An Ethereal Aspen Wedding in a Meadow

Featuring plenty of blue details and a bluegrass band!

Bride and Groom

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Kelly Reese and Houston Holt's relationship started in Colorado with a pair of ski boots and some champagne courage. “In December of 2011, my family and I were in Snowmass for the holidays and stopped in a local boot shop to have our boots worked on...and there was Houston,” Kelly remembers. “I had to stop in a few more times to finish the boot repairs, and on New Year’s Eve, I worked up the courage to see what Houston was doing that night!” They rang in 2012 together, and something clicked.

Three years later, Kelly and Houston were back in Snowmass for Thanksgiving and decided to take a hike up the hill. “I followed him down a trail and toward the trees, where we stopped. The powder was deep enough that he didn’t kneel as much as he sank into the snow, and Houston asked me to spend the rest of our lives together!”

The couple decided to say "I do" in Aspen and spent nine months planning a wedding in the same place where they’d met and fallen in love. On August 20, 2016, they exchanged vows at St. Mary Catholic Church before partying in the meadow at T Lazy 7 Ranch (with 213 guests!) in the shadows of the Maroon Bells (two famous peaks in the Elk Mountains). With help from Gold Leaf Event Design, they created an ethereal evening full of blue details—and a bluegrass band! Keep reading to see Ashley Sawtelle's images of their beautiful Aspen meadow wedding.

Bride in Leanne Marshall
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Kelly wore an ivory silk dress from Leanne Marshall that featured a V-shaped neckline and back, a fitted bodice, and a skirt of flowing chiffon. "I knew this was my dress before I even looked in the mirror," she says. "It was incredibly comfortable, and I loved the way it flowed even when I barely moved!"

Puppy with Flower Collar
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

The couple’s Pomeranian, Polly Pocket, wore a special flower collar to match the bridal party's bouquets.

Wedding Party in Blue Dresses
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

The couple and their wedding party headed into the meadow for pictures before the reception. The girls wore dresses by Joanna August in shades of blue and gray. “I loved how pretty the soft gray looked mixed in with the blue I’d chosen," she says.

Boutonniere
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle
Bridesmaids Bouquets
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

The boutonnieres and bridal party's bouquets were made from seasonal blooms, berries, and greenery.

Bride and Groom in Church
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Kelly and Houston married in a traditional Catholic ceremony at St. Mary Catholic Church. Houston had chosen a titanium ring because he wasn’t sure if he’d like a wedding band and didn’t want to lose it, but Kelly had another idea and surprised him with a yellow-gold band to match hers. "He was so surprised when his brother handed it to him for the ring exchange,” she says, laughing.

Bluegrass Band
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle
Lounge at Cocktail Hour
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

A bluegrass band played during cocktail hour while guests sipped on "Mountain Mules" (made with tequila instead of vodka!) and the "Pitkin Prosecco," which featured a splash of grapefruit juice and a sprig of rosemary. The open cocktail-hour site also featured a lounge of leather chairs and a whiskey and cigar bar inside a tepee.

Blue and White Escort Cards
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle
Sailcloth Reception Tent
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle
Blue Table Settings
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle
Lucite Table Number
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

Inside the reception tent, escort cards printed with skis were tied to strands of rope. “We named each table after a ski run in Aspen,” Kelly says. The space was filled with tables dressed in soft linens or lined with blue runners and low arrangements of eucalyptus, garden roses, ferns, anemones, and soft-blue larkspur.

Each place setting was set with a blue or gray plate and charger alongside gold-handled flatware.

White Wedding Cake
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

The simple three-tier cake was covered in fondant and topped with roses and ranunculus. Inside, almond cake was layered with a fresh-blueberry filling.

Bride and Groom Portrait
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

“I will always cherish the hour we had to take photos together at dusk,” Kelly says. “We really loved having some time alone during such a busy weekend, and if there is a way you can squeeze it into your timeline, do it!”

Wedding Team

Ceremony Venue: St. Mary Catholic Church Aspen

Reception Venue: T Lazy 7 Ranch

Wedding Planner and Designer: Gold Leaf Event Design & Production

Bride's Dress: Leanne Marshall

Bride's Veil: Alyssa Kristin

Bride's Jewelry: EF Collection; Ehrlooms

Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo; Miu Miu

Hair & Makeup: Full Circle Aspen

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August

Groom's Attire: The Black Tux

Engagement Ring: Necker's Jewelers

Wedding Bands: Ehrlooms

Floral Design: Ali Fortunato

Invitations & Paper Goods: Paper Birch Designs

Ceremony Music: Silver City Strings

Cocktail-Hour Music: Frying Pan Bluegrass

Reception Music: The Source by Elan Artists

Late-Night DJ: Who Is Chris Lewis

Catering: Caribou Club

Cake: D'Elissious Cake Studio

Rentals: Premier Party Rental; Eclectic Hive; House of Yonder; Under the Sky Event Rental; La Tavola Fine Linen

Transportation: CTS Aspen

Photography: Ashley Sawtelle

Videography: Jami Davis Films

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