Category Archives: colorado

Wedding Wednesday: Real Wedding: Shilo and Jason

Today’s Wedding Wednesday is from a lovely couple I am acquainted with, Shilo and Jason. Shilo and Jason had a lovely backyard wedding full of traditions based on their faith and a great deal of love (as you can see from the pics). I was privileged to attend their reception and witnessed one of the sweetest first dances I have ever seen: the couple danced to Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” Photos are courtesy of Tana Marie Sjoquist and thanks to Tana Marie, Shilo, and Jason for providing us with a glimpse of a wedding focused on the love of a beautiful couple and the love and kinship of their family and friends.




Association of Bridal Consultants Aspen Fact Caravan, The End: Aspen Chapel and d’Elissious Cake Studio

The last stop on our caravan was the Aspen Chapel. ”

“Take a setting provided by nature, offering the essence of spirituality in environment. Erect here an architecture to evoke the concept of engaging religious faith in conversation with the world. To this place gather, in lively encounter, leaders of religious thought to redefine spiritual values, to question, to seek relevant answers in a troubled world. Here create a national-global ecumenical center for seminars and dialogues on theological concerns of contemporary society. It is a testament to remind people in Aspen that there is foremost a spiritual dimension to our existence. It is a center for retreats, for meditation, for special worship services open to all, for musical presentations, for exhibits of art and literature and any other efforts to seek paths leading to brotherhood and peace. This is the Aspen Chapel.

These are the words printed on the program for the Chapel’s groundbreaking ceremony on June 8, 1968 where representatives of Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths were present along with the governor of Colorado. This vision is in effect today. The Chapel provides weekly services of Christian worship and Jewish Shabbat. Religious education for youth is on-going and spiritual seminars for adults are frequent. The Chapel features music concerts and art openings regularly. The ministry of marriage, baptism, memorial and counseling are constant features of the Chapel’s life. Personal connections are made daily. The Chapel is governed by a Board of Trustees, a Christian Administrative Board, and a Jewish Board of Directors. It also functions with various permanent and temporary committees and teams.

The Chapel ministers to a broad community of residents, second homeowners, and visitors throughout Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. Many of our constituents understand themselves as people of faith, but have moved beyond traditional religious institutionalism and exclusivity. The Chapel community welcomes all seeking and following a divinely oriented spiritual path. The Chapel also fosters a core group of people regularly involved in worship, education, service and community. They see the Chapel Community to which they belong as an expression of that global community into which we are all born as members of the human race, and into the full awareness of which we are called. Here is the Church into which the Cosmic Christ bids us to be born again.

As an interfaith Chapel, we emphasize an open and progressive theology. While respecting tradition and liturgy, we are redefining spiritual truths and values. We want to be honest and authentic in the way we relate to God and compassionate to one another. We desire to be realistic as we connect our spirituality to all realms of knowledge and understanding. We search for creative forms of worship and spiritual community. We wish to be part of the spiritual awakening where great faiths of this world are sharing their wisdom and the theme of unity with diversity progresses. We seek to be a Chapel, which honors religious history, responds to contemporary society, and envisions a spiritual future. There are many programs and goals yet to achieve. With God’s help, we are going forward in faith to fulfill the vision of the founders on the day they stood with a ceremonial shovel in hand.”

Aspen Chapel

Parties by Kristen

Parties by Kristen

Parties by Kristen

Parties by Kristen

Parties by Kristen

And finally, we were provided with cupcakes for our trip home from d’Elissious Cake Studio of Aspen. I got to try the Almond & Espresso (Almond Sour Cream Cake brushed with Amaretto with Espresso Buttercream) and it was amazing. A perfect balance of cake and frosting with frosting that was just sweet enough.

Wedding Cake Gallery

Wedding Cake Gallery

Wedding Cake Gallery

Wedding Cake Gallery

Wedding Cake Gallery

Wedding Cake Gallery

Birthday Cake Gallery

Wedding Cake Gallery

Association of Bridal Consultants Aspen Fact Caravan: Christ Episcopal Church

The next stop on our bus tour was the Christ Episcopal Church in Aspen. It is a lovely church that includes reception space.

“Christ Church had its birth in the hey-day of the silver boom, when the main business of Aspen (as Ute City had come to be called) was the mining of precious metal, not catering to skiers, celebrities, and second home owners. Christ Episcopal Church was established in 1881, and its first church building was erected at the corner of Second and Bleeker Streets, where a contemporary private residence now stands.

After the silver market crashed in 1893 and the boomtown atmosphere began to wane, the community of Aspen changed rapidly. Miners lost their work; merchants who had catered to miners had to shutter their businesses; and the population – which had been as high as 15,000 at the peak of the silver boom – dwindled. As the population shrank, ultimately falling to fewer than 1,000 souls, the numbers of Episcopalians decreased sharply. Due to the disappearance of its congregation, Christ Church was closed soon after World War I, as was its companion church – St. John’s, located in the east end of town. The era between the end of the silver mining industry and the arrival of the ski industry after World War II is known locally as “The Quiet Years.” Ranching was the main business in the valley, and the town of Aspen served the needs of the ranchers and the very few miners who had hung on, scratching out a meager living and hoping for good times to come again.

