From the photographer Trystan Photography: We’ve been capturing photos of Bethany since she was a senior in high school. Not only has she grown into an amazing young lady, but she’s also an incredible photographer herself, so when she asked if we would capture the most important day of her life, we were incredibly honored. She and Danny not only have that easy, jealousy-inducing kind of love, but they can really dance. Swinging and spinning all over the dance floor, their energy abounded all night.
From the bride, Holly: I wanted our wedding to really be personal. It needed to be a description of who we are as a couple and individually. We chose a color palette with shades of beige/brown with pops of turquoise.
My corgi was our ring bearer, he greeted almost every guest during our ceremony.
Our ceremony was on top of a hill with beautiful meadows below. In the center of our arch was Pikes Peak. Some highlights; our officiant (he was hilarious! & kept me from sobbing the whole time). My favorite memory from the ceremony is when my husband read his vows. We wrote our own vows, per his request, and I’ve been told there wasn’t a dry eye at the ceremony after hearing our vows. They were extremely personal and spoke true to our past, present and future relationship.
In place of the unity candle, we branded a hide, which really made the ceremony and the sealing of our marriage personal.
The ceremony was a whirlwind of tears for me. Fastest 30 minutes ever!
The décor of our reception was rustic with a vintage touch.
We had a S’mores Bar out by a fire pit. It was a huge hit!
Looking back, If I were to plan my wedding again, I would have followed through on more details that fell off the list the closer our wedding date got. I had so many good ideas that I wasn’t able to complete because time really does fly!
ADVICE: Enjoy it! Take the time to make your wedding as personal as possible.
The most memorable moment of our reception would be when Carson and I snuck off to take some pictures under the hay barn and in the rain. These are some of our FAVORITE pictures and we got a moment to ourselves amongst those we love having fun. I can vividly remember dancing under the hay barn with the music and laughter in the background.
Photographer: Sarah Goff Photography // Event Coordinator: Glow Events // Caterer: Broken Bones BBQ // Cake: Kristin’s Kakery // Wedding Gown Designer: Winstyn by Maggie Sottero // Hair: Wedding Hair by Melissa and Amy // Makeup: Bella Grace Home Spa // Venue: Younger Ranch
Karen & Aaron | October 4th | Salida, Colorado
From the bride: I’ve heard that no matter how much you plan, your wedding day is never how you had hoped, as something always goes wrong. Either I’m the exception to this statement, or simply naive about what really happened that day, because I truly believe I had the perfect wedding. I married the man of my dreams, the true love of my life, and nothing can top that.
I dyed and assembled the bridal bouquets and groomsmen boutonnieres out of balsa wood flowers. It turned out beautifully and most importantly, it matched our creative style.
We wanted our wedding to fit our style and personality. When looking for a ritual to do during the ceremony, we didn’t fit the traditional molds of a unity candle, or sand, or planting a tree together. Instead, we came up with our own tradition, which we call a unity map. Through pins and a canvas map, we told the story of how we met, where we have lived since then, and how our lives brought us finally together to the same state. My husband and I are adventurers and this was a great way to highlight our travels and the time we spent in a long distance relationship. It was important to us that we involve our guests, so during the ceremony people raised their hand according to where they had met us. It was fun and magical at the same time. The map now sits in our living room, a reminder of how our past has shaped the present.
My mother brought homemade currant jelly and apple butter to give as favors.
Looking back, I will always remember the beautiful golden aspen leaves on the bank of the Arkansas River in Salida. The perfectly blue-sky and snow-capped mountains in the background made the day that much better.
Laura & Mike | February 14th | Denver, Colorado
From the bride: My husband and I are simple people, and we wanted our wedding to reflect this aspect of ourselves. We got engaged towards the end of November and planned to marry on our current anniversary, which is Valentine’s Day. This meant a lot of work in very little time. When planning began, we took inventory on what we found important for our BIG day. For us, frills and fuss were the farthest from our minds. Our number one priority was to share our love with our family and friends. In return, our friends and family went above and beyond to make this the most special day we could have ever imagined.
