At the Del Mar Horse Races back in 2008, Merlyn was standing in line to place a bet when the guy next to her struck up conversation about her betting strategyâ€”which was based on the fondness of the horse's name. But the odds were definitely in her favor, when the guy, Matt, couldnâ€™t take his eyes off Merlyn all day, and asked her to dinner before they parted ways. That kicked off their romance, and they were engaged three years later. On September 29, 2012, they made it official with an "Indian Summer of Love" wedding that featured fallâ€™s all-natural color palette and Coloradoâ€™s finest surroundings.
The couple and their 130 guests ventured to Chipeta Solar Springs Resort in Ridgway, Colorado, a 900-person town in the southwestern corner of the state. The venue (which is owned and operated by the brideâ€™s family) boasts views of the golden-hued Aspen trees and snow-capped peaks, as well as activities like fly fishing and yoga classes for guests to enjoy.
In honor of Merlyn's Hawaiian upbringing, the Hawaiian Wedding Song was played during the outdoor service, which took place in an open field known as "Top of the Pines." A trio of ladies played Native American flutes for a touch of the Southwest. The duo exchanged vows they'd written themselves during a ceremony, crafted by the groom and led by his friend.
Escort cards took form as hanging tags with letterpressed numbers for table assignments. They doubled as mini guest books with a section on the back for attendees to write well wishes with wood branch crayons set out on the tables, which were topped with butcher paper runners stamped with the corresponding numbers.
Guests dined on spit-roasted lamb with coriander and cumin crust, beef with chimichurri sauces, sweet chili-glazed salmon, grilled Portobello mushrooms, roasted acorn squash with chipotle and cilantro, creamy polenta with green chilies and roasted corn, and a market salad.
For dessert, Lappert's Ice Cream was flown in from Hawaii and served alongside cupcakes, pies, and truffles.
Grand River Vineyards, a vineyard in Colorado owned by a family friend, provided wines for the reception, which were dressed up with custom labels designed by Swell Creative. The vintages were dubbed "Monogamy Meritage" and "Savvy Spouse Sauv Blanc" with labels featuring the couple's names, wedding date, and likenesses.
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