Bride: Aja Pappas – Substance Abuse Counselor
Groom: Andrew Ferguson – Blackhawk Crew Cheif, US Army
Date: May 17, 2012
Location: Grant-Humphreys Mansion, Denver
I have to get this out of the way: Shoes. Oh my God! Shoes! I can’t get over those heels!! Okay, back to the rest of this killer wedding. The theme of Aja and Andrew’s Grant-Humphreys Mansion wedding was “Sweet Reverie” (Sweet Daydream) to match their love song titled the same by Paula Fuga. I think the couple and their team of vendors nailed that theme completely. Looking at the images feels like a lovely daydream – Wistful, warm, and inviting. The continuity of color throughout the day (including the venue itself) makes for an exceptional album. A real feast for the eyes. And even though it didn’t fit right and got cut, this is one of my favorite bride shots ever! This sassy and stylish couple hit a home run with Something Blue Colorado and Alyssa Renee Photography. Yummy!
Andrew and I meet in 2007 during a deployment in Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. We became friends and upon our return from the deployment our friendship grew, and then we fell in love. We were offically married in Hawaii in a small ceremony in 2008 on Makapu’u Beach. We celebrated our marriage with a wedding ceremony in Denver of 2012. – Aja
- The favors were mini jars of Lilikoi Jelly canned by the bride’s sister. They helped bring a reminder of the Hawaiian islands where the couple first made it official.
- The table numbers were made of chocolate and served as a special treat for the kids.
- Andrew’s request, a cigar bar, was a big hit with the guys after the ceremony.
- The couple’s children were involved in the ceremony. Their son, Kekoa, was ring bearer and Andrew carried 5 month old daughter, Kai’enna, down the aisle in a blanket handmade by a friend of the bride.
- Those incredible heels that I can’t seem to get over were hand painted by Figgie Shoes.
- The groomsmen wore custom Chuck Taylors with their names on them that were gifted to them by Andrew. The bride wore glitter Chucks for the reception.
- Your eyes aren’t fooling you. The bride changed into a second, gorgeous blush gown for the reception.
- Note that adorable little wrapped box that the cutting cake is nestled onto. Nice touch!
The Best Part:
Venue: Grant-Humphreys Mansion | Photographer: Alyssa Renee Photography | Event Coordinator: Something Blue Colorado | Bridal Gown: San Patrick (Ceremony) | Shoes: Figgie Shoes (Ceremony) and Chuck Taylors (Reception) | Makeup: Cassandra Garza | Hair: Dominique Thompson (Friend) | Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Shoes: White by Vera Wang | Flower Girl Dress: Boutique for Baby | Groom(smen) Attire: Al’s Formalwear | Catering: Bistro Boys | Cake: Happy Cakes Bakeshop | Floral Design: Plum Sage | Blush Armchairs for Sweetheart Table Seating: A Vintage Affair
I loved how everything came together and my vision was exactly what I wanted. I loved seeing my grooms face during our first look and of course kissing him! – Aja
But you know me…I’ll try anyway! Perhaps I’ll just start simply:
I’m sorry. I’m unbelievably sorry for leaving you all hanging. For being unprofessional to a wealth of new and repeat submitting wedding professionals who provide the lifeblood of the blog. For not answering emails. For betraying my own blog to the brink of not making a comeback because I’m killing my reputation. But most of all, I’m sorry for not letting everyone know what was going on with me. I only pray that through my efforts going forward, I can regain the following I once had and the trust of the wedding community to represent them. ACC feels tarnished and I will do what I can to fix that if you’ll let me. I also want to thank you all for your unyielding patience. I have fantastic readers and wedding professionals who have my back and that means the world to me. This little labor of love would be nothing without you. And to be fair, I have some pretty good excuses…
(I’ve shrunk them into a drop down bar so that this won’t be cluttering the blog once you are done reading it. I want to make sure that the bulk of what is showing on the feed is wedding deliciousness.)
