I don’t know what it was about 2013, but I did a record number of weddings in Douglas County this past year – seven to be exact. That’s a surprisingly large number for a location more than an hour from my home base of Northern Colorado. Douglas has been one of Colorado’s fastest growing counties over the past two decades, and in fact during the 1990s, it was the nation’s fastest growing county percentage-wise. Likewise the area has also seen a big increase in the number of wedding venues that have sprung up. A few of these venues were historic buildings that were refurbished (Cherokee Castle), but most have been brand new (Cielo and Perry Park Country Club). I’ll highlight four of my favorites along with couples that I had the pleasure of working with this past year.
Samantha & Tyler’s wedding at Highlands Ranch Mansion (photo above and at left) made for a spectacular setting. This 80-year old mansion is set on the south edge of the growing Highlands Ranch community and was recently re-opened to host private events and weddings. The building itself is more than 20,000 square feet with over a dozen bedrooms. It has a large reception area on the ground level, and outdoor ceremony area overlooking a meadow with horses.
Megan & Matt’s September 20th wedding was at The Sanctuary, an award winning country club near Sedalia. Matt is a golf pro, so this made for a perfect venue for their wedding. The venue has an earthy décor with lots of rocks, fireplaces, waterfalls, and stunning views of the Rampart Range to the west. An outdoor pavilion is used for the ceremony, then guests move into the lodge for cocktails while the staff turns the pavilion back into reception (dinner and dancing) mode.
As luck would have it, I had a wedding the very next day at nearby Arrowhead Golf Course, a venue that has been popular with Denver couples for many years. Instead of driving more than an hour back to Fort Collins, I just spent the night in nearby Castle Rock so I could attend the morning ceremony rehearsal for Laura & Perry. Arrowhead can be very busy on weekends with multiple weddings and dozens of golfers vying for space, but it offers a uniquely scenic location. You can get married on the first tee with the famous sandstone formations in the distance, then have your reception in their outdoor tent or move indoors to the clubhouse ballroom overlooking the valley.
My wedding season started to wind down at the end of October with Liz and Aaron’s wedding at Spruce Mountain Ranch. This venue in the Larkspur area has been a well-known Angus breeding facility for more than a century. But this is no rustic ranch. It has more of an upscale western vibe complete with a lighted outdoor patio for the ceremony or cocktail hour, and a recently constructed indoor reception hall called Albert’s Lodge that can accommodate 200 people for dinner and dancing. Liz and Aaron used every bit of space as their guest list approached the 180 mark, and most of them were still dancing at the end of the night!