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An Evening of Surprises in Downtown Denver

Meghan & Phil  |  July 21st  |  Denver, Colorado

From the bride, Meghan:
I think once I found the dress, a couture ball gown designed by Romona Keveza, everything else just fell into place. The dress seemed to require a unique, formal venue and KT’s at The Opera House seemed the perfect location for the reception. We asked of all guests that were attending to wear black to carry out the black and white wedding palette.


I wore my grandfather’s wedding band and my mother’s pearl ring, which was a gift from her mother who received it in 1926 from her uncle who was a pearl dealer.


My soft white bouquet filled with ivory garden roses, lisianthus, and dahlias was the perfect complement to the pearl tone of my dress. VanBuren03

I wrote personal notes to Phil on slips of paper cut from a Chipotle bag. As each of my eight bridesmaids met Phil at the altar, they handed him a note. On one I wrote, “I’ll always let you order Chipotle!”  Quoting Shakespeare, another said, “When I saw you, I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.”  I watched from the back of the church as Phil laughed and wiped tears from his eyes as he read each note.

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We choose tall square vases with purple hydrangea, deep red heart roses, peach tulips, hanging amaranths, and trailing ivy to create the soft garden look of flowers spilling out of the vases. Lower arrangements of the same accented other tables accompanied by votive candles.


As a surprise, I had our cake designed in the shape of our boxer Maverick, lying in a field of white spun sugar flowers that matched my dress.  It was so fun to see the surprise and delight on Phil’s face when they dropped the sheet to reveal our smiling puppy, life sized!VanBuren09 VanBuren10

It was a special moment when we danced our first dance to Ray LaMontagne’s “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.”  Then, Phil stood with my mother, tears in his eyes, as I danced with my dad to “I Loved Her First.”

danceFollowing the last dance, we adjourned to The Edge at The Four Season’s Hotel for the final call. Downtown Denver is so beautiful at night and it is just a couple blocks walk to the hotel from the Opera House.


My advice: Find your dress first. Once that is done, the other decisions seem to come more easily.


Photographer: Van Buren Photography. Katie was amazing! From the engagement pictures in downtown Denver to the stunning shots in Chessman’s Park to the romantic ones at the Opera House, she caught just the right vibe!
Event Planner: Colorado Wedding Company.  My family was still in the Chicago suburbs while we planned the wedding so having Paige and CWC guiding us through the planning was instrumental in keeping us all calm and enjoying the process. They exceeded our every expectation!
Cake: Elegant Bakery. Chef Janusz eagerly embraced our decision to use our boxer puppy as the wedding cake. He really caught Maverick in his typical pose when he created this cake! It was a hit with everyone.
Guest Lodging: The Four Seasons provided a perfect location for our wedding weekend.
Ceremony: Church of the Risen Christ  //  Reception: The Ellie Caulkins Opera House  //  Wedding Gown: Romona Keveza from Felice Bridal  //  Bridesmaid Dresses: Lela Rose Design  //  Hair & Makeup: The Parlour  //  Men’s Wear: Men’s Warehouse  //  Invitations: Paper Guppy  //   DJ: Dance Trax Entertainment  //  Transportation: Sunset Limo

Honeymoon Location: Rome, Ile of Capri, and Sorrento, Italy

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  • Kristina | Kristina Lynn Photography & Design September 10, 2013 3:48 pm

    Gorgeous dress! I love the idea of the notes given to the groom by each bridesmaid. What a great idea!
  • Nell September 11, 2013 12:53 pm

    What a romantic wedding, the wedding gown is just gorgeous!
Destination Colorado Springs

Kara & Ryan |  August 27th  |  Colorado Springs

From the photographer, Stephanie Brauer Photography:
This super stylish New York City couple chose to have their destination wedding in Colorado Springs where Kara grew up. Ryan? What can I say, he’s a total rock star. Every time I hear Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z I’ll think of his impressive performance complete with a stage-dive finale.  And Kara, a true beauty, both inside and out. Delicate, sweet, and the epitome of elegance, she radiated with joy as he buzzed with excitement. Friends and family flocked from all over the country to celebrate Kara and Ryan’s love for each other. Everything about their day couldn’t have been more perfect, from the majestic mountain backdrop to the eight piece Diamond Orchestra who made the party a complete sensation.


