Our Engagement Story: Megan & Mack

But I love your feet 
only because they walked 
upon the earth and upon 
the wind and upon the waters, 
until they found me. 

~ Pablo Neruda

I had been travelling for work the week prior to Mack popping the question, and had not seen him in person for a few days. I was flying directly to our friend’s wedding, and Mack was meeting me there. I had been teasing these friends of ours because they were getting married on “my wedding day” — October 17th (the day that 12 year old me had decided was the best possible day to get married, because with my birthday falling in July, an October anniversary would perfectly space out all of the gifts – obviously – and 17 was my favorite number). Little did I know, but on this October 17th, 2015, Mack had a surprise in store for me.


The day of the wedding, Mack had been acting romantic all day– slow dancing with me in the living room of our rented airbnb house, reciting poems about love, telling me I looked beautiful. I even remarked to a friend of ours that I thought the wedding mindset had gotten to him a little. We went to the wedding, had a grand time, danced the night away, and around 11pm, Mack said that he wanted to head back to the house, so we left. He was racing the clock to propose before midnight. 🙂


We reached the house, and the other couple we were sharing the house with went upstairs to change so that we could all take a soak in the hot tub. I turned to go change, when Mack grabbed my hand, and quietly pulled me into the living room. There, he recited “Your Feet”. by Pablo Neruda (a poem that had special significance– look for it on our wedding day! It won’t be hard to find), and again I thought how oddly romantic he was being. Then he dropped down on one knee, pulled out the gorgeous ring, and said “Will you?”


With my utter surprise and shock, it took me a moment to say “Yes, of course!”, but I did. There is an indeterminate amount of time that I have no recollection of, but Mack tells me it was full of joy, laughter, and happy tears. Our friends came downstairs, learned of the proposal (Mack had kept it a secret from everyone), and we opened champagne and celebrated into the early hours of the morning.

Even though we won’t be getting married on October 17th, at least I can always say I got engaged then!

Our anniversary will be October 21, 2017.

I couldn’t be more excited to start this portion of our journey together.

Wild Basin Wanderlust: Bella Capelli

Get a Trial

Have you ever had an awful haircut?  The kind that makes you want to put a paper bag over your head?  Or call in sick for a few days?  Thankfully, I’ve only had one deeply traumatizing haircut, but that one was enough to last me a lifetime.  It’s embarrassing to admit, but I cried the entire way home from the salon that afternoon.  I felt so many emotions.  Frustrated with myself for paying so much money on a hideous style.  Ashamed that I hadn’t been brave enough to tell the stylist that I was unhappy.  Betrayed after I trusted this disappointing stranger.  Yet she never knew how much I hated that haircut.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: you HAVE to say something if you’re truly not satisfied with the service.  As uncomfortable as it was, I had to use this skill while planning my wedding.

Which brings me to today’s blog post.  If you take away nothing else today, please hear this:  Get a hair and makeup trial for your wedding!  There are SO many reasons why:

  • To make sure your skin doesn’t react poorly to the makeup
  • Get to know your stylist’s personality and comfort level with your needs
  • Pamper yourself before the wedding
  • Excuse to get dressed up and go out to dinner that night… or stay in and just look adorable while you watch Moana
  • Narrow down your inspiration photos from 67 to just a few with professional guidance
  • See if a smoky eye is perfect or too dramatic for your big day
  • Verify that your hair accessories (veil vs. comb, clip vs. tiara) will work well with your hair style
  • Test the longevity, durability, and “pokiness” of your hair pins
  • Make sure the little wisps of hair don’t tickle your neck and drive you bonkers
  • Seek beauty prep tips for the weeks leading up to the wedding, since stylists always have great ideas
  • Gauge if you feel better in naturally blended or wing-tipped eyeliner
  • Practice NOT touching and smudging your face
  • Ask if your (curly, frizzy, stick straight, thin, thick, short, or unruly) hair will work for a particular favorite style you found on Pinterest before getting your hopes up
  • Test out how long that lipstick stain really lasts
  • Acclimate your eyelids to the weight of false lashes
  • Decide if you’re going to need bronzer or if your natural glow is sufficient
  • Make sure your stylist is reliable, doesn’t cancel on you at the last minute, and can show up for the trial appointment on time
  • Determine professionalism: Does he/she bring a contract to the trial, or are they unprepared?
  • When the trial is over, do they offer to snap a few photos for you, or leave you awkwardly requesting this favor?
  • Get pumped up for the actual day, since you can now visualize your gorgeous self


How would I know?

