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Wedding Dress Shopping 101

This week on the Blog we are talking to the pros about our dress shopping FAQ’s.

Wedding dress shopping is a very special event for a girl and we want you to have all the right information before getting started. So we teamed up with the lovely gals over at Something New Boutique and they helped us answer some of the common questions we get from our brides on the subject of wedding dress shopping.

A little bit about Something Blue Boutique…

Since opening in 2008, thousands of brides have flocked to Something New Boutique , not only to experience the stunning, quality bridal gowns and gorgeous store, but for guarantee that “the Girl Comes Before the Dress.” Brides choose Something New Boutique because they know they will be treated with the personal attention they need to find their dream dress for their big day.

1. How far in advance should I shop for my dress? 

– Bride magazine says that it takes about a year to plan for a wedding! Wedding dress shopping should be the first item that you do because it can take anywhere from 6-9 months for a dress to come in and you want to have plenty of time for alterations! You don’t want to be stressed out with having a small time frame. Ideally, you should start dress shopping 8 to 10 months before the big day. If you want a made-to-measure or bespoke dress start 10+ months in advance.

2. What should I bring to my appointment?

– You really shouldn’t have to bring anything to your appointment! Just you and the people that matter most to you! Bridal boutiques should have the appropriate undergarments and shape wear that you will need. 

3. Who should I bring to my appointment?

– We always say to bring the people whose opinion matters most to you. The people who love you and want you to feel beautiful. The more people you bring, the more voices and opinions could distract you from what you really want. Ultimately this is your decision! Sometimes brides feel like they have to bring their whole wedding party or else people will get mad, but the people who really love you will celebrate you in whatever you choose is best for you!

4. What if I need alterations? Do bridal shops have someone in house for alterations?

– Alterations are completely normal! Everyone will need something done, whether it’s the hem or the straps or the bust. Most bridal shops these days don’t have an in house seamstress anymore but do have a few trusted seamstresses that they recommend. If you are looking for a seamstress just make sure that they are experienced with bridal gowns because it is totally different from regular alterations.

5. How can a stylist tell that a dress is “the one”?

– Some brides cry, some brides just have a peace about it. It’s always different with everyone! Stylists can usually tell the bride has found the one by comparing the way she reacts in the favorite dress to the other dresses that she’s tried on. At our boutique we have a very thought-out process to help brides make that decision themselves. 

6. How should I approach talking about my budget? What’s the best way to bring it up?

– It’s always important to know what price point you want to stay in before you come to your appointment. Your stylist will be the one who asks you, this helps us know which dresses to pull. 

Sugar Willow Girls Tips:

  1. Schedule a blowout & do your make up before your appointment or better yet, schedule one of your beauty trials before. You’ll look fabulous and get a better idea of what you’ll look like on your wedding day
  2. Have a friend take pictures of you in every dress, and in as many angles as possible that way you can reference these pictures when making the final decision
  3. Do your homework: prepare for your appointment by learning about dress silhouettes and finding wedding dress styles you love. Then bring pictures to show your stylist. This will give you a great starting point.  
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The Best Time for a Mountain Wedding in Colorado: The Pros & Cons of Every Season

Hooray! You’ve decided to get married in one of the most visited and most popular destination wedding spots in the country! Colorful Colorado!

Now let’s get down to business… picking the right season for your wedding can be tricky. Every season in Colorado is beautiful but comes with its unique planning challenges. Knowing these challenges in advance and working with a seasoned wedding planner (like Sugar Willow!) can help you be better prepared to plan and carry out your special day. No matter what season you choose, preparing in advance will help you have an effortless wedding day regardless of what Mother Nature throws your way. So let’s jump right in!

Spring:

The birds are chirping, the temperature is rising and pretty pastels are everywhere! What’s not to love?

Pros: Guests are more likely to be able to attend your spring wedding in Colorado because they are likely not taking vacations or doing holiday travel during the springtime. Another Pro is more availability for venues compared to the extremely popular summer months. Prices tend to be a bit lower in the spring months too.

