This Romantic Colorado Mountain Wedding was on top of the World

Franny and Ryan were married in August at Camp Hale, an incredible mountaintop venue in Colorado, about 30 minutes from Vail. The couple met at a bar in the Lower East Side of New York City and spent the night dancing and laughing like they were the only two people in the room. After a road trip through several National Parks, Franny and Ryan felt the pull to be out West and they moved to Colorado from New York City with their beloved dog, Madeline. Franny and Ryan both love nature, hiking and trail running are two of their deepest passions. And they wanted to make sure that their wedding venue was a reflection of what the Colorado wilderness has to offer. Camp Hale’s mountain views and slightly untamed landscape was the perfect fit, and being close to Beaver Creek and Vail, offered their guests the opportunity for a true destination wedding weekend extravaganza. This gorgeous wedding was featured on Couture Colorado, so be sure to read the couple’s thoughts over there!

The Wedding Design

While Franny and Ryan wanted their wedding to be reflective of Colorado, they still wanted it to be a sophisticated wedding experience for their guests. Franny decided on a “mountain elegance” feel for her wedding design. She wanted to ensure that her wedding felt polished, while still being able to include a few Southwestern touches (a favorite style of home design) throughout the day. Because the ceremony was separated from the reception space by a large lawn, we were able to use slightly different color palettes in both spaces. For the ceremony, playing off the vibrant landscape, Franny incorporated Southwestern-style rugs. I think it is so special when couples use rugs that they have purchased during their ceremonies, they are incredible pieces to have in your home for decades to come! The gorgeous blush and cream flowers by MJM Designs, paired with faintly wild greenery, added softness and romance to the slightly untamed backdrop of Camp Hale’s wedding ceremony island.

The tented wedding reception used a slightly softer color palette, with dove gray and soft green emphasized. Finding the perfect gray (not too blue, not too brown) for the table linens was a bit of a hunt, but La Tavola had an ideal option. Camp Hale had added some beautiful, sheer draping to the ceiling of their tent, and to create extra romance, we installed antique, crystal chandeliers and hundreds of twinkling lights along the ceiling. The effect was like starlight as the night grew darker. Cement vases added a weighty texture to the ruffly, lush floral centerpieces and dozens of candles gave off a cozy, warm glow. A few antlers scattered throughout the reception reflected back to the southwestern rugs used during the ceremony and geodes placed on key tables under the tent added an organic touch that brought the Rocky Mountains inside.

Mountaintop Photo Session

Camp Hale offers an amazing experience for couples to take photos at, what feels like, the top of the world. Guides will drive a couple and their photographers in Jeeps to the top of the peaks surrounding Camp Hale. The trip takes about 30-minutes each way. Franny and Ryan are super adventurous, so they knew they needed to incorporate this session into their wedding day timeline! Because the trip takes about 30-minutes each way, and any photographer is going to want at least 45-minutes on top of the mountain with the gorgeous views, we needed to make sure that the wedding timeline was created in way that wouldn’t require their wedding party sit around too long, and that they would still be able to capture family portraits prior to the ceremony. To allow for all photos Franny and Ryan wanted, we decided to have the “first look” in Beaver Creek, where they were getting ready. This allowed Franny and Ryan to take the same shuttle to Camp Hale and the same Jeep to the top of the mountain, saving at least 20 minutes of photography time! The photos were absolutely worth it! Franny and Ryan were scrambling up rocks, standing near cliff edges, and having the most fabulous time. It was their favorite part of the wedding day and the portraits are spectacular!

The Ceremony

Franny and Ryan were married on the Island at Camp Hale. Guests crossed a wooden bridge before sitting on a grassy island with incredible mountain views as a backdrop. An acoustic trio performed the ceremony music and a dear friend of Ryan and Franny’s from New York officiated the wedding. Leo, the officiant, was phenomenal, delivering warm, humorous, sincere, and touching words that truly captured the love Franny and Ryan have for each other. Franny’s Grandmother, Barboo, gave a reading she wrote specially for the couple; it was a tearjerker. After exchanging vows, rings, and a kiss, Franny and Ryan couldn’t have been more jubilant celebrating their first moments of marriage while walking back down the aisle.

