Not even Mother Nature could stop this storybook wedding. By Casey Jo and Matt Ozuna.
We had been dating for about a year, and we decided to go on Inspirato’s first Mediterranean cruise in the summer of 2013 along the Italian Riviera. That’s when I (Matt) got the idea to propose. I carried that ring all the way to Rome and finally, at the first port of call, Cinque Terre, five Italian villages that are best visited via water taxi, I proposed atop the castle at Vernazza. Thankfully, Casey said, “Yes!”
The rest of the trip was a blur, but what neither of us expected was to make such strong friendships with other couples on the cruise, people who we’ve since visited and even invited to our wedding.
Because Inspirato played an important role in our engagement, we worked with them to find a location for our big day, settling on the Esperanza Resort down in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for the week of September 28 with the wedding on Friday, October 3. Working with our Personal Vacation Advisor, we booked 10 Inspirato homes on the property for a week, including Inspirato’s grandest property, Villa Buenaventura, right on the water with its own pool. We had a deep-sea fishing trip on a yacht planned for one day, another was just a day at the beach with snorkeling available nearby, and another day we had scheduled a sunset cruise with karaoke. On Thursday night, the day before the wedding, we were going to have a catered barbecue at Buenaventura.
Then on Sunday, September 14, Hurricane Odile slammed into the peninsula. The next day, we got a call from Inspirato explaining that they were monitoring the situation down in Mexico. On Tuesday morning, Inspirato called again and told us that with a little more than 10 days until our guests were supposed to arrive in Mexico, it wasn’t looking good. Without us even having to ask, they then provided us with two alternative sites for our wedding that could host all our guests in Inspirato properties and still allow us to keep our wedding on schedule: Punta de Mita, Mexico, or Vail, Colorado.
We discussed postponing the wedding, but realized that all our guests had already taken the time off to go down to Mexico. They had committed and so would we. By Wednesday, we made the decision to move the wedding to Vail and alerted our 70-odd guests. Within 48 hours, we heard back that everyone had changed their travel arrangements.
When we made the move, Inspirato assigned a team of people to help us pull it off who buoyed and comforted us with their positive attitude. Our Personal Vacation Advisor, Katie Earnest, sent us a list of wedding venues to choose from, and we picked an outdoor ceremony among the aspens at the Lodge at Cordillera. Katie found us a day-of wedding planner to handle logistics on our day since the site was a short drive from Inspirato’s residences at the Solaris right in Vail Village.
As in Baja, we put together a week’s worth of activities for our guests. There was a day of skeet shooting for the guys followed by ATV riding through the mountains. We took a multihour river float down the Colorado River with 35 people. We had a bowling night at the alley located in the Solaris, and instead of a karaoke night, we went to bingo night at the Red Lion Inn, which was within walking distance of our residences. Taking the place of the barbecue on the beach was a dinner at a local pizza parlor, Vendetta’s. By luck, it was Restaurant Week in Vail, which made it a lot of fun to go out and try different places and foods. During the week, everyone could break up into smaller groups if they wanted to go try something different. For an event that was pulled together in two weeks, it was surprisingly easy and stress-free.
We got to experience the best of all of Colorado’s weather that week, from sunny and 75 degrees to a light dusting of snow, but on our wedding day, it was bright sunshine and in the mid-60s. And the aspens were at their peak golden color.
In the end, we think Vail was better than Baja could’ve been since everyone was together in the same spot, and we could walk into the village for a bite to eat or to shop. But what made it so special for us was how everyone pulled together to make it happen. In two weeks, we moved a destination wedding for 70 from the beach to the mountains. There’s no way we could’ve done that without Inspirato. They saved our wedding and let us focus on the most special day of our lives. And given what we went through, the moment we saw each other at the ceremony, after all the last-minute changes, was that much more wonderful. We were deeply touched by the entire experience, by the resilience of our close friends and family, and by the setting itself. We are so grateful to be part of the Inspirato family.
— AS TOLD TO GRANT DAVIS