mountains

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

 

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