Real Weddings

Denver Wedding Under an Umbrella

Meghan decided she wasn’t going to let anything rain on her and Michael's parade, not even rain itself. After all, some folks say rain on your wedding day is good luck! Grab your poncho and read on to learn more from Meghan.

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Love Story

Cliche as it may be, I knew the moment I met Michael that he was different. He was an incredible listener, a wonderful friend, and the perfect man. Only one problem, he had a girlfriend. Unlucky for her she was a bad person and cheated on this wonderful man, leaving him for the taking. Not long after that our love story started with dinner, then led to talking into the wee morning hours.

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Fast forward 4 years, per usual my wonderful boyfriend had planned another surprise birthday party for me. This year, I was expecting a proposal, but to my surprise, it didn't happen. Yet. The very next day he got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. One year and a little over one month later we walked down a soaking wet, rainy rooftop in downtown Denver to exchange our vows in front of our 200 closest friends and family. (Don't worry, we gave them ponchos).

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Inspiration

The love we have for each other and our friends inspired everything. Every decision we made was to ensure everyone had a fabulous evening they would never forget. We had minimal but beautiful decor that was light and organic. The most important part of the evening was the experience. From the specialty tequila bar to the late night pad thai in adorable mini Chinese food boxes!

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Budget

HAHA I wish I could say something else here, but... We didn't cut a single corner when it came to making the experience perfect. I did, however, cut costs when it came to decor and all the things I realized I couldn't recall from past weddings I'd been to.

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Unique Details 

We enjoyed amazing pre-wedding yoga on the rooftop terrace where the ceremony would be held later that day. The practice was centered around staying grounded and present in the day. Did I mention, the sun was out? By all accounts (historically speaking) you couldn’t ask for a more perfect day. In fact, there is a only a 15% chance that more than 0.04 inches of total precipitation will fall in Denver throughout the day on September 23. But mother nature had a different plan for our day. 

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I could have very easily let this ruin my day, after all what bride wants rain on her wedding day? But early in the day, I made my mind up that I wasn’t going to let anything rain on my parade, not even rain itself. I was blessed to be surrounded by the most amazing women and bridesmaids. They lifted me up in so many ways, I’m sure there are things that I don’t even know about to this day.

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That said, there was a moment that changed it all. We were about 1 hour away from the ceremony starting, my dress was on, my hair and makeup were flawless thanks to Candace at Dotted with Hearts Artistry and Lauren Shea at Lauren Shea Wedding hair, my amazing family and friends were surrounding me, but in that moment, it was still raining. There were so many things happening around me and all of the sudden it all rushed over me like a wave. I’m asking 200 people to sit in formal wear, on a rooftop, downtown Denver, in the rain.

I immediately reminded myself to stay grounded, calmly made my way to the window looking down, longing to just put my feet in the grass, to ground myself. But, I knew that wasn’t an option, so I sat by the window and cracked it the whole 2 inches that you are allowed in the 34th floor.

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Suddenly, I was met with an all to familiar smell, Petrichor otherwise known as the smell of the earth after it rains. In that moment, I knew everything would be okay. I was marrying my best friend and that is what the day was about, rain or shine, I got to stand and profess my love for the man of my dreams in front of all the people near and dear to our hearts.

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Unique Challenges

Well it rained, and thank God for Amazon... can you say Ponchos?

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(Check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings tips for weather contingency plans here.)

Lessons Learned 

I've recently ventured into starting my own business as a wedding planner. Thus, I could go on and on and on. But honestly, every event will have its flaws. You just have to make sure that you remember what the wedding is really about. Two people who love one another, professing their love in front of their loved ones.

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Tips for Engaged Couples

Don't sweat the small stuff. Love the process. If you're feeling stressed, ask for help, from friends or find a professional. You only get that day once, you don't want to look back and wish you had been more present. Just BE, be with your person and love every imperfect moment. Marriage isn't perfect and your wedding wont be either, but the only thing that can ruin your day, is your attitude. Coming from the girl who got married on a rooftop, in the rain, on a day that historically got .04 inches of rain over the past 10 years... in my best Elsa voice... Let it goooo... let it goooo

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Marriage Advice

Always remember, you're on the same team.

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Guest List Count: 200 // Photography: Bookend Photography //Ceremony Venue: Hyatt Regency //Reception Venue: Cluster Studios // Planner: Onyx Art & Events // Caterer: Dark Steele Gastro Arts // Bar Services: Peak Beverage // Event Rentals: Amora // DJ: Brian Martinez // Stationery: Goosie Girl Designs // Florist: Poppy & Pine //Hairstylist: Belle Shea - Lauren Luquette //Makeup Artist: Dotted With Hearts Artistry - Candace Tucker // Wedding Dress: Dora Grace - Essence of Australia // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Groom and Groomsmen Wardrobe: Dora Grace // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Accessories: Sathers // Officiant: Mike Messner

Mountain Nuptials with a Vintage Twist

Carlie and Eric have a quintessential Colorado love story. Their first date was in Denver, the bride's ring contains the Colorado state gem stone, and their wedding had a breathtaking mountain backdrop. Read on to learn more from Carlie!

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Love Story

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The bride and groom were introduced by the groom's uncle. Our first date was in Denver and our love bloomed from there. As seen in the blue aquamarines in the bride's ring (Colorado's state gem stone), their love began in Colorado. 

The bride and groom got engaged just outside of Portland, Oregon at the bride's favorite place on earth- Multnomah Falls. On the Benson bridge at the falls the groom proposed with a 1.5 carat brilliant cushion cut custom Verragio ring that has features that describe our love story.

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Our wedding was held at the Boettcher Mansion in Golden, Colorado and it was the quintessential Colorado wedding. In front of 85 guests, the bride and groom were married in a traditional Episcopal ceremony with a ceremony to follow.

Inspiration

The inspiration behind the wedding day was to amplify the natural beauty of Colorado and the Boettcher mansion itself. Since the mansion is so splendid by itself, muted tones were used instead of bright colors so that the venue could shine. Greys and whites were used in the floral displays along with lots of greenery. The décor was sophisticated, classy and somewhat vintage as seen in the mercury glass bud vases on the tables and antique looking roses in the bouquets.

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The brides dress was vintage in appearance with a subtle hue of champagne and blush. A piece of the bride's mother's wedding dress was sewn into the bodice.

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A tradition that has long been followed in Ireland (bride's heritage is Ireland and the couple's first trip was to Ireland) is to ring bells on the wedding day to ward off evil spirits and promote a lifetime of happiness. The send-off at the end of the night was an Irish send off of all the guests ringing wands made by the bride and mother of the bride to follow in this tradition.

Budget

The bride's parents hosted the wedding with a $25,000 budget. The three most important things to the wedding were the venue, catering and flowers and cost was not cut on these three things. It was also important to the bride and groom to have an open bar. When it came to budgeting not much had to be cut out since the budget was so generous.

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Many things including all signage was hand created by the extremely crafty bride. These signs included calligraphy "reserved" signs for the ceremony, a large sign stating "Our Adventure Begins" as guests arrived at the venue, and a large directional sign showing guests where to go. Another thing that was a splurge was the custom made save the dates, wedding invitations, and thank you cards all of which were inspired by the Boettcher Mansion.

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Unique Details

The florist, Poppy and Pine, and the cake decorator are friends of the bride.

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The priest is the family priest of the groom's family. The brother of the bride and sister of the groom each had speaking parts from the Bible in the ceremony. The wedding party consisted of a maid-of-honor and a best man as well as a flower girl (the bride's niece). The flower girl's dress was custom made by an atelier in London, England and was a mini version of the bride's dress. 

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The feathers used in the boutonnieres were harvested from pheasants from the groom's hunting trip.

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The bride wore light blue Badgley Mischka heals for her something blue. She also had a borrowed hankie, a piece of her mother's dress sewn into her dress (the something old) and the new were her custom made earrings. She also had a sixpence in her shoe.

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The bride's mother and mother of the groom were given Tiffany and Co. necklaces both featuring hearts for love. The bride also works in cardiology and loves hearts!

The ceremony featured a hot chocolate bar and blankets to warm the guests. A violin and cello duo played the traditional ceremony songs as well as throughout cocktail hour.

Cocktail hour featured a signature cocktail paying homage to the bride's Irish heritage: Jameson Ginger and Lime.

The reception featured calligraphy table numbers done by the bride, lanterns and mercury glass bud vases and candle holders. The table linens were grey with upgraded plates, utensils and glassware. The cuisine was a plated salad followed by a delicious menu at the buffet. A champagne toast followed as well as a toast from the bride's father and then cake cutting.

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Dancing came next with the first dances on the moonlit mansion patio. The bride and groom and then the bride and her father.

The wedding favors were in envelopes hand stamped by the bride with airplane bottle openers as well as "hangover kits: in sickness and in health".

Favorite Memory

My favorite memory from the wedding was when I took a moment to absorb all of our friends and family who had come out to be with us on our special day. Seeing everyone enjoying themselves and being there in support for us was so incredibly touching and emotional.

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Unique Challenges

Some challenges were working with certain venders and waiting to get answers to questions. A few other things were just pulling the trigger on large purchases like what to have catered and which flowers to have. At a certain point you just have to decide!

The bride was also faced with working full time and trying to plan a wedding in her free time.

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Lessons Learned

Looking back, I wish I would have known truly how stressful it all would be. Once the wedding was over the amount of stress was then visible. It's one of those "you don't know how much stress you have until it's gone"

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Tips for Engaged Couples

My one tip that was given to me when I was planning a wedding was that the actual day goes by so fast, so take a few moments to sit back and soak it all in. Make sure you love your photographer because you want to be able to relive the day in their photos just like how I feel I can.

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Marriage Advice

Now that we are married, I would say pick your battles and ask yourself "is this really worth mentioning or fighting over?" and if it isn't just let it go!

