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.
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: 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
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.
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.
Their story: "Jamie and I started dating about a year and half ago. We don't have a glitzy story - we met online! This our second marriage. We see in retrospect how our prior weddings were about the event; not the marriage. We want want a small wedding that is focused on our two families becoming one, not a wedding that is about "itself."
Wedding details: Oh boy, do we connect with how big weddings can get crazy and the focus of marriage is lost in the event. Katie, you speak our values! There is a reason why I (Wendee here) only specialize in the small intimate weddings and no longer plan the big bashes (said "goodbye" to those in 2012). They made it extra special by having a friend officiate. We planned a "rogue" elopement-style package for them and their 18 guests on top of Vail Mountain, which is when we purchase gondola tickets, ride to the top of the mountain, walk to a private spot, stand amidst nature and exchange vows with some of the most incredible views possible!
Their story: "Zack and I both attended Texas A&M and clicked from the beginning. We want a small, destination wedding in Colorado because we want our wedding to be a memorable experience with our families. Zack has been vacationing in Colorado with his family all his life and has always dreamed of getting married there. Colorado is significant to us as a couple as well because we enjoy driving there for vacation with our dogs."
Wedding details: Did, they say dogs? It's no wonder why we clicked with Ann + Zach. Though we can incorporate our fur babies in the ceremonies, their pooches stayed home on their own vacation. Pretty colors of plum, cranberry, fuchsia and wine added richness to their wedding style. The cake: too gorgeous to eat, but with flavors of ganache (the top tier that Ann so considerately cut into) and mocha buttercream.... who can resist!
Their story: "We met randomly three years ago at AT&T. I think the biggest reason to have a small CO wedding is that we are paying for the wedding ourselves so we wanted something small and affordable. We also wanted the day to be about us with our closest family and friends. We both love the outdoors, the mountains, and adventures so that's what we wanted our wedding day to be."
Wedding details: Like so many of our couples, Laura + Zach match our ideal client: desiring an intimate day in nature with luxury details, yet without breaking the bank! They traveled from Ohio with 28 guests for an outdoors wedding, incorporating modern minimalist and organic details with lots of greens, creams and lavender.
Their story: "When we started planning our wedding, I wanted to elope and he wanted a huge party with like 400 people, so this intimate wedding with just our immediate family is the perfect match. We are having a reception back home, so we really are getting the best of both worlds. He loves the mountains and I love lakes so this site really "spoke" to us. We took one of our first big trips to Colorado right after moving-in together, so it holds a special place in our hearts for many reasons and we're excited to "make it official" there."
Wedding details: Brianne and Eric traveled from Minnesota with 30 of their closest family and friends. Orange is the groom's favorite color, and hers is purple to match her rockin' shoes! They like clean simplicity. So, we incorporated a more structured bouquet with some white elements, that included dahlias, ranunculus and calla lilies.
Their story: it was the second time around for bride and groom + they like camping and hiking + their first trip together was Estes Park. What does that equal? A small tiny wedding (okay, really an elopement with two friends) in Rocky Mountain National Park on a gorgeous lake!
Wedding details: their summer style fit beautifully into a lakeside mountain wedding with a rustic bohemian garden style bouquet in bright colors to include pink, coral, yellow & blue with accents of white created with a mix of locally grown wildflowers and other seasonal blooms. They stayed at a cabin near Estes Park where we started the event by delivering their flowers and cake. After some pre-wedding cheers, we traveled to the ceremony site to exchange vows (and have more cheers - we see a theme here! Post-wedding they celebrated with dinner at Twin Owls Steakhouse.
Their story: "After meeting online, our first date was at a park to introduce our three dogs. The rest is history! We love the Colorado lifestyle and all the outdoor recreation it affords and feel very fortunate to now call this beautiful state home." From day one, Ashley and Michael were on the same page about wanting an intimate mountaintop ceremony with those closest to them in attendance. We are happy to have found this gorgeous couple to help pull it all together for them!
