Many of our small wedding couples still want an intimate dinner celebration - that’s an important part of the overall experience! And though there are tons of different things you can do to make it unique, like speeches, food trucks, creating a DIY photo booth, hand crafted favors, the most common question we get asked: what is more cost effective? Going to a restaurant or having a private chef cook a dinner at our vacation house? The answer is a little more complicated than the simple “option A”. Here are factors to compare when making the choice whether to dine in a private room or open up the house.
Thank you Jeanine Thurston for the images of our vacation home with private chef intimate wedding in Breckenridge. Florist: Pink Posey Designs. Baker: Blue Moon. Chef: Ian Buchanan.
Quick reference points:
What you need to know about the Colorado marriage license
Generally, getting married is everyone’s dream. Marriage is the legal union of two people as partners, usually between men and women who publicize and make their relationship official. The entire process of getting legal married may seem to be a disheartening task. However, that is not the case if you know all the requirements of obtaining a Colorado marriage license.
Getting Marriage license in Colorado
Colorado provides a remarkable landscape with natural resources that lure enjoyable memories. Hosting an event in the state can give memorable experiences due to the available recreational opportunities. However, when it comes to getting the Colorado marriage license, things change. The states have a different line of requirements when couples to engage in marriage. During the marriage, all couples are required to apply for a marriage license. The application is done by the county clerk’s office and requires both parties to bring valid identification. The approved identification are passport, birth certificate, driver’s license, and military identification card.
It is recommended that you both go to the courthouse together. However, during the process, one of the couples may be absent and provide an absentee affidavit with a notarized signature. The absent party’s valid identification should accompany this. Also, the state requires couples to be 18 years and above. However, a person with the age of 16 or 17 can marry with parental consent. They should have an approved court order from a judge along with parental consent. The country requires the couples to complete the marriage certificate within 63 days of the wedding date and return it to the country clerk.
Towed in Colorado, the two partners do not have to be residents in the state. The application and fetching of the marriage license are made at the County Clerk’s office. The partners intending to marry are required to present themselves personally at the county clerk’s office and fill out a license application. The process consumes less than an hour, but you can fill out some paperwork online before availing yourself at the clerk’s office, as this saves some time.
Colorado State does not require blood tests or any obscure documents during the marriage license. All that is required are the spouse’s valid identification forms, including a passport, state issued driving license, military identification card, or birth certificates. Information about birthplace and names of spouse’s parents may also be required. It is not a must for the two partners to be present at the County clerk’s office provided that there is a complete and duly signed absentee affidavit accompanied by valid identification of the absent party.
During the application process, the two to-be-wed must provide some documents to acquire a marriage license. In case one of the partners was previously married or widowed, they will have to provide proof. The marriage license does not bear a waiting period; thus, it can be used the same day it is obtained. The marriage license costs only $30, either payable by cash, cheque, or credit card.
A license from any county in Colorado can be used in any other county in the same state only after being filed either by mail or in-person in the county it was issued in. Taking the license in person to the County Clerk’s office is advantageous because it gets filed immediately compared to mailing, where it might take several weeks to be filed. The couple can solemnize their marriage, meaning that they can legalize the marriage by signing the officiant line. After the couple gets their marriage license, they will have to fill in details such as date, time, location, and other relevant information. The filling out of such information is the responsibility of the officiant. However, the county clerk may offer guidance if the couple does not have an officiant.
When planning a small wedding, it’s understandable that you want to stick to a modest budget without sacrificing quality. And, though wedding costs can quickly add up – from decorations, to venue, to food – there are ways to balance your spending so the money you do spend is spent on important parts of the wedding, and not expenses that will quickly be forgotten or thrown away.
I’ve put together this guide on what to skip and what to savor to help you decide which parts of your wedding are most important to spend money on, and which parts you can go without, DIY, or order for cheaper in order to save money in the long run.
SKIP: Expensive invitations
There is an abundance of options when it comes to invitations for a small wedding. There is no reason to spend hundreds on special paper and printing for invitations that your guests will likely toss out as soon as they mark your date in their calendar. Instead, you can DIY your invitations using a photo printing program from a drugstore, complete with envelopes from a craft store, or even send invites via email or phone. Professional language and a few dollars spent to make sure the invites look good (if they are digital or on paper) will go a long way in ensuring your invites don’t seem cheap or quickly thrown together.
