Vail Summer Wedding at Piney River Ranch

March 5, 2021

Meeting Lauren and Dave for the first time at the Four Seasons Resort Vail for lunch, we knew right away they had big things in store for their Piney River Ranch wedding. And over the course of our meeting, we learned a few key things about them:

  1. They are locals to Eagle, Colorado 
  2. They are mountain people who love hiking, biking, and skiing
  3. Dave enjoys photography and has been in the restaurant business for years
  4. Lauren co-owns DIVAS, the only women’s ski shop in the country!
  5. Lauren has amazing taste

All of these characteristics would play a part in their wedding weekend. 

They chose Piney River Ranch because they were familiar with the venue, whereas most non-locals aren’t aware of the locale. And because of the beautiful mountain backdrop that overlooks the lake. 

Dave being in the restaurant business, the venue and catering was extremely important. And, unbeknownst initially to Lauren, so was the decor. Even from Lauren’s outfit, we could tell she loved bright colors, which would play a big role in the wedding design. 

Throughout the wedding planning process, we kept taking it to the next level to ensure Lauren, Dave, and their guests would enjoy every moment and aspect of the wedding. One of the ways we did this was by introducing them to Casa de Perrin, a rentals company based out of California. They instantly fell in love with their dinnerware pieces and tabletop curations that would breathe a new and unexpected life into the somewhat rustic space.

Everything was extremely thought out and detailed, right down to the salt and pepper holders. And what emerged was a design aesthetic that was classic yet colorful and casual yet elevated, as well as outdoorsy, modern, and cool. 

Piney River Ranch wedding photo

Logistically Speaking

Not many people think about the logistics behind wedding planning and making sure everything (and everyone) is where it needs to be when it needs to be. Logistics are hugely important and there’s no room for error. 

With Lauren and Dave’s wedding, they chose a venue that was approximately an hour away from Vail Village. And on switchback roads. So, we had to think about how much time it would take to get each vendor to the venue and how long it would take to get everything set up in time all on the day-of.

Per their contract, the venue scheduled us to get in at 1pm. Which is quite normal and to be expected. But with the variety of vendors involved and the amount of time it would take to get to the site, the venue let us purchase four extra hours of setup time. Then we strategically scheduled when vendors would load in for a stacked and seamless process.

Colorado destination wedding details

Trekking Up the Mountain to Piney River Ranch

The trip to a Piney River Ranch wedding is not for the faint of heart, but worth it for the stunning views. 

To ensure everyone got where to the venue in time, we arranged for all guests to meet up at the Vail Transportation Center at a specific time to be shuttled to the venue. It’s much easier this way, especially if you aren’t local to the area. Guests were welcome to drive up to the Ranch by themselves, but we advise against it due to driving conditions at night.

Believe it or not, the moose are also a factor! And in the Summer, they like to hang out on the road. If you’ve ever encountered a moose, you know they tend to be stubborn and not so easy to move out of the way. This is why we incorporated a 15-minute buffer on the transportation timeline. And one of the benefits to having a local wedding planner, especially one from the Valley, as we are well aware of nature’s hazards. 

Colorado wedding venue with mountain views
Piney River Ranch wedding ceremony outdoor location
Wedding ceremony recession with ski poles in Colorado

Designing a Colorful, Modern, Mountain Wedding 

As guests arrived at Piney River Ranch, they were greeted by an open bar of wine, champagne, and beer. After the trip up, it was a welcome sight. Guests enjoyed sipping on a cold beverage and mingling before the ceremony.

The color palette for the wedding was inspired by the natural beauty of the outdoors: The blue of the sky, the green, gray, and brown of the mountains, and the purple, pink and orange of the sunset. And the bohemian quality of it by Lauren and her mom’s style and love of stores like Anthropologie and other local boutiques. 

These gorgeous and vibrant colors framed the couple and the stunning mountain backdrop beautifully as an arch. And were also featured in the floral centerpieces and hand-painted wedding cake.

But we can’t forget about Dave’s genius idea! Minutes before the ceremony, he handed our team a box of tangled ski poles. And suggested guests use them to make a tunnel for him and Lauren to walk through at the end of the ceremony. We quickly dropped what we were doing, untangled the handles on the poles, and placed them under the chairs closest to the middle aisle. As you can see from the photos, the effect was truly amazing! It’s one of the best recessions we’ve witnessed. And it was a charming nod to the couple’s love for skiing. 

Wedding party photos at Piney River Ranch

The Honeymoon Suite

One of the many charming qualities about Piney River Ranch is the lodging. With four glamping tents and the cutest one-bedroom cabins on-site, it’s an opportunity for the wedding party and/or guests to stay nearby and soak up that Colorado destination wedding experience. 

For those that are interested, they also allow private buyouts – Ensuring exclusivity for you and your guests.

Lauren and Dave stayed in one of these glamping tents the night of their wedding. And to make it feel all the more special, we “glammed” up their tent even more by decorating it with flowers and specialty bedding.

But before retiring for the evening, after their guests had gotten back on the bus to be taken back to town, Lauren and Dave cozied up around the fire with their wedding party and closest friends. For them, it was the perfect end to the perfect day.

Colorful rustic wedding design in Colorado
Exterior of Piney River Ranch wedding
Piney River Ranch wedding reception venue
Rustic wedding decor at Piney River Ranch
Sunset views at Piney River Ranch Colorado
Wedding reception dancing at Piney River Ranch

The Celebration, Continued

Being a part of Lauren and Dave’s wedding was a pleasure. But what truly made it all the more special was planning their baby shower in the Spring of 2020. 

Because they had trusted us so much with their wedding, and now their shower, we wanted to go the extra mile and make it all the more special. 

We had the idea to rent the same rug and loveseat Lauren and Dave sat in for their reception for the shower. It was a small detail, but one that made a big impact. 

Are you loving Lauren and Dave’s wedding as much as we do? Do you have a similar vision? We would love to create an amazing wedding experience for you at Piney River Ranch or another Colorado destination. Contact us for more information.

Piney River Ranch Wedding Vendors

Planner:  Kelly Karli Weddings & Events
Photographer:  Shane Macomber Photography
Hair:  Airika Romsdahl
Makeup:  Divine Beauty Artists
Florist:  Vail Vintage Magnolia
Decor + Lighting:  Eclectic Hive
Cake: Cornerstone Chocolates
Venue:  Piney River Ranch
Officiant:  PollyAnna Forester
Tableware:  Casa de Perrin
Stationery:  Sweet Zion Paperie
Entertainment:  James Pieper
Band:  Johnny Schleper Music
Transportation:  Timberline Tours

Baby Shower Vendors

Planner: Kelly Karli Weddings & Events
Photographer: Tara Gruner
Decor :  Eclectic Hive
Florist: Petals & Pours
Venue: The Kitchen

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