Wedding details: they rented at a large vacation home near Keystone, Colorado, overlooking Lake Dillon and hired a private chef to cook a celebration dinner for their small party of 12 guests. Her bouquet details: a rustic, voluptuous, garden style bouquet in pink, coral, peach, cream hues with accents of blue created with a mix of locally grown garden roses and other seasonal blooms and mixed foliage. Stems finished in rustic “burlap & lace” style.
Their story: "We met at a Thomas Rhett concert in Lincoln, Nebraska while in college at UNL. Kris went up and asked me to dance and the rest was history. We love our cheesy love story! We decided on a small mountain wedding because we both love the outdoors, being in the mountains and enjoy spending time with close family and friends - they get to know each other and spend time together in a more intimate setting. We plan on having an at-home reception in Nebraska two weeks after our ceremony where we will celebrate with 300 of our family members and friends!"
Wedding details: they stayed at a large condo in Keystone, Colorado and decided to have drop-off catering at the condo. This is a fun option for an intimate post-wedding celebration, especially since you can BYO wine! Michelle's color palate of whites with pops of wine, deep pink and lighter pinks, blush, greenery and pops of coral looks amazing with a summer backdrop. With our intimate wedding package, your florals and cake design/flavors are customized to your own unique style.
Their story: "We met through mutual friends, and actually walked down the aisle together at our friends' wedding! Later that summer, we started dating. We both love the outdoors and wanted a small outdoor wedding in a beautiful setting. Sprague Lake fit the bill and then some."
Wedding details: Recreate this summer look with a voluptuous garden style bouquet with pinks, ivories, pale yellow and peach, flowers created with locally grown garden roses and other seasonal blooms with accents of a couple succulents and mixed foliage. The cake: ribbon buttercream texture with artfully matched cake stand.
Their story: "I’ve already done the big, traditional wedding and wanted nothing to do with anything that even remotely resembles my first wedding. Hence our desire for an intimate, immediate-family-only kind of wedding. We wanted to do a “destination” wedding in the Colorado mountains because this is the state where we met and fell in love. Down the road, we will be throwing a party (instead of a reception) in Wisconsin and in California to invite everyone we left out." Luckily and happily, Fred's yellow lab also welcomed Ashley into the family. We are such lovers too for our fur-babies!
Wedding details: After consulting with Ashely and Fred, they chose to get married on the shores of Grand Lake - the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. Ashley's style was blues and purples (multiple shades) together, with accents of pinks and white in a wildflower style with a rustic wrap. We did one of the most unique cakes for her: added purple edging to a standard buttercream ruffle design.
Allison and Zach met through mutual friends in college at South Dakota State University. They both love the outdoors, and over the years have bonded over many hours of hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing. They wanted to get married in Colorado because they wanted an unforgettable outdoor ceremony to start to their adventure as husband and wife. They chose an intimate wedding because, "We believe this day is about celebrating each other and the love we have for one another." They didn't want anything fancy - just us and some of their closest family. We custom designed a sweet June wedding package for them that included romantic florals: lush garden style with large blush & white flowers created with peonies, ranunculus, dusty miller and soft gray green eucalyptus foliage.
Their story: "We met while both working as residential counselors at a community mental health center in Colorado 5 years ago. We started hanging out almost daily and got to know one another extremely well while realizing we were growing more and more in love every moment. Life isn't always kind, but we find comfort and support in one another in a way neither of us had guessed possible."
Wedding details: They wanted an intimate gathering with their closest family and friends - the people who are actively involved in their lives with which to celebrate. "Big events aren't our thing, and this felt perfect for us to start our married life together." We created a micro-wedding package for her with natural greenery (deep, dusty in hue) with white florals, navy and grey-silver accents - perfect for an early summer wedding! To pull all the details together, special touches were added like ceremony chairs, a floral comb, a "Mr & Mrs" silver cake topper, and silver cake stand.
By Wendee Vezzetti
Mother, student, planner, gardener, mountain biker, entrepreneur, librarian, hiker, snowboarder, reader, dork, chocoholic, trail runner and creative.