When I look back at our wedding day, it's hard for me to remember exactly how we pulled it off. But then, I think all of the many people who chipped in, our friends and family who made the trek to Telluride (some from across the globe!) and the ways in which our people pulled together, and suddenly it becomes very, very clear. What a day. What a group. We couldn't be more thankful.
I've gotten lots of questions about the wedding, and while I'm not usually one to get too obnoxious about these sorts of things, I thought I would share some of our favorite memories and parts of the day. If anything, it's the best kind of exercise in gratitude, to look back and see how such a special day, place, and group of people collided in such an unforgettable way. A destination wedding is no easy feat, especially when you decide on Telluride, Colorado, which happens to be a beautiful, rugged, and expensive place to access. While we knew it would be a big ask for our friends and family, we decided to move forward, knowing that whatever the turn out, it would be exactly as it should be. (And it was!)
We found a family ranch (Schmid Ranch) outside of Telluride that rented out a large piece of their property and a small cabin for the weekend. While the fact that it butted up to the iconic (and, for us, ironic) Mt. Wilson was an amazing surprise, it was the large grove of aspen trees that really grabbed at our hearts. We couldn't imagine a more beautiful or appropriate place for us to commit to one another than in a makeshift cathedral of light and aspen leaves, and so we stepped out of our comfort zones and decided to make it happen. However, because the wedding was taking place a long way away from home, it was important to us that the day felt sincere to who we were, and we did our best to include and incorporate as much of ourselves and our loved ones as possible.
A few favorite details:
In order to keep Texas fully represented, we hauled up cases of Lonestar beer and Topo Chico, and Rob made his favorite rib rub to share with guests. Rob's mom made cheese straws, my mom made caramel corn, and Rob's cousin, Lauren, kindly whipped up some of her famous Lauren's All Purpose salve to keep all of our guests skin soft in the dry mountain air.
We splurged a bit on a custom suit for Rob, but I had my top made, and I found my skirt at a Nieman's sale. I added a simple top skirt and silk belt, and bought my veil off of a secondhand website, because I'm nothing if not comfortable buying things from strangers on the internet. It was important to me that I feel like myself, and in the end, that meant wearing simple, easy pieces. I also wore my late Mama's pearls wrapped around my wrist and my mom's gold-plated bracelet engraved with my dad's initials, just because.
My lovely cousin Hope took care of all of my hair and make up needs and my wonderful and gracious cousin Rick performed our ceremony. Prior to the wedding, two of my aunts, Hope and Sandra, hosted a delicious ladies brunch, and Rob's mom and dad threw a really fantastic rehearsal dinner for all who wanted to come.
Because we couldn't imagine having a mountain wedding without some classic bluegrass music, we had a favorite Austin bluegrass band come up to Telluride to keep our guests entertained. They also played all of our music during the ceremony as well as Rob and I's first dance (a Townes Van Zandt jam). Their tunes were the ideal soundtrack to the day.
Rob and I chose to stand with just our siblings at the alter, and we had one of my best friends, Lyndsey, pray for us at the conclusion of our ceremony. It was also important to me to have a "ring passing", in which our rings were passed from guest to guest so that they could provide a prayer or blessing for our marriage. I loved having such a tangible representation of our community baring witness to our commitment to one another. Rob's brother read the poem Love, by Roy Croft and I did my best to not cry. We also decided to write our own vows and, unbeknownst to us, Rob and I both made reference to our dogs and queso. Apparently our love of canines and cheese runs deep.
My dad and I danced to the song Morningbird by Forest Sun, and he cried more than I've ever seen him cry, and Rob and his mom danced to Loves Me Like a Rock by Paul Simon and brought down the house. In order to honor our grandparents, Rob and I invited everyone to dance to a recording of my late grandfather singing When I Fall in Love and it was one of my favorite moments of the entire day.
My wonderful mother-in-law made yards and yards of white bunting that was strung throughout the tent and over the dance floor, dutifully hung by Rob and his older brother Sam, and my dad built a really special wooden swing that we asked all of our guests to sign. My hope is that it will hang from a huge tree in our front yard one day, and that lots of little grubby fingers will trace the names of all of our favorite people who came to see us get married all those years ago.
I asked Little Mountain Print Shoppe to create labels for our wine, and they turned out to be one of my very favorite details of the day. For dinner, we served grilled cheeseburgers, corn on the cob, asparagus, and summer salad, and built a big bonfire so that s'mores could be rightfully consumed underneath the stars. I loved looking out from our dance floor and seeing the fire in the distance, knowing (and hoping!) that some good conversations were happening amidst beer and toasted marshmallows.
My dear friend Austin rocked it as DJ at our reception and let me dance to a whole lot of Bruno Mars. Our (new!) friend Shyla and her husband, Brent, (one of my oldest friends from college) came all the way from Singapore to take our truly beautiful photos. Brent also provided a few sips of Japanese whiskey to help calm our nerves, pre-wedding, and was the best all-around cheerleader I could have asked for.
It was important to Rob that we have a videographer and, because of his love of 8mm film, we recruited the fantastic Paper Lantern Films to make the trek to Colorado, camera in hand. It is one of our favorite mementos from the wedding, and it was such a fun way to capture the nuance and sentiment of it all. (You can see the video here.)
After it was all said and done, Rob and I hopped into his truck and headed down the mountain towards Telluride. We got back just in time to take the gondola up to the top of Mountain Village before it closed. It was such a special ride, sitting beside my new husband in my wedding dress and he in his suit, watching the lights of Telluride twinkle and grow smaller as we sat in silence, smiling, savoring the day. We did our best to take it all in - the cool air, the quiet, the monumental string of moments that had just occurred- and it was the perfect way to begin our married life together.
While lots of small things didn't go as planned, the big things were just as we hoped, and at the end of it all, we got to have a wonderful shindig on a big mountain with some of our favorite people. I don't know about you, but in my mind, it doesn't get much better than that. We are truly the luckiest.
All photos by Shyla Spead, July 2017.