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Real Weddings

USA

A Gorgeous Mountaintop Wedding at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado

Photography By Laura Murray Photography
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The Couple: Linh and Christopher

Linh and Christopher Howard exchanged wedding vows not once, but twice. They first (officially) tied the knot in 2021 in Vail, Colorado during an intimate micro-wedding with just their parents and a handful of friends in attendance. 363 days later, the couple exchanged vows for the second time during a high-altitude, high-style weekend of wedding celebrations produced by Aimee Monihan of Destination Occasions, held at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado.


THE INVITATIONS
Sweet Zion Paperie designed a beautiful invitation suite with a subdued color palette and natural wood tones, reminiscent of the interior of an Aspen tree. The design also gave homage to the bride’s love of Danish furniture design with wooden wave shapes placed inside the sleeve of the set. The couple’s wedding destination was also celebrated with the inclusion of small, engraved Aspen leaves (made from actual Aspen wood). The leaves were infused with a signature scent of jasmine, roses, and cotton notes as a nod to Linh’s Vietnamese culture and the smells of beautiful Vietnam.

THE ENGAGEMENT RING
After getting a sense from Linh as to her “potential” ring preferences, Chris burned the midnight oil researching and learning about diamonds. “In the end, I learned that he flew his little plane to Florida to pick up the engagement ring in secret and then had dinner with me that same night. I had no clue!” says Linh.

 


THE FASHION
Linh wore the Mia wedding gown by Galia Lahav and a pair of soft-blue embroidered heels by Something Blue. Chris wore a classic black tux with a black bow tie, made by Suitsupply.

Celebrating Spring at High Altitude

With the celebrations taking place during the height of spring, destination wedding planner Aimee Monihan of Destination Occasions, and floral designer Liz of Siloh Floral knew that the event should exude the delicate vibe of the season. Linh agreed and wanted the ceremony to have lightness, much like a garden coming alive in spring. The scent was also important to her to remind guests of the location and the time of year.

To achieve the desired spring-like effect, Siloh Floral (known for its very organic and sustainable approach to design), wanted to use blossoming branches to celebrate the time of year and location-specific flora. However, the week before the wedding, Colorado got a huge snowstorm and many of the planned branches no longer were available so a shift in design took place at the last minute. The team switched gears and opted for hundreds of lilac branches that had not been affected by the frost and snow.

“We knew most of our guests had never been to Aspen or Colorado. We wanted them to experience the nature that we both so adore through hikes, walks, and other outdoor activities,” shares Linh. “In the end, that was exactly what we got — everyone enjoying each other’s company and a picture-perfect day on the wedding day itself.”


The Ceremony

The ceremony was held at The Little Nell’s Wedding Deck, also known as “Top of The Mountain.” At 11,212 feet above sea level, the outdoor location offered the couple and their guests a spectacular scenic view.

Nothing can describe the ‘wow factor’ when I stepped onto the path to walk down the aisle with my father. It was just so perfectly picturesque — the cool breeze, sunlight breaking through the snow-capped mountains, blue skies with puffy white clouds, and everyone looking at us with big smiles!

- — Linh Howard, Bride

For most of the ceremony, I kept my eyes on Chris. But, I do remember my event planner, Aimee Monihan, telling me to take it all in so I turned and looked to my left at the mountain landscape and listened to the rustling leaves all around. It was such a special moment."

- Linh, Bride

 

 


THOUGHTFUL DETAILS
The guests (and the flower girls, pictured above) kept warm with cozy blankets that were thoughtfully placed on each chair.

 

The Reception

The reception, held inside The Little Nell’s exclusive private Aspen X Mountain Club, was the first to take place in the space after a fifteen million dollar renovation led by renowned interior designer Luis Bustamante. The remodel features a graphic, red-striped carpet designed in partnership with Prada’s ski collection (which is sold at the club for its members). The wedding reception was designed to complement the bold and beautiful remodel.

 


DESIGN DETAILS
Monochromatic seasonal blooms kept the spring theme alive, while the existing (large) lighting installation allowed Siloh Floral to enhance with custom-built gold art pieces that were designed to float above the tables. Gold Chameleon chairs were chosen to mimic the stripes in the carpet, while the linens were chosen for their fun brush strokes of gold, cream, and ice blue.
From the inside looking out, each of the windows in the dining room framed the landscape like a portrait with natural light coming through.

- — Linh Howard, Bride

The escort card station was a mix of the bride’s love of books and bookshelves.

“We wanted to have a fun interactive space that looked a bit like displayed books but a more modern and clean interpretation that would direct all guests to their seating.” — Aimee Monihan, Event Planner, Destination Occasions


The bride and groom, self-described foodies, chose The Little Nell in part because of its reputation for culinary excellence. When it came time to design the menu, Linh closely collaborated with the Chef and the Master Sommelier to create a five-course, French-inspired Tasting Menu, complete with a pairing of French wines. “I love eating. I travel to eat. One of my favorite restaurants is a French place called Le Bernardin in New York, so there is some inspiration from there,” shares Linh. “Each course was taken from various places from where I traveled, but the ingredients were all locally sourced to showcase Colorado.”

 

The reception ended with a great dance party though it wrapped up promptly at midnight due to the gondola schedule. Linh and Chris finished the evening by walking through a pathway of sparklers waved by their guests. As the couple boarded the gondola to descend to the city of Aspen below, they knew they had experienced a true “Rocky Mountain high.”

The couple lives in Houston, Texas where Linh works in the energy sector of finance and planning and Christopher is an investment banker.


CREDITS
Photography @lauramurray, Event Planning and Production @destination_occasions, Wedding Venue @thelittlenell, Wedding Invitations @sweetzionpaperie, Day-Of Stationery @mayaandlove, Florals @silohfloral, Wedding Dress @galialahav, Second Look Dress @moniquelhuillier, Formalwear @suitsupply, Hair Stylist @bciaffone, Makeup Artist @carriestockert, Officiant @revjillie, Chair Rentals @charmingchairs, Tabletop Rentals @copartyrentals, Music (Ceremony) @wendyleelarson, Entertainment @djnakag, Wedding Cake @coppeliacakes

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