A budget wedding in Aspen? Can it be?
When Gunilla Asher first went in search of a doughnut-based wedding cake, she discovered the Croquembouche, a traditional French wedding cake that is essentially a pyramid of doughnut holes. But she found the cost for just the holes, no doughnuts, was nearly $1,000.
Gunilla took a pass and came up with her own sugary idea: a tower of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
“I just love a glazed doughnut,” she said. “I don’t like wedding cake. I’ve been in nine weddings ” never eaten a wedding cake. I just thought they were so ridiculous, as far as how much money is spent.”
So Gunilla began to build her dream cake by taking a trip to eBay. There she found the skeleton for the tower for $12. She threw down another $200 for 150 Krispy Kremes, $20 for some sunflowers to decorate and another $11 for an ornament of a bride chasing a groom for the top. Top it off with a few berries and it’s practically health food.
All told, the cake cost $240, and she got to build it herself ” with a little help from her friend and boss, Jenna Wetherred.
Saving money on the cake was just one way Gunilla and her husband, Mark, found to plan a budget wedding in Aspen last fall.
Gunilla turned to the Internet once again and found a $240 dress from J. Crew and $100 pair of black Justin cowboy boots.
To add a little more personal flavor, the Ashers substituted shots of tequila for the traditional champagne toast, complete with commemorative wedding shot glasses for the guests to take home.
But what would an Aspen wedding be without a beautiful outdoor setting?
The Ashers decided on Maroon Bells Lodge and Outfitters, where, Gunilla said, they got another sweet deal ” spend at least $7,500 with the lodge have the wedding for free. With an open bar tab totalling more than $5,000, the Ashers were more than half way there.
For the ceremony itself, they rented a nearby field with sweeping mountain views, including a straight shot at Pyramid Peak. Gunilla constructed the centerpiece for the ceremony herself, a chuppa made of two aspen trees bent toward one another to form an arch. She intertwined some yellow aspen branches to complete the fall theme, and guests were treated to the spectacular sight of the bride and groom, framed by the aspen leaf arch, with the beautiful Colorado mountains as a backdrop.
“I think the chuppa, shot glasses and the cake were the coolest things in the wedding,” Gunilla said. Plus, she had doughnuts coming out of her ears long after the ceremony.
All told, the whole affair cost the Ashers $21,349, a small sum for one of America’s most expensive locales.
“For Aspen, with 155 people … to get that type of view, it was fairly inexpensive,” Gunilla said.
A doughnut cake, pristine mountain views and a rockin’ party added up to a perfect day for the Basalt couple.
“I decided everyone needed a cocktail and a good band,” Gunilla said. Throw in “a good husband, and that’s my wedding.”
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