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Durango Weddings Magazine - 2024 Issue

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4 durangoweddingsmagazine.comCONTENTS 2024 ISSUE WEDDING STORIES 6 ALISON & WILLIAM - Purgatory Resort10 HAILY & BRADLEY - LePlatt's Pond14 MEGAN & ZACH - Ridgewood Event Center18 JULIA & JARRED - Black Diamond Lodge22 MEGAN & GEOFF - River Bend Ranch24 ASHLEY & JENNIFER - Purgatory Resort 27 EMILY & ALEX - Durango28 CHELSEA & JULIAN - LePlatt's Pond31 ERIN & WILL - Ridgewood Event Center32 SHELBY & SAM - Black Diamond Lodge36 KYLIE & GEORGE - River Bend Ranch38 BROOKE & MICHAEL - Purgatory Resort40 PAIGE & CALEB - LePlatt's Pond42 LILY & NICK - River Bend Ranch44 TRENNERY & DEREK - Ridgewood Event Center47 MADDIE & AVERIE - Black Diamond Lodge48 ABBY & JUSTIN - Purgatory Resort50 MEGAN & DORAN - River Bend Ranch52 NICKIE & JACOB - Black Diamond Lodge54 GRACE & NIC - Ridgewood Event Center56 HAYDEN & BRYCE - Silverton 57 NIKKOLETTE & WES - Durango59 DANIELLE & GREG - River Bend Ranch60 HANNAH & DYLAN - Durango62 MORGAN & DREW - Purgatory ResortPhoto: Kara CavalcaEvery eort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein. Reproduction of any material, copy or artwork herein without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved, Weddings Magazine, Inc. Publisher: Weddings Magazine, Inc.Debbie Devereaux, Founder/Editordebbie@durangoweddingsmagazine.comCover image by Kelsey Kaplan-kelseykaplanphoto.comWedding day story on page 14

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10 durangoweddingsmagazine.comAlison & WilliamFrom the bride...Instead of just a wedding day, it was a wedding weekend. Since all of our guests came from great distances, we wanted to ensure that we oered events that would make the entire weekend memorable. I absolutely loved doing it this way. We kicked o the weekend on ursday night with a welcome party. is was the perfect opportunity to greet everyone and it relieved so much pressure for both Will and I during the wedding reception. On Friday, my bridesmaids and I hiked the Cascade Creek Trail. Our hike ended at a picnic arranged by Farm to Fingers Grazing and Durango Picnic Co, with breathtaking views of the mountains. It was absolutely incredible and one of my fondest memories from the weekend. Will and his groomsmen played a round of golf at Dalton Ranch. To wrap up Friday, our rehearsal dinner transitioned to an additional welcome event at Purgatory. It was important for Will and I to be able to sit and enjoy our reception dinner rather than "working the room," so once again, this was the perfect opportunity to mingle with our guests.FIRST LOOKOur rst look was my favorite part of our wedding day. We had a private vow reading and it was just so special to spend some alone time together. We are both pretty private people, so that moment is exactly what we both needed to feel connected.

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12 durangoweddingsmagazine.comTHE CEREMONYI wanted the mountains to be the focal point and the decor. e Needles are my favorite, so I loved having them in the background. e ceremony was intimate and personal, We had 115 guests, which was perfect for the Boyce Meadows site at Purgatory. e aspen and evergreen trees surrounding the meadow made the whole ceremony so intimate.My favorite ceremony memory was my veil oating away. A gust of wind carried it up and around Will and I. It wrapped around us as the ceremony went on, and it felt like a hug bringing us together. It was just one of those surreal moments, like, "it is you and me up here, and we are doing this thing!!" is moment also added some humor to the ceremony as my dad came up and xed the veil. Also, there was a hummingbird ying around us the entire ceremony- it was straight out of a fairytale!!! It was small moments like these that no one could ever plan for, that made the day so sweet. It was perfect!

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Durango Weddings Magazine 13Looking back, the whole weekend still makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.THE RECEPTIONOne of my absolute favorite things ever is slow (like 2 hours long), coursed dinners where you are more focused on the people around you than the food in front of you. So, naturally, that is what I wanted for my wedding day! Will and I were able to sit down throughout the entire dinner and just take it all in. e Purgy's sta did an incredible job serving our party, and the food was deeeelicious. e rst dances took place out-side on the patio under the stars.ADVICEJust let the day occur. I am the most type A person around, and everything has to be perfect or I typically go crazy. I let that part of me go for the weekend, and I am so grateful I did. Enjoy and embrace every moment as it occurs, whether it is planned or not. It will without a doubt be the happiest day of your life. LOCAL VENDOR TEAMVenue, Food, Lodging, Transportation: Purgatory Resort Photographer: Ginger Moose Photography Planner: Mountainesque Flowers: Lady Southwest Hair & Makeup: Kawii Sutherlin-AshcroCake: Whisk It Rentals: Any Event Rental

