Gold Rush

Written by: Val Rasmussen

As mountain hues switched from fall to winter, Californians Erin and Brandon married in the candlelit comfort of a slope-side ski lodge.

Who They Are

“Over the course of three years, my dear friend Lauren spoke about this ‘cute boy’ I just had to meet,” says Erin about her mystery-man-turned-groom, Brandon. They knew on their first date over sushi that they were meant to be. “It’s bizarre how you just know,” she says. Five years later, Brandon popped the question beachside while the couple vacationed in the Bahamas. “Some girls cry,” says Erin, a director of marketing who resides in Encinitas, California with Brandon. “I just could not stop smiling.”

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The Wedding

To greet the guests checking into Montage Deer Valley, welcome bags were filled with Fireball whiskey for the men and Ketel One vodka for the ladies along with sparkling apple cider, pumpkin spice trail mix, pumpkin tea and pear lotion. The couple hosted a candlelit ceremony in front of the Montage’s grand fireplace. The reception took place inside the resort’s signature restaurant, Apex. Daly’s Pub & Rec, also at Montage, held the after-party where guests danced and bowled, and played pool, shuffleboard and video games.

The Menu

The hearty menu began with an organic green salad and roasted tomato soup topped with micro greens and basil oil. Entree choices included a prime filet mignon served with fingerling potatoes, beets, asparagus and foraged mushrooms or a chicken schnitzel plated with lemon herb späetzle and braised red cabbage with lemon caper butter. In lieu of a wedding cake, guests dished up desserts such as granny smith apple lasagna with salted caramel ice cream. And it didn’t end there. Post-party options included BBQ pizza, mini sliders, jumbo pretzels with cheese and other midnight munchies.

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The Mood

Wedding well-wishers included moose and deer peeking out from aspens on the crisp, autumn day. Indoors, autumnal elements included white pumpkins, gilded antlers, a stag head gobo (logo projected onto dance floor) and a signature cocktail named Miller’s Mountain Cider.

The Tunes

For the processional, a piano and string quartet played “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera for the bridal party, “Tonight I Celebrate my Love” for Erin’s walk and Al Green’s “Let Stay Together” for the recessional. A DJ brought the tunes for the reception, which included the father/daughter dance “I Loved her First” by Heartland and the mother/son dance “Sweet Child of Mine” by Sheryl Crow.

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Memorable Moments

“The first time we were alone as husband and wife, we opened the door to see the new fallen snow. The way the lights shined on the yellow aspen trees with the snow falling. I just couldn’t believe it. It was perfect.” –Erin

The Details

Gold flatware replaced traditional restaurant silverware; sweetheart table set for two; a stag head gobo lights up the dance floor; matte white-painted pumpkins; the cool tones of the bridesmaids’ gowns contrasted the warm hue of Erin’s gown; welcome sign with custom calligraphy; Brandon and Erin wrote and recited their own vows with the help of officiant Rev. Kamrin Carver.

Gilded antlers peeked out from the long and linear centerpieces featuring hydrangea, roses and privet berries.

Forgoing a traditional photo lineup, the men play on a Deer Valley chairlift; guests dished up desserts like this Millcreek chocolate and coffee pot de créme with salted chocolate chards and Saigon cinnamon beignets; ample pillar candles, white-washed pumpkins, mahogany chivari chairs and a fresh floral wreath set the stage for the ceremony; stately wing chairs designated a dinner spot for the couple.

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Photography: Rebekah Westover

Wedding planner & designer: Michelle Leo Events

Catering: Montage Deer Valley

Ceremony & reception site: Montage Deer Valley

Flowers: Urban Chateau Floral

Invitations: Ann Elizabeth

Bride’s jewelry: David Yurman

Rings: Nuggets & Carats

Gown: Vera Wang, Erin Cole

Groom’s suit: David August

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Monique Lhuillier, Bella Bridesmaid 

Entertainment: HeartStrings Productions

Officiant: Rev. Kamrin Carver

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