It was cold. It was a challenge. It was breathtaking.
When I overheard my yoga instructor expressing woes over her upcoming wedding, I took the chance to offer a helping hand. I am so glad that I did because it ended up being one of the most beautiful weddings we've been a part of to date. And a friendship has blossomed as well! Welcome to a magical Colorado mountaintop winter wedding.
Nicole and Aaron are transplants from Orlando and knew they wanted to share the beauty of Colorado with their friends and family with a destination mountain wedding. Now, if you've been in Colorado a minute, you know two things: 1. the weather can change at any moment, and 2. March and April are our snowiest months. It had been a fairly mild winter until....well, here comes the change! A massive blizzard rolled through two days before the wedding was scheduled at the top of Arapahoe Basin. Endless numbers of flights canceled - no one coming in or out from Denver. My bride calls me in a panic. We went through our options and decided that the show would go on as planned, with as many guests as were able to get there. Although there were friends and family that couldn't make it, this intimate affair was overflowing with love and gratitude. And it is all captured here by the incredible Cat Lemus. So cuddle up and enjoy the transport to another world. A world of white.
In case you were wondering, THIS is how you get six boxes of flowers and centerpieces to the top of a mountain! Needless to say, those there to enjoy the massive amount of fresh powder weren't too happy when I had to stop the lift to get everything loaded up. Thankfully, some nice skiers were helpful "lift buddies" for my flowers so they didn't fall off.
Design and Decor: Prisma Events
Venue: Black Mountain Lodge at Arapahoe Basin
Photography: Cat Lemus Photography & Cinema
Officiant: Jeremy Anderson
Florals: Petal & Bean, Breckenridge
Music: Diamond Fire Entertainment
In the Denver area? Please visit Nicole's amazing yoga studio, Love Junkie Yoga & Fitness! You'll fall in love with this girl and her spirit just like we did. :)
Two things happen when you are asked to plan a wedding for someone you know. First, you are really excited (and honored!) that friends ask for your help and trust you with their special day. Second, the nerves set in because you want everything to be perfect and there's a lot more pressure! Luckily, when this awesome couple asked for my help, I knew it was going to be smooth sailing.
Ross and Carlos are two super fun-loving guys who make a planner feel so special to be a part of their day. From the beginning of planning, their first concerns were making sure that their family and friends had a great time. It was never about "It's our day....I have to have this....my wedding...." It was all about, "We want them to have fun....great food....open bar....a party!". It was a day filled with love and laughter and it was awesome.
The ceremony was held a Alamo Placita Park in Denver for just the immediate family. A little downtime at their new home and then a quick limo ride down the street to the newly renovated Applewood Golf Course in Golden for the reception. Complete with a customized step-and-repeat for guests to have their photo taken paparazzi style, it was upscale yet casual, traditional but their own, and just the day they asked for. Congratulations Ross and Carlos and we wish you years of happiness - and we know you'll have no problem with that.
I think every planner dreams of being able to do destination weddings at some point. Oh the excitement! The travel! The change of scenery! The challenge! I just so happened to get that chance and I am so glad that I did.
Amber and Jared live in Austin, Texas. Amber a born native, Jared a transplant. All it took was a chance meeting at an outdoor country music festival (where else but in Austin?) for these two to fall in love under the "big and bright" stars of Texas. (Insert clapping a la Pee Wee Herman.)
When I was asked to assist with planning for a wedding being held in Connecticut with the Bride and Groom in Texas and me in Colorado, a lot rushed through my mind. "Will I be able to pull it off? I don't have my trusted vendors with me! What if I forget something? What if I miss my FLIGHT?!" Luckily, Old Lyme, CT is very welcoming and the Father of the Groom's private estate has seen a few weddings on the lawn before. I may have been prepared with my Wedding Planner Emergency Kit but what I wasn't prepared for was just exactly how gorgeous it was going to be.
So travel with me as we take a country couple to the beach for a casual yet elegant affair, rich with family love, tradition, and a good ol' fashioned party.
Photos by Santos Sundaya Photography, Austin, TX
In March 2013, Colorado passed legislation establishing Civil Unions that provide rights comparable to those provided to opposite-sex married couples. The law went into effect on May 1, 2013 - just four days after Christopher and Jonathan exchanged vows of love and devotion in front of their family and friends. It may not have been "legal" on that day but that didn't change one minute, emotion, or the realness that we all experienced.
Years together living as a couple in public and private, a move across the country from Florida to Colorado, and a profession of their own truth brought us all to experience a magical day. It's hard to imagine that perhaps there are people out there who don't approve of a couple in love being together - and even harder to imagine those people might be your family. There were tests of love, moral, and faith this day. And as with most matters of the heart, love prevailed. And there wasn't a dry eye in the room.
This was one of the most memorable events that I have been a part of, for several reasons, but mostly because it was such a GREAT party. Once the tears were shed, the immense love was abound, and that line in the sand was erased.....well, it was a cause for celebration. Families brought together by love, friends letting loose, and a couple who couldn't wait anymore for this day. They did go to the courthouse those four days later to be awarded their legal Civil Union - and then again on October 7, 2014 when same-sex marriage was made legal and solidified them even more. It was more than just a beautiful wedding, it was history.
Planning and Design - Prisma Events
Ceremony and Reception Venue - Hilton Garden Inn Denver/Cherry Creek
Florals - Sweet Pea Flowers
Officiant - Jeremy Anderson
Cake - Elegant Bakery
Photography - Ashleigh Weber, Ash Marie Photo
Linen - Chair Covers & Linens