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14 durangoweddingsmagazine.comHaily & BradleyFrom the bride...Our wedding day was perfect, intimate and so us! We both come from small families, so we wanted our wedding day to reect that. We only invited our immediate family and a couple of our closest friends. We wanted our day to be more about our love story, rather than a big production for others…all while still upholding our traditional backgrounds. THE VENUEOur venue was the most important pick of our whole wedding! I felt like our vision couldn’t come together without the perfect venue…and boy, did we nd it! LePlatt's Pond is one of the most magical places I’ve ever seen. e peacefulness of the venue lled every moment of the day and it absolutely felt like it was exactly where we were meant to get married. Our guests raved about the venue all day long.THE FLOWERSOur owers were pure magic! We had April’s Garden do our orals and they completely blew me away! I shared my ideas, vibe and vision with them and they knocked it out of the park! I wanted a lot of greenery and pampas with neutral toned orals thrown in. e orals absolutely completed our day!

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16 durangoweddingsmagazine.comTHE CEREMONYOur ceremony was outdoors and stunning! LePlatt's Pond was the backdrop and we had the most magnicent arch and orals I’ve ever seen. It was fairly windy, but the way the pampas and orals moved in the wind during the ceremony made it feel like something out of a dream!THE RECEPTIONOur reception took place in LePlatt's Pond reception tent. I wanted a tented outdoor reception and it was perfect. e wagon wheel chandeliers in the tent looked like they were made specically for our wedding, the farmhouse table decor turned out exactly like I envisioned and everything was so laid back, just how we wanted! Our guests spent the night dancing, hanging out by the re while making s’mores and looking at the stars.FAVE DETAILOur tables! I had such a specic vision in my head for our tables and this was oddly one of the most important things to me. I was so afraid they wouldn’t turn out how I envisioned it…they turned out even better!!ADVICEPick a vibe and run with it. Pick your three most important things to you both and spend most of your money there, then don’t be as picky with the rest and everything else will fall into place! LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Venue: LePlatt's Pond Photographer: Taylor Hassebroek Flowers: April's Garden Bar + Photo Booth: irsty Rooster Hair & Makeup: Sarah Finney Ociant: Reverend River Stone Guitar Player: Ryan Hutchens Cake: Something Cute Caterer: Farm to Fingers Rentals: Durango Party Rental Video: Kelsey Kaplan & Integrita Productions

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Durango Weddings Magazine 17MEMORABLE MOMENTDancing with my mom for our Mother/Daughter dance. As a little girl with a single mom, I always dreamed of the day my mom would walk me down the aisle and dance with me. I picked out the song I wanted to dance with her to when I was little. It was a beautiful moment and tribute to all her hard work as a single mom.

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18 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the bride…We live in Minneapolis. Our guests traveled from all over the country. It was a destination wedding for every guest who attended our wedding! We had a room block at the historic Strater Hotel which provided a charming kick-o to our wedding weekend. We did a wedding party hike Friday morning near Purgatory followed by a group lunch at James Ranch. We had a fun cowboy-themed welcome party at 11th Street Station on Friday evening. Everyone loved exploring southwest Colorado and had the best time.THE PLANNINGI utilized the Durango Wedding Magazine extensively. It was the most informative local vendor resource I had for my wedding planning. THE VENUEZack and I are people who spend a lot of time outside, so I knew we would be looking for a venue that had a lot to oer outdoors. Aer we toured Ridgewood and experienced its timeless western details with an overtone of elegance and cottage whimsy, the rest of our garden party vision came together.e ceremony was outside under the shade of gigantic cottonwood trees, a eld of wild irises, and a view of the snow-capped La Plata Mountains.THE FLOWERSI wanted ethereal wild cottage garden owers in pastel colors of peach, purple, blue, white, & pink. I loved my oversized colorful bouquet, it made such a statement! Megan & Zack- e Cover Couple -

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Durango Weddings Magazine 21SPECIAL TOUCHESAt my bridal shower, my bridesmaids and friends painted oral patterns on the taper candles we used on all of the tables in the tent. When they sat down for dinner the guests who participated were so excited to see their con-tributions to our wedding.I hung thirty thried hankies in an old picture frame with a sign that said "for your happy tears" for guests to grab on the way to their seats. It's a good thing too because they were put to good use!I made paper out of dried ower petals and used the paper to make books to write our vows in. ey are a very special keepsake!e tables had ower arrangements made by Joan Alford who used owers grown on the Ridgewood property.We hired local painter Hannah Wilson to live paint our event during cocktail hour.My favorite part about the tent decor was the huge aerial piece of greenery & orals (designed by April’s Garden) that hung over the wedding party table. ADVICEOnly do the parts of a wedding ceremony or wedding day that speak to you. A wedding day can be anything so don't feel like you have to do any traditions that don't t you as a couple. LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Venue: Ridgewood Event Center Photographer: Kelsey Kaplan Planner: Joan Alford and Heirlooms Rentals + Table Flowers: Joan Alford Bouquet, Ceremony, Aerial Reception Flowers: April’s Garden Hair: BreeAnne Kelly Caterer: Distinct Catering Cake: Missy Sarno Music: Golden Bell Music Live Painter: Hannah Wilson Transportation: Mild to Wild ShuttlesMegan & Zack

