Wine and Nosh 2015

Spruce Mountain Ranch’s Annual “Wine and Nosh” Bridal Show, hosted by Sarah Viera, is always a wonderful event! Brides are able to meet potential wedding vendors and watch a stunning bridal fashion show from Something New Boutique. For those unable to attend the event, or those wanting to relive the experience, we have featured the vendors and their booths in this year’s “Wine and Nosh” blog!


The floral displays were simply stunning! They all displayed various 2015 wedding trends, including a mix of subtle and bold-colored flowers, earthy elements, wooden elements, and the “organic industrial” look. If the displays at Wine and Nosh are an indication of the florals to come this wedding season, we are very excited for the season to begin!

-Sunflower Creative-


The beautiful display by this florist featured delicate white and baby pink flowers with the added touch of metallic and antlers. This unique twist is perfect for a Colorado ranch wedding as it uses both feminine and outdoors elements!

-Newberry Brothers-

*(303) 322-0443/

The Newberry Brothers used soft white roses paired with bold pops of raspberry roses and pink peonies. The contrast between subtle and bright is a 2015 floral wedding trend. The use of aspen branches and candles adds the perfect woodsy touch to the stunning flowers.

-The Garden Path-

*(303) 688-8019/

The Garden Path prides themselves on their floral arrangements with a European touch. Their use of sweet succulents, delicate roses, and bright pops of color make for the perfect “English garden” touch to any wedding or event. Owner Karen Novotny has been in business for 23 years and was a European-trained floral arranger for mountain and destination weddings. Not only will she ensure that the flowers for your wedding are perfect, but she is also an excellent wedding planner.

-Southern Charm Weddings and Events-

*(719) 360-1711/

Southern Charm specializes in event rentals, floral decorations, and décor. Their booth featured a beautiful display that was both southern chic and Colorado rustic. Their elegant and yet outdoorsy pieces would be perfect for a Spruce Mountain Ranch wedding.


*(303) 500-3822/

Yonder featured a large wooden farm table covered with bold, beautiful flowers! The contrast between the bright centerpieces and ivory place settings was feminine and lovely.


Spruce Mountain Ranch works with some of the best caterers from both Denver and Colorado Springs. Three of them were featured at Wine and Nosh this year, and any of the three would be a perfect choice for your ranch wedding!

-Biscuits and Berries-


Biscuits and Berries Catering offers not only a composed and excellent staff, but also unique and delicious food for any event. For Wine and Nosh, they prepared slow-smoked short ribs with black soy barbeque glaze and a vegetable garnish. They also featured Rocky Mountain Redbird Farm Chicken with a crispy corn cake topped with a poblano slaw. Both were exceptionally tender and flavorful! Their two desserts for the event were Baked Alaska with maple budino and grapefruit, and a beet meringue topped with honey goat cheese and walnuts. Their friendly and dazzling staff, paired with their wonderful food, make for the perfect wedding-day catering choice!

-Catering By Design-


Catering by Design offers a wide variety of dinner packages for events! For the show, they featured their bacon-wrapped-bacon appetizer, a roasted brussel sprout salad, and pecan-smoked salad! Their yummy food and friendly staff make for the perfect wedding!



Epicurean has been a prominent caterer in the Denver area for 32 years. Their chef, Jenna, is an expert in food innovation. Her goal is to create fresh and unique dishes with immense flavor. For their main dishes, they featured juicy Colorado steak, traditional wedge salad, and biscuits. Their desserts were Italian budino and custard. Epicurean’s innovative style and delightful staff are sure to make for a memorable Spruce Mountain Ranch wedding!

Photographers + Videographers:

-All Digital Studios-

* (303) 494-2320/

All Digital Studios, photographer and videographer, takes “picture with personality from people with personality.” They recently celebrated 15 years of business, and they did the photography for our very own Tara Ames’ wedding! They make sure that they always have a male and female photographer at each wedding.

In addition to traditional wedding photography, they feature a photo booth and slow-motion video booth (they post the clips online and send the couple a collection of clips). Their goal is to make the day fun and to take candid and photojournalistic photos in addition to regular wedding photos.

They also do videography, and send a full-length edited DVD to the bride and groom, and post a highlight film online!

-Jamie Smith Photography-

*(719) 434-0707/

Jamie Smith won Wedding Wire’s “Bride’s Choice Awards” for preferred photographer in 2013! Her lovely photographs are sure to capture all the special moments of your big day!

-Amanda Lamb Photography-

* (719) 648-2152/

Amanda Lamb is a “Sentimental photographer for sassy couples!” Amanda has done multiple weddings at Spruce Mountain Ranch, and never fails to capture beautiful moments!

-Mares Productions-

*(303) 918-7725/

Mares Productions focuses on Cinema video and “telling the story of the couple.” They are both trendy-traditional and thematic. They gave away popcorn at their booth.

-Sarah Roshan Wedding Photographer-

*(303) 905-9740/

Sarah Roshan’s photography style is self-described as “Romantic Mountain Weddings for Carefree Couples.” This photography company is available around the world for outdoor and mountain weddings!


Having the perfect wedding cake is a crucial element to any wedding. Thankfully, three excellent bakeries brought their yummy treats to Wine and Nosh for brides to sample and choose from!

-Sugar Plum Cake Shoppe and Bakery-

* (719) 930-3343/

The Sugar Plum Cake Shoppe and Bakery is the perfect cake company for anyone seeking a unique wedding cake design! They can do anything from elegant flowers to rustic chalkboard cakes!

-The Bundt Shoppe-

*(303) 422-8638 (Castle Pines); (303) 798- 4145/

The Bundt Shoppe specializes in delicious Bundt cakes and cupcakes, which are the perfect unique touch for any wedding!

-Gold Mine Cupcakes-

*(720) 722-0371/

Gold Mine Cupcakes featured their wedding white and turtle cupcakes, which were fabulous! They offer free tastings and will come to you! They are located in Golden, Colorado, and feature over 20 cupcake flavors, which are sure to dazzle guests.


Having the perfect event rentals can add the perfect touch to any wedding, and is an excellent way to personalize a reception!

-Anna’s Custom Pews-

*(719) 499-6307/

Anna’s Custom Pews features beautiful handmade vintage-style church pews made from Colorado “beetle board.” These unique and elegant benches look beautiful in any venue, but especially outdoors at Spruce Mountain Ranch. Anna’s Custom Pews also rents lanterns, blankets, pillows, hay bales, flower holders, and a stunning wooden aisle for the bride to walk down.


Having an expert wedding planner is the most important part of creating a dream wedding. Any of the planners featured at Wine and Nosh would make for an excellent choice!

-Sarah Viera Events-

*(719) 358-3998/

The lovely Sarah Viera is near and dear to us at Spruce Mountain Ranch! She is a phenomenal planner with an excellent staff, in addition to being the host of Wine and Nosh! Her booth featured beautiful place settings and beautiful flowers, although this event as a whole was her creation!

-Ashley Nicole Events-


Ashley Nicole Events are an excellent team of wedding planners who will be sure to make any event a success! Their booth featured a contrast between glamour and rustic styles. Newberry Brothers did their floral centerpiece, and Yonder House provided their china and tableware. In lieu of place cards, they featured miniature cakes with guest names written on them! Ashley Nicole Events gave away pears in little bags as a guest favor.

