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In August 2012, Erin went on a job interview and left having met the man she would eventually marry. She and JJ, both orthopedic sales reps living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, fell in love and were engaged a year later.
“It was not out of the ordinary for JJ to arrive home from work and find me in the garage cutting wood with a handsaw, spray-painting something, or using a wood burner to engrave our initials into hundreds of birch rounds,” Erin recalls of the year of planning and hands-on crafting. In the end, however, all of the details for their July 26, 2014, nuptials came together to create the exact wedding the couple had hoped to have.
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Rifle Paper Co. illustrated the couple and their beloved pups, and accented the design with blooms and calligraphy.
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For their wedding venue, Erin and JJ selected Heritage Cabin at Catamount Ranch and Club, a spot that epitomizes the grandeur of Steamboat Springs. “Every morning we wake up to this beautiful mountain town, and we wanted to share that with those we love,” Erin says. Plus, the couple is at their happiest when they’re outdoors.
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The Bridal Party
The bridesmaids wore mint green chiffon dresses and brown cowboy boots. “Steamboat Springs epitomizes a cowboy lifestyle, and our wedding wouldn’t have been complete without a little of that spirit,” Erin says. “I wanted my girls to be comfortable and cute, and boy did they pull it off with stylish boots!”
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The Ceremony Spot
Guests walked through a doorway made by JJ’s father to get to the ceremony, which took place on a lawn with views of Lake Catamount.
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Hamilton the French bulldog and Angus the English bulldog are a huge part of Erin and JJ’s lives, so they had to be a part of the big day. Dressed in bow ties from Charlie Be Good, they walked down the aisle and witnessed the ceremony of their parents.
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The Bride’s Entrance
Erin’s dad, Don, escorted her down the aisle. “I’m the youngest of five children, and it was very emotional for both of us,” Erin says of the walk, which was accompanied by an acoustic rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “When You Need Me” performed by Ben Marshal.
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The Groom’s Reaction
“We waited a long time to find each other, and it was such a happy moment to finally come together as one,” Erin says of JJ’s tearful reaction to seeing his bride walk down the aisle.
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During the ceremony, the bride and groom stood in front of a wooden altar dressed with pastel ribbons that blew in the breeze and anchored in two planters of greenery. Officiated by Pastor Troy Lewis from Steamboat Christian Center, the ceremony included the couple exchanging vows that they wrote for one another. Erin’s maid of honor read an excerpt from Pastor Timothy Keller’s sermon “The Meaning of Marriage,” and the pair’s mothers signed as witnesses on their marriage license.
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The Flower Girls
Erin’s nieces wore dresses made by the mother of the bride and served as flower girls.
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Using cardboard, bulbs, and silver spray paint, Erin crafted oversized letters and an ampersand to accent the barn’s exterior.
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Following cocktail hour (which had a live band and lawn games), guests sat down to enjoy a feast of farm-to-table barbecue. The place settings were accompanied by glass bottles of craspedia, ranunculus, snapdragon, grasses, and berries. There were also vintage license plates from states with special meaning to the couple. They were displayed in slices of birchwood from a tree that had fallen by the couple’s home; Erin sawed the tree into pieces and burned their initials into them.
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The Place Settings
Each spot at the table was set with a green napkin, a menu housed in a rubber-stamped kraft paper bag, a sliver of birchwood burned with the newlyweds’ initials, and a horseshoe sourced by JJ’s father, who had spent a weekend reviving 120 old ones for the event.
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Seating assignments were listed by state, since the tables were labeled accordingly. Signage encouraged guests to “find your plate at your state.”
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Made With Love
The bride and groom transformed basic Mason jars into keepsake glassware. They applied felt cutouts in the shapes of their home states, which they then accented with a gold heart to mark their hometowns. They wrapped the lids in burlap, and topped them with a line from a favorite song printed on gold paper.
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The three-tier confection offered two different combinations: vanilla bean cake with strawberry filling, and chocolate stout beer cake with peanut butter mousse filling. It was decorated with gold accents and fresh flowers. In addition, there were whoopie pies to take home as a sweet treat.
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The First Dance
The newlyweds chose “The Nearness of You” by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald as their first dance song.
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Guests lit heart-shaped sparklers at sunset and surrounded the couple as they exited the reception.
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Location and Catering: Heritage Cabin at Catamount Ranch & Club
Event Planning and Flowers: Lindsey Grannis of One Fine Day Productions
Photography: Ashley Sawtelle Photography
Officiant: Pastor Troy Lewis from Steamboat Christian Center
Cake and Whoopie Pies: Sugar
Music: The Ben Marshal Band
Rentals and Lighting: Colorado Event Rentals
Hair and Makeup: Megan Cary Artistry
Transportation: Alpine Taxi