Mountain Mayhem: An autumn wedding in Aspen |

Mountain Mayhem: An autumn wedding in Aspen

May Selby
Mountain Mayhem

Last fall, Karen Morian and Geoffrey Smith of Aspen, who both share a passion for golf, got engaged on the 18th hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. They began planning their wedding — little did they know the world would soon change and their wedding plans would, too. They sent save-the-dates in April of 2020 for an Oct. 3, 2020, wedding in Aspen at the Smuggler Mine. As they sealed the save-the-dates in the spring, Karen contemplated the reality of having a fall wedding. They opted to be hopeful and dropped them in the mail.

“We had a fairly large guest list — all of our friends and family from across the globe. We just wanted to share the gorgeous views of Aspen from Smuggler and have a party to celebrate. We hired a great band out of Denver, and were so excited to dance the night away. “As things continue to stay shut down, and, in fact, as more and more states tightened their restrictions on travel and business, we started to think twice about what might come with plan B (and C and D and E). We decided right away that we were going to get married on Oct. 3 no matter what — even if it meant signing our own certificate at City Hall.”

They scaled back to a simple ceremony and luncheon with immediate family this fall and also sent out “Change of Plans” postcards for a summer of 2021 party with their original guest list. So on Oct. 3, a gorgeous Aspen day, they said their vows at the Grottos, setting up a few chairs, adding beautiful decor from Sashae, and invited their nieces to sprinkle fallen yellow aspen leaves down the aisle. A reception followed at a private residence with lunch prepared by Chef Adam Norwig complemented by “Champagne, great company, sunshine and gorgeous views overlooking the entire valley.”

“To me, everything was just perfect,” Karen shared. “As a Type A bride, I tried really hard not to over plan the day. I knew that the key to happiness would be to keep it simple and go with the flow. That’s one way that I’ve had to shift into being a ‘COVID bride’ — things just aren’t normal right now, and for me there was no sense in trying to force things into normalcy.”

For the happy couple, highlights included the many personal touches such as the groom’s heirloom wedding band (previously worn by the bride’s grandfather), the bride’s ring engraved on the inside with the groom’s fingerprint and the bride’s veil (which was handed down from her mother). Their siblings also were involved in the ceremony, including the groom’s sister Lauren as officiant. Their dog, Tucker, wore a bowtie and was an important part of the ceremony.

They’re pausing on a proper honeymoon and instead taking a mini-moon this month to Lake Powell then Sedona and Scottsdale, Arizona. “I’m insistent that this is just a ‘mini-moon’ and not the actual honeymoon, so none of my co-workers are surprised when I ask for their help covering for me again!” said the bride with a smile.