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22 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the bride...THE VENUEWe actually chose and booked the venue prior to getting engaged. We were in Durango to snowboard for the weekend when we stumbled on e Black Diamond Lodge. We knew the second that we walked in that it was perfect for us. e Lodge was welcoming, intimate, and we could host our entire family. e time before the wedding was a little stressful but the second I saw Jarred all of the stress melted away. THE CEREMONYe aspen trees had just turned a vibrant yellow, and the ground was covered in gold leaves. We had a oral ground arbor and roses lining the aisle. Prior to the ceremony starting, the tree that the wedding party was lining up under was struck by lightning. Guests felt small electric shocks. Aer the initial shock wore o, the energy was electric. Once everyone was accounted for and no one was injured, the fear quickly melted away into excitement, and the sun began shining. "I had prayed for rain since it's supposed to be good luck on the day of a wedding, but I guess I prayed a little too hard." A few people thought the lightning was my late father making an appearance. LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Venue: Black Diamond Lodge Planner: Durango Event Planners Photographer & Video: Kara Cavalca Flowers: Mountain Belle Flower Farm Ociant: Reverend River Stone Caterer: Et Voila Hair & Makeup: Kawii Sutherlin-AshcroJulia & Jarred

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Durango Weddings Magazine 23e orals really were the star of the show at the ceremony.

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24 durangoweddingsmagazine.comJulia & Jarred

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Durango Weddings Magazine 25Photo: Kara Cavalca Photo + Video

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26 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the bride…Our wedding was honestly the most fun we've ever had! We were lled with so much joy and love throughout the day and can truly say that this was the best day ever, we wish we could go back and relive it.THE VENUESI grew up attending St. Columba so it was important and very special to get married in this church. We both fell in love with River Bend Ranch for our reception venue. We loved how beautiful the grounds were and loved that we could incorporate both indoor and outdoor space. Growing up in Durango, the Animas Valley was always one of my favorite locations so it seemed like the ideal choice for our reception. It also was in pretty close proximity to St. Columba so guests wouldn't have to travel far between the ceremony and reception.We had absolutely perfect weather that was capped o with the most beautiful Southwest Colorado sunset highlighting the red clis by River Bend. ADVICEEnjoy it. Limit the stress on little items, it all goes by so fast. Do what you & your partner really want to do without getting sucked into what other couples do or what other people might tell you is necessary. Figure out what is important and what is not, aer all it's your day! Hire a videographer.Megan & Geoff

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Durango Weddings Magazine 27LOCAL VENDOR TEAM: Reception: River Bend Ranch / Photographer: Kara Cavalca / Flowers: Adela Flora / Caterer: Zia Taqueria / Cake: Confections and Curiosities / Bar: irsty Rooster / Ice Cream: Vanilla Moose / Rentals: Any Event Rental / Favors: Honeyville / DJ: Rob Webster

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28 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the couple...WHY DURANGOWe live in Denver but chose to get married in Durango for the incredible views and natural charm of the town. We really wanted a venue that would highlight the beauty of the mountains while keeping with a more ‘down to earth’ local vibe. Purgatory Resort was perfect. THE VISIONWe really wanted to focus on keeping things more intimate and personal. We limited the guests to 75 of our closest friends and family. e vibe was a mix of Jen's organic boho style and Ashley's love of tattoos, beer, and yard games. We incorporated the ‘Purgatory’ theme by creating an arch with a neon sign that read ‘Til Death Do Us Party.’ THE CEREMONYOur ceremony was at the top of Paradise Li. We wrote our own vows and the ceremony script, keeping in mind we wanted the ceremony to last no more than thirty minutes so that we could celebrate the love we were surrounded by that day. LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Venue, Food, Lodging, Transportation: Purgatory Resort Photographer & Video: Kara Cavalca DJ: Aiko Aiko Sound- Ashley & Jennifer -

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30 durangoweddingsmagazine.comTHE RECEPTION We had a tattoo bar, a late-night taco bar (Jen is from New Mexico and loves her tacos), and served banana pudding in place of a cake, which is both of our favorite desserts.e day before the wedding, we found out that our dessert that we ordered from out of state (banana pudding) would not arrive in time. Without a backup plan, the Purgatory kitchen sta/head chef found out about this and got my mother’s recipe for her banana pudding and made it for us. It was absolutely delicious!It was nice having both the indoor and outdoor bar area which had a re pit. We loved dancing with everyone, and the food was incredible.ADVICESurround yourself with love and support and remember the day is for you two and not anyone else. At the end of the day, you’ll remember that love and support and not the table arrangements and decor.Ashley & Jennifer