Cons: Snow. Yup! We have tons of snowy days in the Colorado Mountains during the springtime. Spring snowstorms could cause travel delays for you and your wedding guests. In this case, setting up a timeline that considers the weather, having a Plan B and working with your wedding planner is really important in order to keep the events of the day running smoothly.  Pro tip: pack umbrellas!

Summer:

Pretty wildflowers, blue mountains, and lush green woods are the backdrop of summer weddings in Colorado. It’s the scene you picture when you think about that astonishing mountain top wedding.

Pros: Beautiful colors, lush greenery, amazing weather, and breathtaking views. There’s a reason why summer weddings are the most popular. Colorado in the summer is absolutely fantastic! The weather is simply amazing and perfect for a destination wedding, hiking, horseback riding, camping, and lounging by the swimming pool.   

Cons: It can get hot in the middle of summer. Having a summer wedding means you will probably have to plan your day carefully to make sure your guests are comfortable and out of the sun for those dreaded mid-day hours (especially if your wedding is outside!). Another con is limited accommodations in Denver. Colorado is gorgeous and lush in the summer so tourist rates are particularly high and this means hotels book up fast in the summer months. Prices are also the highest during the summer season for venues.

Fall:

Fall Colors. …Do I need to say more? The glorious colors of the aspen leaves in the fall are what dreams are made of! Every year Colorado gets visitors from around the world that travel to the mountains just to see the leaves change color.

Pros: The changing leaves look absolutely gorgeous. Wedding pictures and wedding ceremonies with the fall leaves in the background are simply jaw dropping.

Cons: One downside of having a wedding in the fall is the weather. Fall weather in Colorado varies a lot! Some days can be sunny while other days can be snowy. Another downside is popularity. Even though the weather is risky, having those fall leaves in the background in worth it for many couples. This means venues book up really fast and planning with a lot of time in advance is really important for securing that picturesque fall wedding.

Winter:

Set against freshly fallen snow, winter weddings are simply magical. Winter weddings are always romantic and spectacular. And the snow capped mountains and pine trees are the perfect backdrop for fabulous pictures.

Pros: Gorgeous winter views! There’s no doubt about it! You are going to awe your guests with those painting-worthy views of the snow-capped Rockies. Winter weddings in Colorado are also truly unique. Few couples get married during the winter months in Colorado. So if you’re adventurous, revel in the magic of Mother Nature and want a unique wedding, getting married in the snow is definitely a great option!

Cons: Winter means ski season in Colorado so it hotel rates are at their highest in the Mountains during this season. And speaking of Mother Nature… This is definitely the biggest Con and biggest reason why couples don’t get married during the winter in Colorado. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Travel can get a little complicated, ceremonies might have to be moved to your Plan B location, and timelines might have to be adjusted. But with the help of a seasoned pro you can navigate these challenges and have an incredible celebration in the snowy mountains of Colorado.

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Reasons to hire a professional DJ for your wedding

Picking the right DJ for your wedding is very important because DJs set the mood for the event. A professional wedding DJ will be able to help you create the perfect atmosphere and bring your wedding vision to life. Professional DJs have experience and are able to understand what kind of wedding vibe you want.

Before going on the DJ hunt think about this: When you envision your wedding day, what kind of mood does it have? Are you dreaming of a romantic affair with soft melodies playing during dinner? Or do you picture a Las Vegas-style dance party? Do you picture both?

Once you have your vision in mind, its time to start looking and narrowing down the candidates. With a vision in mind, you will be able to tell if a DJ is the right fit for you and your wedding. The right professional DJ can help you to create the atmosphere you want. They can help you figure out what songs go with your vision and they will be able to adjust the music accordingly on your day to keep the mood going.

