My Yen Tran has boiled down her relationship with Gracie Whalen into two sentences. “We met through friends in early 2012, but Gracie didn’t like me at first,” she says. “But my wonderful personality won her over and eventually she caved—and now we’re married!” However, My Yen had a lot more to share when she popped the question in December of 2016. To do so, she put together a book full of pictures and memories from their four years together, and gave it to Gracie on a Sunday afternoon at home. “On the last page was a picture of the ring and the question, ‘Will you marry me?’" Gracie recalls. "It was perfect!”
When they started planning their May 25, 2018, wedding, they knew one thing: They wanted a destination wedding. But where? “We sent out a survey to all of our friends, asking them to choose between Puerto Rico, Florida, Colorado, and Georgia,” says My Yen. “We expected a beach destination to win out, but were surprised when 100% of our friends and family chose Colorado!” From there, all they had to do was choose a venue. “As soon as we saw photos of the Wedding Deck at the Little Nell, we were sold. We booked it without ever having been to Aspen!” Gracie explains.
With just 79 guests in attendance, Gracie and My Yen booked intimate venues— the Wedding Deck at the Little Nell for the ceremony and the nearby Aspen Mountain Club for the reception—and then turned to Gold Leaf Event Design for the planning and design. “We had our planner, Kate, narrow everything down to two choices, making the process a lot easier for us," My Yen explains. "She’d planned many more weddings than we had, so we trusted her wholeheartedly!” The result was an organic spring wedding full of layered blue and silver, accented with lots of greenery and hints of fresh flowers. Keep reading to see more of this mountaintop celebration, as photographed by Luna de Mare!
Once guests had helped choose the destination, Gracie and My Yen got to work putting together an invitation suite. Their design featured a simple script invitation atop a warm-toned wooden board, all tied together with velvet ribbon.
Each bride chose a flowing gown that fit her personality—but their selections had some surprising coordinated details. My Yen’s Blush by Hayley Paige gown had delicate straps, a plunging V-neck, and lace appliqués, while Gracie’s custom Lea Ann Belter dress paired her favorite aspects of two designs. “I loved the illusion lace top of one gown and the silk organza skirt of the other, and they were able to combine the two into the perfect dress for me,” she describes.
The couple’s dog, Danger, was also dressed for the occasion. “She was the flower girl slash ring bearer. She’s very gender-fluid, so she wore a combo tutu and tux!” says My Yen.
The wedding party all wore navy BHLDN gowns, with My Yen’s bridesmaids in spaghetti straps and Gracie’s in a thicker strapped V-neck, style. “Our bridesman, James, wore a custom navy suit from Oliver Wicks,” says Gracie.
The women all carried bouquets that combined lisianthus, ranunculus, silver brunia, green berzelia, eryngium, seeded eucalyptus, and tulips.
A blue-carpeted aisle led to a circle installation covered in lush greenery, hints of white flowers, and clusters of blackberries and blueberries. Guests sat in black helix chairs, which added a modern contrast to the lush altar and the dramatic views (at 11,212 feet!).
The couple wrote their own ceremony, browsing the web for their favorite ideas. “Writing it ourselves actually helped take the pressure off, and made the process really enjoyable for us,” says My Yen.
Inside the Aspen Mountain Club, rectangular tables were topped with silver linens and sheer runners. A custom trellis made of Aspen branches set the scene above each table, while navy pillar candles and clustered vases (filled with lisianthus, silver brunia, tulips, and eryngium) added color below.
Each place setting was set with a marble charger, a navy blue napkin, and black-and-gold flatware. “We also wrote each of our guests a personalized note describing all of the things we love about them and thanking them for their impact on our lives," Gracie says. "We hid the cards under their plates and, before dinner was served, had everyone read the notes we’d left. It was a highlight of our wedding day!”
Aspen Mountain Club is known for its amazing cuisine, and My Yen and Gracie’s wedding dinner lived up to the hype. Guests dined on Kona crab with ginger aioli and opal basil, Hawaiian Kampachi with avocado and citrus faro, and angel food cake with strawberry Bavarian cream and white chocolate cremeux.
And of course there was wedding cake! The couple's three-tiered confection featured a hexagonal base with two round tiers and was topped with a cluster of succulents and fresh greenery.
During the toasts, My Yen’s best friend had everyone in tears of laughter. “She had been searching for the recording of a rap song I wrote when I was 18, and hadn’t been able to find it," she recalls. "The night before the wedding, another one of our friends told Julie she had the recording and asked if they could incorporate it somehow. Julie was thrilled, and it was the perfect addition!”
Between the personal touches and emotional moments, My Yen and Gracie say that they did their best to immerse themselves fully in their wedding day. “Do everything you can to be present and enjoy it,” says Gracie. “It goes by so quickly!”
Wedding Planner: Gold Leaf Event Design
Venue: The Wedding Deck and Aspen Mountain Club at The Little Nell
My Yen’s Dress: Blush by Hayley Paige
Gracie’s Dress: Lea Ann Belter
Gracie’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Hair & Makeup: Gambuti Robsin Hair & Makeup
Women’s Dresses: BHLDN
Bridesman’s Attire: Oliver Wicks
Floral Design: Aspen Branch
Paper Products: Paper Birch Designs
Catering: The Little Nell
Ceremony Music: Silver City Strings
Reception Music: Who Is Chris Lewis
Rentals: Premier Party Rentals
A/V: Halcyon Productions
Accommodations: The Little Nell
Videography: Red Mountain Productions
Photography: Luna de Mare