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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

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

5 Tips for a Frugal Fall Wedding

Planning a fall wedding has tons of advantages—a beautiful natural backdrop, off-season vendor pricing, and less risk of sweating through ten layers of tulle. Even if your dream venue offers a discount after the summer wedding rush, keeping your budget under control (hello, approaching holidays!) is still a concern for most autumn brides.

Check out these five tips for planning a beautiful, frugal, fall wedding!

1. Go Au Naturale With Fall Foliage

Unlike your marriage, costly floral arrangements won’t last very long. Splurge on your bridal bouquet (or, if you’re crafty, make your own!) but choose seasonal foliage to save serious cash. Leaves as greenery can look just as stunning as an expensive arrangement, especially if they’ve turned brilliant red and gold. Jack-o-lanterns may be too Halloweeny (unless you’re having a Halloween-themed wedding!), but uncarved pumpkins make unexpectedly charming centerpieces.

Extra Frugal Tip: Repurpose your bouquets as decorations after the ceremony. You’ll need to get your maid of honor to wrangle them (you’ll be busy!), but have vases ready on your cake or head table to turn bridesmaids’ bouquets into beautiful table arrangements.

2.Forget the Cake—It's Pie Season!

Nontraditional wedding desserts are more popular than ever—cupcake towers, cookie buffets, and even sundae stations are rapidly overtaking the traditional wedding cake. Since the fall season is the perfect time for pie, why not serve it at your wedding?

Unlike cake, which is a standard at birthday parties, retirement send-offs, and graduations, pies are generally served only around the holidays (unless you have an awesome grandmother who makes them for you all the time and, if so, please invite us over), so they’re more of a rare treat. Consider replacing the four-tiered frosted wedding cake with a pie buffet—with so many pie options, everyone will be able to find something they like!

Extra Frugal Tip: Host a pie-baking marathon the weekend before your wedding, and get friends and family to help you assemble your delicious desserts. Buying ingredients in bulk will help save cash, and you might even be able to recruit Grandma.

3. Take Advantage of Gently-Used Wedding Gear

The summer wedding rush is over, meaning Craigslist is packed full of summer brides trying to unload their used decorations, dresses, and tableware. Scour local buy-and-sell groups to see what kind of deals you can score. Lots of brides have figured out that buying things like tablecloths and wine glasses is cheaper than renting if you can sell it later, which means bigger savings for you. If you can match up with a bride with similar tastes, you may be able to score centerpieces and other decor for a fraction of the price—and, if they’re DIY, will be a huge time savings for you.

Extra Frugal Tip: If you can find a bride whose wedding is the weekend before yours, offering tear-down help in exchange for wedding items could save you hundreds or more. For example, she may be willing to cut you a crazy deal on items like tablecloths or wine glasses if you pick them up right after the wedding—you may have to wash them, but you’ll save serious cash.

4. Spend on Photos, Save on Video

Recording the memories and emotions of your wedding day is a huge priority. If you’ve already spent your photography budget on a great wedding photographer to capture those fleeting moments, you may have given up on the idea of videography to round out your digital memories of your big day. Here’s the good news: while relying on guest photos alone to fill your photo album isn’t the greatest idea, you can DIY your wedding video and preserve your wedding day story—often for free!

Consider getting a friend with a good artistic eye to record video of your ceremony and some of your reception highlights, and then deliver the digital footage on an external hard drive after the wedding. Services like WeVideo allow you to edit video online for free, and with a bunch of awesome features like non-cheesy transitions, stylized text, and voiceover narration, you can make your wedding video look professional in no time at all. They have easy drag-and-drop editing, so it’s simple to cut out Uncle Doug’s long-winded (and not entirely sober) speech about how awkward you were as a kid!

Extra Frugal Tip: Try out the WeVideo Flex package—it’s cheaper than a recurring subscription, and won’t expire until you use it.

5. Ask for Help Instead of Gifts

We all wish we could afford a wedding planner to take care of every detail (and manage demanding relatives) leading up to the wedding, but at upwards of $2,000 for a day-of coordinator, it may not fit in your frugal budget. If you’re not afraid to ask, you’ll be surprised at the number of friends and family members willing to lend a helping hand in lieu of a gift.

If you’re doing a backyard wedding or renting a super-minimal venue, you’ll need help setting up and tearing down. Recruit your younger cousin whose student status means he can’t afford a lavish gift. Let him know you’d be super appreciative if he could help move heavy tables or sound gear, and you’d consider it the best wedding gift of all. You may be worried that it sounds greedy, but guests tend to stress over gifts more than you might think and giving them a free (and hugely appreciated) alternative will make everyone happier.

Extra Frugal Tip: Seek out friends with special talents, like your crafty former roommate or piano-virtuoso coworker, to help with decorations or provide reception music. Just be careful when using “friendors”—if you put too much pressure on someone to help out they may back out or feel resentful. Only ask them for what you know they can handle, and be gracious if they can’t commit.

Remember, your wedding day is about you and your future spouse! Don’t be afraid to replace old traditions with things that are extra-meaningful to the two of you, especially if it helps slim down your wedding budget. Having an autumn wedding is a great way to save cash and create a beautiful, memorable event that you and your guests will cherish forever.


Today's tips are brought to you by Lauren Colman of WeVideo. She is a video creator, social media nerd, mom to a French bulldog named Squish, and power napper.

Visit WeVideo.com to learn more about how you can create your own outstanding wedding video.