A Love Story in Two Parts
Courtney and Ryan’s sweet wedding story begins in the middle of the Colorado mountains. They both knew they wanted an adventurous elopement as just a duo (aside from their dog as a witness!) before celebrating their new married status back home with family and friends.
Bringing Colorado Home to the Midwest
One of my favorite things about their reception was how Courtney and Ryan infused the spirit of their Colorado vows into details throughout the day. For starters, their choice of venue with Quail Ridge Lodge was brilliant. It had all the cozy, woodsy charm of a mountain lodge, and standing on the outside of it’s grand glass front, you get a sense of that tucked-away-in-nature feel you might experience in the mountains. You’re surround by trees, a secluded lake is footsteps away and it’s beautifully quiet with the nearest street some distance away.
In addition to the setting, Courtney and Ryan tied in their elopement story by re-styling their wedding wear. Courtney modified her dress for the warmer midwest weather by removing it’s long sleeves, and Ryan ditched his bow-tie, and later jacket, for a more casual look. As a sneaker head, I personally loved that they chose to sport their custom ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ wedding converse again as well!
Playful Details at Every Turn
Within approximately 30 seconds of meeting either Courtney or Ryan you know they’re FUN. The kind of duo that’s constantly laughing and joking around. Their silly spirits were amplified surrounded by their tight-knit families (it’s instantly clear where they get it from!) but some details were distinctly them; Highlights include hilarious childhood potty-training photos on the venue bathroom doors and a ‘his and hers’ signature drinks competition to help finally settle the debate over who’s the better drink maker.
By far the best playful moments happened during dinner. When Courtney first approached me about an idea she’d seen for guest “photo bomb” pictures, I couldn’t quite picture the execution. But their playful crew absolutely killed the assignment! In lieu of a traditional receiving line, throughout dinner each table of guests came up to visit Courtney and Ryan at their sweetheart table and take a group picture, with one catch: they could pose however they wanted behind the couple, who couldn’t see what they we’re doing. Not only was it a great way to ensure a picture with each of their guests, but a fun print off to share inside each their future thank you cards.
Free-Flowing Laughter and Celebration
Even forgoing a traditional ceremony, Courtney and Ryan’s reception was filled with sentimental moments. After laughter-inducing wedding toasts, they shared a sweet first dance to Chris Stapleton before opening up the dance floor and patio for what felt like a mini family reunion. Guests freely bounced between the energetic dance floor and periodic breaks outside to mingle with friends and play lawn games. The weather was perfect, the signature drinks were a hit, and all together it was a perfect finale to their elopement love story.
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