To be honest, I actually had to do two hair and makeup trials.  The first lady seemed really nice, but rescheduled my trial three (THREE!) times.  After the trial, I felt a bit like a drag queen with caked makeup and orange tinted lipstick.  My eyeliner was overly dramatic, and I accidentally smudged it on the car ride home.  She botched my hair, then didn’t offer to take any photos of her work.  So… I didn’t realize how awful I looked until I got home and used a mirror to look at the back of my hair.  Sensing my deep disappointment, my fiancé insisted that I use a different hair and makeup vendor.  After agonizing for a week about how to word the “break up” email with this lady, I pulled off the Band-Aid and sent my notice that I’d be using someone else for the wedding.  Fortunately, she neglected to ask for my signature on the contract I’d printed and brought with me.  Her lack of professionalism served me in this singular way.

My point: If you find yourself in a similar situation, please don’t feel guilty about demanding the best.  Weddings are expensive, and you deserve to have full confidence in your investment.  The right vendors can make all the difference in your experience.

Lucky for you, Wild Basin Lodge has an extensive list of tried-and-true vendors.  Let’s take a closer look at Bella Capelli, our preferred vendor for hair and makeup services.


 The Experts

Bella Capelli is a partnership of moms who cherish the balance of family and having a successful career.  The company was started by Christie Nagl many years ago, and they’ve built a stellar reputation in the industry ever since.  They frequently travel to Wild Basin Lodge, so all you have to do is show up in your button down shirt or robe, and you’re set.  Mimosa in hand, you can relax in our bridal suite while the ladies of Bella Capelli work their magic.

WBL: Tell us a little about the history of your business.

BC: I started doing hair 18 years ago and became a hairstylist specifically to do wedding hair. I owned a full service salon in Estes for a long time and did weddings there up until I had my first son, eight and a half years ago. At that time I closed the salon and decided to start doing only weddings so that I could focus the rest of my time on being a stay at home mom.  Adrienne, who I had grown up with, and Traci, who is married to my husband’s cousin, both worked with me in my salon. When I closed the salon they continued to do weddings with me and worked other places until they too had their kids. Now they stay home with their littles and still do hair and makeup with me. Adrienne has been with me about 15 years and Traci for 13 years. Over time, my two sisters saw how wonderful it was to be able to stay home with the kids and have a job on the side so they both got certified to do makeup. Melissa has been with us for about 6 years and Julie for about 4.

There is nothing better than being able to work alongside some of your favorite people. Plus, having a job that is flexible enough to work around family schedules is amazing. All five of us truly feel blessed!

WBL: Do you have any “Pro Tips” or words of wisdom for brides as they prepare for their wedding?

BC: It is your day. Do what makes you and your fiancé happy. As far as hair and makeup go, make sure you are comfortable and feel like you. You don’t want to look back at pictures and not recognize yourself. Don’t get me wrong, everything should be a little bigger and fancier but still holding true to your style.

WBL: What is one thing that you love about your industry?

BC: We love all the joy that surrounds someone’s wedding day. It’s hard not to be happy when surrounded by happiness. We also love all the wonderful vendors we get to see and work with. We are lucky to be in this industry, in this area, with amazing people!

WBL: Do you have a personal favorite memory from your wedding day you’d like to share?

BC: I’m sure we all have our favorite memories but I have 2 personally that stand out. I love the memory of entering the church to see my super sentimental, sobbing husband waiting for me at the end of the aisle. He is just a big teddy bear and I love him! Also, my dad and I took tango lessons for the father/daughter dance and told no one. My dad is not a dancer so the reactions were priceless. That moment was really special and fun! It was such a great day and there are endless memories. Now we have been married 10 1/2 years.

