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Momentous Rocky Mountain Marriage


July 21, 2023
Words by Pascale Bushaw
Photos courtesy of Meagan Lawler

Emma and Jacob crossed paths after attending a “90s night” at a local beer hall. The two knew that they wanted a meaningful wedding and chose to invite their immediate family and close friends to the beautiful Rocky Mountains to tie the knot!

“One night, Jacob, already knowing of me, came up and said, ‘You’re Emma, you’re my soulmate.’ After getting over the initial shock of this random encounter, we’ve been inseparable ever since!”

When it came to picking a location, the couple chose Colorado as it was one of their favorite places that they have traveled to. Being from New York, they struggled to focus their search for a wedding venue. With the help of their photographer, Meagan, they found Lake Isabelle to share their private vows. When searching for a venue, they wanted a place that offered a picturesque backdrop and somewhere that could host their 18 guests. They found an Airbnb to stay at called Riversong Lodge in Grand Lake which was on the Colorado River with gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

“When we envisioned a destination wedding, we only ever thought of the mountains. Colorado has always been one of our favorite places we have traveled to, so it made sense to choose a destination that already had memories attached to it,” says Emma.

Having an intimate wedding allowed the couple to focus on a celebration of their love. They made checklists and wrote everything down to stay organized. Being over 2,000 miles away, they had frequent check-ins with their vendors to stay on top of things. One thing they needed to be mindful of was ensuring that their location wasn’t majorly affected by damage from the widespread wildfire. The couple said that their photographer, Meagan Lawler, helped immensely with planning the timeline of their two days, which alleviated a lot of stress.

“We were able to soak up every single second of our day and did not have to worry about the typical stresses that a wedding day brings,” the couple says.

The couple wanted their location to be the main focal point of their wedding, so they chose more simple decorations. Emma and Jacob had a muted color palette, candles, and string lights so they didn’t take away from the breathtaking scenery. They made trips to local thrift stores as well as craft stores to find decorations. They chose to rent some of the more fragile decor from their caterer so they didn’t have to travel with breakables. They wanted a cohesive wedding with colors and different design elements, which was difficult to do being an out-of-state couple.

“Ultimately, everything turned out exactly how we envisioned and felt like us,” the couple says.

For their ceremony, the couple set up an arch with greenery and flowers along the Colorado River. Emma and Jacob said how important it was to have someone who knows their love story to officiate them, so they chose one of their best friends as the officiant. They exchanged their vows privately and had their friend read a special passage that described what they thought marriage should be, followed by traditional vows. One thing the couple decided to do differently was to have a unity bonfire surrounded by their loved ones instead of a unity candle. When Emma and Jacob were pronounced husband and wife, the guests blew bubbles as they exited.

“As soon as we saw Lake Isabelle, we knew it was the one. Exchanging our vows to each other during sunrise with only the glacial valleys and the moose was an indescribable moment,” says Jacob.

Planning a destination wedding can be overwhelming, so Emma and Jacob recommend hiring a planner that specializes in destination weddings to make the process run smoother. The couple says that even though it might be tough, there is nothing quite like a destination wedding.

“It is romantic, exciting, and memorable. While it does require quite a bit of planning, it is all worth it,” Emma says.

Vendors: Photographer: Meagan Lawler; Florist: The Stalk Market; Stationery: Minted; Cake: Cakes by M; Hair: Kelly with Root Salon; Gown Designer: BHLDN; Men’s Clothing Designer: Kenneth Cole

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