Do you remember going to camp and never wanting to leave? Or making some of your best friends in just a few days? That was this wedding. Rich and Jess dreamed up one of the most fun, nostalgic and unique weddings I’ve ever been part of! This multi-day event was full of field day games, a high-class western rehearsal dinner, and an emotionally filled ceremony.
In June 2021, 40 of Rich and Jess’s closest friends and family adventured to Dunton Hot Springs for the wedding weekend of a lifetime. Nestled deep in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies, Dunton Hot Springs became an oasis and “summer camp” for this couple and their guests. About an hour south of Telluride, even getting to this location was an experience in and of itself. They rented the entirety of Dunton Hot Springs and made it their own for the weekend!
DAY ONE – DAY // CAMP DUNTON
The first day consisted of a series of field-day-type games and activities. Jess took the role of Camp Counselor/Cheerleader/Gamemaster extraordinaire while Rich played all the games and rallied everyone together. Most guests attending hadn’t met each other before, but by the end of Camp Dunton games, through their wins and losses, it was as if everyone had known one another for years! Strangers became family as they came together to compete, laugh, and celebrate Jess and Rich!
The guests took advantage of the views and activities that Dunton Hot Springs offered. Every day was full of hiking, soaking in hot springs, and eating some of the most delicious food on earth. Think “summer camp” but luxurious and boujiee.
DAY ONE – NIGHT // A WESTERN AFFAIR
Jess and Rich wanted a western-themed rehearsal dinner and everyone exceeded their expectations. Every guest went out of their way to bring an outfit that would make any cowboy jealous. At one point in the evening, Jess took over the mic and introduced each guest in attendance. When a name/s were called, she directed them to stand up and dance around the room while she announced where they were from and a fun fact about them! This was one of the most intentional and lively rehearsal dinners I’ve been part of. Jess had such an electric and contagious energy that caused everyone in the room to engage with one another and have one of the best nights of their lives. She truly was the life of the party!
After dinner was served and everyone mingled on the property, an impromptu concert was held as 4 guests and the groom started singing acapella on the porch. It felt like a real-life western movie!
DAY TWO – DAY // CEREMONY MAGIC
At the start of day two, magic was in the air as both Jess and Rich prepared for their ceremony in just a few hours. Each party got ready in one of the unique buildings in Dunton Hot Springs. The Groomsmen got dressed in the Library that was covered with books and vintage furniture, while the Bridal Party opted for a quaint log cabin covered in artwork! Every piece of artwork on the property was carefully curated by the owners. There was meaning and history behind any piece of art on the walls!
That afternoon, Jess met Rich under their beautiful wooden pergola for the ceremony. Tears were falling from more than just the groom’s eyes as Jess floated down the aisle for their first look. The vows shared prolonged the tears and everyone in attendance could feel the magic and love in the air! Even after all the games and western fun, this was the real reason everyone was there. The love and commitment between Jess and Rich are what brought everyone here, and this was the moment they had been waiting for.
Following the ceremony, the couple and I adventured around the property for the best photo locations. One of my favorites was the waterfall ON site. As the water cascaded down the cliffside, Jess and Rich were able to take a minute by themselves to take it all in. They were married! Our next location was outside the Teepee at Dunton Hot Springs. Every venue should have its own Teepee in my personal opinion.
DAY TWO – NIGHT // DANCE PARTY
After running around the property for photos, it was time to party! Everything about the reception was elegant and simple. Nothing was over the top, but everything was lovely, just like the couple. They didn’t need crystal chandeliers or giant floral arrangements. Their loved ones were decoration enough to make the room full of color, light, and love. The relationships formed over the last couple of days overtook the room with joy! This couple was not about being showy, they were all about relationships and connection to the people around them.
The meal could have come straight from a 5-star restaurant! Everything Dunton Hot Springs does is excellent and top tier.
When the dance floor opened up, many people opted to change into something a little more comfortable, including the Bride! Rocking a matching sweatsuit and her flitter boots, Jess DJ’d the whole party from her phone. Even with just 40 guests, everyone was full of energy and went crazy! At one point, they were surrounded by sparklers and dancing under the moon and the mountains.
It happened to be one of their best friend’s birthdays that day, and the couple wanted to celebrate him with a grilled cheese sandwich topped with a candle. If there’s one thing this couple does best, it’s loving their people well!
This multi-day wedding in the middle of nowhere became one of the most intentional and delightful experiences I’ve ever had. It was unlike anything I’ve seen the way Jess and Rich prioritized the relationship between their guests and made sure every day was filled with intentionality. Dunton Hot Springs was the perfect canvas for them to paint their dream wedding. I want to also give a huge shoutout to the wedding planners for this event! They absolutely crushed it! Love This Day Events made sure every detail was taken care of.