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Durango Weddings Magazine 31From the couple...WHY DURANGOWe chose Colorado aer nding out that dogs could sign marriage certicates. Aer deciding on Colorado, we started looking at dierent areas. Durango was absolutely beautiful in every photo and it lived up to the hype!THE DAYOur wedding day was a magical day to celebrate our love and our journey together. We said our heartfelt vows at Baker's Bridge. We were denitely both nervous. Our vows were very heartfelt and true to ourselves. We signed the marriage license and our pup, Cheri, signed, too! We cut our cake and popped some champagne. We ended the day with dinner in Durango.ADVICEElope! It was so special to get married with just the two of us. We truly got to celebrate everything we love about each other and be ourselves, without all the pressure of a large wedding.PHOTOGRAPHER: Allison RagsdaleEmily & Alex

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32 durangoweddingsmagazine.comChelsea & JulianFrom the bride...THE VENUEI was looking for a venue that could accommodate 200 people, but that would also help with ALL the coordination and day-of set up. When we visited LePlatt’s Pond I was blown away by how gorgeous the property was! I'm SO happy we chose to do the rst look to help get any jitters out and just laugh and smile until our cheeks hurt.THE CEREMONYWe wrote vows that were incredibly unique and funny. I loved how genuine, true, and emotional Julian was reading his vows and listening to mine.ADVICEYour wedding should be a reection of you both. You can still be "traditional," and still make your wedding unique to you. row your own twists in the mix.Everyone has an opinion, you can appreciate their opinion and leave it at that. Delegate what you want, and do the rest yourself with a FEW people you trust. Honestly, I planned everything myself. I'm a doer and I'm the person that gets things done. I had the help from a couple people and that's it. By not having so many people in the mix, it kept the stress levels at a bare minimum throughout the entire planning process. It's your wedding, be direct and be decisive. It's OKAY to graciously tell people "no thank you." LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Venue: LePlatt’s Pond Photographer: Payton Lynn Photo Dress: Katerina's Darling Bridal Caterer: Island Breeze Rentals: Mountain Peak Rental I personally made my boho fan/bouquet.

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Durango Weddings Magazine 35From the bride...THE VENUEWe chose Ridgewood Event Center for the gorgeous setting, the availability of rentals on site, and the ability to have a lot of our friends and family to stay right across the street at Blue Lake Ranch. at gave us so much quality time with the people that travelled so far to make it to our weekend.We had a moment to share our excitement together before all the chaos began, and it was so special.THE CEREMONY Took place by the La Plata Creek. e beauty of the owers on the cross in the backdrop of our ceremony were a cherry on top of a perfect celebration.THE RECEPTIONSharing dinner and speeches under the dreamiest tent I've ever seen catapulted us into the most epic dance party! ere was so much energy as we danced the night away, we had the best time and we did not want the night to end. LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Venue: Ridgewood Event Center Photographer: Ginger Moose Photography Planner: Mountain Arrow Events Flowers: Adela Flora Hair: Jamie Does Hair Makeup: Summit Beauty Caterer: Et Voila Bar: irsty Rooster Cake: Toast Records & Bakes DJ: Golden Bell Music Lodging: Blue Lake Ranch Transportation: Mild To WildErin & Will

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36 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the bride...THE VENUEOne of the most important things for us when we were nding our venue was lodging. We wanted to make a whole weekend out of it so we could spend the most amount of time with our loved ones. e Black Diamond Lodge was the best choice we could have made! We had everything we needed in one spot- lodging, rehearsal dinner space, a game room, spa, hot tubs, getting ready spaces, the most beautiful ceremony space, and of course a reception area. I think our venue made the biggest dierence in planning a stress-free wedding.FIRST LOOKWe decided to do a rst look and personal vows so we could really soak in some alone time during our day. is was one of the most memorable parts of the day and was truly the best decision we could have made. We were able to write our vows without thinking about if anyone else would understand our couple's lingo or inside jokes. LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Venue + Lodging: Black Diamond Lodge Photographer + Video: Kara Cavalca Planner: Durango Event Planners Flowers: Mountain Belle Flower Farm Hair: Jamie Does Hair Caterer: Magallan Catering Cake: Whisk It DJ: DJ CodestarShelby & Sam

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38 durangoweddingsmagazine.comTHE CEREMONYOne of the biggest ways we personalized our day was including family and friends in the wedding. Sam's sister was one of my bridesmaids, my brother was a groomsmen, my pseudo-brother (I have known him since I was 8) was our ociant, and my brother played the guitar and sang "Wildowers" by Tom Petty while I walked down the aisle. Including people who are im-portant to us in the wedding made the ceremony that much more special and reminded us of the amazing support system we have surrounding us every day.

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Durango Weddings Magazine 39One thing that was so much fun for us was getting a huge group picture! Since we kept our wedding decently small (about 60 people) we were able to t everyone into one photo and we will cherish that picture forever!ADVICEBefore you start planning, take a moment to write down the most important things for you and your partner for your wedding. For us, it was having a smaller, intimate wedding and spending the most amount of time with everyone as we could. is really shaped our entire wedding and if we had jumped right into planning, we might have not reached these goals. Also, having a Day-of Coordinator is worth it's weight in gold!