The last 6 months or so have been some of my happiest but also some of my most difficult in many ways. I thought the pregnancy was hurting my blogging and I’d be able to get back to normal when Shelby was born. Little did I know, she had other plans. So did my own body, the health of my family members, etc. I’ll give you a quick rundown:
Summer 2014: Very pregnant and very miserable. At one point around July I honestly and truly believed that I had a heart attack in front of my son. I have never been so scared in my life. The pain was far worse than natural childbirth and I was certain that my husband would come home to find his pregnant wife dead and his two year old alone in the house. Just writing this makes me cry like a baby. It turns out that all the symptoms of a heart attack in women are also very similar to gallbladder issues. I found this out a few weeks later when I landed in the ER with it happening again. Unfortunately, little can be done with a pregnant woman when it comes to elective surgery. I was told to wait until 6 weeks postpartum.
September 28, 2014: Shelby Sage was born into this world a mere 3 weeks early (vs. 5 like her brother). She is perfection to me. Sleeplessness and the accompanying irritability ensued. I spent the next few weeks in a state of delirium; happy but miserable at the same time. My kiddos mean the world to me and I will never regret giving all my time to her in those first weeks. They disappear so quickly.
Fall 2014: It turns out Shelby doesn’t sleep. Most nights I would be up until 1:00-4:00 AM walking her around the house and soothing her. From about 8 PM onward she was a mess who would not stop crying unless she was being held with me standing up and moving at all times. Certainly not conducive to blogging. I felt those times would never end. But this time around, I drank it all in because I knew that it would in fact end, and with it came the loss of my “newborn” as she became an “infant” way too quickly. During the days I was really struggling to deal with being a parent to a hyper 2 year old and a sleepy baby. Some of my worst moments of a parent so far took place during those times for sure. Did I mention that she was in the pediatrician’s office every day for 2 weeks getting her bilirubin checked? Then she needed a hip ultrasound to prove that it wasn’t growing improperly. Yikes.
My health wasn’t doing really great at that point in time either. Every time I would attempt to blog at night, I would have a gallbladder attack. It got to the point where it was happening almost nightly some weeks. I learned a trick online about drinking apple cider vinegar to calm the attacks. It worked great even though it was absolutely dreadful to shotgun vinegar. My attacks subsided after about 5 minutes instead of spending an hour at a time writhing on the floor. But even after that short burst of excruciating pain I was exhausted.
November 29, 2014: Shit hits the fan! After an evening of repeated gallbladder attacks and little relief from my go-to vinegar therapy, it was clear that something about this night was different. I went to the ER alone and was then admitted into the hospital. I had stones stuck in the bile duct and it was compromising my liver. The next 4 days were pretty awful. I won’t go into all the details but I had to have two different procedures done just to fix the problem with my gallbladder. I came out of the hospital less an organ and a lot of money. Recovery took awhile and I’m scared at how my body has changed in the last year with these many stresses on it.
The Holidays, my birthday retreat, and Valentines Day flew by and kept me very busy as they added to the kids, stress with my family, and 2 really nasty bouts of illness making their way through the members of this household. One particularly bad flu came when I couldn’t even hold my babies after the surgery. =( I also spent a crazy amount of time every night for several months now working on projects for my kids’ new rooms. I’m not even done yet!!
January 31, 2015: My husband went skiing. He gets to do that about once a year now that we have kids. He fell and tore his ACL and MCL, damaged his meniscus, fractured his tibial plateau, and still currently has a blood clot in his leg. He had to give himself shots in the stomach twice a day for a week to combat the clot and will be on pills for about 3 months. Very scary stuff and definitely affected how much he can do.
February 23, 2015: I took Shelby in for her eye appointment. A wandering left eye past 4 months old had the doctor and me concerned. She was diagnosed with Optic Nerve Coloboma. She may be partially to completely bind in her left eye. I spent awhile being devastated for my baby. Now we’re getting a second opinion and being strong for her no matter what. But it certainly came like a punch in the stomach and I’ve been out of sorts because of it. Nobody wants their child to start life at a disadvantage or to have something that will make her a sitting duck for bullies later. My heart hurts for her. But she’s the happiest baby I’ve ever met and we’re going to keep it that way!
