Bride: Allison, 32 – Organizational Development Practitioner and Wellness Consultant | Groom: Doug, 30, Web Developer
Date: October 11, 2015 | Location: Boettcher Mansion, Golden
As you are planning your wedding, so many people will tell you that, “The ceremony lasts for about 10 minutes tops and it’s not that big of a deal.” Well I beg to differ. While that is certainly the case for a great number of weddings, it is my personal belief that you should stretch that part of your day as much as possible (within reason…I’m looking at you Catholics). After all, it is the most meaningful portion of your wedding day. Without the actual wedding, it would just be a bizarrely elaborate dinner party. So it makes me happy to see couples like Allison and Doug. Their beautiful Boettcher Mansion wedding was loaded with meaningful touches and ceremonies. And while it may at first seem like a lot of additions, it’s brilliant the way they come together. I particularly like that the rocks from the stone blessing ceremony are literally the foundation for the plant that was sowed by their families as it now resides in their home. Using elements from your wedding in your home saves money, saves the environment, and makes everyday items have wonderful meaning. Congratulations to the happy couple! (And I hope for symbolism sake that you have green thumbs!)
Doug and Allison met in the middle of the country. Literally. Doug moved to Colorado from California to make a fresh start. Allison moved to Colorado from Chicago to attend grad school. Once Doug & Allison were both in the same state, never knowing that the other existed, a mutual friend set them up. That first, blind date turned into many, many dates that involved dancing, sports activities, and conversations about a life together. Nine months later, on New Year’s Eve, after an evening of country line dancing, Doug proposed over rose pedals and candle light. He said, ‘I want to live life with you,’ and both Allison and Doug knew that’s what it was all about; finding your person to live life with, dance with, and love. – Doug and Allison (via their questionnaire)
- The couple had a lengthy and meaningful ceremony. Allison and Doug explained, “Our main focus was on honoring the family and community of people attending and the words that Doug & I were exchanging. Our ceremony consisted of live musicians, who were the bride’s sister and friends. We had a section for Community Stones, where each person in attendance set an intention into a pebble and then place in a glass bowl. We honored our parents with a small speech to thank both sets and then asked them to read The Art of Marriage poem by Wilfred Arlan Peterson. As the act of unity, we had a unity plant with 3 jars of dirt — 1 from the Groom’s parents, 1 from the Bride’s parents, and 1 from our own garden. Each family poured dirt onto the plant. The plant now sits on top of the bowl of pebbles from our community.”
- Instead of table numbers, they used photos of themselves doing various activities and designated seat assignments by task. The frames were re-purposed after the wedding to hold photos in their home.
- Favors for the crowd were magnets emblazoned with gestures like, “Yay Colorado!” They performed double duty by holding the seating cards.
- Whenever possible, they chose items that could be reused, recylced, or composted.
- Something Old: Great-grandmother’s handkerchief | Something New: Necklace gifted to her by her mother | Something Borrowed and Blue: Grandmother’s bracelet
The Best Part:
Our FIRST DANCE! We had a 5 min choreographed dance, choreographed by the bride, that included everything from salsa, tango, a lift, to the robot and just plain silliness. Aside from seeing my husband with so much love and tears in his eyes during the whole ceremony, dancing side by side with him was the greatest moment of pride and fun! – Allison
- Pre-Ceremony Music: “When You Say Nothing at All” – Allison Krausse (Performed by a live vocalist and guitar)
- Pre-Ceremony Music: “Amazing Grace” (Performed by a live vocalist and violin)
- Processional: “Hoppipolla” – Sigur Ros
- Groom and Bride Processional: “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran (Piano/Violin cover by Daniel Jang)
- Community Stones Ceremony: “Travelin’ Thru” – Dolly Parton
- Family Speech: “Be Thou My Vision” (Live vocalist and violin)
- Recessional: “Say Hey, I Love You” – Michael Franti & Spearhead
- First Dance: Mashup of “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran and “Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon
Venue: Boettcher Mansion | Photography: Katie Keighin Photography | Event Planner: Purple Summer Events | Bridal Gown: d’Anelli Bridal | Shoes: Modcloth | Peacock Feather Hairpiece: Kiahely Kreations | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Rings: Gusterman’s Silversmiths | Catering: Relish Catering | Rentals: Colorado Party Rentals | DJ: Quality Mobile Sound | Floral Design: The Perfect Petal (Altar Arrangement Only) | Videographer: Crystalline Photography and Multimedia
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!
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 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
- 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
Please enjoy their wedding movie highlights by K Hodge Films: