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Writers Unite in Granby

Alyssa & Scott |  September 29th  |  Ganby Ranch, Colorado

From the bride, Alyssa:
Immediately after Scott proposed I thought of a mountain wedding. We particularly wanted our wedding to be different because my sister had just gotten married five months before me in Nashville, where I grew up. It was the dead of winter when we rode the chairlift up at Granby Ranch Resort and saw the view overlooking the Continental Divide, but we couldn’t imagine any place else. When the event coordinator at Granby Ranch told us our weekend would be close to when the Aspens turn, I grew giddy and that was my bridezilla moment – I had to get married on this mountain.



My dress was a Jim Hjelm design that I bought at The White Gown, a fabulous boutique in an upscale neighborhood in Brooklyn. It was the perfect mix of old and new – the cotton lace was soft and a bit old-fashioned, but the sash with a flower that had a blue tinge made it look modern. To finish off the look I wore my cowboy boots – my nod to Nashville, where I grew up, and my grandmother’s tennis bracelet and diamond and gold earrings. She had just passed away two months before the wedding and I wanted her to be there with us in spirit on our big day. I carried my other grandmother’s small beaded clutch for the reception and wore the garter that she wore more than 60 years ago when she got married! It was special because my sister had worn it, too, five months earlier.

HIP20HIP18Before the ceremony, Scott and I did a first look. It was so nice just to be with him alone for about an hour, before all the craziness began.


Well, we’re both writers – Scott works at Fortune Magazine and I’m at the Wall Street Journal – so we were adamant about writing our own vows. The night before the ceremony, Scott received a special fountain pen from his favorite journalism professor, who had used it for a decade teaching before giving it to Scott, enclosed with a note saying “from the old school to the new school.” He decided to hand-write his vows with that pen for the day of the wedding.


Though it was a non-religious ceremony, we used a spice box that dates back five generations in my family at the beginning of the ceremony, that was filled with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, to remind us of the sweet smell of marriage.


 We also really enjoyed coming down the mountain for the reception. All our guests could see us coming down and started cheering for us. We waved back and held a sign that said, “Just hitched” made out of old barn board that my parents had made for us.


Six months before the wedding my father spent hours chopping down pine-beetle kill tree slabs to use as the base for our centerpieces and donut tower.  Under the slabs, we had burlap table runners and votives surrounding them. On top of the slab, we used mason jars filled with Gerber daises, yarrow, liquid leaves and aspen leaves for a fall feel. And instead of generic table numbers, we named our tables after our favorite ski runs at Winter Park: Derailer, Mary Jane, Sluice Box and more. My mom made the table number holders out of wine corks.


We ordered personalized chapsticks that read, “Atop the Mount, They Made It Count,” Alyssa & Scott, 9.29.2012. Then we got Alyssa and Scott York peppermint patties.


 Both of us are hockey fans; Scott grew up in Detroit so he’s an avid Red Wings fan and I’m a Nashville Predators fan. We used a jersey of each as the tablecloth and had a cupcake tower with red velvet cupcakes and white icing and blue icing with white cupcakes for the Predators. The tower was topped with a small cake that we cut and two fighting hockey players – one Detroit, one Nashville. It was a big hit among kids and adults alike.


Scott and I wanted something nontraditional, so we decided to skip a cake and do a donut tower, filled with the best donuts around.  We chose apple cinnamon, old-fashioned, pumpkin spice, plain, chocolate and several other flavors for people to choose from. We also had three different glazes for people to drizzle on their donuts: chocolate bourbon,  maple glaze and a lemon drizzle. They were delicious!


 My parents have been friends with Grammy-winning songwriter Mark D. Sanders for a long time. When Scott and I thought about a song that would be special to us, we kept coming back to “I Hope You Dance,” by Lee Ann Womack. Mark wrote that song (and won a Grammy for it) and we asked him to perform it live, for us. It was one of the most intimate moments of our day; Mark sitting in chair, strumming out the song, just for us. No microphone, no backup singers, just him. It was blissful.


