Chris & Fiona’s Schmid Ranch Wedding in Telluride

Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day? A: The inspiration hopefully for any wedding is the love that you have for the person you are marrying. But I guess for Chris and I specifically our inspiration is the place where we grew up and the people who have impacted our lives. We were both born and raised outside Telluride- although we do not relate to the town anymore we are still very much mountain people and we are big skiers. Mt Wilson was the first big mountain that we skied together so being married at the foot of that peak was important to us- and the Schmid Ranch was the perfect location for us to host a lot of people and still be close to the peak. So I guess our theme was skiing and the high alpine.Also 2018 was a hard year for a lot of our people. Life has become way too busy and we lost many friends. We wanted to make a party that celebrated not only our love but also our love for our friends and family.

Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY? A: So I mentioned we are really into skiing- We borrowed an arch that was made of skis and we added a couple of skis of our own and also mounted elk antlers to the top of that. I also found a lot of ski boots in the free box and I took out the liners and planted succulents in them. The ski boots were placed around where the guests sat for the ceremony. Then for the reception my mother in law helped me make prayer flags (from a trip to Cambodia years ago I found this amazing fabric shop and I bought yards of silk in different colors) and we hung those up with lights and Chinese lanterns in the dining barn. I am in love with lichen and I also wanted to have a high alpine feel to the wedding so on the tables I placed moss, lichen rocks, and potted alpine perennials. I also had a table that had pictures of Chris and I’s relatives when they got married. We placed elk hides and lace as a table cloth. My husband’s family went to Wisconsin earlier in the summer and brought back boxes of birch bark and we lined the pots of the perennials with the birch. Most if not all of the wedding decor was DIY and I am so lucky to have friends and family help me.

Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding? A: I wanted to have my bouquet to look like the native wildflowers and since it was fall I also wanted seed pods and grasses. My bridesmaids had flower crowns and not bouquets. For the centerpieces I used potted perennial plants that I rented from a local nursery. The perennials that I looked for were plants with different color foliage- most of the plants were not blooming- and also different heights. For the lower sized plants, I wanted these to be on the dining tables so that my guests could see across the table. Then the higher perennials like grass, were either on the ground or on the cake/present tables. And then of course lots of lichen rocks and moss!

Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding? A: We tried to personalize as much as we could- after all it is our day. I find that ceremonies are often really dull and take way too long. We did not want to do that. We wanted our ceremony to be entertaining and to mean something. Our officiant is a good family friend and is someone whom you can listen to all day cause he can tell a good story. He helped us write the whole ceremony. We also had a very good friend write us a poem that she performed during the ceremony (this is probably one of my highlights). Chris and I also wrote our own vows and heard them for the first time during the ceremony. Then I made our guests hike down from our ceremony location to the reception location and as trail markers I put up photos of Chris and I. For musicians we used good friends Alex Paul and also Bone Wagon. I had Klean Kanteen make us metal cocktail cups with a photo of Chris and I holding hand and carrying our skis.

Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail. A: Well I borrowed a good friend’s wedding dress. I knew I did not want to buy something that will forever sit in my closet afterwards. I did buy a shall from Skida that has a mountain pattern knitted on the back. I also wore a pair of old hiking boots because I wanted to be comfortable and also because we were going to be hiking down to the reception location. I wore a pair of turquoise bear earrings that Chris gave me (the stone is very prominent in the South West and it will always remind me of home and the bear is a special animal to Chris)Chris wore a bolo tie that he got made- it is of a bear paw with the pad being made of turquoise and the claws are made of Chris’s late fathers wedding ring. He also borrowed all his nice clothes from friends.

Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal. A: We both grew up in Telluride. Chris is a little older than me so we didn’t grow up together but since Telluride is small we knew of each other. After college I moved to a small community outside of Telluride and Chris was my neighbor. I proposed to Chris. We had been together for 6 years and I knew he was the guy I wanted to be with. Instead of getting a ring I made him a pair of skis. I called up Wagner custom skis, a local ski manufacturer, and organized for myself to come in and be very hands on with making Chris’s skis. I put a lock of my hair in them and all of the employees at Wagner signed the core of the ski. The skis have a wooden top sheet so that they will always look classic. I also wrote a poem on them. I asked Chris over a home cooked meal at our house. Before he said yes he told me to wait and went into our bedroom. He came out with a ring! So I guess you could say that we both said yes!

Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day? A: The most special and very unexpected moment for me was walking out with my dad and seeing all of our guest looking at me. I felt this tsunami of love crash over me. It was the most powerful and humbling moment I think of my life. And then of course hearing my husbands vows. I am a lucky girl.

Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day? A: Your day is about you and the person you love but don’t forget it is also about being together with the people you love. Keep it that way because that is the only thing that matters.