The traditions of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, are rooted deep in Mexican culture. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember those who have passed and help support their spiritual journey. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. So within this tradition, Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness, but as a day of celebration, because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them. While this holiday may not seem an obvious first choice for a wedding theme, it's easy to connect it once you know where it came from, embrace the bright colors and music, and remember that it all comes from love.
When Emilio and Aaron approached us with the idea to design a Day of the Dead themed wedding for them, we jumped at the opportunity! We love blush and green but come on, this was a challenge! We wanted to bring out Emilio's favorite parts of his heritage while maintaining a well put-together and romantic wedding feel. They completely trusted us to bring the vision to life by selecting the perfect vendor team, hand selecting design and decor elements, and.... just wait until you see the cake. All this while Emilio and Aaron themselves were navigating a long-distance relationship and traveling between Chicago and Orlando to see each other.
They were thrilled with the special touches and personalization we brought to the event and the guests danced into the night, thoroughly enjoying the ambiance. We learned that tradition is a great place to find inspiration, long-distance relationships can last, and there's always a way to make it "classy".
Design and Planning - Prisma Events
Venue - Boettcher Mansion
Photography - Studio Lemus
Catering - Relish Catering
Bar Service - Party Liquor
Floral - Fairytale Floral
Cake - The Makery
Entertainment - Elite Entertainment
Rentals - Colorado Party Rentals
Decor - DMN Events
Lighting - Lighting and Design by Scott
Custom Wine Bottle Gifts - Select Global Wines
Photobooth - TapSnap
Hair - Faded and Braided
Makeup - Faced by Ariel
Transportation - Sunset Luxury Limousines
We all know the famous quote, "The mountains are calling and I must go", by John Muir. And if you are so inclined, you can learn more about what he was describing in a letter to his sister through this intriguing essay. Even if Katie and Dylan have never read the full letter by Muir, they embodied his spirit for nature through their simplistic, yet stunning, elopement deep in the Colorado hills - ok, mountains. Either way, their love is a traditional story that writes it's own ending and we were thrilled to be witness to it.
Katie and Dylan were high school sweethearts who met...wait for it...at a high school football game. Right?! It doesn't get much more "all American love story" than that. But after nine years together, they knew it was a forever love story and not just a high school flame waiting to burn out. As avid hikers, they traveled the country discovering the world around them together. And even though neither had ever been to Colorado, they knew the magic in these mountains were where they wanted to solidify their love story.
You would think that with such a traditional beginning that the natural next step would be a 150 person country club wedding in their home state of Virginia. But, no. Not these two. They had a vision and it was much different than that. Surrounded by just thirteen of their favorite humans and their beloved dog, they exchanged vows in a "circle of love" nestled in a clearing in the forest. They exchanged their first kiss just as the sun set behind the mountains. They exchanged swings at a wedding cake shaped-pinata hung high in a pine tree and spilled candy on the forest floor. They exchanged forks full of cake, more kisses, and dances on the deck of their VRBO venue underneath strings of light. And they exchanged glances of fulfillment as their loved ones raised glasses to their successful future together.
We learned from this wedding. We learned that a little can go a long way. We learned that you don't have to follow anyone's rules. We learned that it's only as stressful as you make it. Here is a couple who had never set foot in the place they were going to get married. They went with the flow, they trusted the expertise of the professionals they hired, and they did everything just the way they wanted. It was one of our favorite weddings to date. It wasn't without it's own challenges, but hey, "the best view comes after the hardest climb". And man, what a view.
When a couple envisions a Colorado wedding, certain things come to mind - pine trees, beautiful scenery, snow-capped mountains, haunted hotels....wait, what? The historic Stanley Hotel, proudly sitting atop a hill in quiet Estes Park, Colorado, has a few stories to tell. This one is of two grooms from Florida with wedding guests traveling from both coasts, and the perfect backdrop to get married. We didn't see any ghosts, but we certainly got the chills.
Robert + Julian had already made names for themselves in the social media world as Instagram influencers and media moguls before this stunning Estes Park wedding came to fruition. With celebrity guests in attendance and even in the wedding party, the bar was raised to prove to these New Yorkers, Floridians, and Los Angeles natives that rustic glam is where it's at.
The couple spent months collecting antique candle holders, customizing hand-lettered agate place cards, even curating their own goldleaf-embossed menu cards. They wanted the personal touches to come through from the moment their guests arrived in Colorado until the very last glass of champagne was sipped.
The wedding weekend festivities began with a welcome reception at the hotel, followed by morning yoga to get stretched and ready for the family vs. family softball game! To continue to allow their guests to enjoy their time in Colorado, they hosted a rehearsal dinner at Elkins Whisky Distillery catered by local favorite, Smokin' Dave's BBQ. And of course, no trip to the Stanley Hotel can be complete without a private late-night ghost tour.