Here’s a list of a few more reasons to hire the right professional DJ for our wedding day:

1.    They have experience in wedding appropriate songs and know what songs to play

Ideally, you only have to pick a few songs for your wedding day. These songs will be for the most important moments of your day, like walking down the aisle, cake cutting, and introductions. After this, a professional DJ will be able to fill in the rest of the day with songs that stick to your ideal wedding ambiance. You shouldn’t have to pick every song played at your wedding and a professional would never ask you to. They know what songs are wedding appropriate, they know what songs get the crowd on the dance floor, and would never pick a song just because the DJ likes it.

2.    They behave the way a professional should behave

Asking your friends to DJ or hiring a DJ that does not have professional experience with weddings can be a bad idea because they might not know what is expected of them on the day of your wedding. Your friend can get a little tipsy or head to the dance floor and leave the equipment and playlist unattended. A birthday party type of DJ might take your guests hostage in a game of musical chairs. Professional DJs have experience and most importantly discipline to uphold your wedding vision.

3.    A professional DJ will give you some peace of mind

Professional wedding DJs have the right contracts and are reliable. They also have the appropriate equipment, no matter where your ceremony and venue sites may be. This is important especially for a Colorado wedding. Here in Colorado, the Rocky Mountains provide some of the best and most breathtaking outdoor wedding sites in the world. Some couples choose to have the ceremony overlooking the mountains and some choose to have two different mountain locations for both their ceremony and reception. Whatever you choose, a professional wedding DJ will be able to set up no matter where the events are held. Professional DJs have their own WiFi hot spot so they don’t have to rely on the venue Wifi and they are able to set up any place you would like away from Wifi. Certain DJs also have an online catalog so you can pick the songs you like and style of music easily. Lastly, a professional wedding DJ will be able to work effortlessly with your wedding planner to stick to the timeline and handle any issues that may occur without you even finding out.

Our final notes:

Once you pick your DJ, you should trust that when you hire the right DJ they will play music to keep the mood alive and when you overdo it on the song selection you may lose that vibe. It’s best when you don’t over manage a great DJ. Balance is everything!

Lastly, if you’re not sure where to start on your DJ search, don’t stress! We are here to help! We provide personalized vendor recommendations for our coordination clients. For our planning clients we provide recommendations, meetings, and management for all your wedding vendors. 

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Ten Do’s & Don’ts for the Perfect Holiday Proposal

For most of us, some of our earliest memories are of the holidays. Special moments, family traditions, food, gifts and travel. Why not cash in on the magic of the holiday season and propose to that special someone? Think about it everything is beautifully decorated, there are so many fun events to experience and families are gathering together from all over.

Here are some tips for perfecting the perfect proposal:

Do: Consider their style.

What does he or she like? Are they easily embarrassed or love the spotlight? Do they love grand displays or cringe at attention? Think about special moments that you have shared together and personal memories they have shared with you. 

What does she love? Is she into experiences like ice skating or horse drawn carriage rides? Is he into shows and ballet? Do you share a love for winter sports or are you the type to sit in front of the fire and watch a Christmas movie? 

Don’t: Wing it.

Have a plan, and a backup plan. In the winter months a fun ice skating adventure sounds perfect unless there’s a blizzard and they close the rink.  

Do: Ask for help.

Who’s their BFF? Besides you of course. This one may be a misleading question, if she’s super close to her mom or he’s besties with his brother go that route first, whomever knows them best, can keep a secret, and someone your partner would want involved in such an exciting moment. This person doesn’t need to be present for the proposal but can help set the stage that is perfect for their bestie and your soon to be fiance. Another job of the co-conspirator is picture perfection, think manicures for the perfect ring shot or a fresh shave for that glowing selfie. 

Don’t: Cause a scene.

Make this moment special and unique, typically that  doesn’t involve a flash mob in Times Square or the jumbotron during the big game. Now if you two have had a discussion and either of the previous two scenarios have come up and they are on board, love the idea and would suck up all of the attention of thousands of onlookers, go for it. But on average most people would prefer an intimate and personal proposal

Do: Capture the moment.

Hire a photographer! If that is not in the budget find a friend thats good with a camera and make sure they get at least a billion shots chances are one of them will be frame worthy. 

Don’t: Propose first thing in the morning.