Cocktail Hour and Reception

Have you ever been to a wedding that included fly fishing lessons for guests? If not, you’re missing out! Franny and Ryan had expert fly fishermen giving demonstrations and helping guests catch fish during their cocktail hour! Guests absolutely loved the experience! After taking a group photo with all their guests, Franny and Ryan provided two specialty cocktails: a Leadville Lemonade (vodka, lemonade, and blueberries) and an Old Fashion Minturn Mile (named after a ski run)!

After their grand entrance, Franny and Ryan had their first dance to “Take me Home Country Roads” by John Denver. Rather than cutting a cake (since neither Franny nor Ryan is especially passionate about cake), the couple decided to sabor a bottle of champagne! Ryan absolutely nailed it and the photos of that moment are amazing.

After dinner, the crowd went wild while dancing. Franny and Ryan had seen Thunder and Rain perform prior to getting engaged and knew they HAD to have them as their wedding band! Thunder and Rain kept the dance floor packed all night!

Ryan has a unique passion for Whoopie pies, so the couple decided whoopie pies would be the perfect snack for guests to enjoy while taking the shuttles back to Beaver Creek. Sealing the whoopie pies in glassine bags were stickers saying “Whoopie! We’re Married” with a topographic map of Camp Hale.

Special Touches and Moments

Franny and Ryan were so thoughtful when planning their wedding day, they truly were excited to celebrate with their most cherished family and friends. Both Franny and Ryan incorporated touches that have special meaning to them and those they love:

  • Madeline, Franny and Ryan’s dog, is incredibly important to them. She is an older pup, so they brought her with them to make sure she was happy and healthy while they spent time together in the mountains. Including Madeline in their first look is surely a moment they’ll treasure for decades.

  • Franny and her mother had an incredible, touching moment while getting ready together. Photos of mothers helping their daughters get dressed for their weddings are always some of my favorites and consistently bring tears to my eyes.

  • Franny knew she would have a long processional over grass and a (slightly bouncy) bridge, so she prepared by investing in gorgeous Badgley Mischka flat wedding sandals (that went flawlessly with her gown) to make sure that her walk down the aisle was a breeze.

  • Not to be outdone, Ryan had a custom suit designed by SuitSupply for his wedding day. He added a custom jacket liner and had his wedding date embroidered under the collar. Bright pink socks and a soft pink tie were the perfect accessories for his ensemble.

  • Franny added a favorite turquoise brooch to her bouquet as a nod to the Southwestern elements she incorporated throughout her wedding design.

  • Franny is very close to her Grandmother, a dynamo of a woman, affectionately call Barboo. One of my favorite photos from the wedding is the image of three generations of strong, incredible women: Franny, her mother, and grandmother. Wedding days are the best time to capture multigenerational portraits.

  • Rosemary was special to Ryan’s mother, so we included it as a fragrant addition to the custom-made escort card display.

  • I love it when couples don special garments during the reception! Nothing signals “it is time for fun!” more! Franny wore a white denim jacket during the dancing, while Ryan added a leather cowboy hat for the second half of his first dance (and the hat reappeared during dancing).

Enjoy these incredible photos by Sara Lynn of a very special wedding day at Camp Hale in Colorado!


Venue: Camp Hale in Red Cliff, Colorado | Photography: Sara Lynn | Flowers: MJM Designs, LLC | Hair: Beauty Mark by Kacie | Makeup: Brooke Rock | Rentals: Tents and Events | Linens: La Tavola | Lighting: Highlights Colorado | Signage: Before Noon Paperie | Dress: Truvelle Bridal | Suit: SuitSupply | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Band: Thunder and Rain | Bartending: Peak Beverage