Photography by Jaime Johnson Photography
My husband is one of the most playful individuals I’ve ever met. He gets nostalgic about the toys he played with as a child, LEGOS especially. I came up with an idea for his boutonnieres that reflected this aspect of him, and our shared silliness. We decided to do a LEGO theme for the boutonnieres. We scoured Ebay for all different LEGO men, and then had every male in our wedding choose a character that represented them. I attached a few sprigs of greenery to each LEGO and created our “nod to childhood” boutonnieres. In the end, we had The Ninja Turtles and The Avengers joining our ceremony.
I stayed warm and cozy in my vintage tan mink stole!
The décor, color palette, and overall style evolved from our choice of venue. We chose Cheesman Park Pavilion for the ceremony. Everyone thought I was crazy for choosing an outdoor venue for a winter wedding. It turned into a joke about me being a crazy artist that always had to something outside the box. I’m not going to lie, I am a crazy artist, and that’s why I fell in love with this location. The marble Pavilion was beautiful architecturally. It also held the characteristics that define winter; clean, white, and cold. The bare branches of the surrounding trees encompassed the pavilion, transforming this magical Denver location into a woodsy retreat rather than a metropolitan park. I loved the contrast between the stark dark wood of the trees, the few branches still holding onto the fading tans of their fall leaves, and the white marble. This is where the color palette was born; tan through brown scale, lots of white on white, wood, and very small amounts of spring leaf green. I wanted to carry the natural beauty I found in this location into every aspect of the wedding, in a simple and clean sort of manner.
Our wedding arch was constructed using 2X4s, covered in tan burlap. I took branches from a Coworker that had recently chopped down a tree. The branches were secured vertically to the arch frame to give the illusion of a forest back drop. I wanted to contrast the vertical straight branches, as well as fill some of the negative space in a playful manner, so I hung round string balls varying in size, made of paper mache, from the branches. We tucked greenery and small white flowers in the crooks of the branches, to both cover the hardware used to secure the branches, and to balance the severity of the barren brushwood. My father finished off the piece by sawing some large branches at 45 degree angles and drilling them into the frame to form stable legs.
Our wedding day was as perfect as I could have ever imagined. I arrived at Cheesman Park 45 minutes late, and Mike arrived about an hour late. We really need to work on our tardiness. The ceremony was short and sweet. On this chilly February day, I felt so warm. Our love was on fire, and it illuminated everything around us, and warmed everyone’s hearts.
I made a large heart shaped piñata that I slaved over for days.
Mike and I joined our photographer, Jaimie Johnson for our own personal photo shoot. We had mentioned to her that we wanted the photographs to be a combination of classic, and fun and silly. We wanted them to represent us, and Jaime did just that.
After the photos, we headed to our home for an intimate dinner. Our families had never met, and this gave such a wonderful opportunity for them to get to know each other. The evening was filled with laughter, and lots and lots of LOVE.
The following day, we rented out the Thin Man and threw the party of all parties. All of our friends were there. Each parent, his and mine, sang us a personal heart-felt love song. It was so touching, so personal, artistic, and loving. Song by song, my heart melted more and more. We were just overflowing with love. It was the most magical way to start off our marriage.
Meghan & Joseph | June 16th | Telluride, Colorado
From the bride, Meghan:
Joseph took me to Telluride on our first trip together and I fell in love with the town. Telluride brings this feeling of peace and relaxation, a feeling of just being centered, and it is an amazing creation! You have this little storybook town nestled in this canyon of lush green mountains and an amazing waterfall at the end of town.
I wanted a very natural style wedding to keep with the Telluride theme. I also wanted to make the day very personal. To bring in the natural feel, I included aspen trees and river rock. I chose a brown, cream, and green color palette with yellow accents.
We started our ceremony early so that it would end at sunset. The mountain view in Telluride at sunset is breathtaking and that is what we wanted our guests to see!
My most memorable moment was saying my vows with the amazing mountains in front of us.
