Real Wedding | Michael & Aaron | Arapahoe Basin Black Mountain Lodge


I first met Michael and Aaron at a Sara Bareilles concert at the Botanic Gardens in Chatfield. We ended up going out for drinks that night but never ended up hanging out again. Fast forward a couple years and I get an email from them that they’re engaged! I had known that they had exchanged rings, but once the Supreme Court approved marriage equality, they were excited to make it legal in front of their family and friends. They’re both avid snowboarders and consider Arapahoe Basin one of their homes. The entire event brought out the mountain vibes from their snowboard guest book to the mountain themed cake to the ski pass escort cards.

Photos by From the Hip Photo

Venue and Catering: Black Mountain Lodge at Arapahoe Basin | Photographer: From the Hip Photo | Floral Design: Erin Ashley Design | Bakery: Blue Moon Bakery | Music: A Music Plus | Suits: Generation Tux | Transportation: Peak1 Express


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Choosing Your Venue

If you’re newly engaged after the holiday season, congratulations!! While you may be enjoying some time just being engaged, the joy of wedding planning will no likely be starting soon. One of the first things most couples do is choose their venue. While I would love for them to hire a planner before doing anything, a lot of couples will want to get their date set in stone first. As such, I thought I would provide a few helpful tips to make the rest of the planning process as smooth as possible.

  • Establish your budget and your guest count before doing anything! You’ll want to make sure that you don’t overspend on the venue so that you can still get quality vendors for all the other aspects of your big day. Capacity is extremely important as well so that you don’t end up cramming 120 guests into a room meant for a max of 100 guests.

  • Make sure to get a list of everything that is included with the venue rental. Do they provide all the tables and chairs for guests, bars, buffets and cake tables? Do they have linens or is that something you’ll need to rent? If they do in-house catering, do you need to rent plates and flatware or is that included?

  • If you’re doing an outdoor ceremony, ask your venue what the backup plan would be in case of rain or bad weather. This is a question that comes up at every wedding, but usually not until you get closer to the wedding day. Making sure that you’re comfortable with either option will help make your day less stressful in the off chance you do experience bad weather.

  • Also if you have an outdoor ceremony, ask about electrical access if you plan to have a DJ supply the ceremony music.

  • Each venue will have its own unique setup and questions that you should probably ask, but these questions will help get you started and on the road for a successful start to your wedding planning!


    Top Photo: ©From the Hip Photo at the Arapahoe Basin Black Mountain Lodge and Florals by Erin Ashley Design
    Bottom Photo: Adore Photography at the Brook Forest Inn