Frequently Asked Questions
Can we have more than 30 guests
Lots of our intimate ceremony sites max-out at 30 guests. Also many of the restaurants can't accommodate more than 30 in their private or semi-private area. We've also found that ceremonies over 30-guests run more like a traditional big wedding than the spirited, intimate, elopement-style, off-the-beaten-path, simple, meaningful and marriage-minded style in which this package was created. Therefore, most our weddings are 30-or less. For over 30-guests, there are literally TWO sites & restaurants (max 40, firm) that we can accommodate, as long as you jive with the elopement-style vibe we described.
Can we bring our own photographer, florist or officiant?
Officiant: yes. Florist and photographer: No. And, here is why. Gorgeous weddings are what attracts our clients to the package. We want to ensure you receive something similar to what you see on our website. Therefore, we work with professional, experienced wedding photographers & florist in which we have established relationships for this package. We are happy to embellish the package by adding-on extra photo hours, creating centerpieces, crowns, or whatever your heart's desire.
With 20+ years in the industry, boy can we tell some stories! In the past, here is what happened when we worked with outside "professional" photographers who were really not so professional: disregarded our timing/logistics, got lost/confused, where unfamiliar with the "lay of the land" (didn't know the good shots) and our weather/lighting, really didn't have a wedding photography business (were in school learning the trade), and even "got sick" just days before the wedding.
Therefore, we include the photography with downloadable high-resolution images (with printing rights) in the package. After booking our package, you'll receive a list of at least 6 photographers from whom to choose. They are familiar with our wedding day sequence, the ceremony sites, and are proven quality (we've worked with some of them 15+ years). If you'd like to add-on enlargements and albums, you can work directly with the photographer post-wedding for those items.
Can we stay in Denver and have a wedding in the mountains?
Because many of our ceremonies are in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, we require that your lodging the night prior and the night of the wedding is within 20-minutes of the ceremony site. We have streamlined the timing & logistics so that you get photography coverage of wedding preparations, the cermeony, post-wedding formals, and the speeches/cutting of the cake. If your lodging or preparations are outside of the 20-minute drive to the cermeony site, we will may have to add extra photography/coordinating hours to the package.
Do you do same-sex marriages
Yes, ..... and, so do all our vendors. To us, it doesn't matter who you love, just as long as kindness, happiness and commitment to each other are at the heart of your relationship.
Beside the package price, what else do we need to budget?
The intimate wedding package includes most items with a wedding, but it does not cover everything. Below are some other possible additional cost for you to budget (yes, we provide referrals & guidance to our clients, and include those details in our logistics):
Can we write our own vows? What are the ceremonies like?
Yes - this is quite common. Simply email your vows to your officiant before the ceremeony. Alternately, many couples write vows in a Moleskin journal and bring it to the ceremony. At the appropriate time, the officiant will eloquently ask you to present your vows to each other.
The ceremony scrips are kept simple, though most of our officiants do nice mentionings about marriage and will say a blessing (i.e. the Apache blessing). The ceremonies last around 15 -20 minutes. Whether you want a secular or spiritual or religious or any combination ceremony - it's up to you. Just let you officiant know how to customize for you.
This package is very much "elopement-style": no "hoopla" with a long train of choreographed processionals (entrances) and recessionals (exits). Though, some of our couples will have a maid-of-honor and/or a best man stand up with them - or even their kids. We do bring a BlueTooth speaker so that the bride and her escort (if she chooses to have one) can have entrance music. And, we can play pre-wedding and post-wedding music to create a personalized mood. Basically, it is kept minimal and simple so that you can enjoy the natural surroundings.
You can also switch things up. For example, some couples decide to arrive to the ceremony site 15-minutes prior to their guests (great for photos) and then greet their guests at they arrive to the site. We can personalize it to your visions - just let us know!
Can we have a moh and BM?
Yes! Though not necessary, some of our couples decide to have a maid/matron of honor and best man - we just make sure to order a bouquet and boutonniere for them.
If you do decide that you want a larger wedding party with choreographed entrances and exits, we can help arrange that too. It does mean that a wedding rehearsal is required (additional fee) - otherwise, it can totally "flop", and we don't want that. This is to account for extra planning & entrance/exit choreographing, day-of coordination timing and travel time/expense.
If you want to save money, we have ideas on how to have a wedding party without the expense - just ask and we can make it happen for you.
How does this entire process work?
We make the planning easy and stress-free with providing you years of experience and expert guidance. It goes in waves. Of course, the first step is to book the package, which is also synchronized with picking the date and ceremony site. If you are struggling with sites, we recommend booking the Getting Started Colorado Site Report.
After booking our package, we move into securing your vendors (that you choose) and providing you with guidance on restaurants, lodging and hair/makeup. We provide you with "homework" items that are broken-down into easy, focused task - just one or two at a time so as not to overwhelm. Around the same time, we'll be establishing your logistics: timing/sequencing for a great wedding day flow.
