A Black-Tie Wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Avon, Colorado

Ashley Steitz (30 and a head of university talent acquisition) and Neil Plamp (32 and an operations analyst) decided on a destination wedding to simplify the planning (she’s originally from Michigan; he’s originally from Kentucky). “Our guests were going to travel to our wedding no matter what,” Ashley says. “And we liked the idea of having extra time with them.” They chose Colorado in winter because they both love to ski, it inspired sentimental memories (Ashley spent many Christmas holidays at her grandparents’ home in Vail Valley, the same area where her parents had met and fallen in love), and Neil liked the idea of introducing his loved ones to the mountains. “It was important to us to showcase the beauty of the Rocky Mountains from the traditional log cabin resort,” Ashley says. The couple hosted a memorable four-day celebration, complete with an apres-ski party, a rehearsal dinner at Mirabelle, a Catholic ceremony at the Chapel at Beaver Creek, a reception at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, and a postwedding Super Bowl get-together “to recover.” From the bride’s vintage stole and elegant Vera Wang gown and the groom’s custom midnight navy tux to their custom crest and colors of navy blue, gold and ivory, white floral arrangements, trees around the head table, chandeliers draped in greenery and mixed eucalyptus and bay leaf garlands, the wedding was the epitome of elegance. After the ceremony, guests moved to the classy Ritz-Carlton ballroom, where they sipped on prosecco and old-fashioneds during the cocktail hour, then enjoyed appetizers of Kentucky hot browns (hot turkey over hot toast, smothered in a buttery sauce—in honor of Neil’s Kentucky upbringing) and Colorado lamb chops before moving on to soup and traditional Colorado cuisine of Rocky Mountain trout and braised bison short ribs. Cake was a delectable light-as-air coconut cake. Once the dance began, guests either joined the couple on the dance floor or watched from navy velvet couches—complete with custom pillows monogrammed with the couple’s initials, wedding date and last name—set up as mini lounges so everyone could be close to the action. Late-night snacks included warm chocolate chip cookies with a shot of milk and mini grilled cheese sandwiches with a shot of tomato soup. As the night wound down, the couple made their exit under a tunnel of glow wands. “We had the best wedding day we could have imagined,” Ashley says. “All we had to focus on was our love for each other.” —Chrissy Sorenson