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Guest List Count: 85 // Photography: ROGUE Film Co. (Facebook and Instagram) // Venue: Boettcher Mansion // Planner: Promise Event Planners (Payton Bernstine) // Baker: Sam Keith Cake Design // Caterer: Footers Catering & Events // Alcohol: Molly's Spirits // Rentals: Colorado Party Rentals // DJ: Quality Mobile Sound (Ken) // Music: A Touch of Class Music (violin and cello) // Stationery: Nesting Projects // Florist: Poppy & Pine // Hair: Hayley Styles // Wedding Dress: The Bridal Collection (Miss Stella York) // Bridesmaid Dresses: The Bridal Collection // Groom and Groomsmen: Men's Warehouse (Vera Wang) // Shoes: Badgley Mischka

One Year of Multi-Cultural Wedding Celebrations

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Christina and Adnan shared an unforgettable year of wedding celebrations, honoring their families' cultures every step of the way. They beautifully displayed how love transcends cultures with an Islamic ceremony, a Colorado mountain wedding, and Indian reception. Read on to learn more from Christina!

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Love Story

We were both teachers attending a professional development session and were asked to role play students so teachers could practice classroom management. My student profile said to behave perfectly. His said that he "is enamored of the person sitting next to him" - and he did an excellent job flirting with me. The role play flirting turned into a wonderful friendship, which turned into dating.

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Adnan proposed to me in my hometown, Boulder, and we began our beautiful year of wedding celebrations and blending our two families and cultures! We had our Nikah, our Islamic legal wedding ceremony, in a mosque in Chicago - it was a colorful, joyful two days! Following that celebration, we hosted our family and friends for a Colorado mountain wedding where we were married by my family friends in my favorite place in the world. To round out the events, Adnan's parents hosted a Walima, a beautiful Indian wedding reception with their incredible family and community.

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Inspiration

Our Colorado wedding was designed to be a joyful, timeless, and beautiful coming together of our families and friends. It was important to us that our families be at the center, so our wedding party was our siblings, and family members made heartfelt toasts. When designing the ceremony, we carefully considered the differences between our families culturally and religiously, and the shared love and values that transcend any differences. We wanted to craft a ceremony with our family friends who married us that would uniquely reflect us, our values, our personalities, and our families.

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The colors were all inspired by the natural beauty of the Colorado mountains - the light pinks and greens evoke the natural landscape around us. We wanted to be able to see mountains from our ceremony spot, we wanted delicious, local food, and we wanted to have fun dancing - and we were able to make it all happen with our venue!

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Budget

One of the conversations we had when we were budgeting was to name what was most important to us - and we decided to pay for quality and go with our preferences in those categories. We knew we wanted excellent photos since those would last beyond our day and we wanted delicious, local food for our guests. Our ceremony spot was so beautiful, we knew we didn't need a lot of extras to make it special - so we opted to cut costs on things like programs, chair decorations, and so on.

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Unique Details

Adnan and I met in Nashville, Tennessee, and we wanted to have a nod to our meeting place and our friends we made while living in the South. Therefore, we had some late night snacks of Chicken and Waffles as well as a S'mores station. Our ceremony was incredibly special to us; we worked together for a year with our family friends to craft the content and flow. Adnan and I chose readings - a more serious one and a light-hearted one - that were non-religious and encompassing of our personalities. We loved having a Polaroid camera for guests to take pictures and leave us photos + notes in our guest book. After we got engaged, we adopted Teddy, our energetic and adorable puppy! We loved that he could come to see us before the ceremony, handsomely sporting his Dog of Honor bandana.

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Favorite Memory

There are so many little moments that stand out to us as we reflect! The two brightest spots in our minds are first, when we took five minutes just to be together after the ceremony but before we entered the reception. We climbed up to the third floor of the venue and peered down at all of our guests during cocktail hour and just took a moment to be grateful for all our family and friends - and relax for a moment!

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The other favorite moment was our first dance. We had taken lessons and were incredibly nervous and excited. We loved the energy of our guests during our dance, and felt like we were the only people in the world.

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Unique Challenges

A couple of challenges we faced during the wedding planning process included planning from a distance - we are currently living in California - and imagining and designing a wedding in which both of our families feel represented, included, and comfortable. My family and friends who were local in Colorado - as well as our amazing vendors - made it easy to hop on FaceTime or email back and forth in order to plan! I loved how Lionscrest Manor (our venue) had worked with so many of the vendors before, they were all so comfortable and knew the routine. I'm so glad that Adnan and I had a year to plan out our wedding that would welcome the families together; it was so important to ask everyone what they were comfortable with, how they wanted to be included and celebrated, and just to have frequent communication.

Read more on planning a wedding from out-of-town here.

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Lessons Learned

Looking back, I wish that we had booked our venue for a little more time - it goes by so quickly! I did my hair and makeup off site, and wish I had a few photos of everyone getting ready. By the time we had gotten to the venue, we only had about 30 minutes before photos started. Another thing I learned was that it is okay to have a preference and to ask for help! I was very relaxed and did a lot myself, which was lovely! Some of my friends and family really wanted to help, and I was just as relaxed and happy delegating, so I wish I would have done that earlier. Also, I wish we would have opted to have our photographers stay until the very end!

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Tips for Engaged Couples

Decide what is most important to you, and pursue quality! Remember that it is your day, and you should honor your preferences and wishes. Make sure you feel comfortable with your day-of coordinator and communicate frequently with that person! Take time to be with your significant other at some point during the event - just the two of you. Enjoy it - it will go by so fast and you want to be really present the whole time!

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Marriage Advice

Communicate frequently and honestly by sharing your needs and wants - and listen well! Continue practicing or discover how to show love in ways that matter to your partner. Date each other, even though you're married. Have each other's backs and keep being each other's best friend. Follow your own timeline and life path, and know that doing that might not make everyone else in your life totally happy.

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Guest List Count: 125 // Photography: Hitch & Sparrow were our amazing photographers, we love love them! // Venue: Lionscrest Manor - seriously the greatest group of people, Tatiana was unbelievable to work with. // Baker: Lori made the most delicious cakes, including a gluten-free one! Our guests said "this is the best cake we've ever had" and loved the bride and groom cookies. // Caterer: Greens Point Catering // Videographer: Andy Sullivan // DJ: Pure Sounds Productions // Florist: Flori Flowers // Hair and Makeup: The Bridal Goddess // Wedding Dress: anna bé // Bridesmaid Dresses: Donna Beth Creations // Shoes: BHLDN

Simple, Romantic Summer Wedding

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Wedding planning was one of most stressful, but ultimately rewarding times in Maggie and Daniel's lives. The most important advice they kept in mind on their wedding day was, "Look around you and be thankful. There is likely never going to be another moment in your life when all of these most important people are in the same place, at the same time again." Read on to learn more from Maggie and Daniel!

Love Story

Daniel and Maggie met on a warm summer night in Boulder. What started out as a gradual courtship eventually developed into a whirlwind romance. With a shared love of simplicity in life and the importance of family, Dan and Maggie built a solid foundation in Christ before gifting their lives to each other before an intimate group of close friends and family at St. Catherine of Siena Chapel, known as the Chapel on the Rock, outside of Estes Park.

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Inspiration

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It all began with the chapel. When Maggie moved to Colorado in 2007 with just a broken heart and her dog, she rounded the corner in Allenspark, on the way to RMNP, to a stunning stone chapel perched on a rock at the base of a towering mountain. She never made it to RMNP that day, instead hiking around the chapel and praying that someday the Lord would bring her to the altar in that chapel. 

10 years later she was walking down the aisle of St. Catherine of Siena Chapel to commit her life to the man God had finally brought into her life. With such a magnificent backdrop for their wedding, Maggie and Dan knew it was the perfect setting to incorporate a simple theme, with neutral color palette and classic detailing. 

Baby's breath, with its beautiful, delicate flowers, was the foundation from which the color palette was built. Classic ivory, sage green and light beige with subtle hints of blushing pink were incorporated to create a soft, romantic palette. 

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Maggie wore a corset-backed, ivory lace wedding dress, lined with blushing pink satin to complement her fair skin and red hair. She altered the dress, adding matching lace cap sleeves to honor the traditions of a Catholic Mass. 

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Dan wore a simple black suit with a white dress shirt, black bowtie, and black vest with Fleur de Lis cufflinks as a nod to his New Orleans family ties. To balance Dan's look, Maggie's four bridesmaids each wore their own, unique black dresses while the groomsmen each wore their own, unique mix of light and dark suits. 

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Maggie and Dan chose to complement the baby's breath with roses and eucalyptus. The ivory colored roses elevated the romance and kept the look classy and traditional while the eucalyptus incorporated a beautiful sage green color, unique texture, delicious scent, and height contrast to the centerpieces and chapel accents. Together with baby's breath, the combination was a truly simple and elegant design perfect for a traditional summer wedding in the high peaks of Colorado.

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Budget

Maggie and Dan knew that location and logistics were going to eat up a large part of their already modest, less than $12k total budget. With the chapel located high in the Rockies outside of Estes Park, they decided on a reception venue in Lyons at Lionscrest Manor which fit not just the budget and elegant ambience they were looking for, but also offered another set of gorgeous mountain views since it is perched up high enough to glimpse Long's Peak at sunset. 

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With family flying in from out of town, they decided on the Renaissance Flatiron hotel in Broomfield as a central location for the room block. Given the steep and mountainous terrain to the chapel and reception, they knew that roundtrip shuttle service was an absolute must for their family and friends on the day of the wedding. They worked out a deal with the hotel for discounts on shuttle service based on the number of rooms booked, which almost cut the bill in half! 

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Read more on accommodating out of town guests here!

Like most families, Maggie and Dan's family appreciate good food! When it came to the catering service, they partnered with Front Range Catering who worked in a discount based on their double booking for the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception! Maggie and Dan chose to keep it budget-friendly with a buffet style dinner and nobody left hungry! Several appetizers including mini twice baked potatoes, petite quiche lorraine, and sesame coconut chicken skewers were served when guests arrived to the reception. A lighter main course of chicken roulades and stuffed tilapia as entrees, with a few rich sides including Dan's favorite penne Alfredo rounded out the menu. Maggie and Dan chose to have a small 6" cake, and guests were served table side from a more economical sheet cake, all baked by Front Range Catering!