SAVOR: A great photographer
If there is a must when it comes to quality, it is a great photographer. Don’t be afraid to spend a good portion of your budget on a highly-rated and recommended photographer, as photos will be how you remember your special day for the rest of your lives. Skipping out on an experienced and professional photographer will make it difficult to capture beautiful wedding memories, which are a must regardless of the size or extravagance of your wedding.
SKIP: An expensive indoor venue
If you are planning a small wedding, one of the easiest ways to cut down on costs without looking tacky is to use an inexpensive outdoor venue such as a beach or mountainside instead of renting a large indoor venue that can cost thousands. For many outdoor wedding sites, such as a beach, the only thing you need to purchase is a permit. This will allow you to have a beautiful, natural wedding without spending a cent on a building rental. Not to mention, outdoor photos often turn out better than those taken indoors, regardless of venue.
SAVOR: Tasty, high-quality snacks
Instead of serving a large, low-quality/inexpensive meal, opt instead for a smaller assortment of high-quality snacks such as fruits, desserts, and cheeses to keep your guests satisfied without breaking the bank. (Keep in mind that, if you decide to serve snacks instead of a full meal, you should let your guests know ahead of time or host your wedding reception at a time that is not traditionally mealtime.) This will allow you to feed guests more expensive foods without using a large portion of your budget on a buffet or large dinner.
Of course, what to skip and what to savor ultimately boils down to your priority list. If you haven’t done our “Setting your priorities” activity, connect with me as I’m creating a FREE simple course/activity for how to set your priorities and stick with them throughout your planning. This activity will help you to determine what to skip and what to savor according to your vision.
Planning your wedding, regardless of how small the wedding may be, is no small task. There are always many things to decide on, from a location, to a venue, to a guest list. It’s therefore no surprise that it’s easy for wedding planning to turn from a fun, exciting task into something daunting as your to-do list grows.
Regardless of how much has to be done before your wedding, there are many “enemies of fun” that can turn the process of planning your wedding into a nightmare. Here, I explain what the top three are, and what you can do to avoid them.
© Photos by Kathryn Kim Photography
Of course, you want your small, intimate wedding to be wonderful. It’s a special day between you and your soon-to-be-spouse, and maybe even close family or friends. It’s a day you will look back on forever, so the need to make it “perfect” can be all-consuming.
However, you can save yourself much stress if you accept from the very beginning of your planning process that your wedding will not be - and could never be - absolutely perfect. Any event that involves people, weather, and lots of planning is bound to come with hiccups, even for the most experienced or hardworking planner. Accepting this early on will give you the freedom to experiment and have fun while planning your wedding, without the unattainable goal of perfection looming over your head.
2. Doing it all yourself.
You want to keep your wedding simple and small, without any bells and whistles. However, this doesn’t mean you need to do all of the preparation yourself. Having a low-key wedding does not mean that it has to be a complete DIY! It is more than acceptable to get help from a professional wedding planner or group of friends/family in planning your big day.
Not only will this relieve enormous amounts of stress for you, but will also give you a chance to make memories with those close to you before the wedding day. It’s easy to plan small gatherings where people can help you prepare decorations, invitations, or food in your own home, while spending valuable time together.
3. Feeling obligated to make it bigger than you want.
Once you’ve gotten engaged, it’s likely that many people you know will come out of the woodwork to congratulate you and, usually, ask about the wedding. Questions about who is invited and how many guests they can bring can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re planning to keep your ceremony small.
While it can feel inconsiderate not to invite people you know and love, it is extremely important that your number of wedding guests fit your vision, budget, and venue. Explaining to friends (and even family) who are not on the guest list that you value them as a part of your life, but are keeping your ceremony small as soon as possible will eliminate a lot of stress as you start planning your wedding.
Above all, remember: this is your day, and it’s okay to cut yourself slack, ask for help, and stick up for the wedding vision you have. After all, years from now, your memories won’t be of the planning process, but rather of the day itself!
As you plan your small wedding, it’s likely that finding the perfect photographer is one of the first things on your list. Whether you’re hiring for first look photos and the reception, or only the ceremony, photography is an integral part of every wedding because it gives you beautiful memories to frame and look back on.
Often an afterthought, though, is videography. It’s similar to photography, but boasts many differences which are worth thinking over before deciding whether or not to splurge on a videographer.
I hear you: your wedding is small, intimate, and anything but extravagant. You may be thinking that a videographer in addition to a photographer is overkill. However, you may find that hiring a videographer to capture a beautiful wedding video is the perfect way to complement the photos you’ll receive following the ceremony, helping you remember your special day for years to come.
