[HOLIDAY] Memorial Day weekend in the mountains

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A never-ending winter just won't seem to go away, as we head into the first week of June and lots of snow still clings to the upper slopes.  You can't ride the epic singletrack that can be found in the alpine realm of Summit County,  but you can still have a great experience in the mountains.  There are lots of lower trails that melt sooner than others.  We can tell you which are ready, and which aren't.

10th Mountain Division Statue - Breckenridge, Colorado  |  photo[stacysanchez]

Around town, it's a great opportunity for dining as restaurants offer a classic mud-season incentive, 2-for-1's!  Check the local paper to see who's in on this deal, as some restaurants wait until June to reopen.

10th Mountain Division Statue - Breckenridge, Colorado  |  photo[stacysanchez]

After learning more about the 10th Mountain Division, I felt I wanted to share the local connection to this group, and that is a statue near the Blue River in downtown Breckenridge.  The first military group that was devoted to mountain warfare, this amazing group of individuals were experts at skiing, mountaineering and technical climbing, as well as how to live as comfortable as possible while being cold, wet and hungry.

10th Mountain Division Statue - Breckenridge, Colorado  |  photo[stacysanchez]

After the war, these men went on to become founders of ski areas, ski school instructors and influential members of the ski industry.  To say that they have a part of the current mountain culture near Summit County, Colorado would be an understatement.

10th Mountain Division Statue - Breckenridge, Colorado  |  photo[stacysanchez]

The benefits of choosing this time of year for your mountain wedding is that you can have a quiet mountain town "all to yourself", and get some great deals on lodging while missing the crowds of the busier holiday weekends.  Skiing is still available at Arapahoe Basin, you can go rafting or fly fishing, or hit the bike path for some early season biking.   Art galleries, museums and restaurants are just waiting.  Yeah, there's snow up there still, but they're not going anywhere.

10th Mountain Division Statue - Breckenridge, Colorado  |  photo[stacysanchez]

Memorial Day weekend is a great choice for a mountain wedding in Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Dillon, Frisco, Keystone or Silverthorne, Colorado.  Too bad you can't use the hut system this time of year, but now is when they restock and resupply for the summer season.  To help or volunteer, check out the options here:  http://bit.ly/hutsystem

Cool air and warm sun make up spring weather in the mountains, and definitely be prepared for rain, possibly snow on any given day, regardless of forecast.  There was brilliant sun over the weekend, but today was breezy, saw a bit of graupel, and was only in the upper 40's.  It should be in the 70's the rest of the week.  Perfect mountain weather if you ask me.

[HOW TO] Plan your Wedding Flowers, a Step by Step guide - Part 2

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The following is part 2 of 3 in a Wedding Floral Planning blog series by the Flower Maven, Dina Sanchez of Creative Flowers Inc | Petal and Bean, a 17 year Breckenridge flower shop owner.  Dina has created custom bridal bouquets for over 1,000 weddings in her professional career as a florist.

Last week we discussed getting started with the flower design process.  This week were are going to put it into action.

Make sure you capture that beautiful bouquet on film!  |  Photo[robinjohnsonphoto.com]

Step 4 - Begin your search for a florist that matches your style and budget (9 mos < wedding date).

Multiple venue managers have said that it's important that your florist have experience working in the mountains.  Local vendors know the area and can effectively navigate quickly-crowded mountain streets on holiday weekends, and already know about that mountain bike race  that they've been hyping up in the local paper that will clog up some roads.

Mountain wedding deliveries include driving up a four wheel drive road with glass containers and fresh product sloshing around, or could mean riding a gondola with the flowers and decor  and being prepared for inclement weather, including snow.

Get recommendations from the venue manager but also look on your own, or ask another local vendor who they've worked with and would recommend.  You will want a florist with updated information, photos and client reviews.  I would recommend looking for your florist at least nine months prior to your wedding date.

Step 5 - Be prepared.

Before you meet with your florist, make sure to have all your pictures, ideas and budget in place. You don't have to have every detail worked out, but having a minimum and maximum budget will allow your florist to give you an accurate idea as to what they can offer and suggest for you.

Step 6 - Book the florist you connect with.

Expect to pay a deposit and possibly a consultation fee to meet with in-demand artisans.  Review the proposed  contract carefully, and be sure to ask your florist if they allow any changes prior to the wedding.  Final balance is customarily due two weeks to ten days prior to the wedding.

*Photo courtesy of Robin Johnson, who took the pics at our wedding, which we will be showing more of very soon.  The pic is from a wedding that Petal and Bean and Robin Johnson worked together at Ten Mile Station at the Breckenridge Ski Resort.  Please visit her website,  and Facebook page to learn more.