We’re going to go out on a limb here and saying that most people to not feel beautiful when they wake up. You are both going to want to immortalize the moment, a selfie with crazy hair, smudged mascara and the look of knowing your breath stinks is probably not how you want to remember one of life’s biggest events. 

Do: Set the stage

Proposing at home? Clean up, fluff the pillows, clear the coffee table, put up some holiday decor, trim the tree do what you can to make the setting perfect. Proposing away from home? Choose a location that has a special place in your hearts, bonus points if it is decorated for the season. Dinner downtown when all of the trees are decorated with twinkle lights, makes for an easy and romantic proposal stage. Go to a tree lot if your real tree people, if your an artificial tree lover with an obsession for Target, go for it they already cleaned and decorated.

Don’t: Skip the ring.

Okay, seems obvious right? We get that the pressure of picking the perfect FOREVER ring can be overwhelming, but don’t show up empty handed. Many jewelry stores will let you pick the stone and set it in a simple solitaire, then after the proposal you two can pick the perfecting setting together. 

Do: Get a gift.

Granted a promise of forever with your best friend is one of the best gifts you can ever receive, but a little something to unwrap for the holiday is pretty awesome too. 

Don’t: Stress. 

If you are stressing he/she is going to know that something is up, relax! If you have taken the time to plan out your proposal it will be prefect! 

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Colorado Inspired Wedding Favors

Here at sugar willow we believe the best wedding favors are both useful and memorable. But striking that perfect balance can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our favorite mountain inspired favors that are sure to blow your guests away.

  1. Wooden Bottle Openers

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Nothing says mountain chic like a beautiful wooden bottle opener. It’s something guests are sure to use after your wedding day. They could even come in handy at your after party!

2. Engraved Campfire Mugs

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Your guests will absolutely remember your mountain wedding every time they cozy up with some hot chocolate or tea.

3. Little Birds Salt and Pepper Shakers

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Photo by kateaspen.com

These sweet little birds are a perfect reminder of your wedding day in the mountains. Find them online at the Kate Aspen website here

4, Bird Seed Ornaments

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Photo by Debbie on One Little Project

This charming favor will have guests remembering your wedding day every time a little bird comes to visit their home. You can purchase them online or make your own with this Bird Seed Ornament Tutorial.

5. Mini bottles for your guests

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Photo via https://www.brit.co/boozy-wedding-favors/

Okay, this one is not entirely Colorado themed, but you can fill mini bottles of your choosing with liquor from a local Colorado Distillery to make them match your mountain wedding. Perfect for starting the after-party or for your guests to enjoy at home.

6. Locally Sourced Candy

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Photo by Monique Carrati on Unsplash

 

Colorado is home to both Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory & Enstrom Candies. Enstrom makes world famous toffee and is recognized for being one of the best toffees by candy connoisseurs. Similarly, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is world famous with retail locations in big cities all around the world. Guests are certainly going to love these exquisite treats that are as distinctive as the Rocky Mountains.

 

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Big City Vibes and a Historic Ballroom

On the outskirts of downtown Denver is the historic Tivoli Turnhalle, a wedding venue with a downtown urban feel and a beautiful view of the city lights. The Tivoli has a beautiful ornate stage combined with brick walls and exposed pipes. The historic building was the perfect setting for Lindsey & Cody’s unique and elegant wedding. Their lovely ceremony took place during the day and to celebrate their guests danced the night away as the live band performed on stage.

 

 

This wedding was featured in Couture Colorado: 

https://www.couturecolorado.com/realweddings/downtown-denver-wedding-1/

Vendors: 

Photographer Lee D Photography / Planner Sugar Willow Events / Ceremony Venue Basilica of Immaculate Conception / Reception Venue Tivoli Turnhalle / Band Diamond Empire Band / Videographer Roots and Wings Productions / Florals DIY-Designs inspired by you / Catering Serendipity / Cake Buttercream Bakeshop / Hair Preslee Hair Style / Makeup Makeup by Heather B / Linens Chair Covers and Linens / Lighting Highlights Colorado / Suits K & G / Dress Hayley Paige / Spray Tan Crazy Sexy Tans

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What to do with your wedding dress after the wedding…

7 sophisticated ideas to restyle or repurpose your gown

Congratulations! You’re married to your best friend! Now that it’s time to settle into your newlywed life, you might be wondering what you can do with your beautiful gown post-ceremony. Whether you prefer to preserve it or turn it into lingerie, here are the best ideas for what to do with your wedding dress after the wedding.