Once that is established, the custom designed florals and cake can begin - simply email us images. Finally, we put the finishing touches on your wedding with details like songs, getting ready, and confirmations to all the vendors.
What do you do for a weather backup?
The good thing is that in 8+ year of offering this elopement-style package, we've only had to use a weather back-up plan twice! A typcial weather pattern for the spring & summer in Colorado is a late afternoon thunderstorm. We can usually wait it out for 15-30 minutes, and it will clear. The fall weather is more dry and predicable, but that isn't to say there won't be freakish weather that rolls through. Again, it is sually quick and we can wait it out. Winter weather is something different: our clients that plan the outdoor winter wedding usually have a unique spirit. They get married wearing capes and snowboots in the natural beauty of snow... and we love it! Here are some options that we often consider in case it just looks like the weather will be socked-in for the day:
Why an intimate, small wedding PACKAGE? What is your story?
We are meticulous and passionate about providing gorgeous small weddings and elopements clients the same quality of larger weddings. It should still feel like a wedding with amazing photography, gorgeous florals, gourmet cake, onsite assistance, and a meaningful ceremony - with the ease of a professional planner who has years of experience specifically with small weddings. Don't tell... but we like to surprise our couples with special details like a cake stand gift, or a custom topper - and, if it gets chilly, we even pack some real fur stoles for that luxurious feel.
It can be a little difficult planning a small wedding, especially from out-of-state. (from Wendee) I know because I've had personal experience planning my own small wedding. In 2007, I had spent over 10 years planning corporate events and large traditional weddings. I didn't want a large wedding. Even working with vendors and venues that I knew, many had a hard time conceptualizing my vision of a 20-person wedding. I had to be very specific and descriptive as they immediately went to visions of a 100-person bash. I had to end up explaining to people that I was planning a small family event and not even use the word "wedding." I ended up renting a 9-person vacation house in which everyone was housed for four days under the same roof - it was a blast! We had the ceremony there and walked to a next-door high-end restaurant. Our friends and family raved for years about how the fun from our wedding weekend.
Though, I continued to plan large weddings until 2011 when I became pregnant with my son. As my value systems changed, I knew that so would the service I provide to my clients. I believe in making marriages meaningful; I believe in the importance of close family and friends; I believe in sharing the beauty and nature of Colorado with our couples in their most important moments of life; and, I believe that those moments should be peaceful and intimate. I love providing this service to couples who have those similar values and small wedding visions - we can make it a reality for you.
How far-out (or close-in) can we book?
We've put together tiny weddings in as little as five days! Most our clients book at the 4-6 months out mark; some will plan 6-9 months out and occasionally we'll get a client booking 1-year out. That is totally fine with us!
But, trends are different for 2019 and 2020! Nationwide weddings booking are way UP for 2020 - it's going to be a big year, and we are already booking through December of 2020.
If you are looking at 2019, there are many dates available. If you are looking at 2020, get on the planning soon. Flexibility with day-of-week and time-of-day may be needed. For example, September is the most busiest month of the year for weddings in Colorado; Saturdays the most popular day…. and Fridays are close behind. You might want to avoid "cutesy" dates like 2.20.20 or 6.20.20 and go for mid-week days of the week; Sundays will also be a more available weekend date.
In any case, 2019 or 2020, be sure to start with our Ceremony Site Report to investigate destinations and ceremony sites conducive to small, spirited, scenic weddings (often on public lands); we then recommend restaurants with private dining rooms/area or private chefs for catering at a vacation house.
What is your payment plan?
Because we book and secure the photographer, officiant and venue (if applicable) at the time of booking, we require 50% as a first payment. Then, the remaining balance is not due until 7 days prior to your wedding. Please note that vendors order supplies, schedule labor, and block off their calendars for your wedding. So, it is industry standard to receive full payment prior to your day. Its also awkward to be handing monies/payment on a wedding day - we’d rather you be focused on marriage and time with friends/family.
What dates are you available? What dates to you Block oFF?
Because we have a network of 6 photographers, even more officiants, three onsite coordinators (not including myself), we are available most days. In order to spend time with our own families and to rejuvenate, we do block off July 3, 4 and 5, Labor Weekend, Thanksgiving and the Friday after, and December 23 - January 1st. I’m sorry - but we do not do NYE or NYD weddings so that we can be safe and healthy for a New Year. I do try to update any dates that we get filled on our “Contact” page.
What are "Reception" options?
As part of the planning process, we recommend restaurants that have a private dining room or semiprivate section of the restaurant. We like restaurants vs. banquet halls or the typical wedding venue because (1) its easy!, (2) its already a beautiful environment that you don't’ have to decorate, (3) they already have equipment that you don’t have to rent, and (4) their rental fees (if any at all) or minimum F&B requirements are often way less than renting the typical wedding banquet venue, and (5) you can choose the type of restaurant that fits for your group.