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Styled Shoot: Vintage Tea Party Wedding in Cheesman Park

By Season Hurd | | Comment

Bride with a vintage hat on a red settee, Ashley Kidder Photography, Patina Preferred

All photos by Ashley Kidder

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I was trying to open a vintage rental business (and failed to do so). Why am I telling you this? Because I adore vintage goodies. So much so that I was trying to start a business to conceal my collecting habits. And as soon as I saw the antique sewing machine in this shoot with the Sphinx…well…I was hooked. (And on eBay looking to score my own because I’m also an Egyptian lover from way back.) There is great fun in making the old feel new again. I think that’s what I like about this shoot. The entire setup is awash in vintage decor and nods to Victorian textiles but it isn’t gaudy or matronly. Mismatched china and table linens bring in tons of contemporary color and flair. Rustic elements like the unclothed table bring the feminine down a notch while the modern bride with a striking pink hat adds the pageantry expected of a formal tea. Lush floral arrangements echo the patterned fabrics. Touches of black and wine color on the dessert table are nice a punctuation to the pastel. But my second favorite part of this shoot was the use of edible lace on the cake and cookies. If you want to give yourself a treat, find a video of this technique and be amazed. Victorian ladies would be belly up on their fainting couches if they saw this witchery! For more on the inspiration, lets hear from the shoot’s coordinators:

For this tea party in the park shoot, I wanted to have a light, airy backdrop with an overall timeless feel. Cheesman Park’s pavilion has fabulous Victorian architecture enhancing the romantic vintage-chic touches. I was inspired by how lovely mismatched vintage floral china can come together to create a cohesive and feminine look. The details were as equally light, feminine, and pretty in their pastel color palette. Most importantly, I wanted to create an atmosphere of contagious happiness and elegance. – Laurie Kirkley, Patina Preferred Vintage Rentals

I got my inspiration from Laurie’s vintage tea cups. After seeing the inspiration board created by Laurie I saw she was going for a very vintage yet feminine look. Her beautiful set of vintage tea cups inspired me to use bold blooms with a lot of greenery. I chose a cascade bouquet because that is a very vintage and classic and popular style of bridal bouquet used many years ago. It is slowly coming back in style. Flower recipe: Dahlias, white spray roses, garden roses, greenery and tulips. – Sarah Johns, Something Styled Events and Floral Design

When Laurie approached me to photograph this vintage tea party styled shoot, I couldn’t help but say yes! Her rentals collection is bursting at the seams with character, flair and variety. The combination of her rentals, Pink Paisley Events’ pastel floral design, our gorgeous model in the dress she wore to her summer wedding (Hayley Paige’s Londyn gown), the flawless calligraphy from Whimsy Design Studio, the custom linens from Pear Tree Rentals, the cute-as-a-button desserts from Langilicious Fine Pastries, and timeless hair + makeup from Kim J Beauty was absolutely perfect. The end result was superbly cohesive and I love the looks we created for spring brides. – Ashley Kidder, Photographer


Photographer:  Ashley Kidder, Wedding Photographer | Design and Vintage Rentals: Patina Preferred | Bridal Gown:  Anna Bé | Hair and Makeup: Kim J Beauty | Desserts: Langilicious Fine Pastries  | Rentals: Pear Tree Rentals | Floral Design: Something Styled Events and Floral Design | Stationery: Whimsy Design Studio


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Real Colorado Wedding: Lesley and JD | Four Seasons Denver Wedding

By Season Hurd | | Comment

Lesley and JD, Preston Utley, Colorado wedding

All photos by Preston Utley

Bride: Lesley, 30

Groom: John David (JD), 37

Date: August 15, 2014

Location: Four Seasons, Denver

Lesley and JD’s Four Seasons Denver wedding is pure beauty. I love the way that photographs can tell a story. In this case, you can see the weather related stress in the early photos and the relief they feel when the sun comes out. The light washes away their anxiety and leaves them looking excited and renewed. It is that same beautiful photography that makes this post’s album a tad longer than usual. The images I received from Preston Utley are so complex in their composition that reducing their size for collages simply made it too difficult to appreciate all that was going on in the shots. Take time to drink them in. The contemporary setting of this wedding, in addition to the wet surfaces of the once rainy day, provided a ton of opportunities for him to utilize reflective surfaces for magical images. In so doing, you see multiple angles of the same subjects all at once. Like he created a collage for me right in the camera. Their tender moments as a couple are among my favorites here on the blog. And I’m pretty sure the shot of Lesley from behind as she looks out the window is a dress-makers dream come true (holy perfect figure Batman).

