Happy Trails

Before we got engaged we had talked a little bit about what we hoped our wedding would look like. We both wanted outdoors. There is something about being in nature that draws us closer to our Maker more than a church. And we wanted that presence of God as we began our marriage. We also wanted a place that allowed us to spend time with our guests before the wedding. We talked about wedding memories that we loved, feelings, emotions, an atmosphere we wanted to create.

After we got engaged, we had to really think about the where and the how of our wedding.

Wedding decisions for us have to happen really fast (in the small snippets of time we have together) or really slow – as we try to process the decision in our long stretches of time during the in between.

Deciding in which state we should tie the knot was very quick. We knew that we probably couldn’t afford an outdoor area in Chicago or New York. I have often dreamed of getting married in my mom’s backyard. The garden, the trees, the fond memories of running barefoot and climbing trees. It’s beautiful. But I’m also aware that that would be A LOT of work for my mom and my uncle. And I love them. Furthermore, the logistics alone made my head hurt –renting tents, tables and chairs, bathrooms and parking. Nope. That took my mom’s off of the list. Plus, our closest friends live all over the world. Another priority is that we wanted our friends to come in and spend the weekend with us. I couldn’t fathom having all our lovely friends fly in and then…spend time …at the… riverboat?

And the final straw, the probability that it would be very hot and humid in Illinois or New York was about 115%.

And so, we landed on Colorado. Beautiful. Mountains. No humidity. Perfection.

Then, came the next task of actually finding a place. Despite us both having memories and connections in Colorado there wasn’t a place that jumped out at us. My dear friend Amber in Colorado Springs did some investigating and even recruiting from a friend. Rob’s friends, Brooke and Warren, sent us a list of possibilities. And I began a search on the internet. But with every venue, something seemed off. I didn’t want a cookie cutter wedding. The presentation of each venue made me itch and ache and was everything I didn’t want our wedding to be.

I thought perhaps I should start looking at photographer’s websites to see if I could find a venue. That’s a nice idea, if you know photographers. And off to Green Wedding Shoes’ vendor list I went.

There were two photographers for Colorado. I clicked on the first. It was a blog for a photographer based out of Denver. I scrolled through her photos. And the third wedding I saw, took my breath away. The wedding itself was simple and charming. It had all the small details that I had been envisioning, but the setting…was unbelievable. I wanted to get married there. I had to get married there. But, not wanting to be carried away by emotion, I took a deep breath and clicked on the second photographer on the list. And wouldn’t you know he had photos at the same venue.

Three months later, it became the official wedding location.

Our wedding is at Piney River Ranch on July 4, 2011. As much as I love America, I did not choose the day for an all out Americana themed wedding, but primarily because we wanted a holiday weekend for our friends to make the journey and enjoy the location. And Piney River Ranch was already booked on Saturday and Sunday.  (And for an added bonus – cheaper on a Monday!) Unfortunately, their website is not up and running right now. But if you google “piney river ranch weddings” you will understand why we chose this venue. In case you were wondering, Katy and Randy’s wedding with photos by Fresh in Love photography was the wedding that originally caught my eye. There were in numerous wedding blogs so they should be easy to find!



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