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With a setting like this, Maggie and Dan knew that photography was going to be super important. Jamie Striplin of Crystaline Photography fit the bill for them in terms of the GREAT package deal she offered, and the experience with epic mountain wedding photography that Jamie and her team brought to the table. Most importantly, Jamie and her team were almost invisible throughout the day, and executed on all of the very specific shots that Maggie and Dan had in mind. With over 2,000 gorgeous photos, this couple may never get around to selecting album photos and prints!

As a musician, Dan was able to lock in a great deal with a fantastic band, "Jus' Sayin" who played the entire reception. 

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Planning the entire wedding together, with help from Maggie's Mom, was time consuming but ultimately gave Maggie and Dan greater control over negotiating contracts, and finding deals on everything from the wedding dress to flowers to catering to decor. They wouldn't have done it any other way!

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Unique Details

The setting for this wedding was incredible; guests will remember the views and serene beauty of the historic chapel more than the centerpieces. This really allowed Maggie and Dan to take advantage of the scene that was already set, incorporating fewer accents and decor than would have been required to dress up another church and venue at a different location.

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Favorite Memory

Maggie and Dan will never forget the moment their eyes met for the first time that day at the top of the aisle. That moment stood still for both of them before the rest of the day flew by!

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Unique Challenges

Budgeting was always top of mind for Maggie and Dan, so they found every way they could to cut costs. The reception venue and caterers both took payment installments which really helped to spread out the larger costs over more time. Costs were also a concern for our wedding party, so allowing them to all choose their own attire really alleviated any stress there and saved so much time in coordinating and shopping for those items. Maggie was knee deep in flowers creating all of the accent and centerpieces two days before the wedding, and Dan designed and created all of the invitations, mass cards, and signage.

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Lessons Learned

For first timers, Maggie and Dan did pretty good at planning and executing the wedding! Maggie wished she would have appointed a bridesmaid to be the point of contact for the event staff during the reception so that she wasn't as concerned with logistics during the reception. Dan wishes his band would have played the reception. ;-)

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Tips for Engaged Couples

Due diligence is important. Take the time to research online before making a short list to actually meet with or visit in person including venues, caterers, vendors, prices, etc. Read reviews from other couples. There are plenty of sites that allow real couples to review their experiences. Choose those that are in the budget first, and have great reviews!

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Decide early on what you are willing to manage yourself and what you want to delegate to others or outsource to a planner. Remember there are trade-offs. Your time and sanity are super important during this time! If you are the type of person who enjoys having full control over every detail, then do most of it on your own! But if you have trouble making decisions, or feel overwhelmed at the prospect of where to start, meet with a few planners and decide if you want to take all or just some of the work off of your plate.

Marriage Advice

First of all, enjoy the process and don't lose sight of what is important when planning a wedding! It was one of the most stressful, but ultimately rewarding times in our lives. When your wedding day finally arrives, enjoy it. One of the best suggestions we received before our wedding was, "Look around you and be thankful. There is likely never going to be another moment in your life when all of these most important people are in the same place, at the same time again."

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Guest List Count: 80 // Photography: Jamie Stiplin of Crystaline Photography and Video // Ceremony Venue: St. Catherine of Siena Chapel // Reception Venue: Lionscrest Manor // Bakery and Caterer: Frontrange Catering // Bar Services: Frontrange Catering for service and B-Town Wine & Spirits for supply // Musicians: Jus Sayin // Hairstylist: Corey Sutton // Makeup Artist: Sarah Salyer, Sadie B Lash Studio // Wedding Dress: StillWhite.com (Preowned never worn Maggie Sottero for $550, retails at $4500!) // Groom's Wardrobe: Macy's // Shoes: Amazon // Accessories: Macy's // Officiant: Father Peter Mussett, St Thomas Aquinas

Sweetheart Love Story with a Rocky Mountain Backdrop

Emily and John are high school sweethearts who learned absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Years later, they've finally gotten their fairy tale ending (which includes a salsa bar)! Read on to learn more from Emily!

Love Story

Johnny and I met when we were seniors in high school living in Colorado Springs. We graduated high school and had to go our separate ways when I started college and he enlisted in the Air Force.

Being in a long distance relationship was hard but two and a half years later we were engaged and then a year and a half later we decided to finally say "I do". The saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" was very true for us.

Inspiration

Our theme was rustic Colorado. Our colors were peach, coral, light pink, gold and navy. We decorated the venue with burlap accents, lace and lots of mason jars. We wanted to give our guests a true Rocky Mountain experience from the location of venue to the pine cones we used as part of our center pieces.

Budget

Budgeting for a wedding was not easy, however my husband and I worked together to decide where the majority of the money was spent. I wanted to hire a professional photographer to capture our wedding day and my husband wanted to make sure our guests had a great meal. By weighing our options with the choice of our venue, we found a location that had everything we wanted and was within our budget.

Unique Details

Our venue was unique in itself because it was an inn and we were able to stay at our venue for the whole weekend, allowing a fun getaway for our whole wedding party to enjoy. We also wanted our wedding to represent our personalities as much as possible. We chose to have our wedding in the Colorado Rockies because that is a place that we both love. We also decorated the venue with lots of pictures from our engagement session to make the venue feel as though it was our own for the weekend.

Favorite Memory

My favorite memory from my wedding was our vows. We each wrote our own and they had so much meaning and were so special to each of us.

Challenges

We faced many unique challenges during our wedding planning experience. My husband and I were living in separate states and neither one of us were in Colorado during the time that we planned our wedding. My husband is activity duty military and I was finishing my last year of college. Between studying for school and working we planned the wedding. We had to just do it a little bit at a time for me to study for my classes, so it was nice that we had one year and a half to plan everything.

(Check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings tips for planning a wedding from out-of-town here.)

Lessons Learned

Looking back I wish that I would've budgeted for a wedding planner. I had too much going on trying to finish my undergraduate that it became too stressful and there were some points that I got tired of planning the wedding.

Tips for Engaged Couples

Some advice that I have for those who are wedding planning now is to not be afraid to ask for help; it can get overwhelming at times and it is a lot easier when you let people help you.

Marriage Advice

Let it be an adventure. It will be hard and you will have to learn to love each other in a new way everyday, but it should never stop being an adventure.

Guest List Count: 150 // Photography: Jessica Elle Photography // Venue: The Edgewood Inn // Bakery: Nothing Bunt Cakes // Caterer: Panino's Restaurant // DJ: Intense Media // Stationery: Shutterfly // Florist: fiftyflowers.com // Wedding Dress: The Bridal Collection // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Azazie.com // Groomsmen and Groom's Wardrobe: Men's Wearhouse // Officiant: Rev. Alan Borcher

 

Rustic Meets Classic Jewish Wedding

The best advice Jonathan and Ruby were given was to enjoy their wedding day as much as they wanted their guests to. These two got it right. Without getting too hung up in the details, they put together a beautiful and fun wedding day to celebrate with their friends and family. Read on to learn more from Ruby!

Love Story

We met at a political conference one summer when we were in college, though we went to different schools. We stayed in close touch the years following as really great friends. Jon was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and after graduating college, he moved back to start his job.

After I graduated from CU (GO BUFFS!), I was offered an opportunity to do a fellowship with a lobbying organization out in DC. We reconnected and started dating pretty quickly after that. After dating for almost 2 years back-and-forth between Baltimore and DC, we decided it was time for one of us to make a move. I got a great job opportunity in Baltimore, so I packed up and shipped out.

We lived together for just under a year before Jon (elaborately, alongside my parents) planned his proposal. We decided our wedding would be the following summer in Denver.

Inspiration

We wanted the day to be effortless. I've seen friends spiral and get caught up in every single little detail, and it completely kills the excitement of what this day is actually about. We went for a sort of rustic-meets-classic look.

Our chuppah (a 4-post wedding canopy used in Jewish weddings) was made of aspen tree branches, which we loved so much. We tried sticking with neutral colors (bridal party in black and white), since our venue was so breathtaking and was basically just floor-to-ceiling windows around us, we didn't want elaborate decorations.

We tried to incorporate small details here and there; we got tiny little mercury glass jars that we hung from every other chair that lined the aisle and we put a small bit of baby’s breath in each one.

Most of our guests were from out of town, so we wanted them to enjoy the view! We wanted our guests to remember how much fun they had more than anything else and keep their tush's on the dance floor all night!

Budget

We were very strategic about where we wanted the money to go. The photographer (11th Door Photography!) was where we really wanted to spend our money, and ours did a wonderful job capturing the joy of our day.

Food was, of course, important, but that's going to be costly no matter where you are or what you do. 

We found ways to cut costs in certain unexpected places, like flowers. I absolutely love peonies, but I found that I was more drawn to the characteristics of the flower than I was the actual flower (the very pale pink, the big, fluffy shape). I spoke with our florist (Plum Florist) who said she could easily substitute a different flower for my bridesmaids that looked almost identical to peonies. It cut the cost of their bouquets in half (seriously in half!!)

To be totally truthful, the dress wasn't as important to me. I knew I wanted something timeless and, obviously, something I'd love, but I just couldn't justify spending over a thousand dollars on something I was going to wear for 6 hours and never wear again! I absolutely loved my dress and found it at a great price.

Unique Details

Because Jon is from Baltimore, we really wanted to bring a touch of his hometown to mine (Denver) for the wedding. We brought dozens of Berger cookies (a real Baltimore staple) to serve along with our wedding cake! Our caterer set up platters of them where the coffee and tea was being served, and my incredibly creative friend made a cute sign for us to display on the table. 

Jon also made the cufflinks for his groomsmen with their initials, which was such a cute, personal touch!  

