Saturday, April 21, 2012

Take 2.

I know I once said I wish I had a backyard. I haven’t quite gotten over that, I guess.

In fact, my mom’s gchat message (yes, we gchat, a lot) the evening after she read that blog entry is still sticking to my brain and likely the seed that has grown into this post formerly known as “I wish I had a backyard.”

“You can always use our backyard at the farmhouse, you know.” Yeah, I know. If only the farmhouse wasn’t a full state of Nebraska, Iowa (can we please spend a moment thinking how absurd it is that Iowa is a place in which two women can get married? Iowa? really? Come on LGBT civil rights activists, couldn't we have prioritized anywhere else?*), Illinois and Indiana away. I really do want to get married here in Colorado. That being said, especially after continuing to look at vacation houses to rent, recreating a family friendly feeling backyard is not as organic as you might think (or not think).

the place we really like
I am a fan of, if you have never been, you should go. Vacation Rentals By Owner(s). I’ve mainly been looking at places in Estes Park and outside of Colorado Springs. I would LOVE to do it in Estes Park but it seems like places are significantly more expensive for no good reason. They also tend to be much more keen on doing the 6 night minimum stay during peak season and most places in the Springs are only 3 to 4 day minimums during peak season. 

There is this one place I absolutely love and we actually already looked at - it is within walking distance to town (Estes Park) and right on the river with this beautiful little spot in the back to do the ceremony - but to do the full stay of a week is way out of the budget. They have special things for weddings so you don't have to do a full week, but I am sure that since it is for a "wedding" the cost certainly won't go down, most likely. Nevertheless, there's hope! There are so many gorgeous little places and even if they don't sleep quite as many as I had once hoped, oh well! That's why god made air mattresses (and hotels), right? I mean, who wouldn't want to stay in the infamous Stanley Hotel (the Shining is based on it) and attend our big ol' party? Sign me up.
this is the area in the backyard of the place we
went and saw... I have a picture that I took, but
I can safely say that Estes Park in the summer
is a huge step up from Estes Park in February...
(it's on Fall River)

Then again, of course, we could just buy a house before next June that has a nice big backyard... but that's really not the same. A backyard in southeast Denver and a backyard overlooking Rocky Mountain National Park... hmm... tough choice when thinking about a wedding... RMNP, please. 

another option
This just got really fun! Not that is hasn't been, but actually emailing with hotels around reserving rooms and looking at cabins/lodges to do the ceremony at (and stay in) makes it so exciting - how do people not have the time of their life doing this?! I was worried about everyone finding places to stay in Estes Park because it is so small, but it turns out that there are like a billion little inns and hotels in Estes Park - none more than 2-3 miles away from each other. 

another place... elk are good, right?
I think I especially enjoy looking at actual "wedding" packages and reception sites (which I don't really want to use, but I think it's a good idea to know my options) when they have a "bride's name" and a "groom's name" place in the information/contact form. It always strikes me as odd that they would have this as such a staple part of their form, but I suppose it's fair. Honestly I'm not sure why it shocks me that it is there. I do enjoy pointing out that we are two brides. That's part of the reason I want to use the place on Fall River because it is owned by the couple that own the antique store where we bought our engagement rings. I feel like they really took away some of the anxiety I had around buying rings as two women at a ma-and-pop store and ended up being really awesome and supportive.

So, here it is. You know, I feel like places that up the charges when they hear the title of "wedding" really need to re-think that when it is two women. I mean, if we can't actually be legally married on your premises, you probably shouldn't charge us for it (or at least throw in a free tchotchke?). Consider that my PSA for the day. Deep.

I think I will especially enjoy finding out and sharing how this all works out - if only trying to have a "backyard wedding" when you don't have a backyard was easier. Maybe I should start a wedding planning service for mountain backyard weddings to help brides figure out the complications of all this? That would qualify as outside of education, most certainly. Hmmm...

Ideally I would love to find a cabin with a beautiful backyard that sleeps about 12-16 people comfortably. Then, have family and friends not in the wedding be able to stay in nearby cabins, inns, and hotels - none more than a mile or two away. The best part is how close we would be to Estes Park lake... which means a run of at least 3.75 miles the morning of the wedding for everyone involved. I am still hoping for at least a 10k or a half marathon for everyone to do (run, walk, bike, parade float, however you wish), but 3.75 miles is a starting point. We shall see what we end up with!

*Nothing against Iowa, really. Corn and cows are the heart of this fine nation. That being said, if one midwest state was going to legalize gay marriage, I could think of others that would be more alluring destination for the gay population of the midwest (+ Colorado).

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