Restyle or repurpose your wedding gown and make it part of your wardrobe staples:

We love the idea of re-wearing your wedding gown as a restyled piece that is unique to you. With a little help from your tailor, you can have a beautiful and interesting statement piece. You can create timeless pieces that are perfect for a night out or elegant pieces that are ideal for a formal event.

  1.       Turn the bodice of your wedding dress into a bodysuit: Ask your tailor to remove the skirt of your gown from the bodice to turn it to an elegant and chic bodysuit you can wear with skirts or pants.
  2.       Make a skirt à la Carrie Bradshaw: You know that iconic tulle skirt Carrie Bradshaw wears in the opening credits of Sex and The City? That’s what we’re talking about.
  3.       If you have more of a wild side you could dye a dress to turn it into an evening gown: This idea doesn’t work well for ball gown dresses but if your dress silhouette is A-line, sheath or mermaid, you can die your dress to turn into an elegant evening gown. We suggest sticking with rich and moody colors like burgundy or black. Check out Pinterest for ideas. Search the keywords “lace evening gown”.
  4.       Make a lace-trimmed satin robe: If your dress has lace, you can ask your tailor to use the lace from your dress to add it to a satin or silk robe to give a chic and personalized touch.
  5.       Turn it into lingerie: The company Impish Lee- Customizable Intimates turns your wedding gown into stunning and unique lingerie.
  6.       Lace from your dress can be turned into gorgeous Jewelry: Gabe Bratton Hall from Gabrielle Jewelry turns wedding gown fabrics into luxurious one-of-a-kind metal jewelry pieces. Your dress can become stylish couture earrings, broaches, bracelets, or necklaces.
  7.       Make baby attire for a christening or first birthday: If you plan to have children you can turn your wedding dress fabric into gorgeous and meaningful clothing for a baby’s christening or first birthday. Your babies can celebrate a milestone wearing a piece that is extra special to you and your family.

Preserve your wedding dress with traditional preservation or in a frame:

Your wedding dress is probably the most significant piece of clothing you will ever wear. If you spent years dreaming about the perfect wedding dress and altering it makes your cringe, conserve your dress and keep it as a reminder of your wedding day.

  1.       Preserve it through a cleaning and preserving company or service: Wedding gown cleaning and preservation can be tricky so we don’t recommend doing it at home. Both BRIDES and The Knot have guides on their websites that detail how to preserve your wedding dress. They are both excellent resources. The Knot also offers a wedding dress preservation services.
  2.       Frame your wedding dress to have it displayed: A wedding dress in a shadowbox frame makes a great décor piece for any girl’s dream closet.

Get philanthropic:

Recycling your wedding dress is not only good for the environment but also good for the heart! We’ve listed a few suggestions here but there are countless organizations that use donated wedding gowns to make a difference. We also suggest a Google search to find the local organizations in your city.

  1.       Donate it for breast cancer: Brides Against Breast Cancer works to raise funds for breast cancer.
  2.       Donate it to help exploited and trafficked women: New Name Bridal Boutique is an example of a boutique that uses donations and store profits to support victims of trafficking.
  3.       Donate it to help brides of first responders: Brides Across America is a non-profit that helps support brides of military & first responders by providing them a free wedding dress.
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Vintage Glam Elopement

Back in September we were asked to join a team of completely amazing wedding vendors to create a gothic themed style shoot at the Highlands Ranch Mansion. Being a tad bit obsessed with the details we wanted to make sure that everything was perfect, Bri Bond, with Bri Bond Photography  had an incredible vision for this vintage style. Hand drawn calligraphy from Scrawled and Scripted on the invitations, place cards,  and completely enchanting potion labels.