Day of coordinator: Rami Carter, Pick Me! Weddings  //  Photographer: From the Hip Photo  //  Venue:  Granby Ranch  //  Florist: Margaret’s Garden  //  Donut tower: Lamar’s Donuts  //  Officiant: Ava Chappell, Celebrant  //  DJ: Denver DJ Services  //  Decor: Pink Monkey Solutions

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Ninja Meets Mountain Chic by Devo Photography

Darcy & Antony | September 16th | Edwards, Colorado

From the bride, Darcy
Our wedding was a martial-art/mountain themed celebration. We had martial arts stuff everywhere because we are both elite level Taekwondo fighters (former national & Olympic team members) and wanted to bring in our own personality to our wedding. We included wood accents and a navy blue, white and gold color palette.

Photography by {Rockstar} Devo Photography

Our ceremony was held on the lawn with the most spectacular view. It was a simple, but sweet ceremony. We created our own vows and a close friend married us. devo08 devo09The cocktail hour was our first real shining moment. We bought over 300 pine boards and had all our guests breaking them. It was a wild, crazy, exhilarating way to spend cocktail hour!


My favorite detail was the cake topper-custom bobbleheads of us in our martial arts gear.


For favors, we created personalized gold medals with an image of us and said “Darcy and Tony’s wedding extravaganza” and everyone wore them throughout the wedding. We also gave away throwing stars as favors, which (thank god) did not inflict too much damage.

devo11  Antony cut our cake with a katana samurai sword! He almost lobbed off a few heads, but I was just happy he didn’t totally destroy our cake!

During the dancing, things got wild when we handed out karate headbands. It was a fun way to involve our guests and EVERYONE wore one and loved them! We also started out our first dance by playing the “Rocky” anthem song and pretending like we were entering a boxing fight. We slowed it down and danced to U2 after that.


My advice: Your wedding will be the best day of your life, if you let it be. Hire a wedding coordinator, plan as much as you can, then just relax!



{Rockstar} Photographer: Devo Photography. Can’t say enough about Devo!!! They did our engagement shoot and wedding and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t drool over the pics they sent us. Not only that, but they are professionals to the highest degree. If someone needed help, they were there to help. With smiles on their faces, they weren’t just documenting the day, they were part of it.

Venue: The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera. We received the most AMAZING service before, during and after our wedding. It was truly stress-free and so perfect! I can’t say enough about the staff and location!! Plus, the rooms are to die for! Fire in every room and the most beautiful balconies!

DJ: DJ Maestro, Tony London. I honestly told Tony that I wanted to get married again just so he could DJ it. I strongly believe that music MAKES the wedding a party and it’s so critical. Tony was an active participant in the wedding and was literally smiling ear to ear the whole time. What a ball! Before the wedding, he was super responsive, answering every question I had and took care of every detail. He’s absolutely the best!!!

Florist: Wildflower Floral. Flawless bouquets and arrangements and a beautiful vision, Wildflower is the best!! I would recommend them to anyone looking for the perfect buds on their special day!

Invitations/Programs: SweetWater Letterpress. Based in California, these letterpress pro’s create one of a kind and beautiful wedding packages. LOVED my invites!

Videographer: Peak Impact Productions (they were amazing!!!)

Hair & Makeup: Natosha CookeAmazing work and uses an airbrush.

Event Planner: Opulent Events, Mallory Woods. If you want to relax and enjoy your wedding, I’d tell you to go ahead and have Mallory handle everything. Every detail was attended to and she made the day so special!

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Eclectic Garden Vintage in Estes Park

 Marianne & Kyle  | September 22nd  |  Estes Park, Colorado

From the bride, Marianne:
Everything about our day had a ‘vintage’ feel, but there wasn’t much structure to it. I took somewhat of a gypsy approach: if I saw something that caught my eye – something I was drawn to (an old window, a picture frame, a vase, my dress), I got it and put it in my ‘arsenal’. The ‘garden’ came in with the flowers, obviously. I wanted them to be mixed, fluffy, full and layered. And, they were plentiful.  I also mixed a lot of hard with soft (i.e. – burlap and lace). That spoke a lot about who Kyle and I are: me – soft and feminine; Kyle – a little bit more ‘grit’, masculine, and old fashioned). The mixed textures were very interesting. Our music also spoke to our style, with modern-day alternative music mixed with some old-school classics. I was definitely inspired by the current trend of vintage weddings. I love that ‘old’ is back, and ‘thrift’ is in. If I think back, the first thing I decided I wanted to do was mix burlap with lace. Once I figured that out, the rest built from there.