Aspen was “discovered” in the late 1940’s and good times did indeed come again, but they had nothing to do with the mother lode of silver that continues to lie beneath the surface of the mountains that surround the town. Along with the rapidly growing ski business, the newly founded Aspen Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival and School, there arrived an influx of new permanent and part-time residents —drawn to the skiing, the cultural attractions, the laid-back atmosphere of the rustic old mining town and the beauty of the Roaring Fork Valley. Lodges, hotels, clubs, restaurants and other new businesses were set up to meet the needs and wants of the new-era Aspenites.

As the town began to grow again, of course some Episcopalians moved to town, and a handful of the faithful pioneered the re-establishment of an Episcopal Church in Aspen. A mission congregation was begun in 1956 under the short-lived tutelage of the Rev. Donald Shissler. Within a short time the newly ordained Rev. Richard R. Palmer arrived to take over responsibility for the fledgling congregation.. A house on Hopkins Street downtown became the place of worship until the present church building was built on property donated by the Rowland family at the corner of Fifth and West North Streets in 1962-63.”

If you are interested in using Christ Episcopal Church for your wedding, keep in mind that there are restrictions such as one person in your family or bridal party must be Episcopalian. In addition, pre-marital counseling is a requirement. For more information on weddings at Christ Episcopal Church go here:

Parties by Kristen

Parties by Kristen

Parties by Kristen

Association of Bridal Consultants Aspen Fact Caravan: Wheeler/Stallard Museum

After the gondola ride back down the mountain, we boarded a shuttle bus and were taken on a tour of three other venues in and around Aspen. The first stop: Aspen Historical Society’s Wheeler/Stallard Museum.

“MISSION STATEMENT: The Aspen Historical Society enriches the community through preserving and communicating of our remarkable history.

VISION STATEMENT: The Aspen Historical Society actively preserves and passionately presents our local history in an inspired and provocative manner that will continue to anchor our community and its evolving character. We enhance the lives of those with whom we work and live. We offer a compelling reason to live in and to visit Aspen/Snowmass.”

“Jerome B. Wheeler built this Queen Anne style home in 1888. Despite his plans, his wife Harriet Macy Valentine Wheeler refused to leave their mansion in Manitou Springs, Colorado and the family never lived here. Edgar and Mary Ella Stallard moved into the house in 1905, eventually purchasing it in 1917. The family lived here for forty years. The house last served as the residence of the Aspen Institute’s president before the Aspen Historical Society purchased it in 1969.”

Parties by Kristen: pics

ASPEN+173.jpg (JPEG Image, 640×480 pixels)

Parties by Kristen: pics

Parties by Kristen: pics

Parties by Kristen: pics

Association of Bridal Consultants Aspen Fact Caravan: The Little Nell- Wedding Deck, Sun Deck, Aspen Mountain Club

After our breakfast at the Hotel Jerome, we made our way over to The Little Nell. While we did not do an extensive tour of the hotel, we did ride the gondola three miles up to the top of Aspen Mountain. We were greeted with Mimosas and were provided with a tour of The Wedding Deck, Aspen Mountain Club, and The Sun Deck.

“The Little Nell is a Colorado mountain destination for all seasons. Located in Aspen, where the excitement of America’s most famous mountain town is enjoyed for both summer and winter adventure vacations. The Little Nell is the only ski in/ski out hotel in Aspen.”

“A special event deserves a special place. Whether it is a business meeting or a grand wedding, The Little Nell can take care of every detail with flawless assurance. Our flexible and inviting event facilities can accommodate 20 to 500 people, and our resort setting, luxurious accommodations, and first-class guest amenities ensure that your event will be the standard by which all others are judged.

For a perfect Colorado wedding, The Little Nell offers a magical and memorable location for your special day.

Impressive meeting rooms, high-tech business services, and a professional event planning team make The Little Nell a preferred Colorado business destination.

Our Catering and Conference Services Department can custom design an event to meet your specific needs, using a variety of one-of-a-kind venues to create a distinctively creative celebration or program.”

Here are some images from The Little Nell:

“Put simply, the Wedding Deck is the most stunning site for a wedding ceremony in Colorado. The Wedding deck and adjacent Aspen Mountain Club sit on the side of Aspen Mountain at an elevation of 11,212 feet and feature breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. The terraced lawn seats up to 280 guests who reach the ceremony via gondola from downtown Aspen and The Little Nell.”

Aspen Mountain Club: ”

Welcome to Aspen’s most magnificent venue for special events located 11,200 feet above sea level on top of Aspen Mountain. Guests reach the Club via a spectacular three-mile journey on the gondola from The Little Nell. Once they arrive, they’ll open the Aspen Mountain Club’s hand-hewn iron door and step into a luxurious space that is as majestic as the Rocky Mountain wilderness surrounding it. Renowned New York designer David Anthony Easton has appointed the club with a trove of elegant Alpine detail: pine wood paneling, warm stone fireplaces, antique Austrian tables and hand-woven needlepoint rugs.

