No matter your ethnicity, nationality or religion, there is one thing everyone says about love: When you find it, you know.
I’ve never been married. I’ve never been engaged. The furthest I got in a wedding was at age 12 when I fumbled down the aisle in a dress that fit me like a burlap sack. The hope of ever being a bridesmaid again ended last week when my best friend told me she didn’t plan on having any. No, my place at matrimonial bliss — the ultimate expression of love for so many — is at the kids’ table.
Over a glass of wine (at the adult table), my friend and I discussed the prospect of marriage and of not having bridesmaids (a growing trend covered in our upcoming Colorado Brides and Babies Magazine). It was the appropriate venue, as she was my guest at a media event for bridal journalists. We were at The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek, which featured a cocktail hour, dinner and live music. The sun set over the mountains as the musicians tested our Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young knowledge, and the moon had long replaced it when we got up the nerve to request “Rocky Top” (the song from our Alma Mater).
Outside, chairs were set up as though a ceremony were about to take place, and dinner in the ballroom was topped off by a glass of champagne (sans embarrassing best man speech). The raging river served as background music to the mountain backdrop, and the only thing missing was the bride and groom. Despite my lack of experience, (Oh, and fiance!) I could see why someone would want to get hitched here.
The Westin — and therefore “future wedding venues” — now joins all the other things I don’t tell guys on first dates — the names of our future children, potential first dance songs … that one time on Spring Break. For me, it was a getaway that didn’t require leaving because it had everything I needed. Like say, a refreshing lap around the pool after a night of champagne, a nice hot tub soak while listening to the river that borders it, dinner at Maya, the modern Mexican Kitchen and Tequila bar by internationally acclaimed Chef Richard Saldoval, and treatments at Spa Anjali, where I floated out hours later after being painted with mud, massaged from head to toe, wrapped in foil and transformed into a butterfly (the Manipura).
Admittedly, I don’t have extensive experience in the area of marriage or venue. But I would think that finding a location for your wedding is a lot like finding your partner. First, you look at aesthetics and personality, then practicality comes into mind — religious or not religious, could this actually work? You consider the future and the people you want by your side — if you want any at all — and you weigh all the pros and cons.
But usually, when you find it, you know right away.