Favorite Memory

I have two very distinct favorite memories of the day. Jon and I weren’t so comfortable with saying our vows in front of tons of people, so we decided to basically write what we wanted to say to each other in a letter to read right before our first look. It was so special to read these thoughts that just summed up our entire relationship up until becoming husband and wife.

My second favorite memory was walking down the aisle. It is Jewish custom that both the bride’s parents escort her down the aisle, and the three of us were just beaming as we saw Jon waiting for me at the other end. Jon and my dad started crying and hugging when we reached the end of the aisle.

My father was killed in an accident 2 months to the day after our wedding, and because Jon and I live in Baltimore, this is the last time I was with him. I will forever remember this moment down to every single detail.

Challenges

Truly, none. Like I said, we worked very hard to ensure we didn't get caught up in small details. We wanted to remember what this day was about and have the best night of our lives. And we did!

Lessons Learned

Our planning was really simple, but the absolute best piece of advice I got was to ENJOY THE DAY as much as you want your guests to. I was also told that in the middle of the ceremony, look out into the crowd at all of the people who are here because they love and are so excited for you. Jon and I both did that, and it was such an incredible, warm feeling.

Tips for Engaged Couples

Wedding planning resources are awesome (Pinterest, blogs, magazines, etc.), but don’t feel like you’re “doing it wrong” if you go a little off-script. I found bridal magazines to be daunting and really overwhelming. This day is about you and your partner and nothing else. Your guests want to have fun and feel the love between you two. They don’t want to go to an event - they want to go to your wedding! 

Marriage Advice

Have fun. Have fun. Have fun. No one will remember the nit-picky details that you think they will. They'll remember what a great time they had, and that's it!

Guest List Count: 130 // Photographer: 11th Door Photography // Venue: Wellshire Inn // Planner: Jaime Brown at Saphire Celebrations // Bakery: Cakes by Karen // Caterer and Bar Services: On-site at Wellshire Inn // Florist: Plum Gallery // Hairstylist: Amanda at Star Salon // Makeup Artist: Cynthia Goodberry

 

Sunset Wedding on a Mountainside Ranch

Abigail and Craig planned their wedding around their love for Jesus, family, and the mountains. Their wedding is a great example of the beauty and joy that shine through when a couple hones in on what they value and center their wedding on the things and people they love the most. Read on to learn more from Abigail!

Love Story

We met on New Years, fell in love in the summer, got engaged in San Diego, and got married 1 year later in the gorgeous mountains of our home state of Colorado.

Inspiration

The colors are those of fall in Colorado with a splash of gold to give a splash of bohemian. Our wedding revolved around our love for Jesus, family, and the mountains. 

Budget

We made a list of what was most important and put marks by those, and then tried to be as crafty as we could with the items we didn't want to spend much money on.

Unique Details

Our ceremony and reception were outside under the gorgeous summer sun. We had my father marry us and the groom's mother sing a worship song. We made all the table decor and we made giant lawn games such as Jenga and Yahtzee.

Favorite Memory

When my groom had his dance with his mother and they both cried during the dance, it was incredibly heart warming :)

Challanges

I realized that people are terrible at RSVPs, so we ended up having to text a bunch of people to make sure they were coming.

Lessons Learned

We learned a lot about dealing with venues and that you really need to make sure they are willing to work with you on the important details.

Tips for Engaged Couples

Make sure to try and get everything done the week before the wedding so you have time to just relax and not be stressed the day before.

Marriage Advice

Marriage is beautiful and the most important relationship in your life next to God. Make sure to keep it sacred and put effort into it everyday.

Guest List Count: 150 // Photography: Emily Elizabeth Photo, Nicole Noel Photography, GG Photography // Ceremony Venue: Lower Lake Ranch // Planner: Julie Lundy Event Design // Bakery: Krispy Kreme and Beet Box // Caterer, Bar Services, and Event Rentals: On-site at Lower Lake Ranch // Videographer: David Grauberger // DJ: ABC Music and Video // Wedding Dress: Emma & Grace Bridal // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Lulu's

Modern Jewish Wedding

Struggles? None. Stress? Nah. How did Haley and Will pull this off on their wedding day? Two words: wedding planners. Haley and Will's wedding is a great example of what a big difference it makes to have a coordinator on your wedding day to absorb your stress and ensure everything goes smoothly for you. Read on to learn more from Haley!

Love Story

We met in college, then moved to Colorado Springs. We got engaged 4 years after we started dating. We got married a year and a half later on the best day ever.

Inspiration

Mint is my favorite color and lavender was Will's mom's favorite color. We kept it simple with some color and ivories.

Budget

Our budgeting was done by our AMAZING wedding planners, Lisa and Leslie, with Affair with Flair.

Unique Details

The bridesmaids' bouquets were aisle decor that they picked up and put back before and after they walked down the isle.

Favorite Memory

My maid-of-honor's speech. Simply THE BEST.

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Challenges

There were no struggles. My wedding planners were amazing and helped keep to a timeline and they kept everything organized.

Lessons Learned

I was very lucky. I believe everyone should have a wedding planner. They know so much about what you actually need to put on an amazing party you will never forget.

Tips for Engaged Couples

Have fun with it. Give yourself enough time to plan. There is no need to rush forever.

Marriage Advice

Stay happy. We have been very lucky that we are on the same page as far as kids, work, and travel go. We are happier than ever.

Guest List Count: 100 // Photography: Katie Corinne Photography // Venue: The Manor House // Planners: Affair with Flair // Bakery: Happy Cakes //Caterer: A Perfect Bite Catering // Event Rentals: Event Rents // DJ: Elite DJ // Florist: Newberry Brothers // Hairstylist: Tiffany at the Matthew Morris Salon // Wedding Dress: Blue Bridal

Plantation Wedding in the Foothills

Who better to feature on a Colorado wedding blog than Miss Colorado 2014 herself! Stacey and Jeremy are a couple who prove beauty is about what's on the inside though. Their philosophy is that they need to love on each other every day, but it's easy to see they love others around them as well. Be sure to check out their incredibly thoughtful favors, which were truly gifts that keep on giving. Read on to learn more from Stacey!

Love Story

The beginning of this love story goes back to one moment on a cool fall evening. Jeremy was playing in a Friday night football game for our high school. After a tough fight, our team lost and Jeremy was heartbroken. 

He and I had only spoken a few times but on this evening we made eye contact across the field, gravitated toward each other, and the rest is history. After nine years together, Jeremy proposed on Christmas morning. 

Inspiration

I had always wanted a "rustic chic" wedding, but when Jeremy and I saw the Manor House, we knew that was where we wanted to get married. The building is historic and gorgeous; it looks like a plantation, perched perfectly in the foothills. We decided to go for a classic theme with romantic twists. I wanted the colors to be soft: champagne and blush, with metallic accents. Jeremy wanted to add a bold pop of navy and it turned out great!

Budget

Jeremy and I identified the really important things up front, we decided we wanted a venue with a view, really good food, and an open bar. We prioritized these three things and cut back on costs in other areas. For example, I bought a sample gown and did several DIY decorations.

Unique Details

One of my favorite details was our unique wedding favors. Jeremy and I wanted to give our guests the ability to give to others. Giving is the best feeling in the world, and there are so many people in need. So we created bags for our guests to keep in their car for when they see someone who is experiencing homelessness. The little bags contained socks, water, and snacks.

Another detail I loved was having two of my best friends, who also happened to be Miss North Dakota and Miss Georgia, sing "A Thousand Years" as I walked down the aisle.

Our dessert table was also unique, instead of one wedding cake we had a whole buffet of dessert goodies. Jeremy's mom and dad made chocolate cupcakes and my mom made gluten-free carrot cake. We also had cannolis, cookies, and an outdoor s'mores station.

The manor house also had a separate bar area that made for a fun and unique wedding guest experience. We also had pictures of Jeremy and me from when we started dating next to our engagement photos.

Favorite Memory

When Jeremy and I walked into the reception everyone was cheering. It was so fun to see all of our favorite people as excited as we were about our marriage. I also loved our ceremony. We chose to read each other letters and I felt that it made our ceremony personal, light-hearted, and romantic.

Challenges

Jeremy and I planned our wedding in three months. It was a challenge but we worked together and chose to focus on the important things. We didn't fuss over tiny details and we also worked to keep our wishes at the forefront of our decision making. We often joke that if we can plan a wedding together in three months that we can do anything.

Lessons Learned

I wish I would have known that you can take people with you to the food tastings! Jeremy and I showed up and had no idea that we could have taken our parents along to help us decide between all the amazing choices we had.

Tips for Engaged Couples

Invite who you really want to be there. This is your day! You should have the people present that you want to be part of your marriage. Also, don't second guess your decisions, it will drive you crazy.

Marriage Advice

Enjoy every moment together. My father passed away a month before our wedding, he and my mom had the sweetest relationship and to lose him was devastating. You always hear that life is short, but losing my dad right before my wedding reminds Jeremy and I need to love on each other every day. Remember, that you are so lucky to share the special relationship you and your partner have and don't let bickering or arguments get in your way.

Guest List Count: 215 // Photography: Chris and Kylee Coleman // Venue: The Manor House // Coordinator: Kelley Case, Manor House Coordinator // Bakery: Romano's Italian Restaurant // Caterer: A Perfect Bite // Bar Services: The Manor House // DJ: Ignight Entertainment // Stationery: Minted // Florist: Plum Sage // Hairstylist: Rochelle Romano // Wedding Dress: Anna Bé Bridal Boutique // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids // Groom's Custom Tux: Tom James // Groomsmen's Wardrobe: Al's Formal Wear // Shoes: Antonio Melani // Officiant: Judge Ed Putka

4th of July Wedding

The Fourth of July is a time for laid-back fun, friends, family, and good food. What better day could there be to celebrate a wedding? The group photo of Amanda and Ted with all of their wedding guests shows just how fun and laid-back their wedding day really was. Read on to learn more from Amanda!

Love Story

We met in high school in trigonometry class and he sat behind me because he thought I was pretty and because he could cheat off me. We have been best friends since then who enjoy skiing, golfing, and lots of outdoor activities together.