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We met in New York City in the fall of 2007. It was pretty apparent from the start we were going to be important in each other’s lives. After a short time of friendship, it was clear to both of us that more than just a friendship was developing. It was then we realized that we would not only be two of the lucky ones that fall in love, but get a best friend as well. From that point on, we have been able to do so many things together. With a shared love for travel and adventure, we have been able to take many trips and experience different cultures and parts of the world along the way. Zip-lining in Jamaica, snorkeling in Barbados, snowmobiling in Iceland, and fishing in Ireland are some of the many amazing adventures we have had. The two of us feel so blessed to not only have found each other in this crazy world, but also to be supported by such amazing family and friends. God-willing, may the adventures never come to an end, and only get more exciting along the way. StephBra10 StephBra11

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Photographer: Stephanie Brauer Photography  //   Venue:  Garden of the Gods  //  Cake: Boonzaaijer’s Dutch Bakery  //  Wedding Dress:Bridals by Marisa  //  Reception Music: Diamond Orchestra

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1 comment
  • Francesca August 22, 2013 4:24 pm

    What a beautiful wedding!! And I just adore those sweet photos of bride and her pup! Congrats!
A Dreamy Romance

Erin & Jason  |  May 26th  | Sedalia, Colorado

From the bride, Erin:
I pretty much knew the style I wanted right off the bat, timeless, but with freshness, newness and a lot of uniqueness.  I chose a soft color palette with shades of blush pinks, lilacs, peach and golds. I tried to do a lot of things myself not only to be wise with my budget but also just because I enjoy this kind of stuff.


When we had looked for a venue I was looking for something very specific. I had always dreamed of being married in a garden and then having an outdoor evening reception. Castle Cliff was ideal because of the beautiful gardens and intimacy of the whole venue. It was the second place we went and saw and we knew it was the place. I couldn’t imagine myself walking down the aisle to Jason in any other location.


We really wanted our guests to feel like they were coming into our own private home and feel comfortable. 


The headband I wore was really special. I made it and incorporated one of my great grandma’s bracelets into it. So it was unique and special.

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My favorite detail was the flowers. They were so stunning and exactly what I had wanted. I just loved the way they pulled everything together.


Our ceremony was really personal to us and everything just felt like a big family party. Both of us had been a little leery of sharing such intimate things with so many people watching. But when he began to share his heart with me everyone disappeared and I knew everything he was saying was from his heart and he meant every word.

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One of the things I really loved about the reception was the ability to move our guests around to different locations within the venue. I really wanted to try to get away from that typical ballroom/banquet feel where you sit in the same place all night, have small talk for a little bit, but then just get quiet and bored. It happens so often at weddings and I wanted to create different conversation atmospheres to keep everything feeling fresh and different. Castle Cliff gave me the perfect place to accomplish that.


My mom and I searched for about 3 months for all the different pieces we used on the tables. A vast majority of the centerpiece vases were just old glass vases we both had from just over the years and I spray painted them all gold. Super easy and green! All the table overlays we made too.

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Photographer: Josh Luna Fine Art Photography. Josh was so wonderful to work with and extremely talented. He did more than I could have ever imagined with our photos and day of was such a joy to work with. He was able to capture shots without feeling like a nosy paparazzi, which was really enjoyable.

Cake: The Bundt Shoppe. I loved my cake and how it all turned out. I had a two tier cutting cake for Jason and I and then several mini bundt cakes for the dessert bar. All the guests loved them too.

Florist: Littleton Flower Shop. Dawn was incredible. I had met with several florists and she was the only one who truly understood what I wanted and was able to grasp my vision and be creative on her own.  She went above and beyond what I could ever imagine and I was beyond thrilled.

Wedding Gown: Vera Wang from The Nordstrom Wedding Suite  //  Bridesmaid Dresses: Monique Lhuillier from The Nordstrom Wedding Suite  //  Men’s Wear: Black by Vera Wang

Honeymoon Location: Saint Lucia

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