A Colorful Fall Wedding in Aspen, Colorado
A soft Colorado snowfall and a walk over the Gore Creek Bridge set the perfect backdrop for Jake Baldwin to pop the question to his college sweetheart, Emma Gorski. The January 2019 proposal led to the pair's October 3, 2020, wedding date, which was postponed due to the pandemic. So, a year later—almost to the date—on October 2, 2021, Emma and Jake celebrated with 150 of their loved ones during a flower-filled outdoor ceremony in Aspen, Colorado. They were fortunate to work with talented vendors who were all available on their rescheduled date, and the nature-driven, but formal, big day came together thanks to the talented Keely Thorne of Keely Thorne Events.
Emma and Jake are outdoor lovers who ski in Colorado each winter—but they hadn't visited Aspen before deciding to look at T-Lazy-7 Ranch as a potential wedding venue. From the moment Emma saw the ranch, she knew it was just the spot, and Jake fell in love several months later when he visited. The couple appreciated the stunning view of the Maroon Bells behind the ceremony site and saying, "I do"—surrounded by mountains and aspen trees—was an absolute dream come true, they say.
Watercolor Interpretation of the Mountains
The colors of the Rocky Mountains were woven throughout Emma and Jake's wedding invitations and stationery. Papellerie designed a custom watercolor crest and watercolor illustration of the Maroon Bells—the mountain range just beyond their venue—for the envelope liner. The back of the formal invitation featured an abstract watercolor that evoked the spirit of the place.
Loved ones who traveled near and far were greeted with welcome bags in their hotel rooms. The pair's watercolor crest and natural, mountain-inspired palette made an appearance on the welcome notes.
Emma kept coming back to this floral appliqué Mira Zwillinger wedding dress, despite originally thinking she'd go for a long-sleeve style. She customized the dress by removing the existing spaghetti straps and replacing a chiffon bow with a thin satin belt. "My mother told me what her aunt told her about a wedding dress when she got married: 'You only get to wear it once,'" says Emma, which is how she knew she had to go with her gut and choose the garment that resonated most with her.
She polished off her look with Sue Gragg earrings—a gift from her parents—and a necklace from Lesley Ann Jewels, accentuated with glittery diamonds. She snuck in a "something borrowed" by wearing her sister's veil.
First Look with the Girls
Emma and Jake skipped a traditional first look so, instead, Emma shared one with the women she loves most—her bridesmaids and flower girls. Her attendants wore dresses from Show Me Your Mumu in light pink, light blue, mauve, and ivory, each in a different color and silhouette combination; her sister, her maid of honor, stood out in a floral print. The women in the house party donned champagne-hued satin midi dresses, also from Show Me Your Mumu.
Emma's bouquet was a vibrant mix of reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows. With those fall colors in mind, Bows and Arrows Flowers created a natural, organic look with a touch of whimsy.
Timeless in a Tux
Jake was the epitome of sophistication in a timeless black tuxedo, which he accessorized with a silver watch that Emma gave him on their first Christmas together. Looking suave, his groomsmen accompanied him in black suits, as well.
Flower Girls on Parade
A gaggle of flower girls frolicked down the aisle carrying wicker baskets and wearing dresses from Charlotte sy Dimby, a French children's wear boutique, and flower crowns made by Bows and Arrows. "We made a game-time decision on whether my youngest niece, who was a little under two years old at the time, would join the other flower girls down the aisle. I'm glad we decided to include her because she was so darling hanging around the altar area during the ceremony," shares the bride.
Maroon Bells and Matrimony
Jake and Emma tied the knot during a small Catholic ceremony in town on Friday morning ahead of their large service on Saturday. During the latter, in front of the Maroon Bells, Emma's father walked her down the aisle to "Angel Dream" by Tom Petty, played by Silver City Strings. The pair said "I do" using traditional vows and walked back up the aisle as husband and wife to a recorded version of "You and Me" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Embracing the Mountain Air
The couple wanted an entirely outdoor celebration, but Keely Thorne of Keely Thorne Events created delightful cozy moments, too, including this seating area and photo booth, to give the venue an ambience that was formal, romantic, and natural.
Hang on a Horseshoe
In keeping with the Colorado vibe, the couple used horseshoes as escort card holders; the metal detailed the table number, while a printed card noted each guest's name.
Under the Arch, Into the Tent
A statement arch, composed of transitional foliage and bright buds, marked the entrance to the platform tent.
The tent's poles were adorned with rings of dried grasses and red-and-rust leaves—a nod to the autumn season unfolding just beyond the reception.
Warm woods and a long farm table that brought all their nearest and dearest together set the stage for a romantic evening; remaining guests sat at circular stations, which were placed around a dance floor.
The vibrant, warm flowers from Emma's bouquet were echoed in the place settings and throughout the ceremony and reception.
Romantic, Organic Place Settings
Gold tones and simple, natural napkins, tied with a raw edge bow, spoke to the pair's natural aesthetic. Their crest appeared yet again on the menu, echoing the day's other stationery. Emma and Jake wanted to incorporate local food and give guests the opportunity to try flavors unique to the area, so they did so with a duet entrée, complete with elk tenderloin and a trout filet. They ended the evening with late-night bites, hot chocolate, and their favorite nightcap cocktail: an espresso martini.
Jake and Emma met at the University of Texas so a groom's cake with the UT tower was only fitting. (These two Longhorns also incorporated a nod to UT via the cocktail napkins.) Their berries-and-cream wedding cake was absolutely classic—the light pink-and-beige confection was also adorned with white floral appliqués to match Emma's dress.
They're in Love
Emma is a huge Tom Petty fan, which is why she and her groom played his music throughout the day. When it came time to choose their first dance song, the couple knew they wanted something unique—not a song they'd heard at multiple weddings before. Emma heard Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' cover of Wilson Pickett's "I'm in Love" on the radio while visiting family and instantly knew it was the one. Jake enthusiastically agreed.
Signature cocktails, including "The Birdie," named for the couple's corgi, and the Dance Doctors kept everyone on the dance floor all night long, which was perfect for this music and concert-loving couple. Jake's brother, Ben, kept the energy going with an on-stage piano performance.
The pair's logo reappeared on the cigars, which were circulated towards the end of the evening.
Fried chicken sandwiches made the rounds late in the evening, so guests didn't have to leave the dance floor to refuel. It was a good thing, too, since two of the couple's favorite moments happened on the dance floor: getting down to "Shout" and closing out the evening with a private dance to Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" were moments the duo will never forget.
Looking back on their wedding celebration, Emma and Jake have one critical piece of advice: "Don't move into a newly purchased house the Saturday before your wedding!" And of course, lean on those around you and follow your instincts—everything else will fall into place.
Photographer, Rachel Havel
Venue, T-Lazy-7 Ranch
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Keely Thorne of Keely Thorne Events
Videographer, Elysium Weddings
Flowers, Bows and Arrows Flowers
Officiant, Elevate Weddings
Bride's Gown, Mira Zwillinger
Jewelry, Sue Gragg; Lesley Ann Jewels
Hair, Sarah Al-adwani of Ceron Salon
Makeup, Full Circle Aspen
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Show Me Your Mumu
Wedding Bands, Lindsey Leigh Jewelry
Ceremony Music, Silver City Strings
Reception Music, Dance Doctors
Caterer, Caribou Club
Cake, d'Elissious Cake Studio
Guest book, Etsy