Archive For: Reflections

15 Years of Wedding Trends

Just for fun

It is fun to look back at how people dressed in the past, especially at weddings. Wedding party outfits aren’t something you see everyday so it can be surprising to realize how much things change in a relatively short time period. Dresses, popular color choice and bouquets have all changed a lot in the past 15 years.  Even the physical appearance of Wild Basin Lodge & Event Center is recognizably different.

Take a moment and look through some past wedding trends – it’ll make you smile!


The wedding trend: fewer church ceremonies, more strapless dresses and an increase in colored sashes, beading and embroidery on bridal dresses.

Flowers started to move away from cascading oversized bouquets to smaller, more manageable sizes. Roses and tropical flowers were making a statement and usually in the popular colors of the time: red and white. The stems showed and a ribbon was used to accent the colors in your wedding.

Couples were just starting to break from tradition and really personalize their weddings with decorations and table centerpieces. Silk flowers, mirrors and vases with floating candles were very popular.

Couples were just starting to integrate the following things that today, we think of as standard:

  • Personal wedding sites
  • Registering online
  • Attendants switching sides
  • Work of art cakes


The wedding trend: DIY. Pinterest, blogs and social media have had a huge influence in the past 6 years on couples looking for DIY options in their wedding planning, and the creativity just keeps getting better.

More couples chose to marry on a day of the week other than Saturday and it became more important to have locally-sourced food served at receptions.

Dresses with pick-up skirts started hitting the aisle in the mid-2000s – leading to more textured skirts that made the standard ball gown dress much more unique. Ball gown-styled dresses became less popular, at least here at our mountain venue, with mermaid, trumpet and A-line styles taking its place. Regardless the style of the dress, beading and embroidery are still very popular and becoming more beautiful as time passes.

Flowers are still moving farther away from the oversized cascading bouquets, but aren’t quite as small. With so many ideas on the internet, couples are getting creative with their flowers. Succulents, wild flowers and “bling-bouquets” are more the trend rather than the traditional rose bouquet. Texture seems to be the key for a unique wedding flowers.

Trends that have hit the wedding scene BIG – so much that we still see them here at Wild Basin, and surely will for years to come:

  • Photo Booths
  • Videography (making an exciting comeback!)
  • Specialty music
  • Themed engagement photo shoots
  • Grand exits


Trends to look for… and incorporate into your wedding:

  • Color comeback
  • Elaborate entrances
  • Destination weddings with surprise settings
  • Décor in all directions – literally… using space from the ceiling to the floor, and to the windows.. and the walls!
  • Interactive stations
  • Seeking unique photography styles


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We Are Grateful

We Are Grateful

We are in the business of love and this is a gift we are thankful for.

Here at The Wild Basin Lodge, our job affords us many pleasures for which we are grateful. The natural beauty of Allenspark, Colorado surrounds us and we are given the opportunity to serve as a thoroughfare of friends, families and lifelong memories pass through, all in the pursuit of hosting the best Colorado mountain weddings. But rarely do we have the occasion to make a difference in someone’s life that moves us to consider the implications of our own lives.

One morning I picked up the phone and answered, not knowing what an amazing story would unravel. The voice on the other end was calm and collected. She asked about the normal peripherals, availabilities, and details. We discussed our menu. “Can you provide fresh squeezed lemonade? Can you suggest a type of steak?” I have to admit, that while she painted a picture of a beautiful wedding day, it was hardly a departure from an average reservation, speckled with a few personalized details. Romance is sometimes best understated, and I was delighted that we could help.

I inquired about her relationship, and as it turns out, her fiancé proposed a week ago and she was already planning her dream Colorado Rocky Mountain wedding. Working in the wedding industry, you can’t help sometimes to reflect personally from the relationships you encounter, and I remember thinking humorously, “wow, you guys are eloping to the Wild Basin Lodge madly in love”. So I inquired further and was met with a story that truly took my breath away. Sometimes I think we tend to think of time in terms of plans, years and goals, like a family album we may never fully fill. But in this bride’s case, the love was most certainly there, but there was a question of time.

