Sorry for the radio silence; we’ve been doing things like getting married and globe trekking. But, we’re back and better than ever! While we’re waiting to get the professional photos back to share the actual wedding, we thought we’d give you a taste of the wedding week festivities and the honeymoon.
Since we chose to do a destination wedding in the furthest possible location (sorry!), most of our guests made a vacation out of it and trickled in the week leading up to the wedding. This was great for us because instead of one day with our friends and family we got lots! We hadn’t seen most people since we left Louisville back in December, so we were both really excited to get a whole weekend with them. Matt and I made the 3.5 hour drive up to Aspen on Tuesday after grabbing some lunch and coffee with Jake and Megan at Adelitas Cocina y Cantina and Thump. The drive up the mountains was beautiful; lush and green up to Vail pass then rocky down the west side. We stopped at a rest stop to stretch our legs and had an amazing view of the river cutting through the mountains.
Getting to Aspen a couple of days before everyone else gave us time to tie up loose ends and relax a bit before we were inundated with activities. The house we rented was insane and situated right on the Roaring Fork river – I think the master suite was bigger than our entire house in Louisville. We had some lucky friends stay with us at the house and used it as a landing pad for the weekend’s festivities. It also served as the reception location, which couldn’t have worked out better.
We had a chance to check out Maroon Bells – the ceremony location – before the day of the wedding, and despite the rainy skies that day it was breathtaking. We did a hike to Crater Lake to make the most of our time and couldn’t get over the fact that in a few short days we’d be getting married there!
The first guests started rolling in on Thursday; we made sure we had all of our little (and big) tasks finished by Thursday afternoon so we could spend the rest of our time having fun. Friday started bright and early with a 5 mile hike up Smuggler Mountain with everyone who made it to town so far. The first part of the hike was straight up on an unshaded dirt road for about 2 miles (sorry friends!); it was hard even for Matt and me who are acclimated to the altitude. The views at the top and the second part, which wound through the woods along a creek made the strenuous climb worth it…though some may disagree 🙂 .
After the hike we hit up the watering hole near our house – Woody Creek Tavern. Matt and I scoped it out Tuesday night and loved the dive-y atmosphere. The food and drinks were flowing and it was the perfect way to end a sweaty hike. The day ended with dinner and drinks with my family with plans to continue imbibing when we got back to the house. Unfortunately, everyone staying with us had already called it a night at…9:30!
Saturday morning was another early day, but for a good reason: Jake organized a white water rafting trip down the Arkansas river! We convinced a group of 10 to spend the morning/afternoon in the icy water with us. It was an hour drive through Independence Pass and was totally worth it for the zero gravity drinking alone. We split up into two rafts – Matt and I in separate boats so Snickers didn’t become an orphan – and headed down the river. A handful of us went “swimming” (i.e. fell out of the raft), but Matt and Dara definitely took home the trophies for that.
The evening continued with a “welcome party” at the New Belgium Ranger Station in Snowmass Village, though unfortunately we don’t have any photos to prove it actually happened. It was right near the hotel where most of the guests were staying and a quick drive from the house, so it worked out perfectly. At that point everyone had arrived in Aspen so we got to mingle and chat with everyone until our throats were sore. The beer was great and the company was even better. There was even a gondola up and down the mountain that you could ride for free – I think Hannah and Logan would have ridden all night if they could’ve found enough people to take them. The night ended back at the house with a bachelor/ette party of sorts, but you know what they say: what happens in Aspen stays in Aspen…or something like that.
The week/end was so much fun, I wish we could do it all over again!