Wedding Date: 09/10/2017 Bride and Groom: Heather and Jason Ripke
Heather and Jason tied the knot in a gorgeous “dream come true” ceremony at the Little Nell on top of Aspen Mountain. Their guests enjoyed a glass of champagne on their gondola ride up and were welcomed to the ceremony by a string duo. Heather’s father and 5 year old daughter walked by her side down the aisle. Their ceremony was very personal to them. Friend, Mike officiated their wedding and they each wrote their own vows. After the ceremony, guests went to the Aspen Mountain Club deck for cocktail hour.
Bride Heather shares with us below about what made their wedding day special.
How did you decide on this location?
We knew we wanted a destination wedding yet something different from the normal beach wedding. I searched mountain weddings on Pinterest and I came across a picture of a wedding out on the Wedding Deck at The Little Nell and absolutely fell in love. I contacted The Little Nell and we had our venue booked within a day. Getting married at The Little Nell was a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is no other place like it and we will forever be grateful for our family and friends that took time off of their lives to travel to Colorado to experience our special day with us, and to all the vendors and employees at The Little Nell that went out of their way to make our day extra special.
How did you decide on The Little Nell – Aspen Mountain Club for your reception?
We saw one picture of the Aspen Mountain Club and knew that was where we wanted our wedding reception. We (and all of our guests) had to travel to Aspen from Iowa so we wanted to stay on top of the mountain as long as possible to enjoy the atmosphere and view.
What was the mood at your wedding?
Romantic and Memorable. With such a stunning backdrop, we wanted to play up the romance with our floral arrangements. We wanted our guest to have fun and leave with a once in a lifetime experience.
What is your best memory from your wedding day?
We have so many best memories from that day. We decided to forgo a first look, so we saw each other for the first time that day as I walked down the aisle. Writing our own vows also made the ceremony more special and unique to us. Surprising Jason, the Groom, with a Daddy Donkey(what she calls him) cake from Hayden, his stepdaughter, was a special moment. Also seeing our family and friends experience such a perfect day at the most amazing venue we could have dreamed of was amazing.
Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding?
Do your research and rely on your venue if that’s an option. Leann Katchuk from The Little Nell was spectacular. She was always available and extremely accommodating on everything and anything we wanted and or needed. Pick vendors that you mesh up with well. Robin Proctor was the first photographer that we contacted and we chose her. We spoke with 5 difference florist’s before settling on Carolyn’s Flowers. Listen to your gut and don’t settle, pick what you want.
Wedding Date: 09/03/2017 Bride and Groom: Meg and Zach
(From the Bride)
Zach and I met in Aspen, Colorado. Zach (originally from Orange County, CA) picked Me (Meg) up in the Gant Van from the airport with my mom. What we thought would be a mother-daughter vacation turned into the beginning of a wonderful love story.
After being in a long distance relationship for a year, I moved out to Aspen to be with Zach. We both lived and worked in Aspen until 2015 when we decided to move to California to be closer to family. We decided to have a destination wedding in Aspen because it is so near and dear to our hearts. We had an intimate wedding of 70 guests and had activities throughout the weekend. We had a welcome reception at the Gant Aspen and served vegan friendly options, bison sliders, and more. A selection of Colorado Bourbons (along with full bar) was also hosted at the Welcome Reception. We really liked having the activities planned because it gave our guests a chance to get to know one another before the wedding day. Once the wedding came around everyone knew each-other. The morning after the wedding we went Paragliding with Aspen Paragliding, then embarked on a 3 week honeymoon through Spain, Portugal, and Morocco.
How did you decide on this location? I wanted a ceremony location that was outdoors but had an easy plan for rain, because we all know how afternoon showers can come unexpectedly. I also liked that it was affordable, had a scenic backdrop, and was only a 10 minute walk for everyone from the center of town.
How did you decide on Hotel Jerome for your reception? The Hotel Jerome was a short distance away from the Theatre Aspen. I love how historical the hotel is and it definitely has the mountain chic vibe I was looking for.
Where did you have book your accommodations?The Gant
What was the mood at your wedding? Full of love and happiness!
