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Brides | A Vintage Meets Eclectic Barn Wedding at a Utah Ranch

Nicole Sands and Tyler Dahlke first met each other while attending high school in Southern California. Little did they know that 12 years later, Tyler would ask Nicole to be his wife. “In March 2020, we drove 15 hours to Telluride, Colorado with our mini Australian shepherd, Finn, to stay with a couple of our best friends for the month,” recalls Nicole. “It was there, after a walk in the snow, that Tyler got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of his life with him.”

Although the beach is their normal locale, the couple wanted to switch it up and head to the mountains for their nuptials. A work trip before they even got engaged led Nicole to the perfect venue: The Lodge at Blue Sky in Wanship, Utah. “Upon arriving, Nicole sent photos to Tyler, excitedly admitting to having found the most perfect wedding venue for the future. Low and behold, it was the first venue we reached out to after getting engaged, and the only venue we traveled to to visit in person,” says the pair. “It was our dream—the most picture perfect place we could have ever imagined saying ‘I Do.’ From the luxurious yet rustic aesthetics to the remote, intimate feeling of the property, we couldn’t wait to welcome our family and friends for a weekend full of celebrations!”

To execute their dream of an natural and eclectic wedding with vintage touches, the bride and groom hired Michelle Leo of Michelle Leo Events. “Being out of state, it was important to us to have a full-service planner to assist with planning and logistics,” they share. “It was the best decision!” Nicole had a very strong vision for the day and wanted to be highly involved in the design aspects. “Even though we got a full-time planner, she welcomed my thoughts with open ears,” the bride explains. “I wished for uniqueness, and she understood the task.”

The couple worked with their planner to execute their aesthetic vision from start to finish, including the charming invitation suite. “Upon our first meeting with her, we had one rule: no roses. Floral-wise, we wanted everything to feel as if it had been plucked right from a field of wildflowers,” shares the couple. The palette encompassed neutrals like ecru and flax, with accents of dusty blues, lavenders, and terracotta. “Aesthetics-wise, we wished to take advantage of all the natural elements of the property like the reclaimed wood barn (that smelled of rustic wood!) and the adorable rescue horses, while bringing in vintage-looking pieces that didn’t overpower the venue.”

The weekend itinerary included horseback riding on private trails, clay sporting competitions at the 18-stand sporting clay course, and an intimate lunch at a scenic yurt. Nicole and Tyler kicked off festivities by hosting guests at a Western welcome party in the resort’s bar, where the bride wore an Anine Bing dress with a corset from Galia Lahav on top. “Everything about our wedding weekend was wholeheartedly ‘us.’ Most importantly, we wanted it to be a special weekend that not only we remember forever, but also our guests,” share the couple. A fan of crafting and creating unique pieces, Nicole DIY-ed own baroque pearl drop earrings for the night.