Model Ashley Augenbergs and Ryan Moran met the old-fashioned way: On a blind date! "In June of 2012, Ryan and I had both just moved to Chicago," she recalls. "A mutual friend from college set us up, and while it wasn't the smoothest first date, we knew we'd found something very special." Six years later, on a random Wednesday afternoon, Ryan popped the question at the couple's home in Chicago.
"We started planning our wedding right away, knowing we wanted to get married in Aspen in the fall," Ashley says. They set the date for their mountain wedding for October 13, 2018—just five months after getting engaged!—and hurried to get the details into place. In fact, Ashley ordered her dress before they'd even finalized the Hotel Jerome, an Auberge Resort, as their venue!
The couple loved the hotel's "classic Americana vibe" (the valets wear cowboy hats!), as well as the fact that it would be the perfect hub for a weekend with their 85 guests. "Being in the mountains of Colorado in the fall is so beautiful, and we were lucky enough to have golden aspen leaves, blue skies, and the first snow of the season all in one weekend," says Ashley. She and Ryan handled the details themselves until six weeks before the wedding, when she turned everything over to wedding coordinator Juls Sharpley of Bubbles & Bowties and Christine Sills, the event manager at Hotel Jerome. "They helped connect me with the best vendors in the area, which made planning so much easier," says the bride.
"The Hotel Jerome is such a unique and special space," says Ashley of the venue, which has been an Aspen mainstay since the town's silver-mining heyday in 1889. The couple had their mountain wedding ceremony in the courtyard, sipped cocktails in the Antler Bar, and danced all night in the ballroom.
Ryan had one request when it came to Ashley's wedding dress: long sleeves! She says she felt like herself in this lace Lihi Hod gown, which paired those requested sleeves with a V-neck and a plunging back. Ashley added baroque pearl earrings from Celine, a simple veil by Nymphi Design, and white Jimmy Choo sandals.
The couple's oldest flower girl, Mae, had promoted herself to junior bridesmaid by the time she walked down the aisle. "We had an extra bouquet from the florist, which she claimed as her own!" says Ashley with a laugh. Mae and the other flower girls wore ivory dresses with ruffled necklines and sashes.
Ryan's groomsmen all matched the groom in classic tuxedos.
"Ryan didn't wear any special accessories with his Brooks Brothers tux," says Ashley. "Unless you count his heart on his sleeve!"
The couple's flower girls made adorable (and memorable!) entrances down the aisle.
Ashley's father walked her down the aisle to the white floral arch. "We had the most amazing backdrop of bright golden aspen leaves paired with a dusting of snow," recalls the bride.
Ryan and Ashley wrote personal words to each another, but opted to exchange them as notes on their wedding morning instead of as vows during the ceremony. "We personalized our ceremony with a reading from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet—the same one my parents included at their wedding!" says Ashley.
Guests gathered in the hotel's Antler Bar for cocktail hour, where they sipped champagne as they found escort cards finished with a wax seal that revealed their table number.
Timeless ivory linens were dressed up with tall arrangements of magnolia leaves, eucalyptus, and thistle. "We collected vintage silver pieces like cups and trophies to hold a few extra sprigs of greenery," says Ashley.
The seasonal dinner menu included creamy leek and artichoke soup with heirloom potato chips, pan roasted halibut with manila clam chowder, and coffee cured beef tenderloin with celery root mash.
Ashley says she has known the design team at Watters for years, and knew it wouldn't be her wedding night without a Watters creation. Her custom tea-length dress featured a corset bodice and point d'ésprit tulle, making it perfect for twirling on the dance floor!
After the couple cut their vanilla wedding cake, they didn't leave the dance floor all night. "Since we had a smaller wedding, we knew a DJ would be the best way to make sure someone was always dancing. The only slow songs were our first dance and the family dances, and then it was time to party!" says Ashley. The evening ended with guests in a big circle, singing Don McLean's "American Pie"—just like at Ashley's brother's wedding!
Wedding Coordinator: Bubbles & Bowties
Wedding Venue: Hotel Jerome
Officiant: Jill Pidcock
Bride's Dress: Lihi Hod
Bride's Reception Dress: Watters
Bride's Veil: Nymphi Design
Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bride's Jewelry: Celine
Hair & Makeup: Kyrsten Bryant
Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN
Bridesmaids' Bows: Namjosh
Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers
Flower Girls' Attire: Juvie Moon Designs
Engagement Ring: Bashert Diamonds
Floral Design: Aspen Branch
Paper Products: Crane
Catering & Cake: Hotel Jerome
Ceremony Music: Silver City Strings
Reception Music: DJ Trizz of Elevated DJs
Videography: Calvin Brue
Photography: Rachel Havel