What is your best memory from your wedding day? Seeing my husbands face when he saw me walking down the aisle (we didn’t see each-other before the wedding)
Meg, Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? Plan activities throughout the weekend so the guests can get to know each-other before the big day. I had a small wedding of only 70 guests, but the dance floor was always full. I think the fact that everyone had met almost everyone else by the time the reception rolled around definitely helped. Also, I would advise people to definitely have an open bar! People come from very far and spend a lot of money to witness your marriage – you want them to enjoy themselves!!
Aspen Wedding Vendors Welcome Reception:
Venue: The Ute Terrace at The Gant Aspen
Food: The Gant Aspen
Music:Live music by Mark Nussmeier
Wedding Date: 07/07/2017 Bride and Groom: Jenna Bahl and Thomas Downes
Jenna and Tom reside in Corona Del Mar, CA. The bride is originally from Colorado and her husband is an accomplished skier and heli skier who picked Aspen as a destination venue for their wedding. Tom and Jenna have many special memories in Aspen which made it the perfect spot for their small wedding.
Read on to hear from the bride about their beautiful Aspen mountain wedding day.
How did you decide on this location?
When he was single, my husband spent time skiing in Aspen, a friend of his had a home there. I was born and raised in Colorado. Some of our best memories together are from our trips to Aspen.
Where did you have your reception?
Aspen Mountain Club followed by dinner at the Caribou Club
How did you decide on Aspen Mountain Club for your reception?
We wanted to make it seamless and have our guests feel comfortable eating and drinking while we had all of our photos taken.
What was the mood at your wedding?
Smiles everywhere. It was surreal and perfect.
What is your best memory?
Seeing my mother-in-law beaming with pride and happiness. I am so thankful for her.
Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding?
Our guests included our wedding party, their significant others and family only. Keep it small. We had a reception back in Newport Beach one week after we got married so we could celebrate with everyone who wasn’t at the wedding and it was perfect.
Lindsay and Raul’s wedding was a beautiful, intimate affair. Their ceremony and reception locations both boasted stunning mountain peak views for an Aspen feel. The couple had delicious food and many fun, personalized details including a Chipotle burrito Groom’s cake representing where they first met. What a perfect day!
Wedding Date: 04/07/2017 Bride and Groom: Lindsay Altenbaumer and Raul Ganzalez
Where did you have your ceremony? St. Mary of the Crown – Carbondale, CO
How did you meet? Raul and I met while I was in law school at the Chipotle cantina and we dated for five years before we tied the knot in Colorado.
How did you decide on this location? We wanted a small Catholic church with beautiful scenery. St. Mary of the Crown was an easy choice, as it provided the small church feel with gorgeous views of Mount Sopris. Also, Father Rick is fluent in Spanish and was able to communicate important portions of the mass to Raul’s family.
How did you decide on The Little Nell – Aspen Mountain Club for your reception? Coming from Texas, we were looking for a venue/location that did not involve as much humidity & heat, and the top of Aspen Mountain was an easy selection for that preference. Plus, The Little Nell accommodated every food request to perfection!
How would you describe your wedding? Intimate with beautiful scenery!
What is your best memory from your wedding day? Having everyone we love joined together in such a great location and, of course, marrying my love.
Lindsay, Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? Having everyone we love joined together in such a great location and, of course, marrying my love. Enjoy the benefits of a destination wedding, visit, visit, visit!! It is an excuse to vacation while you plan!
The absolutely breathtaking Brandon wedding was a destination wedding that highlighted the beauty of the mountains. Their intimate ceremony involved personalized vows. This wedding was a romantic and calm affair with incredible cuisine and non-stop dancing and celebrating. Wedding Date: 09/04/2016 Bride and Groom: Adrianne Brandon and Grant Brandon
Where did you have your ceremony? The Little Nell Wedding Deck
How did you decide on this location? We knew we wanted a destination wedding, and we both LOVE the mountains and visit Colorado every year, so when I came across the Little Nell wedding deck in Aspen I immediately knew it was where I wanted to get married.
Where did you have your reception? Aspen Mountain Club
How did you decide on Aspen Mountain Club for your reception? It is just steps away from the wedding deck where our ceremony was, and with all of our guests travelling so far to Colorado, we wanted the guests to stay on top of the mountain and enjoy the beautiful views from 11,000 ft.
