take it easy at first
just my advice - if you want to still be boating WITH your wife by the end of season, take it easy and go boating only with experienced boaters the first couple of months on the river. You do not yet have the experience to recognize the difference between a branch overhanging the river that is easily avoided, and a deadly strainer that will kill you. Or the other river hazards. Both Deckers and Brighton-Fort Lupton have hazards such as rocks, diversion dams, etc. that are easy to avoid if you know what you're doing, but can be very intimidating the first times on the river. Without a roll or someone to T-rescue you, both of you may spend a lot of time swimming in cold, cold water, and this turns off a lot of beginners very early; many never go back.
For an inexpensive, supportive environment on the river, I always recommend the Colorado Whitewater Association, coloradowhitewater.org. Their Training Camp at the end of May will be perfect for you, and inexpensive; they also have guided weekend trips before then.
Eric Jackson is a superb boater, but at this point in your boating career, much of what he has to teach would be lost on you.