Bella Capelli translates in Italian to “beautiful hair,” and the photos on their website speak for themselves.  Don’t repeat my mistake of going through multiple hair and makeup trials.  Save yourself the emotional stress and shoot the ladies at Bella Capelli and email as soon as possible.  They are frequently fully booked 6 months or more in advance.

-A presto!




Christie Nagl



Wild Basin Wanderlust: Robin Event Rentals

Ser.en.dip.i.tous: adjective

Occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way

Synonyms: chance, accidental, coincidental


Why the above definition?

Just a quick glimpse into how this blog got its name.  Serendipitous is the perfect word to describe the organic development of ideas between the Wild Basin staff and myself.  It was a happy accident that I’m here this morning, writing a blog about wedding planning.  A pleasant marriage of curiosity, enthusiasm, perfect timing, and a drop dead gorgeous venue.

More importantly, the word serendipitous reminds me of how the best relationships develop.  Did you happen to meet your lifelong “adorkable” best friend at marching band camp at the ripe age of 14?  How were you to know that she would become a powerful, constant force in your life?  Or what about that economics professor that you’re still in touch with, since he had such an impact on your trajectory?  Was it chance that you worked with a vibrant, passionate IT recruiter seven years ago, only to find out that you’ve reconnected again recently just as you were on the job market?

Romantically speaking, movies and music use the theme of serendipity regularly.  There’s something irresistibly dreamy about that bump-into-a-cute-stranger-on-the-bus idea.  When I take a moment to reflect on the stories of how my married friends met, there is much more serendipity than I previously realized.  Take, for example, my friend Melissa, who asked a strange man clearly sitting in a café chair one morning, “Are you using this chair?”  He slowly pivoted in his seat, then grinned; confused but charmed by the bashful blonde. Flattered, he thought he was being hit on.  Turns out she simply wanted a place to hang her wet jacket in the crowded restaurant.  They’re now married.  What could have been an awkward fleeting encounter at the café became a lifelong partnership.

As you enjoy the month of July in Colorado, take a moment to think about happenstance in life.  The thousands of happy accidents that brought you to this exciting wedding planning phase.   It’s fleeting, so take a deep breath, smile, and read on.

As Promised

The theme of serendipity leads us to our very first Wild Basin Wanderlust vendor spotlight. Robin Event Rentals.  My second day working for Wild Basin Lodge, our 11:00 appointment arrived.  Her name was Megan Loberg, and as we toured the property and discussed her company’s offerings, my idea for the blog gelled.  Our couples needed to know what she was all about, and so I asked to visit the showroom and warehouse so I could get a closer look.

Fast forward one week, and across the street from an unassuming field of sleepy cows in Loveland, I found the Robin Event Rental headquarters.  It’s easy to drive by and miss, but once inside, you won’t be disappointed.  Megan greeted me, and we sat down to talk about the basics of her business.  Here are some highlights from our conversation.

WBL: What services does your company provide to clients?

RER: We provide rentals for all events, big and small. Our list of rentals includes tents, tables, chairs (folding, resin, Chiavari), and specialty linens. We also provide all China, flatware and glassware needs you may have. While this list is a good depiction of our rentals, we offer so much more!

WBL: Where are you located?

RER: We are located in Loveland Colorado, just an hour north east of Allenspark.

WBL: What about the logistics of getting rental items to Wild Basin Lodge?

RER: We have a $120 delivery fee that includes both drop off and pick up.  If you’re renting a tent, both set up and take down is included in the price.  In fact, we do a site visit in advance for all tent rentals, to ensure that the surface area is safe for your event.

WBL: Tell us a little about the history of your business.

