Ski Lifts Carried Guests Up, Up, and Away to This Couple's Colorado Wedding Venue

bride groom walk through woods wedding attire
Alp & Isle

Long after they'd left home for college, Brooke and Christian connected back in the place where they both grew up while on a school break. "We had lived seven minutes away from one another, but had never met due to the fact that we attended different schools growing up," Brooke says. Five years later, she was on a tour of France with her best friend, Lily, when Christian flew in from New York—without her knowing—on the last day of their trip. He surprised her in the gardens outside of the Musée de Océanographique in Monaco, where he was waiting with an engagement ring.

For their June 15, 2019, wedding, the couple retreated from the hustle and bustle of New York City, where they live, to Vail, Colorado, where they could execute their vision of a "tranquil and natural" big day, Brooke says. At their chosen venue, The Arabelle at Vail Square, "we knew that the beautiful vistas would do much of the work for us," says Brooke, "so our aim was to enhance the natural beauty of our surroundings." With the expert help of wedding planners Calluna Events, that's exactly what the couple did.

Their two-year engagement gave the couple ample time to plan the perfect fête, complete with a white-and-green color palette and a whimsical, but still-classic feel, for their 138 guests. "We decided to take our time with the planning," Brooke explains. "This was great as we were able to secure every vendor that we wanted to work with and we were able to truly focus and be thoughtful each step of the way." But planning the event from a (long) distance did present its challenges: "We knew we were working with the best vendors, but working from a distance means we couldn't be involved in every conversation," Brooke explains. "We are both required to be very detail-oriented and organized for our work, so taking a step back felt unnatural. It ended up working out—and I believe being slightly removed helped keep us sane throughout the process."

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The Venue

Colorado mountain view fog rainbow scene
Alp & Isle

The couple chose to host their wedding in Colorado for a meaningful reason: Christian graduated from the Colorado University in Boulder with his undergraduate degree. "Many of our early memories of getting to know one another are from Colorado," Brooke says, "so it's very close to our hearts. Planning our wedding there was a nice way to make sure we were able to share this special place with our loved ones."

Plus, The Arabelle at Vail Square offers "one of the most beautiful views in Colorado," she says, "and [it's] the first place that we skied together. We wanted to share this beautiful place with our family and friends, many of whom had never been to the state."

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Picture Perfect Invitations

green envelope mountain theme invitations
Alp & Isle

The couple's invitations, created by Jolie & Co., gave the perfect nod to their venue: The green envelopes were lined with an image of a ski lift ascending over a mountain scene.

  • More of Our Favorite Destination Wedding Invitations
03 of 19

She Knew It

bride walking down wooded path wedding dress
Alp & Isle

The bride works as a buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue, so she teamed up with a stylist there to find the perfect wedding dress. Her A-line Monique Lhuillier wedding dress, with long Chantilly lace sleeves and a sheer bodice, was the first she tried on. "The second that I saw it, I knew it was made for me," Brooke says. "It was the first purchase I made for the wedding."

"I also wore my late grandmother's diamond bracelet to have a little piece of her with me that day," Brooke says.

04 of 19

Matching Veil

bride wedding shoes chantilly lace veil
Alp & Isle

Brooke's wedding veil was also made by Monique Lhuillier, and featured the same Chantilly lace that she loved.

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Bridesmaids' Dresses

bride bridesmaids walking in white dresses
Alp & Isle

While some brides shy away from others wearing white on their big days, Brooke embraced it, and asked her bridesmaids to pick their own cream-colored dresses. "I think it is so classic—and with our simplistic theme and vision to highlight the natural beauty of our surroundings, it really worked," Brooke explains.

06 of 19

Groom's Attire

groom posing bespoke black suit
Alp & Isle

Christian donned a bespoke black suit with a special detail inside: Embroidered on the inside of his jacket was the couple's wedding date.

07 of 19

Lift Love Up

ski lift entry platform
Alp & Isle

Chair lifts—like the ones found on the couple's envelope liners—transported guests to the mountaintop wedding.

08 of 19

Special Music

bigpipe player wedding musician outdoor mountain view
Alp & Isle

For their ceremony—which was supposed to be held on a patio overlooking the mountain vistas—the couple left musical accompaniments to a bag pipe player as a nod to Brooke's Scottish heritage.

09 of 19

Plan A

white floral arrangements wedding ceremony mountain view
Alp & Isle

They kept the service's décor simple, using only two white arrangements to decorate the space. "We wanted to keep the ceremony site uncluttered so that the mountain vistas were center stage," Brooke explains.

10 of 19

Plan B

bride groom wedding reception first kiss
Alp & Isle

Unfortunately, inclement weather forced the service indoors. "The start time was delayed by over an hour," Brooke says of attempting to wait out the rain. "After two years of planning, a 15-minute storm derailed the plans completely. But when we saw each other, all we could do was smile, tear up with relief, joy, and love. [It was an] intensely emotional moment for both of us."

The couple didn't have a first look. "It was important to us that the first time we saw each other was walking down the aisle," Brooke says. It ended up being the "biggest moment" of the day, she recalls.

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11 of 19

Escort Cards

acryllic board seating chart greenery wall
Alp & Isle

Guests found their seats on acrylic boards pinned to walls of greenery.

12 of 19

The Reception

wedding reception tent greenery plus wooden tables
Alp & Isle

Brooke and Christian picked a clear tent for their reception, then flooded the space with candlelight, greenery, and natural wood tones to create a romantic, natural environment.

13 of 19

The Tablescapes

wedding reception wooden tables whimsical theme
Alp & Isle

Ivy and loose blooms ran the length of the couple's long wooden tables—but tall glass hurricanes were the real stars of Brooke and Christian's tablescapes. The candlelight played into the "whimsical" aspect of the event, the bride says.

14 of 19

Creative Names

creative name ski signs reception tables
Alp & Isle

Tables were named for the ski runs on Vail's mountains, and were denoted with "ski signs," adds Brooke. "A local artist re-created the ski signs for us and they turned out fantastic," she says.

15 of 19

Farm to Table

wedding reception wooden tables place setting floral arrangement menu
Alp & Isle

Brooke and Christian's menu was sourced from local farms, and included a salad, beef tenderloin, sea bass, tofu, and an assortment of vegetables.

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Lounge Areas

wedding reception seating lounge wood coffee table
Alp & Isle

Lounge areas with sofas and coffee tables—with throw blankets and pillows to boot—gave guests a comfortable place to sit throughout the reception.

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Dessert Bar

wedding reception petite desserts treat bar
Alp & Isle

The couple decided to skip a traditional wedding cake and instead served petit fours. "They were incredible," Brooke says, "and our pastry chef friend went home and tried to re-create some of the selections."

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First Dance

bride groom night reception dance string lights
Alp & Isle

The couple shared their first dance as husband and wife to "Crazy Love" by Van Morrision. "We went back and forth on a few songs but we had always loved the classic and romantic sound of this tune," Brooke says.

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bride groom enjoy city view balcony
Alp & Isle

Photography, Alp & Isle

Venue, The Arabelle at Vail Square

Event planning, Calluna Events

Flowers, The Perfect Petal

Stationery, Jolie & Co.

Rentals, Max & Livie; Event Rents

Music, Syndicate

Bride's gown and Veil, Monique Lhuillier

Bride's accessories, Forever Diamonds NY; Mark Broumand

Hair, Matthew Morris Salon

Makeup, Liz Wegrzyn

Groom's suit, Michael Andrews

Groom's accessories, Rolex; Mont Blanc

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