Classy & Cuban-Inspired

April 25, 2011 / 0 Comments

Surrounded by towering pines, aspen trees and our chuppah that overlooked the mountains, the day could not have been any more idyllic .  We included family and friends in every part of the ceremony – from our puppy as the ring bearer to our parents reciting blessings.   We chose to honor my heritage with a Cuban-themed reception (1950s pre-Castro Havana). The venue was transformed into a classy Havana night club.  We served fresh from scratch Mojitos for the cocktail hour and a custom Cuban menu of ropa vieja, pollo mojo, arroz y frijoles negros and platanos maduros for dinner.  We even had an authentic cuban cigar bar.  Every detail of the day was an opportunity to share something about our lives, to honor somebody we love, or to commit ourselves to the life we want to share.  –Naphtali

Photography by  Kyla Jackson Photography

See more in the photo gallery


The ring pillow we used once belonged to my deceased older brother, and was used by my mother in her wedding.

-The cup of wine under the chuppah was Joshua’s Bar Mitzvah kiddush cup.

-A large poster of Cuba was our seating chart.

-Vintage post cards from various cities in Cuba were used to identify the tables.

-The table décor consisted of burlap, exotic flowers, coffee beans, oranges, limes, cigar boxes and candles.

-Our favors were Colorado Ponderosa Pine saplings wrapped in little burlap sacks with our initials on them.  Each sapling came with a card that described the type of tree, the story of the Missionary Ridge Fire and an invitation to join in planting the saplings, and a message from us expressing how we hoped that planting the saplings would be a new beginning for the Ridge, just as the wedding was a “beginning” for us. With the permission of the Forest Service, on the afternoon after the wedding, members of the wedding party trekked up onto Missionary Ridge to plant them in areas devastated by the fires of 2002.

-The favors were placed on an enormous Cuban flag that was given to me by family in Cuba.

-Joshua’s grandmother recited the Shabbat blessings using her grandmother’s silver candle sticks rescued from Nazi-occupied Belgium.


Photographer: Kyla Jackson Photography.   Five stars for Kyla & Wesley’s amazing eye, their fantastic personalities and their impressive professionalism.  We had so much fun!

Venue/Food/Lodging/Transportation:  Durango Mountain Resort.  The chefs at Purgy’s did a fantastic job creating a custom Cuban menu and the service staff was friendly and attentive.

Love at Ski Tip Lodge

April 23, 2011 / 0 Comments

Photography by Julie Harris Photography

From the bride, Anne:
We knew that we wanted a venue with a rustic and outdoorsy feel.  On a ski trip, we found the Ski Tip Lodge in Keystone and fell in love with its old world charm.  We also liked the fact that the Lodge took care of the food, liquor, cake, ceremony and reception set-up. Our ceremony was set outdoors, on the lawn of the lodge, overlooking an emerald green pond, with the majestic mountains in the background.  We booked for October 10th, knowing that the weather would be a bit cooler with a potential for snow.  However, on the day of, it was 50 degrees and sunny.Together, Greg and I composed the ceremony using elements taken from a traditional Irish “Loving Cup” ceremony, a combined Christian and secular ceremony.  We wanted it to be personalized as opposed to standardized. WORDS OF WISDOM
Hire a wedding planner and pay for a good seamstress. Also: Breathe and take a moment to step back, listen and watch.  It was the best day of our lives, which leads me to also say – do not skimp on the price of the photographer.  The images will last a lifetime and will be there to remind you of the day when your memory starts to fade.


Venue, food, cake, rentals:  Ski Tip Lodge, Keystone Resort   //  Photographer: Julie Harris Photography  //  Event Planner:  Bella Design & Planning

You & Me at Yankee Boy Basin

April 23, 2011 / 0 Comments

Photography by Real Life Photographs

From the bride, Jackie:
Our ceremony was held in Ouray, Colorado up a 4 x 4 jeep trail in the Yankee Boy Basin.  We rented Jeeps for our family to get up to the wedding site.  Some guests chose to ride up the very rough road in their private vehicles, which added an extra element of fun for the day.  The drive up took just over an hour.  The ceremony itself was simple with a friend playing the guitar and our dog as the ring bearer, no bridesmaids or groomsmen that stood up with us.  When all was said and done, we could not have asked for a better day!

My dad walking me down the aisle in such a magical landscape was so very special, I could not hold back the tears!

The drive up to the wedding site, knowing that the weather was going to be perfect, the setting was beautiful and it wasn’t just your typical drive to the wedding/church.  There was a bit of excitement for not only the challenge of the drive, but for seeing my soon to be wife.

Don’t get lost in what family and friends may want for your special day; do what works for you.  It truly is your day, not other’s vision of your day!

