Nicole & Corey’s wedding was so special to me for a number of reasons.
When Nicole and Corey chose to get married in Grand Lake, I couldn’t have been more excited. What a perfect location, and a great excuse for a couple of additional trips out there. Our first-ever trip out to Winding River as a family was 22 years and 1 month prior to Nicole and Corey’s wedding for the wedding of my aunt and uncle. They were married in the exact same meadow, surrounded by the same mountains. Nicole walked down her first aisle there as their flower girl, so how fitting that she would take her most important walk down the aisle at the same place.
Nicole & Corey said their vows under cloudy skies with a few raindrops beginning to fall. They followed the ceremony with an open-air party, celebrating at one long table with their 90 guests. At sunset, with twinkle lights shining above, they shared their first dance and followed it by roasting marshmallows over the campfire.
As beautiful as this wedding turned out in photos – it was not without its own drama. That day we fought rain, and more rain, moose, and even more rain. (Yes, you read that correctly – there was a moose.)
Outdoor weddings always come with their own risk that we have no control over – weather. So in planning Nicole & Corey’s open-air wedding day, we also planned for rain. Like, really planned for it. I had:
The weather is going to be perfect and the weather forecast is amazing and leaves nothing in question. Everything is according to plan.
The weather will likely be perfect, but the weather forecast is questionable during certain times of the day. Everything should likely get set up according to Plan A, but we need some more time to decide so nothing is getting set up until Friday afternoon in hopes that more time will buy us our ideal setup.
The forecast is too questionable to risk an open-air reception, but we will still have an outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour.
The forecast isn’t great so we are going to have the ceremony under an open-sided pavilion, and the cocktail hour/reception will all be inside.
The weather is not going to cooperate and we are at risk of an entire day of sideways rain, so everything is inside. (Something that pretty much NEVER happens in Grand Lake, Colorado, but still needed a plan, just in case.)
So when I say we had plans – we had them all. But that still doesn’t mean I can control the weather.
We ended up going with Plan B. We waited until the last possible moment to make a final decision on where everything would be set up, in hopes that the forecast gave us enough clarity to go with a Plan A Setup (everything outside.) I won’t say we were 100% confident when we made the final decision, but we were confident enough to try to make it work and made the call to set everything up open-air.
Everything was set up Friday, and then all rentals were covered up with tarps in place to keep them dry, secure, and safe.
Saturday morning, we woke up to a beautiful day. We un-tarped everything and got to work placing flowers, glassware, flatware, china, place cards, etc. About half-way through the morning, I had to take off my planner hat and replace it with my Matron of Honor one, so I left the rest of the setup in the capable hands of Brooke (coordinator and good friend), Ty (my husband), and Adam (good friend and additional help). Just as I sit down in the chair to get my hair done (walkie talkie still in hand, because I can’t totally remove that hat), I hear what I was hoping wouldn’t happen. The rain had started and Brooke was in need of fast help in order to get everything tarped again. There wasn’t much I could do from where I was, so I did my very best to convince Nicole that our team had it all covered. Meanwhile, Ty, Adam, and our family come from seemingly out of nowhere to jump in and get everything covered once again. I’d love to tell you that that was the last time we had to tarp and un-tarp tables that day – but that just wasn’t the case.
We made it through the rest of the setup, had just some sprinkles during the ceremony. Then the cocktail hour was off to a good start before we had more rain drama. I was looking around and noticed a dark sky and rain against the mountains to the west. This was a sign that before long everyone would end up soaking wet if we didn’t do something quickly. So we did the only thing there was to do – the DJ made an announcement that each guest should grab another drink from the bar and head to their cars to wait out the storm. The groomsmen and our team grabbed the tarps (luckily with all the practice they had already had, they didn’t need long.). In less than 2 minutes when the rain began coming down, everything was tarped and all guests had a drink and were safely out of the rain. Luckily for us, rain out there doesn’t last long, so after about 10 minutes, the storm passed, we were able to un-tarp once again, and everyone enjoyed the rest of the evening rain-free.
Although it was less than ideal at the time, it gave us and the guests something to laugh about and a story to tell.
I can promise you that I never thought I’d have a wedding story involving a moose, but now I do.
We are about 30 minutes out from the ceremony. The bridal party (myself included) are in my aunt and uncle’s house hanging out, waiting to be told we need to drive over to the meadow for the ceremony. Brooke, Ty, and Adam are all at the ceremony location greeting guests and making sure everything is ready over there. The cocktail hour/reception area is close to my aunt and uncle’s house where I am, but not close to the ceremony location where the rest of the team is.
My aunt comes into her house and pulls me aside. Our conversation goes something like this:
Aunt Marcia – “Christy, I think we have a problem.”
Me – “Okay, what’s going on?”
Aunt Marcia – “Your uncle just saw a moose headed straight for the reception area.”
Me (internal thoughts) – Oh gosh. A moose. Hooves on a dance floor. Moose slipping everywhere. All the twinkle lights we spent hours hanging above the dance floor getting all caught in his antlers. Oh goodness, this could be bad. I need Ty. No, Ty isn’t close enough, I have to handle this one.
I see two groomsmen pass through the room I’m in at that very moment (poor guys – wrong place at the wrong time). Me – “You two! I need you. Come with me!”
I rush outside with the two groomsmen. All I can think to do is to make sure we are loud enough that we can hopefully get the moose to divert his path and not go straight through the cocktail hour/reception area. So with no time to waste, I tell them what’s going on, and what I need them to do by yelling at them (in a conversational tone), to make as much noise as possible. (I know what you’re thinking. Yes, they had to have thought I had lost my mind.) I then send the two of them off in either direction to keep making as much noise as they possibly can. And it worked! No more moose sightings or moose drama. And thank goodness we didn’t have a moose running around with battery operated twinkle lights strung through his antlers.
I can not thank our team enough! This wedding couldn’t have happened without each of you. The Colorado vendors made things immensely easier on me as we were planning from across the country. And the wedding day would not have happened without Brooke, Ty, and Adam!
Each and every one of you are rockstars and I sincerely hope I have the pleasure of working with each of you again!