Erin & Dan
How did he propose to you?
Dan and I had always loved escaping Las Vegas to Zion National Park. It had become one of our favorite spots to relax, hike and enjoy nature. When he suggested a trip in November of 2010 I couldn’t have been more delighted! On Saturday morning we rose early and packed our backpacks to embark on a hike to Observation Point. It was so beautiful in the park that day and I remember thinking to myself that things couldn’t get any better. Finally, we reached the outlook to find the most stunning view of the Zion Valley. After taking in all the majesty of our spot we enjoyed our usual romantic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with our mittens on. I remember rambling on to Dan about how much I loved Zion and how much I loved him. He then proceeded to speak some of the sweetest words ever uttered and then the next thing I knew he was down on one knee with a beautiful engagement ring. After an elated “Yes” we set up our camera to capture a picture of the two of us in our pristine spot. We headed back down the trail and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon sharing the happiness of our new secret in the beautiful surroundings of the Zion. It wasn’t until we returned to the hotel room in the evening that we pulled out our phones and let the rest of the world know. It was because of that great moment and many more we decided to bring our friends and family to share in our wedding with the same awesome backdrop.
Where there any personal elements that you incorporated into the wedding ceremony/reception?
There were countless personal elements that Dan and I incorporated into the wedding and reception. It all started with the fact that we planned the wedding together. Dan was not a typical “groom-to-be”; he actually cared about the planning and we thought of our best ideas together. Some of the odd-ball personal touches that people remember were the little garden gnome hidden around the event grounds, the “E +D” wooden carved sign hanging in a tree at the reception (courtesy of the whittlers at Forevermore Events), my Mom’s homemade biscotti served aside the wedding dessert and the thumbprint tree we used for a guest book.
What was one idea that made the wedding yours?
In discussing our ceremony with our Officiant, Dan and I shared an idea of a stone ceremony we had read about on a wedding website. Since our guests were coming from all over the United States we decided to ask everyone to bring a small stone that represented who they were or where they came from. During the ceremony we passed around a bowl and each guest added their stone. Finally the stones came to the front where Dan and I added our own personal stones. It symbolized the joining of all of our paths in the presence of such love and the beauty of Zion. It was a very touching moment. Plus, that beautiful bowl of unique stones sits on our coffee table and is a constant reminder of all the family and friends who love and support us.
What was one idea that the groom just had to have?
Dan is a die-hard Ben and Jerry’s ice cream fanatic. On our very first date I was in awe of his collection of over 100 unique Ben & Jerry’s pint cartons artfully displayed in his house (The collection has since grown and now has a place in “our” new home).
What was one “must have” that made your wedding unforgettable?
Location, location, location. Dan and I picked Springdale based on our love for Zion National Park and we wanted to share the beauty of the park with all of our family and friends. Our “must have” was finding a wedding location that would showcase the splendor of the Zion mountains as well as suit our need to host up to 70 people for dinner and dancing. We knew the moment we walked on the grounds of the Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens that we had found our spot. The gardens provided the most beautiful backdrop to our ceremony and reception and thanks to Gideon Photography we have some of the most unbelievably beautiful wedding photos to prove it!
Share a wedding budget splurge that made all the difference? To be honest, our most valuable splurge was hiring the awesome Forevermore Events to be our wedding planner and event managers. We were on somewhat of a limited budget and since we lived out of state we knew that having a wedding planner would save us a world of stress. In addition to their amazing ideas and design, Forevermore Events introduced us to incredible local vendors like Cappelettis, Bloomers Flowers and Gideon Photography (all did an AMAZING job!). Where the value was most evident however was on the day of the wedding. Dan and I were able to thoroughly enjoy ourselves without a worry in the world. I am sure there were things that could have gone wrong but we never knew about them because the Forevermore Events team took care of everything!
Did you have DIY elements and how did you incorporate them?
Dan and I are avid hikers and Zion’s trails are some of our favorites. One way were able to share that with our guests is that I created photo cards for the tables that had a picture of Dan and I on some of our favorite Zion National Park trails. These cards were decorative but also served as conversation starters and added a personal element to each table. We also gave our guests local honey on which I hand wrote a label with a lovely quote which I also think added a real personal touch.
Ceremony & Reception