Weddings in the mountains: A bride for every Summit County season |

Weddings in the mountains: A bride for every Summit County season

Three couples who chose three different seasons for their special day

By Jessica Smith

In addition to being a mecca for snowsports, Summit has become an increasingly popular destination for couples looking to tie the knot. What better place to pronounce undying love than in the presence of undying mountains and natural beauty?

We talked with three couples who chose three different seasons for their special day, to give us a varied perspective on the perfect Summit County wedding.

Amanda and Blake Manard. (Photos by Gillespie Photography)


The Happy Couple: Amanda and Blake Manard

Date: July 7, 2017

Location: Arapahoe Basin

Mountain Connection: Blake and Amanda met in Indianapolis, and one of the first trips they took together was to Olympic National Park in Washington. That was "where we fell in love with this lifestyle," Amanda said. After a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, the two knew that Colorado was exactly where they wanted to be. The pair now live in Westminster, Colorado, and often visit the High Country.

Color Scheme: Navy blue for groomsmen, pale yellow for bridesmaids

Weather: "The one thing Blake told me was he wanted to get married on a mountain," Amanda recalled. After briefly considering Keystone, the couple settled on A-Basin for its breathtaking backdrop of the Continental Divide. "Let me tell you about our weather," Amanda said as Blake laughed, when asked about her special day. Early July was also a time of wildfires for Summit County, which made them nervous. Right before their ceremony, a storm came through. Luckily, "the minute the ceremony was over, the sun came out and the clouds parted, and it was the most beautiful day after that," Amanda said. They joked that it gave their guests a chance to experience the changeful mountain weather.

Recommendation: Both Blake and Amanda agreed that the summer wedding was perfect for them.

"You had that that real mountain feel but you still had the colors of the green and the wildflowers," Amanda said. "It was absolutely perfect.


Kevin and Heather McCombs. (Photos by Brooke Heather Photographer)


The Happy Couple: Heather and Kevin McCombs

Date: Sept. 23, 2017

Location: Sapphire Point

Mountain Connection: Heather and Kevin met while they were both working at Keystone Resort, Kevin as a chef and Heather in the human resources department. They hung out as friends for three months before Heather finally agreed to go on an official date. The rest is history.

When asked why they chose a mountain wedding, Heather said, "A lot of people pay exorbitant amounts of money to have their weddings where we live. This is our home, this is where we met, this is where we fell in love. Neither one of us are from here, but we both just think this is the best place in the world to live, so why wouldn't we bring our families here for our wedding?"

Color Scheme: A fall palette of reds, oranges and golds

Weather: "I don't think there's a better season in Summit County than fall," Heather said. They planned on a morning wedding, to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms. "It rained all morning," Heather recalled, "and it literally cleared up half an hour before we were set to get married. We had a three-hour window of sunshine. It was super windy by also very sunny, and two hours after we took our photos, it poured all afternoon and then it snowed by the end of the day. We had every weather you could imagine."

Recommendation: "The changing aspen leaves in the fall create the most gorgeous backdrop possible for a mountain wedding," Heather said.


Nicole and Aaron Dorn. (Photos by Cat Lemus from Cat Lemus Photography & Cinema)


The Happy Couple: Nicole and Aaron Dorn

Date: March 25, 2016

Location: Arapahoe Basin

Mountain Connection: Nicole and Aaron Dorn have lived in the mountains for the past two years.

"My husband has always been in love with the mountains," Nicole said. Though she was born in Florida, she has also found herself drawn to the Rocky Mountains' jagged terrain.

"It was kind of an adjustment, but I fell in love," Nicole said with a laugh.

Thus, both were excited to have the mountains as the backdrop to their special day.

Color Scheme: Ivory and dark purple.

Weather: Two days before the wedding, a blizzard coated the entire county in snow, setting the stage perfectly.

"It was magical," Nicole recalled. "I was really excited that I chose winter, it was perfection. It was kind of gloomy in the morning and we had an evening wedding. … As soon as I got on the lift, the skies opened up. It was blue and stunning. I wouldn't have it any other way."

Recommendation: "It's just cozy and it was really romantic," Nicold said. "And even though there were moments that it was cold, the adrenaline kicks in. There are so many different amazing unique pieces you can put with your wedding dress to make it different from any other wedding, any other season. I'd do it all over again."

She added: "I didn't grow up wanting a fairy tale wedding, but that's what it ended up being."

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