Real Wedding: Luanne & Julie
By Hillary Hanson of Wild Basin Lodge
It was a snowy night in Denver, CO when long-time pen pals, Julie and Luanne, met face-to-face at a little Italian bistro for the first time. The pair sat in the back of the restaurant, sipping on their wine, not noticing anyone else for two and a half hours. There was an instant connection between the two, who had sparked up a friendship through MySpace. Julie, a percussionist, was living in Copenhagen, Denmark at the time, and Luanne (known as Lu, by her friends), an emergency vet technician (soon to be a veternarian), was living in Denver.
Julie came back to the states after a few months, and the couple knew they were destined for each other after their first kiss. As Lu describes it, “(The first kiss was) like a comforting familiarity, and yet perfect chaos,” which shook her world.
During a romantic and snowy trip to Yellowstone National Park in February 2009, Lu popped the question to Julie by the light of the cozy fire, which warmed their small mountain cabin. The two held a beautiful commitment ceremony in August at The Wild Basin Lodge & Event Center, located in the scenic mountain town of Allenspark, CO.
The happy couple now lives in Canada but happily shares a few of their wedding photos with us.
Julie and Lu selected The Wild Basin Lodge’s meadow ceremony site with views of Mount Meeker and Longs Peak. As Julie explained how they chose their ceremony site, “In 1981, Lu's biological father Jayk, was killed in a plane crash outside of Fort Collins as he was flying to Wyoming for work (he was a doctor). Lu's brother Toby was only 3 months old at the time. Lu's family scattered his ashes on the top of Mount Meeker, which is beautifully visible from the meadow site. At the very end of our service, it began softly drizzling with a brilliant ray of light shining through the clouds. Lu's aunt said it perfectly, ‘Jayk is crying tears of joy.’”
Julie and Lu selected an August ceremony and reception because many of their 150 guests traveled all the way from Europe at the end of their summer vacation to watch the couple say their vows. One of Julie’s favorite moments from their special day was the vows, which they worded specifically to commemorate how they feel about each other, “Making an adventure of our lives together, enjoying our differences, and remembering always that you’ve chosen me as your life’s love.”
Julie (pictured left at The Wild Basin Lodge’s Copeland level deck) wore a strapless fitted long ivory gown with a sage sash from designer Morilee by Madeline Garner and Lu opted for a strapless ivory knee length cocktail dress. The pair loved that their dresses looked fantastic together and complimented their personalities nicely!
The Floral Arrangements
The floral arrangements of daisy and mountain-specific blooms were all arranged by Brigitte of Floral Designs of Europe Julie received her Master’s degree in Munich, Germany, and they knew that Brigitte would be an excellent fit to work with them because she speaks fluent German! Lu and Julie selected daisies for their arrangements and daisy petals for their flower kids to line the aisle because daisies exemplify natural beauty at its finest.
The Reception: Food!
As Julie and Luanne had their post-ceremony photos taken, their guests dined on fresh homemade BBQ meatballs and vegetable spring rolls prepared in-house by Wild Basin executive chef, Brent Lewis. Chef Lewis, who prepares food for Wild Basin events using locally purchased and organic food selections, also served shots of cold seasonal melon soup, fresh line-caught Colorado Red Trout (Julie’s favorite), goat cheese infused mashed potatoes, and Wild Basin steak (Lu’s favorite).
The Reception: Dances and Toasts
Julie and Luanne opted to do their father-daughter dance together with their dad and stepdad, respectively, to the tune of “Ice Cream” by Sarah McLachlan because of the main hook in the song, “Your love is better than ice cream,” says Julie, “They are both serious ice cream guys!”
Lu had some favorites at the reception, “We both really loved the speeches, which were sincere and followed by tears from everyone in the room. As for the reception, the favorite moment was when the entire crowd of all ages flooded the stage to dance (like a flash mob) to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin”. Of course, that is a favorite at weddings, but having the whole group onstage at once was pretty moving.”
Something Old, Something New
Julie and Lu (pictured at the front entrance of The Wild Basin Lodge) selected brand new jewelry, were gifted the same champagne glasses that Julie’s dad and step-mom used at their reception 13 years prior to their special day, and changed out of heels and into matching blue Kangaroo tennis shoes following their ceremony!
Advice for couples in the planning stages:
Plan early! For Julie and Lu, planning early made the experience so much more memorable. The couple also has some excellent advice for enjoying the big day, “Stop to breathe. During your ceremony, pictures, and reception, make a conscious effort to be in the moment. It will go by so quickly. And remember; only invite people who you really love- and who really love YOU!”
3 words to describe the commitment ceremony
Pure. Wild. Love.
Photography by Gary the Photographer