Table top details, bejeweled skulls, potions, candles and vintage silver goblets were provided by the design team, while the live moss, greenery and florals were from the incredibly talented Marzeyeh from Arrangements with Marzeyeh.

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We had so much fun shopping for the table linens with Julie at our local Chair Covers and Linens showroom. The swirling black linen on our guest table helped to create so much dimension to the tablescape, while layering the marble and velvet linens on the cake table created a truly one of a kind look.  Event Rents, provided these incredible gold Helix chairs, glossy black plates, brushed gold utensils and satin burgundy napkins.

Bri Bond has a secret talent for creating cheeseboards, who knew? One thing we did know is how ridiculously talented Chelsea at Cakes Elevated is. Not only was this cake perfectly gothic, it was delicious!!!

Continuing with the theme of romantic goth Abby created a textured hair style complete with braids, crimping and curls. Talk about talent!!! gss1

Our Friends at LUV Bridal Denver supplied this Roza Dress from Madi Lane, not only did it fit our romantic goth vibe but it would be gorgeous with just about any theme. This shape was so flattering on our model with its classic shape and flowing train. 721958-34896-l-ArU2Agu

Last but not least we are completely grateful to our bride and groom for being so completely photogenic and of course good looking:)

Check out the full feature at Couture Colorado

Photography/Planning Bri Bond Photography/Planner Sugar Willow Events/Hair/Makeup Shear Abby/Florist Arrangements with Marzeyeh/Cake Cakes Elevated/Invitation Suite Scrawled and Scripted/Dress Luv Bridal/Rentals Event Rents/Table Linen Chair Covers and Linens

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Jeribeth & Ian

Grey Skies Make For Beautiful Weddings

Jeri and Ian totally rocked their wedding, Ian in a classic grey suit and Jeri in this vintage Hollywood’esc satin dress, birdcage veil and soft updo.

 

 

 

For a couple that has travels the world, lived all over, including just blocks away from each other in Boston (without ever meeting), Dillon, Colorado holds a special place in their hearts. Before they said I do at the Lake Dillion Pavilion Jeri and Ian shared a connection to this beautiful location, this is the same spot that Ian proposed.

 

 

What better way that to start out your Colorado wedding than making your grand entrance from this awesome Coloradical van? Jeri walked down the aisle with her father to a smitten Ian, and best friend Natalia who served as officiant. Nathalia rocked her officiating duties and had the crowd eating out of her hand and laughing at all of her jokes. Have I mentioned how much I love Jeri’s dress? Sikorski-Rochstein-078

As a wedding planner I meet all sorts of awesome people, we consider ourselves so blessed to have met these two. Ian is a lawyer representing children of immigrants facing deportation and Jeri works as school teacher, serving in a community where her students are facing that same issue.

The mother of the bride is also a teacher and did all of the decor including these incredible woodsy centerpieces.

 

 

When you are surrounded by so much natural beauty you embrace it and that is exactly what they did and when your mother is in charge of decor you have to expect something personal, like a BRAT sign on your head table:)

 

 

Jeri and Ian are so adventurous and have traveled to and lived in some incredible places, that really came through in the guest list. These two are so incredible that their friends and family from all over the country and the world wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to share in their wedding joy. Friends from Ireland, South Africa, Dubai and even more exoic places like Oregon, were in attendance for their wedding weekend. That just shows how completely amazing these two are.

 

 

Jeribeth and Ian, thank you so much for letting us experience the incredible spirit of your relationship.

 

Vendors:

Photography- Heidi Haas Photography

Venue- Lake Dillon Pavilion

 

 

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Nicole & Dustin

Beaver Creek Brunch Wedding

N & D decided right from the beginning they were going to do things their way. They met in non traditional way (they swiped right), so why conform to tradition for their wedding.