I’ve compiled a list of the top benefits of wedding videography to help you decide whether or not it’s right for your wedding.
1. It will capture the moments you don’t see.
On your wedding day, you’re going to be the center of attention. This means that, even if your guest list is short, you’re likely going to be preoccupied and spending your time experiencing the day for yourself instead of watching it unfold around you.
This means that there’s a chance that you will miss precious moments such as your grandmother crying as you walk down the aisle, your maid of honor fixing your veil, or your soon-to-be spouse getting ready in their own dressing room. A wedding video can capture these moments in ways photos simply can’t, allowing you to see all the moments you missed and relive your wedding from a new perspective.
2. A wedding video serves as a timeless keepsake.
While it may be difficult to justify spending large amounts of money on an expensive dress or extravagant decorations that will just be thrown away following the reception, a well-made video is something you can keep - and treasure - for years.
It will allow you to relive your day again and again, and will serve as a constant reminder of your love for your spouse, capturing emotions and loving touches that are hard to see in photos.
Video by Veiled Rose Films
3. Relatives and friends who did not attend can experience the wedding afterward.
Your wedding is small, meaning everyone - from your friend from college algebra to your very distant relatives - may not be able to attend. A wedding video is a great way to allow them to experience the wedding from anywhere in the world after the wedding, keeping your wedding party small but allowing those who want to see you walk down the aisle and tie the knot to do so.
There are countless ways to allow people to view your wedding video, from sending it via email, to uploading it to a social media site like YouTube. This makes for easy access and inclusion for everyone who could not attend.
The benefits of wedding videography go on and on. When considering whether to hire a videographer for your wedding, consider what a video could bring to your special day - and what it could help you take from it.
Here are some of our recommended videographers:
If you and your significant other have decided that a large-scale, extravagant wedding is not for you, fear not - this doesn’t mean your wedding day has to be any less special or romantic.
There are a plethora of ideas for laid-back weddings that will allow you to focus on the person you’re marrying instead of the logistics of an enormous ceremony and reception. Not only will these ideas make planning a breeze, but will allow you to plan a wedding that directly caters to your relaxed style.
1. Have a Backyard Wedding
If you want a wedding that celebrates everything home, family, and closeness, a backyard wedding may be the perfect wedding for you. It doesn’t have to be your own backyard - a family member or friend whose home boasts land that is beautiful and fit to host a small wedding party works perfectly.
There are several advantages to a backyard wedding, including eliminating the cost of an extravagant venue and allowing you to do your wedding your way, without worrying about a venue’s rules or requirements.
Another advantage to a backyard wedding is that, since you’re on private property, you can start decorating and setting up well in advance, eliminating the need for day-of rushing around. This will take some of the stress that comes with wedding planning away, allowing you to focus on the day instead of the logistics.
2. Have a Colorado Beach Wedding
Beach weddings make perfect laid-back weddings for couples who are looking to get married somewhere outdoors and low-key without sacrificing the beautiful scenery that comes with a traditional venue.
Most beaches simply require a permit in order to host a wedding, making it a low-cost option that feels exotic, classy, and natural.
When researching beaches, be sure to make yourself aware of important aspects of the locations you’re browsing, such as how crowded they are, whether or not they allow alcoholic beverages, etc...
And yes - we do have beaches in Colorado! Of course, there’s no ocean. But, we do have lakes and rivers that have shore-side beaches. The bonus, there are usually mountains in the backdrop!
3. Have a Mountain Wedding
Mountain weddings boast many of the same advantages as beach weddings, including beautiful scenery, low expenses, and a natural and elegant experience. Mountain weddings provide for absolutely beautiful photos, and are perfect for couples looking to host close family and friends in a location that is simultaneously cozy and vast.
It’s important to talk to a wedding planner when exploring mountain wedding options, as there are many important things to consider when choosing the perfect place to wed. Though a mountain spot may look beautiful in photos, you will need to know how accessible it is, and therefore how realistic of a place it is to host a wedding before deciding it’s the one. No one wants to hike three miles to a wedding ceremony!
A wedding planner will know of mountainous venues that are perfect for weddings, eliminating the guesswork that comes with planning on your own.
Colorado Laid-back Weddings
Laid-back weddings are perfect for couples who want to tie the knot in a memorable way in the company of close friends and family without the stress of planning an excessive wedding ceremony and reception in a traditional venue.
