A Surprise Snowfall Wowed Guests at This Couple's Fall Wedding in Aspen, Colorado
When Taylor's high school buddy ended up becoming college roommates with Cameron, the duo became friends. That friendship turned into a relationship, which the pair took to the next level during a 2016 trip to Kuleto Estate in Napa Valley. Cameron and Taylor, who call Dallas home, scheduled a private tasting tour, but Taylor didn't realize they were the only visitors at the entire winery. "Halfway through the tour, the sommelier pretended to have a phone call and suggested we walk up a hill for some pictures while he stepped away. The views were so gorgeous once we reached at the top, I didn't even notice the flowers and memory book nearby—or that a photographer (who pretended to tag along for an assignment from a food and wine magazine in San Francisco) had mysteriously disappeared to take pictures of us from the bushes," says Taylor, a licensed professional counselor. Then Cameron, a manager in deal advisory, prompted Taylor to read the memory book. When she turned around, he was on one knee, joking about the date: April Fool's Day.
But the proposal wasn't a joke, and the couple traveled to Aspen, Colorado, for a destination wedding at The Little Nell on September 30, 2017. The snowy celebration had 102 guests, a neutral color palette, breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, and one big surprise: snow.
The Stationery Suite
Poste and Co. designed the invitation suite. The off-white paper had torn edges and an elegant mix of fonts. According to wedding planner Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions, "Our goal and inspiration was a mix of something natural and organic to fit Colorado, but still traditional enough to be classic for years."
A Warm Welcome
To welcome guests, Taylor and Cameron gifted them water bottles customized with the wedding date and illustrations of the mountains. Additionally, Poste and Co. created a folding welcome booklet that included a message from the couple, restaurant recommendations, and an itinerary. "The booklets were tied to the bottles with a ribbon and placed in our guests' rooms—so special!" says Taylor.
Taylor and Cameron got married at The Little Nell, a private club overlooking the Elk Mountain Range. "Aspen holds so many special memories for us," explains Taylor. "It became a tradition to visit every year for New Year's Eve with a group of our closest friends. We also fell in love with everything about The Little Nell during our first site visit, including the intimacy of the Aspen Mountain Club and their emphasis on wine and food. Not to mention the views from the wedding deck are incredible!"
Although the couple knew Aspen would be chilly in September, they had an unexpected wedding day surprise: fluffy, white snow. It glistened against the natural greenery of the venue. According to their wedding planner, "Our biggest concern was guest comfort. Fortunately, we had a large amount of blankets and warm beverages for guests to keep them as cozy as possible during the short ceremony. We had plenty of warm drinks for them upon their entrance to cocktail hour as well!"
Taylor wore the very first dress she tried on: a blush Inbal Dror gown with a cream embroidery overlay. To accessorize, the bride donned a shimmery embroidered nude veil, opal drop earrings from Paris by Debra Moreland, and her mom's sapphire ring as her "something blue."
Cameron wore a custom tuxedo from Balani Custom Clothiers in a dark blue weave fabric. "I designed the tuxedo from the ground up and kept it a surprise for Taylor!" he says. The wedding date was stitched under the collar in silver thread.
Taylor wore Diane von Furstenberg blush pumps for the ceremony (which got soaked from the unexpected snow) and changed into strappy sandals for the reception. "I wore my wedding planner's boots for the most of our pictures outside!" she adds. Bare Root Flora made Taylor's bouquet with roses, lisianthus, anemones, tweedia, dusty miller, and viburnum berries.
Taylor's bridesmaids selected their own floor-length navy dresses, which they topped with cream pashminas. "The pashminas were a little bit of an afterthought based on the weather. I ordered them from Amazon, and they were delivered in the nick of time. I think Cameron had to pack them all in his suitcase!" says Taylor.
The ceremony took place on the Wedding Deck of The Little Nell, perched on top of Ajax Mountain. Glistening snow, evergreen trees, and the Elk Mountain Range created a stunning backdrop.
Taylor's dad walked her down the aisle to "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley played by Silver City Strings.
Cameron shed some happy tears while watching his bride walk down the aisle. "I didn’t see that coming!" he says. "I was also told by many of our guests that my groomsmen got a little emotional after seeing me lose it. I bet they didn't see that coming, either!" Taylor says her groom's emotion was a highlight of the day—even though she simultaneously suffered a wardrobe mishap. "My veil got stuck in the snow and fell off about half way down the aisle. I think that helped Cameron regain some composure!" she says.
"We really wanted our ceremony to be meaningful for us and for all of our family and friends," says Taylor. "Our officiant (a friend) created a special message that included scripture we had chosen together." The couple said traditional vows, and they also planned a private prayer—but the itinerary had to be cut due to the snow.
An Intimate Kiss
Before recessing to "Take a Walk" by Passion Pit, Cameron dipped Taylor into a kiss. "I had that planned the moment we got engaged" he says—although Taylor admits she's just glad they didn't fall.
Guests moved inside for cocktail hour. The Little Nell catered passed hors d'oeuvres and there was also an open bar. Signature drinks were champagne (Taylor's favorite) and margaritas (Cameron's favorite).
The reception took place in the Aspen Mountain Club at the top of Ajax Mountain. A neutral color palette was broken up by navy linens and natural green centerpieces. Tapered white candles added height to the tablescape. "The setting was very simple to highlight the natural tables in the Aspen Mountain Club," says planner Virginia Edelson. "We used a rich velvet linen from La Tavola Fine Linen to soften the wood. A modern napkin ring was placed around the blue napkins to bring a touch of contemporary to a really classic wedding."
For dinner, The Little Nell served a baby kale salad or brown butter sweet potato agnolotti to start; an entrée of bison ribeye or seared scallops; and housemade ice cream served with wedding cake.
Taylor's dad gave an emotional speech that left everyone in tears. "Being able to spend the entire weekend with the people we love the most and who have helped shape our relationship was hands down the most special part of the day," says the bride. "It was so overwhelming and humbling to feel so much love and happiness from all of our family and friends."
The First Dance
Taylor and Cameron danced to "You & Me" by Dave Matthews. Then the bride and her father danced to "(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding, while the groom and his mother danced to "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. DJ Naka G played a mix of top 40 tunes and pop country music until the reception ended at 10:30 p.m—a bit later than planned, thanks to the high winds.
After the reception, guests rode gondolas down the mountain while enjoying mini breakfast burritos and hot chocolate with marshmallows. "We had to exit pretty quickly in order to avoid a storm, but it was so much fun running through the snow to the gondola. Definitely a unique send off!" says Taylor. The couple eventually headed to warmer weather when they honeymooned in in Thailand and Bali.
Photography, Heather Payne Photography
Location and catering, The Little Nell
Design and coordination, Bluebird Productions
Flowers and decor, Bare Root Flora
Videography, Elysium Productions
Stationery and calligraphy, Poste and Co.
Cake, Megan Joy Cakes
Bride's gown, Inbal Dror
Hair, Megan McHale
Makeup, Vanessa Vieni
Groom's tuxedo, Balani Custom Clothiers