Though Lindsay Bayer and Blake Shipp lived less than a couple of miles from one another in Dallas, Texas, it took a chance encounter at a commercial real estate conference in Las Vegas for the pair to meet. “Within two minutes of being introduced, I immediately gravitated to Lindsay,” shares the groom. “We hit it off and became fast friends,” remembers the bride. “Less than 24 hours after returning home, Blake asked me on a date and the rest is pretty much history.”
When choosing a site for their nuptials, Lindsay and Blake selected a picturesque ranch in Aspen, Colorado – a location that holds special significance for the couple. Not only did the groom propose while on a trip to Aspen, but the venue is located directly across the street from the bride’s family property. “[It’s] special that every morning when we wake up in our Aspen home we [can] look outside and see our wedding spot,” muses Lindsay. Since Blake grew up raising horses, he too felt the ranch location was the perfect place to say “I do.”
To help their destination wedding come to life, the duo enlisted the help of a team of talented professionals. “I was shocked by how fun and seamless the wedding planning process was thanks to my incredible mom, wedding planner Mary Wright Shah [of Diamond Affairs Special Events], and our incredible florist Lucy Diaz, the owner of Bella Flora [of Dallas],” extols the bride. “[They] made every dream come true.”
As the sun began to set behind the mountains, 175 guests gathered in an open-sided tent with 360-degree views of the surrounding natural landscape for the ceremony. In lieu of a traditional guest book, loved ones left well wishes for the couple on a striking slab of polished wood before finding their seats atop white-washed wooden chairs with light grey pashminas draped over the backs. Lanterns adorned with lush greenery as well as ivory hydrangeas and orchids lined the alabaster aisle runner, which was embellished with the couple’s custom monogram featuring an antler motif.
As Lindsay walked down the aisle to meet her groom beneath a striking chuppah composed of antlers and a canopy of vanilla orchids, Blake was overcome with emotion. “A feeling of such great happiness came over me and tears of cheerful emotion started pouring down my face,” he says. “It was a feeling that I will never forget.” Since the bride was raised Jewish and the groom Catholic, they chose to exchange vows in a traditional Jewish ceremony that included a blessing from a local priest.
Following the heartfelt service, guests enjoyed Champagne from a bar crafted out of ice offering garnishes including fresh lavender, sliced apples, pomegranate seeds, blackberries, sliced peaches, and strawberries. Cocktail hour took place in a Native American-inspired space featuring a wall crafted of moss and succulents as well as lounge areas featuring a variety of furniture in tufted, leather, and hide-upholstered styles. A teepee bar provided libations, and two additional teepees decorated with hides, Ralph Lauren fabrics, and candles offered full bathroom services to guests.
Attendees found their seating assignments on place cards featuring a wax seal and gilt calligraphy displayed on a barnwood wall with shelves holding candles and succulents. Entering the barn for the reception, they discovered a rustic-chic scene with twinkling lights overhead. Centerpieces alternated between tall glass vases brimming with ivory hydrangeas and orchids and low designs of moss-covered driftwood next to antlers, vanilla blooms, and sparkling geodes. Dark candles, gilt flatware, and menu cards with the couple’s monogram and a laser-cut antler design completed the tablescapes.
In addition to the culinary aspects of the day – “Every food offering had a direct correlation to a favorite restaurant or dish that Lindsay and I enjoy together,” notes Blake – the entertainment was a key component of the evening. “At times I would scan the room and saw people dancing that have not danced in 20 years,” he shares. As the band took breaks, an electric violinist delighted revelers on the black glass dance floor, which was placed beneath a striking chandelier made of antlers and cascading orchids.
For dessert, guests enjoyed slices of a green-tea wedding cake featuring six round tiers adorned with cascading orchids and geode-inspired crystals, which covered the bottom layer. Personalized boxes filled with artisan chocolates from a local Dallas chocolatier served as favors, and before the last few songs, “we passed out pre-rolled joints filled with Colorado’s finest herbs on a beautiful Jan Barboglio tray – it is legal in Colorado after all,” smiles the bride. “Let’s just say our guests are still talking about our favors.”
The newlyweds agree they wouldn’t change a single thing about their wedding day. “Everywhere I looked, there was something new for me to see that Lindsay created,” the groom expresses of his support of her planning decisions. He offers grooms the following advice: “Leave it all to your wife! She really knows what is best.” Lindsay reveals her favorite moments were “seeing how emotional Blake was throughout the weekend… He cried tears of joy at every turn. I found it very sexy and incredibly sweet.”