These ideas prove that there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a low-key wedding venue that fits your needs - and will help you create memories that last for years to come.
Did you have a laid-back wedding? Do you have ideas for incorporating laid-back elements for your wedding - please let us know in the comments below. Take care - Wendee
Once you’ve decided that a small destination wedding is perfect for you and your soon-to-be spouse, the true planning begins - and, though you won’t be swamped by the task of sending out hundreds of wedding invitations or scheduling a DJ (whewie), there is still much to decide.
One of the most important aspects of wedding planning is choosing the date of the wedding. This is especially important when planning a small destination wedding, as many factors such as weather, holidays, and local events can influence your ceremony.
Weather is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a wedding date. Though it is impossible to know whether it will rain or shine on a certain day over a year from now, it is possible to schedule your wedding during a time period that will cater to your preferences in terms of colors, attire, and season.
Colorado boasts beautiful seasons all year long, but each one is vastly different. The beautiful shades of fall will color photos much differently than a snowy landscape of winter. Knowing this and researching Colorado’s seasons well in advance will put you steps ahead in terms of choosing the perfect wedding date. A good rule of thumb is as follows:
A smaller guest list makes it all the more important that the people special enough to receive an invite can make it. When planning your wedding, keep in mind holidays that will be happening around that time, including those specific to your religion or culture. It is important to ask your families about special anniversaries, birthdays or sadly, dates in which our loved ones passed - though that can also be a time of remembrance and hence celebration.
Even if your wedding does not fall directly on a holiday, it’s imperative to remember that people often travel for holidays, limiting their availability before and after. A buffer zone of a week on each side of major holidays, and a few days for minor holidays will ensure that the people closest to you will be able to attend your wedding without needing to rearrange their schedule. Holidays in Colorado also mean lots of in-state travel, so expect lots of traffic on the roadways and higher lodging rates.
Lastly, being aware of local events that may be happening during your planned wedding date will help you avoid the last-minute stress of needing to switch venues or drastically alter your ceremony, as well as ensure your guests will be able to find accommodations close by.
Before you decide on a date, you should make sure you know about any events such as concerts, parades, sporting events, openings, etc… that may be happening on or around your wedding day at your chosen location. We recommend checking with the local chamber of commerce to find the event schedule.
The good news is that events big enough to cause a serious rift in your day are likely to be planned out far in advance, leaving you ample time to research and plan a date that will ensure the biggest event happening in the area is yours.
Other locations I scoped out, but didn’t like
I hope you are hunkering down and doing well despite COVID-19. It’s hard to believe this is all happening and my concerns and thoughts go out to every one of you. I get the question from every single one of our couples on what is happening in Colorado, what do to, and when things will be back to normal. I know all of you are thinking about travel, your loved ones and their health, how this impacts you financially, your dreams and you just wanting to start married life - all of those are valid!
Let me provide you with some information - legally, its the only thing I can do. I cannot tell you to cancel, postpone or reschedule - those decisions are up to you. *Unless* a venue had cancelled or a government order has been put into place - I can then provide more concrete guidance.
First, you can check the state Department of Public Health and Environment’s website: www.Covid19.Colorado.gov. Additionally, many counties have their own Stay/Safer at home orders and it can vary county-by-county. So, check the county’s website where your event will be held, when accommodations and restaurants are expected to be open.
Then, consider all your options. Here they are:
Postpone: there is a lot of strategy involved with postponing. First, we have to make sure the site, vendors, and restaurant are all available on your desired date. We are very willing to work with you, though there are pieces to put together. Be flexible with your dates and consider a Sunday-Thursday as many couples are postponing to August and September.
Scale back your guest list and go TINY: Currently, many “Safer at Home” orders allow social gatherings of 10 people or less. Yes, this means to count yourselves and count a photographer and officiant in that 10. By keeping your date, you can salvage what you have paid for. We are even working with couples to have a ceremony on their original wedding date whose venue has cancelled, finding alternative scenic “rogue” ceremony sites.