We got engaged after a sushi dinner on Christmas Eve., which I had predicted was going to happen. ;) Planning the wedding was super easy and stress-free considering Ted let me do most of it. The final result was nothing short of perfect and full of joy because I was married to my best friend.

Inspiration

What really inspired my wedding was the Fourth of July. It is my all time favorite holiday. There is something just so treasurable about spending a day out in the sun in the park with your favorite people playing yard games and cooking some barbecue, the sun shining brightly on everyone's smiling faces. Isn't everyone so happy on the Fourth? It's like everyone's worries go on vacation. Also, to be able to celebrate our free country and our ability to have such fun fills my soul with gratitude.

Budget

We decided to start with what we thought was the most important so that we would able to splurge on those things. The venue was the most important because it would be what would mostly reflect our personalities and set the mood. Also, we figured having a beautiful venue would cut costs in other areas such as decorations, flowers, and table settings. So we spent a little more on venue.

Next was dress, because, let's get real. From then on we decided that cutting some costs for the rest was okay and would enhance our laid-back feel.

Unique Details

Well one that sticks out a lot is our cake. It was made by The Makery to look like a big blue mountain because Ted and I love skiing so much. We sent them a picture of us skiing and they made little cake toppers that looked exactly like us down to the graphics on our skis. It was incredible! It really showed who we really are and it was super fun to see everyone's blue tongues.

Another unique detail is that our officiant was actually a lifelong friend. She was not an ordained minister yet, but she became one just for us which made our ceremony really special.

The best man of the wedding was Ted's dad; super cute right?

The laid-back, informal vibe really made everyone feel at ease and have so much fun!

Favorite Memory

I think my most favorite was our first dance. Everyone was there with us but it also just felt like him and me. I loved that we didn't spend any money on dance lessons or care what we looked like; we were just being ourselves, having fun dancing to Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud". I didn't want that to ever end.

Challenges

A unique challenge we had that I don't think a lot of people run into is the sustainability and the need for my venue to be "green". I was unable to have fireworks which is half my love for the Fourth of July. That's okay though; I just had to think around it. They also did not allow sparklers, confetti, balloon releases, butterfly releases, and a whole list of other things I later found out. Which is okay, I care about the environment as well! We eventually settled on getting as many people together as we could to go to the Rapid's game the next day to watch the fireworks there. Beyond that I think the uniqueness lies in the fact that I didn't find much more to be challenging. When you have a happy open mind that is good at solving problems and easy to please, not a lot is challenging.

Lessons Learned

Ask for the cake before the catering group takes it and eats it for themselves/throws it away! Who knows what they did with the rest of it, we got none of it. :( 

Tips for Engaged Couples

Let it really reflect who you and your fiancé are. Don't stress over the details. As long as you are happy everyone is going to see that and have an amazing time!

Take in every moment of your big day because it goes by in a flash!

Marriage Advice

Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty. ;P

Guest Count: 125 // Photographer: Katie Corinne Photography // Venue: Crooked Willow Farms // Planner: The Gardner Effect // Bakery: The Makery // Caterer: Biscuits & Berries // DJ: DJ Guy // Florist: Amore Fiore // Hairstylist: Skye Salon // Makeup Artist: Cynthia // Wedding Dress: The Bridal Collection // Groom and Groomsmen Wardrobe: Men's Warehouse Favors: Seed Packets and Sunglasses with our names and wedding date on them // Officiant: Anne Rowland

Classic Romance with a Touch of Baseball

Stephanie and Brian have a ton of great wedding planning advice to share. Be sure to check out their home-made cake that's both gluten-free and budget-friendly. Concerned about wasting money on favors guests will leave behind? They've got a thoughtful solution for that too. Also, they suggest a brilliant question you should ask yourself every time you start to sweat the tiny details while wedding planning. Read on to learn more from Stephanie!

Love Story

Brian and I met on an IM volleyball team our freshman year of college. Three years of friendship later, the planets aligned and we began dating.

We went on a cruise for our four year anniversary. While in Grand Cayman, Brian surprised me with a private horseback ride on a private beach and when we stopped for a break, he asked me to be his wife!

Inspiration

Brian and I both love baseball so we decided to name each table after MLB stadiums and presented the seating chart on lineup sheets. I loved the classic, rich, timeless look of wine and light green, and it complimented our church and reception venue so well.

Budget

We splurged on the linen rentals, as well as florals and catering. Having a longer engagement gave us more time for DIY projects which helped cut costs significantly. I also have Celiac Disease, and did not want to spend a fortune on a gluten-free cake. I found gluten-free rice cereal and made a rice treat cake myself the day before the wedding.

Unique Details

The cake topper and bride and groom glasses were used at my parents' wedding. Also, the rings on my bouquet are my grandmother's and the lace is from my mom's bouquet. I wasn't too big on the idea of spending money on favors considering half of them would end up left behind, so we made a donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in lieu of favors.

Favorite Memory

My favorite memory from the wedding was walking down the aisle. It was right out of a fairytale.

Lessons Learned

I wish I would have taken the entire week before the wedding off work instead of only three days. There were a lot of last minute tasks, and simply not enough hours in the day.

Tips for Engaged Couples

Don't sweat the small stuff. It's very easy to get caught up in the tiny details. Ask yourself, "will anyone get up and leave if (fill in the blank)?"

Marriage Advice

We do a lot together but we also each have our own hobbies and time with friends to bring balance to our relationship.

Guest List Count: 175 // Photography: Kate Marie Photography // Ceremony Venue: Cherry Hills Community Church Chapel // Reception Venue: Villa Parker // Planner: Marilee Grace // Caterer: Occasions Catering // Videographer: Kelsey Luciano Productions // Event Rentals: Event Rents // DJ: Elite DJ // Stationery: Amy Roup Graphic Design // Florist: Pink Posey // Hairs and Makeup: Nora Arnstad // Wedding Dress: Mori Lee, Amanda's Bridal // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Angelo, Weddington Way // Groom and Groomsmen Wardrobe: Men's Wearhouse // Shoes: Sperry Top Sider // Favors: Donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Bollywood Meets Denver Wedding

Everyone tells Manavi and Pranab their home is filled with love, just like their wedding day was. And when we say their wedding day was filled with love, we mean they celebrated with over 400 friends and relatives! You're going to absolutely swoon over the gorgeous attire, jewelry, and Mehndi body art seen on their big day. Read on to learn more from Manavi!

Love Story

Pranab and I met on Facebook. We were introduced by a common friend. Pranab added me on Facebook but didn't even bother to say hi. So I went online and said, "Now that we are friends on Facebook let me say hi, so hi." I guess that sealed the deal. We were in a long distance relationship for 2 years. 

It was a nice sunny day in October at the public garden in Boston. I was mad at Pranab because I felt he was hiding something from me. I gave him hell for a week because he wouldn't tell me what he was hiding. I was supposed to meet his friend Jamie for lunch. We were walking to a restaurant when I asked him, "If Pranab were ever to cheat, would you tell me?" He reacted by saying, "What kind of question is that?"

That's when Pranab popped out of no where and proposed. We were in a long distance marriage for 6 months, but now we are finally living together in Boston, MA.

Inspiration

Pranab knew how much I love Bollywood, so the wedding was planned around that. My mother-in-law made that night the most memorable for all of us. She planned everything!

Budget

We found a very affordable photographer. It was his first time doing a wedding photography shoot and did a great job! I asked one of our cousins to do makeup for the ceremony and she did a great job too. We also got our wedding attire from back home so that helped a lot with the cost.

Unique Details

Favorite Memory

Our cousins made a picture montage of both our families; that was very emotional. All the speeches and walking to Wendy's at 2am. 

The best memory of all is calling myself Mrs. Sharma for the first time.

Lessons Learned

Don't get married while in nursing school! But once the stress is done, everything is worth it.

Marriage Advice

Communication is the key to a happy marriage. One needs to learn to compromise. And knowing there is no such thing as a perfect wife or husband, you just learn to perfect each other's imperfections.

Don't let the child in you die. Everyone tells us our home is just filled with love; it's because we embrace each other's goofiness and say I love you at least 10 times a day. 

Guest List Count: 450 // Photography: Than Hyun and Subi Bhandari // Reception Venue: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel

Big Red Barn Wedding in Littleton

Mike and Sarah both have huge hearts. Their relationship blossomed long distance as they each served on ministry trips in Cambodia and Africa, respectively. Now that they're married, they can serve and love those around them as a team, happily ever after. Read on to learn more from Sarah!

Love Story

Mike and I worked together at the same non-profit organization called Youth With A Mission, Denver. Mike began pursuing me while we were in this program together.

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I ended up going to Africa for three months and Mike went to Cambodia at the same time for a ministry trip. We kept in touch and soon after that we started dating! 6 months later we got engaged and then 6 months after that we got married!

Mike never stopped pursuing my heart from the day he met me till the day I became his wife. Our wedding day was truly a dream, and the best day of my entire life!

Inspiration

Our theme was rustic/chic. The day was complete with twinkle lights, sunflowers in mason jars, log cutouts and baby's breath. We were married outside under an array of sunflowers with the Rocky Mountains painting the background! The reception was in a huge red barn, with of course, more twinkle lights!

Budget

We sat down and thought of the big things that were important to us. Sunflowers, lots of dancing, good food, and a big red barn! Everything else just came naturally as we began to plan from there!

Unique Details

We had all the guests sign in on a big piece of wood, which was something we wanted to be able to hang up in our house later! During the ceremony we had the guests sit on wooden benches on the grass, which just added to the rustic/country style.

Favorite Memory

My favorite memory was all the dancing! We had 170 guests and almost EVERYONE was out on the dance floor. We really wanted our wedding to be a party, and to be fun for everyone and it sure was! That is so much of our personality: carefree and crazy! That definitely carried out on to our guests.

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Lessons Learned

I learned to manage my time a little bit better. Really schedule out everything you need to do, so that the last week before the wedding you can just relax and be with family!

