Wedding Planning

Cori and Nate’s Rustic Devil’s Thumb Ranch Wedding from Preston Utley Photography

This bride radiates pure happiness throughout her gorgeous Colorado wedding.

This Devil’s Thumb Ranch wedding is absolutely stuffed full of fun details from the gorgeous tables to Cori’s sweet little cardigan. But I think my favorite is Cori’s beaming smile through the whole thing. I love it when brides radiate pure giddiness! Preston Utley was there to capture all of that unbridled joy in this great Colorado celebration!

What details did you incorporate into the vision for your wedding day?

When we started dating, Nate and I played a lot of board and card games together. He used to take me away every fall on a ‘supersecret getaway’ where he would tell me what to pack and then take me somewhere for a surprise weekend. In 2010, we went to a small cabin in the woods in Steamboat Springs, CO. After a day of hot springs and hiking, we played Scrabble. As I dozed off on the couch, he rearranged the Scrabble letters to spell out ‘Will you marry me?’. To honor this engagement, we made our own favors out of vintage Scrabble tiles. They were little tins containing words having to do with love.

Though neither of us is religious, I was educated at a Quaker school and have held the basic tenets of that religion close to my heart. To honor this, in lieu of a guest book, Maura at Paper Guppy created a Quaker wedding scroll for us and we asked all assembled to witness our marriage by signing the document. It now hangs in our living room as a reminder of our day and of the family and friends we love.

As far as vision for the day…. We wanted the outdoors to have a large part in our wedding and we wanted to ensure that it was a fun party for everyone in attendance. Our key goal was for people to enjoy themselves and I think, with the help of our amazing band and the incredible scenery, we succeeded!

Did your wedding location hold a specific significance to you?

We wanted to hold our wedding in Colorado, outside, and in the mountains, so that we could share this place we love with our friends and family.

What was the most meaningful part of your day?

There were many things. My little brother served as our officiant, and he wrote his own ceremony around the vows we had chosen. It was really special to have him be the person to bring Nate and I together in marriage.

When I was a very little girl, my dad and I had a favorite song, ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ by Lionel Richie. He would put the tape on and then lift me up, toss me into the rafters, and catch me on the way down, so I could literally dance on the ceiling. I surprised him by choosing this song for our father-daughter dance and I have never seen my dad dance like that! At one point, he actually threw his suit coat off into the audience!

Nate and I stayed in the same room for the weekend, so we were able to wake up and have a few minutes of quiet together before the craziness of our day began. It was really special to be able to take that time to just be quiet and calm for a little while together.

My closest cousin, Carrie, gave me my ‘something borrowed & something blue’ at the rehearsal dinner when, crying, she lent me a sapphire that her husband had given her on their first anniversary over twenty years ago.

Though both sets of my grandparents passed many years ago, I was able to have my Grandma there through my earrings, which were made from her engagement ring diamonds, and my Memere through my ‘something old, new, borrowed, blue’ where I had her religious medal of Saint Anne De Beaupre pinned to the bodice of my gown.

Did anything funny or out of the ordinary happen?

When we were in our early twenties, my best friend and maid of honor, Laura, and I were sitting around one day and made a bet. If I got married first, she had to lead the Funky Chicken at my wedding and, if she got married first, I would have to sing a medley of love songs at her wedding. As the first one to get married, I had largely forgotten about the bet until Laura’s toast. She told everyone about the bet and stated ‘I won’t be doing the Funky Chicken at your wedding….At least not alone.’ The music started and most of the room leapt up in a Funky Chicken flash mob Laura had organized in the weeks preceding the wedding! The one time I cried all day was from laughing so hard at her funky chicken toast.

Tell us details of the events surrounding the wedding.

We chose to make a full weekend of it at the Ranch and nearly all of our out-of-town family and friends were able to arrive early to enjoy the activities Colorado has to offer. Nate’s parents threw a rehearsal dinner in the Timberline Room at the Ranch, providing an incredible view of the Continental Divide at sunset. In addition to the wedding, my parents hosted a late-night snack fest at Heck’s Tavern, which was sorely needed after all those hours of dancing and drinking, and a Sunday brunch at the Ranch House Restaurant on-site. It was awesome to have that chance to see everyone in a laid-back setting before we all departed for home.

Any advice you’d give new brides who are just getting started?

I have never considered myself to be a wedding sort of girl and, left to my own devices, I never would have been able to put together what I realize now was my dream wedding. Hiring a wedding planner was the single best decision and the best expenditure we made.


Photographer: Preston UtleyPhotography
Venue and Catering: Devil’s Thumb Ranch
Dress: Sassi Holford, purchased at Little White Dress Shop in Denver, CO
Shoes: Kate Spade
Accessories: Paris by Debra Moreland (hairpiece and earrings); the other earrings were my grandmother’s
Maid of Honor’s Attire: Priscilla of Boston
Event Planning & Flowers: Stacy Pisani at Alexan Events
Band: Soul X from Starkey Productions
Paperie: Paper Guppy
Videography: Shutterbliss Cinema

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