We're getting pretty close to chosing a location now. We started by looking at the most gorgeous, knock-your-socks-off destinations colorado has to offer and realized one by one, that because most of our guests will be from out of state, it's just too cruel to expect them to pop in for a quick ceremony and reception at 80billion feet above sealevel. No matter how lovely the location was, we just couldn't do that to our guests.
Most of the locals (read: my family) wouldn't have had a problem with it but I'd be willing to bet that everyone else would be at risk of a 2-in-5 ratio of some kind of unpleasant side effect; be it headaches, gastric problems, stiff joints, car sickness, or just dizzyness and gasping for air.
So we're looking more down here in the foothills now and finding some supercool locations that are not only lovely and well appointed but also user friendly and easy to get to. Huzzah! Also, we're narrowing down to places that won't require me to con my friends and family into staying at the same place for four nights in a row at some $300 a night. Ooph, right? yeah. I'm so not that person. and yeah, we so don't have that budget to begin with anyway.
We've found one place, let's call it location Alpha simply because I'm mentioning it first. Alpha is a sweet little pink-stone victorian mansion, buried deep in a tight and burbly canyon at the foot of an enormous looming mountain. Appletrees, arbors, and a large reception room add to the appeal. Sadly, I'd have to get ready at a hotel someplace else and arrive all set to go because there are no facilities onsite in which to do the whole bride-prep thing. (neither is there such a thing for the groom... ) But that's not exactly a HUGE drawback. There are lots of family-style fun colorado-y things to do there. There are lots of cute and romantic couples' retereats nestled nearby. Also a plus is the fact that it's located in a darling little hole-in-the-wall mountain-style town similar to the one I grew up in.
Location Beta is still in the running because it is easy peasy to get to and offers loads of flexibility in planning on TOP of the fantastic dining space and a darling green and primped actual ceremony venue. Inescapably appealing at this venue are some of the coolest danged loose chickens in the "back" there that you ever saw... you know, those fancy chickens with the explode-o hair styles and the big fluffy pants and the cartoonishly swooshy tailfeathers? aw yeah. Anyway, location Beta, as I'm sure you've noticed by now, is far less scenic. It's not exactly the place I hoped people would see when I would say "hey, come to colorado and see me get hitched"... because it's not really what I think of when I think of colorado. There are mountains, waaaaay over there, and there are sweeping views of the east, but mostly it's an opulent suburban wedding-specific venue that's lovely for what it offers... not for where it is. We did quick drive-by's of two final mountainous locations that were at the very brink of what we'd demand of our guests as far as travel goes... and that quick glance was all it took to wipe them clean off the list of possibilities. One was a little too, darkly woodsy and deliverance-ish. The other was in a cemetary and a mere stone's throw away from the kind of massive church that hangs giant 4-story banners announcing Jesus' love alongside mass times. Also I'm told that it has people buried under where the ceremony would have taken place.
Zombies + Wedding = Disaster Every Time
So we're down to the two facilities I discussed earlier. Alpha is significantly more antique-y with a distinctly Firefly kind of appeal (fans of all things Joss Whedon will know what I'm talking about) and Beta has a largely "look who is getting married here at the gorgeous marriage place" kind of feel. With adorable chickens. One offers romance in place of what it lacks in convenience, and one offers opulence and ease in place of the dearth of spectacular colorado surroundings.
Even the quotes and costs can't convince us one way or the other. Anyway, that's what we're up to. Will go see a few more facilities this weekend in the same part of the state as the Alpha location and then I think we'll be saturated enough to make our decision.