Tips for Engaged Couples

Enjoy every moment of the planning! You will never be able to plan a wedding again and it's such a special time, so enjoy it! Spread your to-do list out so you aren't rushed or stressed and so you can soak in the little details. Planning the wedding was one of the most fun/exciting parts for Mike and me.

Marriage Advice

Marriage is truly a gift. Take in every moment of your wedding day, and don't waste time being stressed out or anxious. You are marrying the man of your dreams, so make your wedding day your dream day!

Guest List Count: 170 // Photography: Allison D Photography // Venue: The Barn at Raccoon Creek // Coordinator: Abby at Raccoon Creek // Bakery: Azucar Bakery // Videography: Andrew Harrison // Flowers: Hawk Flowers // Hair: Jayme Hubbart // Makeup: Mode Salon // Bride and Bridesmaids Apparel: David's Bridal // Groom and Groomsmen apparel: Men's Warehouse // Officiant: Pastor Blake Mattocks

To find more local wedding professionals, visit our Local Venues and Vendors Directory.

Vintage Clock Tower Wedding With Paleo Reception

From Houston to Denver to Singapore, this adventurous couple has committed to love each other in sickness and in health. Dave and Melissa's beautiful wedding features a delicious but super healthy meal, vintage and steampunk decor, and a tech savvy solution for guests who couldn't celebrate with them in person!

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Love Story

Here's an excerpt of Dave and Melissa's story, written by their dear friend Megan for their wedding website:

Dave lived in Houston and Melissa lived in Denver when they met online. They spent several months getting to know each other by exchanging messages, sending emails, and video chatting. Finally, Dave decided that he absolutely had to meet this girl, so he purchased a plane ticket to Denver.

Their long distance relationship continued on for some time. They flew to see each other as often as they could. The trips were never long enough or frequent enough, so Melissa took a chance on love and moved herself to Houston. 

While they were still enjoying the glow of their new permanence in each other’s lives, something completely unexpected and rather heartbreaking was discovered. A few months after arriving in Houston, Melissa was diagnosed with a rare and incurable autoimmune disease. Dave bore the news with compassion and fortitude, never wavering in his commitment to her.

Dave and Melissa continued to build their lives together for several years. Marriage was often thought about and discussed, but Melissa didn't know Dave had picked out a ring or that a proposal was on its way. A few days before Christmas, Dave proposed to Melissa at her favorite restaurant. They were ready to not only plan a wedding, but a marriage.

Next, we'll hand things off to Melissa to tell us about their big day!

Inspiration

I was born in Colorado and moved back for college. Capital Hill and downtown were my stomping grounds, so it just seemed appropriate to have our wedding where Dave and I first met instead of in Houston. We wanted the theme to be simple and elegant. I'm a huge fan of vintage furniture and jewelry as a result of going to auctions all of the time with my mom when I was growing up. We chose to do our wedding in grayscale. Black and white is popular, but I found it a bit limiting and I love metallic colors tied in with the matte colors.

Budget

Dave and I were lucky with wedding costs because I have a B.A. in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Colorado and had picked up a lot of diverse tech skills at my job. I was able to design all of the save the date magnets, invitations, envelopes, RSVP cards, website, cupcake table signs, wedding party app signs and app setup, and html email announcements regarding the wedding day details. 

We kept our wedding party small, which was a huge help. We had always talked about a very small wedding and only had a maid-of-honor and best man at our side. With the size of the Clock Tower venue, it's good that we did!

The things we splurged on were the food and cake because we are both very into fitness and nutrition. It was important for us to have good food that we could eat and food that our guests would enjoy. Bistro Boys Catering helped us out immensely with a Paleo menu and Azucar bakery provided us a Paleo cake with gluten free and regular cupcakes. 

The Clock Tower venue was a bit of a splurge too. We looked at doing our ceremony at one place and holding the reception elsewhere, but it was actually going to run us more with the venues we were looking at. They provided chairs, tables, and some decorations, and planning a wedding from Houston while we were both working full-time made this a no-brainer. Less things to have to source! The big commitment with the Clock Tower is that you do have to pay for it all up front. 

We decided not to go with a DJ because we knew the music we liked and had it all on our computers. It was easy enough to come up with a playlist and put it on an iPod because the Clock Tower had a sound system we could hook into. One of the workers there just had to hit play at the right time. 

No need for a videographer. I brought my laptop and we bought a 100 foot ethernet cable so I could plug it in directly to the internet so there'd be no streaming issues. I borrowed a camera, tripod, and microphone and set them up on my own right before the ceremony. Guests that couldn't make it could watch us get married live, and those that weren't available at the time could access the video any time after that on my YouTube account. 

My iMovie video skills allowed me to make the rehearsal dinner slideshow video, showing photos of Dave and me as a couple and as we were growing up. 

My mom found a very inexpensive florist with great reviews and we really didn't need a lot of flowers because the venue was already decorated with some nice fake ones. Flowers weren't a big deal for me, but they were for my mom. I could have gone with just bouquets for my sister and me. 

Photography was something worth splurging on. I have a design background and having taught Yearbook, I know pictures make the story. Pictures fill in that bit of the story you miss while you're getting ready and running around. Pictures are how you will see the guests you didn't get a lot of time with at the actual event. Pictures are what will trigger your memory years after the event has happened. Dave Camara was phenomenal. We booked him for our engagement photos as well. He's laid back and very professional with a creative eye. He'll get the standard shots, but he also gets ones you'd never think to frame how he has.

I really wanted to get my dress from a consignment shop. I don't believe in splurging on something you're only going to wear once, and I planned to consign my dress after the wedding. I had some trouble booking a time at Marry Go Round (a bridal consignment shop in Houston) and we ended up at David's Bridal just to get a feel for what I had in mind. The only issue is that I tried on a dress that was perfect and it was $1000. I said I only wanted to spend half of that at most. Peer pressure won out. I don't regret it, and still plan to consign that dress. 

Dave and his best man rented tuxes from Men's Wearhouse. It was easy because we were in Houston and he was in Raleigh, North Carolina, and they have stores in both areas. 

I chose 3 Little Birds Salon due to location, affordability, and reviews. We were traveling from Houston to Denver for our wedding and I was relying on family to get me where I needed to be since Dave had the rental car. They did a great job and nailed the more vintage hair style I was going for with the pin curls. I'm very low-maintenance and wanted to look like me for my wedding. I did a test run with the salon, but my sister ended up doing my makeup just because I wanted a very understated look. Free definitely wasn't a bad price. 

We didn't do a registry and chose to use honeyfund.com to help pay for our honeymoon instead. It didn't make sense to gather a bunch of things we'd just have to pack that might not work once we headed to Singapore.

I pooled my resources of friends and family to make some of the details come together that would have normally ended up costing me a lot more. One of my best friends and college roommate officiated the wedding for us. It was so much more personal and again, didn't cost us a dime. Meagan is a pro and I recommend her to anyone who is looking for a ceremony that is a bit less traditional.

Unique Details

We did our save the date magnets using vistaprint.com. They were definitely the cheapest and most reliable print vendor and I've been using them for a long time. I designed the graphics for the envelopes and made separate files with every recipient's unique address. We printed those at home and used the same files to print on the pearl, off white envelopes we sent out with our formal invitations. 

I also designed our wedding invitations in Adobe Illustrator, tying in steampunk elements to match our venue. I bought clock parts on eBay and in Hobby Lobby, and we spray painted them silver on brown packing paper in the garage. I glued a couple of gears onto the invites along with two hands on a clock that showed the time our ceremony was to be. I also found silver paper doilies that I used to help add a vintage feel to the invitations, and then we glued silver/black ribbon to the cards and tied them. They were very labor intensive, but we sent out less than 100, so it only took a few days of long hours to get them done. 

I designed the RSVP cards to match the custom wedding invitations and had them printed by vistaprint.com as well. They always have sales running for business cards, so that's the size I made them. Rather than doing a pre-stamped and addressed envelope, we only provided our phone number or website to RSVP in order to save some money. 

In the end, was all of the stationary cheap? No. Were they cheap for highly custom and intricate designed invitations? Yes. I priced them out and I think I would have paid about $12-15 each for them if I had outsourced them. Thank heavens for Hobby Lobby sales and some ingenuity. 

Favorite Memory

If you know Dave and I well, you know we love to laugh. I had gone down the the 14th floor to use the restroom and just happened to catch Dave walking out. He left the toilet seat up! Dave Camara, our photographer, just happened to be there and captured the moment. It was so funny and out of the norm. 

Challenges

I found it really difficult to try to plan a wedding in a different city and wrap up the school year as a teacher. Not only that, we were moving to Singapore less than two weeks after our wedding. We used Google spreadsheets to keep ourselves organized and we were able to share the sheets with our parents and anyone else involved. We had tabs for the guest list, vendors, budget, invitations, RSVPs and thank you notes. It was really helpful and I still use that document as my address book for family and friends. Thank heavens for email. Otherwise, I don't think anything would have been planned!

(For help planning a wedding long-distance, check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings blog post, "Tips for Planning a Wedding from Out-of-Town".)

We also had a challenge with our venue because I have elderly aunts and uncles who wouldn't be able to walk up the stairs from the 17th to 21st floor of the clock tower. We discussed so many options and nearly changed our venue. Ultimately, we came down to the solution that we could live stream the ceremony on the 18th floor to the 17th floor where tables would be set up for those relatives. The caterer would be on the 17th floor and would make special plates of food for our guests. The restrooms were also on this floor, so I knew they'd see all of the guests and there'd be no problem with everyone mingling and being involved. I was so stressed out, but none of those guests RSVP'ed yes or showed up. It was all for nothing. But, we were ready!

Lessons Learned

I wish I would have known how much it would all cost. You start out thinking you're going to put on this great event on a crazy small budget, and there are some things that just won't meet your ideals unless you're willing to fork over the money for those things (ie - venues, etc). Then you realize that the venue doesn't matter. The decorations don't matter. Very few of those details really matter. The people you are sharing this event with matter. It wouldn't matter if it was potluck in your parents back yard. Don't stress. It's not worth it.