RER: Our company began about 15 years ago when the original owners Rob and Tera Robbin created Robin Event Rentals. We were located in Berthoud for about 10 years and recently re-located to our larger office to Loveland. We came under new ownership a few years ago.  Chad Ayres hails to us from New Mexico where he managed one of the largest event rental companies in the country and has over 20 years of industry experience.

WBL: Do you have any words of wisdom for brides as they prepare for their wedding?

RER: Some of the most helpful bits of advice I would give to brides planning their wedding is that you can never start planning too early. We love it so much more when our brides and clients come to us with ample time before their wedding or event. However, we do understand that wedding planning can get a bit crazy, which is why we can help coordinate your event rentals whether you’re two weeks from your event or two years. Another piece of advice that I wish all brides remembered is to enjoy the planning and have fun. We find more often than not, that the brides or families of the couple get too engrossed in the planning process and forget to enjoy and celebrate the process and everything that’s to come.

WBL: What is one thing that you love about your industry?

RER: I love that I can help bring my clients’ visions from their minds or Pinterest boards to life. The spark that they get when they see their vision come to life is truly the best feeling ever!

WBL: Do you have a favorite memory from your wedding day you’d like to share?

RER: While I am not married, I have been in the industry for about 8 years now, and have my personal favorites of a wedding. My favorite part of a wedding is by far the vows, whether they are funny, sentimental, or traditionally classic it always pulls at the heart strings for me.

During my tour of Robin Event Rentals, I discovered that Megan is from the Denver area and has a strong history in both business and event coordinating.  She works closely with a tight-knit staff and owner, Chad, who is never afraid of rolling up his sleeves.  Chad is on-site and in the trenches; putting up the huge tents and even building the gorgeous rustic wood table and benches that you can find in the showroom.

Their warehouse has SO much more than just the standard linens and chairs.  We walked by one room that was stocked with Sno-Cone, pretzel, popcorn, hot dog, and cotton candy machines.  Talk about a fun late night snack for your wedding guests!  They also rent three varieties of arbors, two different bar setups, flower pedestals, exterior heaters if you’re getting married in the cold months, and old fashioned street lamps.  Everywhere I turned, there were new surprises.

When you come

My favorite thing about the RER location is an interactive wedding planning area.  Indecisive and overwhelmed by the flood of Pinterest ideas?  If you’re not yet sure how to set up your tables, you can literally play with the pieces until you get them just right.  There are samples of tablecloths, chargers, linens, flatware, and glassware for you to mix and match.  They also switch up the showroom’s inspiration designs monthly, so you’ll be treated to a variety of trendy tablescapes. I’ve never before seen a place that offers this.  Oh, and the sleek modern white furniture the photos below? Also a rental option!

The showroom is open from 9 to 5, Monday – Friday.  You’re welcome to stop in or make an appointment.  If you’re like most humans who work during the week, Megan is happy to meet you on the weekend by appointment.  Before you come, check out their website and click on the “Products” tab for an interactive inventory where you can save items you like before you physically put them together in the show room.  When you stop by, snap a photo of your final design and share it with Wild Basin Lodge!

Want to know more?  Follow them on Facebook & Instagram, then reach out to Megan and she’ll be happy to sit down with you and bring your vision to life!



Robin Event Rental

2248 W. 1st St.

Loveland, CO 80537

O: (970)663-7368

C: (970)699-0364

F: (970)663-7378



A partner of Event Fence Construction


The Serendipitous Bridal Blog

Hello, Wild Basin Lodge Readers!

Before we set off on this Bridal Blog adventure together, I think it’s key to introduce myself.

I’m Courtney, a recent bride at Wild Basin Lodge in Allenspark, Colorado.  I married this handsome guy, Brandon, about a month ago. I have also been right where you are now; in the throes of wedding planning.

We had a small (40 person) Monday wedding at the lodge that’s best explained via a series of images, captured by the recently coined “photo ninja” Preston Utley of Denver.  If you haven’t yet booked a photographer, please, please, check out his website.  He was our biggest splurge, and I couldn’t be more impressed with his photojournalism style work.

More to Come Soon.

