Q&A with Bride and Groom, Melissa and Mike:
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding (your vision, color, style, and location choices).
Our wedding had to be us; 'Melissa and Mike', and everything we represent. We wanted it to be fun, exciting, unique. It had to be outside, with a gorgeous backdrop and surrounded by nature. Full of personal touches, photos, and memories. We chose Colorado as that is where we first met, first kissed and where the stunning mountains are. And of course, where Mike is from - we are doing a second wedding in Melissa's hometown in England next year! The Winding River Ranch was picked after a whirlwind of venue tours with both our parents - the ranch captured our hearts with its wonderful staff, beautiful scenery and flexible mindset. The style of our wedding was to match the ranch; rustic, barn decor with a hint of 'us'. We had flowers, hay, wood, but also photos around the room showcasing our journey. Each table was named after a favorite memory of ours - from our engagement in the UK and our first 'I love you' on top of Pike's Peak, to climbing to Hanging Lake and exploring London. The tables then had a Yankee Candle on that 'matched' the memory (i.e. Above the Clouds for Pike's Peak). Mike loves his candles! We went with mint to bring a subtlety of color to the room, one that was natural but also pretty. To celebrate the outdoors and add a personal touch, we had Mike's brother-in-law Aaron sing our first dance song with some changed lyrics to match our story, while we danced outside the barn with the mountains behind us. Our vision certainly came true and we are so grateful for everyone who helped make it happen!
What was most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
Just ensuring the wedding represented us, and that it was fun and beautiful! We were both sure we wanted a mountain outdoor venue, and The Winding River Ranch certainly gave us that! We knew we wanted it to be personal, so we skipped finding an officiant and asked Mike's stepfather to marry us! Such an amazing touch - thank you powers of the internet! We splurged on the photographer as that is the only tangible thing (well, apart from us and our rings!), that we would have after the wedding. It took a lot of searching, but we found the perfect ones in Taylor and Mike!
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
Well, our wedding was certainly very personal! We had so much family input and DIY elements in the wedding. Mike's Mom made all of our centerpieces, ensured the room was decorated according to our vision and was essentially our DIY-er across the pond. My Mum and Dad added British touches to the day, made incredible caramel shortbread for the reception, and were my creative influences for how the day would look. We rented a cabin for the week before the wedding - making place cards, ironing tablecloths, and ensuring everything was going to plan! We had Mike's sister and brother-in-law sing Tangled's 'I See the Light' during the ceremony, which was magical because at that precise moment the sun beamed through the clouds! My little cousins and my brother read some Winne the Pooh quotes about love, while Mike's grandparents read a poem written especially for us. Mike even made the ring boxes that my cousins brought down the aisle - pine logs engraved with our names and the date! The amazing Travis from Winding River Ranch did some fantastic DIY - he made us a wooden sign engraved with our last name, as well as a beautiful barrel with lights that he'd seen in one of my photos from England. Actually, anything we asked or envisioned, Travis offered to make! We are just so thankful and lucky for the support and help we had from everyone during our wedding.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Just enjoy the journey! It is such an incredible process - family joining together to help, friends getting excited, the personal touches. Start early, and don’t stress about too many things! It will be perfect, no matter what happens. As much as it is wonderful to plan an event that is all you and your vision, don't let the small things get in the way. Make sure the day represents you, not letting a big theme or other inputs get in the way of what the day us about - your love. And love every second – take everything in. We made sure to try drink in all the love, tears and joy on our day, from our guests' faces, the smells, the surprises, the atmosphere and being able to have everyone you love in one place.