-Events With Altitude-

*(303) 523-4174/

Events With Altitude is an up-and-coming wedding and event planning business, run by Spruce Mountain Ranch’s own Jen Haar! Jen is an excellent day-of coordinator who specializes in outdoor Colorado weddings! Events With Altitude gave away antique keys as a guest favor to remind brides that they are the “key to a perfect wedding!”

-Design Works Events-


Whether an affair is simple or elaborate, Design Works Events can make any dream wedding or event a reality. Not only did they design these two beautiful tables, but they helped with the décor of Wine and Nosh as a whole!

Makeup Artists:

-Magnifica Bella (Cynthia Mazzara)-

*(720) 376-1866/

Wedding makeup artist Cynthia Mazzara is an excellent choice to achieve the perfect bridal look. Not only does she work with multiple Spruce Mountain Ranch brides, but she also did the makeup of the bridal show models!


DJs help to maintain the energy of a crowd and to keep the party going all night long! Choosing the right one for your wedding is important to keep the fun going!

-Elite DJ-

*(303) 422-3218/

For a DJ who also does lighting and décor for weddings and events, call Elite DJ!

-FUNction Pro DJ & Event Services-

*(719) 645-9800/

If you want a great DJ who will make sure your guests are having a wonderful time the whole evening through, book with FUNction!


Finding the perfect wedding dress is the most important part of completing a bride’s look. Thankfully, we had the honor of hosting a wonderful boutique at Wine and Nosh that is sure to help every bride find their dream gown!

-Something New Boutique-

*(719) 282-6500/

Something New Boutique put on the beautiful bridal fashion show at Wine and Nosh! This show featured their exclusive Divina line, designed by owner Mindy Linscombe. Their store is located in the north area of Colorado Springs, and is what Mindy describes as the place “where [we make sure that] the girl comes before the dress!” Their store also donates a portion of their proceeds to Sak-Saum, a non-profit organization that recues women from human trafficking and gives them a new life.

Mindy recently wrote a book to help brides choose the perfect wedding dress, called Secrets of Wedding Dress Shopping. If you are in need of a wedding gown, make an appointment with Something New Boutique!

Travel Agencies:

-Gateway to Magic Travel-

If you are seeking a travel agency to assist in planning your honeymoon, consider Gateway to Magic! Not only are they experts who will ensure that your experience is one you’ll never forget, but they also donate 10% of commission from booked trips to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Beverage Caterers:

-Peak Beverage-

Peak Beverage is not only the sole beverage service that Spruce Mountain Ranch uses, but it is also fabulous! Their affordable pricing and highly trained staff will ensure a wonderful evening! They offered wine tastings at Wine and Nosh with wine experts for consultation. Their staff also sampled the slow-motion video booth from All-Digital studios!


-Limousine Services, Inc.-

*(719) 634-8119

This beautiful 1959 Rolls Royce was brought by Silver Cloud Car! This was the car used at our very own Tara Ames’ wedding- we loved having this vintage beauty at Wine and Nosh!

Wedding Trends of 2015:

With the new wedding season in 2015 come new trends for the year. We at Spruce Mountain Ranch have asked a few of our favorite wedding planners to share what they anticipate the most popular wedding elements for this year will be. We have interviewed Nicole Cruse from Ashley Nicole Events, Kerri Butler from A Touch of Bliss, and Casey Muller from Pink Diamond Events, and they have been kind enough to share their thoughts with us!

Trends for 2015:

1. Kerri Butler, A Touch of Bliss, shares that one thing becoming more popular this season is the “Organic Industrial style– we have seen a merging of the natural styling of greenery and hard metals, orbs, and such in wedding design. It works so beautifully in rustic venues, such as Spruce Mountain Ranch.”

2. Kerri also anticipates that another recurring element in the 2015 season will be “Alternative ways to wear floral – out with the traditional bouquet. Brides and bridesmaids are donning arm bracelets that drip to the floor because they are full of floral and ribbon, hair garlands, and even sashes of flowers worn like a pashmina!”

3. Another rustic décor item that seems to be emerging more commonly this year is “Wood, wood, and more wood,” Butler shares. “Colorado couples are embracing the availability of wooden farm tables, wooden chairs, wooden chuppahs, and more! Rustic is here to stay, and décor and rental companies are following suit!

4. The final wedding trend that Kerri predicts will only continue to grow is the use of food trucks. She says that, “Food trucks are even bigger this year! Bringing a food truck to your reception, or having one for a late night snack is very hot! From tacos to ice cream, couples love for their guests to be served truck-side!”

5. Nicole Cruse of Ashley Nicole Events shares the next trend for 2015. She explains that, “The biggest trend that we’re looking at for 2015 is about incorporating elements from our couples’ homes or their families’ homes. Pictures of parents, grandparents, and other important family members are always a nice personal touch to honor those support systems in a couple’s lives, but now couples are taking it one step further. Maybe it’s having a family member’s saddle strung over the banister of the stairwell, or utilizing a family Bible in the service. Other things we’re seeing are pieces of artwork made by family members used as décor. Also, specific bottles of wine that families have celebrated Christmases and Thanksgivings with are popping up on Peak Beverage’s orders for the wedding day table-service. It’s the same idea of personalizing a couple’s wedding day, but instead of cocktail napkins with the couple’s names and wedding date on them, it’s physical items from their homes and lives that they want to share with their guests.”

6. Cruse also explains that technology is playing an increasingly important role in weddings. She shares that, “Hash tags are still going strong as a part of weddings, but a new spin is tagging to the hash tag throughout the planning process with “teasers.” Snippet pictures of a bride’s shoes, or a photo of the couple getting their marriage license are some of the first tags we’re seeing on couples’ wedding hash tags. From a planner’s perspective, this is super fun, because we get to share in a couple’s excitement, not only about their wedding day, but also about the planning process. I love that it helps to build up the anticipation for the big day, and it helps get a couple’s guests excited for what they will be a part of.”

7. Finally, Nicole shares her anticipation about the colors for 2015 weddings. She explains that, “One of the trends that I’m really excited about in 2015 are the upcoming color palettes. Seemingly, 2014 was all about pastels, neutrals, and creams with warm mixed metals, tarnished silvers, and antique golds. I’m really excited to see these carried through to 2015, but elevated. We’re seeing these light colors as the base for a palette, but with the introduction of pops of deep, bold jewel-toned colors. For example, last year we saw a lot of loose, organic and whimsical bouquets with ivory garden roses, blush pink peonies, gray dusty miller, curly willow, pink coffee berries, white hydrangea, and such. This year, I think we will see this as well, but maybe with an added burgundy mum to the more subtle tones. I love how much dimension and depth these darker colors add to bouquets, centerpieces, and other floral displays.”

8. Casey Muller of Pink Diamond Events also shares her thoughts on upcoming color trends in 2015. She explains that the palettes for this year will be a continuation of last year’s colors, including “weddings with gold and metallic,” which were also very popular in 2014.

9. Muller also shares that wedding themes based off of other countries and cultures will grow in popularity this season. She anticipates more Italian-themed weddings will happen to follow suit with George Clooney’s Italian nuptials. She also expects to see more French-countryside style weddings emerging this season.

