What does it mean to have a hometown wedding? Well for those who choose to wed at the SteamPlant Event Center it means dogs as ring bearers. It means a photo shoot by the kayaks on F Street and another walking through the aspens only a few miles away. It means cars waiting as your wedding party walks down the street. It means taking a break from the high heels and sticking your toes in the river. It means telling everyone you meet it’s your wedding day and people stopping and really listening to what you have to say.
Living in Salida I find it hard to imagine living in Denver or Colorado Springs, let alone any place larger, I love my 5 minute daily commute by bicycle and if I leave 5 minutes earlier I stop by Café Dawn for a little pick-me-up. My office is only a few steps from the Arkansas River and for my lunch break I cross F Street bridge and hike one of the many trails behind S Mountain. It doesn’t get much better than this. My dad tells me how lucky I am every time we talk on the phone and yet I still can’t get him to move here.
Having moved here in my early twenties I wasn’t entangled with the priorities of an urban lifestyle and now having been here for years I couldn’t imagine entangling myself in anything else. Salida is my hometown. And hometown to me means waving to multiple people from my bicycle on my way to work. It means stopping to chat at the stop sign with a friend. It means making eye contact with everyone and every day making new friends. It means going to a friends art reception and seeing another friend perform live music. I know my hometown is in a beautiful location, and it is the location which brought me here, but really it is the people that keep me here.
I want to share this with you. I want your wedding party to sit on the rocks of the river, as the evening progresses, and have a quiet conversation away from the live music and clanking glasses of the Ballroom. I want you to walk home after your wedding to the Palace or one of Pinon’s Vacation rentals only a block away. I want you to experience my hometown on your special day.