A chance meeting at a friend’s Halloween party changed the course of Jennifer Bush and Chris Downers’ lives forever. “We met a few months before COVID,” Jennifer says. “Chris moved to Boston for a job that January, and when COVID happened in March, we met up at my parent’s house in Colorado. We ended up spending the better part of a year there.” Living through the uncertainty of a global pandemic strengthened their relationship—Chris decided to pop the question on a family trip to Africa.
The hunt for a wedding venue was quick, as the couple had an idyllic location right in the Bushes’ backyard. “We spent much of our early relationship out in the mountains around Edwards, Colorado. We really wanted the beautiful scenery and outdoors to be the backdrop for the day. So, we tried to make everything we brought in complement the venue,” the bride explains. “We wanted the natural beauty of Eaton Ranch to shine and for people to fall in love with the mountains just as we had.”
The sweethearts worked closely with their vendor team to design their dream July wedding day. Gemini Event Planning was hired to organize the wedding, while Enjoué Studio was responsible for the decor and design. “We wanted everything to be very neutral!” Jennifer shares. “Everything was beige and white, and we used natural materials. We wanted it to feel like a part of the ranch and for the lighting and general vibe to feel cozy and intimate.”
The ceremony space was nestled amongst the ample Aspen trees and decorated so as not to detract from the environment. Small baskets of white blooms and greenery lined the rustic aisle and led to a ceremony arch adorned with the same arrangements. The groom’s parents, dressed in vibrant attire, escorted their son down the aisle. Chris sported a light-and-sleek gray suit with a simple ivory boutonniere. Bridesmaids in multi-colored, floral gowns followed behind, carrying bouquets of different wildflowers. The bride’s gown expertly represented her personal style. “I wanted something very simple, timeless and comfortable. We didn’t want anything over the top or overly formal because that’s not our personality.”
The “I dos” were heartfelt and genuine. “Vows were one of the most important parts of the wedding to us,” explains Jennifer. “We love going to weddings and hearing personal vows about why the couple is in love and what makes their relationship so special.” Following the ceremony, the newlyweds ensured they took a few moments to themselves. “The most special part of the day was spending time, just Chris and I, right after the ceremony. It felt very surreal and magical to be in this natural clearing in an Aspen grove surrounded by all of our people.”
Attendees adjourned to the tented reception space to enjoy cocktails, dinner and lively dancing. Upon walking under the archway featuring ample greenery, guests found their seats. Rattan chandeliers in various sizes hung from the ceiling above long and round tables. Simple wood table numbers rested amongst ornate glassware, and tulle runners stretched across wood tables beneath arrangements of white blossoms and glass-encased candles. With friends and family by their sides, the new Mr. and Mrs. were able to dance the night away, celebrating their marriage in an incredibly magical setting.
After their big day, Jennifer and Chris have some advice for future brides and grooms when it comes to planning their weddings. “Make sure the day, the surrounding, the flow, the things you decide to include, not include, feel like you!” they both stress. “I think guests love feeling the energy of the couple. The most important part of your wedding is making the day really authentic to who you both are.”