It was cold for an October wedding in Colorado (believe it or not), but that didn't stop this stunning group from taking photos among the wild elk and perfectly complementing the fall grounds in their rich burgundies and creams. The intimate wedding ceremony warmed guests in the Stanley Pavilion amphitheater accompanied by a string quartet. After cocktail hour, guests dined upstairs at thoughtfully decorated farm tables. And oh, the candlelight. The custom marbled cake served as a centerpiece for the room as Robert and Julian laughed through loving toasts and cheers.
But before the party could really get underway, these two wanted to give one last personal touch to their guests - a surprise Drag Queen Review! Local Denver Drag Queen favorites Jessica L'Whor, Evelyn Evermoore, Willow Pill, Yvie Oddly (who was just crowned the winner of season 11 of Ru Paul's Drag Race!!), and even flew in Miami Queen Noel Leon! Unassuming guests were in for quite the treat with comedy and dance-filled entertainment that didn't hold back and was certainly memorable.
Modern yet classic, sophisticated yet rustic, designer yet relaxed. Robert and Julian successfully combined their styles while celebrating their individuality throughout this naturally elegant wedding (including coordinating outfit changes!). We were thrilled when their wedding story was featured on Junebug Weddings to highlight their authentic approach to collaborating a high-style DIY wedding with modern elements. We can't wait to see what these two give to the world next!
Planning, Design, and Coordination – Prisma Events
Photography – Wild Jasmine Photography
Venue – The Pavilion at Stanley Hotel
Floral Design – Lace and Lilies
Catering – Occasions Catering Denver
Cake – Kelly Kakes
Officiant – Jane's Personalized Weddings
DJ – Elite Entertainment
Live Music – Mile High String Quartet
Videography – Top Shots Media
Makeup Artist – Alchemy Face Bar
Hair Styling – Styled by Laura G
Groomsmaids’ Apparel – Jenny Yoo Collection
Cream Ceremony Tuxedo – J.Crew
Shoes – Christian Louboutin and Marc Jacobs
Burgundy Ceremony Tuxedo – Tommy's Tuxedos
Reception Tuxedos – Mr Turk
Groomsmen’s Apparel – Top Man
Rentals – Colorado Party Rentals
You can believe in coincidence, you can believe in serendipity, you can believe in "meant to be". Or not. But sometimes you hear a story and it makes you believe. Like when two people are dating other people but their stars align and....they just know. So what better place to start the next chapter of life together than under the stars? This is John + David's story celebrated among the stars.
A special part of a wedding is joining together all the people you both love. Sometimes that's family, sometimes that's friends, and sometimes it's the family you choose. John and David knew they wanted an intimate celebration to honor those that have stood by them and their relationship for the twelve years leading up to this day. They invited their closest friends to spend an adventure-filled weekend in one of their favorite areas of Colorado - Buena Vista. A little search on VRBO and they knew that Bright Star Ranch had everything they needed (but just to be safe, we brought in extra bathrooms ;) ).
The goal was a weekend getaway with a great group, lots to do, and a nice party in the middle. A welcome reception was held at Deerhammer Distillery Company, morning yoga on the hill led by the wedding Officiant, and day trips into Salida. The ceremony was short and sweet in a "circle of love" with family-style dinner under the tent, and dancing, you guessed it, under the stars. Those brave enough ended the weekend with river rafting the next morning. Tears of joy, lots of Rose, and laughter into the night were the perfect combination to show these two just how loved and supported they really are.
Isn't is amazing what this digital age has brought us? French fries delivered right to your door. Packages arriving within the hour. Finding the love of your life with a swipe. While we continue to find easier ways to acquire things, one thing remains constant - if it's love at first sight, you fly with it.
Brandon and Sara met as a lot of today's college students might meet - on Tinder. In fact, it only took Sara being on the app for six hours to get stopped by Brandon's handsome grin. After a whirlwind first week getting to know each other, Brandon was preparing to commission to the Air Force and be whisked away as quickly as he appeared. They committed to making it work long distance and the determination they both bring to their passions was brought to their new relationships. And it worked.
After a carefully orchestrated surprise proposal (it took planes, trains, and automobiles to bring it together!), the nursing student and future fighter pilot planned a short engagement and began planning their destination wedding to Colorado. Crooked Willow Farms set the stage for a beautiful garden party ceremony and cocktail hour followed by dinner and dancing in the barn. Thoughtful hand-made touches by Brandon's mom brought all the elements together. Aviators in hand, this bridal party knew they wanted to make lasting memories for the couple before being shipped to Japan - and boy, did they ever.
Coordination - Prisma Events
Venue - Crooked Willow Farms
Photography - Lady Ilg Photography
Catering - Occasions Catering
Rentals - Event Rents
Florist - The Olive and Poppy
Gown - Lillian West
Suits - GenTux
Invitations - Minted
Hair & Makeup - Captivate Beauty
Officiant - Wedlock Officiants
Entertainment - Trading Post Productions
Bakery - Whipped Bakery
When a marketing gal and an ER doctor fall in love, you get to witness the immaculate combination of vision, organization, and precision cake cutting skills. Nicole and Jeremy planned their Colorado destination wedding from California all while planning a big move - to Colorado, in fact! Jeremy was planning to take residency in Fort Collins while Nicole worked tirelessly to build their future life.