In half a year my little family unit has had 2 hospital stays, a live birth, 2 surgeries, 3 ER visits, 4 ultrasounds (not related to pregnancy), 2 MRIs, a TON of doctor visits, and a partridge in a pear tree. Some other very personal family and money type things have been happening as well. But I won’t regale you with stories of my crazy family. The important take-away message is that the last 6 months in particular have been rough and 2015 is thus far out to get me it seems. But in our typical way, the Hurds are powering through it and taking it in stride. We will work to fix all that is broken. And that includes my poor blog!
Big news for the Hurd Family! Our sweet little girl made an appearance in this world on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 3:01 PM. Miss Shelby has had a rough week with bilirubin issues and weight loss but seems to be turning it around. This week has had a lot of ups and downs but the general consensus is that we’re unbelievably flippin’ delighted to have her in our lives and feel so fortunate for having two amazing kiddos in our family now. I’m enjoying the hell out of rubbing my cheek on her super soft baby head and listening to her coo like a dove. I’m enjoying the milk acquisition part of the equation a little less. My life has once again come down to focusing on all things milk and I never sleep. Oddly enough, it has given me time to work on blog related endeavors far more than I was when I was pregnant and miserable. Hooray for multi-tasking! So look forward to some very good content in the near future but also a lot more 2 AM rambling probably. Forgive me if I’m delirious. ;) It’s a mixture of sleep deprivation and love with the universe that gave me Shelby Sage.
Bride: Samantha Motsinger, 24 – Nanny
Groom: Doug Wekenman, 26 – Video and Graphics at Ascent Community Church
Date: June 27, 2014
Location: Blackstone Country Club, Aurora
Smiling. Ear. To. Ear. Going through this wedding film, you cannot help but be completely tickled by how giddy Samantha is in every shot. I seriously couldn’t help but giggle while editing because you can tell that she and Doug are crazy in love and having the time of their lives. From their (somewhat long…bear with me) story, it’s obvious that they exude positivity and joy. I just want to hug them. And they are stinkin’ gorgeous! Anyway, it’s really no surprise given this super sweet couple that their wedding was a beautiful affair. Even a little rain couldn’t bring them down and certainly added to the stunning contrast in their exceptional bride and groom portraits by the talented Jamie Beth Photography. So enjoy Samantha and Doug’s Blackstone Country Club wedding. *Glee*
The year after I graduated from college, I was working for a college ministry. I co-led the big (92 person) winter break mission trip to Jamaica, which Samantha just so happened to be on. Since the team was so big, everybody was split into smaller groups that met each night right before bed time. And in one of the best happenings of my life, Sam was randomly placed in mine. It was my favorite part of the day because of Sam. At the risk of sounding cheesy, she was the prettiest girl I had ever seen. And so against proper protocol, I took advantage of being the trip-leader and hit on her. On New Years Day we took a day trip to the beach and I made a point to pick her up and dunk her in the water a couple of times, which was my way of communicating, “Hey, I think you’re cute.”
It was a Wednesday night, a few days after we got back to Colorado. I was in the car with my friends and told both of them that I was thinking about calling her and asking her out. They told me I wasn’t allowed to get out of the car until I did. They built up my courage and I pulled out my phone and called her. We talked, then I said goodbye, hung up the phone, breathed out and smiled. – Doug
Shortly after, however, the couple met a major obstacle. Doug was slated to go on a year long humanitarian trip. Samantha encouraged him to go. When he returned, their brief conversations on Skype had been enough. They had a movie style reunion at the airport and picked up right where they left off. And with a start like that, it wasn’t long before Doug was determined to hold onto her forever:
“I was in a musical at the time and so my schedule was crazy busy. Last minute we had a schedule change and I had a free night on December 18th and told him so the day before. I was COMPLETELY oblivious. I had been so suspicious of possibly getting engaged for the few weeks leading up to that day, but for some reason I didn’t think that anything was happening that night because it had been such a last minute plan that we had thrown together,” recalls Samantha. And being awesome at this, somehow Doug managed to make it Samantha’s idea to fall into the proposal trap. On their way to dinner, they happened to pass by the site of their second date – his father’s office building with a fantastic view of Denver. “I mentioned to Doug how we hadn’t been up there since our epic second date…I really wanted to go up there again at some point. Doug said he wished we could, but you needed a cardkey to get into the building and into the elevator. Bummed out, we kept walking. Then all of a sudden Matt’s parents, Randy and Sharon, walked around the corner. At first, a teensy part of me thought it was too much of a coincidence because we had just been talking about the second date, and it just so happened that it was Randy’s office that we had it in. But Sharon went on and on about how busy she had been with work, and that her nursing shifts were night shifts so she was exhausted, Randy was leaving for Milwaukee tomorrow and so they had decided to have an early dinner in honor of her birthday the next day. It all sounded too real. And I nodded along and totally forgot to be suspicious anymore,” explained Samantha. They headed up to the 51st floor and Doug laid it on thick by “forgetting” which office it was. So Samantha blazed the way to the office herself.