Cancelling. Yes - sadly this is an option too. I’ve taken a hard look at my time planning weddings, the expenses incurred with retaining vendors, and if or how lenient we can be with our contract. The thing we have to consider in businesses is longevity and sustainability. Given that all of us (me, photographers, officiants, baker, florist) are independent business owners and not a large Target or Netflix of this world, we are not recession-proof. Our retainer fee as stated in the contract is non-refundable. I know this is not the outcome that you were hoping. As you all can imagine, it's simply not something I can risk as it would cause us to go under. We have added flexibility in the contract:
Force Majeure or “Act of God” clauses: this clause does not automatically entitle a refund. It means that it is an excuse or delay performance of a contract without penalty. It does not automatically “rescind” a contract (i.e. put the parties back to square one as if it never happened). If expenses are incurred (which there is when you sign the agreement), if items are ordered that cannot be refunded (securing vendors, rentals), and if a lot of planning has been done for the couple (which I do 85% within the first month of booking), then payment is due. What is does mean is that no further payments can be requested; or if a “pay in full” is active, the payments can be delayed. Force Majeur is a way of making sure that the client or we don’t have to do anything else because of the bizarre events of which neither party is at fault.
I am working on a Covid19 addendum to make sure everyone is clear about what steps to take and how to stay healthy. You can download it below.
I hate having to write this article. If there are other options or ideas that you have, please let us know. We are willing, able, and want to serve on your wedding day - even if the original date changes! Please write me and let me know where your thoughts are and what you would like to explore.
Kindly ~ Wendee
If you set a date for your wedding and have had to postpone it due to the current events going on in the world, you’re probably feeling a range of emotions. While It’s normal to feel sad, angry and disappointed, know that you will still have your dream wedding day – there are just a few adjustments that need to be made first. Remember, if you are a couple of ours, we are there with you!
What to consider when postponing your wedding
Get a Professional Involved: If you’ve been working with a wedding planner up until this point, they’re the first person you should turn to at this time. Working with a wedding planner can help take some of the pressure off when you’re already feeling upset about the postponement. The last thing you want to do is make emotional decisions. By letting a third party help you, it will be easier to make logical decisions about what to do next.
Get Realistic About Your Financials: Unfortunately, when there’s a change of plans, it can result in financial losses. You may be able to negotiate with your venue and vendors so that you lose little to no further money. However, it’s still best to have realistic expectations and many of the deposits (rather first payments) are nonrefundable. And, there is a chance that you might lose money or need to pay extra to make the necessary adjustments. To minimize the financial impact of rescheduling, you’ll want to look at 2020 dates using the same venue, vendors, and logistics (more on this below)
Get In Touch with Your Venue: If you would prefer to start looking at new dates, get in touch with your venue about availability. Again, it’s best to have realistic expectations. If your venue is popular, you may need to wait several months for a new date. Alternately, consider non-peak days of the week, for example Sundays through Thursdays. Have several possible dates in mind for when you contact vendors as you’ll want to make sure they they also will have availability. If you don’t want to wait, you can always look at new venues, but consider that you would likely be losing your deposit.
Get In Touch with Your Vendors: Once you’ve been in touch with both your wedding planner and your venue, you can start making arrangements with each of your vendors (your planner may be able to do a portion of this for you). If your vendors can’t accommodate your new date, you may need to start the search all over again. There is also a chance that you may incur some losses here if you need to switch vendors. You may want to work with your vendors and your venue together if you want to have better chances of finding a date that works for everyone.
Send Out Change the Date Cards: Next, you want to make sure that your guests know about the postponement. If you haven’t yet picked a new date, you can simply let guests know that they will find out about a new date soon. If you’ve already picked a new date, include it on your Change the Date cards. The sooner you can let guests know, the better, particularly if they’re traveling from afar. Since I plan small intimate weddings and elopements, many of our couples don’t even send out invitations. Rather, they call their guests. So, get them on the line and make that personal connection that is so needed in these times!
These are the main factors to consider when postponing your wedding. If you’ve already planned your honeymoon, don’t forget to make the necessary arrangements there too. Once you’ve gotten the big adjustments out of the way, you can start looking forward to your big day all over again. I wish you all the best ~ Wendee
Reasons why, tips to make it work, and photo ideas.
More and more brides are opting to forgo the traditional bridal party and when you are planning an intimate wedding this is definitely a great option to keep things simple! Here are several compelling reasons why…
BUDGET: Yes, your bridesmaids would likely be picking up the tab for their dress, travel and accommodations, but think of all the other things that fall on the bride and groom – purchasing bouquets, bridal party gifts and other unanticipated party expenses. Not to mention the money it will save your friends!
FEWER OPINIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISAGREEMENTS: While your friends and family have your best interest in mind, it is simply unavoidable that the more people who are involved, the more opinions you will hear. Not to mention the melding of friends from different chapters of your life can open the door for a less than cohesive vibe.
