A Mountain-Themed Winter Wedding at Taos Ski Valley in Taos, New Mexico

Alina Rich and Chris Quattlebaum’s love of the mountains served as the inspiration for their late-February nuptials. After two weeks of being engaged, the pair knew that a destination wedding at a ski resort was essential. The Texas-based duo whisked their family and friends off to New Mexico to the Taos Ski Valley, a sentimental spot for Alina who spent many vacations there with her family growing up.

“Chris and I have continued to visit this mountain throughout our relationship. The Taos Ski Valley was also my late father’s favorite place on earth,” Alina says. In memory of her father, Alina brought his ski jacket to place on one of the chairs during the ceremony and wore it during a dance with her brothers.

The pair was married by Alina’s aunt Julia, who wrote a thoughtful and heart-warming poem specially for the affair. The bride and groom also wrote the ceremony themselves to add an extra-personal touch to the day, using “A Blessing for the Journey” by Sensei Wendy Egyoku Nakao as their vows. “We also wanted to do something that had visual meaning for the ceremony. This led us to include a hand-fasting ceremony, which ended in us literally tying the knot with a cord I made out of braided ribbons,” Alina says.

After the “I dos” and boxed lunches, the newlyweds strapped on skis—still clad in their wedding day duds—and took to the slopes with their skier and snowboarder guests for what they appropriately called the “Ski Parade.” An afternoon of skiing was followed by a lively yet casual reception at the Phoenix Grill, where the couple’s mountain theme continued.

“We wanted the natural beauty of the mountains, snow and trees to be the main theme of our wedding because it just wouldn’t make sense to try and outdo Mother Nature’s beauty,” Alina says. “I wanted the rest of the décor to simply accentuate nature’s masterpiece.” Fresh white florals, pine branches, tree trunk slices and flickering candles adorned the tables, while fairy lights twinkled overhead.