real weddings

Alese & Chris Deans
Real Weddings: Jill and Ryan Kronberg

Long-distance love finds a home to wed at Spruce Mountain Ranch.

By Alison Roth

When Alese, born and raised in La kewood, met Chris through mutual friends, they knew they discovered something special. Chris, a Nebraska native, was attending college in his home state, and he quickly began making trips back and forth to visit Alese on the weekends. “Distance was a huge blessing in disguise because we had to be very intentional about being in contact,” says Alese. “I think we ended up getting a lot closer than if we’d been living in the same place.”

After eight months of dating, Chris took Alese to Washington Park for a picnic and proposal. “I surprised her, which is very difficult to do,” says Chris, who had a videographer hiding nearby to capture the moment. “Chris had all these foods that represented moments in our relationship,” says Alese. “Once I started seeing that it was more than a standard picnic, I caught on.” After Alese said yes, they celebrated with a BBQ with friends.

It was an easy decision to choose Sarah Flanagan, of Pink Paisley Event Design, as their wedding planner. “I’ve known her since I was in first grade!” says Alese. And Sarah helped Alese and Chris plan their wedding for the next fall. “Alese was a very laid-back bride and didn’t get stressed out about everything,” says Chris. “She had this image in her mind of a rustic wedding, so Spruce Mountain Ranch was perfect.”

One major concern for this couple was their menu, because Alese doesn’t consume gluten. “Tony’s, our caterer, was able to make everything gluten-free, so I didn’t have to avoid anything,” says Alese. “During cocktail hour, we had a popcorn bar with different seasonings, which was fun for guests.” Alese and Chris opted out of a cake cutting, choosing a donut bar outside. “We found a little, local bakery called Beet Box Bakery that specializes in vegan baked goods, so they made us gluten-free donut holes,” says Alese. “People loved them.”

On the wedding day, Alese got ready with her bridesmaids while Chris and his groomsmen played horseshoes and hung out in Spruce Mountain’s cigar room. “It was supposed to rain on us,” says Chris. “Alese was adamant about doing the ceremony outside, and it ended up not raining a bit. The sun popped out and everybody was happy.” When it came time for the ceremony, Chris was extremely nervous. “I was nervous being in front of so many people, and we didn’t do a first look, so I saw her for the first time when she walked down the aisle.” Chris’s nerves were quickly calmed, and the couple spent their wedding day enjoying time with their family and friends. “There were some small hiccups, but Chris and I made it a priority to focus on our future marriage during wedding planning, rather than our wedding day,” says Alese. “That took a lot of pressure off the actual wedding and made it a great day to celebrate with family and friends,” Chris says. “It was really special to have all our friends and family in one place,” he says. “Who knows when you’ll get a group together like that again?”

Now newlyweds, Alese and Chris live in Nebraska while Chris attends medical school, but they fondly look back on their time together in Colorado.

The Details

Planner: Sarah Flanagan with Pink Paisley Events
Photographer: Will & Stacey
Venue: Spruce Mountain Ranch
Dress : The Wedding Seamstress
Florals: Thorn Creek Flowers
Bakery: Beet Box Bakery
Music: DJ Maestro
Makeup: Makeup by Heather
Hair: Nicole Espy
Real Weddings: Jill and Ryan Kronberg