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40 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the couple...We actually thought we were going to get married in Crested Butte but aer visiting Durango, and River Bend Ranch, we knew River Bend Ranch had exactly the vibes we wanted - gorgeous scenery, a really cute reception space, and space outside for people to hang out. It was also a plus that it is not too far from downtown Durango.THE VISIONRelaxed and fun. We honestly did not care that much about details - we just wanted to be able to have a beautiful day celebrating with friends and family. River Bend Ranch describes itself as "Durango's Relaxed Wedding Venue" and it lived up to that description. My grandmother told me that our wedding was "the happiest wedding she'd ever been to," making me feel that we t our relaxed and fun goal quite well.THE CEREMONYWe got married under the big willow trees. e ceremony itself was short and sweet. We wrote our own personal vows and stories and had a good friend as the ociant.LOOKING BACKGoing into the wedding, we had heard many people describe their wedding as “the best day of their lives,” thinking that felt a little dramatic and overhyped. Would it be fun? Sure! But that felt like a lot of pressure to put on a single day. Aer the wedding, though, we realized where this sentiment came from, as our wedding certainly was the best day of our lives. It simply is just so special to be able to have most of your closest friends and family all in one place to just celebrate and have a good time. We could not have asked for more beautiful weather or more beautiful scenery to accompany this day, and we simply had so much fun in every moment. Kylie & George

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Durango Weddings Magazine 41ADVICEIncorporate other events into your wedding weekend. We organized a mini hike, invited everybody to a welcome dinner and had pastries the morning aer the day. is made it so we didn’t feel overwhelmed about having to interact with everybody in a meaning-ful way at the wedding itself because we were already interacting with people throughout the whole weekend. Of course, it also helps if you can have a small-ish wedding - we had 63 guests and this made it less overwhelming. Also, hire an event planner, it is denitely worth it. We did a last dance aer people le - just us with a song picked out. is was where the tears came out and it was extremely special. LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Photographer: Ginger Moose Photography Venue: River Bend Ranch Coordination: Brittney Ahrens Flowers: Lady Southwest Hair: Little Braids Makeup: Reitz Wedding Makeup Caterer: Et Voila Dessert: Vanilla Moose Musician: Lauren Avery Rentals: Any Event Rental

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42 durangoweddingsmagazine.comBrooke & MichaelFrom the bride...Our wedding vibe was focused on having lots of fun with family and friends while relaxing together. Our ower girls were "ower goats" since we have a friend in Durango who is a local goat farmer and we want to start our own farm in the future.THE VENUEWe chose purgatory because the mountains have always been our home and we loved the idea of having our wedding at our most frequently visited ski resort.THE DRESSMy dress was inspired by the singer Stevie Nicks with her long sleeves and a boho inuence with the botanical lace and long train. THE CEREMONYOur ceremony was in the forest surrounded by pine and aspen trees and wildower blooms. e views of Engineer Mountain and the Needles mountain range set a gorgeous and serene backdrop for the day. e sounds of goats "baaah-ing" and classical music duet set the atmosphere perfectly.

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Durango Weddings Magazine 43THE LOCAL VENDOR TEAM: Venue, Food & Lodging: Purgatory Resort / Photographer: Allison Ragsdale / Planner: Summit Sunset Events Flowers: April’s Garden / Ociant: Southwest Ceremony / Dress: Katerina's Darling Bridal / Seamstress: Durango Couture / Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion / Ceremony music: String Poets / Cake: Whisk It / DJ: Aiko Aiko Sound / Goats: Durango Goatse ower goats were escorted down the aisle in full ower collars. Luckily, they did not eat any of the oral arrangements despite their wishes!Our favorite décor detail was our "Welcome to our Happy Place" sign. We have the sign on our mantle in our living room as a reminder of our wedding day.ADVICEPlan your wedding early, it's stress-ful and a lot of work. Hire a Day-of Coordinator, as it helps take a signicant amount of stress o of you on the day of your wedding and lets you focus on each other. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help. Your friends and family would be elated to help you. Finally, have fun!

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44 durangoweddingsmagazine.comPaige & CalebFrom the bride...We were intent on creating an experience for our guests that was fun, welcoming, and a strong representation of "us." We wanted our friends and family to see the beauty of southwest Colorado and why we decided to make it home. Caleb and I nd serenity in nature - it's our sanctuary and where we connect - which is why LePlatt's Pond was the perfect place to exchange our vows.THE VENUEWhile we researched other venues, LePlatt’s Pond was the only venue we toured. We knew immediately that it was the spot we wanted to get married. e setting is hard to beat and it felt like a good representation of us and what we love - nature, serenity, and family.DIY FLOWERSWe bought seven bulk buckets of owers from Mountain Belle Flower Farm. My sisters and I made the bouquets and boutonnieres the night before and lled the vases for the centerpieces. My mom and aunt used the rest of the owers to decorate the beautiful arbor at LePlatt's Pond on the morning of the wedding.ADVICEPrioritize the things you want to spend money on early on in the planning. For us that was venue, food, and providing accommodations for our family and wedding party. We knew it was a big expense for many of them to travel here so they either stayed with us or in one of the two Airbnb's we rented for the week. Knowing what those larger expenses were early in the planning helped us stick to a budget as well.

