Ahhh, summertime in the Rockies. There's not much like it! Rolling green mountains, pines and aspen trees swaying in the wind, rushing waterfalls, hikers and mountain bikers, and....skiers?! In June?? June 29th, to be exact. We always say, "If you don't like the weather in Colorado, wait 20 minutes". Well, when Kendall + Dusty picked their end of June summertime wedding at the top of Arapahoe Basin, snow was the last thing we thought we'd have to deal with. Boy, were we wrong! Mother Nature had a different idea for the week of their mountaintop wedding and the snow poured down. We were in constant communication with our couple and the venue and the risk of postponement was on the horizon. Thankfully, the storm came and went and left behind a few feet of fresh powder - which now posed a new challenge - the mountain would be open for skiing on their wedding day.
In normal summer weather, the mountain would be closed for skiing and we would have the lodge staff drive up our vendor teams and decor on Snow Cats (super duty snow mobiles) while guests enjoyed a leisurely ride on an empty chair lift to the top. With an active ski run that day, the plans had to change. What was a new set of challenges to get everything we needed to the top of the mountain (trust me, "summer road" is a very loose term being thrown around for our commute to the top!), turned into an epic day to remember and an opportunity for our newlyweds that very few will ever experience.
Kendall and Dusty's mountain rustic-chic wedding was one for a skier's fairy tale. Personal touches included hand-carved aspen tree place card and table number holders - the table numbers were vintage mountain post cards - a cool cowhide adorned the ceremony space, surrounded by aspen trunks and overflowing flower arrangements, and soft tan leather straps hung tiny bouquets from the rows of chairs. Hints of antlers made their way into the decor - befitting a groom with the last name Buck. After the couple said their "I do's", the two slipped off their dress shoes and buckled into their ski boots for the most memorable recessional we've ever seen. They took their time as they skied hand-in-hand down the now closed ski run. They must have felt like the only two people in the world for those moments. Kendall said, "It gave us an opportunity to reflect on our new marriage and take in this incredible high we were feeling. It was really special to have this time for just the two of us".
With a kiss at the bottom and another ride back up the chair lift, the party was on. They celebrated the rest of the evening surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones who had traveled to the top of the world to see them wed. They danced all night with the band, shared cake and cocktails, and tried to take it all in. Kendall and Dusty certainly rolled with the punches in the days leading up to their wedding and their patience paid off. It just goes to show that sometimes our plans can change and sometimes they change for the better.
Planning + Design - Prisma Events
Venue, Food + Beverage - Black Mountain Lodge at Arapahoe Basin
Photography - Winsome & Wright
Florist - Lil' Bug Floral
Invitations - Minted
Dress - Ines Di Santo from anna be bridal boutique
Suit - Suit Supply
Hair + Makeup - Captivate Beauty
Rentals - Event Rents
Entertainment - Diamond Empire Band
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.
As we can attest, being an entrepreneur is tough. It takes dedication and sacrifice - which many times leaves an owner "married" to their work. Luckily, there are things like business networking events that can align these hard-working spirits with like-minded people and create a new love. Such was the fairy tale that started Audrey and Rich on their road to a whimsical evening of love at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms; complete with whispering grasses, twinkling lights, and well...fairies.
They wanted "low-key and fun" and it was delivered. The personal touches, like the white stones along the ceremony aisle handwritten with words, in English and Spanish, reminding of the cornerstones of a strong relationship, set the tone for this family-centered celebration. The Bride and her family hand crafted centerpieces for each guest table - large white lanterns with live succulents and moss, butterflies, and the tiniest lights - the perfect little fairy house. With soft periwinkle and lilac hues, guests enjoyed dinner under the tent at Green Farm Barn with a stunning view of the sunset behind the foothills.
The party was full of love and excitement under the lights on the patio and the DJ kept the dance floor full til the end. The couple were whisked away in her father's vintage Rolls Royce at the end of their perfect party.
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.
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
One of our favorite things about planning weddings is that once you have all the base pieces together - who, what, where, how - it's seeing each couple's personalities come through that make each one unique. Alyssa and Cody were no exception. A two year engagement, amazing world travels, puppies, and an affinity for nice coffee, this couple wanted to do things their way.
A mountain location was a must. Surrounded by beauty, trees, and the hills that they love to hike and camp together, Peaceful Valley Ranch was the perfect culmination of destination, rustic, laid back, and family oriented that they were looking for. And that view? Unbelievable.
The Executive Chef (and owner) at Peaceful Valley Ranch worked with them to create a completely vegetarian meal to honor the couple's lifestyle and treat their guests to something of a surprise with the delicious options. Hey, when it's your wedding, give them what you like! The charm of the 40 year old handmade wooden chairs with heart cut-outs, the rumbling of the creek rolling past the ballroom, and the roar of the firepit late into the night - it was a perfect celebration in perfect Colorado style.
Planning, Design, Centerpieces - Prisma Events
Venue and Catering - Peaceful Valley Ranch
Photographer - Mountain and Mood
Desserts - Button Rock Bakery
DJ - Elite Entertainment
Florist - Sweet Pea Flowers
Hair - Tangles by Stacy Tanner
See their wedding featured on Aisle Planner!
“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
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
Part of the Event Better INC Family