ELIMINATES THE TENSION OF WHO WILL MAKE THE CUT: Since high school you’ve grown apart from that third musketeer, but there would certainly be hurt feelings if the other one was included, same goes for sorority sisters, or in the awkward instance that you have become close with one sister-in-law to be and not the other. Going sans bridesmaids eliminates those uncomfortable conversations altogether.
SIMPLIFIED LOGISTICS AND PLANNING: If you are trying to achieve that low-key, low stress wedding, one of the easiest things you can do is limit the number of people directly involved in the day. After all, this day is ultimately about you and your partner. It can also take the pressure off of your friends, with no responsibilities, they can fully enjoy your awesome party!
Even without having a formal bridal party, there are still special ways that you can incorporate your friends into the wedding – invite them to get ready with you, ask someone to do a reading during the ceremony, or give a reception speech. All of these things are zero cost and relatively low stress to both you and your friends!
Your photographer can still capture great moments with you and your girlfriends! Be sure to include those people in the shot-list for your photographer, in whatever groupings feel important to you. This will not only give you the photographic memories you’ll want in the future but will also help to make your friends feel included and loved.
At the end of the day, don’t get too hung up on tradition, it’s important that you do what feels right for you and your partner <3
What is a first look?
Gone are the superstitions that couples cannot see each other before the ceremony - there's more to the success of a marriage than that! However, everyone has their own visions for special moments on the wedding day, which is totally okay and the day should express the two of you.
A "first look" is is when the couple sees each other on their wedding day, before the wedding. It can be special, private (or not) and creative! We've had couples read letters back-to-back, and even behind a tree before seeing each other. It is a decision to talk through together.
To do, or not
Though most of our clients opt to do a first look (it makes the logistics), we work with many clients who keep the surprise at the altar.
Consider various aspect of your wedding to help you make that decision: time of year, time allotted for photos, logistics getting to/from the ceremony site, and what is important to the two of you.
If you enjoyed this article, please join me on social! Take care - Wendee
About Custom Weddings of Colorado and Wendee V.
Our purpose is to create small intimate wedding packages and elopements for our clients, offering you ease, peace, fun, quality photography, personal style, and a focus on marriage.
Their story: “Our daughters were all in gymnastics and two of them were in the same gymnastics class together. That is where we met and instantly fell in love. I was house hunting and an offer I made on a house was accepted. I eventually told him about it and he knew exactly where the house was, because he owned a house right up the street (which I had no idea). So we became neighbors and best friends. Everything has always been fate between us. Things happen and work out in ways people would never expect."
Wedding details: Working with Janine + Brendan was so easy - they wanted to keep it simple and involve their children. So, part of the wedding was to include a family unity sand ceremony, and of course they had to have their special entrance & song. Her sage, pale pink, peach and blue florals were perfect for an early July celebration. The couple and their immediate family stayed at a vacation home in Keystone, Colorado which came complete with a teepee and fire pit in the backyard. After their ceremony, they celebrated with a taco bar back at the vacation house.
Their story: "Jason and I were setup by mutual friend. We were both older and had never married, but hoped to find that special person to build a family together. For us, it happened fast! After six months of dating, we found out I was pregnant. We now have a beautiful two-year-old. We love our little family: our motto - "three together!".
Wedding details: Jen and Jason contacted us three months prior to the wedding (yes, we can plan a wedding in as little as 5 days, or 5 months)! Breckenridge has always held a special place for them, having visited on family trips. Their priority was a simple, intimate outdoor setting with a scenic background. Family-focused and small: 6 adults, three kids.
Their story: “Justin and I met our sophomore year in high school and began dating end of our junior year. We have been together for 12 years and have a 10 year old daughter and two German Shepherds. We love to go hiking, fishing and spending time together. We choose intimate Colorado wedding because it’s always been a dream to visit and we always wanted small, personal, memorable ceremony.”
Wedding details: Many times we work with couples who have never been to Colorado and their first time is to get married! We love showing off our wonderful state as there are so many activities any time of year. Samantha and Justin already had planned a trip to Central City when they contacted to to plan their Colorado Elopement Package. We met them at their resort and traveled with them to a nearby State Park where we had an elopement ceremony, just the two of them. Post ceremony, we celebrated with bubbly and some cake!
Thank you Kathryn Kim Photography - one of our amazing vendors in our network!
