Vanessa and Max had their hearts set on an intimate destination wedding in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and from the stunning images, it’s easy to see why. They focused on making their celebration an expression of their love for one another and their guests, and we think you’ll love every detail, from the bride’s lush bouquet to their classic stationery suite.
“Some of the most valuable advice I received as a bride was to stay present in the moment of your day. People kept telling that their own wedding day flew by, so I was conscious of making sure I cherished each moment. I can remember the day so clearly, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Are there any details you’d like to tell us about? We really wanted to be sure to include elements of New Orleans, where we live and where Max is from, even though our wedding was in Colorado. We had a local New Orleans letterpress company, Grove Street Press, design and print our invitation suite and the paper for our menus.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? First I’d say accept that you’ll probably end up spending more than expected! For me, it was figuring out what items were most important, then spread out the remaining balance of our wedding budget to cover the expenses that were less important to us.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? I wore something old, new, borrowed, and blue, but the most meaningful piece was a vintage key pin that I put beneath my dress. It belonged to my grandmother and it helped to feel like she was with us that day.
“We wanted a ceremony that was more unique to us than one following a particular religious tone. Our officiant worked with us on structure for the ceremony and we added ideas or phrases we felt represented us and took out those that didn’t feel like as authentic. In the end, it was absolutely perfect.”
Your ceremony in three words. Short, sweet, and meaningful.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We knew we wanted the ceremony to be outdoors, and the deck at Allie’s Cabin was picturesque. It was also small enough to lend itself to the intimate feel we were going for.
Who officiated your ceremony? Tara van Dernoot. When we first decided to get married in Beaver Creek, I asked local vendors and area resorts for their officiant recommendations. Tara’s name came up on everyone’s list. When we finally met, I knew she’d be the perfect balance of tradition and fresh ideas.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We included a stone blessing in our ceremony that I particularly loved. We gave each of our guests a stone to hold in their hands and asked them to silently say a blessing for us as they held it. It gave our guests a chance to participate in our day in such a concrete and spiritual way. We were able to bring these stones home with us and keep them in our study as a visible reminder of the love we felt that day.
What were your vows like? We decided to write our own vows, which allowed us to make the moment unique to our relationship while still embracing the tradition of reciting vows.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? I loved that it was emotional, not just for us as a couple, but for all of our guests.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? To follow your hearts and make decisions for your wedding that reflect your relationship.
“Max owns two restaurants in New Orleans and we love to eat, so the food for our wedding very important to us. Our 5 course menu was a labor of love between Allie’s Cabin’s amazing chef and the two of us, and with such a small group, we wanted to be sure everyone had an amazing experience. We planned a menu that featured the food of the region, including Dungeness crab, sablefish, veal ravioli and rack of lamb, and that let the chef display his considerable talents. It was perfect.”
How would you describe your reception? A very intimate dinner party with family and friends.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I was inspired by our location. I wanted our wedding to have a natural warm feel that was classic and timeless.
Are there any special details you’d like to share? One of my girlfriends, Hattie Moll, has an insane talent for calligraphy. I was lucky enough to have her address our save the dates and invitations, and she penned each menu!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had our cake shipped in from Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC. We wanted something less traditional than the standard three-tiered fondant cake, and our naked cake was heavenly with a glass of Schramsberg sparkling wine.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Don’t sweat the small stuff and focus on what the day is all about – celebrating the love that you and your partner share with your community.
What was your first dance song? Max and I danced to Nick Drake’s “Northern Sky Lights.” My dad and I chose The Righteous Brothers “Unchained Melody,” and Max and his mom danced to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.”
Our dances with our parents were very special, and it was nice to have that moment to share with them.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Listening to all of our guests toast us was incredibly touching. Those toasts shared by my parents were especially meaningful for me, and I’ll never forget their wonderful words.
Photography: Sara Hasstedt / Event Planning, Floral Design: Love This Day Events / Venue: Allie’s Cabin in Beaver Creek, Colorado / Officiant: Tara Van Dernoot / Dress: Essence of Australia via Patsy’s Bridal Salon / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Earrings: Wedding Belles / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Suit: Luca Falcone / Stationery: Grove Street Press / Calligraphy: Hattie Moll / Hair: Anna Marie Murrell / Makeup: Blush Skin Care and Makeup / Rentals: Alpine Party Rentals, Wildflower Linens / Music: Roy Bloomfield
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