There were Christmas lights strung everywhere, a bouquet of roses, and a bottle of champagne and two glasses sitting on the table. My heart started POUNDING in my chest…I looked towards the window, and a camera sat with the red light blinking telling me it was about to record one of the best moments of my life. I instantly started crying, and I remember vaguely saying “Oh my gosh, stop it!” Doug came over and put his arms around me…my crying continued through all of his sweet words (which neither of us can remember because we were so caught up in what was happening!) and then he got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked me to be his wife…Doug had made that night the most special night, and had literally thought of everything to make it perfect for me. It was so important that my family and friends knew it was going to happen, and he made sure that even my best friend Torey who was abroad in Africa was aware, having skyped with her for an hour the night before. I couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect from a proposal from my future husband. – Samantha
- In addition to praying together before the wedding through the door (see images below), their friends blessed them each respectively before the ceremony as well. (Wish I had more photos of that here but definitely check out the photographer’s blog listed below.) Very powerful imagery!
- The styling exudes sophistication, but most of the vendors (Target, Whole Foods, etc.) show that they knew how to take a realistic budget and rock it.
- All of those professional looking blackboard signs were meticulously made by Samantha!
- The wooden sign at the ceremony was made by a friend of Amanda’s. Said friend hopes to start selling them. Which is good news for you!
- The wedding was officiated by a close friend’s father who also did their pre-marital counseling.
The Best Part:
Venue, Coordination, Catering: Blackstone Country Club | Photographer: Jamie Beth Photography | Bridal Gown: Casablanca Bridal via Blue Bridal Boutique | Jewelry: Charming Charlie | Shoes: Merona via Target | Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Amanda Baseggio (Bridesmaid) | Groom(smen) Attire: K&G | Cake: Whole Foods | Floral Design: Abloom
My favorite part of the wedding was praying with Doug before the wedding. We could hardly get any words out as we were both crying, but it was special because we didn’t get to see each other until I came down the aisle. I loved getting to share that time together as we hadn’t seen one another or spoken all day. I think sticking to that traditional aspect of not seeing one another before the wedding made it really special once I got to see his face and his reaction when he first saw me coming down the aisle. – Amanda
If you would like to see more of this couple, check out their engagement session and wedding photography posts on Jamie Beth Photography’s website.
Happy Thursday! I waited until late to post because I wanted the great post that I did late last night to have a lot of front page time. But now I’d like to share with you a fun throwback regarding a floral topic that few people probably consider: stank! You look at tons of beautiful images but forget that weddings are a true multi-sensory experience. And just because something is beautiful looking doesn’t mean that it can’t give your guests a headache from the smell. Want to know more? Click the image or link below to see the original post. =)
Hiya folks. Today I have a short and sweet (but beautiful and inspiring) meadow wedding style shoot post. No gimmicks or themes – just plain beautiful. It really speaks for itself. Which is good because I’m pretty sure that this baby wants out of me stat and functioning is becoming exceedingly difficult! So I’m thankful that my friend, Erika, of Erika Swift Events sent over a styled shoot that puts me at ease. The meadows at Chatfield are just beautiful and the simple but elegant staging of the couple and the decor is very befitting. I’m in love with the flowers and particularly like how the boutonniere is wrapped with dusty miller instead of ribbon or tape. And the little stars hidden among the rosettes in the icing of the cake make me smile. Please enjoy the details of this simple styled shoot.
