Chautauqua Meadow Wedding | Chautauqua Dining Hall Reception | Boulder, Colorado
It’s funny, often you have wedding clients that are more like family than customers. Emily’s taste in music … well in most things really qualified her to be my little sister. I was so pleased to hear their first song was the Wilco cover of Woody Guthrie’s “California Stars” sung by their Best Man, with the chorus lyric conveniently changed to “Colorado Stars.” Very clever. The St. Julian Hotel and Chautauqua Dining Hall in Boulder were both so accommodating in the day’s events. Most of their wedding guests flew in from Chicago & the Mid-West and were treated to perfect Colorado weather and scenery!
Leading up to the wedding and during the getting-ready portions of the morning, we joked often about Yoga and how yoga practices are so helpful for getting through stressful times. The breathing, oh yeah — the breathing. I guess all the mindful breathing can’t overcome some moments of emotion … in Emily’s case, walking down the aisle with her Dad.
Originally intended as a Summer learning retreat for Texas schoolteachers in the late 1800’s, Boulder’s Chautauqua facility became thee venue for orators, evangelists, live music, and later motion pictures. At a time there were many Chautauqua’s across the country and Teddy Roosevelt once called the circuit, “The most American thing in America.” A wilderness retreat of 3-5 days to hear a variety of speakers on wide-ranging topics. Before electronic media, the Chautauqua circuit was vital platform for adult education. An outgrowth of the huge Methodist wilderness faith-healing revivals of the 1830’s, the first Chautauqua was held in 1874 and grew to circuit of 10,000 Chautauqua venues nation-wide 40 years later (hard to believe) with an audience estimated 10 million! Radio killed the concept and by 1940 they were done. Both Boulder and Jamestown, New York proudly still have their Chautauqua’s.
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