Alexandra & Louis Ortiz
THE WEDDING OF THESE TWO U.S. ARMY OFFICERS WAS THE CULMINATION OF A ROMANCE THAT BEGAN ON THEIR FIRST DAY OF COLLEGE.
NOT EVERYONE CAN SAY that the events of their 18th birthday impacted the rest of their lives, but that was the day Alex first set foot on Duke University’s campus and the day she met her husband, Louis. However, after four years at school and in ROTC, the next chapter of the couple’s relationship was a long-distance affair. Alex was in medical school in Maryland (she’s now a newly minted Army doc), and Louis was in flight school becoming an Army medevac helicopter pilot in Alabama. They often spent weekends together and had scheduled one Fourth of July in Colorado with Alex’s family. “Little did I know,” Alex says, “Louis had actually flown in a day before to set up the proposal with my siblings.”
Undaunted by a lengthy flight delay, when Alex finally arrived at nearly midnight, Louis took her into the grape arbor in the garden of her parents’ house, which was lit up with twinkle lights and hanging baskets of flowers. Nearby was a table set with Champagne and tiramisu. “Before I knew it, he was down on his knee,” Alex says. “As soon as he put the ring on my finger, my family rushed out of the house. It was amazing.”
Schedules dictated a March wedding, and they decided on a mountain venue. “I grew up traveling to Aspen to visit family, so Snowmass and the Viceroy went to the top of our list because it is such a beautiful venue and there are multiple hotels within walking distance for guests,” Alex says. “We hadn’t planned on getting married on Snowmass Mountain originally, but when we learned it was an option to have the ceremony at the top of a gondola ride, we jumped at the chance.”
The ceremony honored Alex’s father’s Persian heritage and also included a Western ceremony, the two portions of the service officiated, respectively, by a dear friend and the bride’s brother. “It turned out just the way we wanted, and we even recited vows in Farsi in front of everyone,” Alex says. “Then my brother kept our guests alternating between laughing and crying for the rest of the ceremony.” The couple decided against a formal military wedding; their only regret was not having the traditional saber arch, so they were surprised when the wedding party did a ski pole arch as they entered the reception. “It was a really nice nod to a big part of our lives,” Alex says.
The reception itself was focused on the dance floor as both bride and groom come from big families that like to throw equally big parties. In addition, they are each the first child to get married (from, both families combined, 12 kids). “Family is by far the most important thing to us,” Alex says, “so to have them all right there after Louis and I became a family was such a special moment.”