My advice: Hire a coordinator, enjoy every moment, the good and the bad, because you will look back and love both.
Meghan’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Photographer: Illuminarts Photography. Absolutely amazing and so much fun to work with. What sold me on Drew was the way he would capture shots that no one else would ever see. His creative eye is remarkable, he truly made my day that much more special. My photos are my absolute favorite. Words cannot explain how wonderful Drew is!
Venue & Caterer: The Peaks Resort. I could not have asked for a better venue. We had great views, exceptional food, and amazing service.
Florist: China Rose really captured my vision for what I wanted my flowers to look like. Amy had so many amazing ideas. I loved her creativity.
Hair & Makeup: The Peaks Spa
Honeymoon Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Petrika & Ward | July 12th | Ouray, Colorado
From the bride, Petrika:
Ouray is very special to us–we had our first kiss in Ouray and many shared memories from the area. We wanted our family and friends to experience this special place with us! We love the mountains and that is where we feel the most spiritual, for us it was the perfect place to join in marriage.
We wanted to make everything as local as possible, so we worked with all of our vendors to ensure that whenever possible things were sourced locally; this helped us stay “green” and gave our guests a real taste of “local” fare in Colorado. For example, Colorado Boy Brewery in Ouray provided awesome local drinks, and Mesa Park Vineyards in Palisade provided delicious local wine.
Our “First Look” was a surprise to my husband set up at the place of our first kiss before we headed to the ceremony site together—having this special moment with him before the ceremony was worth a thousand words and made it oh so intimate.
It rained during our rehearsal (thus making for the shortest rehearsal time ever!), and it rained for our ceremony. It poured right before we started, drizzled as the ceremony was conducted and poured again afterwards. Folks just pulled out their umbrellas, huddled together and made toasts!—it was wonderful.
We used several elements of nature in our ceremony; standing in a circle for the ceremony, a water ceremony and wooden rings. In the end, Mother Nature decided to give her own contribution and “blessed” us with thunderstorms!
We had our parents bring water from our home towns to “unite” with our Colorado water in our “unity” ceremony. We had our dog (and best friend)—be our ring bearer. It was so wonderful to have our pup with us!
We took a quick moment alone right after the ceremony to privately congratulate ourselves!—This is something I highly recommend! It’s so easy to get so wrapped up in all of your guests that it crucial to carve out a few moments for just you and your new spouse.
Our wedding weekend was unique because it was so small, we gathered for drinks on Thursday evening, were able to go for a hike with our guests on Friday and share a special rehearsal dinner that night. The day of the ceremony we hired a private yoga instructor to start the day off right—it was so much fun! We also had a brunch, shared some special gifts with our wedding party and I even had time for a soak in the hot springs before starting to get ready! I don’t think a lot of brides get to experience that. We really felt like we had time to spend with each of our guests, we read about so many people feeling so frazzled on their wedding day, so they missed out on spending time with folks that have traveled so far to celebrate with them. We did not want this experience, so having an entire weekend with only a few folks provided us with exactly what we were looking for—time with our closest family and friends.
My advice: Take some time when you first get engaged to just experience “being engaged”—it’s a wonderful time that should not be clouded immediately with the stresses of wedding planning. When you do start planning, sit down with your fiancé and discuss your overall vision and what is most important to you—stick to that no matter what anyone else says. Everyone seems to have opinions about how your wedding should be, but remember it is your day! My biggest recommendation is that in the end– it’s just one day— we should put more energy on the rest of your life together than our weddings. Lastly, whatever happens in the end will feel perfect—so don’t sweat the small stuff.
Petrika’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Photographer: IlluminArts Photography. Very flexible and accommodating!
Ceremony Site: National Forest Land, Ouray
Reception Site & Lodging: Weisbaden Hotel. Very relaxed atmosphere and we loved having hot springs on site!
Caterer: Pine Cone Catering. Willing to do something so small and special and use all local vendors/ingredients—amazing!
Tent & Party Rentals: Park Avenue Parties. They have everything you could need.
Honeymoon Location: Skiing in Banff, Canada!