once upon a time...
check out the blog to see how this story ends!
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
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.
Our friend Brad over at Brides, Bumps, and Babies Photography invited us over to the Trulife Studios space to learn more about owner Aimee Palifroni and how we got all up in this crazy gig! (Sorry - we've been watching a lot of Alyssa's Secret recently! lol!) Hear the story of how Prisma Events came to be, why we love it, and where we are headed!
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
People come and go in our lives. My mother always said, "people come into our lives for a reason or a season". This came true two-fold for Amanda and Nathan's beautiful wedding at Devil's Thumb Ranch. Firstly, Amanda is not only a corporate event planner, but we went to high school together! It was an absolute honor to help this sweet girl plan her perfect day (and no pressure to please another planner!). While there may have been some shock at this quick engagement - Amanda and Nathan met in February 2017 at a housewarming party and were engaged by October the same year! - it was easy to understand when you see the stars between these two. And we really mean stars as Nathan is one of 70 local members of the 501st Legion (that means he's a bonafide Stormtrooper to us Earthlings)!
Spring mountain weddings in Colorado can sometimes be tricky. Luckily, we avoided the snow the week before and were blessed with beautifully green rolling hills. However, the wind blew us in different directions of our plans. Everyone went with the flow (you liking all these windy puns yet?) and they persevered with the ceremony nestled in the valley. When the clouds rolled through, we were left with the perfect evening to celebrate, take photos in the trees, and gaze at the stars. Nathan may have been a Stormtrooper out of costume, but he sure took his bride on a trip through the galaxy.
Once in a while, we get to get out of our "wedding box" and do something cool. Something that we just dream up and bring to life. This year, we were able to participate in the ILEA (International Live Events Association) Denver chapter's annual Designer Showcase. This event is a can't miss for local professionals as teams get together to design and execute a large vignette based on a theme. I've attended this event in the past and always had a little twinge of jealousy walking through these amazing spaces where imagination can run free. When I was invited to join #TeamMagnolia as the lead planner and designer on this project, I couldn't say no! It takes a lot of hands to put something like this together (just wait til you see the list of vendors!). Although we didn't win an award for our vignette this year, I am SO proud of what we put together, the creativity we brought, and watching guests get giddy with their hands in the dirt. Here is our presentation of "Famous Couples" with Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV's Fixer Upper!
The amazing vendors of #TeamMagnolia
Team Leader - Maggie Glass, Aren't We Lucky Consulting
Planner and Design - Aimee Palifroni, Prisma Events
Hair, Makeup, Photography - Jewels Gray Photography
Walls and China - AllWell Rents
Furniture - Max/Livie
Furniture - Event Rents
Catering - A Spice of Life Catering
Floral - Arrangements by Marzeyah
Lighting - Lighting and Design by Scott
Decor - DNM Events
Desserts - The Makery
Venue - The Studios at Overland Crossing
Gillian and Brian are the kind of couple you meet and just know they are going to make it for the long haul. They met through their youth group and spent a few years trying to convince themselves that there was someone else better for them - they were wrong. Luckily those failed dating attempts led them to realize they needed to take the next step and actually go on a date - with each other.
Avid hikers, they watched the sunrise many times over different Colorado peaks. When Brian was ready to make this beauty his wife, he strategically planned a sunrise hike with a storybook ending. Watching the glow come around the Earth, he waited on his knee with a ring. What a perfect way to start your day! On the trek back down, some random hikers passed them on the trail and offered Gillian a balloon. All aglow from the proposal, it was a giddy surprise! As another group passed and handed her another balloon, and another, and another, she still hadn't quite figured it out. When they reached the bottom, both their families were waiting to celebrate - with matching balloons they had been sending up the mountain with willing participating strangers. There's even an amazing video to prove it.
Their winter wonderland celebration came in December was a masterpiece of planning, coordination, decor, and partying. With a complete transformation of Highlands Ranch Mansion into a sparkling white dream, the team from Firefly Events designed a true winter aesthetic. Funkiphino kept the dance floor full all night and it truly was an epic party.
Coordination - Prisma Events
Venue - Highlands Ranch Mansion
Photography - Chris Gentile Photography
Videography - Kyle Spencer
Catering & Desserts - Three Tomatoes
Design & Decor - Fire Fly Event Services
Rentals - AllWell Rents
Entertainment - FUNKIPHINO
Florist - Main Street Flower Market
Hair and Makeup - The Look Salon Cherry Creek
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.
yes, it's real
Here you can take a peek into the world of real weddings and events designed and executed by Prisma Events. Now, of course we are a little biased, but we think these events are pretty awesome. See for yourself!