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Every piece of this wedding was special to them, their love and lifestyle.  The morning ceremony at Skiers bridge was beautiful and unique featuring guitar and vocals of Adele’s To make you Feel my love performed by a close friend. The ceremony was officiated over by the brides best friend and written by the bride, at one point she asked N & D to stop, look around and take in the moment.

Traditional unity ceremony? No way, these two opted for a chemical reaction of liquid Sodium Tripolyphosphate and Copper Sulfate which when added together create a solid. Pretty cool, right?

The reception continued to be unique to them, no bridal parties means no speeches. No band or Dj because these two wanted their brunch reception to be about hanging out, playing games and having fun.

Wedding cake? Nope, vibrant stacked macaroons that matched the colors and theme were perfect for these two. Their guests loved the break from tradition as well, especially the littles that patiently waited as the cookies were stacked.

No big send off just a promise to see everyone later for a park picnic where everyone could continue celebrating this awesome couple.

This wedding was full of love from the bride and groom and their friends and families, everyone expressed genuine love any happiness for this awesome couple.

Photography: J. La Plante, Venue:  Beaver Creek Lodge  , Reception:  Revolution, Portrait session:  Beaver Creek Mountain, Coordination:  Sugar Willow Events, Flowers:  Rose Petals
Dress:  Modcloth, Custom suit:  Joseph Abboud, Makeup:  Bride’s niece, Hair:  Carlee Spring, Voodoo Hair Lounge, Macaron tower:  Honeycombe

 

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Do you know how loved you are?

Twinkle, twinkle little star, baby shower and gender reveal.

 

We were so honored to be involved in this spring shower! The hostess wanted some beautiful decor in her families fabulous backyard, Colorado weather gave us a run for our money but we made due with what mother nature gave us.IMG_0179

These adorably delicious cookies from A Crazy Cookie served as dessert and guest favors.

We just love adding elements that can be reused, like this card box that will double as baby storage when this sweet little one is born. IMG_0171

No gender reveal would be complete without a pink or blue cake, this one was no different this amazing ruffled yellow ombre dessert from Buttercream Bake Shop in Denver featured a deep BLUE delicious cake. IMG_0175

And a delightful drink station that is beautiful and easy for ladies and their littles alike.

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Wedding Budget Breakdown

 

The first step in creating your wedding budget is to determine what is the most important wedding aspects to you. For the foodies, it makes sense to add more to the catering budget and maybe cut transportation costs. If you are planning a simple mountain ceremony you may want to pad the photography budget then drop the desert table and stick with a simple cake. You want a jaw dropping venue? Try simplifying the bar menu to adjust the budget.

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These simple percentages will help guide you, but don’t feel confined by them. This is your big day you and your wedding planner can work together to make it the best day.

Venue, Catering, Cake, and Rentals: 43-50%

Venue

  • Room Rental Fee
  • Ceremony Fee (if ceremony is being held at reception venue)
  • Additional Rentals (such as tables, chairs, china, etc)
  • Dance Floor Rental (if not already installed/included)
  • Parking Fees
  • Liability Insurance
  • Tax and Service Fees

Catering

  • Tasting Appointment (if not complimentary with your catering package)
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Passed Hors D’oeuvres
  • Plated, Buffet, or Family-Style Meal
  • Food Stations
  • Service Staff
  • Catering Equipment (such as plates, silverware, glassware, serving platters, etc.)
  • Vendor Meals
  • Tax and Gratuity (sometimes called the “service charge”)
  • Setup and/or Cleanup Fees
  • Bar/Beverage Service

Bar

  • Cocktail Hour Drinks
  • Reception Drinks
  • Champagne Toast
  • Open Bar / Hosted Beer & Wine / Specialty Cocktails
  • Bartender Service

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  • Mixers
  • Coffee / Tea
  • Non-alcoholic Beverages
  • Glassware (if not included in your catering package)
  • Bar Signage
  • Corkage Fees (if you opt to BYO)
  • Liquor License (if not provided by venue or caterer)
  • Bartender Gratuity