We’ll chat about the joys, planning, mishaps, and hiccups leading up to the wedding day. But that’s for another blog post.

Why am I writing for Wild Basin Lodge?  Well, during our rehearsal the day before the wedding, Christina (Wild Basin manager-planner-dress bustler-mom wrangler-emergency shirt ironer extraordinaire) and I got to chatting.  She then realized I’m a teacher.  This was inevitable, since teachers LOVE to talk about teaching.  This means I have a surplus of time on my hands. For about 9 weeks out of the year I am able pursue interests other than my 4th & 5th graders.  The Lodge needed a bit of help, and I was more than willing to jump on board.  Now, to be honest, I’m historically more of a gawker than a “poster” when it comes to social media, but I’m always up for a challenge.  Hence, my summer adventure.  Going behind the scenes at WBL.

My first instinct was to ask, “What would I have benefitted from ten months ago as a busy bride?”  The answer: A clone of myself to plan the wedding while I was at work.  To scour the internet for vendors. Then email them each of my 392 questions. To search Pinterest for the perfect favor ideas, and get to those dress fitting appointments while I was occupied by my nine-to-five.

Alas, I’m not a clone, but I will earnestly attempt to bring you the research results you need to make the planning process a bit easier.

If you’re not already doing so, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest. Get the latest and greatest on what I discover out there in the massive tangle of interwebs.

Upcoming Bridal Blog

Naturally, this leads me to the first blog series: Wild Basin Wanderlust.  In the coming weeks, check back here to read about some of our favorite vendors.  From flowers to cupcakes, massages to outdoor lighting, we’ve got you covered.  I’ll be personally visiting many of our vendors for an insider’s look at the best of the best surrounding Wild Basin Lodge.  Any time you feel like posting a photo, commenting, or sharing a link, please do!  The whole purpose is to help other brides (and grooms!) streamline the vendor search process.

A presto! (Until the next time!)


Our Engagement Story: Ashley & Chris

Ashley tells us her engagement story –

and after six years, she has her Happily Ever After.

Christopher and I met in my first week in college. Since I had moved across the country for school, I didn’t know a soul. Chris would skip class to come eat lunch with me, even if he had already eaten, just so I wouldn’t have to eat alone. As time went on we graduated and fell into our respective careers, me, a Neonatal ICU nurse and him an environmental conservation steward. Six years into dating, I had given up on him ever proposing and we would just be dating forever. In late fall of 2016 we took a long weekend to visit his parents and sister in Fort Collins, where he had grown up.

We packed up our dog and a spare change of clothes and piled into the car; when all of a sudden Chris jumps up from the driver’s seat mumbling about forgetting something. I was half asleep and didn’t pay much attention, but this was his way of smuggling in the ring. We get up to Fort Collins, have dinner with his parents and relax since I had worked the night shift before the drive up. We woke up the next morning and Chris started to pester me about going for a hike. When I finally concede to go hiking, he gets all three dogs, ours and his parent’s two, and throws all of us in the car. Halloween of 2016 was 80 degrees in Fort Collins, of course. He pops out of the car at the trailhead and is practically jumping up and down. He forgot to mention that the trail was two and a half miles up hill and mostly rocky. In all of our previous hikes he would get to the top and say “Are you mad? Do you still love me?” I would be hot and out of breath and reply with a huff, “No.” He would laugh and start back down the trail encouraging and poking fun at me for being so slow.

Well, what do you expect when he hikes for a living!


Anyway, this hike that we are currently on is getting hot and incredibly steep. We had to help the dogs climb the steep parts that are coming more often.  Finally we reach the top that overlooks the town for Fort Collins with Horsetooth Rock behind us. We find a shady place to rest with the dogs and watch the scene below us. Chris slides over to me asking if I’m too warm and tried. I was! After lifting our 85 pound chocolate lab up 15 feet of rock face and barely getting any sleep this weekend. Smiling he says “Are you mad at me? Do you still want to marry me?” I look at him, pouting “No” I say.

Pulling out my grandmother’s diamond he asks, “Even if I have a ring?