Rocky Mountain Destination WeddingWords by Katie Martin
Photos courtesy of Irving Photography
Amanda and Scott, who love traveling to Colorado in the summer, knew they wanted to have a small and intimate wedding with less than 100 guests. Knowing Colorado was such a beautiful place that had breathtaking views, the couple knew it was the perfect place. In the heart of the Rocky Mountain National Forest, Amanda and Scott said “I do” in front of the green mountains of Colorado at their Rocky Mountain destination wedding.
Once the couple chose the beautiful Estes Park for their Colorado wedding, it was time to see how their friends and family would respond to their decision. Luckily, there wasn’t much push-back about hosting a destination wedding. “There wasn’t too much negativity, but it’s not always easy to please everyone when they have to travel for you,” says the bride. “Once everyone got to Estes Park and realized how beautiful it was, we knew that we did the right thing. We really wanted a fairy tale wedding and it was. With the most picture-perfect location and the most beautiful backdrop, we knew everyone would be falling in love with it.”
For travel logistics, Estes Park was definitely not the easiest place to get to. An hour and a half drive from Denver International Airport doesn’t seem that bad when you think about it, but for guests who had never driven through the mountains, it didn’t go very well. “You had to rent a car and drive an hour and a half away into the mountains,” says the bride. “Some guests could experience altitude sickness as well if they aren’t used to the altitude.”
Luckily, once guests arrived at the location, there were plenty of places to stay, since the bride booked accommodations far ahead of time. “We sent out save the dates ten months beforehand with information about booking accommodations,” says Amanda. “I booked out a block of condos at Mary’s Lake Lodge and made sure that the lodge and condos were somewhat affordable. There were other options outside of Mary’s Lake Lodge if it was too pricy for people.”
For the couple, planning the wedding was pretty easy. While they opted out of having a wedding planner, the couple was able to figure out everything they needed for their wedding with just a few phone calls and emails. “A wedding is stressful either way and yes, at times, it got very stressful, but that is expected when you don’t hire a wedding planner and have a specific vision on mind,” says the couple. “But, we made it work.”
On the day of their wedding, family and friends were happy to be a part of the event and to be with such an intimate group of people. “We are still getting compliments on how it was beautiful, fun and the most unique wedding people have ever been a part of,” says Amanda. “We seriously had a magical wedding and it couldn’t have been better.”
Amanda and Scott wanted to offer some special advice for other couples planning to have a destination wedding. While they opted out of having a wedding planner, they suggested hiring a wedding coordinator to make sure everything was running smoothly and everyone was where they needed to be. “The day of our wedding was so relaxing knowing that the coordinators were there to help out and were there for us and made our day that much more enjoyable,” says the couple. “ I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Our wedding was honestly the best day ever and we really wish we could relive it over and over again!”
Vendors: Photographer: Irving Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: Mary’s Lake Lodge, Florist: the perfect petal, Stationery: Minted, Cupcakes: Piece, Love & Chocolate, Hair & Makeup: Holly Curlee, Gown Designer: Inbal Dror, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Men’s Wearhouse/Vera Wang, Ties: The Tie Bar, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Lulus, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Men’s Wearhouse, Bride’s Accessories: Lace Boutique, Bride’s Robe: BHLDN, Bride’s Shoes: Saint Laurent
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