(For budgeting help, check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings blog post, "How to Create a Wedding Budget".)

Tips for Engaged Couples

Start early. Don't stress out because some of those small details won't make a bit of difference on your big day. Ask for help!

Marriage Advice

Now that you're married, what marriage advice would you share with other couples?: Communication and laughter are our tricks to success. There was a point in time that Dave and I read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and it has come in handy so many times. It talks about 5 different ways people feel loved, and those ways can change over time. Communicating these with each other has made a world of difference in our relationship. 

Guest Count: 50 // Photography: Camara Photography // Venue: Clock Tower Downtown Denver // Bakery: Azucar Bakery // Caterer/Bar Services: Bistro Boys // Videographer: BusyMo Media & Design // Event Rentals: Clock Tower Events // Stationery: BusyMo Media & Design // Florist: Ed Moore Florist // Hairstylist: 3 Little Birds Salon // Wedding Dress/Bridesmaids' Dresses: David's Bridal Houston Galleria // Groom's/Groomsmen's Wardrobe: Men's Wearhouse // Shoes: Ebay // Accessories: Amazon // Wedding Website: mywedding.com // Wedding Guest Photos: weddingpartyapp.com

Two Artists Celebrate with a Classic-Modern Wedding

Jenna and Kevin celebrated their marriage with a colorful wedding at Denver art gallery, Space Gallery. These two artists had a creative alternative to a unity candle and offer some very sweet marriage advice for newlyweds. Read on to learn more from Jenna!

Love Story

Kevin and I met at Star Bar, a fun little karaoke bar in downtown, Denver. Kevin sang right into my heart that night and he never left.

After two years together, Kevin planned an unforgettable surprise proposal. Kevin, who is a musician, wanted to put his originality to the test by writing an album with songs about our relationship and love for each other.

He then planned a big reveal and proposal on the roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, knowing that the MCA is my favorite art museum. We got engaged on the roof and celebrated with a glass of champagne looking over the city.

Inspiration

We decided on a classic-modern theme to create an artistic quality for the wedding. Kevin and I are both artists, so this was very important to us. It was hard to stick with just one or two colors after seeing so many different wedding concepts, while searching for inspiration. I would keep going back and forth on the color palette as the planning went on.

Once we needed to focus on specifics for the bridal party and décor, we decided to pull from a variety of different colors. We stuck with different shades of gray, golden yellow, royal blue, and a saturated blue green color. I felt that it was important for my bridesmaids to pick their own style of dress, while sticking to the color scheme. 

Kevin and I wanted to do something special during the ceremony to symbolize our commitment and the two of us becoming one. Instead of the traditional lighting of the candle or blending of the sands rituals, we went with something more unique by creating a unity painting.

We each picked two different colors and poured them onto a canvas, naturally mixing together, never to be separated. It was such a beautiful and fun alternative for the ceremony. The best part is having them displayed in our home to always remind us of our special day.

Budget

We both sat down and made a list of what was important to each of us individually and made sure we focused on those specifics during the process of our wedding planning. 

(To learn more about how to do this, read The Colorful Colorado Weddings blog post, "The One Thing You Need to Do Before You Start Wedding Planning.")

The venue was a high priority for the both of us. We had a clear vision of a venue that was unique and non-traditional. It was important that the space was vast, so we were able to host the ceremony, cocktail, and dinner reception all in one area. Space Gallery was the first venue we considered and it was exactly what we were looking for.

Photography was also high on the list. We wanted to make sure our big day was perfectly captured. 

Music was also important for us. We wanted everyone to have a great time at the reception, so we spent extra time making a playlist that was unique to our taste. We cut out the traditional "Chicken Dance" and "Electric Slide," but included songs we knew our friends and family would enjoy just as much.

Luckily, we have some very talented friends that were willing to help when we needed it. We were able to cut cost on the D.J. by creating our own playlist using Spotify and had one of our good friends run it. 

Décor and the florist were also something we saved on. The artwork throughout the venue helped with limiting decorations for the wedding. We saved a ton on the décor by doing everything ourselves.

As for the florist, we went to our local grocery store and picked out different flowers that worked well together. I loved the idea of having a wild flower arrangement instead of something perfectly displayed. I planned a day for my bridesmaids to come over and we created beautiful arrangements for the centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres.

Unique Details

My mother had saved meaningful pieces from when she and my father got married. While browsing through her cherished keepsakes, I found a veil that had a beautiful headpiece attached to it. I was not planning on wearing a veil, so I detached it and just wore the headpiece. It was the perfect addition and matched with my wedding dress. 

Our guest book was something that we spent a lot of time prepping for. We cut out pieces of fabric for the guests to sign that will eventually be sewn into a quilt. It will be a great way to look back and cherish memories from our wedding.

Favorite Memory

One of the favorite moments of our wedding was when Kevin surprised me with our engagement video, which I had never seen before. It was such a special moment for the both of us and it means even more now that we were able to share it with our family and friends.

Challenges

I feel that the biggest challenge was planning everything on our own. We did not hire a wedding planner, so we had no idea where to begin. We pretty much relied on Pinterest, a wedding planning book, and advice from recent married friends. When we hit challenging times, it helped us work on stressful situations together.

(If you don't need a full-service wedding planner but don't want to totally wing wedding planning on your own, check out "The Wedding Planning Kit That Won't Make You Want to Elope" by Colorful Colorado Weddings editor Kristi Thompson.)

Lessons Learned

I wish I had been aware of the impact that stress can have on your health while wedding planning. The last couple of weeks before the wedding can be the most stressful part. We ended up sick right before the big day. Luckily, it was mild and did not affect us much during the wedding.

Tips for Engaged Couples

During the planning process, we suggest staying on top of everything and making sure you are organized. We made a breakdown each month of things to do and buy for the wedding. This really helped with our finances and prevented us from getting stuck with a huge bill at the end. 

Use your resources and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Our friends and family were more than willing to lend a helping hand if we needed anything. 

Be sure to make time for other things when you are together. It is easy to get burnt out on wedding planning, if that is the only thing you do or talk about when you see each other.

Marriage Advice

Being a newlywed is seriously the greatest thing ever. The best advice as a newly married couple is to be your spouse's biggest fan. Having someone who will always be there supporting you and your decisions builds that unbreakable bond between the two of you. It’s not always a fairytale and there will always be stuff that needs working on, but just knowing someone is there for you helps in the biggest way.

Guest List Count: 200 // Photographer: Enrique Parrilla and Andy Martinez // Venue: Space Gallery // Caterer: Prairie Schooner Cafe // Videographer: Tad Hutchinson // Musician: Dan Ha // Hairstylists: Carlie Jo Shingledecker and Madison VonFeldt // Makeup Artist: Angel White // Groom's Wardrobe: Suit Supply

Double Rainbow Wedding in the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, so a double rainbow must be extra lucky! Jaclyn and Charlie thoughtfully planned for the threat of rain on their wedding day and managed to do so without getting stressed out. Read on to learn more from Jaclyn!

Love Story

Charlie and I met through mutual friends. About a year later he let it slip to some of our female friends that he thought I was cute and wanted my number. After a little hesitation, I gave them permission to pass my number along.

We went on a first date in July but things didn't take off right away. We tried again in November and this time we clicked.

Two years later, Charlie proposed to me in my apartment with a map of Denver which told our love story.

Inspiration

Most of our guests were visiting from out of town so we wanted a venue that would highlight the beauty of Colorado. The Botanic Gardens provided a relaxed, rustic feel in addition to the mountain views we were looking for. 


We chose navy blue as our primary color with coral as an accent. I felt everyone looks good in navy, and it is pretty easy to match with. We gave our bridal party permission to pick their own clothes so we didn't have to worry about them matching an obscure shade of blue.

Budget

We decided on our budget from the very start. The most important things to me were my dress, the food, and the venue. I quickly learned though that just because an element was important, I didn't necessarily need to splurge on it.

I bought my dress from a sample sale at a shop that sold high-end dresses. I could have bought a custom dress from the same store for three times as much, but I would have had to cut costs somewhere else. This way I got a dress that matched the quality I wanted but didn't break the bank.

We decided on BBQ for our dinner, and because it is made in large quantities, it was cheaper than a lot of the other caterers we looked at. It was less expensive, but still so good! Our guests are still talking about the food!

Our venue was a good portion of our budget, but we did save a little by getting married in May. Prices went up in June so even though we knew there might be rain, we thought it was worth the risk.

Charlie also designed our wedding invitations so we could print them ourselves which saved us a lot of money.

We did spend a lot on photography and florals, which I wasn't expecting. However, I am so glad that we did because they really made a difference. Our reception decor was basically just our centerpieces so the florals were the focal point and I was happy to have beautiful arrangements. Also, because we didn't have a videographer, the photos are our only evidence of the day.

Unique Details

My brother was our officiant which made our ceremony feel incredibly intimate. He asked Charlie and I questions about our relationship and incorporated those into the ceremony so it was unique to us.

I also wore a hat made with a flower from my grandmother's church hat. She passed away a few years ago, so it was a way for me to include her in my special day. I love that I'll have this small piece of to cherish with so much meaning.

Favorite Memory

I absolutely loved our entire day. I think my favorite memory was the reception dance party. I could finally stop worrying about the details and making sure everything went smoothly. I got to dance with my friends, my family, and my new husband!

Challenges

Our biggest challenge was preparing for the threat of rain. I had to create three different seating charts, because if it rained we would have to move our reception inside. On the morning of the wedding, I made the call to go to plan C even though it wasn't raining yet.

I figured I should make the choice before the rain started falling so I wasn't disappointed or stressed out once things got started. It ended up raining in a big way, so I was glad to have already made the decision. The reception was set up inside and we didn't have to rush and move all of the tables inside.

(For weather contigency help, check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings blog post, "How to Create a Weather Contingency Plan for Your Outdoor Wedding.")

