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
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.
Love will always find a way. Love will always conquer. Love will set you free.
The above is always true but getting there is the hard part. For young gay professionals in a big city, it's always a journey as well. As many couples before them, Robert and Joey shared in their defeats and triumphs through their relationship. And in the end, it was love that won in a spectacular way.
Surrounded by the true beauty of nature in the South African Garden nestled in the back of the Denver Botanic Gardens at York St, this was a celebration of love, life, and progress. There was truly not a dry eye in the house during the ceremony, speeches, and all the way through the end of the night hugs. I think at one point, Robert told me he'd been crying the whole day! Happy tears, my friend.
A personalized ceremony was followed by inviting the guests to enjoy the gardens and then return for cocktail hour. The same space was used for a delicious meal from Footer's Catering while guests were seated at tables named for exotic places the couple have traveled together. As the sun set, the party moved into Gates Hall for a family-filled dance party, photobooth, and cocktails. Check our Instagram page to catch a glimpse of the light-up maracas for the grand exit!
Planning & Coordination - Prisma Events
Venue - Denver Botanic Gardens
Catering - Footers Catering
Alcohol - Mondo Vino
Rentals - Butler Rents
Entertainment - Trading Post Productions
Florist - The House of Rose
Photographer - John E Poplin Photography*
Photo Editor - Sarah Roshan Photography
Photobooth - Picture Perfect
Accommodations - Halcyon
*Shortly after this joyous occasion, we were saddened to learn that our photographer, John Poplin, passed away. Robert and Joey are able to enjoy the memory of their wedding through the amazing help of Sarah Roshan, who was able to source and edit all the photos John took for them. We are eternally grateful to the support of our fellow events community in Denver to ensure that every couple we work with have lasting memories and can continue to celebrate.
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.
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
Part of the Event Better INC Family