Their story: “John and I actually met online. It was not ideal at first, but now looking back, it was easily the best decision that I ever made :) We both thought we would have a traditional wedding, but looked into possibly doing a destination wedding. I did not expect for it to take off as fast as it did. We chose Colorado, because we both are so in love with nature. We knew that the mountain view was right up our alley!"
Wedding details: Melissa and John took our base Intimate Wedding Package and the added several nice upgrades..... which, can we all agree their 3-year old daughter as part of the ceremony was the absolute CUTEST?!!! Whenever we have couples that want to incorporate their children into the wedding, we recommend they exchange vows with kids and give them a little token - piece of jewelry, nice keychain.... any other ideas? A couple of their other upgrades were chairs, floral ceremony arrangements, centerpieces at their dinner, and extending photography hours into the dancing and departures.
Photographer: Andrea Flanagan Photography
Their story: Family friends introduced Stacey and Monica over a tapas dinner in downtown Austin during fall of 2017. A friendship immediately sparked that evening! Monica is from Orange County, CA where her family still resides and Stacey is from Cambridge, England where his family still resides. "We wanted a small ceremony that our parents could attend as both sides would need to travel quite a ways to attend. We both love ski towns so when we found a company like Custom Weddings of Colorado who could take care of a small style wedding, we were very excited and impressed at the level of service they could provide us. Stacey and I look forward to our small wedding Vail!"
Wedding details: Monica and Stacey were a delight to work with. They have an adventurous spirit and that is what you need for a winter wedding in Vail. We started the day with getting ready photos and a first look..... with bubbly and their family! In Vail style, they boarded a shuttle and then walked through Lionshead Village to board the gondola for a ceremony at the top of the mountain. Yes, the weather at the top can be quite different from the base area - but, we had furs and umbrellas in hand. The snow actually made this experience more intimate. Post wedding, they celebrated at a local restaurant with warm spirits!
Photographer: Andrea Flanagan Photography | Florist: Pink Posey Design
Baker: La Patisserie Francaise | Planner: Wendee with Custom Weddings of Colorado
Their story: Alex and Olga met at a tiny coffee shop in Highlands for their first date. Olga let her passion for travel be known by inviting Alex to join her in Mexico City shortly thereafter. Since then, they have traveled the world and experienced many adventures together! At the end of the day however, they love coming back to Denver, which is why they decided to keep their small intimate wedding close to home.
Wedding details: Our favorite element of this wedding is obvious - the unicorn cake! At first I didn’t know how it would all fit and flow together, but as you can see from the images with grey, silvers and dusty sate greenery, it works beautifully! Our baker and florist made all their inspirational images come together. Though they only had nine guests, three of her best friends were bridesmaids. Their ceremony was held at a state park southwest of Denver, and they celebrated back at one of their favorite restaurants.
About the Couple: “Kaleb and I met two and half years ago through our church. We were really good friends for a year before finally dating. He proposed in August while taking me on a hike. We decided to get married in Colorado because we wanted a small, stress free wedding where the focus would be truly on us, and not on pleasing family or friends. We decided that Colorado would make for beautiful pictures and it was somewhere new for both of us!"
Wedding details: Having a wedding done YOUR way with no pressure from family or friends is our type of couple. And, did you notice they are hikers too? Love it! Elaina & Kaleb settled on a wedding at the unique Garden of the Gods. Secretly, the best place to stay and dine is in Manitou Springs. John (my boyfriend) and I go there at least once a year for a couples getaway and to hike the Manitou Incline. We LOVE staying at the Cliff House and going out for dinner at Briarhurst Manor (the feature small pirate dining rooms). Garden of the God’s is a great spot if you want a winter wedding, but you don’t want to get deep into snow often found farther west in the mountains. Elaina’s wintery style and colors popped in the natural environment. Gorgeous style! Though she had 5 bridesmaids, we did a casual “no hoopla” ceremony.
Wedding details: Kelsey and Ben’s closest family and friends traveled to Colorado to plan a small destination wedding at a Colorado vacation home. Eleven adults and a handful of kids stayed at a gorgeous vacation house in Breckenridge, Colorado. We provided a small wedding package for them that included some high-end upgrades, such as a lush succulent candle garland to compliment her maroon, navy, cream and grey hued wedding florals. A private chef cooked for the family at the house while we provided scrumptious wedding cake (top tier - chocolate mousse; bottom tier - strawberry mousse). The wedding day ended up being a bit snowy, but the warmth surrounding their celebration kept everyone toasty warm as they snuggled in fleece blankets while they exchanged vows.
