According to my wedding countdown clock, fiancé and I will be getting married in one month and nineteen days. I have a countdown clock! I was never that girl.
For those who don’t know me, this isn’t my first time at the rodeo. Over 13 years ago, I had the big wedding, the big dress, the really big plans and all of pressure and anxiety that went along with being a just-turned-23-bride and wanting everything to be perfect. For everyone else.
When my dad walked me up the aisle, he asked, “How do you feel?” I replied, “I feel like I have to throw up.” What a way to start the evening, huh?
After a terrible wedding rehearsal the day before, I knew I didn’t want to go through with it. It’s a reality I can admit now. I thought it was cold feet coupled with a difficult mother-in-law. I did have happy times in my marriage. When my ex-husband suggested divorce, I was sad and I did feel the loss. Then I got over it and became grateful to him for pulling the trigger I wasn’t brave enough to pull.
The divorce was finalized just two weeks after our fifth wedding anniversary. At that time I swore I’d never get married again. There were serious relationships, but no one was changing my mind. Famous last words.
Once in awhile I would joke that if I did get married again, it would be barefoot on the beach. If people wanted to make it, great. If not, they could see pictures after the wedding. I was a bit over pleasing others before pleasing myself. But that would never happen again. Never ever. EVER.
And then I ate my words. “Again” became a reality. It came time to plan a wedding. Two people from different areas of the country living in California…where in the world should we declare our vows?
We went back and forth and then one day, it came to me. We should get married in Rifle, Colorado!
“What the what?! Rifle, Colorado!!”? Yep. Rifle, Colorado.
Fiancé, who loves the mountains, is the only child to his parents. Both of them passed before I met him and ever had the chance to get to know them. His father’s ashes were spread in the Rocky Mountains of Rifle, Colorado after he passed in 2007. I did a bit of Google searching and we pondered it some more. Then, we found THE SPOT.
I admit after we made the decision to go Rifle a bit of fear creeped up. Fear of disappointing friends who expected a big shin dig because of what I do for a living, friends who want to be there because they love us and want to see us get married. Then I realized, our friends will “get it”.
Some want castles in Italy. Others are thrilled with a trip to the Justice of the Peace. I say do what floats your boat (no Navy pun intended). We wanted our perfection. And we found it in a place that is not easy accessible, a place that is probably impractical for all intents and purposes, a place that is… perfect.
I hope his parents would have loved this spot. I hope his dad would have smiled and laughed the laugh I often imagine he had when he was alive. I hope his mom would have worn a flower in her hair and a flowing dress that would blow in the soft summer wind. I know we will feel them there with us and fiancé’s daughters on our wedding day.
If you had told me I’d get married on a dude ranch in the middle of Colorado, an hour from the largest town in an area which actually qualifies as a small town in my book, I’d tell you that you lie like a rug. Yet here I am. Giddy with excitement and counting down the days ’til our Rocky Mountain High.
A sneak peek of the ranch:
A view of the cabins
No rainbows without the rain
(Not us in the photos – taken from the ranch’s Facebook page)
It’ll be just like home. We love our hummingbird feeder.