I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, so obviously I love weddings. What’s not to love? It’s a celebration with dear friends who have chosen to commit their lives to one another. Plus, there’s always good food and drink and usually dancing into the night. Weddings make me sappy and shmoopy and we don’t attend many these days. However, this summer we had three! Two of them happened to be within a couple of hours from each other in Colorado on the same weekend, which could only mean one thing: Oden’s first plane flight!
I’m not going to lie. I had nightmares about flying with our 4-month-old baby. He’s generally happy, but when he’s not, people in the next county know it. Not only did I not want Oden to have a miserable time, but I did NOT want to be those parents. You know, the ones with the screaming baby on the plane. My friend Sarah reminded me that we’d never see those people again and I remembered to focus on keeping Oden content. After all, it’s probably harder on the parents of the screaming baby on a plane than the baby.
It turned out that packing, getting the mountain of baby gear through security, and getting our little circus onto the plane was a lot harder than the actual flight. We were in Colorado Springs within the hour and Mr. Oden ate and slept and got his “first flight” wings from the flight attendants. Whew!
The first wedding was for my dear friend, Molly. Molly and I worked, lived, and partied together in our 20s in Durango. It was such a specific, vibrant time in my life that she shared so fully and our friendship has lasted the (many) years since. Molly is a sensitive soul, a lover of poetry and a finder of beauty in everything. When we arrived at her home for “welcome to town” cocktails, I wasn’t surprised to see those qualities reflected there. Her gardens were stunning! The weekend provided the opportunity to catch up with another dear friend, Vanessa. The last time the three of us were together was at my own wedding! We stayed at the same hotel (which had a beautiful view of Pike’s Peak) and all hung out in between wedding events. She fell in love with Oden!
The wedding itself was at an urban botanical garden. It was very much Molly’s style to find a place of beauty in a not-beautiful part of town. What a little hidden oasis! A bagpipe played during the processional, Molly was a vision, and the ceremony was simple and meaningful. Yes, I cried!
After the wedding, we explored the gardens a bit and chatted with other guests. We ate yummy food (complete with pickle heart!), applied silly fake tattoos (I chose the Very Hungry Caterpillar, obviously), played in the photo booth, and passed the baby back and forth. Oden showed off his “Rock Star” shoes and made an appearance on the dance floor with me before passing out in his stroller. (I’m choosing to ignore the epic meltdown he had when we left that lasted to the hotel, through the lobby, and into our room and lasted for what felt like hours.)
In the morning, after Oden’s hotel sink bath, we went back to Molly’s for a lovely brunch. It must have been a lot of work to host so many events at their home but that’s who Molly is. We clinked mimosas and bloody maries and got one great shot of us ladies before parting ways. Happily, the ladies are planning a trip to Utah this fall so it won’t be long until we’re reunited again!
John, Oden, and I were on the move toward Estes Park where we’d be attending another wedding for our friend, Leslie. We met Leslie through Nancy and Spencer when they lived in Bozeman and immediately clicked. She is hilarious and I was so thankful that her wedding happened to be the same weekend as Molly’s, just a couple of hours apart! Neither John or I had been to Rocky Mountain National Park before. A bonus: we’d get to spend time with Nancy, Spencer, and Sydney!
Nancy was a bridesmaid and had the rehearsal to attend, but Spencer and Sydney came to our cabin for happy hour and to meet Oden. I love seeing how happy it makes John to spend time with Spencer, who is literally one of the funniest people we know! We met up with Nancy, Leslie, the wedding party, and families for the rehearsal dinner. It was a fantastic casual patio situation involving red and green chile, posole, sopapillas, and other Colorado/New Mexican dishes made by Leslie’s fiancé’s family. SO GOOD.
Mornings start early with a 4-month old, despite how late you stay up the night before drinking with old friends! On the day of the wedding, Nancy was occupied with her bridesmaid duties so the rest of us piled into the car and went exploring. We found a killer view of Long’s Peak, a fourteener. We stopped for a picnic at a pretty little lake before heading back to rest and get ready for the wedding.
Oden looked ridiculously adorable in his tuxedo onesie! It says he wants to be formal but he’s here to party. The wedding was beautiful, full of joy. The parents danced down the aisle to their seats. The groomsmen each danced down the aisle, too. Nancy made the most gorgeous bridesmaid (and adorably could not stop crying!).The looks on the faces of Leslie and Josh during the ceremony and at the “man and wife” announcement made it clear that they were beyond happy. Yes, I cried again!
The party afterward was a blast. I loved the food options: a burger bar (brilliant) and various candy options for dessert! One of my favorite parts of the night was Leslie’s dance with her dad. They started off to Steve Winwood’s “Back in the High Life” and it was very sweet. Then the music changed to the Rolling Stones and they started to boogie! Again, nothing but JOY. Oden did well and got a dance with the bride before we left to put him to bed. John and I ended the evening on the patio in the hot tub, listening to the late night partiers and looking at the stars.
I won’t pretend the next day was easy. Traveling to Denver International Airport, juggling baby gear, passing a fussy baby back and forth on the flight, and another epic meltdown mid-flight made for a pretty stressful trip home. But the memories from the weekend made up for the difficulty- two very different friends with two very different weddings, both full of real love. Each ceremony and celebration reflected its couple perfectly. How special to be able to share those moments with our friends!
And seriously, how adorable were Oden’s little party outfits?!
Bit by the travel bug? Check out more of our adventures on the Travel Bliss page!
One year ago: A garden update in July.