One Couple's Rustic Riverfront Wedding in Colorado

Planned by the brides, with plenty of DIY projects

brides in Colorado

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Roz Vara and Lauren Good's first date didn't actually happen. In June of 2015, the two women met on Tinder and had planned to meet up for a beer. "Lauren bailed at the last minute, saying she was going skiing for the last day of the season," Roz recalls. "I found out later that she was nervous so she'd canceled!" The date never happened and the women fell out of touch, but a few months later, they spotted one another at a bar in Denver while watching the World Cup. "We didn't actually talk that night, but I texted Roz the next day, and we finally went out a week later," says Lauren. "The rest is history!"

After two years together, Roz planned to propose to Lauren while camping at Cathedral Lake near Aspen, Colorado. "We'd made plans to go backpacking just as the leaves were changing, but as we hiked toward the lake, it started to rain, then sleet, then snow," she recalls. Roz sensed her plans crumbling as the cold moved in, so they packed up their tent and got ready to head back to town. "All of a sudden, the sun came out," she says. "It was so beautiful with the snow covering everything around us, and I knew that was my chance to propose!" About six months later, Lauren decided that it was her turn to pop the question. She and Roz were at their favorite neighborhood bar in Denver, sitting outside and enjoying a drink. "I'd convinced the gas station across the street to put 'Roz, Marry Me' on their sign—it took her forever to notice," says Lauren with a laugh.

Roz and Lauren spend their free time out in the mountains around Denver and wanted a wedding venue that showcased what they love about living in Colorado—but without an hours-long drive west for their guests. They found River Bend in Lyons, Colorado, just north of Boulder, and knew it was the perfect compromise of stunningly beautiful and easily accessible. On September 16, 2018, they invited 145 guests to join them there as they tied the knot in a relaxed (seriously—the brides were barefoot!) wedding overlooking North Saint Vrain Creek.

With soft wildflowers, locally-sourced food, a bluegrass band on stage, and photographer Kristin Sweeting behind the camera, this late summer wedding is what Colorado dreams are made of—keep reading for more!

getting ready tent
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography
engagement rings
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Instead of a hotel suite, Roz and Lauren got ready in a luxe glamping tent—complete with upholstered chairs and a chandelier. Each woman's engagement ring was set in yellow gold, creating a pretty parallel between the two different styles.

brides in BHLDN dresses
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography
brides holding bouquets
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Both Lauren and Roz found their wedding dresses at BHLDN. In fact, they even went dress shopping together! Lauren wore a silk tulle gown with a structured bodice and spaghetti straps, while Roz chose an embroidered column with short sleeves, sheer cut-outs, and an open back.

bridal bouquet
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography
wedding party
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

The brides' bouquets coordinated perfectly with the palette of their wedding party's attire. Each arrangement paired dahlias, succulents, scabiosa, clematis, and delphinium. For their wedding party, they chose a selection of eight dresses in four colors, giving each attendant an opportunity to pick a silhouette and a shade she loved.

outdoor wedding ceremony
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography
newlywed brides
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Each bride walked down the aisle with both of her parents, making their way to the altar where Roz's brother and his wife officiated the riverfront ceremony. "We didn't write our own vows—Lauren was afraid she wouldn't make it through them—but we did invite guests to stand and share anything they wanted to say about us, about marriage, or about love," Roz explains. "We were overwhelmed by how many chose to participate in that special moment." After their first kiss, guests showered the newlyweds with white rose petals as they made their way back up the aisle.

group photo
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography
brides at cocktail hour
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Guests gathered for a group photo before enjoying cocktail hour on the lawn, where they sipped a "Not So Old Fashioned," (updated with pine syrup) and a "Pink Lady" (a Moscow mule with huckleberry shrub). "Our food was catered by a Boulder restaurant called Zolo, where Roz used to work," Lauren adds.

escort cards
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

The brides used a wooden palette and miniature clothespins to create a DIY seating chart, which fit perfectly into their rustic setting.

wedding reception
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography
wildflower centerpieces
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography
sweetheart table
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

For their Southwestern-inspired dinner (think tamales and chipotle chicken), Lauren and Roz dined at a sweetheart table set beneath a macrame installation handmade by Lauren's mom. Tables were decorated with clusters of bud vases full of colorful blooms and table numbers made by the brides themselves.

wedding painting
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography
brides at reception
Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

As a fun surprise for guests, an artist made sketches of couples throughout the evening, which Roz and Lauren then framed and gave out as wedding favors. "It was a huge hit—she had a line all night!" says Roz.

A bluegrass band played through the evening at River Bend before guests headed to Pizza Bar 66 for an after-party with pizza, beer, and more dancing. "We tried not to worry about what a wedding should look like and instead focused on the things that reflect us as a couple," says Roz. "But more than anything: We were so overwhelmed with gratitude for the incredible community of family and friends that surrounded us that night!"

Wedding Team

Venue: River Bend at Lyons Farmette

Wedding Coordinator: Dahlia Events and Designs

Brides' Dresses: BHLDN

Roz's Hair & Makeup: Katie Be

Lauren's Hair & Makeup: Shear Abby

Wedding Party Dresses: BHLDN

Roz's Engagement Ring: Sunday Owl

Lauren's Engagement Ring: Shop Clementine

Wedding Bands: Shop Clementine

Brides' Bouquets: Farmette Flowers

Wedding Party & Reception Flowers: Overgrowth Floral

Paper Products: Minted

Catering: Zolo Grill

Cake: The Cupcake Gypsies

Music: Bowregard

Rentals: All Events Rentals, Harvest Table Company

Accommodations: WeeCasa Tiny House Resort

Photography: Kristin Sweeting Photography

Related Stories