There is some beauty that can only be found in the mountains and Becca and Ryan’s wedding day photos by Karen High Photography exhibits just that. Their gorgeous woodland-inspired mountain wedding was filled with details that nod to the woodland romance of Twilight, the rich forest feel of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the whimsy of Alice in Wonderland. Intertwined manzanita branches dripping in white orchids framed their first married kiss and hints of purple and orange under abstract curls of willow emerged from birch-wrapped vases and beds of moss softened by candlelight on guest tables. Columns of twinkling lights cascading down from the hand-hewn beams of an aged barn welcomed guests to the reception and a raspberry sunset wrapped the horizon in shades of blush, plum, and indigo. Read on below for the romantic tale of these two alpine love birds!
Before the Ring:
Becca and Ryan, architects by trade, met through a mutual friend at Tuesday Poker Night in a Denver dive bar. They connected over a Jamison shot, discovered a common love of winter mountain sports, and before long, Ryan had an invitation to join Becca at her family’s Aspen home for the upcoming X Games. Becca remembers of their parting that night, “We were walking away in separate directions with our friends and I remember looking back at him and wishing that he would look back, too. I was kind of disappointed when he didn’t.” Unbeknownst to her at the time, Ryan also looked back at a different moment and felt the same disappointment.
He Facebooked her the next day and they spent the next six years together. They enjoyed the X Games, traveled often, went through a job loss, experienced death in the family, skied a lot of powder days, and came to know each other very well.
The Proposal Story:
When talk of marriage came up about four years later, Becca emailed Ryan some of her ring preference guidelines. This made total sense in their straightforward, easy-going relationship. Friends were convinced that the proposal would take place in an upcoming trip to Europe and excitedly talked to Becca about where she thought he would ask her to marry him.
Ryan, however, had a different plan. He didn’t want Becca wondering all through the trip when he would propose and didn’t want to worry about losing the ring box or taking a valuable ring overseas before having it insured. So, he chose an unexpected weekend already booked with a friend’s birthday party, a fish fry, and two days of scuba certification. After successfully getting Becca’s Dad’s permission over the phone, he asked Becca if she would like to go one of their favorite nearby parks for a stroll. She readily agreed but when they arrived, a weekly Jazz concert was taking place and the park was crowded with concertgoers. The pair settled in to enjoy the music with everyone else and once the music ended and people started leaving, Ryan invited Becca to take a walk around the lake there with him. Although it was 90 degrees outside, he excused himself to go grab his hoodie so he could hide the large ring box in it. He recalls making little conversational hints but she was oblivious. When they paused at a park bench to take in a view of the city, a dreamy sunset over the mountains, and a nearby fountain, Ryan told Becca how much he had enjoyed spending the past five years with her and how he hoped she would continue to spend the rest of her life with him. She was ecstatic. She loved the ring even more than her emailed suggestions. She said yes.
Wedding Day Details:
Becca and Ryan chose Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa as their wedding venue. Nestled at the base of the Continental Divide, the ranch not only offered breathtaking mountain views and an architecturally pleasing civil war era barn for the reception celebration, but it also offered what Becca and Ryan wanted most for their guests, an elegant yet unpretentious setting ideal to foster unplanned interactions and relaxing memories. Over the weekend, their 82 guests would run into each other at Heck’s restaurant and swap stories of seeing horses in the meadow, enjoying a massage at the spa, exploring the 6,000 acres of largely undeveloped mountain landscape.
Planning for the weekend was an organic evolving process. Both wanted their wedding to be entirely unique, inspired by who they both were and their love for each other. “In retrospect,” Becca says, “it has a little bit of ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ or ‘Alice in Wonderland’ although that wasn’t how we started out.” They drew inspiration from nature, from movies, from contemporary floral designs, and from their love of the mountains.
After a visit to the floral warehouse with her planner, Jessica, she really started thinking about what flowers she thought were beautiful and how she wanted the arrangements to seem like they were naturally growing from the tables instead of placed “out of context” as just a vase on a table.
On Finding The Dress:
“Finding my dress is what really pulled everything together for me and helped me define our wedding,” Becca remembers. When she tried on “Willow” by Jenny Packham, she literally started shaking and crying. “It made me feel like myself and I knew it was my dress. It was perfect.” She describes the vintage inspired dress with its effortless graceful fabric, exposed back, and intricate beading as “natural and comfortable, not too structured or rigid.” Just like them. Just like their wedding.
Their Advice to Couples in the Planning Process:
- Drink lots of wine! Make an event out of your planning. Plan to make (for example) two decisions over a glass of wine in the evening and if that goes well, pour another glass and make some more decisions. This relaxing and celebratory strategy makes for easier conversations and makes the planning more fun.
- Decide and Move On. Be respectful of other people’s input but don’t ask for too many opinions. Be true to your nature and stick with your decisions.
Photography: Karen High Photography / Venue: Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa in Tabernash, Colorado / Event Coordination: JA Special Events / Floral: Statice Floral / Bridal gown: Willow by Jenny Packham at Little White Dress / Officant: Steve Peterson, YMCA chaplain / DJ: Sound Choice Entertainment