Photo from Liz and Mike's wedding provided by Rocky Mountain Aperture Photography (formerly Dave Russell Photography)



When John and Terri met for dinner on a blind date that was set up by a mutual friend, neither of them expected to one day marry each other. Fortunately, the couple’s mutual friend had a great intuition that they would hit it off, and they tied the knot in an August wedding at The Wild Basin Lodge & Event Center in Allenspark. In an even more surprising turn of events, John’s son, Mike, would later meet the love of his life, Liz, and marry her at the same venue. The family’s tradition did not stop there, and Terri’s daughter, Kim, married her beau, Pete, in a scenic September wedding at (you guessed it) The Wild Basin Lodge.

The three weddings at The Wild Basin Lodge were mutually beautiful and had amazing moments, but after planning, hosting, and examining the weddings together, the families have agreed on the “best of” awards for their special days.


Best proposal: John and Terri had discussed marriage several times, but John had not chosen his bride-to-be’s engagement ring. He had hoped to propose on Christmas morning, so he taped the ringer onto every bell in the Christmas tree. After proposing, John asked Terri to examine the tree carefully until finally he laughed, “Get it? No ring!” The following day, the pair ventured to Samuels Jewelers (then in Greeley) to select Terri’s engagement ring.


Best rehearsal dinner: Liz and Mike chose The Fawn Brook Inn in Allenspark for their rehearsal dinner. The couple’s friends and family enjoyed gourmet food from the five star restaurant. Everyone enjoyed eating at The Fawn Brook Inn and still remembers how incredible the food and atmosphere was.


Best clothing: Kim, Pete, and their wedding party walked down the isle with confidence, class, and the help of The Bridal Connection in Longmont. Terri was very impressed with the shop, which outfitted the bridesmaids in vibrant orange and maroon dresses and assisted Kim with finding the perfect strapless gown. The families still talk about The Bridal Connection’s upmost standard of service and the fantastic specials the owner offered Kim for her wedding party.


Best hair/makeup:Kim had her hair and makeup done by Kat Bradshaw out of Ft. Collins. She looked beautiful with a classic up-do and a veil that was integrated into the style for the ceremony. Kat is part of the family and successfully runs a salon in the Ft. Collins area.


Best ceremony:Liz and Mike chose a lovely September ceremony at The Wild Basin’s outdoor meadow ceremony site. The family was very pleased with the beautiful weather and impressed with the ceremony, which included Celtic traditions such as music from The Colorado Bagpiper, Scott Beach, and a hand fasting ceremony.


Most creative reception food: All three couples opted for mid-morning ceremonies, but John and Terri decided on brunch selections at their early afternoon reception because they share a mutual love of breakfast foods. Their 70 guests dined on fresh fruit, breakfast pastries, a salad bar (Terri’s favorite meal is salad), scrambled eggs with vegetables, breakfast potatoes with rosemary, bacon, ham, sausage, and waffles with homemade syrups and whipped cream all catered by The Wild Basin Lodge.


Best color selection:Kim and Pete worked diligently on their wedding colors for their early fall ceremony and reception. They chose a vibrant blend of deep reds, bright oranges, sunny yellows, dark greens, and accents of purple. This blend of colors both complimented and stood out in the beautiful fall Rocky Mountain scenery.


Best floral arrangements: Kim and Pete worked with Floral Designs of Europe in Estes Park to make the vision of their wedding colors become a reality. The bouquets featured red roses and yellow calla lilies that were accented by purple and orange flowers with green leaves. The cake, boutonnières, corsages, and bouquets all included multi-colored ribbons and looked fantastic next to the white frosting of the cake and black tuxedos. (bouquet photo pictured to the right from MMB Photography)


Best cake:Both Liz and Mike and Kim and Pete utilized the services of Colorado Rose Cake Co, and both cakes looked and tasted amazing, but Liz and Mike’s cake was decidedly the winner of the best cake competition. The unique creation (pictured below from Rocky Mountain Aperture Photography) was decorated with green and white cherry blossoms as well as a large sage green ribbon. The shape and quality of the couple’s cake made it a winner among the family.


Best photographer:Of the three weddings, the families were impressed with two notable Colorado-based photographers: Rocky Mountain Aperture (formerly Dave Russell Photography) for Liz and Mike’s wedding and MMB Photography for Kim and Pete’s wedding. Both photographers were consistently professional, accommodating, and took stunning pictures of the venue and couples. Dave Russell loves shooting at the meadow site and was pleased with the weather on the day of Liz and Mike’s ceremony. Kim and Pete were impressed with MMB Photography for their flexibility to move inside and take as many family photos as possible in front of The Wild Basin Lodge’s fireplace. Therefore, the best photography reward is a tie between two extraordinary photography companies.


Best first dance:Kim and Pete selected a lovely variety of Beatles songs at their reception. They swayed to “Calico Skies” by Paul McCartney for their first dance. The song is beautiful, easy to dance to, and because it’s less than 3 minutes, it was the perfect length of a first dance.


Best honeymoon:John and Terri chose a cruise through Norwegian Cruise Line called the Inner Passage to Sawyer Glacier. They had a wonderful time whale watching, relaxing, and taking in some breathtaking scenery. John fondly remembers one highlight of the cruise, “a fabulously beautiful mist over the islands we saw.”


Best advice for couples in the planning stages:After assisting with the planning for all three weddings, Terri has a wealth of advice for engaged couples. She says that the best advice she could give is to, “plan far enough in advance so you don’t feel rushed and can enjoy the planning as well as the wedding.” John and Terri agree that marrying each other was the best decision of their lives and they remain best friends to this day.


How did they all choose the same wedding venue?John and Terri knew they wanted to get married in the mountains and visited several locations before choosing The Wild Basin Lodge. The lodge met all their requirements: it’s in a scenic mountain location, there is an in-house chef for all events with food, it is handicap accessible, the owners were warm and welcoming from the moment they stepped inside, and it was within their budget. They had a wonderful time at their wedding, but Mike and Liz (pictured left, photo provided by Rocky Mountain Aperture) did not decide on the Wild Basin until they arrived at the venue with Liz’s parents and fell in love with the quiet mountain retreat. Kim and Pete were engaged on a hike and choose The Wild Basin Lodge for the lodge’s stellar reputation and natural beauty. The families had a wonderful time at their weddings and look forward to visiting the lodge for a Thanksgiving reunion in the near future.


Best three words to describe your wedding:“Buddies in life!” John and Terri are best friends who look back fondly on all of their family weddings in Colorado. They feel blessed to have children who found their best friends and are starting families together.






John and Terri (Left) continue to enjoy married life together in Longmont

Liz and Mike's Colorado Rose Cake Company cake (Below) photo provided by Rocky Mountain Aperture

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