landlocked bride® | midwest + mountain west wedding inspiration

plan a modern wedding in the middle of the country

It’s a big day for the Landlocked Bride tomorrow. I officially make the trek from the Midwest to the Mountains. And, as I head West, I cannot help but want to share this wedding. It’s special and meaningful to me for so many reasons. But, more importantly, Bill and Cara made every single effort to make their wedding uniquely them, personal, full of love and memorable. I had the hardest time picking photos and narrowing down her story.

Enjoy the mountains and the love.

CF Photography

From the Bride:
Planning the wedding of my dreams was something I wanted to make sure was perfect. Making sure everything Bill and I did screamed us, not what other people want, and to make sure we focused on us on the big day. So since I come from a large family of siblings, step siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends in which have been family to me for so long I wanted to get creative making everyone feel important without compromising my special day with what I considered a small group.

I initially tried to plan a wedding in St. Louis, but nothing felt right, having that feeling of the right decision was important to me. Bill is from Pittsburgh but spent most of his adult life in Colorado, and I love the mountains and traveling. It made it hard to incorporate a city wedding or to have our wedding pictures in front of the Arch. St. Louis has been my home for my whole life, but St. Louis was not Bill. So after many long discussions we knew that Colorado would be the place for us to get married. We went there almost four years ago as friends, and had the most amazing trip, and I can actually say there on a mountain in Keystone is where I had the moment where we discovered we were more than just friends. So we decided to make the wedding about where we fell in love.

We initially looked at Sapphire Pointe; an amazing overlook in between Breckenridge and Keystone. Unfortunately it could not be booked until 6 months prior to the date we wanted. We contacted good friends of ours in Breckenridge and asked if we could use their amazing restaurant Modis, and thankfully they said yes. With the restaurant beautiful as-is, we hardly needed decorations. Just a couple centerpieces and the place would be great. For food, they just told us to trust them. The owners are very close friends of Bill’s, and since we had eaten at Modis before, we knew the food would be absolutely delicious.

We definitely tasted the cake. Katy Schabert from SugarBreck was so nice, and I could tell from her website that she was an absolute artist. Bill and I tasted the cake and chose our flavors, I told her our colors, mentioned my desire for fondant, and I told her my flowers were sunflowers. We also spoke with Cindy from Bloom Flowers, a good friend of Bill’s and fellow Pittsburgher. I told her to that I wanted sunflowers all different kinds and I wanted them everywhere.

When Christmas came around, it was time to book Sapphire Pointe, but to my horrifying dismay, for two weeks out of the year the road to this location would be closed. And, sure enough, the week of our wedding was one of them. I was devastated and freaking out. So I frantically looked online and decided to call a wedding planner at Keystone Resort. Bill had worked there for so many years and I thought they could help lead us to a good location. I got a hold of Alicia Hein, and she pointed us in a couple directions, one of them being Keystone Ranch. I had been there only for dinner, and never really thought of the idea of getting married on a golf course. Bill of course loved the idea. Golf is his passion, and he used to work there at the restaurant. So the decision was made. And it felt right; better than Sapphire Pointe.

One of the major decisions we made was who was going to marry us. I wanted to choose someone who would guide us and help us through our journey together. Someone who knew us, and to Bill and I we both knew that answer. Bill’s friend Brian was it. They had been friends since they were kids growing up in Pittsburgh, him and his wife had been such a support to Bill so many times in his life, and he and his wife are a relationship we work toward as a couple and as parents. They have four amazing children who we love as family, and they are people we will have in our lives forever and whom we always know we can turn to.

The day following our at home “Preception,” Bill and I started our drive with a car full for our next adventure, the big day. Since we were full of excitement we made the 12-hour drive, no problem. As we made it to Denver, Colorado we were so excited, until we received a text message from a friend of 8” of snow in Breckenridge. As we knew we had three more days till the wedding, we didn’t care if there was 2 feet of snow.

I didn’t really get nervous until I was waiting to walk out on our wedding day. I remember I was standing inside the restaurant at the golf course with my dad, and just wanted to hear Bill say something (I knew he was on the other side of the wall from where I was standing), but not a peep. But the moment I walked out and saw him was something I will never forget as my heart felt whole and filled with joy.

We went to Modis where everyone was waiting for us. The food was to die for (many months later people are still talking about it). The sunflowers everywhere were amazing. And let me tell you about Jonny Mongambo, unreal. We had a Led Zeppelin song as our first dance called Thank You. He sang it beautifully; I can never thank him enough for how awesome he did. And then the rest of the night, I never left the dance floor, I mean never. At moments I was even by myself, which my awesome brother made sure didn’t happen for very long. He was always right beside me.

I didn’t have one complaint of the day; it was the most perfect day of my life and I loved sharing it with the people who mean the most to us. I felt like the luckiest person in the world.

Ceremony Venue: Keystone Ranch | Reception Venue: Modis | Floral Designer: Bloom Flower Shop | Band: Johnny Mogambo Band | Bakery: SugarBreck | Photography: CF Photography


  1. I love this wedding and love Christine’s work!!!

  2. Seriously jealous of all those amazing sunflowers you had at your fabulous wedding!

  3. Beautiful wedding! Amazing location, fantastic views, so many pretty details! I like the shape of the centerpieces,and sunflowers look just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!