We met briefly at a conference in Richmond, VA, but we really connected during my field work research for my Master's in International Community Development. Tyler was working with Syrian refugees in Jordan and was my tour guide during my research project. He decided then to move back to the states where I lived in Texas and that is where our story really began.
Before Tyler decided to official move to Texas, he came for a visit and took me on our first real date. It was in a town called Canadian and we took a walk along this quaint, historic bridge over the river. We hadn't been back there since that date, so when he decided to propose he thought what better place than there! It was October and we spent the day wandering through a state park and had an afternoon picnic. I knew something was up because he was far too nervous for just a day of fun. As we were leaving the park that evening he suggested that we end the day with a walk at the bridge. As we were walking he turned me around and gave me a letter he had written. As I was reading it, I looked up to see him on one knee and he asked me to be his. During the proposal, and to my surprise, he had a photographer who captured the moment for us! It was beautiful.
~ Bride, Brittany
We had a small budget to work with and I and my mom decided to do most of the grunt work ourselves. My aunts and my lovely cousin Megan came along side us to make the wedding absolutely beautiful. I knew I wanted to get married in Cuchara, Colorado as I had fond memories of visiting my grandparents there as well as working the summers there through my high school and college years. I knew some dear people who owned a ranch there and who I had worked for one summer, and they generously gave us their place to make my dreams come true. Together with dear friends and family we were able to create a beautiful wedding that captured the intimate, elegant, and rustic decor we both desired and remain budget friendly! We also wanted to incorporate both of our taste and style into the wedding so we had antlers to incorporate Tyler's love of hunting with the more soft-feminine colors of blush and sage. The colors we chose for the wedding were blush, sage, gray, and blue.
I wanted a dress that captured for me the wild beauty of the mountains. I didn't want my petite stature to be swallowed whole by lots of lace and frill and I wanted something that complimented the mountain beauty rather than stole away from it. The Reagan dress by Watters did that perfectly for me and it fit perfectly within our budget!
Tyler, the groom, went with a blue-fitted sit from Calvin Klein with a skinny, blue tie, cognac leather shoes, and hand-made wooden tie pin with the mountain emblem.
For my bridesmaids, I wanted an ecletic look with different lengths of dresses. However, I wanted them to be tied into together by the tulle skirt. We find the perfect option for this dream through BHLDN.
We wanted the groomsmen to stand a part from the groom so we decided to have them in a simple blue fitted shirt, tie, and suspenders. However we had them match the groom in the tie choice, color of blue, style of pant, and tie clip.
I think the setting was the most important thing to us while we were planning our wedding. We both are in love with the wild beauty of the mountains and wanted that part of us to find voice in our wedding. We also wanted to make it very intimateand family oriented. When my former employer offered his ranch to us it gave us both of these things due to its small size and setting. We couldn't have asked for anything better!
Some of the places we decided to spend a little bit of money was in hiring a photographer to capture that perfect day (and who better than Shara Jo!), the attire, and cake. We skipped in hiring a florist, wedding planner, caterer, hair dresser, make-up designer, and other such amenities and focus more on creating an intimate style all our own.
It is hard to decide what my favorite part of the day was as all of it was very dear to us both. The ceremony was perfect as we kept it quiet and intimate. Our close friends did the music for us (one even writing a song for our communion), a good friend of our's led the ceremony beautifully, and we both enjoyed sharing our vows with one another. However, I think the most special part to me was the reception that followed. Celebrating with your close friends and family is always fun but particularly celebrating a moment as holy and intimate as a wedding. My mom and her close friends cooked a delicious meal for us to share, and my aunts and other friends had decorated the place so beautifully. My little brother played the DJ and everything was simply perfect and fun; from the eating, to our first dance, to the celebration that followed.
Due to our budget we didn't want to spend too much on flowers but we still wanted to incorporate them into the decor. We ended up using FiftyFlowers.com for the Bridesmaid flowers, had Brandon's flowers create my bouquet, and found a wonderful etsy seller(BlaithinBlairShop) for the dried flowers we used in decorations. We used roses to add a touch of elegance and eucalyptus and hydrangeas to add wildness as well as texture to the table and bouquets. We incorporated here my wedding colors of blush, sage, gray, and smokey blue.
I wanted the wedding cake to be simple with minimal frosting and made of a delicious combination of Italian Cream and White Wedding Cake. We found the perfect fit at Scratch Made Bakery which not only did my cake but also the chocolate cupcakes for the groom's table. Tyler absolutely loves chocolate, so it was important that we found something that tasted as delcious as they looked. We found those in their hot chocolate flavored cupcake, stout cupcake, and salted caramel cupcake.
We did little bags of Colorado toffee in burlap sacks. It gave us the touch of rustic that we wanted as well as that touch of Colorado that everyone could enjoy.
For the exit, we had small bags of lavendar for the guest to throw as we ran out to the car.
My cousin Megan, hand painted, stamped, and wrote all of the cute menu touches and place settings. We used an old frame from the barn and baskets for the entrance table. My grandfather made the cupcake stand out of logs he cut in the woods. My mom sewed some of the table linens. The Bride and Groom table had my great-grandmothers hand-stitched linens for the napkins. The cake table cloth was my mom's cloth from her own wedding. We had a table of each of our grandparents and parents old wedding photos. My great-grandmothers hankerchief was something I held throughout the ceremony. The antlers, candles, mercury glass, and jars were all donated by friends and family. The Mr. and Mrs. sign on the chairs was hand-made by my aunt. The wreaths on the aisle in the barn were hand made by my mom. My hair and make-up was done by my aunt. My grandmother did all of the hemming and fitting for my wedding dress. Honestly, I may be forgetting a few things, but really everything had so much meaning, and family and friends made it all possible.
My great grandmothers hankerchief was something that I pesonally carried with me throughout the day. At my mother's wedding she had a video created of each guest blessing the bride and groom for them to watch at a later date and that is something we incorporated into our own wedding. My mother's cake table cloth from her own wedding was the table cloth for our wedding. We also had our dear family friend, who is Jewish, bless us at our wedding with the Jewish blessing even though we are of the Christian faith.
My advice would be to not forget what the wedding is really celebrating, nor to give up in making that beautiful wedding come true. There were some days that I wanted to throw in the towel and elope as all the DIY of the wedding began to become more stressful and less romantic. However, there is not one thing I would change about our wedding now that it has passed. The special, personal touches of the wedding, the generosity of those who participated, the intimate setting, and joyous celebration are all something that I will never forget and always treasure.