I have had a crush on Matthew since I was 5 years old, and I have the kisses in my kindergarten yearbook to prove it. He was a year ahead of me at our primary school and from that young age, I could not help but to swoon from across the black top. He claims to remember catching my stares and how I would quickly look away when we locked eyes; but our interaction never went further than those innocent glimpses until we were matched by friends at a wedding many years later.
In September 2014, I was 26 years old, a recent nursing school graduate, and perpetually single. Matthew was 27, a full time fabricator and avid cyclist and runner. I was a bridesmaid and he was a guest at a mutual friend’s backyard wedding in Geneva, Ohio which was an hour drive from where we both grew up in Cleveland. I recognized him immediately from childhood and he says the same. We reminisced on our schoolyard days over a lot of tequila and somehow we ended up stumbling through the woods with a flashlight. We ended up driving home together the next morning because his ride mysteriously disappeared. We talked the whole time, exchanged numbers, and I was not surprised to receive a phone call the next day and an invitation to our first date later that week.
After a casual dinner Matthew took me to Edgewater Park on Lake Erie’s shoreline where we laid on a blanket and talked under the stars. We both felt so comfortable, it was like we knew each other for years and we we meant to be there on that night. We shared our life stories to date, talked about our plans for the future and family, and we discovered how much we had in common while still being so different. He is very grounded and reserved while I am more spontaneous and extroverted. Our differences enriched our relationship over time, but our shared values were what made our pairing indestructible. We both value honesty and responsibility. Trust was big for us both, and neither of us cared for any kind of BS. It was clear from early on that we would fall in love and build a relationship that would last
Matthew’s brother moved from Ohio to Colorado in 2016, and we went to visit that April. We toured Denver and explored the neighboring towns and sites, and on a snowy pass on Lookout Mountain, Matthew proposed. When it came time to start wedding planning, we were conflicted with a traditional wedding at home because it did not feel personal or intimate enough for us. Also, we are very much a no frills couple, so we wanted to keep it simple and focus on the marriage instead of the wedding. It was important to us to write our own vows and to essentially proclaim our love and devotion to each other on our wedding day. We knew it would be heartfelt and emotional and we agreed that a small destination wedding was the most obvious path to take.
The destination was very easy to choose; the mountains of Colorado would be the place for Matthew and me to be married. Ever since our engagement, we would visit often, and we grew to love and appreciate the nature and culture of all the beautiful state has to offer. We reached out to Shaun Piazza, of Colorado Wedding Productions after discovering a link to an adventure wedding on Pinterest. We communicated through email for a couple months before eventually made a trip to Boulder to meet him in October, 2016.
The decision to work with CWP was very appropriate for our relaxed style of wedding planning. We had a vision, but we needed help bringing it alive since we lived in Cleveland, but the wedding would be in Boulder. The distance made it difficult to settle on ceremony sites and reception venues, but Shaun made us videos and sent many pictures of various options so that Matt and I could decide. We would send him descriptions of what we were looking for and lists of places we Googled, and we eventually landed on Artist Point on Flagstaff Mountain as our ceremony spot and Salt Bistro as our dinner venue. Artist Point had stunning views and also offered a level of privacy that was perfect for our short ceremony. The location also had easy access for transportation and our guests could traverse the trail without a problem. After the ceremony Matthew and I were elated to take photos at landmarks like Lost Gulch Lookout and Gross Reservoir. The day culminated in The Cellar at Salt Bistro on Pearl Street where we had access to a private bar and enjoyed a delicious meal with meaningful toasts and laughs amongst our guests.
Our wedding day was unlike any other wedding we had ever attended. I think that every couple knows how to best celebrate their love, and for us, our Boulder adventure wedding was everything we ever wanted. We were surrounded by beauty and although the views could be overwhelming, we felt the focus on the two of us making our commitment to each other was the pinnacle of that day for us and for our guests. Our adventure wedding will be a day we will never forget, but it was also an experience that left a rich and enduring impression on each of our guests. We will always take the time to visit Artist Point to revisit our memories of that spectacular day and to show our new little baby where Mommy and Daddy became Husband and Wife.
~ Bride, Ashley