She explained to me that she was delivered some news about her health that would make any normal person break down and not want to go on, but in this bride’s case she is quite extraordinary. She had a contagious giggle of excitement when talking about her love and upcoming wedding that made me wonder how this woman, this beautiful soul, could actually be thinking of something else in her circumstances. At that moment she got quiet on the other end of the line and took a long breath and said to me “life is a gift, everyday that I get to wake up and live, it is a true gift.” For a moment I was speechless, I had never had such a powerful message given to me in the form of an unsuspecting phone call at work that I would carry with me forever.

These are the moments that make me stop, take a deep breath and be thankful to wake up everyday. We are only here for a short time and we must make the best of our lives. People come and go in life but there are very few that make you really think about your own.

The staff at the Wild Basin Lodge gets to work with incredible people on a daily basis. The joy of seeing two people’s love culminate in a wedding among their friends and family motivates us each day. It is so rewarding that we get to walk with a couple on the journey of starting a new life together.

Flood of 2013 – A Reflection

Flood of 2013 – A Reflection

Several years later, we reflect back upon the events of that day with a sense of surreal awe and we’re reminded of the perseverance of the human spirit.

My, how time flies. As the years pass every once in awhile we are reminded of the flood of 2013. The day started with a phone call early in the morning. Our owner was still in the shower, and could hear his brother’s voice on the answering machine. His voice was calm, but I could sense a tone of alarm in his delivery. He could make out that he was watching the news and concerned over our safety. Our owner got dressed, realizing that he must have missed one of life’s little memos, and flipped on a local channel.

The newscasters had left calm behind them, and were breathlessly explaining that Colorado was in deep trouble. Torrential rains were causing mudslides, road closures, deaths and tremendous property damage. Lyons, at the base of the mountain, was being evacuated, and other areas like Estes Park, were isolated due to mountain roads washing away. The lodge had a wedding scheduled for that day, so he headed to the lodge to see if it was undamaged.

The lodge itself was fine, though the river had risen 6 to 8 feet and was kissing the underside of the bridge that leads to the meadow. Realizing there was nothing that could be done, he and other staff headed back inside and met the bride for the afternoon wedding. Half the guests, including the bride and groom had made it up the mountain, but the other half were stranded. Making the situation worse, our chef and banquet captain had been evacuated, while the bar and marketing managers were driving around trying to find an open road up the mountain. All the vendors were likewise unable to make it, but the lodge did have power, alcohol and food.

Under the best of circumstances, weddings can be stressful. The circumstances before the bride and groom that day were beyond unfair. Go forward and get married in the middle of a natural disaster, or cancel and postpone for a later date? Add in, the lodge had only a skeleton staff and all parties were understandably shaken. Everyone met in the lobby and discussed the options and the decision was made to go ahead and try. Retrospectively, the courage exhibited by all was amazing, but in the middle of a calamity, there’s little time for introspection.

So they called the florist who was being evacuated by air, and received permission to pick up the flowers from her shop in Estes. One owner jumped into the kitchen while the other got in his truck and headed to Estes. On the way, he was stopped at a National Guard checkpoint and told the road ahead wasn’t safe and was crumbling. He explained the situation, and was politely informed that he might not make it back, if he could make it to Estes at all. Realizing that he was in too far to turn around, and not wanting to fail at getting flowers, he went for it. He got the flower shop, loaded the truck and headed back. The road conditions had deteriorated to the point that he was actually dodging basketball sized boulders coming off the mountain as he zigged and zagged back to the lodge. It was undoubtedly stupid, definitely ill advised, and one of the scariest truck rides of his life.

So with flowers, food and half the guests, the wedding commenced. In the end it all worked out. The bride and groom were amazing, the guests understanding, and the few staff on hand able to pull it all together. As memorable weddings go – this one will never be forgotten. The experience forged friendships that endure to this day, and we’re still grateful for the fortunate streak of luck that made it all possible. The ensuing days and months challenged all in the area in extreme fashion. They were isolated, without roads or communication, and had to cancel and refund countless other events. Despite it all, all of our staff and their families made it through uninjured, and were able to use the business’s resources to help many in the area less fortunate then ourselves.