What better way to start a new chapter in a new state than to christen it with your wedding?! With a large guest list of travelers, the Vail Wedding Deck was the perfect backdrop for this adventurous couple. We watched the storm move in, waited for the rain to pass, and then all stared in awe at the hypnotizing Colorado skies. Even after the bridal party were temporarily stranded at the top of Vail Mountain (FYI, you can't operate a chair lift when there's lightning in the area!), you couldn't wipe the smiles of these faces.
The incredible speeches given by the bride and groom's families and closest friends was a true testament to these genuine and caring people. Planning a destination wedding is never an easy task but these two did it with grace. It was beautiful, classy, and an all-night party!
Planning and Coordination - Prisma Events
Ceremony Venue - Vail Wedding Deck
Reception Venue - Donovan Pavilion
Catering - All Love Catering
Cake & Desserts - The Noshery
Linen - Linen Hero
Rentals - Alpine Party Rentals
DJ - Elite Entertainment
Florist - Family Friend
Photographer - Amodt Studio
Hair & Makeup - Weemala
Accommodations - Antlers Hotel Vail
In this day and age, it's hard to imagine that two young people growing up in the same town wouldn't find love until years and years had already passed. Kaitlin and Kyle met in 5th grade in their Texas town. But it wasn't until a trip home from their respective universities - Alabama and A&M - that the blonde beauty and the baseball player decided to finally take a swing at love...and hit a home run.
With an affinity for breakfast tacos, documentaries, being outside, and their puppy Rocky, the two finally found themselves ready to solidify themselves as an all-star team. Colorado called them to a destination wedding at the elegant Highlands Ranch Mansion and their vision did not disappoint. Beautiful blush, creams, and greens with a hint of Texas rustic-chic set the tone for this lovely fete. A full bridal party of 11 bridesmaids and 11 groomsmen showed how much love and support Kaitlin and Kyle have right from "I do" to forever.
As is summertime in the Rockies, you never know what weather will roll off the mountains. The morning was crisp and clear and then came the rain. Our beautiful bride stood in the window and watched as we reassured her it would all work out - and it did. We waited for the storm to roll over, wiped the chairs, and carried on just as the clouds parted. The sun shone down on the cross the groom made for the altar and lit the path for their happily ever after. From there it was tears of joy, clinking glasses, and a full dance floor well into the night - complete with party wigs brought in by the Father-of-the-Bride to keep the laughs rolling.
Planning and Coordination - Prisma Events
Venue - Highlands Ranch Mansion
Photography - Danielle DeFiore Photography
Florals - Sweet Pea Flowers
Catering and Desserts - Relish Catering and Events
Rentals - Colorado Party Rentals
DJ - A Music Plus Entertainment
Hair - Blondies the Beauty Shop
Makeup - Danica Severance
“A mountain backdrop, to dance the Hora, and serve our homemade beer”. Those were the top three things this down-to-earth and fun-loving couple wanted for their destination wedding. Jacquelyn, a Colorado native, and Eric, an Illinois man, were both in graduate school at the University of Kentucky when they chose Evergreen Lake House to be the perfect spot for their celebration. The personal touches, respect for tradition, and laid-back approach set the stage for an awesome night.
Jacquelyn and Eric wanted to share with everyone why they chose Colorado for their wedding and carried that theme all the way through. The couple started off the weekend by treating all their traveling guests to a real Colorado evening with the rehearsal dinner at Green Mountain Beer Company and food trucks to keep everyone well fed and entertained.
Playing off the gorgeous natural views of the lake house, the florals and décor were kept simple with whimsical foliage and white lanterns and candles while the ladies donned rich green dresses. The ceremony couldn’t have been more picturesque as the couple were married by their best friend under a Chuppah the bride’s father made. Guests found their seats for the reception by picking up a custom pint glass with their name inside and enjoyed a homemade “Wedding Brew” crafted by the groom and driven to Colorado from Kentucky! Instead of traditional wedding cake, the couple cut into a delicious pie from Relish Catering complete with “pie birds” baked inside. The mini pies for the guests were an extra sweet treat.
The highlight of the night was watching the bride and groom lifted into the air for the Jewish dance celebration of the Hora. It was a full dance floor all night and the party was fueled by love and laughter.
Planner and Decor – Prisma Events
Venue – Evergreen Lake House
Catering – Relish Catering
Photography – Our Love Is Loud
Flowers – Beet & Yarrow
Entertainment – DJ Connection
Rentals – AllWell Rents
Transportation – Sunset Limo
Bride’s Attire – pieced together by the Bride
Hair and Makeup – Tangles by Stacy Tanner
Groomswear – Jos. A Bank
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. :)
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
Part of the Event Better INC Family