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Wedding Wonders! Pikes Peak to Patterson Inn: Engaged To Wed In A Second!!


Right up the road from Boulder, your humble narrator, Chris Chiari and friends were gathered at the second most haunted hotel in Colorado, the Patterson Inn. The friends included newly engaged Mike and Julie.

Once upon a time last week, Mike and Julie picked a random city with Southwest flights from North Carolina; home. As long as Julie’s Southwest points would cover the airfare, and as long as the destination sounded great, they were set to travel for a short vacation. They wisely and fortuitously settled on Colorado. In Colorado Springs they visited the magnificent red sandstone of the Garden of the Gods; the same sandstone out of which the Patterson Inn was built. They of course went to the top of Pikes Peak. On top of the VERY top, Mike proposed to Julie. Whether it was the thin air or good judgement, Julie said “yes!” That was on Sunday. On Tuesday they found themselves in Denver, and on a “ghost tour.” Of course the Patterson was one of the stops on the tour.

Chris, the owner of the Patterson Inn had to politely, and then firmly, explain to the ghost tour guide that of course they could be on the sidewalk all they wanted, but that they could not trespass and bring a group of people into the sanctity of the yard and entryway to the hotel.  That part of the property,  like the haunted rooms, is strictly the haunt of the guests and staff. In the course of escorting the group off of the property, Chris, Mike and Julie were talking. Learning that Julie and Mike had become engaged only two days before, Chris made what he calls “an indecent proposal.”

He suggested that the young couple change their return flight, stay an extra day, be his guest at the Patterson, and get married at the Patterson. WAIT! Did I just say “get married?” They had only gotten engaged two days before. Chris had one condition attached to his largess.  He was to be the officiant for the wedding.  Fortuitously, since Southwest had already changed their flight once, they were able to change it twice more with zero additional charge. They changed their return flight to allow them to stay the extra night, and to allow them to get married immediately. The wedding was set for a mere three days after the engagement, and before they had even begun to think about a wedding date or about anything else related to the “normal” wedding they might otherwise have had.

The bride found a wedding dress during the day on Wednesday and looked fantastic. Mike looked pretty good himself, and they were both smiling from ear to ear. Everyone there knew just how special and unusual this moment was and we all felt lucky to be a part of it.

Pulling a whole flock of rabbits out of a hat rack full of hats, Chris procured their marriage license within a day and arranged flowers, music, an officiant (him), a photographer (me) and guests. A Denver relative was tracked down and she joined the festivities. The wedding and festivities took place in the 12 Spirits Lounge and patio at the Patterson Inn. The night was perfect. The ceremony was brilliant.

The couple, without notice, managed to write tear-producing vows, and Chris, complete with clerical collar, performed a stately, classy, romantic and deeply moving ceremony.

He was truly inspired. Engaged on Sunday, married on Wednesday! Simply amazing and simply the right thing to do. They went with the flow, setting a great example for all of us. When the wind is right, haul the main in tight and fly with the wind! And fly they did.

May they have many decades of happy marriage, and may they have a life as filled with joy and magic as the last few days have been.

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared Knowledge Is Power!


Leonard Frieling Senior Attorney Emeritus
  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • Photographer of the Year, AboutBoulder 2023
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.

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