Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Our Ceremony: A View From Vista Ridge (Granby Ranch)

(Well, I know you've already seen the view, but now that I've got some professional shots of the wedding, I thought I'd share some more :-)
Vista Ridge at Granby Ranch was the only wedding venue that Nick and I looked at after we got engaged. (Remember my post?) I believe my exact words when I saw the site were "holy f*cking sh*t this is gorgeous) and just like that, our decision was made. It was everything I could have ever dreamed of for a ceremony site, and we could not have gotten luckier with the beautiful day that we had!
One of the greatest things about the site is that, while it is on top of a ski mountain (remember we had to take lift to get there)
There is actually an aspen grove separating the ceremony site from the ski slopes, so we were completely secluded from the resort and shielded from the wind and the noise of the skiers.

In order to get to the ceremony site, you have to walk down a little path through the aspens
and it almost feels like you are discovering a well-kept secret when you finally come through the trees and get your first glimpse of the amazing view.
speaking of first glimpse, check out my groom as he tries to get his first look at his bride walking down the aisle toward him... I love this picture!
after my long walk through the grove and down the aisle, I have my dad the biggest hug I could (I love my daddy so much!)
and then went to greet my groom - I'm so happy I can barely stand it!
And then there we were; just as my invitation  had said, "two crazy people on a mountain top, vowing to love each other for a lifetime."  Standing within feet of the edge of the mountain, it felt like we were on top of the world.
Our dear friend, and the person who introduced us to each other, Brian Clark, was our officiant, and he did an amazing job. 
We had planned to have a short ceremony - mostly because we had no idea what the weather would be like and we didn't want our guests to freeze their little tushies off - but once we were actually preforming the ceremony, it went so fast I couldn't even believe it. It felt like it went by in the blink of an eye, and before I knew it, it was time for me to say my vows.
I hadn't cried when I wrote them, and I didn't cry when I practiced them, so I must say I was a little stunned when I opened my mouth to recite them to Nick and could barely get a word out.  And so, in surprise and frustration, and through my tears, I blurted out "shit!" right in the middle of my wedding ceremony! (very classy Rachel!) 
In the end, though, I guess was pretty perfect for our ceremony! Everyone in attendance (except maybe my in-laws) already knows what a potty-mouth I have, and I'm pretty sure no one was shocked to hear that word come out of my mouth, regardless of the situation.  As you can probably tell by the picture, we all had a good laugh at that one, and I carried on with my vows to Nick.

(I love this picture so much because of all of our guests smiling in the background AND they're wearing ski goggles! Really could it get better than that!?)
After I finished my vows, it was Nick's turn
 His vows were beautiful and brought on the water works for every single one of our bridesmaids
But I was so happy at that moment, you couldn't have smacked the smile off of my face. Here I was standing in the most beautiful spot I could imagine, with an amazing man - who is a more perfect match for me than I could have ever dreamed up myself - and surrounded by all of our closest friends and familiy he was declaring his love for me... how could I do anything but smile!?  
At the end of Nick's vows, he grabbed a hold of my hands and leaned in for a kiss! "Not yet!" I said, and we we all hand another little chuckle. I hope our guests were all having as much fun as we were! Next of course it was time for the rings.
It was at this point, though, that I realized that Brian didn't write down what were were supposed to say for the rings ceremony because Nick and I were just supposed to say it - not repeat after him - and I didn't know what we were supposed to say because I just figured that Brian would have it in his notes. (This misunderstanding was completely my fault, by the way!) And so Nick and I spent a couple of "o shit" seconds trying to figure out what we were going to say, and we settled on "just hurry up and say anything!"  I'm sure no one plans to be put on the spot during their wedding ceremony, but these things tend to happen, and so in a very intimate and unplanned moment, we whispered to each other as we put on the rings. Nick told me to "wear this as a sign of my appreciation for you"
And then after I figured out which finger was on Nick's left hand... I told him to "wear this ring as a symbol of my love."

Following the rings, there were some beautiful closing remarks from Brian, and then...it was over. It went so fast, I really couldn't even believe what was happening when he pronounced us husband and wife!
and then, Nick kissed his bride, and I became Mrs. Stachokus!
Just as we finished our kiss, Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" came on the sound system and we danced down the aisle in celebration
And that, by far, was the happiest moment in my life.... to date.

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