Tracy and Justin chose a Wild Basin Lodge wedding, just like Nate and I. AND they were only a few days off from our anniversary! I felt like we were kindred spirits of sorts as soon as we met and that feeling only increased throughout the wedding day. I knew Tracy was an absolute fanatic when it comes to her cats. It seemed fitting to wear crazy cat socks in her honor. When I showed up, it turns out she was wearing the same ones, just in a different color! Admittedly, she is far more crafty than me. I do try. But I have an entire drawer of half-finished projects that may or may not ever get addressed. There were a lot of hand-crocheted items at their wedding, including the coasters, bunting for the reception, and the cover over the chuppa (which later became her shawl when it got chilly).
Just like on our wedding day, it was a bit overcast and lightly raining. That’s what you get when take a chance on May in Colorado! Luckily, Tracy and Justin (and the venue) were well-prepared with umbrellas and hot beverages at the ceremony site. However, I tell every couple to expect *something* to go wrong. It’s just the nature of weddings. In Tracy’s case, she hung her dress up without realizing the baseboard heating was turned out and part of the dress bag actually melted a hole in the train! Without missing a beat, her bridesmaid pulled out a sewing kit AND a scrap of extra material that had been hemmed from the dress and set to work repairing it. Everyone should have a friend that dedicated and prepared.
They decided to have a quiet first look across the way at Lake Copeland (more on that below). The early afternoon mist was spectacular.
Tracy’s dad officiated the ceremony. One of the best parts of living in Colorado is that you can choose to have anyone perform the ceremony here! I love when couples choose a family member or close friend to officiate. It makes everything so much more personal, plus you actually know the person who ends up being in the majority of your ceremony photos!
We had a few minutes to walk around the beautiful grounds of Wild Basin Lodge and the Saint Vrain River. And Tracy finally had a chance to really show off the shawl she worked so hard on.
As with many weddings, this one ended in a lively dance party, drinks at the bar, and lots of laughs.
Having been here MANY times, between planning my own wedding and shooting someone else’s, I’ve gathered some of my best pieces of advice.
Tips for planning a Wild Basin Lodge wedding:
1- Go to the food tasting. In fact, go to more than one if you can and bring your parents or wedding party (we did). When I say the food at Wild Basin Lodge is good, I don’t mean “good for wedding food”. I mean it is actually delicious. They are also incredibly accommodating to any special requests you might have. We wanted a literal “cheese cake” (aka a tower of cheese) and they put something fantastic together.
2- In addition to the rooms at the Lodge, there are several big cabins on each side available for rent. The larger of the two was perfect for my husbands siblings and their families, and it’s also where we had a rehearsal dinner the night before. A lot of our guests said one of their favorite parts of the wedding was sitting in a hot tub at night with the cool mountain air around them. There’s also a smaller cabin across the parking area. I will admit, it is not as updated as the others, BUT they are dog-friendly. If you want to bring your dog (and I sincerely hope you do) this is a great option. It’s convenient to have someone stay there and give the pups a place to rest during the reception.
3- Lake Copeland, where Tracy and Justin did their first look, is absolutely beautiful and just a short walk away from Wild Basin Lodge. However, it is technically part of Rocky Mountain National Park and requires a permit to shoot there. It’s not hard to get, so please don’t try to skip around it, even if you’ll only be there for a few minutes. It’s worth supporting our beautiful Colorado parks whenever we use them.
4- Don’t worry about the weather. You never know what you’re going to get in Colorado, especially at higher elevations. But the staff are absolutely prepared for anything. They have umbrellas and blankets for everyone, they can arrange to have people driven to a meadow ceremony instead of walking, or you can simply wait a few minutes for the weather to change, which is often all it takes. Rain, sun, snow, whatever… you’re going to have an amazing wedding day.