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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

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

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

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

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

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