10. The next trend that Casey shared with us is in relation to wedding gowns. She anticipates seeing more wedding dresses with long sleeves, as well as more gowns with illusion-style backs. The dress is such an important part of the wedding day, and new trends in this area are always exciting!

11. Muller also explains that large statement pieces at weddings are growing in popularity, such as something “like a large flower wall.” These elements will certainly add something special to a wedding reception!

12. Finally, Casey Muller shares that the place of food and alcohol in a reception is changing to fit the large microbrewery culture in Colorado. She explains that at cocktail hours, “Miniature home-style appetizers will be paired with microbrew drinks (think mini grilled cheese with a porter-style beer as a pair.)”

** A warm, Spruce Mountain Ranch “thank you” to:

-Kerri Butler, A Touch of Bliss:, 720-560-6506

-Nicole Cruse, Ashley Nicole Events:, 651-319-2660

-Casey Muller, Pink Diamond Events:, 970-692-1645

** We at Spruce Mountain Ranch so appreciate the advice of these wonderful women, and encourage anyone seeking a wedding planner to contact them!

** To see more of these beautiful trends in action at Spruce Mountain Ranch, please visit:

Spruce Mountain Proposal Stories: Part 3

We at Spruce Mountain Ranch are kicking off the New Year of 2015 the right way—with our 3rd and final edition of our “Spruce Mountain Ranch Proposal Stories Blog.” We know that you’ll enjoy these final heartwarming stories as much as we did!

Story #7 ~

*This story was submitted by Rebecca Fox’s Fiancé, Owen:

“We had been planning this day for about 2 months. I had met Sara, the photographer who would help me surprise Becca and capture the moment, at Red Rocks to go over location, direction, sunlight, and what clothes I would be wearing so Becca could spot me. The planning helped calm my nerves a bit because we had mapped out to almost the minute where I needed to be. We even had a back up location depending on sunlight that day.

About a week before I was going to propose, it was the hardest-kept secret in the world. Almost all our family and friends knew that this wouldn’t be a normal Red Rocks workout, but everyone did an amazing job of keeping it from Becca.

On the day of the proposal, I think I drove about 40 mph on 470 towards Red Rocks because I did not want to mess up our time line. Once we arrived, I could barely speak. Becca was asking why we parked where we did, and why I needed to run with a backpack on, to which I didn’t have the greatest responses. Once I saw Sara, I knew it was on. We started jogging around the stands, but my heart was racing for other reasons. I wasn’t sure which place to propose because it was a little overcast and I couldn’t remember which location she wanted.

I decided to go to the top where we originally had planned. Becca was confused why I had to take a break in the middle of the stands as I was fumbling through my camelback looking for the ring. Right as she looked away I grabbed her by the hand and got down on one knee.

She looked a bit confused at first, but once people started cheering and I began the little speech I had prepared, she realized what was going on. I was so glad Sara was able to capture such an important moment for Becca and I. I introduced her to Sara afterwards and we began taking pictures around Red Rocks. Becca had no idea there was another surprise waiting.

After Sara left, I stalled as best I could by pretending I left my water bottle behind, and then tying my shoes really slow. As we walked down to the bottom of the hill, I tried to stay on her left side so she would not see the tent of people waiting for us until we walked down the hill.

I will never forget the sound of all our friends and family cheering for us as we walked down the hill. This was one of the happiest moments of my life and I was so happy to be able to give this memory to my future wife.”

* Rebecca Fox and Owen Foley tie the knot at Spruce Mountain Ranch on September 12th, 2015! *

Story #8 ~

*This next story was submitted by bride Sara Snyder:

“For Christmas, Patrick got me a gift certificate to Burke Williams for a massage and a manicure and said that my best friend, Katie, was getting the same thing from her husband, so we were going to have a girls’ day at the spa.  This is when I first became suspicious that he might propose because I never get my nails done. Patrick had also told me that we would be going to dinner after the spa, so he said that he would pick me up at 7 and that I should wear a dress. A couple weeks later, Katie and I have our spa day and I tell her that I think Patrick is going to propose that night. She says, “Really? You think he would propose on a Sunday? You guys wouldn’t have any time to celebrate!” I thought this was a good point, and figured I was just over-thinking the whole situation.

Patrick comes to pick me up for dinner that night, and he is dressed to the nines with even a handkerchief in his coat pocket and cuff links! He wouldn’t tell me where we were going to dinner, so of course I ask a million questions, but he gives me no hints. We end up having dinner at the Pelican Hill Resort, which is an amazing hotel in Newport Beach, CA overlooking the ocean. Patrick and I had a lovely dinner, with great conversation as always. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He was acting completely normal. We finished dinner, but before we left, I went to the bathroom and took my purse with me, which I never do, but I had to text Katie. I told her that I totally over analyzed the situation, he didn’t propose, and we were about to head home. Patrick and I get back in the car and he says that we should quickly check out the rest of the resort and maybe grab a drink. We drive to another part of the resort, get out and start walking. He’s telling me what a cool place this is and that we should stay here sometime. We start walking by rooms and we stop in front of one and he says, “You know what? We are actually staying here tonight.” My first response is, “What? What about work tomorrow?!” He informs me that he’s been in contact with my boss and that I have the next day off. Then I ask him about my dog Zoe. He says that he left a key under my mat and that Katie has dognapped her for the evening. We walk into this amazing room, there is music playing, a fire burning in the fireplace, candles everywhere and chilled champagne. Patrick says, “Lets have some champagne,” and we walk over to the table where it is chilling. Well, apparently the hotel thought he was going to propose before we got in the room because they had left a card on the table that said, “To the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Haedtler.” When Patrick sees the card, he laughs and says, “Well I guess the cat is out of the bag!” He sits me down, gives me a card and a book that he has made filled with pictures of many adventures we’ve had over the last two years. The last picture in the book was a picture of a ring box. I look over at him and he is down on one knee proposing. And of course I said yes!

The next day he says that we should go back to my place and straighten up a bit because we are going to have company over and then go out to dinner. I ask who is coming over, but of course he won’t tell me. By the time we get home and clean a little bit, I am starving. I’m begging that we go to our favorite Mexican restaurant for a taco, and he keeps telling me that we’ll go in a few minutes. I can’t understand why we just can’t go, but then there is a knock on my door, I answer it and my dad is standing there!  Patrick had flown him out from Colorado so he could join us in celebration. I am super close to my dad, so this was a great surprise. I think I screamed so loud that my neighbors were probably wondering what was going on. That night we went out to a lovely dinner and when we got there, Katie (who had been in on the whole proposal, was there with her husband to help us celebrate). I told her that she deserved an Academy Award for her award-winning performance!

I couldn’t have dreamed for a more perfect proposal. Patrick thought of every little detail, and this is something that always brings a smile to face when I think back to that night. We can’t wait for our wedding in May at Spruce Mountain!”