Where did you have book your accommodations? The Limelight & The Little Nell
What was the mood at your wedding? There was so much joy, happiness and love all around us at the wedding. Our ceremony was very intimate and we each wrote our own vows to share in front of our closest family and friends. The ceremony was very calm and romantic, while the reception was an incredible seated dinner followed by non-stop dancing and celebrating! The whole weekend was a big celebration!
What is your best memory? Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Grant standing there with tears as we walked towards him was the happiest moment of my life. The sun was shining on the mountains behind him and it was truly the most beautiful day and view I’ve ever seen.
Adrianne Brandon, Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? My advice would be to hire an experienced wedding planner who is familiar with the destination of your wedding. My planner was very familiar with Aspen and all of the vendors there, which made the process very easy, exciting and fun for me!
Do you have any additional thoughts you would like to share with us?
What many do not know, is the night before our wedding, a freak accident happened that landed me in the ER until 6 am on our wedding day and left me with 8 staples in my head. Grant stayed by me the whole time until we separated for the wedding day to catch 2 hours of sleep before the festivities began. I woke up to a perfect BRIGHT sunny day, which was a surprise because the weather was cloudy and rainy everyday previous. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was, we could not have picked a more beautiful day if we tried.
The sun continued to shine bright the entire day and throughout our ceremony. After the ceremony, Grant and I walked to a secluded spot to watch the sunset over the mountains on our perfect day.
How did you decide on Elk Camp Restaurant for your reception? Everything is in one place and it is a short gondola ride which made for perfect pictures! The meadow for the ceremony and for dinner, a spacious new contemporary bar was perfect. It was all in one location and had patios and firepits!
What was the mood at your wedding? Such lovely energy surrounded by family and close friends…you could literally feel the love in the air. This was a special love story shared by so many. From stepping down the aisle through fragrant lavender, followed by fine dining, to toasts and dancing the night away. The night ended magically with a spectacular sparkler send off under the starry skies.
What is your best memory? So much love was shared with the couple. One of a kind photos from the very top of Elk Camp.
Caroline Gibson, Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? Relax and enjoy every minute of the day…Let your Wedding Planner and Maid of Honor handle the details; and feel like the Princess that you are.
Do you have any additional thoughts or photos you would like to share with us?
This is a hallmark story if ever there was one. Their relationship started as being best ski buddies (keeping up with the guys skiing the steeps) to homemade chicken soup left on the doorstep during the flu season. Their ‘love’ was so obvious to anyone and everyone in this small town.
Every mountain resort has its community comprised of individuals contributing to the enhancement of the culture of the town. In Aspen, many of these community leaders are members of our Aspen Wedding Guide, business entrepreneurs who know what it takes to throw a great party. Naturally, when it comes to planning a Sip & See we need to hold the bar high to meet the discerning standards of our clients.
To begin the evening, cocktails and delicious appetizers were served at the Aspen Branch’s first annual end of season garage sale. Deals were to be made with candles, votives and containers leftover from summer events and sold at bargain prices. The studio was also decorated with inspirational ideas for fall floral decor and new furniture available for rent.
When speaking with The Aspen Branch owner, Beth Gill after the event Gill said, “At each Sip & See, I think its a great opportunity for us all to help support each other, share ideas and see what resources are available locally in the valley. This event was a nice way to get the community together and get bargains leftover from the season.“
After shopping, the guests walked next door to Mawa’s Kitchen for more cocktails and appetizers plus the big treat! A delectable and creative, 3-course meal sponsored by Mawa’s Kitchen. To encourage interaction between guests, Mawa, always the perfect hostess, kept the party flowing ensuring that everybody had a chance to meet one another. When asked about the event Mawa said, “The guests loved the experience of being in the intimate dining room and by the end of the evening we all became best friends.” “It is a labor of love what I do, preparing simple healthy food,” says Mawa.
Mawa spoke with us about the event and working with Robin of Aspen Wedding Guide, “Robin, is not only a good friend but she is an amazing person. She brought guests I had never met before and helped me to break the mold from Mawa the Restaurant Manager at The Little Nell to Mawa the Chef.”
We give great thanks to all those who made it happen and look so forward to our next event.
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