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  • Marea Bowser

Lauren and Ben Part One: Mountain Magic and a Missing Dog

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

When I first received a phone call from Lauren’s sweet mother, Laura, describing to me the type of wedding her daughter and future son-in-law were planning to have, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it. A mid-morning ceremony and brunch reception directly overlooking Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, you say? COUNT ME IN. And if Laura’s daughter was anywhere near as sweet and kind as she had been, I knew I would love her.


I grew up about 5 minutes from Garden of the Gods Park. To be honest, as a kid, I didn’t think it was anything special. It was just that place with rocks that we visited whenever we had out-of-town company. I was equally unimpressed with Pikes Peak, or Tava as I now call her (her native Ute name pre-colonization, meaning Sun Mountain). My mom would constantly exclaim, “Look at the Peak! It’s so beautiful today!” To which I would roll my eyes and retort, “Moooommm, it’s the same mountain that was there yesterday.” Something about traveling the world and living in other cities where I no longer had this powerful goddess of stone looking down on me made me realize what an important role that mountain has played in my life. She gives me a sense of grounding, of presence, of direction and balance. In recent years as my childhood faith has become a crumbling foundation, I’ve looked to Tava for the stability and peace that was missing from my current circumstances. And when I am getting caught up in the stress and chaos of life and just need a moment to remind myself to breathe, I take a scenic detour through Garden of the Gods and pause to soak up the magic of those stunning red statues, and suddenly my world stops spinning and I can just be present with the Earth again and remember that it is enough just to be.


All this to say, Garden of the Gods Resort, overlooking these majestic rock features that have become a piece of my heart, was one of my most coveted venues to coordinate a wedding at. I tried to contain my excitement when I first skyped Lauren, who was in the East Coast with her husband-to-be, both finishing up their graduate degrees in I don’t even remember because their brilliance levels so greatly exceed my own. But somehow these two people with super-human brains also managed to come with super-human hearts. Every interaction I had with them was both incredibly communicative (let me tell you, people who communicate effectively are my instant best friends) and wonderfully kind-hearted.


The first time we ever met in person also happened to be the day that my pup-child got lost in the hills behind my house. Needless to say, not one of my favorite days of the year. After cleaning up my snot-faced, puffy-eyed self and trying to look presentable enough to go meet Lauren and Ben for a tasting and venue walk-through, I dragged my little broken heart up the hill to the resort and tried to keep it together. When I told Lauren and Ben what I had been up to that morning (losing my voice shouting Ginger’s name down every street within a 2 mile radius, although I’m sure I worded it simply, “I lost my dog.” to keep my voice from cracking), they were so thoughtful and sympathetic, even offering more than once to reschedule our meeting so I could go look for her. They showed genuine care and concern for me and my missing girl, even though it was the first time we’d actually met and they were on a very tight schedule. I could tell from that first moment of meeting them that they were two humans who genuinely love and care for not only each other, but all those they come in contact with.


Add to that Ben’s clever sense of humor and Lauren’s contagious smile, and you’ve got a rockstar couple that was so obviously meant to be together. Their wedding was absolutely going to be a wonderful one. (Oh, and if you were still worried about whether or not I found my puppy, take heart in knowing that some kind stranger travelling from New York saw her running through traffic and picked her up and took her to the Humane Society, where my partner and I picked her back up later that evening. Thank the gods for good-hearted humans and puppies coming home! <3).


The Dream Team:

Coordination by Dream Catcher Weddings @dreamcatcherweddingsco

Venue, Catering, and Bartending by Garden of the Gods Resort and Club @ggresortandclub

Photography by Cayton Photo @cayton_photo

DJ and MC Services by MC Events, Co @mceventsco

Flowers by Lovely Gatherings @lovelygatherings



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