* Sara Snyder and Patrick Haedtler say “I do” at the ranch on May 31st, 2015! *

Story #9 ~

*The last story from our proposal series was sent in by bride Allison Schoenberger:

“I am a 3rd grade teacher in Houston, Texas, but I was born and raised in Colorado. Taylor, my fiancé, is an engineer in the oil industry, and was leaving to go back to the rig on May 27th. Everyone knew what was in the works (except for me) and this is what took place:

On May 26th, my coworkers asked if I wanted to get my nails done at lunch that day, and I said no (dumb mistake)! After school, I called my mom disappointed that Taylor was “simply not proposing” because he was going to leave town the next day, and I would be leaving for summer break before he came back from the oil rig. She sympathized with me and told me that, “it would happen eventually.” Little did I know she was well aware of the upcoming proposal, and was planning to fly to Texas the next morning to celebrate what was about to happen!

On May 27th, Taylor had told me he had to go into the office early to prepare before he left town. I was getting ready for what I had been told was “teacher picture day.” It was pouring rain outside, and I was worried about the drive to school through a busy, construction-filled road. I randomly texted Taylor telling him I wouldn’t be able to curl my hair for picture day because I didn’t want to be late and was bummed. He retorted with, “You have time to curl your a hair!” This was an odd response for him, as it would be for any man, considering he wouldn’t even see me all day, but I brushed it off. After I was all ready, I ran to my car, already half-soaked from the rain, and drove to my school. Once I arrived, I was greeted by my principal who rushed me into my classroom, helped me throw down my bag, and led me to the garden where we would take the pictures. I felt awful for being so late and making her rush. All of the third grade teachers walked out to the garden (which was partially covered) and started to line up for the pictures. All the teachers were dressed up and looked great (and I was thankful I had listened to Taylor earlier and managed to curl my hair!). My principal positioned me in the middle, and just as the photographer got ready to take the picture, I saw Taylor out of the corner of my eye and I completely lost it! He looked so handsome and nervous and excited all in one. He walked up to me, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. When presenting the ring, I could barely see it out through the tears of joy. Let’s just say my emotions matched the weather! I gleefully said “yes,” and hugged and kissed him! He did such a great job planning the proposal and all the details- and we got it all on camera! I was ecstatic! It was truly the happiest moment of my life, and I was so thankful to have so many wonderful people around us to witness it! ……..AND my principal got a substitute teacher for me for the remainder of the day so I could celebrate my engagement with my fiancé!

* Allison Schoenberger and Taylor Saathoff get married on July 12th, 2015 at Spruce Mountain Ranch! *

Spruce Mountain Proposal Stories: Part 2

After reading the first issue of “Spruce Mountain Proposal Stories,” we know you can’t wait to read the next part of these sweet, romantic stories! Without further ado, we give you “Part 2.”

Story #4 ~

“Lauren had been quite sick for a few weeks and John had been waiting for her to get better so that he could propose! When Lauren was well enough to leave the house, John called her to say that his car had broken down at the grocery store and he needed her to come pick him up. In order to get to the grocery store where John had “broken down,” Lauren needed to drive through the stoplight where she and John first met back in 2005…

Lauren left her house looking like a sick mess in the middle of a snowstorm to go get John from the store. As she approached the light where she and John met, she saw a man standing in the snowstorm on the sidewalk and he seemed to be looking at her. Lauren slowed down to realize it was John! At that point John opened a sign that said “Lauren will you marry me?” in big letters. Lauren was in shock and pulled over onto a side road where John was parked. Just as Lauren got out of her car, hugged John, and said “YES!,” a cop pulled up behind them.

Lauren: “Is this part of your plan?”

John: “No.” (Cop approaches.)

Cop: “Do you guys have a problem here?”

John: “No, I’m just trying to ask her to marry me!”

Cop: “Oh! Wow! Congratulations, that’s awesome, but you guys can’t stop here. You gotta move.”

John and Lauren then got in Lauren’s car and John said some very sweet words and proposed to her with a very special ring that belonged to his grandmother. Lauren said, “YES,” of course, and they drove off in the snowstorm to spread the exciting news to friends and family!”

~ Lauren Adams and John Meighan say “I Do” at Spruce Mountain Ranch on September 26th, 2015!

Story #5 ~

“A couple of years ago, Amy had the opportunity to move to San Diego from Denver for an enticing career opportunity. The very first weekend in San Diego, Amy and Jason drove around looking for apartments and sightseeing. Somewhere along the way, they found their way to the rows of lavish beach houses in La Jolla. At the end of one road off the beaten path, they found an old set of sea-worn stairs that led down to a secluded, rocky cove right along the ocean. Coming from landlocked Denver, Amy and Jason spent the afternoon soaking up the view and knew they had made the right decision to move to San Diego. Occasionally, Amy and Jason would drive down to this point and watch the sunset or just take a break from the fast-paced city life of San Diego.

Now, for the engagement story – it was June 7th, 2014 and Amy’s parents were visiting from Arizona. Jason, Amy, and her parents decided to take a day trip to Southern California’s gorgeous wine country in Temecula. As they were heading back to San Diego after a full day of wine tasting, Amy’s dad mentioned he had to meet a colleague for dinner and drinks. Little did Amy know this was all just a ploy to free up a little time for Jason. Amy’s parents ended up going to “meet the colleague,” and Jason told Amy they were going to go over to a friend’s house for happy hour in the meantime, and insisted that they bring their dog Denali along. As Amy and Jason drove to their friend’s house, Jason made a wrong turn and insisted they go watch the sunset instead. As it turns out, Jason drove to the rocky cove where their San Diego journey began. Jason arranged for several of their friends to hide up on the bluff overlooking the cove to capture the moment. After a few tense moments waiting for the thumbs-up that they were in position, and a few tears later, they were engaged! As the night went on, Jason surprised Amy with a sunset dinner cruise through Mission Bay and out on the Pacific with a few great friends and Amy’s parents. It certainly was an unforgettable night!”

~ Amy Ireland and Jason Shear will tie the knot on July 3rd, 2015 at Spruce Mountain Ranch! ~

Story #6 ~

“We had been together almost five years by the time Ben proposed, so I wasn’t really sure he could surprise me anymore. I was so wrong.

Backstory- I really love pirates and anything related to treasure. For a long time, Ben had been joking about buying me a life-size pirate statue (named Captain Edward) with a sparkling jewel on his hand. Spring 2013 went by, with many a joke about pirates. Summer comes and my birthday passes . . . and no engagement. Then our anniversary in September comes . . . and despite more piratey jokes, no engagement! After Ben has cried wolf all through 2013 about my bedazzled pirate, on a random, cold, and slushy Thursday night in November, I grumpily come home late from work in Denver. I pull into Boulder and Ben texts me: “Your pirate arrived today.” And I think, “Yeah sure, whatever. Fine.”– I’m HUNGRY!

I walk into our apartment in Boulder around 8 PM on November 7, 2013 (not a special day by any stretch, until this past 2013!) in a wet parka, boots, and a hat only to find a really giddy Ben staring at me strangely. I notice a package on the couch, but am too hungry to care.

And Ben says, “LOOK, it’s Pirate Captain Edward.”

And I look and say, “Cute, let’s eat.”

And he says, “Don’t you want to open it?”

And so, I do, and COMPLETELY miss the envelope that says “Buried Treasure.”

And again I say, “Whole Foods. STAT.”

And he says, “I think you missed something.”

