Sydney & Andrew had a beautiful and inspiring wedding day in Vail, Colorado. Inspired by John Steinbeck’s book East of Eden, they personalized their day to make it beautiful and representative of themselves. We love this day so much and can’t wait to share it with you below!
from the couple: ‘Our wedding was inspired by John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, Steinbeck Centennial Edition. This book holds dear to my heart. It taught me that I don’t have to be perfect to be good. It grew Andrew and I’s understanding of creation. This edition of the book was blended into our wedding with its color palette, details on the invitations (see the Steinbeck stamps & overlay on the invite with the East of Eden tree!), fonts, and the thistle which was pressed into each of the wax seals we used. We had a traditional ceremony that our pastor led, with scriptures that we chose for wisdom and encouragement to build our marriage on. Andrew and I had communion together – the first words we spoke to one another on our wedding day were our vows, followed by a prayer with each other.
I wanted our wedding to feel like an intimate gathering of our dearest friends and family. Our wedding was set in a valley of White River National Forest – I did not want decor to take away from the surrounding mountains, streams, and aspen trees. All things dreamy. Wine barrels with string lights to enjoy cocktails at sunset, simple greenery and lights strung in the inside of the white tent that the reception was held in, long wooden farm tables and chairs, whimsical florals on the tables, blue china accent plates, pressed glass brass frames for our handmade paper signage, and a moleskin journal with polaroids for our guest book.
I have always been drawn to details. Andrew and I wrote personal letters to our guests to be set on each’s dinner plate. We would not have grown to be the people we are today, we would not have learned how to love and fallen in love if it weren’t for the family and friends at our wedding. We wanted to make sure that each guest felt the gratitude and love in our hearts for them. We wrote welcome letters that were wax sealed to each welcome bag and thank you letters on the back of our wedding programs – and hand signed each. Andrew and I would both say that favorite parts of our wedding were committing to one another with our vows, sharing a meal and looking up at all the people supporting our love, dancing and laughing at sunset in the mountains, and walking under sparklers with cheers. Flowers also bring me so much joy and make me feel so loved. I wanted all of our wedding guests to feel the joy flowers bring to me – bridal brunch, bridesmaid bouquets, groomsmen boutonnieres, bouquets for mothers and grandmothers, florals on the dining tables, florals on the welcome tables and on the seating chart. I absolutely adored my floral headband that I wore during the reception – my florist was able to fit my favorite flower, an orchid! Our florals were a blend of traditional bridal white roses and cloni ranunculus, orchids, and blues with thistles and Colorado wildflowers.
Like everything else in our wedding, my wedding day look was to be whimsical. My dress, shoes, and jewelry were all from BHLDN by Anthropologie. I knew there might be a breeze during the ceremony, being in the valley in the middle of a stream, so I wanted a dress and veil that would gently follow the wind. The walk to the altar was through the woods, across a stream on a bridge. I chose Loeffler Randall flat sandals, that still peaked out with bridal feminism. My earrings were branched salt water pearl flowers, that nestled gently in my curls. We wanted to feel like ourselves, natural and light. With the mountains as the backdrop of our ceremony and the light pinks and blues of Colorado sunsets, Andrew chose a light grey suit with a blue tie and light pink florals.’
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
We met at our rock climbing gym – Andrew was working as a lead instructor and I had just gotten into the sport with some friends, one of which was soon to be engaged to one of the guys Andrew lived with. We went to the same high school and lived just a couple houses down from each other in college – we both remember times when I would walk by him and his friend Sieg on their front porch or when Andrew would pass me on his bike. If we would have met at any other time in life other than when we did, I don’t think we would have been ready to commit to the love we chose to grow in.
We both thought the other was way too cool and were definitely intimidated by each other.
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.
Just a week after Andrew told me he loved me, I decided to move to Colorado. We went from being just a five minute walk from one another to 718 miles apart. Pursuing a long distance relationship required trust, honesty, sacrifice, and communication. It grew us in our weaker areas – we became more selfless and vulnerable.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
We wrote letters to our family and friends – we were able to express all of our thoughts and emotions, our gratitude and love, for the people who raised us, grew us, and taught us how to love. Words are not always the easiest to speak, especially when you are swept away on your wedding day. Writing these letters over the time of our engagement allowed us to sit down and tell each person how much we love them.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?
Our ceremony. We committed to loving one another with all gentleness and humility and those who teach us, counsel us, and love us got to be there for it. We were surrounded by the mountains with the people we love to experience them with.
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Andrew’s gentleness and Sydney’s empathy.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
Our whole planning process was truly a joy. We had a wedding planner and florist that curated something magical, a baker who sent us icing and cupcakes amidst a pandemic so that we could drink champagne and cake test at home, a calligrapher and graphic designer that cared deeply about storytelling through paper, a photographer that we trusted to organically capture the moments that we cherish, and parents to support us through it all.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
Go on one last date before your wedding. Take time to talk through what you are anxious about, what you are most excited about.
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
Find love and give it all away.
Photographer: Bree Woolliscroft Photography
Venue: Camp Hale Weddings
Stylist / Planner / Designer: Ever Something
Floral Designer: Ever Something
Dress Boutique: BHLDN
Dress Designer: BHLDN
Cake Designer: The Cake Maker CO
Makeup Artist: Soul Spa Studios
Film Lab: Photovision Lab
Invitations: Gatherie Creative
Calligrapher: Merriment Mill
Veil: Donnabeth Creations