Beer and donuts played a big part in this couple's outdoor celebration.
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Lauren and Shane
When Lauren and Shane both registered for the same Supply Chain Management class in college, she was smitten from the start and decided to pursue him. "I asked Shane out on a few dates and he always seemed to have a reason to decline," Lauren recalls. But on the third attempt, he said yes to her invite to a local craft beer bar. They enjoyed a bottle of La Folie sour ale and the rest is history. And since hindsight is 20/20, Shane kicked himself a bit. "I can't believe I turned Lauren down on two dates!" he says.
They graduated the following semester, moved to New York, and got jobs in the financial services industry. After dating for a few years, Shane asked Lauren to join him for drinks. This time she was the one making things difficult—she was slated to host a book club that night, wanted to attend a spin class, and needed to prep a poster for her sister's run in the upcoming marathon. But she agreed to one drink if Shane promised to help her when they got back to the apartment.
But the drink was just the start. Afterwards, the couple was discussing a possible staycation that fall. They were debating between the hotel whose bar they had just visited or another option in a different neighborhood. Lauren was leaning towards the latter, but Shane suggested they get a pamphlet for the former. The front desk staff said they didn't have any brochures, but could show the duo a room if that helped. So up they went. When they entered the room, Lauren turned around to see some items on a table, and that's when Shane asked her to sit and open a gift. It was only then that Lauren realized what was happening. Shane had remembered a conversation years prior where Lauren said a custom boyfriend sweatshirt was a cute engagement present, and he made her one with Mrs. and his last name on it. He also brought a bottle of the beer they'd shared on their first date, plus an engagement ring. The whole proposal had taken Shane about a month-and-a-half to orchestrate, but it all worked out. She said yes, and 21 months later, on August 5, 2017, they became husband and wife.
They took to the mountains for their big day, picking Blackstone Rivers Ranch in Idaho Springs, Colorado—just a 40 minute drive from downtown Denver. "I always envisioned a Colorado wedding outdoors, particularly in the mountains," Shane explains. Light summer tones (soft pink, pale yellow, peach, and white) played up the natural beauty of the scenery, and with their 110 guests, Lauren and Shane celebrated in style—and with plenty of beer.
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From the beginning, Lauren knew that the stationery was going to be a big deal for her. "I love anything paper and invites set the tone for the event," she says. She found Carolyn Jane Design and they decided on a traditional layout with a map and response card. A custom crest sporting the couple's initials and wedding date was first introduced at the top. All pieces in the suite were letterpressed with blue ink on double-thick paper.
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The couple met in a private, wooded area with wildflowers for their first look—Shane's favorite moment of the entire day. "It was the first time I saw her that day and it was nice to be able to experience that between just the two of us," he says. "It definitely helped me to relax before the ceremony."
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The Bridal Bouquet
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In Her Shoes
Given the varied terrain at the venue, Lauren knew she needed a manageable wedding shoe, so she opted for a block heel Loeffler Randall sandal. The tassels on the straps served as her "something blue."
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Bridesmaids chose their own blush pink gowns from a mix of designers, and all carried bouquets tied in trailing blue silk ribbons, just like Lauren's.
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The late afternoon ceremony took place nestled among the evergreens, with Lauren's brother-in-law officiating. The bride and groom opted to exchange traditional vows but wrote letters to one another and shared them during the service. They also participated in a letter box ceremony, where they placed letters (and some beer) in a box to be read on their first anniversary.
Two floral arrangements in urns, on cement risers, framed the couple.
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Guests ventured down to a riverside spot for cocktail hour, where they enjoyed bacon-wrapped chorizo-stuffed dates, burrata crostini, Spanish shrimp tapas, lamb kubideh with raita, and fruit and cheese boards.
Chris Webb played folk and singer-songwriter songs on his acoustic guitar.
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Two specialty cocktails—a Greyhound (the couple's signature drink when entertaining guests at home) and a Salty Dog (the bride loves a spicy beverage)—were on offer. Shane made the sign that outlined the choices.
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The Reception Tables
Dinner was set in the sailcloth tent along the river and a near grove of Aspen trees. Immediate family members and the wedding party sat at long rows of farm tables, with the rest of the guests seated at round tables around the dance floor. The long tables were draped with an airy runner and set with light wood chairs.
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The Table Details
Pops of blue, by way of taper candles and the ticking-stripe napkins, livened up the tables. Table numbers were painted on to rocks and tied into the river rocks at the location. Menus were printed on vellum and outlined the meal, which began with a salad of spinach, arugula, dried cranberries, pepitas, chevre, and sherry vinaigrette.
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Everybody Dance Now
The couple kicked off the party with their first dance to "Crazy Love" by Van Morrison. Lauren then danced to London Music Works' version of "Tale as Old as Time" with her dad while Shane chose James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend" for his spin on the dance floor with his mother. When it came time to end the fun at 11 p.m., Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" sounded.
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The three-tiered cake had a base of chocolate cake covered with marshmallow buttercream with graham cracker crumbles. The top two tiers were strawberry cake with Champagne buttercream, and barely frosted with gold leaf specks as a fun touch. Fresh flowers and wooden cake toppers in their likeness finished it off. The confection was flanked by pedestals of donut holes on a vintage console.
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In addition to sour beer, donuts have been a big part of Lauren and Shane's relationship. To incorporate them into the festivities, they sourced local donut holes from Denver favorite, LaMar's, and set out paper bags embossed with "A hole lotta love" in calligraphy and the couple's names for guests to take home.
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Photography, Ashley Sawtelle
Location, Blackstone Rivers Ranch
Event planning and Rentals, A Vintage Affair Events
Catering, Three Leaf Catering
Flowers, Park Floral Design
Videography, Aflatis Films
Stationery and calligraphy, Carolyn Jane Design
Seating chart lettering, Taryn Eklund
Cake, Whisk and Bean
Linens, La Tavola Fine Linen
Hair, Zandi K. Salon
Makeup, Liz Wegrzyn
Groom's tuxedo and shirt, Knot Standard
Menswear, The Black Tux
Donut bag stamp, Angelique Ink