Marriage on the mountaintop
LOVELAND PASS – Longtime couple Sarah Kinzey and Jay Brossman were married 10 months ago in Breckenridge after a 25-year courtship. The Frisco residents typically log more than 200 days a year on the slopes, but Monday’s turns at Loveland Ski Area may be their most memorable.”We thought, now that we’re married, let’s renew (our vows),” Kinzey said.She and Brossman joined more than 70 couples who huddled at the top of Loveland’s Chair 2 to renew commitments or tie the knot at 12,440 feet.It was true love at Loveland.Couples came from all over the country to participate in the mass ceremony and reception, which included free food and cake, free lift tickets and a 14-carat Cleopatra bracelet for the best dressed couple.”We just said, we gotta do it,” said Maryland resident Don Olyphant. “This year was the year.”Olyphant and his wife, Geraldine, first read about Loveland’s ceremony more than 10 years ago in a ski magazine and were inspired to renew their vows. So, in celebration of their 40th anniversary, the couple packed up their ski gear and flew to Colorado to say “I do” again.Others weren’t quite as prepared.”We just decided last minute so nobody in the family knows,” said Evergreen resident Danette Wiegler. “We’re going to e-mail everybody the pictures.”Breckenridge local Steve Allen had never even been on skis before, but recently took two lessons so he could marry his bride, Rachina, on the Continental Divide.The ceremony, one of the world’s highest mass wedding ceremonies, took place outside the Ptarmigan Roost Cabin and despite a little wind, the weather cooperated.Harry Heilmann, a minister with the Universal Life Church, has been officiating the service for 13 of its past 14 years.”This is Loveland. This is Valentine’s Day, the day of love,” Heilmann told the crowd. “Thank you for coming to a beautiful spot, in a beautiful time with someone you know is beautiful.”Heilmann urged the couples to find the strength to weather the storms that could lie ahead.”See these mountains around us? They’re organic, beautiful, strong and delicate, like your love,” he said.Heilmann ended his short sermon with a wish that would only touch the hearts of those in Summit County.”May all your days be powder days.” Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 229 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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