Blissful Nuptials in Steamboat Springs with Adorable Chihuahuas

September 5, 2023 BY: Bailey

“Steamboat Springs was the first place that we were able to celebrate in person with family – James timed the proposal the day before we flew out for a week with family and friends. Steamboat has also been a special place for me, having gone there regularly to ski with family growing up. We looked at a few places, but loved Perry Mansfield immediately. The venue accommodated family and friends, who could stay for the weekend without the stress of packing up early the next morning. Being able to have the ceremony in an aspen grove, in which the roots of each tree connect underground, provided a nice motif for the families that we were bringing together. And of course we were grateful that our choice of wedding venue allowed us to support the performing arts activities that are Perry Mansfield’s primary purpose. The ceremony was introduced by a processional, featuring my two grandmothers as flower girls, and our chihuahuas as ring bearers. My sister Meghan and James’s brother Andrew officiated a short ceremony. They led us in vows that we wrote, “to spend our lives cultivating kindness, patience, gratitude and adventure, and to practice intentional love for each other, our family, our friends, and all living things.” I bought wholesale ivory roses and with our friends we set them into individual planters along the aisle and in front of the ‘altar’ where James and I stood. James is a Quaker, and we wanted a ceremony that, while not religious, reflected the purposeful simplicity of Quaker beliefs. Before our vows, one of our friends led the group in a ten minute silent meditation, with an invitation for anyone so moved to stand and speak. We were worried initially about how this would fit, but it turned out to be the feature that guests remarked about the most. As bride and groom, it helped us slow down and live in the moment on a day that can all too often be a blur. We chose an evening start time to capture the golden light through the trees, and in hopes that a gentle wind would help the aspen leaves shine. One of the dogs wandered throughout the ceremony, while the other nested herself on the train of my veil and took a nap. When the ceremony concluded, they followed us down the aisle, through the woods and back to the reception. There were drinks and a few toasts on the grass outside before moving into the pavilion for dinner. We kept the doors open most of the evening, and even when closed the large glass panels of the pavilion helped keep the ceremony connected to the world around us, which was one of our themes as we planned. Our priority for the party was good music. Each of us have attended our share of weddings and don’t have much memory of what we ate, but the setting, the people and the dancing stay with us, and a great band bridges all three of those. In that respect, The Petty Nicks Experience was one of the best choices we made over the course of the whole planning process. They had energy and flair in just the right doses to liven things up without shifting attention away from the party itself. And while their music was special to the two of us – I admired Stevie Nicks as a child and James grew up listening to Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever – it also appealed across the generations of our party, and they had everyone dancing after only a few songs.”

– Lauren, the bride


Photo + Video: Haley McElroy Co. Venue: Perry Mansfield Florals: Fifty Flowers Makeup Artist: Caroline Lalive Beauty Hair Stylist: Sophie Myller Invitations: Design by Lynne Averill Calligraphy: Heartfelt Handwriting Band: Petty Nicks Experience Dress: Mira Zwillinger Rentals: Colorado Party Rentals Drinks: Cocktail Caravan

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