Cake

  • Cake
  • Cake Topper
  • Cake Stand
  • Cake-Cutting Fee
  • Delivery Fee
  • Additional Desserts (if you’re doing a dessert table/station)
  • Preservation Kit for one-year anniversary

Photography and Videography: 10-12%

Photo

  • Engagement Session
  • Rehearsal Dinner Coverage
  • Wedding Day Coverage
  • Albums or Prints

Video

  • Raw Footage
  • Highlight Reel
  • Feature Film

Wedding Attire: 7%pexels-photo-193043.jpeg

  • Wedding Dress
  • Wedding Dress Alterations
  • Specialty Undergarments
  • Veil, Wedding Shoes, and Bridal Jewelry / Accessories
  • Groom’s Tux + Shoes

Hair, and Beauty: 2%

  • Tips (normally around 20% for any pre-wedding beauty treatments)
  • Spray Tan
  • Lash Extensions
  • Hair Trial Appointment
  • Day-of Wedding Hairstyle
  • Makeup Trial Appointment
  • Day-of Wedding Makeup

Flowers, Lighting, and Décor: 10%

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  • Bouquets (for bride and bridesmaids, and perhaps a toss bouquet)
  • Boutonnières (for groom, groomsmen, fathers and/or grandfathers)
  • Corsages for Mothers / Grandmothers
  • Flowers and Accessories for the Flower Girl / Ring Bearer
  • Ceremony Arch / Chuppah
  • Ceremony Arrangements
  • Reception Centerpieces (for guest tables, guest book table, food stations, etc.)
  • Wedding Cake Flowers (if additional cake décor is needed)
  • Wedding Chalkboards / Signage
  • Specialty Décor Rentals (e.g. tenting, lanterns, candelabras, etc.)
  • Delivery Fees

Music: 7%

  • Ceremony Musicians
  • Cocktail Hour Music
  • Reception DJ or Live Band
  • Microphone (for wedding ceremony and reception toasts)
  • Sound-system or extra speakers
  • Dance Floor Lighting

Wedding Planner: 5-10%

  • Day-Of/ Month-Of Coordination
  • Full Service Wedding Planning
  • Vendor Referrals
  • Budget Development
  • Timeline Creation
  • Rehearsal Coordination
  • Wedding Day Setup and Breakdown

Invitations and Stationery: 2%

  • Engagement Party Invitations
  • Save The Dates
  • Wedding Invitations (including inserts like RSVP cards or maps)
  • Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
  • Post Wedding Brunch Invitations

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  • Envelopes (note that specialty size envelopes will be more expensive to ship)
  • Postage (for invitations and RSVP envelopes, as well as thank you cards)
  • Return Address Labels
  • Wedding Ceremony Programs
  • Wedding Reception Paper Goods
  • Escort Cards
  • Place Cards
  • Menu Cards
  • Custom Napkins
  • Favor Labels
  • Thank You Cards

Ceremony: 2%

  • Ceremony Site (if separate from reception venue)
  • Church Donation
  • Officiant Fee
  • Marriage License
  • Ceremony Accessories (ring pillow, flower girl basket, unity candle, etc.)

Transportation: 1%

  • Bridal Party Transportation to the Ceremony Venue
  • Bridal Party Transportation to the Reception Venue (if different from Ceremony Site)
  • Gratuity for the Driver(s)
  • Shuttle Service to transport guests to/from their hotels
  • Valet Parking Service

Wedding Rings: 2%

    • Wedding Bands

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    • Wedding Band Resizing Fee
    • Wedding Ring Insurance
    • Any Customization / Engraving

Favors and Gifts: 2%

  • Wedding Favors
  • Wedding Party Gifts
  • Gifts for your Flower Girl(s) or Ring Bearer(s)
  • Spouse Gift
  • Parents Gifts
  • Welcome Baskets for out-of-town guests

For an adjustable budget tool try, https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding/UserMyBudget
For a printable list try this, https://www.botanicalpaperworks.com/blog/read,article/355/free-printables-wedding-budget-planner