ERICA & DANIEL | A WEDDING @ CO LODGE AIRBNB
Tommy Christi Photography
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene
I have yet to meet a wedding couple who actually hopes for rainy weather on their wedding day. Yet it happens and we adapt. Ceremonies are delayed for a break in the clouds, umbrellas are opened to offer shelter, receptions are moved inside, and/or tents are set up to provide for different accommodations. While it may not be the wedding that was planned nor hoped for – it can still end up being the best wedding for you and your guests. Such is the story of Erica and Daniel’s wedding.
Erica and Daniel had originally planned to get married on April 2, 2020, but that’s when many of the venues in Colorado were closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The couple did what they could to remain positive by waiting for the State to lessen restrictions and allow for weddings. Yet as the months passed and only small gatherings were allowed, they knew that they would need to further delay their wedding in order to be able to celebrate with all of their family and friends. So, Erica and Daniel decided to do what many couples of 2020 did and went ahead and got married in a simple civil ceremony.
Fast-forward to 2021, restrictions have lifted – it’s now time to celebrate Erica and Daniel’s marriage. Yet, instead of wanting to plan a big elaborate wedding as they had initially envisioned, now they wanted something smaller and more intimate. They began planning to host their June wedding/vow renewal at their home with the ceremony and reception on the deck of their house. This would allow for the Colorado Rocky Mountains to provide a majestic backdrop for their event – a key element that the couple had originally planned to incorporate in their original wedding décor plan.
The ceremony was going to be simple – just the bride, groom, and officiant standing at the altar. Décor was going to be minimal, yet grand. With the mountains in the background, the couple would be flanked by two large wine barrels adorned with magnificent floral displays from Snowdrop & Sage, with only family and close friends in attendance. The plan was to then have all the guests enjoy Cocktail Hour in the couple’s small home as the deck space was “flipped” from Ceremony to Reception setup. Guests were to then be invited back for a plated dinner reception featuring BBQ from a local restaurant in Idaho Spring before a few tables were broken down to create a dance floor.
Yet as the wedding date drew near, the weather forecast called for rain – and a lot of it! Even though the bride’s parents had rented a nearby Airbnb with a barn (event space) on the property for the out-of-town family to stay at, the couple wanted to forge ahead with their plan to host both the ceremony and reception, outdoors, at their house. And this was the plan…up until 7:30 AM on the day of their wedding.
Due to the projected forecast for the afternoon (their ceremony was to start at 4:30 PM), the Bride and Groom decided to move Cocktail Hour and the Reception to the barn space at the Airbnb. The couple still wanted their ceremony on the deck of their house so the beautiful mountain backdrop could still be a part of their wedding day. The bride explained, “We’re really not into the barn/rustic vibe, we’re into the mountains and being outdoors.” So, we forged ahead. Vendors were called and emailed to update them as to this last-minute change and I reassured the Bride that she would get her outdoor ceremony – Summer storms in Colorado tend to be quick, so we would simply have to wait for a break in the weather. After getting everyone going on their assignments for set up at the Airbnb, I headed over to the couple’s house to prep for their upcoming ceremony. Sheets of rain pelted my car as I drove the 1.5 miles from the one venue to the other. I scampered up the stairs under my umbrella and into their house and began to set up welcome drinks and hors d’oeuvres as I myself waited for the rain to end. However just as guests began to arrive, the skies miraculously cleared and sun began to shine through the intermittent dark clouds. Friends and family grabbed towels and joined me in drying off the chairs already set up for the Ceremony.
Even with the scattered rainstorms, we still managed to execute the Ceremony on time. Grandparents of the Bride and both set of parents of the Bride and Groom participated in the Processional. The officiant, a long-time friend of the Bride then took position at the altar, followed by the Groom. A change in music announced the entrance of the bride and all guests stood to see Erica finally walk down the aisle and Daniel was finally able to receive his bride. Even though this celebration was a year after actually getting married, the couple was finally able to say their vows and re-exchange rings surrounded by family and friends. This was indeed a celebration worth the wait.
Following the Ceremony, guests departed for the Airbnb for Cocktail Hour. Peak Beverage greeted guests with craft cocktail service while beautifully displayed trays of meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits, and antipasti skewers provided by the families eased any hunger pains. Rain began to fall again and would continue to do so throughout the rest of the night – quite heavily at times. Guests were called to dinner, which was now set up on the wrap-around porch of the Airbnb. The first course consisted of a summer salad with strawberries, almonds, and feta with 2 different salad dressings along with rolls and cornbread muffins. The main course followed with brisket, grilled chicken (smoked that morning by the Bride’s father), mac-n-cheese, baked beans, and potato salad.
Guests were invited into the barn for toasts. The Father of the Bride toasted the Bride and Groom with a heartfelt speech that brought a tear to many people’s eyes. The Father of the Groom then toasted the newlyweds and welcomed the Bride into their family. The Groom, Daniel, closed out the series of toasts by telling the story of the moment when he first realized that he loved Erica. This story brought smiles to everyone’s faces and filled the cozy space with joy and laughter.
A sincere cake cutting followed – the two-tiered cake had been lovingly made by the Groom’s mother. The couple danced their first dance to “At Last” by Etta James, which seemed a remarkably appropriate song considering they had to wait a year from their civil ceremony to finally celebrate their wedding with family and friends. The Bride danced with her father followed by the Groom with his mother before opening the dance floor and inviting their guests to join them.
The event finally came to an end and guests grabbed an extra-long sparkler for the sendoff of the Bride and Groom, but this wasn’t’ the end of the party. A handful of guests joined the newlyweds at a local bar for a boisterous afterparty.
Again, I have yet to meet a wedding couple who hopes for rainy weather on their wedding day, but Erica and Daniel, their family, and friends all decided that instead of waiting for the storm to pass, they would instead dance in the rain – and dance they did! It just goes to show that ultimately what makes for a spectacular wedding is the people who are there to celebrate it with you – come rain or shine.
Cheers to the happy couple – a second time around. Thank you so much for allowing All Four Seasons Events to be a part of planning for each of your weddings, in 2020 and 2021. Cheers to Erica and Daniel.
*Full vendor credits below.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Coordination: All Four Seasons Events | Photography: Tommy Christie Photography | Ceremony Venue: The Bride & Groom’s Residence | Reception Venue: CO Lodge AirBNB
Bridal Ware: Lulu’s Bridal | Bar Service: Peak Beverage | Catering: Smokin’ Yard BBQ | DJ: Groom, Daniel (Spotify Playlist) | Florist: Snowdrops & Sage
Hair & Makeup: Memory Lane Salon | Men’s Ware: Kohl’s | Rentals: Butler Rents | Transportation: Advantage Limousine | Staffing Services: All Four Seasons Events
A big thanks to: Scotty for Officiating; Mother of the Bride, Kathy, for the Wedding Cakes; Mother of the Groom, Ginny, for the Decoration; Vyktoria for Hair and Adrienne for Makeup