The Wedding Ceremony

When you book a Pikes Peak Wedding or one of our other wedding packages, we know that you want a ceremony that's a little different than most. At Blue Skies Inn, we have several appealing options both for your ceremony and for your wedding venue.

For an outdoor wedding, you may choose between our Waterfall Garden and the Woodland Garden. Our gardens, full of flowers and birdsong, are poetic places to wed. Sounds of our waterfalls will provide the perfect background for your very romantic event.

A deer may wander by to watch you wed, and you are sure to be celebrated by butterflies among the flowers and birds singing overhead. Rose petals will be strewn in the bride's path. Up to 60 guests have plenty of room in either garden.

The Waterfall Garden is highlighted by an extravagant wrought iron wedding arch that we designed and built specially for a "secret garden" theme. The flowered, leafy arch beautifully frames couples for wedding photos.

In summer, our handsome wedding tent will provide you with shade. It creates a soft filtered light that makes wedding photographs sing. In winter or on misty days, our tent will provide your guests with shelter.

For those brides who choose to be wed in the snow in our winter gardens, you are welcome to borrow our white satin cape or furry stole for warmth. Red rose petals on snow create a dramatic background for a wedding.

Our Woodland Garden is tucked into the ancient oaks that overhang a wooded area full of Springtime daffodils. Here we have built a stone waterfall sloping down from the large red rocks that make up the background of our garden areas, then under the ancient oaks and through the densely green and verdant gardens surrounding the waterfall pools.

As part of our wedding package, your wedding officiant is included. We have several officiants of differing backgrounds from which you may choose one whose belief structure is most similar to your own. After booking, we will provide you with biographies of our officiants.

The Ribbon Ceremony

Prospective brides and grooms have noticed that some of our weddings feature brightly colored ribbons. The Ribbon Ceremony can include up to nine family members or friends who will drape the ribbons around your hands.

Blue Skies Inn has taken the idea of the ancient Celtic wedding tradition of hand-fastening and developed a sweet ceremony around it. For the exchange of vows, the couple faces each other and touches the other's hand, palm to palm. Rather than wrapping one cord to symbolize the union as was the tradition in the Middle Ages, seven or more ribbons are used - you may choose the colors.

You may ask up to nine friends or family members to come forward to wrap each ribbon as vows are said. We will help them rehearse before the ceremony. This is a lovely way to involve your family or children in the wedding. Some examples of the vows are, "Will you respect one another, will you laugh with one another," and so forth. After each vow, the pastor says, "And your spirits are joined anew."

When all vows have been said, the ribbons are slipped off and tied in a loose knot by the officiant. The bride and groom each hold one end of the ribbons and complete the tying of the knot to symbolize the union of their spirits. The couple takes the ribbons to their home and hangs them in a special place to remind them of their wedding day and the vows that they have said to each other.

Woodland Garden

Here is a walk through the Woodland Garden. You probably have viewed our gardens through the lens of the wedding photos we have posted on this website. From those mini-wedding albums you are able to see small areas of the gardens. Our gardens are extensive and bloom continuously from March until late October. Of course, the best way to see the gardens is in person, but for those of you who are far away, here are a few views of the Woodland Garden taken one afternoon on a July day.

Woodland Garden Wedding at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado

The Woodland Garden can be approached by a shady garden path that winds up from our 1873 Carriage House. Along the way, you will cross a little bridge.

Woodland Garden Wedding at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado

The bride may choose to walk up these stairs to the Woodland Garden ceremony site. The waiting groom will be able to watch the bride as she slowly ascends the stairs.

Woodland Garden Wedding at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado

This is the Woodland Garden set for a ceremony. The officiant and groom wait for the bride in front of the rock waterfall.

Woodland Garden Wedding at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado

The bride and groom's view from the altar site showing the lower pools of the Woodland Garden waterfall and the arched bridge leading over to our wedding tent.

