From the bride, Valerie: We were fortunate to have a beautiful Colorado bluebird day as all of our festivities were outdoors. The day was a roller coaster of emotions, anxiety and excitement.
Our ceremony was comical, right from the beginning there were laughs. My veil got stuck on the stone steps of the wedding deck as I was walking down the aisle. I couldn’t get Sergios’ ring on his finger and just before our “I do’s” my veil took flight and my MoH had to jump up in the air to catch it.
My favorite moment was our “I Do’s” and kissing my husband for the first time. We had been together for 9 years through lots of ups and downs and it just felt so good to become husband and wife. I know it sounds corny, but I felt an instantaneous gravity shift. He’s my partner for life and it’s us vs anything that comes our way.
Apart from the ceremony, my favorite moment was walking into our cocktail hour. The day was so sunny, the sky was that deep, deep blue you only get in the mountains of Colorado, our jazz band was playing beautiful swing music and to see all our guests playing lawn games and socializing was just breathtaking.
Since we live in NJ, our animals were not able to be with us so we created a photo of our 2 cats and our 9 month old puppy to accompany the guest book. The animals were not pleased about being forced to pose for the picture so it came out with very stern expressions on them all. It was cracking me up every time I looked at it during the reception.
We had beautiful, long log centerpieces with moss, succulents and mixed white flowers in mercury glass atop chevron table runners in grey and white.
Our travels and ethnic backgrounds influenced our menu. We wanted to share foods we loved and snippets from our travels with our guests.
Our pets were featured on our “dia de los muertos” wedding cake topper. The wedding topper inspiration came from our trip to Mexico, where we got engaged on top of the Sun pyramid at Teotiuhuacan (which my husband likes to joke, where people were once decapitated) and was a nod to my heritage on my mother’s side.
I loved our first dance. Sergio had an amazing smile on his face and twirling around alternating views of the mountains and the beautiful facade of the Ritz was surreal.
Looking back, the reception was over so quickly. The whole day passed in the blink of the eye.
My advice: Enjoy the engagement and keep focused on the end game, i.e. being a family with your husband. Certainly pay attention to the details and make the day your own. Recognize that things will go wrong, but in hindsight they’ll be minor. Don’t ruin your mood or your fiancé’s in the months leading up to the wedding or the day of by stressing over little things. Talk to someone who got married recently for guidance. If you don’t know someone in your immediate circle, crowd source it. People love talking about their weddings and I’d be happy to talk for an hour if I could save anyone some stress in their wedding planning process.
Valerie’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Photographer: Casie Zalud Photography & Alison Vagnini Photography. I was so fortunate to have 2, very talented photographers. Casie Zalud does amazing work with natural light. Alison Vagnini has a really artistic touch.
Reception Site & Caterer: Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch. It’s the Ritz, their staff is unbeatable. It is such a beautiful, relaxing location and your guests will feel pampered from the moment they arrive. The food was amazing and the cake delicious, I cannot wait to go back for our first anniversary.
Event Design, Flowers & Favors: Bella Lu Floral. I credit Angela for creating our beautiful décor, she was very collaborative when we were discussing ideas and was just a general joy to deal with. She is the goddess of flowers and just an all around happy fun person to help you in your planning process.
Event Design: Lighting & Design by Scott
Ceremony Site: Beaver Creek Wedding Deck. Stunning scenery and coordinator was supper helpful.
Tent Rental: Alpine Party Rentals. Very responsive to questions, reasonably priced and high quality tents.
DJ: J.M. Hyatt Entertainment. Great selection of current music, stuck to my playlist, but interjected other things that fit the mood perfectly. Their DJs can actually mix a record in/out so if you have a dud or something you just don’t like, all it took was one look and a new song was being worked in.
Bands: Peneplain Jazz Project. Really talented musicians. Variety of songs to choose from and flexible on including/learning new songs you request in advance.
Invitations: Tasha Rae Designs. Super fast, high quality and reasonably priced work. Very helpful with wording recommendations and designing your paper items.
Officiant: Reverend Dr. Robin A. Miller. We were so fortunate to have Rev Miller officiate. I did not want pre-marriage counseling but the sessions Rev Miller provided were some of the most memorable events in the planning process, I found my self looking forward to them. It made us really reflect upon what we were doing and why. She was very easy to talk to and provided a grounding presence throughout the chaos of planning.
Veil: Custom made by Alisa Brides
Hair & Makeup: Posh! Salon. Mona has a very talented staff. Worked with a wide variety of hair and skin types and worked very efficiently day of. We were ready on time!
Event Planner: Feather & Twig.
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