And at this point, I see the envelope but am so hungry and so fried after a long day that I think he is just trying to make me laugh (as one does, with impromptu treasure hunts). So I rip open the envelope to find a completely authentic 17th century treasure map (or so Ben says), on brown parchment paper with burnt edges and a clue in calligraphy. I begin stomping around, still in dripping winter clothes, following clues to places around our home – namely:

1. Four map pieces, torn asunder / Light the path to treasured plunder / Seek ye them through coded rhymes / Start where thar’ be snuggly times [decoded= the bed]

2. On nights ‘ere frightfully cold outdoors / These will light the fire for s’mores [decoded= our little kindling box for making s’mores]

3. For greater fires a need thar’ be / Burn these trees so warm are we [decoded= our firewood pile on the deck]

4. This completes this playful prank / Kiss me now or walk the plank! / Go retrieve the treasure chest / I hope ye be the happiest

The little map pieces fit together and formed a map with an “X marks the spot” on the back. That X said “in your baby’s pocket.” So I turned around and reached into an empty right pocket of Ben’s jacket, and he got down on one knee and pulled out a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring from the other pocket.

I never thought I’d get teary-eyed on a proposal, but I definitely did. It was too “AHHHHHR-mazing.” :)  The rest is history.”

~ Brenna Finn and Ben will wed at the ranch on August 29th, 2015!~

Spruce Mountain Ranch Proposal Stories: ~Part 1~

At Spruce Mountain Ranch, we love hearing all the stories of romantic proposals behind the beautiful weddings we host! To celebrate the biggest engagement season of the year and to encourage those who are waiting for someone to “pop” the question, we asked our happy couples to send us submissions of their proposal stories. We received so many wonderful submissions that we will be doing a three-part “Spruce Mountain Ranch Proposal Stories” series! We at Spruce Mountain hope that you enjoy reading these heart-warming love stories as much as we did!

Story #1~

Our first story was submitted by Jessica Hawthorne of Haxtun, Colorado:

“Nick and Jessica had traveled out to Jessica’s hometown Haxtun, CO for the weekend to move their cows to cornstalks for the wintertime. All day Saturday was spent building fence, moving water, and moving cows. Sunday morning, bright and early, Nick was wide-awake and ready to go check on the cows. Jessica was certain they were all still accounted for, so she tried to convince him they could sleep in. However, they headed out on the four-wheeler 15 minutes after waking up, donning their matching scotch caps and insulated coveralls.

When they arrived at the cornfield, Nick suggested they get off of the four-wheeler and walk for a bit to find the cows. Jessica grumbled, but she went along with it. Meanwhile, Jessica’s Dad Ben (who knew nothing about Nick’s plans that morning) pulled up on the dirt bike and started checking fence. Jessica remembers Nick being oddly concerned that her Dad had followed them, but she was happy for the excuse to not have to check the fences.

After walking hand-in-hand for about a mile, the couple came upon the cows, all standing in a perfect row as if they had been waiting for them.

Once the coast was clear and Jessica’s Dad had left for home, Nick dropped down on one knee and pulled out a hand-written letter. It is a good thing Nick had it all written down in a note, because the only thing Jessica remembers of that moment were her happy tears, laughter, and feeling overjoyed to finally get to say “Yes!” She shares that ‘Our cows are our witnesses!’”

~ Nick Lemmel and Jessica Hawthorne will be getting married at Spruce Mountain Ranch on November 8, 2014. This is almost exactly one year after Nick proposed on November 10, 2013.

Story #2~

Our second proposal story was sent to us by Jaclyn Ackerman:

July 31, 2013-

Top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris:

“I was that girl that was proposed to on the top of the Eiffel Tower. I’d seen a girlfriend towing a blindfolded boyfriend to a romantic sunset at the top, and I’d seen a man down on his knee proposing to his future wife. After all, it is the city of love, right? But, tonight, it would be me! July 31st was our big Paris day, and of course, in more ways than one!

We started off the morning with some long Louvre hours. Next, [we visited] those floor-to-ceiling Saint Chapelle stained glass windows (which have always been a favorite!). We had seen the Notre Dame glowing the night before, but went to see the inside today (another favorite!). We stopped for lunch and a much-needed Nutella crepe break in the Latin Quarter (I should just stop saying “another favorite.” This whole city is a favorite!). Then we walked past the Notre Dame to the Pont de l’Archeveche, better known as the Love Lock Bridge. I surprised [my fiancé] when I pulled out a small heart lock; I’d had it engraved in San Diego and it had been shoved in a corner of my purse since then. We found the perfect spot, clipped it on, tossed the key in the Seine, and headed off to the Eiffel Tower. I took us to the usual spot, the Trocadero—[where we took] lots of pictures, and Nigerian Eiffel Tower salesmen. We waited in line, rode the elevator up to the middle floor, and got off. Once we had finished exploring the level, we were eager to head to the top! We got off at the top, looked at the flags and distances to other countries, and made our way to the outside deck! Chris and I got separated in the hoards of people, so I just pointed out landmarks to myself and waited till the crowd cleared a bit.

I had made my way to him, just as he was saying he wanted this lady to take our picture. So I quickly scooted to my spot by his side, situated my self, and smiled. He starts talking and turning me towards him… I kept smiling for the lady with camera and telling him to stop moving. He keeps pestering me, and I keep telling him to stand still and smile. Then he takes his backpack off and kneels down, so I finally turn to look at him. AH! As I’m writing this more than a year later, I can’t remember what he even said, but I stuck my left hand out and gladly said yes! Only later did I learn he had separated himself from me earlier and went to find an English speaker in the mass of people. He filled her in on his secret. So turns out, she wasn’t taking a picture– she was recording it!

We finished our Eiffel Tower evening and went back to the hotel. As you can imagine, the next bit of time was spent calling everyone back home (all of which were already aware of the question of the day!).”

Jaclyn Ackerman and Chris Shea will celebrate their special day at Spruce Mountain on June 21st, 2015.

Story #3~

Our 3rd and final story for the first part of our proposal story blog was submitted by Madeline McBride:

“My fiancé Matt and I have been together for almost 10 years, and have always had a “thing” with penguins. We have a stuffed penguin named Hubert, love the movie “Happy Feet,” have a World Wildlife foundation adopted penguin, and just love the fact that penguins are mates for life. We currently live in Denver, CO. However, we are originally from Texas. We were in Dallas, TX for my best friend’s baby shower the weekend after Valentine’s Day, and she mentioned that she really wanted to go to the Dallas Zoo on Sunday before we left, because it was supposed to be a beautiful day. I thought this was an odd request from her, but I was all up for it since I love the zoo and animals.

Sunday morning we got up, made breakfast, and then headed to the zoo. It just happened to be “Penguin Day” at the zoo, which made it even more exciting. After walking by a couple of the exhibits, one of the educational animal handlers at the zoo approached us. She explained that the zoo was considering offering an up-close experience with the animals to zoo-goers for an additional cost, but before they started marketing this and going forward, they wanted to see if customers thought it was a good experience and worth the money. We were all for getting to spend some one-on-one time with some of the animals, and followed her with excitement.

One-by-one she brought out interesting animals from their crates and taught us fun facts, while letting us pet and hold them. After seeing a chinchilla and 35-year-old Texas owl, she brought out Sid, the African black-footed penguin. At that same moment, I felt my fiancé’s hand on my lower back turning me around, and I caught a glimpse of something shiny tied around Sid’s neck. My fiancé was then down on one knee and proposed. I was shocked and ecstatic. We then got to hang out with Sid and the other animals…. it was AWESOME!