Woodland Garden Wedding at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado

The gently flowing Woodland Garden waterfall creates nature sounds behind the couple at the altar site as they wed.

Woodland Garden Wedding at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado

Sally will be waiting to photograph the wedding party as they cross over the arched bridge into the Waterfall Garden.

When the ceremony is over, the newlyweds will sign their license, have a toast, and cut their first bite of cake in the Waterfall Garden. Guests will be seated under the wedding tent.

Waterfall Garden

Our gardens constantly change throughout the seasons. Flowers bloom from March until late October, and we are always at work in the garden to make it beautiful for weddings.

Here is a view of the Waterfall Garden as seen from the top of the stairs by the small bridge - the waterfall tumbles through the stones on the left.

It’s a bride’s view, since this is the stairway most brides use to make their entrance into the Waterfall Garden. Guests are seated under the shaded tent.

To the far left is the raised dais we use for wedding license signing and the cutting of wedding cake. On the far side of the tent is the bridge that leads to the Woodland Garden.

Waterfall Garden Wedding at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado
Waterfall Garden Wedding at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado

The wedding guests’ view of the Waterfall Garden. The waterfall pools, edged in red stone, run down the right side of the stairs.

Waterfall Garden Wedding at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado

On the far side of the tent is the arched bridge that leads to the Woodland Garden. We take group photos of guests on the bridge.

Indoor Ceremony in the Chapel

A romantic place to celebrate weddings was created at Blue Skies Inn after two years of careful renovation and painstaking construction. Our historic 1871 Carriage House was lovingly saved and renovated to be a wedding chapel!

Chapel maximum capacity is 35 guests.

Featuring exquisitely painted finishes, our Chapel is a lovely space for use during inclement weather or when seasons make a garden wedding challenging.

Walls are hand painted with many soft shades of palest rosy peach, overlaid with brush strokes of pearlescent paint that shimmers in the light.

Indoor Ceremony in the Chapel at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado
Indoor Ceremony in the Chapel at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado

And, oh!!, the magical light! – a dozen twinkling chandeliers are whimsically strung with lead crystal baubles in varying hues. There is a color to suit any wedding theme and delight any viewer. Set the chandeliers at full brightness or dim them down to romantic candlelight.

Special decorative wrought iron components came from Texas for the stairway which was custom built and assembled locally. Very wide cherry planks from a tree grown in Pennsylvania were selected for the handsome stair treads.

In winter, warmth softly rises from the in-floor heat, keeping bride's toes warm and cozy. Over 2,000 pieces of carefully cut tile is intricately set in a decorative border to frame the Chapel. In summer, air conditioning provides a comfortable space in which to wed. Imagine what the horses who stabled here in 1871 might have thought of that! The very tall sliding doors used for the passage of carriages were preserved. They now roll open to reveal a stunningly large window with Rocky Mountain views that star Pikes Peak. Other doors open to a courtyard garden for cake receptions in pleasant weather.

The Chapel occupies the first floor of our historic 1871 Carriage House. The name for our great room was inspired by the presence of two stained glass windows in the west side of the ancient structure.

Indoor Ceremony in the Chapel at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado
Indoor Ceremony in the Chapel at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado

Due to the casual way in which the windows were inserted long ago into existing carriage house walls (evidenced by structural framing that had been cut by an ax), we guess that the windows might have come from the original adjacent manor house after it burned in 1886. The selective exterior framing of just the deep red cross shape within the stained glass windows might have been an attempt to introduce a chapel theme.

Although only red glass shows outside, hiding the amber and green glass panes, we have revealed all of the glass to the inside now. It's fun to watch the sun as it dances through the brightly colored windows and traces its way across the floor. Early during our time on this property, one of our wedding officiants began calling the structure "the chapel" due to the presence of those stained glass windows, an very unusual feature for a carriage house. Somehow, the ultimate use of the pretty building was in his mind even then.

Please come visit so that Sally and Mike can tour you through our lovingly restored Historic structure.