Lessons Learned

For us, wedding planning wasn't as stressful as people told us it would be. I kept thinking I must be missing something because it was going too easily. The big thing I've learned now is that you can get most things secondhand and save a lot. After the wedding, we resold the linens from the reception for super cheap. I wish I had looked online for some of our decor because I'm sure I could've found things for less.

Tips for Engaged Couples

Charlie and I truly worked together to plan our wedding and I think that made it so much easier. There were some things that I knew I would want to control so I didn't ask Charlie to deal with those. But for everything else, I would ask for his opinion or he would take charge of it himself. I don't think there was any time when we were truly stressed out during the planning because we shared the responsibility. We enjoyed it and that allowed us to enjoy our engagement.

We were also engaged for a year and half which gave us a lot of time to plan. We booked our venue very early which gave us time to make decisions based on what we knew we were working with instead of choosing things and then trying to make them fit with the venue later. I also bought my dress pretty early on which made it so I never had to pay for rush fees on cleaning or tailoring.

Ultimately I think it is important to plan as much as you can, but when the day comes you have to go with the flow. Regardless of how much thought you put into the details, something can and probably will go wrong. The only thing that matters is that you're married!

Marriage Advice

I think it is important to stay true to yourselves. After we said "I do" there were no doves or angels singing. Our wedding was a ceremony to legally cement and celebrate the loving relationship we began to establish from our very first date. My advice is to enjoy your life together, but do not expect things with your spouse to suddenly be something magical because you're married. The magic comes before the wedding day and continues to build from there.

Guest List Count: 130 // Photography: Urban Safari Photography // Venue: Botanic Gardens at Chatfield // Coordinator: Kristi Thompson // Bakery: Nothing Bundt Cake // Caterer: Rocky Mountain Catering // Event Rentals: A Vintage Affair // DJ: Play Anything // Save the Dates: Minted // Florist: Ladybird Poppy // Hairstylist: It's Natural // Makeup Artist: Pretty Bride Shop // Wedding Dress: Little White Dress Bridal

Medieval Matrimony in Dunafon Castle

Just 15 miles west of Denver, Dunafon Castle served as the perfect backdrop for Ferris and Jon's medieval-themed wedding. In addition to modeling what it looks like to stay true to yourselves while wedding planning, they also have some thoughtful tips for taking good care of wedding guests. Read on to learn more from Ferris!

Love Story

Jon and I met through very close friends of his whom I worked with. He took me on a motorcycle ride through the beautiful Colorado mountains and it was then when I realized I would be spending the rest of my life him.

Two years later, his job moved us from Denver to Seattle, where we took a motorcycle/camping trip down the west coast to the Redwoods in California. It was there, deep in Fern Canyon, that Jon presented to me a beautiful engagement ring. I was taken totally by surprise! We set our wedding date for two years later.

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Inspiration

Both Jon and I are big into the medieval times and medieval style; "traditional" is not us. We like to be different, stand out, and leave an impression.

I am a collector of mythical creatures, fairies, and dragons. I always thought it would be so cool to be married at a castle, but since we decided to have the wedding in Colorado, my chances of that were slim. After a little research, I found the Dunafon Castle that is located just up in the foothills past Morrison. It's the perfect location, considering most of my family is in the Denver area. It was just what we wanted!

Budget

We set the date out two years to be sure we had enough time to save up for our big day. Besides budgeting for the Dunafon Castle and Fresh Tracks Catering, our number one priority (besides giving our love to one another) was to make sure our guests would have the time of their lives and not have to worry about a thing! We reserved a hotel if anyone wanted to book a room, bought all the booze so everyone could just let loose without paying for a thing, and provided shuttle service to and from the venue so no one would have to worry about driving. 

(For more ways to welcome your guests, check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings blog post, "Accommodating Out-of-Town Wedding Guests."

These items were all costly, so we cut back in other areas. I had my maid-of-honor do my flowers, my auntie bake our cake, and my brother was the ordained minister!

(For more budgeting help, check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings blog post, "How to Create a Wedding Budget.")

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Unique Details

My medieval dress was made by a lady in the U.K. and Jon wore a black buccaneer style shirt and pants with a sword. My bridesmaids picked their own medieval dresses and Jon's groomsman were in pirate styles. My father was great! He wore his sword with a Knight's helmet and tunic!

We had jar centerpieces filled to the brim with candy and decorated with green ribbon, silver burlap, chains, and leather. We had moss all over the tables which gave it a real storybook feel.

Challenges

Planning a wedding in Colorado while living in Seattle was a definite challenge. I had my parents do the first walk-through of the venue and I also had to make several trips back and forth to meet people and get things set right.

(For long-distance planning help, check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings bog post, "Tips for Planning a Wedding from Out-of-Town.")

Lessons Learned 

Take in every moment because it happens so fast! I want to go back and do it all again!

Tips for Engaged Couples 

If you can, plan some sort of a honeymoon/getaway after the wedding, even if it's just a few days. Once my big day was over after planning and looking forward to it for so long, I felt empty inside. I was so sad when my wedding was over. I was not expecting to feel that way, however, getting away to Antigua with my new husband made me feel so much better! It was much needed!

Marriage Advice 

Nothing should change after you're married. Nothing changed for us except my name! We're still just the best of friends as we were when we met!

Guest List Count 90 // Photography & Videography: Crystaline Photography and Multimedia // Venue: Dunafon Castle // Caterer: Fresh Tracks Catering // Bar Services: Evergreen Discount Liquors // DJ: Maestro Mobile Music Productions // Hair and Makeup: Madera Salon

To find more local wedding professionals, visit our Local Venues and Vendors Directory.

Rustic DIY Denver Wedding

Abby said she and Tom wanted to have a wedding that reflected the things they love and decide on their own traditions. From the favors to the groomsmen's (and groomsmaid's) socks, you'll see they did just that. They also have a brilliant tip for creating a gorgeous wedding cake on a budget! Read on to learn more from Abby!

Love Story

We met at a bar on my birthday in Denver, while I was living in Fort Collins. I gave him my number on a dollar bill and left the bar by saying, "don't waste this", thinking I would never hear from him. A few days later, he called me! 

Our first date started at New Belgium in Fort Collins and consisted of lunch, walking around downtown, and watching a movie. The date lasted about 10 hours. We just didn't want the day to end! After a couple of months, I quit my job and moved to Denver to be closer to Tom. We found a place shortly after and moved in together.

About a year later, Tom proposed on a seemingly unimportant Sunday night in March with our song playing in the background and totally caught me off guard! We started planning almost immediately and on top of planning a wedding, we also bought our first home. Now, we are married with a wonderful starter home and an adorable family with our two fur-babies.

Inspiration

Our theme was "Denver rustic" and since our wedding was at Mile High Station, we really didn't need a lot of decor because the place is so beautiful. Everything we used was DIY, which kept our budget down and added nice personal touches. We didn't want it to be very formal and kind of decided on our own "traditions" as we went a long. 

Budget

We knew photos were important, and after seeing the venue, we knew we had to splurge on that. Those, and catering, filled up most of our budget, so then we had to get creative to stick to our budget. That is where a lot the DIY decorations came into play. It took a bit more time, but saved us in the end. I am a designer, so I made the invites myself and printed through a trusted printer and saved a bunch.

We got our flowers wholesale and put the decorations and bouquets together ourselves. That alone saved us hundreds of dollars.

I got our cake at Whole Foods! We just ordered a half and quarter sheet cake, stacked them ourselves, and put flowers on it! That was another big money saver. 

Unique Details

My sister officiated the wedding which made it much more personal and fun.

We wanted the wedding to be "us" and include things that we as a couple like, so we included a photo booth, a special keg of our favorite sour beer from New Belgium, and lawn games. 

We borrowed a giant Jenga from a friend and ordered a bean bag game that I painted to customize it for the wedding.

Favorite Memory 

There are so many... But one that really sticks out is actually something that was completely unplanned. As the reception was coming to an end, there were maybe 30 people left at the venue and all of a sudden, we heard a bunch of banging outside. Everyone went out, and there was a huge fireworks show at Mile High Stadium. We all stood there in awe for about 15 minutes watching the show. I still don't know what it was for, but I like to pretend it was meant for our wedding.

Challenges

I had a really hard time with the seating chart. I didn't know if I should even have one, but ultimately decided to do it. It took forever to figure out who knew who, and who should be by who. In the end, it was a really great thing because no one was left out, and I put together people that maybe didn't know each other, but had similar interests, and everyone seemed to love the tables where they sat.

(For seating help, check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings blog post, "How to Assign Seats for Your Wedding Reception.")

Lessons Learned

Book early! I knew that things like the venue and caterer booked up early, but I didn't realize how early. We looked at venues more than a year in advance, and some of them were already booked on the date we wanted. Luckily, we found the venue we loved, but it took a while to get there. I also tried to book about 3 or 4 makeup artists about 8 months in advanced and they were all booked. You don't realize how far in advance you need to book those things, so definitely do it early.

Tips for Engaged Couples

If possible, get married on a Friday or Sunday. We got married on the Sunday before Memorial day and saved about half on the venue. Also, eat on your wedding day. I kept having people tell me that I would be too busy to eat, so I made it a point to eat while I was getting my makeup done. (I didn't want to faint walking down the aisle!) And my husband and I ate everything on our plates at dinner; you're paying for it, so you might as well eat the wonderful food you picked out!

On your wedding day, just be in the moment. Don't think about what needs to happen next, or what's going on on the other side of the room. Just embrace every moment and embrace each other on your big day!

Marriage Advice

Although it can be stressful, try to remember what this day is about and how the little things that you are stressing out about really aren't that important. 

Guest List Count: 115 // Photography: Western Edge Studios // Venue: Mile High Station // Wedding Dress: D'Anelli Bridal // Catering: Biscuits and Berries // Wedding Cake: Whole Foods //  DJ: Xpansion Audio // Hair and Makeup: Hair and Makeup in Motion

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