This Couple Tied the Knot on a Magnificent Mountaintop in Aspen, Colorado
It was clear that Kimberly Carey and Michael Acierno had something special right from the start: Set up on a blind date by a mutual friend in December 2013, the pair began their romance in New York City—and sealed it with an engagement in Florence, Italy, five years later. "The summer between my two years of graduate school, we went to Italy, a place that we had been talking about visiting for years," says Kimmie. "Mike proposed shortly after we got to Florence, just the two of us in our hotel room at Hotel Lungarno—it was intimate and perfect for us."
Both originally from the East Coast, Kimmie and Mike moved to Colorado together, where they love spending time in the mountains, hiking in the summer, and skiing in the winter. "We have taken trips to Aspen frequently throughout the five years we've lived in Colorado, and when we got engaged, we both knew we wanted to bring our friends and families to this place that felt so special to us," says Kimmie. "We chose to get married at The Little Nell at the top of Aspen Mountain because of the gorgeous views and amazing level of service that the hotel is known for. The view of the mountains from the wedding deck was by far our favorite part of the venue."
The couple's vision was to embrace the beauty and colors of the natural landscape with florals, greenery, and décor that felt organic, elegant, and timeless. "Our overall aesthetic was refined, ethereal, romantic, natural, and subtle," adds the bride. Overall, the pair found planning to be an enjoyable time. "It was fun!" says Kimmie. "We checked off all of the big items early in the process, which eased our stress and allowed us to enjoy planning the little details." Ultimately, the pair made sure to leave their personal mark on the event. "We wrote our own vows, requested that the band play our favorite songs, and put our love and happiness at the center of the day," says Kimmie.
Looking back on their successful celebration, Kimmie offers the following advice to other couples: "On your wedding day, make sure to sneak in some private moments and conversations with each other to reflect on the day and how you feel. The day flew by, and making time to express our gratitude for each other and the wedding itself allowed us to soak it all in and made it even more special."
Illustrated Invitation Suite
The couple wanted their letterpress invitation suite to be classic with light touches of color. "A watercolor mountain landscape of Aspen's famous Maroon Bells was created for our invites," shares Kimmie. "We were involved in the design process, including illustrations and motifs that felt special to us and our overall vision."
Blue silk ribbon and wax seals added the finishing touches. "We carried the colors of the invitation suite throughout the décor and all the florals of the wedding," adds the bride.
All of the bridesmaids wore coordinating pajamas on the morning of the wedding; Kimmie donned the same style in white.
A Delicate Wedding Dress
Kimmie's tulle wedding dress by Mira Zwillinger featured a fitted bodice with a floral lace overlay. "I fell in love with the way that Mira Zwillinger's dresses fit and the materials that she uses," says the bride. "We made some custom changes to the original dress to make it perfect for me."
Her bouquet was designed in a soft organic shape with unique floral and greenery elements. Touches of blue nigella added dimension to the creamy-, nude-, and neutral-toned roses, ranunculus blossoms, and lisianthus blooms. A silk ribbon in French blue tied the look together.
Divine Wedding Shoes
The bride's bright white Chanel sandals featured quilted soles and beautiful pearl details.
A Dapper Groom
Mike donned a navy tuxedo with a black lapel and matching bow tie for the big day.
Kimmie's attendants wore Jenny Yoo dresses in gray, pale green, and floral colorways. "Every bridesmaid picked her own style," adds the bride.
Mike's half of the wedding party wore navy blue suits of their choosing with coordinating gray ties.
A Moving First Look
The pair met before the ceremony for a very special moment together. "I was so excited to see Mike," remembers Kimmie, "and extremely grateful that I found my partner. Everything about the moment was perfect." The groom, for his part, was equally touched. "I couldn't wait to see Kimmie," he says, "and thought, 'How lucky I am that I get to marry such a beautiful and incredible person.'"
A Rustic Welcome
A handsome wood sign—and an amazing view—greeted guests upon their arrival at the wedding.
A Stunning Ceremony Site
The wedding deck on Aspen Mountain served as the breathtaking site for the ceremony. Flowers perched atop gray concrete pedestals marked the altar, at the base of which sat low floral designs for added softness. Elegant arrangements in large stone urns enhanced the entry to the aisle, where baskets holding cones filled with Aspen leaves (used to shower Kimmie and Mike as they recessed back down the aisle) were set.
A Meaningful Ceremony
After Kimmie's parents walked her down the aisle to the strains of a sting quartet, she and Mike exchanged eloquent vows they wrote themselves.
A Post-Ceremony Walk
Following the service, the bridal party lead the way back to the reception site, while the couple snuck away for golden hour portraits.
A Unique Seating Chart
Two large, framed mirrors served as the backdrop to guests' seating cards, which were attached to the glass with wax seals. Greenery and flowers accented the top and sides, while candles illuminated the floor below.
A Romantic Room
The reception space featured a ceiling installation of greenery, beneath which sat tables with lush centerpieces and loose organic florals. Candles gave the room a soft glow.
A Striking Head Table
A dreamy head table boasted a creamy white runner, topped with floral designs and gray candles. French blue napkins added a touch of color, while stone gray chargers gave the table depth.
Simple white calligraphed cards, anchored by slate holders, displayed each station's number.
A Classic Wedding Cake
Kimmie and Mike cut into a timeless cake complete with gluten-free chocolate layers and vanilla cake with berries; the exterior was frosted in white buttercream and decorated with greenery.
A Perfect First Dance
The dance floor was packed all night, but not before Kimmie and Mike swayed to the strains of "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran together.
Photography, Ashley Sawtelle Photography
Venue, The Little Nell
Event Planner and Designer, Mountain Occasions
Videography, Elysium Weddings
Invitations, Etiquette Design Company
Custom Map, By Callie Buck
Officiant, Reverend Jill Pidcock
Bridal Gown, Mira Zwillinger
Veil, Little White Dress
Jewelry, The Diamond Reserve
Bride's Shoes, Chanel
Hair, Brittani Estes
Makeup, Liz Wegrzyn
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Jenny Yoo
Groom's Attire, Samuelsohn
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Sackowitz Jewelers
Guest Book, Vintage Aspen Posters
Music, Silver City Strings (ceremony); Elan Artists (reception)
Catering, The Little Nell
Rentals, Design Works