The pandemic considerably changed a Dallas couple's wedding plans, but the intimate ceremony they pulled off was just perfect. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Ducks made several appearances, including the bridesmaids' getting ready outfits. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Niki Duck's Vera Wang bridal gown. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Bridal hair and makeup by Divine Beauty Artists. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
The wedding dress reveal. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Given time constraints and pandemic uncertainty, bridesmaids chose their own dresses. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Both the reception and ceremony were held at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail Village. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Wedding flowers by Petals and Pours. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Groomsmen masks. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
The bride's dress was unlike anything she expected to wear. "But I loved it, and I think I’ll love it forever.” (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
The couple's dog made a reception appearance. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Wedding cake by Katy Pierson. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Both the wedding and reception were held largely outdoors at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail Village. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Cowboy hats and "Just Married" pedicabs to end the night. (Photo by Lady Ilg Photography)
Niki Duck didn’t want a long engagement. She and her fiancé, Kami Duck, whose family founded Dallas-based luxury design showroom Dahlgren Duck, set their wedding date for August 29 after a December 2019 proposal. They landed on a luxurious log hideaway in Beaver Creek, where shuttles could usher their 150 or so guests up the Colorado mountains. Then 2020 happened.
“We never wanted a huge wedding, but we didn’t plan on having it be quite as small as it was,” Niki says. “Everything workout out so perfectly, though.”
Fortunately, the couple was able to keep their date (and their deposit), moving from one town in Colorado — where generations of the Duck family grew up visiting — to another. Their new venue, the well-appointed Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail Village, could host only 80 given Covid-19 restrictions. A little under 70 guests, comprised of the wedding party and immediate family members, attended the reception. Each attendee was, understandably, thrilled to be there.
“I told everyone we invited, ‘If you don’t feel comfortable, I totally understand. It’s a destination that requires travel. Of course we’re following guidelines, but you’re still taking a risk, so please don’t feel pressured to come,’” Niki says. “Everyone was like, ‘No, we’re so excited to get out and do something.’ ”
Of course, the Duck’s wedding was a bit more special than a socially distanced dinner with friends on a patio — and a lot more fashionable. The bride wore a Vera Wang gown from Neiman Marcus, which was, coincidentally, the last stop on her dress hunt.
“I thought I had found the dress for sure, but then Shireen, my mother-in-law, comes in with a dress she found hanging by the dressing rooms. It wasn’t on the floor,” Niki recalls. “I tried it on and that was it. It’s very different from what I was expecting to wear. I was like, oh my God it’s not white. But I loved it, and I think I’ll love it forever.”
Most of the couple’s original wedding venders were able to make the move from Beaver Creek to Vail, but there was one pandemic hang-up: the bridesmaids dresses. Niki had envisioned different styles in the same color, but the shop would need at least six months lead time to fulfill an order. Given the uncertainty of the event, Niki had to make the call. “I just said, ‘You know what? Everybody just chose their own dress. We made a chart to make sure they all looked good together,” she says. “It really worked out.”
The largely outdoor occasion took place in the heart of Vail Village, where the majority of the guests was able to stay, making for an intimate, walkable wedding weekend.
“Everybody had a blast doing their own thing. It was perfect.”