Location: Chatfield State Park | Photographer: Trademark Photos by Tami McKenney | Event Planner: Erika Swift Events | Cake: Vanilla Bean Patisserie | Flowers: Alan Perry Floral & Event Design | Hair and Makeup: Swagger Salon | Dress: The Bridal Loft | Rentals: Colorado Party Rentals
Bride: Ashley Brown, 26 – Subscription Services
Groom: Matt Kok, 26 – Executive Assistant
Date: April 26, 2014
Location: Wellshire Presbyterian Church, Denver (Ceremony), Glenmoor Country Club, Englewood (Reception)
Broadway nerds rejoice! Today’s wedding features a couple who loves the musical arts and incorporated it into their wedding in fun and meaningful ways. I really enjoy seeing weddings that have personal and unexpected elements like these. There is a lot of great inspiration in Ashley and Matt’s music themed wedding for sure. And it was all captured in the beautiful imagery of Mathew Irving Photography. This is a fun one!
Matt and I met in May 2011 after being cast as Josephine and Ralph in Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore at the 73rd Avenue Theatre in Westminster, CO. Over the course of two months we performed together on stage 18 times, and by closing weekend we both felt a spark. Matt asked for my number at our cast party, and he called the NEXT day to ask me out on a date. Matt picked me up in his vintage Volvo station wagon, and we spent four hours at Stella’s Coffee House talking about everything from sharing similar stories about our best friends to our mutual love of romantic British literature. That was August 16, 2011. We got engaged on Matt’s 25th birthday, October 12, 2012. Matt had planned to take me to the theatre where we met after we had dinner, but I refused, and wanted to go hang out at a bar instead. By the end of the night, Matt could not wait any longer, and spontaneously popped the question when I was least expecting it, and of course I said yes! – Ashley
- The girls choir at the wedding was The Fourteeners from the Rocky Mountain Children’s Choir (of which Ashley was a member for many years).
- The couple themselves and Ashley’s mother created pretty much every last thing you see at the wedding in terms of personal touches and decor.
- The table “numbers” were all productions that Ashley had been involved in or loved.
- Ashley and Matt’s friends sang show tunes for them during the cocktail hour.
- The bride upcycled her own shoes to make the lovely something blue you see in the pictures.
The Best Part:
Venue and Catering: Glenmoor Country Club | Photographer: Mathew Irving Photography | Bridal Gown: Amanda’s Bridal | Bridesmaids: David’s Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Kate Smith | Groom(smen) Attire: Jim’s Formal Wear | Rings: Shane Co. | Cake: Nathan Gulash | Floral Design: Yvonne Herrema | DJ: A Sharp DJ Service
Our favorite part of the wedding was the huge amount of music that was shared throughout the day. The choir, our friends, and our fantastic DJ helped make our day so memorable. It was perfect, wonderful friends and family, delicious food, lots of laughter all accompanied by the best musical selections.
As I predicted, the artichokes in floral arrangements trend hit big time but it’s likely a passing fancy.The current trend of farm to table dining is more of larger lifestyle choice, however. For people who really appreciate food on a multi-sensory level there are lots of options for incorporating it into the visual aspects of your wedding day. Today’s foodie wedding inspiration draws from the beauty of natural ingredients and the experience of well prepared cuisine. For starters, there are loads of fruits and veggies that look at home in a bouquet or other floral arrangements. They add a great deal of color, texture, and interest. Food ingredients also make excellent edible favors or seating cards. Think baskets of berries, individually labeled baguette, or gourmet seasonings to accompany the meal. Have farm fresh produce or herbs decorate the table and encourage guests to bring the decor home with them. Or go all the way and have the meal itself replace your decor. Family style dining with large platters of food to be shared is a great way to let the beauty of the food do all the talking. Truly exceptional dishes can absolutely compete with flowers for the focal point of the table and offer you a very valuable two-fer to save money!