After leaving the zoo, we headed to a restaurant, only to find our parents and close friends had driven to Dallas to surprise me and celebrate with us. After all of the excitement, we boarded our plane to head back to Denver engaged. It was a whirlwind of emotions, and now I am so excited to marry my best friend and penguin for life.”

Madeline McBride and Matt Comneck will tie the knot on May 5th, 2015 at Spruce Mountain Ranch!

A warm, Spruce Mountain Ranch thanks to our brides~ Jessica Hawthorne, Jaclyn Ackerman, and Madeline McBride! Thank you for sharing your proposal stories with us! We look forward to the honor of hosting your weddings!

“Tips for Tipping your Wedding Vendors”

To tip, or not to tip? That is the question many brides and grooms have concerning their wedding vendors. Knowing when and how to tip vendors can be tricky. Thankfully, some seasoned wedding planners have agreed to offer their insight on when tipping is appropriate. Debbie Orwat from Save the Date Events, Jessica McTaggart from Pink Champagne Events, and Adrienne Gardner from The Gardner Effect all share their thoughts on tipping vendors.

1. What vendors do you recommend tipping (Caterers, bartenders, D.J., photographer, etc.)?

– Jessica McTaggart answers: “I recommend tipping any vendors who will complete their service on the wedding day. That includes; DJs, live musicians, catering staff (servers + chefs), transportation driver(s), bartenders, photo booth attendants, hairstylists, makeup artists, valet/coat check staff, and security (where appropriate). If the photographer, videographer, etc. do a fabulous job, I recommend that the client send a thank you note, after receiving their album/video/images, with a monetary token of appreciation.”

– Adrienne Gardner says: “I always tell my couples to “tip accordingly”, but to also “take care of those that take care of you and your guests.” I normally recommend you tip your catering staff, DJs, and bartenders first. As they usually work for large companies, and simply make an hourly rate working the event. I recommend tipping coordinators, florists, and photographers if they provided exceptional service/were a pleasure to work with during the planning process.”

2. Is tipping always appropriate for vendors, or just for exceptional service?

– Jessica: “Tipping is always appropriate with service related categories (catering, bar-tending, valet/coat check, etc.). If it [the job] is performance based, such as live musicians, photo booth, or DJ, I make recommendations based on the client’s expectations. If the dance floor is packed all night, a band or DJ deserves an above average amount.”

– Adrienne: “If the service was average or alright, perhaps [give] a small tip. Large or full [tips] for exceptional service.”

3. How much is appropriate to tip/what percentage of the total price?

– Jessica: “For catering, I recommend 18-20% of the total, pre-tax amount, if [you are] tipping on their final invoice. If they’re tipping each staff member individually with cash (preferred), I recommend $50/server, $75-$100/chef, and $100/captain or lead. For DJs, I recommend $50 -$75, if they are playing reception only, and $100-$125 if they do both ceremony and reception. For other vendors in the industry, tips can range from $75-$250 based on the product/service they provide. Depending on the client’s budget, these numbers may be higher or lower.”

– Adrienne: “Depends on the vendor. Please see attached tipping guide.”

4. Do you tip the individual workers of a team (ex: caterers), or the team as a whole?

– Jessica: “I prefer both (when the client can do it). It allows the couple to show appreciation to the company when tipping the team as a whole, but also individually thank the staff at their event. [only one] needs to be done, I recommend tipping individual staff members.​”

– Adrienne: “I suggest you tip the team as a whole. I ask my couples to prepare tips in sealed envelopes. I give the catering envelope to the captain on duty to distribute. Clients can easily find out the amount of staff the caterer will provide by reading their contracts or asking their catering rep. You can also tip after the event with the cc your caterer has on file, which can be a bit easier than having all that cash on hand.”

5. Should you tip a wedding planner in addition to paying her?

–Jessica: “I leave that entirely up to my clients.  Some of my clients have tipped me at the end of the night, some have sent it in a thank-you, and some have thanked me in other ways (gifts, referrals, etc.).  They’re all very appreciated and never expected.”

– Adrienne: “I suggest you tip coordinators for great service, especially those that worked non-stop for 10-12 hours that day to pull off a flawless wedding.”

6. Should you tip a venue representative?

–Jessica: “That is also something that I leave up to the client. Some of them experience an above and beyond experience that they might monetarily recognize. Others don’t.”

– Adrienne: “Venue reps are normally not included in my tipping guidelines.”

7. Are tips ever included in a bill?

– Jessica: “Some vendors include a 20% gratuity on their final invoice or in the total amount due.  Some do not.”

– Adrienne: “They can be- always read your contracts! Or, ask your coordinator to review them for you and make tipping suggestions. Most often, they are not included. 9 times out of 10, administrative fees do not include tip, which I think some couples find confusing.”

8. How much of a wedding budget should be factored towards tipping vendors?

– Jessica: “It’s hard to say what percentage of the budget should be allocated to tipping. A good estimate is 2%-5%.  Depending on the complexity of the wedding and the budget, the total amount for vendor tips could be higher or lower.”

– Adrienne: “To me, tipping should be a bit more flat rate (except for transportation, hair/make up artists). Meaning whether or not my client’s budget is 10k or 100k, I will still work equally hard for both.”

9. Is there anything else clients should know about tipping?

– Jessica: “Tips are not expected, but they are greatly appreciated across the board. A large portion of vendors in the wedding and event industry are small businesses, and [they] value each and every client they work with. A monetary recognition of that work goes a long way.”

– Adrienne: “First of all, read your contracts to make sure it [tipping] is not already included. Second, tip based on performance. Third, most of your vendors love what they do and work very hard at every wedding, and a little bit at the end of the evening is very much appreciated.”

*Debbie Orwat and Adrienne Gardner have generously shared the following links to their tipping guides that address many tipping FAQs

Gratuity Guidelines- Save the Date Events

Tipping Guidelines – The Gardner Effect

*A Warm, Spruce Mountain Ranch Thank You to:

-Jessica McTaggart: Pink Champagne Events,

-Adrienne Gardner: The Gardner Effect,

-Debbie Orwat: Save the Date Events,

Spruce Mountain Ranch’s Preferred Alcohol Vendor: Peak Beverage Company

Spruce Mountain Ranch only allows one beverage company to transport alcohol and serve it at the ranch, and that company is Peak Beverage. Not only are the Peak Beverage employees highly trained in how to create and serve drinks and how to safely serve guests, but their company is also highly affordable! Andy Klosterman, owner of Peak Beverage, answers several frequently asked questions for potential brides.

-How much money can our clients save by using Peak compared to using a venue in which they have to buy the liquor through them?

- Andy explains “A venue with a liquor license will at least cost the client TWICE as much as going with a venue that doesn’t. This is because they must pay to support the infrastructure of having an entire team manage the liquor license for that venue, as well as having to pay for very expensive insurance costs. If you were to take our base rates and double or triple them, that would be how much venues would charge for the bar service. They also usually have labor costs on top of that, separate from their bar packages. The average client will save thousands of dollars by using a venue without a liquor license.”

-What is the average cost (at Peak and at another place) for a full-service bar at a 100-person wedding?