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Durango Weddings Magazine 45It was so incredible to dance outside under the stars and lights. I don't think I le the dance-oor all night. About 30 minutes before the end of the reception, it started to POUR but there were several of us that kept dancing. I will never forget it along with all of our guests out on the danceoor with us.LOCAL VENDOR TEAMVenue: LePlatt's PondDay-of Coordinator: Lacy Gra, LePlatt’s PondPhotographer: Karla BenitezFlowers: Mountain Belle Flower FarmDress: Katerina's Darling BridalCaterer: Farm to FingersCupcakes: Whisk It Hair: era Smith Rentals: Any Event Rental

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46 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the couple...We started the day with a walk together before all of the hustle and bustle. It was great to enjoy the moment before the craziness. We got married by the willow tree at River Bend Ranch. It was absolutely beautiful. Reading our vows to one another was extremely special. Aer the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails and snacks on the lawn. Dinner was served in the reception barn. e night came to a close with lots of dancing, cake, and fun music.ADVICEStay present at your wedding! Try not to let the stress of the day get in the way of what the day is all about.Lily & NickLOCAL VENDOR TEAMVenue: River Bend RanchPhotographer: Allison RagsdaleVideo: Integrita ProductionsFlowers: April’s Garden Bar: irsty RoosterCaterer: Zia TaqueriaDJ: Aiko Aiko Sound

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48 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the bride…Our wedding day was genuinely perfect and everything we ever hoped and dreamed of! We had ZERO stress on the day itself which allowed us to enjoy ourselves.THE VENUEAs soon as we saw Ridgewood, we knew it was the perfect venue for us. It has gorgeous Southwestern Colorado scenery with direct views of the La Plata Mountains, and the reception space was a rustic barn, which matched our personal backgrounds, perfectly. THE CEREMONYOur ring bearer was our dog, Rhett, who ran down the aisle carrying a tennis ball with the rings in it. Rhett was how we met, so it was only tting that he sealed our marriage for us!e most memorable moment was walking down the aisle and seeing Derek for the rst time. We were both so happy and could not stop smiling. Seeing him so emotional will forever be engraved in my mind.ADVICEMake the day about your love! Oen, weddings feel centered around the guests' experience, rather than centered around the couple. If you and your spouse genuinely love each other, the day will be perfect and everyone will have a great time, no matter how much is put into the day. Trennery& Derek

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Durango Weddings Magazine 49We had a private last dance which was one of the most special moments of the night. It was just the two of us getting to soak in all the happiness and love that the day contained!We loved the hand-made drawing of our three dogs on the cocktail napkins.LOCAL VENDOR TEAMVenue, Planning: Ridgewood Event CenterPhotographer: Legit Outdoor PhotographyDress: Katerina's Darling BridalSpa: Elevated Bridal BeautyVideo: Ascent Digital Agency

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Durango Weddings Magazine 51From the couple...We are from Texas so this was a destination wedding for us. We visited Durango during the summer and fell in love with the town. We both love Christmas so much we decided to get married December 23rd. THE VENUEWe decided on e Black Diamond Lodge because we wanted a cozy, comfortable, beautiful venue that doubled as a place where our friends and family could stay as well.PRE-CEREMONYWe both decided to get ready together. Ever since we rst met we have done everything together and it was important we share the moments of us getting ready on our wedding day. We read our vows in private before the ceremony. It was such a personal, sacred moment we got to share. THE CEREMONYWe walked to our ceremony site in the snow. It was freezing but absolutely stunning and so worth it. Saying our vows as the sun set behind the snowy mountains was so special and breathtaking!Looking back, we wouldn’t change any of it. Our wedding day was so perfect! LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Photographer: Kara Cavalca Venue: Black Diamond Lodge Coordination: Durango Event Planners Cake + Desserts: Whisk It Caterer: Et Viola Maddie & Averie

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52 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the bride...THE VENUEWe both love to ski, so Purgatory was top on our list of venues. e views from Dante’s are spectacular and we loved the idea of actually being on the mountain for the entire day. FIRST LOOKWe are so glad we decided to do a rst look. It was very nice to have a private, personal moment together. From a logistical standpoint, we were able to get all of our wedding party photos and family photos out of the way before the ceremony so we were all able to enjoy the cocktail hour with all our guests. FAVE DETAILe escort card board was a printed Purgatory ski trail map and the escort cards were made to look like old ski passes.ADVICEHave your ceremony and reception at the same location. is helped the day be very low stress and avoided any awkward time gaps between events. LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Venue, Food, & Lodging: Purgatory Resort Photographer: Ginger Moose Photography Planner: Mountainesque Flowers: Lady Southwest Cake: Black Bear Bakery Hair & Makeup: e FarmhouseAbby & Justin