And that’s just the stills! The movie at end of the post by K Hodge Films adds an even greater element of understanding to this day. You can see the twinkling of the lights that are such an elemental part of the reception. You gain much insight into what their reception felt like to their guests. I love all of their somewhat awkward and therefore very real moments. These kids have major class but still seem down to earth. What a wonderful day! Congratulations Lesley and JD!

Their Story:

JD and I met where we grew up, in Colorado Springs, CO. The only difference was when we met, we never thought we would date. JD was in high school and on the soccer team with my brother, meanwhile I was still in elementary school. But as fate would have it, we later connected in our adult years while living in Boulder, CO. After years of close friendship, we finally crossed the friends line in May 2009, almost a year after I moved back to Colorado.

After 4 years of dating, JD got the courage to ask my dad for his blessing. Little did my dad or I know, it would take him almost 6 months from then to pop the question. That must have been one hard secret to keep! The summer of our 4 year anniversary we took a European vacation where we visited Paris and Tuscany, Italy.  I always plan our trips since that’s my personality; but this time I told JD I was going to plan Paris since I’ve been there before, and he was going to handle Italy, since he had traveled there before. Plus his older sister Kim used to live there and still had connections. JD took his task to the next level and all I was told is “my sister can hook you up with half off at the Prada outlet and a free place for us to stay in Arezzo”; and that’s all I needed to hear! JD and his sister ended up planning a romantic dinner for us at her friend’s restaurant in Arezzo, where JD proposed over champagne while sitting in the piazza. – Lesley

The Details:

  • The day had a Tuscan vibe with a bright white, minimal feel. The food stayed in the same theme with made to order pastas, pizza, charcuterie, cheese, and tiramisu cake layers.
  • Instead of doing a formal, sit-down affair, they chose to keep things feeling like a cocktail party with lounge areas and high top tables.
  • Tables featured pre-selected “Table Topic” cards to get the guests mingling.
  • JD and I have both lost special loved ones in our lives so we lit 2 red tea candles on the guest book table. The red was to mimic the tea candles we lit together at Sacre Coeur the day after we got engaged.  I was later told by a medium that the spirits knew what the candles represented (we did not place signage for others to know the meaning).” – Lesley
  • The guest book was comprised of little notes of advice given to the couple that they could include in their wedding scrap book.
  • The song Lesley chose to surprise her dad with for the father/daughter dance is a special song for them. In fact, he told the flower girls that on the way down to the wedding as he played it in the car! What a fun surprise!
  • Something Old: Pink pearl bracelet | Something New: Dress and accessories | Something Borrowed: Yellow diamond drop earrings were borrowed from her “Bonus Mom” | Something Blue: Shoes

The Best Part:

Seeing JD for the first time and watching the surprised look on his face as he said, ‘You look so beautiful, can I touch you?’ (Wanting to go in for a hug.) My second favorite part and probably an equal first, was the time spent with my dad. He had great childhood memories and words of wisdom to share that he continued to speak as he walked me down the aisle. It brought tears to my eyes and I could barely hold it together when he placed my hand in JD’s to give me away. – Lesley

The Soundtrack:

  • Recessional: “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers (rewritten for guital and cello)
  • First Dance: “Is This Love” – Bob Marley, Covered by Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Father/Daughter Dance: “Groovin'” – Young Rascals


If you still want more, their event planners, Calluna Events, did a great job of covering their engagement session and wedding with posts on their blog. They include some images that I didn’t receive from the photographer but totally love – double rainbow all the way!! 


Venue: Four Seasons Denver | Event Planner: Calluna Events | Photographer: Preston Utley | Videography: K Hodge Films | Bridal Gown: Annais Bridal via Emma & Grace | Veil, Garter, Belt: Mayra (custom) at Emma & Grace | Shoes: Kate Spade | Crystal Hairpiece: Chrysanth | Hair and Makeup: Alchemy Mineral Blends | Bridesmaid Dresses: Lulakate via Bella Bridesmaids | Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen Attire: Black by Vera Wang via Men’s Wearhouse | Rings: Creative Gold | Floral Design and Rentals: The Perfect Petal | Lighting: LMD Productions | Musicians: Columbine Entertainment


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Please enjoy their wedding movie highlights by K Hodge Films:

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