Victorian Elegance in Ouray

April 23, 2011 / 0 Comments

Today’s wedding features a Texas couple who planned the ultimate Colorado wedding experience for their 86 out-of-town guests. The goal was to share their love of Colorado and to make sure each guest felt like they were a part of the wedding.  Attention to detail was a priority.  An artist created a customized aspen leaf logo, save-the- dates were leather luggage tags engraved with the logo, invitations were a rendering of an aspen grove (created by a watercolor artist) that were made into fine art quality limited edition prints (for guests to hang in their home), while another artist created gold plated real aspen leaf keepsakes, no two were alike, for each guest.  Did I mention the travel concierge that personally arranged the travel plans for each guest.

From the bride, Laina:
Our goal was to create a wedding that celebrated not only the joining of our lives, but brought together our closest friends and family and made them all feel a very special part of the
experience.   We were very passionate about insuring everything we did had the flavor of our favorite parts of Colorado.  We laced everything with a touch and taste of the great state.  We love the wildness of the Colorado wilderness, the quaintness of the small towns and ski villages, and the warmth of the people.  We have chosen to spend much of our personal time in the amazing mountains of Colorado and wanted our guests to taste and feel the beauty that we have found. Our wedding was lovingly named the “Colorado Wedding Experience”.

We started the intrigue by sending a beautiful, unique leather box embossed with a lovely grove of aspen trees that would become our signature “Thread” for the wedding.  Inside the box was a pair of beautiful leather luggage tags embossed with the same signature aspen trees.  Enclosed was a card that highlighted the “must attend” event and all the details including the contact information for the personal concierge we put in place to help insure that all guests’ travel arrangements were handled perfectly and with a personal touch.

We started on Wednesday with a jeep tour to Tomboy Basin followed by a casual welcome dinner in Ouray.  Everyone spent Thursday on our Ranch at the top of Cimarron Ridge. We fly fished, hiked and relaxed among the towering pines at 10,000 feet.  Friday, was a special day that we called the “Great Telluride Extravaganza!”.  We wanted everyone to have an opportunity to experience as much of “our” Colorado as possible and Telluride had to be on the list!  We ended the day with a remarkable dinner of local Colorado wild game at Gorrono Ranch.

Since we were having a destination wedding, we wanted to create intrigue that would instill a feeling of “I must attend” to each and every guest.  We had a very talented nature artist create an original piece of an aspen grove for us to use for our invitation.  We then chose an artist to create fine art quality limited edition prints of the original piece.  Each invitation became a classic fine art remembrance piece that guests could use as an art piece to enjoy as they chose in their homes.

Nestled inside the beautifully folded dinner napkin, each guest found an attractive gold plated real aspen leaf keepsake hanging on a golden ribbon.  Each leaf was different and unique and alongside, was a tiny card that shared the heart warming Native American legend of the aspen leaf.

As our guests filed into the courtyard, they were greeted by the subtle intoxicating fragrance of a vintage Victorian garden.  Flowers and garden plants graced every nook in the courtyard while gentle saxophone music drifted from above through the softly quaking aspen leaves.  We exchanged vows closely surrounded by our dearest friends and family in a simple and warm ceremony.

While dinner was being served in the dining room, the courtyard was magically transformed into a warm, sultry jazz bar. Every tree in the courtyard was covered with hundreds of twinkling lights, candles burned atop midnight purple velvet table tops and throughout the garden the jazz band played romantic songs creating a very intimate concert style setting.

View more images in the Photo Gallery

My Dad’s face.  Choosing to marry late in life, I did not realize how important certain sentimental wedding things would be not only to me, but also to those close to me.  I will always remember the emotion that my father showed when he came into my bridal suite to see me.  I guess you are always their little girl no matter what age you choose to get married.

When we signed the wedding license we wanted it to have some special significance to those close to us.  Instead of just a witness signing, each of our children enthusiastically signed our license.  This was very special as they are a gift to both of us and their support of our marriage is very important.

When our guests retired to their rooms for the evening, they each found delicately placed upon their pillow, a beautiful truffle box with three lovely chocolates.



Luxe Floral Designer: Willowcreek Floral  {more info}

Photographer: Kyla Jackson Photography.  You always dream that you will have the perfect photographer for your wedding.  Someone that fits your personality and cares what is important to you as a couple. Kyla Jackson was a true gift.  The minute I met Kyla, that was it.   She is warm, fun, enthusiastic and was perfect for us!!  Kyla made every effort to quickly learn who we were, who our friends were and made every effort to reflect our personality from the first moment.   The best part, she felt like part of our family.

Venue:  Beaumont Hotel


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Mountain destination weddings.  Sharing romantic love stories, fine art photography, and elegant wedding inspiration from the mountains.