"He was charming, she was sassy," or so Paige Larson says of her instant connection with Zachary Larson. In January 2008, the two met at a party at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks and spent the rest of the semester getting to know each other before Paige embarked on a summer Microsoft internship. "When I moved back for the start of my sophomore year that August, we fell right back in step," says Paige. "We’ve been together ever since."
Coming full circle, Zachary proposed in 2016 in Telluride, Colorado—the same spot the couple shared their first travel adventure as part of their university's Ski and Snowboarding Club. In fact, this college trip sparked Zachary's incredibly romantic proposal idea after seeing a poster for the Telluride Balloon Festival. Fast forward eight years, when the couple had ventured back to their special spot and Zachary nonchalantly suggested taking a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the San Juan Mountains. Paige was all in, and halfway through the early morning ride, her "Mister Charming" turned to her and said, “I’ve always wanted to propose to you in a hot air balloon over these mountains." After landing, the couple enjoyed a champagne toast and made their way to the rental home, where both their families were waiting to celebrate. "I absolutely melted," says the bride.
Since the duo considered Telluride one of their "favorite places on Earth," it only made sense they would ultimately choose this destination to say "I do." And, further adding to the sentiment, Paige and Zachary decided to tie the knot on the tenth anniversary of their first encounter—January 19, 2018. Knowing they wanted to keep the wedding small and intimate, they turned to Alpino Vino, the highest elevation fine dining restaurant in North America with a panoramic deck and seating for up to 28. "It had everything we could ask for: stunning views of the Wilson Range, amazing food, and a unique experience for our guests," says the bride. "Where else can you ride up a mountain in a heated red snowcoach?"
You have to see this glamorous, snow-filled winter wedding, featuring classic rustic elegance and a color palette inspired by an Anthropologie jacket!
Paige wanted to channel clean and classic Audrey Hepburn vibes for her wedding day look, and her Ivory Bellagio crepe gown by Martina Liana did just the trick. "I’ve always been a sucker for fabric-covered buttons," she says of the midi dress.
Because Zachary blew her engagement ring design out of the water, Paige decided against a wedding band and simply accessorized with a David Yurman bracelet and pearl earrings (a gift from her groom years ago!). She also changed footwear based on the terrain, opting for silver metallic Zara boots to conquer the snow (and reflect against it beautifully) and Oscar de la Renta pumps for an extra dash of glitz.
Zachary donned a navy three-piece suit with a white shirt, black tie, and brown Johnston & Murphy shoes. Other than having a maid of honor and best man, Paige and Zachary decided against a traditional bridal party. Paige's MOH, her best friend, sported an Aritzia dress, a lariat necklace, a vintage fur-trimmed jacket, and velvet booties. Zachary's brother wore dress pants to match the groom, paired with a wine-colored shirt underneath a merino wool sweater for a casual, coordinated look.
Behold: the jacket that inspired it all. "With a deep navy lining and rich wine embroidery, it became the color inspiration for our wedding," the bride says of her Anthropologie outerwear. "The subtle silver metallic threading throughout was a happy surprise that complemented the winter theme and our mixed metal accents."
The navy and wine hues, paired with ivory and champagne metallic accents, adorned the couple's wedding invitations, itineraries, and name cards, all of which were custom handmade by Paige and her mother. "My mom is a very talented crafter and, over the years, she and I have done several other weddings and events," says the bride. "It was only natural that we’d design and make mine, as well."
Since the venue's view spoke for itself at 11,966 feet, ceremony decor felt completely unnecessary (the bride even decided against any bouquets). "We wanted Telluride to sing, and to accent with just a few meaningful touches," says Paige. Guests were given embroidered, silver-foiled ivory blankets to stay warm, but the January weather proved pleasantly balmy.
Paige's father escorted her down the aisle as her maid of honor's boyfriend played an acoustic version of "Cover Me Up" by Jason Isbell, one of the couple's favorite artists.
Paige and Zachary said "I do" in front of 25 friends and family. The bride's brother officiated the wedding, which Paige says "gave us one of the most sincere, heartfelt, and personal ceremonies we could have asked for." The couple handwrote their own vows as a gift to each other to re-read throughout their marriage.
Following the ceremony, guests celebrated the newlyweds with a sparkler sendoff.
The couple kept indoor decorations to a minimum, lining the restaurant's mahogany steel tables with textured ivory runners and white linen napkins running over the edge. Paige also sourced an assortment of mercury glass votives and tea light holders for soft, romantic lighting. Bleached pinecones holding place settings added a rustic vibe to offset the mixed metal accents.
As for dinner, Alpino Vino provided a five-course menu of European and Italian-inspired cuisine (with wine, of course). Wedding attendants dined to the couple's Spotify playlist—a mix of blues, indie alternative, and new-age jazz.
The festivities didn't end there—the couple's actual "reception" involved bar-hopping through Telluride's historic Main Street with their guests! The newlyweds descended the mountain after dinner in a red heated snowcoach for continued celebrations downtown.
Although Paige says their remote, winter destination wasn't always the most popular choice, she wouldn't change a thing about the wedding. "Keep true to who you are as a couple, and don’t feel you 'need to' anything," she says.
Venue: Alpino Vino
Wedding Coordinator: Telluride Ski & Golf Resort
Bride's Dress: Martina Liana
Bride's Jewelry: David Yurman
Bride's Jacket: Anthropologie
Hair: Megan Keever Hair
Makeup: Erin Cain
Bridesmaid's Dress: Aritzia
Mother of the Bride Dress: Adrianna Papell
Groom's Attire: Halberstadt’s
Engagement Ring: Brilliant Earth
Wedding Bands: Larson Jewelers
Accommodations: New Sheridan Hotel
Photographer: Danielle DeFiore