- Andy Shares Examples:

*Beer and wine:

(Peak) ~ $10 – $13 per person

(Liquor licensed venue) ~ $20 – $60 per person, plus labor

*Full bar (mid range spirits and wine/beer):

(Peak) ~ $14 – $18 per person

(Liquor licensed venue) ~ $30 – $90 per person, plus labor

-What would you like for couples to know about how Peak saves them money?

-“Peak is a combination of retail liquor store, bar rentals, and staffing. Similar to Target or Amazon, by combining services we are able to lower costs in the end. Someone can go to Wal Mart or Target and get clothes, electronics, even food now at a lower price than going to three different stores. Also the speed and ease at which the customer gets their product is MUCH better.”

-What are trends you’re seeing in regards to beverage service at weddings?

-“We’re doing a LOT more classic cocktails, like Manhattans, French 75, and Olde Fashioned drinks. Also, the craft beer movement is still going strong and we have a LOT of home brewers.”

-How does Peak help couples with their custom drink needs for their wedding?

-“We can do anything really!  We can either take a theme or favorite drink recipe and recreate it, or offer a huge list of cool cocktails for clients to choose from.”

-Are couples more likely to have a full-service bar, a partial-service bar, or just a custom drink or champagne toast?

-“With our concept it is actually usually cheaper to go with a full service bar rather than a beer and wine bar with a specialty drink. Champagne toasts are also always included with our packages at no additional cost.”

-What makes Peak bartenders different than those through a catering company?

-“Most companies do not train or hire their bartenders efficiently. The problem is that in bars downtown, a good bartender can make a LOT of money. In the special events world, tips are much more rare and thus a bartender does not make as much. We pay our staff more than any bartenders in the state right now, and do our own in-house hiring and training. We actually prefer to hire novices instead of veterans, because most bartenders are VERY poorly trained in different areas of service!”

-What training have Peak bartenders received?

-“We do everything from bartending basics and customer service to classes on beer, wine, spirits, etc. We work closely with our distributors and offer classes for our staff every month that enhances their ability to bartend. We also do tests every month to see where our staff is at and allow them to promote themselves if they pass a speed and accuracy test in a real life situation.”

-What would you like for couples to know about Peak in general as a company? What would you as the owner say makes it the best?

-“We really strive to make every event exactly what our customer wants. I love when folks call us and tell us about what kind of drinks they like best so we can try to deliver on that, or even to make it better than an experience they have had before. We can customize anything and are not limited to the bar packages we offer. Peak is really about making the best experience possible for our customers – from the moment you call in to the moment the wedding is over, we hope to be a part of the wedding that couples will remember forever.”

-Spruce Mountain Ranch is truly honored to be able to partner with Peak Beverage Company for all events that wish to purchase alcohol. A special thanks to Andy Klosterman for answering these questions! To book an event with them now, contact Andy Klosterman!

* P: (720) 722-1140;  F: (888)-814-6410*

Spruce Mountain Ranch: August Cattle Sale

The August cattle sale at Spruce Mountain Ranch is a monumental event for the ranch’s cattle industry. What many people do not know is that Spruce Mountain Ranch is not only an excellent event center, but a functioning cattle ranch as well. Every year, the ranch has two large auctions to sell cattle and breeding rights to other cattle industries. One of these sales is in August, and this year, it took place on August 8th and 9th. Prospective cattle customers came from around the nation to view and purchase top-quality Black Angus cows for breeding excellent lines of beef cattle. Guests came from many states, including Colorado, Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, New York, Kentucky, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oregon, and California! Not only were there many out-of-town guests in attendance, but the owners of Spruce Mountain Ranch, Tom and Lois Ames, also attended the event along with the entire Ames family. Some guests stayed in the bridal suite in the Ponderosa Room, and others stayed at nearby hotels during this event. Needless to say, this auction is a large, annual milestone for Spruce Mountain.

The Auction:

The travelers arrived on Friday for an all-day cattle viewing followed by Hors d’Oeuvres from 3-5 pm, and a dinner from 6-8 pm. The dinner was catered by Buffalo Gals, and alcohol was served by Peak Beverage Company. The preview day allowed guests to mingle with one another, look at the cattle they would like to bid on, and enjoy the beauty of a Colorado mountain ranch. Around 200 guests attend this event annually. This year, there were 65 lots of cattle for sale, and many of the lots had several “sub groups”. The cattle featured for purchase at this auction included young females, donor cows, and bred heifers. Saturday morning from 9-11 am, there was a brunch for the guests and cattlemen before the beginning of the auction. The sale then began at 11:30 am in the Ponderosa Room. Lots of people bid at the live auction, including a large population of bidders over the internet. When the auction concluded at 2 pm, guests loaded up their cattle and purchased insurance for them. They then headed with their new cows back to their individual cattle companies.

Preparation for the Sale:

Much time is spent in preparation for the cattle sale each summer. Cowboys from Spruce Mountain Ranch East in Kiowa, Colorado bring cattle to the ranch to prepare them for the auction. All the cattlemen spend the week ensuring that the cattle are perfectly healthy and excellently groomed so they are ready for the sale. They also ensure that all of the genetics are correctly recorded before the sale. The week leading up to the auction is also spent preparing the ranch grounds so that they look immaculate. The Ponderosa Room is then transformed from an elegant wedding venue to an auction room with tall bleachers focused on a stage with cattle pens to display the livestock. The days of the preview and the sale are spent keeping the event space looking clean and decorated, and keeping the cattle groomed and ready for the auction.

The Menu:

The food for the cattle sale featured some of Buffalo Gals’ most popular dishes, which certainly pleased hungry cattlemen and customers alike!



-Tossed Salad

-Juicy tri-tip, beef, grilled chicken, portabella mushrooms

-Grilled garlic bread

-Roasted new potatoes

-Macaroni and cheese with applewood-smoked bacon

-Calico beans


-Mixed berry cobbler with ice cream

-Fresh chocolate brownies

Snacks and Appetizers:

-Salted mixed nuts

-Buffalo and caramelized onion slider

-Santa Fe vegetable basket



-Coffee, juice, and tea

-Homemade breakfast burritos with homemade green chili

-Bacon and sausage

-Summer berries and fruit

-Top round of beef carving station

-Alamosa ham

-Bags of sea salt chips


-2 types of gourmet popcorn

-Warm, soft pretzels with cheese on the side

-Freshly baked assorted cookies

-Mini bags of gourmet chips

-Salted mixed nuts



-Lemon Bars

-White chocolate fruit bars


The August cattle sale is a large event and a noteworthy moment in the cattle industry. The numerous guests travel from all over America to purchase top-quality Spruce Mountain Ranch Black Angus cows for their cattle companies. Large amounts of time are spent preparing the grounds and the cattle for this big day. The ranch is very proud of not only the wonderful weddings hosted on the property, but also of their spectacular cattlemen, cows, and annual summer auction!

Wedding Desserts: Choosing the Perfect Refreshments for Your Reception

Wedding cakes have transformed over the years from something stereotypical and “cookie cutter”, to a unique way for a couple to express themselves. There was a time in history in which every bride ordered a three-tiered white cake with white frosting for her ceremony, complete with a plastic kissing bride and groom for the cake topper. Luckily for brides today, that time in history has passed. There are now so many options for happy couples when it comes to wedding cakes! In fact, many couples are negating the necessity of cake at their wedding entirely. Some couples have instead chosen to supply desserts that they enjoy, over the traditional style of wedding refreshments. Still others opt to have a small cake to cut for tradition sake, but also supply other desserts as well.

