Garden Whimsy in Boulder

Rachael & John | June 16th | Boulder, Colorado

From the bride, Rachael:
John is originally from DC and I am a Chicago girl, but Boulder is where we met and started our life together. About 75% of our guests were from out of state. Being able to create a wedding weekend that featured everything we love about Boulder was a wonderful way to show everyone first hand why we love our town

I saw a stunning bouquet in a magazine that literally inspired everything from the colors to the details. The overall theme was garden whimsy meets southern sophistication. Think wrap porch, vintage furnishings, ball jars for cocktails, antique dessert plates, rocking chairs, windowpanes, a chalk board menu, mix and match milk glass vases, etc.

Having been so hands on and designing the wedding myself, I would have to say one of the most memorable moments came to me a few days before the wedding. The day before any guests arrived, I woke up early and went to Chautauqua to time the music for the procession. As I listened on repeat to the songs that my wedding party and I would walk to (Bright Eyes- First Day of My Life and Ben Harper- Three of Us) I had a moment where I realized that all this planning was unlike what I had done for clients in the past and it came to me suddenly that in a few days everything was going to begin and I was going to be married to my best friend and love of my life.

Like any knowledgeable girl scout I approached the wedding day with the motto “be prepared”. Having experience in all the random things that can go array the day off, part of me was fully expecting complications. Thanks to the team I worked with, we were able to troubleshoot and in the end I think I was the only one who truly knew what had gone wrong!

The altar was positioned in front of the mountains on the lawn. We had a Chuppah filled with white flowers, before taking their seats, each guests placed a flower in the Chuppah to symbolize their part in our journey and the love they wanted to give us towards our new life as Mr + Mrs.

 Our flower girl was really a flower dog. Harlow Quinn our 4 year old Australian Shepherd walked down the aisle right before I did decked out in a floral collar.

Our ceremony was held at Chautauqua National Park in Boulder, CO. Besides the unbelievable natural beauty that it added, Chautauqua held a special place in both our hearts because that is where John proposed.

Instead of a guest book, we made matching monogrammed note cards for guest to write their well wishes on.

Our reception was held at Koenig Alumni House, an 1882 Victorian house on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. Being an alumni of CU was only the cherry on top of what this venue had to offer. We utilized the entire backyard, which included a Victorian wrap porch, two gazebos, beautifully landscaped flowers and greenery, half a dozen rocking chairs and a lit tent. We had been looking for a space that would give me the blank canvas I wanted to create an elegant but whimsical garden wedding and Koenig did just that. It was also a great location because of the access to a small pond I used to study at while in school with a gorgeous bridge right above it. We loved the idea of people taking a walk around it and enjoying a special moment. We were able to use the entire venue and sat guests in either the garden or under the tent.

Each place cards was a handwritten luggage tag attached like a mini package with string to small Chocolove bars ( a local chocolate company that has a poem wrapped around each bar).

Homemade crafting with my bridesmaids and mom made all the details come to life!

One of my favorite parts of the reception was when John and I cut the cake. Having worked for a catering company in the past, this had always been one of my favorite things to do. So instead of letting the caterers finish the cutting and passing, I had the idea to have special aprons made for us and for John and I to cut and serve it ourselves! It turned out to be a great way to spend a little extra time with guests not to mention how special it was to wear the aprons made by my new mother-in-law.

We wanted the look of a starry night at the reception and achieved it through a canopy of lights above the garden area along with hanging lanterns staggered around the tent.  

My advice: Enjoy the process and being engaged. Use trustworthy vendors that you can be yourself around. One of our best decisions throughout were the vendors we used.  Most of all, when the going gets stressful, keep in mind the reason your going to all this effort- to marry and begin a life with the person of your dreams.

I am monumentally lucky to have had the experience to design my own wedding and to have worked with so many extremely talented vendors who were a breeze to work with and who kept me 100% in the loop on the day of while I took my place as the Bride!

Photographer:  Chowen Photography  //  Event Planner:  Décor Design + Production  //  Ceremony Site: Chautauqua National Park  //   Reception Site: Koenig Alumni House  //   Rentals:  Vintage Affair Rentals  //  Caterer: Greens Point Catering  //  Cake: La Momo Maes  //  Florrist: A Florae  //   Wedding Gown: Little White Dress  //  Bridesmaid Dresses: Donna Morgan  //  Hair & Makeup: Nicole Torrens at Twig Salon  //  Men’s Wear: Calvin Klein via Men’s Warehouse  //  Limousine: Sunset Limos

Honeymoon Location: Mini-mooned at Ojo Caliente in NM for the ultimate post wedding relaxation!