Its summertime, the invitations have been sent, the dress is picked out and the wedding bells are ringing as Durango gears up for its busiest season.
Durango has been called a hot spot for destination weddings with the backdrop of the San Juan Mountains and abundance of outdoor activities.
But for one couple, the citys secluded location was what reeled them in to having their wedding here this August.
To be honest, we live in Boulder, and probably 90 percent of the people who are coming live in town, so we wanted to get further out of town to dissuade everyone from coming, Boulder resident Catt Wilson said.
Wilson said there is no one specific the couple doesnt want to attend, but they are hopeful that about one in four of the 110 guests they invited wont attend to spend less on the wedding.
Durango Party Rental owner Jon Sigillito is doubtful the couples plan will be a success.
I think summertime is the best time to come up to Durango. Its cool, theres a lot to do, and people come up for weddings and spend the day before rafting, he said. People make a long weekend or week out of it.
Sigillitos business thrives in the summer and early fall when wedding season is in full swing, calling the rental shop a six-month business. Last summer alone, he rented items for more than 100 weddings.
While Sigillito said he can survive without the wedding surplus, La Féte Events Boutique depends on it to keep the business going in the off season.
For most retailers, Christmas is more their break-even time of the year, but summers with weddings put us on the map, owner Donna Lynas said.
The boutique caters to more than just locals. In the last two years, Lynas said there have been Europeans coming to Durango to get married. One couple made the trip from Australia to celebrate their big day in town.
According to data provided by the Durango Area Tourism Office, weddings and family reunions make up 49 percent of Durangos group-oriented business.
Executive Director John Cohen called the niche a huge part of the overall group market.
Cohen said the tourism office has been attending bridal shows to garner more interest in Durango and work with brides who are considering having their wedding in the area.
Recognizing the potential, local resorts and businesses are trying to find new ways to bring more brides into the area.
Dalton Ranch Golf Club recently opened an outdoor venue that overlooks the Animas River to increase the number of destination weddings it holds.
Food and Beverage Director Annie Drysdale said people come from Denver and Texas to the club to have their weddings. She said its the whole Durango package that appeals to them.
I think there is a mentality where people here want to be here, she said. They are here for a purpose, and that comes out in the community and makes people happy, and people want to be a part of that.
Kim McNulty, spokeswoman for Durango Mountain Resort, said the areas surroundings make it an ideal location for outdoor weddings.
The scenery is absolutely spectacular and a draw for brides and grooms who want to get married in a beautiful natural setting, she said.
Local businesses said June is typically the busiest month for weddings but it picks up again in September when the trees start to change colors.
For Aprils Garden owner Amy Long, last September proved to be busier than June. Its too early to tell how this September will be, but Long said it has been a busy season so far with about six weddings each weekend.
Time will tell if groom-to-be Wilsons plan to winnow attendance is a success, but Drysdale warned that the secluded nature is what draws people to the small mountain town.
Part of the charm is it is so secluded. It makes you feel like youre in your own little world, she said.