Wednesday, September 2, 2009
We recently were married in Steamboat Springs (not legally, of course) at the Bella Vista Estate just outside of town. Many of our 60 guests were perplexed as to why we would choose Colorado and Steamboat Springs for our gay wedding. We traveled to Steamboat for the first time last year and fell in love with the charm of the city and the people we met. It did not take long for our guests to realize why we had chosen this spot.
The town has such an appreciation of nature and seeks to include and benefit from it as much as possible. From the hiking to fishing to ATV rides and skiing and snowboarding in the winter, Steamboat is truly one with nature. Yet, this really isn't the heart of Steamboat. The people impressed us more than the scenery.
Throughout the week, we were not shy about our reasons for being in Steamboat. We told our concierge at the Sheraton; our waiters and waitresses at the Tap House, Cafe Diva and bistro c.v.; the staff at the Bella Vista and many more and were greeted by such warm and welcoming responses. The staff at the Sheraton gave us Champagne on our wedding night. Our excellent waitresses at Cafe Diva and the Tap House were overjoyed when we told them and surprised us with complimentary desserts as well as their congratulations and excitement. Our photographer, Ken Wright, was the consummate professional both in his warmth, candor, friendship and enthusiasm. He was not shy in the least about his responsibility to capture the intimacy of the event without bias or judgment.
Ken and Donna at the Bella Vista were beyond gracious and even joined us for the event, showing their support for our union. Fireside Catering's Gregory Smith had an open-minded demeanor and sincerity that made our day as carefree and memorable as possible. He worked with us to make sure that the day was what we wanted and surprised us in the end with some nice unexpected touches.
Not only did we walk away from the event with great pictures, good memories, an excellent view and delicious food in our bellies, but we walked away with friendships that will bring us back to Steamboat again.
We were told during the week about the curse of the Yampa River and how we would never truly find happiness anywhere else. After the week that we had, we can honestly say that we have been cursed. Regardless of political opinions on the controversial subject, it was absolutely the perfect spot for us to get married and a place to which we will return.
To the people of Steamboat and those who were directly involved with our wedding, we are so thankful to you because you made us feel more than welcome - you made us feel at home. We could not have asked for a more magical and receptive weekend.
Zachary Linnert and Kevin Pease