Donovan Pavilion Wedding | Vail, CO
Colorado Fall Mountain Wedding in Vail
Can you get better weather for an outdoor mountain wedding? For Matt and Amanda the day had the perfect balance of sun and warmth. Rumor has it the morning was a little cloudy but that blue skies prevailed. With how the drinking the night before went perhaps a little less brightness was welcomed. We met up at the Vail Marriott Mountain resort for some getting ready photos. We love it when there are large spacious suites for the groups. The women were all robed up getting the final touches on makeup. We heard a new one called “Double hydration”. This is where you drink your mimosa but then also attack a bottle of water. The bridesmaid promoting this was pouring 90% champagne 10% OJ vs the classic 50/50 so her philosophy makes sense. From there we had a first look out back by some yellow aspen trees. We then made out way down to Gore Creek and through Arabella Square where we connected with the bridal party. The ceremony was comical with the animated delivery with full backstory on the relationship. We find the best officiants are the friends who go online to get their title and just have the good personality. Cocktail hour was full of laughter. We love being able to capture the candid photos of people just being the real and raw them in the moment enjoying the day. There was toasts inside at the mid to tail end of dinner. When multiple typed out pages are hitting the floor you know you prepared well but also its going to be a thorough recounting of their life and relationship. The dancing was festive and most passionate awards go to the groomsmen who were the most lively. Topping off the night there were cigars out of the patio.
We shoot photography for a lot of people each year. Kinda a cool and non wedding related thing not really put together till the wedding day was that Amanda was there to check on Robin when we were giving birth to our son. Like wedding days when you have your first kid things are kinda a blur. We thought she looked familiar but I guess it takes seeing someone in white to put things together. Oh . . . And incase you didn’t see the engagement photos yet here is the link to the Kenosha Pass Fall colors photos.
Donovan Pavilion Review:
We love Vail in the fall for weddings. Donovan Pavilion is one of those venues that always seems to have a good party. It might just be that it just works really well for having a live band and is at the right altitude for effective alcohol toxicity. For this wedding we had the ceremony outside on the back patio. The Aspen trees had been ravaged by some snow that came in a few weeks prior. The venue is nestled up against the Gore creek. There are tall ceilings in an open space, an outdoor fire pit, and lots of windows. We find the venue can be spacious for weddings. If there isn’t a band you likely could do an indoor traditional ceremony. Speaking of the band – you are awesome! Not lets go get married awesome like the proposal to the friend officiant mid party but hire them kind of awesome. The band setup was a little different then when I think we had them before there but the delivery was excellent. They had a good sense of the crowd and knew how to get a party started and going. You could also see some good chemistry between the musicians on how things flowed.
For a coordinator we had L Elizabeth Events. She had clearly done some weddings at Donovan in the past as she had a specific flow to the day. Overall, on the day of she pulled things together from a setup perspective and ran around ever so cheerfully. One unique thing was that it took her 7 months to reply to us on the schedule questions. We are speculating that she didn’t have the needed info since the initial itinerary and end one were fairly different. We almost always reply in 24 hours so I think we just have a different perspective on wedding planning. The other thing unique was putting it on us to get a ‘group photo’ so people could be moved to setup cocktail hour. The shot was not possible without scaling the building, the guests did not seem to want it, and the bride and groom were absent signing the marriage license. The fact that she offers photography services gives this some color but also just shows us the different perspective’s on photography. We want to document the wedding day and capture the candid moments that let you relive the wedding not fake photographs to force people into something uncomfortable. Our take is to just be real with people and say ‘we need you to move off to the side for a minute so we can remove a few chairs’. Guests are not offended by the stacking of chairs if you give them cocktails. If you were there and confused as to why there was no photo that is the back story.
If you like this venue and are considering using for a Vail mountain wedding here are our other weddings at Donovan Pavilion.