Their story: “We met through friends roughly 6 years ago. I made quite the impression on Garrett's family, as the first night we met I managed to run into a screen door making for a good laugh for everyone. He knew I was a keeper after that....but it took 3 years from then before we actually started dating! We enjoy the outdoors and camping - we go a couple times each year. With that we felt like Colorado would be the perfect place for us to have our wedding. We’re both not ones to be big on typical traditions so a large wedding never really felt right to us. We were more interested in a small ceremony at a memorable location with our closest friends and family."
Wedding details: YES! This is our kind of couple - those that are not looking for the “typical" banquet hall type of wedding. We love their outdoorsy adventurous spirit, where nature feels like their happy place! Their microwedidng consisted of seven closest family and friends. With a boho style, the light dusting of snow in early November provide a gorgeous backdrop for warm shawls. The group stayed at a resort in Breckenridge and celebrated post-ceremony at a local fine dining restaurant.
Their story: Jere and Travis met through a mutual friend during a night out. They where engaged in 2016. While planning the wedding, they discovered her mom was very ill. They decided to push the original wedding back until she recovered. Sadly, she passed shortly after. Eager to get married, they didn’t want to spend too much time with the planning, and contacted Wendee.
Wedding details: first, our hearts go out to couples who have experienced loss. Their story is among many we have heard and we totally understand the fortitude to keep living life fully. We are so happy for them to have found joy - live life and celebrate with those closest to you! Their priorities were to have a scenic mountain view, and a stress free day. We think the pictures prove that! Her style was “boho glam” with jewel tone - nailed that too!
Their story: "Boe and I are high school sweetheart and at the time of our wedding, and were together for over six years. The reason we wanted a small, destination wedding in Colorado because we enjoy traveling and we desire an intimate wedding that is more focused on the love we share more so than on putting on an extravagant show for guests."
Wedding details: their story rings true to our hearts! Genesis wanted a style that is romantic, vintage, and rustic with dark reds, blush, and ivory accented with greenery. Their priorities were to have breathtaking mountain scenery in an unforgettable destination. What better place is Rocky Mountain National Park for a small elopement-styled wedding? They travel to Colorado from Texas with only 12 of their closest family and friends, staying in a vacation cabin near Estes Park, Colorado. Post ceremony, they celebrated at a local restaurant where we delivered and setup a small cake: top tier was Strawberry Charlotte and the bottom tier was Cappuccino Mousse (who says wedding cake has to be boring?!).
Their story: "We met clear back in middle school and blossomed a friendship through our early high school years. We started dating our junior year and we fell in love immediately. Now we’re ready to take the next step in our lives and we couldn’t think of a better place than our favorite travel destination, Colorado!"
Wedding details: Grand Lake, Colorado was the perfect wedding spot in the fall months for Mackenzie's natural woodland style of deep reds, blush coral with accents of yellow and greens. They traveled from Kansas with #26 of their closest family and friends to witness their “I Do’s” in one of our favorite quaint little mountain towns. They all stayed in their individual rooms and a lodge historic lodge and celebrated that evening eating BBQ at one of the best! To compliment the crisp autumn air, they chose Peach Melba (top tier) and Mochal Buttercream (bottom tier) for their decedent cake flavors.
Their story: Michelle and Justin met through mutual friends. A year later they officially became a family when they adopted their first dog, Finn. After dating for two years in Wilmington, DE, the two decided to uproot and move to Denver, Colorado. Their fur family became complete when they adopted their second dog Luna. Michelle and Justin decided on a small CO mountain wedding after much deliberation. The two went back and forth between eloping, and inviting their closest friends and family to a small gathering. After their friends and family insisted on being present for their wedding they decided a small CO mountain wedding would be perfect for everyone!
Wedding details: Honestly, whether they eloped or had their closest friend and family present, we were ready to work with this spirited, fun couple! The fall colors and vibrant sunflowers reflected their personalities and their wedding day! And, like a true Colorado couple, their dogs were not only present, but walked down the aisle to a “You and Me” version by Vitamin String Quartet. The Breckenridge Distillery matched the vibe of their energetic Colorado gathering.
By Wendee Vezzetti
Mother, student, planner, gardener, mountain biker, entrepreneur, librarian, hiker, snowboarder, reader, dork, chocoholic, trail runner and creative.