The Aspen Mountain Club is a unique location for daytime and evening private functions during the summer and evening affairs in the winter. Just outside, you’ll find the Wedding Deck, the most incredible wedding ceremony site in Colorado with views of the far reaching Elk Mountain Range.

The Little Nell operates and staffs this magnificent mountaintop facility, and its 7,000 square feet includes a full bar, a spacious living room, two large fireplaces, and a dining room that can seat up to 125 seated guests or 200 for a festive reception. Each event concludes with guests savoring their experience with a 12-minute gondola ride down into the warm lights of downtown Aspen.”

“Board the gondola next to The Little Nell in downtown Aspen for a spectacular three-mile ride up to an elevation of 11,212 feet and the top of Aspen Mountain. Here you’ll find 22,000-square-feet of beautiful space. The Sundeck can accommodate up to 500 lucky guests who will never forget the breathtaking views of the Continental Divide and the most beautiful peaks in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Each event concludes with a pleasant gondola ride back down to The Little Nell.”

Association of Bridal Consultants Aspen Fact Caravan: Hotel Jerome

On the second day of our fact caravan, we checked out of the Viceroy and headed in to Aspen for breakfast and a tour of the historic Hotel Jerome. If you are interested in booking an event or wedding at the Hotel Jerome, they are providing a sizable discount for specific dates. The hotel was beautiful and filled with a lot of historic charm.

“For well over a century, Hotel Jerome has defined the true character of Aspen, with a natural mix of elegant finish and authentic mountain spirit. Hotel Jerome is often hailed as the premier Aspen hotel. It is a place unlike any other, experience a seamless blend of fine service, luxury amenities and historic charm. Relax at our world-class Aspen spa and enjoy Aspen’s finest dining experience.

From the grand character of this special hotel to all the amenities and fine service that make your stay a memorable one, Hotel Jerome is the quintessential Colorado ski resort. Come see why Hotel Jerome is consistently rated one of the top boutique hotels in the Rocky Mountain West.”

“A day like no other. In a place like no other. The Hotel Jerome is the perfect spot for a romantic Rocky Mountain destination wedding—from its historic charm and world-class amenities, to its elegant wedding facilities and dedicated staff, to the unmatched location and spectacular mountain views, right in the heart of Aspen.

Whether you are interested in a large, formal dinner in the 3,450-square-foot Grand Ballroom (the only above-ground ballroom in Aspen) or an intimate garden reception, the Hotel Jerome has the wedding venue you’ve been dreaming of…”

Here are some pictures of what the Hotel Jerome has to offer.

Association of Bridal Consultants Aspen Fact Caravan: Viceroy Snowmass

So, the last stop on day one of our caravan was at the Viceroy Snowmass. We experienced luxury accommodations, a cocktail hour, and quite possibly the best food I have every had to the fortune to eat at Eight K. Here is a recap of the food we had at Eight K: Wild Mushroom flat bread with balsamic onion, fontina, pea shoots, truffle oil; Duck Confit flat bread with local goat cheese, caramelized shallots, roasted red grapes, wild arugula, saba; starter choice of wild arugula salad with endive, red plum, marcona almonds, and plum wine vinaigrette OR the Crudo-Ceviche tartar of the day (which was made with local beef); a main dish choice of: Grilled Wild Salmon with a warm spring pea salad, mint, Israeli cous cous, carrots and rhubarb syrup OR Grilled Terres Major Steak with caramelized salsify, wild mushrooms, and cipollini onions OR Chitarra Pasta with heirloom tomato fondue, pecorino, spinach, picholines, and olive oil; and a dessert choice of Chocolate Pot de Creme with a cherry compote, marshmallow, orange wafer, and a spicy carrot cake wafter OR a Brown Butter Apricot Tart with crushed toffee and burnt honey ice cream.

“At Viceroy Snowmass luxury year-round resort, mountain adventure glows with modern spirit as Viceroy Hotels and Resorts offers its first resort at the base of one of the world’s finest ski mountains. Only seven miles from downtown Aspen in the heart of Snowmass’ new Base Village, the sophistication and sense of place that distinguish Viceroy destinations from California to the Caribbean perfectly blend with the Colorado high country.

For couples, families and friends, Viceroy Snowmass luxury mountain resort offers ski-in/ski-out luxury resort lodging, in the winter and a gateway to on-and off-mountain adventure and culture during warmer months, complemented by imaginative dining and lounging, a Ute Indian-inspired wellness spa, and a year-round pool terrace and café—an ideal setting for a Snowmass mountain vacation during any season.

From skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and sleigh rides in the winter to summertime hiking, mountain biking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, festivals and concerts, the Rocky Mountains’ limitless seasonal pleasures and a world of unexpected Viceroy privileges await at the newest luxury ski resort in Aspen/Snowmass. ”

“From nuptial engagements to intergenerational reunions: When alpine revelry is on the agenda, Viceroy Snowmass is on the invitation. Let the experienced Viceroy special events staff assist in customizing a memorable personal engagement in the resort’s dramatic indoor and outdoor spaces for parties of two or 350.”