Foodie Bouquets: A | B | C | D | E | F
Food as Decor: G | H | I | J | K | L
Family Style Dining: M | N | O | P | Q | R
Take Some with You: S | T | U | V
Bright and Alive: W | X | Y | Z | AA
I’ve given into the trend of Throwback Thursdays. I feel like I’ve covered so many really cool topics that will probably be lost forever in the archives for most readers if I don’t bring them back to the forefront. With the weather changing so quickly outside, I thought I would revisit a post that took me a LOT of work to compose previously (stealing from my neighbors, constructing a light box for photography, etc.). Fall Colors Re-imagined was a post that celebrated the diversity of floral ingredients available at this time of the year. We are not restricted to red/orange/brown weddings in the fall. Fall wedding can be very colorful indeed. Just check out what I found around my neighborhood:
“You’re so beautiful, it hurts to look at you.” – Angela Chase, “My So Called Life” (Totally feeling old right now but it’s so true!) I am lucky to have so many great photographers submit to ACC, but occasionally one really suits my personal style in particular. This Stanley Hotel wedding really stood out to me immediately because the images bowled me over in a huge way. Beautiful light, loving couple, and reflective surfaces equals professional photographer goldmine! These are among the very best bridal “getting ready” images I’ve seen. Plus, normally I choose black and white images over color to bring out the detail and interest in shots. With this wedding, the golden glow of everything won me over again and again. The use of light and contrast makes the color images just as compelling as their B&W counterparts. And James Moro, the photographer, didn’t even have the convenience of outdoor shots to fall back on. Working with light indoors with this much success is a sign of a great artist who knows what they are doing. Seriously, just look at that first image below where Natalie’s face is glowing, her dress is streaming light, and the rest of the frame is darkened. *Swoon* But enough about how gorgeous the film from this wedding is because the couple is also cute as all get-out. Their expressions as they look at each other are so charming and their love story is so honest. The couple hit it off on date number one. They waited for each other for months and covered many miles for date number two:
Aaron and I met at a bar in Boulder right before I left town for eight weeks to train at various ballet companies in 2010. We talked on the phone just about every day that summer. Towards the end of the summer while I was in San Diego, Aaron drove out to California to spend the weekend with me so our second date ended up being there. Aaron proposed on Christmas (2012) morning on my parent’s front porch where I grew up. He said that I had so many memories there so he just wanted to add one more. – Natalie
- The animal topiaries, made by the bride and her family/friends, were a subtle nod to “The Shining”. The Stanley Hotel where they were married was the inspiration for the book when Steven King was living in the Boulder area. But these topiaries are beautiful and I wouldn’t mind them coming to life. I’d like to pet them in fact.
- Also at the reception were pictures of Natalie and Aaron in their respective bathtubs as kids. What fun!
- A glamorous red carpet led the couple and their party to the altar.
- Natalie’s mother made her dress and her grandmother made her jewelry. (This fact seriously made me breathless upon reading it. That dress is incredible, detailed, and unique. Way to go mama!)
- Perhaps why this wedding feels so fresh, the bride admits to not hanging out on Pinterest. (Atta Girl!) “But I practically lived in Bridal magazines. My mom is excited to finally throw the stack away,” said Natalie.
- “I feel like grand entrances are usually awkward with the bridal party acting goofy and dancing while everyone else just stares at them. So for our grand entrance we had the DJ (Matt Kays) get everyone up and dancing with us on the dance floor. It was a lot more fun to include everyone and made the reception have a really great party atmosphere,” recalls Natalie.
The Best Part:
Venue and Catering: The Stanley Hotel | Photography: James Moro Photography | Bridal Gown: Bride’s Mother | Jewelry: Bride’s Grandmother | Hair and Makeup: Bella Capelli Hair Studio | Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal | Groom(smen) Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Rings: Gusterman’s Silversmiths | Cake: Colorado Rose Cake Company | Floral Design: Floral Design of Europe | DJ: Mountain Event Services | Rentals: Front Range Event Rental | Officiant: Derek Brouwer
I don’t know if I can pick a favorite part of the wedding. I was pleasantly surprised with how the décor turned out – especially the flowers and the cake. It was totally worth spending an absurd amount of money for those gorgeous flowers. I liked how the wedding turned out to be super fun with everyone on the dance floor. I also really liked our grand entrance. – Natalie