I made a conscious effort not to have specific ‘colors’. I am a graphic designer and I wanted to design my wedding the way I design on the computer. I chose a ‘dusty’ palette of colors including roses, yellows, off whites, grays, etc.; and mixed that with pops of rusty red and metallics.

I was made fun of because I ordered probably 20 pairs of shoes… that’s what happens when you have a short dress!!

The invitations were printed on a cotton paper and wrapped in metallic ribbon. The envelopes were clear, which was cool, and I created a wrap-around sticker for the address label and topped them off with vintage stamps I bought on Etsy. Julie03Julie07

Julie13The ceremony was short and very sweet – two Bible verses were read by a friend and the vows were traditional. The main highlight for me was the smile plastered on the groom’s face the entire time.


During the ceremony, we were told that a bull elk came down the side of the mountain near the ceremony site. Being that many of the guests were not from Colorado and had never seen an elk, that was pretty special.

Julie16Julie17Julie18Julie19 Julie21 Julie22Each table’s centerpiece consisted of a square piece of burlap with an assortment of doilies laid on top. On top of that was an assortment of vases filled with flowers. It was beautiful and eclectic. It was also personal, because so many of the doilies and vases belonged to my and Kyle’s families. My mom made the table numbers out of scrapbook paper and dowel rods.

Julie26 Julie24 Julie23Julie25We went a little less traditional with the dessert: famous cherry cobbler and cinnamon rolls from the Glen Haven General Store (a near and dear place to the groom’s heart), along with mini-cupcakes (chocolate, carrot and poppy seed), ‘German Pockets’ and an assortment of cookies from Schmidts Bakery. We had a small, adorable cake to cut as well. I definitely recommend looking into dessert tables over the traditional wedding cake. Not only do you satisfy the tastes of everyone, but it looks amazing, and it can be much less expensive!


My advice:  Before other people start dishing out their opinions, take the time to figure out what’s most important to the two of you. Figure out what you picture the day to look like and who is there, and don’t let the ‘rules’ scare you. Your bridesmaid dresses don’t have to match, you can have more bridesmaids than groomsmen, you don’t even have to carry a bouquet if you don’t want to. That – and don’t be afraid to break your own rules. For example: I told myself I didn’t want to get married outside and I didn’t want a short dress. I promptly broke those rules when I found my dress and venue.

I chose vendors whose work I admired, but also vendors I connected with and who I felt understood my ‘theme.’

Photographer: Marianne Brown Photographyhighly recommend. She has a beautiful, ethereal style without the pictures being over-the-top themed. She is very calm and organized, which is just what I needed. She helped plan the day-of schedule with me, and told everyone where to go and what to do when we were taking pictures. She also had fun with it! 

Venue,  & Food & Lodging: Marys Lake Lodge & Resort, Forever Garden.  The venue is gorgeous, and the ceremony site convinced me to have an outdoor wedding –something I swore I wouldn’t do. The food was delicious!

Florist: Kim and Company highly, highly recommended. Kim got my vibe right away, and started throwing ideas out that were even better than what I had in mind. She is sweet and easy to work with, and responds well to email. And, the final product was breathtaking.

DJ: MC Johnny Cruz Mobile Brian was great and I recommend him. He had a lot of songs, including a few Texas Country tunes we didn’t expect him to have, and he was also very helpful in laying out a day-of schedule and helping us stick to it!

Videographer: Media Center Colorado; highly recommended; my dad actually works for the company, but they also do amazing work. They made the effort to get interviews from all of the bridal party, and the Go-Pro’s were the icing on the cake. They also put together the amazing video we showed.

Wedding Gown Designer: Justin Alexander from Little White Dress Bridal Shop
Tent & Party Rentals: RC Special Events

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