From the bride, Madi: We wanted to keep the day very natural and elegant. We also wanted to play off the simplicity and elegance of greenery. The décor was all a natural wood color with eucalyptus as the accent. My little sister added a soft feminine touch with her calligraphy and lettering. I absolutely loved our décor because it was all made by our families. It made the wedding feel so personal and intimate.
Our color palette was cream, white, green and light blush.
It rained all afternoon and gave me a slight heart attack because the ceremony was scheduled to occur outside. However, the clouds parted right as the ceremony was to begin and the rain held off until we drove off at the end of the night!
The ceremony was located in a field called “Grace’s Chapel.” The altar is located under this giant tree and looks out towards the foothills. It is absolutely stunning. We had our pastor from my church growing up marrying us. We also had our sisters read verses during the ceremony. My favorite memory was saying our vows to one another. It felt like it was just him and I in that moment. We wrote our own vows and also said some traditional vows. It was perfect for us.
During our ceremony, we planned to take communion. They had the wine all set at the outside ceremony site. However, because it had been raining all day the wine had accumulated a bunch of sticks and leaves in it! So, they poured it out before the ceremony and had planned to refill it right before it started. However, if you have ever been to a wedding, you know that right before can be somewhat craziness with all the nerves and excitement. So, when the ceremony started, the wine cup was still empty! When it came time for communion, our Pastor laughed and casually whispered in our ear to just pretend like we were drinking the wine. I remember giggling under my breathe as I watched Noah act like he was drinking the wine.
We made wooden boxes for the centerpieces and stained them to get a natural worn wood color. In the boxes we had three different sized vases with simple white candles in them and eucalyptus threaded throughout the candles. We used the extra wood as our table number signs. My little sister designed the table number signs with her amazing calligraphy.
My mom made a big marquee “d” (our new last name is Drake) that sat by the fireplace mantel at our reception.
Coffee beans in personalized bags.
The best advice that I received during our engagement was to embrace the imperfections. The imperfections are what makes the stories rich and memorable and totally and completely ours. Embrace the imperfections of everything! God has your day and your marriage under control, so just enjoy the day like it’s a gift!
Photographer: Melissa Yocum Photography // Caterer: Occasions Catering Denver // Floral Designer: Petals Lakewood // Wedding Gown Designer: Hailey Paige // Bridesmaid Dresses: Lauren Conrad // Men’s Wear: Combatant Gentlemen // Veils and headpieces: Sara Gabriel Veiling & Headpieces // Venue: Spruce Mountain Ranch
From the bride, Bonnie: Our wedding was simple, rustic and classic. Since we had a lot of family coming in from out-of-town we wanted to show them the rustic charm of Colorado. The beautiful barn and the surrounding botanic gardens at Chatfield Botanic Gardens was our inspiration.
THE COLOR PALETTE
Yellow (I love sunflowers!), navy, and grey.
We held our ceremony at the open air chapel (a cute gazebo). The ceremony was really simple and quick, we had a family friend as our officiant. Ben and I aren’t particularly religious, but we love Harry Potter so we had our officiant hold a Harry Potter book!
Simple and rustic. We put together sunflowers and small daisies in mason jars for the centerpieces, and our moms made wine bottles with fairy lights. That was about it!
This is really hard to take and everyone says it but just step back every so often and remember that it’s a party you are throwing to celebrate your new life together. It should be fun! It shouldn’t be stressful. Also, spend money on a great photographer. That is what you will look back on for the rest of your lives, no one will remember the food but you will always look at the pictures!
RECOMMENDED WEDDING VENDORS
Venue: Chatfield Botanic Gardens. The staff was so helpful and we didn’t have to worry about anything the day of. Plus, it’s so gorgeous and pretty reasonable priced as compared to other outdoor venues we looked at.
Megan & Matthew | August 5th | Denver Botanic Gardens
Fragrant blooms and lush gardens set the stage for this romantic wedding at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The couple’s first look was in the water garden under a gazebo -a little delayed due to rain – but Megan wanted rain on her wedding day so her wish was granted. Their ceremony was officiated by a pastor from their church, and they were surrounded by about 150 guests outside in the romantic garden. The reception was covered in blue lighting and blue tablecloths. The guest favors were small air terrariums, which complemented their garden theme.
Venue: Denver Botanic Gardens
Photographer: Kara Pearson Photography // Dress Designer: Liancarlo // Groomsman Attire: The Tie Bar // Veil and Headpieces: Twigs and Honey // Dress Store: The Little White Dress Bridal Shop // Floral Designer: The Perfect Petal
Holly & Grant | May 17th | Boulder, Colorado
From the bride:
Our wedding was a combination of a cocktail party and a garden party – casual and fun. Neither Grant nor I are big party people – we just wanted an environment where we could mingle and enjoy the presence of all our friends and family.
We got married on my parent’s property in Boulder, under an arch that my father built. We had a classical guitarist play as we entered. There were no bridesmaids or groomsmen. The ceremony was short and sweet. Grant and I wrote it together and we heard throughout the rest of the day that it sounded just like us.
We had a large (40×60) tent in the yard with lights. The reception was mostly a chance to mingle and chat with people – and enjoy the good food and good wine and beer. We had local brews (selected by Grant) and wine options from California and New Zealand (selected by my dad).
We had lights strung across the tent and beautiful flowers on the tables. We did splurge for the ‘harvest tables’ which added a little bit of rustic charm to the decor. I really just wanted to flowers to be the focus of the day, and they were.
Neither Grant nor I are dancers, but there was something about our first dance. You hear about everyone else disappearing and having it just be the two of you – that happened to me while we danced – I loved it.
First, you hear all the time that you won’t remember your wedding day – that you will not be aware of the details you stressed over…and that was certainly true for me. So keep that in mind as you think about which napkin color to get.
Second, unless you are planning a tiny event or have years to plan, I would get a planner. Even if you think you can handle it, having someone to help with narrowing selections for vendors, who could do the leg work when it came to nailing down a contract or getting an update from a vendor was so wonderful. It allowed me to continue to work and have a life while I planned the wedding.
Third, really REALLY plan your guest list – make a list, have your fiancé make a list, go over the lists together, set them aside and go over them again later. Really think about how many people you want at your day. Grant and I ended up with about twice what we wanted (it turned out okay) but it was definitely the biggest stressor of the entire planning.
Lastly, try to enjoy the process. It will get stressful, but try to remember that at the end of the day, you will be married to the person you love – and the entire day is all about that.
Holly’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Event Planner: The Wedding Studio (HIGHLY recommend her!). Hope listened to what I wanted and brought me options. She was always willing to make changes and adjustments. She was available when I needed her and basically saved my sanity through the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Florist: The Perfect Petal. My floral designer was brilliant. The nature of what we wanted (mostly little containers of different sizes with individual flowers or small arrangements) necessitated intensive set-up on site. The layout was amazing – saturated colors through the tent, but not overwhelming or fussy. She also made us flower arrangements for the cake and the arch (for the ceremony). She listened to input and made changes. I would work with her again, no question.
Caterer: Footers Catering. Footers was amazing – our food station idea was a little bit different, but they worked with us to get a menu we all liked. They made changes to recipes and tweaked flavors for us. Their staff was incredible – friendly and helpful – throughout the evening. And the food was incredible! My only regret was that I didn’t get to eat more of it!