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Hosting a High Country Cabin Wedding

Eat, drink and be married – at the cabin
By Fran Sigurdsson
Published: May 21, 2013
Heinrich cabin wedding party
The bridal party poses for a shot with an elk statue at the entrance to the Heinrich cabin property.
Photo by Christine Farah Photography

Every day’s a celebration at Brad and Mary Heinrich’s Rocky Mountain retreat in Silverthorne, Colo., and they like nothing better than sharing good times with family and friends. So, when daughter Camille proposed a wedding reception at the cabin, naturally they agreed. The family was celebrating Christmas at the cabin (in 2009), and Camille had recently gotten engaged on Labor Day. She and high-school sweetheart Adam Ziccardi hoped to marry the following Labor Day.

As an event planner in San Francisco, Camille was able to handle most of the arrangements with the help of Adam and her parents, but she also hired event planner Emily Campbell of Bella Design & Planning in Breckenridge, Colo.

Camille met with local caterers and tent rental companies in Colorado. (A tent was essential. Early September is usually beautiful in Silverthorne, Colo., with an average high of 70°F. But at an elevation of about 8,700 feet, the wind could kick up. It might even snow!)

The intervening months made it clear that hosting a cabin full of guests would be a cakewalk compared to a wedding reception. Brad and Mary found themselves auditioning bands and making decorations – when they weren’t busy remodeling the cabin. (Read about the cabin’s extreme makeover in our June 2013 issue of Cabin Life.) Mary stamped menus and painted signs, while Brad chopped logs for place-card holders. Still, there was so much more to do.
Heinrich cabin wedding reception
The reception was held in an enclosed tent in the cabin's backyard. Handmade signs directed guests where to go.
Photo by Christine Farah Photography
Between Presidents’ Day and the Fourth of July, Camille’s 3-inch binder grew thicker on each visit home. Event planner Emily Campbell kept a running list of secured vendors. A week before the wedding, Campbell took over coordination, and ensured that all ran smoothly on the big day.

Colorado Tents and Events in Silverthorne erected an enclosed tent. After the church rehearsal, the bridal party was treated to a crab boil within it. An open house followed, since many guests had not seen the remodeled cabin.

On the wedding day, Camille and Adam exchanged vows in a small Catholic chapel, 30 miles north in Kremmling, Colo. “Adam and I wanted to keep it intimate and personal,” says Camille. Though they could easily have invited 300, the guest list was capped at 150. Guests were asked to carpool to the chapel, then to the cabin.

Gilchrist Catering of Dillon, Colo., camped out in the kitchen. With two exits, the room has access to both the front entry and the rear sunroom and deck, so it was ideal for the reception.
Heinrich cabin wedding toast
Camille has a champagne toast with her mother and bridesmaids while getting ready for her big day.
Photo by Christine Farah Photography
The weather cooperated for an outdoor cocktail hour with bruschetta and sliders (mini-hamburgers) served at pub tables on the deck. “People had easy access to the river,” says Camille. (Not only did the newlyweds have pictures taken by the Blue River, which runs behind the cabin, but guests took their own family snapshots there too.)

Twinkle lights in the tent glowed against the night sky while people dined and danced. “I didn’t want it to feel like a hotel ballroom with big chandeliers,” says Camille. “I wanted casual, mountain elegance.” Instead of a buffet, guests passed platters of steak and salmon, family style.

All the planning and hard work paid off. “We loved our wedding,” Camille reminisces. “It was a perfect day and the perfect setting for us.” She and Adam have since moved back to Denver from California and enjoy high-country living whenever possible. What s’more, the newlyweds get to relive the magic each time they’re at the cabin.

THERE'S MORE: Read Fran Sigurdsson's advice for hosting a wedding/reception at the cabin in the June 2013 issue.
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