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54 durangoweddingsmagazine.comMegan & DoranTHE VENUERiver Bend Ranch. Dan was easy going, gave me great vibes, and I loved the beauty of the venue. You get the best of everything: the mountain backdrop, the lake in the background, and the beautiful greenery. We also loved the barn for the reception. It had everything we were looking for.THE ATTIREI wore a Rue De Seine dress. e high slits on the dress allowed for my cowboy boots to peak through! Doran wore a rust-colored suit that tied in perfectly and a turquoise bolo tie. e bridesmaids wore three colors, I had 9 bridesmaids, so I had 3 of them wear each color to balance it out. e groomsmen wore sh suspenders, bolo ties and cowboy boots. THE CEREMONYWe had a short ceremony ociated by a friend. We said our personal vows and planted a Sequoia tree to symbolize our unity.FAVORITE MOMENTSMy family and bridal party really showed up for the dancing.LOCAL VENDOR TEAM: Venue + Day-of Coordination: River Bend Ranch, Brittney Ahrens / Photographer: Ginger Moose Photography / Flowers: Mountain Belle Flower Farm / Hair & Makeup: Southwest Hair and Makeup / Caterer: Et VoilaCake: Eat Me Cakery / Rentals: Durango Party Rental / Live Painter: Hannah Wilson / Photo Booth: DGO Photobooth / DJ: Southwest DJ / Video: Ben Brashear

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56 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the bride...THE VENUEWe loved the idea of a mountain venue and the Black Diamond Lodge was a beautiful spot. It was also very convenient that the reception and ceremony sites were in the same space along with the lodging. We were able to spend the whole weekend at the Lodge with our family, friends, and wedding party, (forty-six people so it was like a big sleep over).THE CEREMONYOur mountain backdrop was stunning and the greenery of the location was so lush. ere were even wildowers popping up here and there. My favorite part of the ceremony was when Jacob and I walked back down the aisle as a married couple. ‘Signed, Sealed, and Delivered’ by Stevie Wonder was playing and everyone was cheering and smiling and it was a super special moment that I will never forget.LOOKING BACKI would have told myself not to stress about the little things. I was being so meticulous and in the end, there were things that didn’t go as planned that didn’t even make an impact.My favorite reception memory was the grand nale. Love Story by Taylor Swi was playing and everyone was screaming the lyrics when the confetti canons went o during the last chorus. I felt like I was in a movie. So. Awesome.Nickie & Jacob LOCAL VENDOR TEAM: Venue + Lodging: Black Diamond Lodge Photographer: Cassidy Cheyenne Photography / Planner: Durango Event Planners / Flowers: Mountain Belle Flower Farm Dress: Katerina’s Darling Bridal / Hair: Holly Woolverton, Hair Fusion / Caterer: Farm to Fingers / Alcohol: Star Liquors, Carver Brewing Co / Cake: Whisk It / Arbor: Alpine Peach Events & Rentals Linens: Dedicated Linen / DJ: Revolve Mobile Disco

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58 durangoweddingsmagazine.comGrace & NicFrom the couple…Our wedding day was more special than we ever could have imagined. Being surrounded by all of our closest family and friends that came together from all over the country to celebrate with us was the most special feeling we have ever experienced. Every detail came together just as we planned and the setting could not have been more beautiful. It was a picturesque summer day at the end of June with cotton ying like snow from the trees above. We had been thinking of and planning this day for over a year and we nally got to enjoy the best day of our lives!

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Durango Weddings Magazine 59With the La Plata mountains in the background, the ceremony location couldn't have been more perfect.LOCAL VENDOR TEAM: Venue: Ridgewood Event Center / Planner: Joan Alford Photographer: Timberline Photography / Video: Eric Berry / Bouquets + Boutonnieres: Alma Britschgi sourced from Mountain Belle Flower Farm / Ceremony + Reception Flowers: Joan Alford / Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion / Caterer: Distinct Dining / Lodging: Blue Lake Ranch

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60 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the bride...THE VENUEWe met river guiding so our only criteria was to nd a wedding venue that would allow us to ra into the ceremony. Kendall Community Center was the spot!THE MORNING OFWe started our day sharing breakfast burritos with our closest people while it SNOWED all morning. at just added to the excitement for the day. We spent the rest of the morning raing down the Animas River, right to the Kendall Mountain Community Center. It was an incredible start to an incredible day. THE CEREMONYe storm cleared right before the ceremony, and we had the sunny, outdoor, casual wedding we wanted. We kept it very simple with lots of owers. One of our closest friends ordained the wedding and it was fun, heartfelt, and such a good time. Everything was so green and the moun-tains had a fresh layer of snow. We couldn't have asked for better views. VENDOR TEAM: Venue: Town of Silverton, Kendall Community CenterPhotographer: David Clumpner / Planner: Durango Event PlannersFlowers: Mountain Belle Flower Farm / Hair: Little Braids Bridal HairHayden & Bryce

