for their décor. “We were inspired by our magnificent setting! With the Rockies behind and a green, flowering meadow in front, we let the Ranch guide the style and feel of our celebration. We love modern design so we added some contemporary details, such as metallic linens and a modern dinner, other than that we let the venue shine.”

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“The extraordinary people in our lives made our wedding feel like one giant special touch. My mom planted a wedding garden and all our flowers came from that special garden and my sister-in-law created our beautiful arrangements.”

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We asked the newlyweds what advice they have for future brides and grooms. “Be kind to your mom. During the planning our moms are easy targets for our frustrations and stress. Try to remember that she’s excited too, this is her big day too. Don’t make the mistake of being a jerk to your mom, ever- but really watch yourself during the planning.” Great advice!

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And to end the night?  A perfectly themed mountain inspired wedding cake (complete with custom dessert bar)!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Alders Photography

Wedding Vendors: Location: Blue Lake Ranch, Event Planner: Amber Events, Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Brooks Brothers, Shoes: Fendi, Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew, Linens and Coverings: La Tavola Linen, Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero, Caterer: The Yellow Carrot 

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Summer Weddings in Aspen, CO

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It’s our third and final day from Aspen, CO where summer is the perfect time for a mountain destination wedding with all Mother Nature has to offer (including perfect weather to say I do in the outdoors).  Last month with a visit to  The Little Nell, Aspen’s only five star, five diamond and ski-in and ski-out property, we were lucky enough to take some time to explore the region and get our feet wet – literally.

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 The Little Nell has an on-site adventure center to plan excursions and activities for your wedding group – everything from guided hikes to horseback rides and even fly fishing which we partook in!  They treated us like royalty, whisking us from one beautifully tucked away spot to the next.  If you’re hosting a mountain wedding, half the fun is exploring the mountains so be sure to pack an itinerary that shows off your location!  Or at the very least, share all the sites and ideas in your welcome materials for guests to enjoy on their own downtime.

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Surprisingly, learning to fly fish wasn’t as frustrating as I expected – we had great guides and the stocked ponds certainly helped!  A fun team bonding experience for new families coming together if you’re looking to break the ice with a group of all ages!

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Another, more fast-paced adventure that Aspen offers is white water rafting.  Now this is a rush!  Perhaps better suited for your younger wedding guests, this is one of those activities you’ll remember for a lifetime!

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Blazing Adventures took us down the river before finishing our day with lunch.  With the late snow fall this year, the river is especially high and fast for all your thrill seeking groomsmen out there!

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If you need a great off property activity after the great outdoors, check out Woody Creek Distillers – with a bar/restaurant and distillery on-site, you’ll learn about how they make their vodka, while you get to enjoy it!  A fun and casual place for a post-wedding brunch or even welcome reception before the big day for an intimate group.

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From great indoor entertaining to outdoor adventure activities, five star hotel accommodations, fabulous food and entertainment, and of course sun and snow – Aspen really has it all for your destination I do!

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Destination Wedding Photographer: Scott Clark Photo

Wedding Professionals: Special Event Location + Cocktails: Woody Creek Distillery, Lunch Catering: The Little Nell, Fly Fishing Tour: The Little Nell Adventure Center, Rafting Tour Company: Blazing Adventures, Flowers: Aspen Branch

 

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Aspen Rehearsal Dinner Location – Ajax Tavern

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Did you catch our venue report on The Little Nell yesterday?  THE place to say I do in Aspen, CO – be sure to check it out here.  Now, if you’re looking for a more casual rehearsal dinner spot or perhaps a more intimate destination wedding location, then consider staying at the base of the mountain and saying I do to Ajax Tavern at The Little Nell.  A hip and happening gourmet burger restaurant that just underwent a $2.5 million dollar renovation, the spot is perfect for indoor/outdoor entertaining with the gorgeous mountain as your backdrop.

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The food is phenomenal – described as casual fine dinning, you can have a relaxed gathering of all your loved ones once they’ve arrived on property and when you do, be sure to try the truffle fries!

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This special place is actually in the belly of the building, The Nell’s wine cellar.  If you’re a foodie and love fine wines, then you’ll be right at home at this property!

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For more information on booking Ajax Tavern, check them out here.

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Destination Wedding Photographer: Scott Clark Photo

Wedding Professionals: Venue: Ajax Tavern at The Little Nell, Flowers: Aspen Branch, Music + Entertainment: Elan Artists, Paper Goods: Express Yourself

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Weddings at The Little Nell in Aspen, CO

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Every once and a while we get to experience a spectacular property firsthand – for a wedding, special event, or special trip.  Today’s featured property I’ve had the joy of visiting twice, once for an incredibly memorable destination wedding and once with a group of wedding professionals and both times The Little Nell just blew me away with all they do for their guests!  Set on the base of Aspen Mountain, with a wedding ceremony and reception site at the very top of the gondola, there are few properties in the world that offer couples such a unique way to wed, with such exemplary service (and delish food too!).

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When I payed them another visit last month, we were invited with this picture perfect mountain invitation, complete with an Aspen leaf accessory created by Richard’s Notebook.  Great idea for a destination wedding in the region!

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For weddings at The Little Nell, one of the location options you can choose the Sundeck which actually includes a 16 minute gondola ride to the top to get there!  Trust me, this part of the experience is completely magical.  Especially at the end of the night in the summer months when the mountain is dark and you feel like the people in your pod are the only people on earth as you make your way back to your hotel rooms at the base of the ride.  It’s heavenly!

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Talk about creative wedding transportation!

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When you arrive at the top of the mountain, you can host your ceremony in more than one spot – pictured below is the deck at the Aspen Mountain Club, complete with music by Elan Artists.

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Inside the Aspen Mountain Club is a swanky spot for an intimate wedding or great cocktail hour for larger parties.  Aspen Branch created some beautiful florals for our fun dinner party!

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One of the many things that makes The Little Nell so special is the amazing staff – and that includes the chefs.  The food.  Oh, the food!  I can say from experience that your wedding catering will be one of the best meals of your life, and not just one of the best meals at a wedding!

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If you’re entertaining an Aspen wedding, The Little Nell can accommodate 250 people for weddings at the top of mountain.  But they also offer off-site catering if you’re hosting something in or outside of town – up to 5oo people!

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And when at the end of the night, you return to your hotel rooms, you’ll be greeted with no detail left undone.  Fireplaces to fall asleep to, plush beds to collapse into, and an intimate mountain home vibe your guests will love.  The rooms were actually designed by the famous Holly Hunt and with a recent renovation, the property just spent $20 million on rooms and $2.5 million on the restaurant alone!  Wow!   But with just 93 rooms (12 of which are suites), the hotel won’t feel too big for your party (no matter the size) – you’ll see friends and loved ones in the lobby before a hike and then hit the jacuzzi under the stars together at night.  Just the way a destination wedding in the mountains should be!

Tune in later this week with more from Aspen, CO and what to do while you’re in town!

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Destination Wedding Photographer: Scott Clark Photo

Wedding Professionals: Venue: The Little Nell, Flowers: Aspen Branch, Invitations: Richard’s Notebook, Music + Entertainment: Elan Artists, Paper Goods: Express Yourself

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