Wedding Cakes:

Yes, for very traditional brides, white cake with white fondant is still an option. However, the evolution of the wedding cake industry has so much to offer! There are tiered cakes with fondant and elegant decor, there are sheet cakes with marble cake, mousse filling and simple frosting, and there are Bundt cakes with elaborate frosting detail. There are naked cakes with frosting between the layers of the cake but not on the outside, there are cupcakes, and there are miniature Bundt cakes to serve individual guests. Wedding cakes come in endless varieties of shapes, sizes, styles, and flavors. No longer do brides have a limited selection! We at Spruce Mountain Ranch encourage brides to express their individual style and tastes, and cake is just one of the many ways in which to do that. Not only do customized cakes add to the pleasure of the bride and groom, but guests are typically thrilled to find a change from stereotypical wedding cake.

Wedding Desserts:

While a couple may decide to have a small cake at their ceremony to cut for pictures, they often provide other refreshments for their guests. Pie is ever-increasing in popularity as a wedding dessert, and is the perfect substitute for couples who prefer it to cake. “Pie pops”, or miniature pies on sticks (think pie lollipops) are popular with guests because they are cute, unique, flavorful, and the perfect serving size! For guests who prefer chocolate, couples sometimes choose to provide small bite-sized desserts such as truffles, miniature brownies, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Sometimes providing unique, pre-portioned desserts is the perfect fit for a wedding reception. There is also less risk of desserts being thrown out half-eaten when portions are smaller, and therefore, less is wasted.

Interactive Wedding Treats:

Spruce Mountain Ranch has seen brides who provide “candy bars” where there is a candy buffet filled with sweets, and guests can fill their goody bag with the treats they most enjoy. Brides love to utilize the fireplace on Ames Patio, and sometimes use it as a s’mores station for guests to roast marshmallows and create their own desserts. For cooler evenings, fried doughnut stations and cappuccino bars are known to be extremely popular! Guests love to be able to create, assemble, or order their own dessert. It adds to the fun of the evening and minimizes waste that pre-cut slices of cake often create.

Desserts as Favors:

Even wedding favors are starting to head in the direction of edible treats. Guests and the happy couples alike love truffles, little bags of candy, pre-wrapped desserts, coffee, and tea. The guests love to eat the favors, and the couple knows that the favors are being enjoyed and not going to waste. Edible favors are always an excellent option!

Décor Styles:

Wedding desserts, and cakes in particular, can be designed to accommodate a wide variety of décor styles and preferences. Whether a bride desires a simple, elegant cake, or an over-the-top dessert bar with a wide variety of sweet morsels, there are numerous choices to please any bride’s wedding vision and budget!

Keeping Budgets in Mind:

Wedding desserts are available to please a wide variety of tastes, styles, and budgets! Wedding cakes typically cost at least $500, and usually run from $2-10 per slice. Remember that the larger and fancier the cake is, the heavier the bill will be. Individual desserts such as miniature cakes may help eliminate waste, but prices can be higher for a large quantity of small cakes than for a large cake to be cut in many smaller slices. Remember that square cakes often feed more guests because they can be cut more economically.

Bakeries Represented at the Spruce Mountain Wine and Nosh Show:

-Sugarplum Cake Shoppe

-The Makery

-The Bundt Shoppe ~

Spruce Mountain Ranch Caterers with Dessert Options:

-Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering ~

-Buffalo Gals ~

- Biscuits and Berries ~

-The Broadmoor ~

-Picnic Basket ~

* No matter what desserts you choose for your wedding, remember that there are countless options for your individual style, taste, and budget! Happy dessert picking!

Preferred Vendors At Spruce Mountain Ranch ~The list and descriptions of the ranch’s best vendors~

Spruce Mountain Ranch has a list of required vendors for the categories of catering, alcohol, and event rentals. The reason for this is that Spruce Mountain wants clients to have a wonderful, stress-free experience. After working with numerous different vendors, the ranch has chosen only the very best for their list. They hope that by selecting those well trained in service, organization, and their field, clients will know their event is in responsible hands that will do everything possible to make a seamless and beautiful event.


Selecting a caterer can be a difficult decision. Caterers are typically chosen based on the type of food they serve, the cost per plate, and the service of the catering team. While Spruce Mountain clients will still need to choose which caterer suits them based on price and kind of food, the ranch has eliminated the guesswork when it comes to the areas of customer service, quality, and organization. Whichever caterer clients select, they know that the meal will go seamlessly and that the guests will leave very pleased with their meal.

~Caterers From Denver~

*Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering

(Avie Rosacci): (303)-662-9353,

*Epicurean Catering/Grillworks

(Jessica Stapp): (720)-488-2156,

*Occasions Catering

(303)-789-1867, (719)-445-8152,,

*Catering by Design

(Brandi Lipe): 303-781-5335,

*Biscuits and Berries

(Laura Hylton): 303-277-9677,

~Caterers From the South of Denver~

*The Broadmoor

(Mark Klein): 719-577-5817,,

*Cravings/Picnic Basket/Buffalo Gals

(Michelle Talarico): 719-635-0200,

*The Food Designers

(Heather Darrigan): 719-632-5414,


Peak Beverage is the only vendor that Spruce Mountain Ranch allows to serve alcohol on their property. The reason for this is that all of Peak Beverage’s staff members are highly trained in bartending, and have received TIPs safety training. Not only are they very qualified to create and serve alcoholic beverages, but they also recognize when a guest has had enough alcohol and needs to be cut off. At Spruce Mountain Ranch, the safety of guests is taken very seriously, and therefore they only allow Peak Beverage because the well being of guests is as important to them as it is to the ranch.

*Peak Beverage

(Andy Klosterman): (720) 722- 1140,

~Event Rentals~

Event rentals include items such as dishes, cutlery, glassware, linens, tables, and chairs. Spruce Mountain does provide tables and chairs (although some brides choose to rent different ones that better fit their vision), but they do not place settings or linens. Event Rents has all the items that brides need to rent, and in numerous varieties and quantities. Event Rents is at every Spruce Mountain wedding and can always be depended upon to have the perfect items to complete a wedding vision. Event Rents is also excellent in their service to customers and venues, and come highly recommended by the ranch. Because of how outstanding their products and service are, Spruce Mountain has made them their exclusive event rental vendor.

*Event Rents

(Scott Bradshaw): 303-972-0975,


While caterers, bartenders, and event rentals are all major parts of a wedding, there are numerous other vendors required for the perfect wedding. Some of these include a planner, photographer, DJ, florist, and baker. When it comes to vendors such as these, Spruce Mountain Ranch will make recommendations to the bride and groom based on their preferences. The ranch has a large list of recommendations to suit all the different styles of their couples. When booking with Spruce Mountain, Tara Ames will provide some options to the happy couple. *(Tara Ames): 303-324-0345, *Whatever you are in need of, Spruce Mountain Ranch has taken extra care to ensure that they provide you with the best, most highly recommended vendors!