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Durango Weddings Magazine 61From the bride...We wanted our wedding to be extremely intimate and special for the both of us. Wes and I felt it's so easy to get wrapped up in the stress of planning and ying in tons of family that we just wanted it to be about us. We gathered our 3 dogs, our two best friends & their kids, and drove out to Lime Creek Road with the beautiful fall colors. We had an intimate ceremony with written vows that were just absolutely perfect. We could laugh and cry without feeling the pressure of others watching. VENDOR TEAM: Photographer: Kara Cavalca Flowers: Adela Flora / Dress: Katerina's Darling Bridal / Hair & Makeup: Farmhouse SalonNikkolette & Wes

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Durango Weddings Magazine 63Danielle & Greg From the bride...From the moment we stepped on the grounds of River Bend Ranch to the moment we ended the night, our wedding day was magical.Our style was a mix of outlaw western and south-west boho with lots of fringe.THE VENUERiver Bend Ranch was the rst venue we looked at and we immediately knew we wanted to book it! e beautiful views made it an easy decision for us.DIY TOUCHESWe made our ceremony arch and guest place cards from trees foraged from our property.I loved the moment I got to spend with my dad before he walked me down the aisle. We both cried and laughed. It was a moment I will never forget.THE CEREMONYWe wanted to wait until I was walking down the aisle to see each other. When I saw Greg, my eyes lit up and I couldn’t stop smiling. Seeing a tear fall from his eye of course got to me.ADVICETry to work together during the planning process. ere will be fun times and stressful times. Don’t let the stress ruin the fun! is is your big day. Enjoy the process! LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Venue: River Bend Ranch Photographer: Kelsey Kaplan Planner: Brittany Ahrens Flowers: April’s Garden + Lucky Dirt Blossom Farm, ABQ Hair: Southwest Hair and Makeup Caterers: Zia Taqueria + Farm to Fingers Bar: irsty Rooster Musician: Rob Webster

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64 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the bride...THE VENUE Our backyard served as our wedding palooza that was colorful, silly, and fun.THE CEREMONYWe used the same hoopa Dylan’s parents got married under. All of our parents were a part of the ceremony. ey each had personalized stories and advice to share. It was so special!e ceremony was the part I didn't want to do because it made me nervous, but it ended up being the part I loved the most! Once we got up there, it was just us. All of my nerves went away and I really listened to everything our parents had to say. One of our groomsmen even fainted and we did not notice at all we were so in the moment!!THE RECEPTIONe Desert Child Band had the reception poppin'. e dancing was so much fun. ADVICEHave fun, do not take anything too seriously and trust your vendors. Explain your vision and let them take it and run with it! LOCAL VENDOR TEAM Photographer: Dawn Louise Photography Planner: Mountain Arrow Events Flowers: Mountain Belle Flower Farm Caterer: Maddalena Tumminaro Bar: irsty Rooster Rentals: Durango Party Rental Band: Desert Child Transportation: Mild to WildHannah & Dylan

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66 durangoweddingsmagazine.comFrom the bride...We live in Texas so this was a destination wedding for us. Durango was our rst trip as a couple and we absolutely fell in love with the beautiful scenery and mountains. We got engaged at Purgatory and thought it would be tting to get married there as well. THE DAYOur wedding day was perfect! e weather was amazing. Our ceremony view was surreal and riding the ski li was so fun. e trees were beautiful and the wildowers were still in bloom. I will never forget the wonderful words our ociant spoke to us as we stood holding hands together. We were very blessed to become husband and wife in the most amazing place with the most amazing people. It was the best day of our lives!ADVICEHire a Day-of Coordinator. I was hesitant at rst, but it was the best decision I made. It was calming to know that the venue would be decorated, all the vendors would be taken care of, and I could just focus on getting ready for the big moment.Morgan & DrewLOCAL VENDOR TEAMVenue + Food: Purgatory ResortPhotographer: Allison RagsdaleDay-of Coordinator: Summit Sunset Events Flowers: April’s GardenOciant: Reverend Chessa GillHair & Makeup: Alyssa & Allyson, Hair FusionCake: Black Bear BakeryDJ: Aiko Aiko Sound Video: Integrita Productions

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Durango Weddings Magazine 67April's Garden designed my bouquet and it was absolutely stunning!Our ceremony was at Paradise Lookout and it was the most magical location you could dream of for your wedding.

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68is free local resource would not be possible without these sponsors: April's Garden Black Diamond Lodge Blue Lake RanchCascade VillageElevated Bridal BeautyHoneyvilleLePlatt's Pond Preston Benson Purgatory ResortRidgewood Event CenterRiver Bend Ranch VIEW PAST ISSUES >MORE WEDDING STORIES >Sponsors Photo: Kara Cavalca

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