HOW DID YOU MET
In May 2013, we met through a mutual friend who knew we’d be the perfect fit. Why? Because of our shared sense of humor, values (friends and family first, always) and our fun-loving spirits (love of Hip Hop and dirty martinis).
We both weren’t ready for commitment right then and there, but when we literally “ran” into each other in a coffee shop two years later, it was clear that we were better together than apart. It’s been love ever since.
YOUR ENGAGEMENT STORY
On December 15, 2016 we got engaged in magical Aspen, CO. Nate had a professional photographer set up to hide and take photos of us during the proposal. That plan backfired when the gondola we were supposed to take to our original engagement spot broke that morning. Nate had to devise a new plan with the photographer day of. To say he was stressed out that day would be an understatement.
We ended up getting engaged on this snow-covered hill that looked directly at Aspen mountain. Afterward we got champagne at one of the hotels in town that was all decked out for the holidays. It all turned out more perfect than I could have ever imagined.
WEDDING LOCATION/ VENUE
Nate and I both loved the charm and romance of the Colony Palms Hotel. Our favorite thing by far was that we would have the entire hotel for our wedding guests the weekend- making it a mini-getaway for our guests as well as us.
All 57 rooms of the Colony Palms Hotel were booked by our closest friends and family. It felt like a weekend oasis with the most special people in our lives. We hosted a welcome party Friday night at Birba which
was walking distance from the hotel. Guests made their way over to the Colony Palms for a nightcap after dinner. Saturday morning/afternoon turned into a private pool party for all our guests followed by the ceremony and reception. We wrapped it off Sunday with a farewell brunch with everyone. This was so much fun recapping the events of the night prior. It felt like summer camp meets boutique hotel living. Even those who didn’t know each other felt a sense of community by the end of the weekend.
THEME & STYLE
Timeless classic romance with a modern touch. I knew I wanted lots of whites and neutrals with heavy greenery. I love the look of mix and match vintage glassware and modern style menus and invitations. I wanted
everything to look clean, classic and elegant.
Chris & Ruth photography. They are a husband wife and extremely talented. We did our engagement photos with them in Spain and fell in love! They capture so much emotion and love in their photos- one of favorite things from our wedding!
THE DRESSDESIGNER | Monique Lhuillier
I had always loved Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s timeless look from her wedding day and wanted something similar. I wanted to feel like me on my wedding day. The second I tried it on it felt right. I knew it was the one.
Stuart Weitzman Block Heel Cream Sandal
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel their best and love their dresses. I knew I wanted them to wear white, but also wanted everyone to choose their own. Everyone has their unique style and I wanted that to be reflected. Since my dress was fairly simple, I wanted the bridesmaids dresses to have lots of texture, movement (lace, ruffles, layers, sleeves etc) in theirs. I loved the way they all worked together!
FLOWER GIRLS & PAGEBOY OUTFITS
My niece (flower girl) worse a linen ruffled white dress from Smallable. I purchased her petal basket on Etsy from this woman in Oregon who hand weaves each basket with greenery of your choice. I chose Olive & Rosemary.
Solitaire Diamond Engagement ring set on a thin diamond band. Nate had a gold wedding band and I had a thin diamond platinum wedding band made by my best friend Everett Fine Jewelry
JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES
A Small piece of both my mom and mother-in laws wedding dresses were sewn into my wedding dress. This was extremely special to me (Something Old). I wore a Cathedral Veil from Monique Lhuillier (Something New). My Moms Diamond Earrings (Something Borrowed) and small blue stitched was placed in my veil (Something blue)
Since the bridesmaids had a lot of variety in their dresses, I wanted the groomsmen to wear something more timeless and classic to play into theme. Since Nate’s Tux was navy with black lapel, I knew black suits for the groomsmen would tie right in.
HAIR & MAKEUP
Natural waves down. Minimal and Natural with golden and bronzed elements. It was very important to look like me
Alee + Press- Alee + Press made the invites but Urbanic Paper Boutique on Abbot Kinney were the creative who helped me design all the paper goods!
Drink and Dinner Menus, Place Cards, Escort Cards
DID YOU STICK WITH THE TRADITION OF FAVORS /BONBONNIERE
Since we rented out the entire hotel, guests received a welcome bag when they arrived. These were straw totes. The below were included
-Turkish Towels -Do Not Disturb custom door tag -Granola Bars -Sparkling Water -Custom Mints and Matches branded with our S+N logo
THE FLOWERS & BOUQUETS
We had an altar covered with flowy, loose greens and white blooms scattered throughout. We had long rectangular tables on the outskirts of the pool. We had a mixture of large and small floral arrangements scattered throughout with all different white and clear large and bud vases to give each of their tables their own character.
Bride’s bouquet: Large, organic, flowy bouquet with white blooms- ranunculus, lilac, spirea, astilbe + textured white floral Bridesmaids’ bouquets: Small bouquet with lots of white textured florals to tie into the bride’s Boutonnieres: Ranunculus and white textured florals
Leif + Jaci Films did our video. We wanted one that captured all of the emotion of the day along with the fun/party events. The first half of our video was slower and more emotional, then there was a song change and the video became more upbeat ending with us jumping in the pool
PREPARATION – COUNTDOWN BEGINS
My bridesmaids and I all got ready in the bridal suite. I had given them matching robes to wear. My maid of honor should start her on professional MOH service, seriously. I couldn’t have dreamt of someone more thoughtful, creative and helpful during the wedding process. During my bachelorette in Cabo, she had each of the girls attending bring something to contribute to the trip.
One of the contributions was a polaroid camera my friend Ali brought and documented all of the moments from the trip. On the wedding day, the girls surprised me with a photo album of all of the photos from the trip along with a written memory and note each had written down for me. As you can imagine it immediately made me burst into tears.
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCORColor scheme and/or theme
Neutrals with white and green florals that set the vibe for a simplistic, modern, romantic atmosphere.
We had an altar covered with flowy, loose greens and white blooms scattered throughout. We had vineyard chairs for the ceremony that each had a buri fan and satchel of rose petals on each seat to toss after the ceremony. We had a gold bar cart with greenery on it where servers passed out champagne prior to the ceremony (Our S+N logo napkins were on there as well).
We had long rectangular tables on the outskirts of the pool. We had a mixture of large and small floral arrangements scattered throughout with all different white and clear large and bud vases to give each of their tables their own character. We had letterpress menus from Alee & Press, vintage crystal champagne coupes, rose gold flatware, and La Tivola Sand Color Napkins. We had bistro lights surrounding the pool as well. We had a three tiered cake wrapped in olive and a ice cream cart covered in white blooms and greenery with our customized Ice Cream Push Pops.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST
Emilia McCool from Sweet Emilia Jane
Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Strawberries and Buttercream Frosting The cake was three tiered with olive leaves wrapped on it
We had a live String Trio During the Ceremony
Walking down the aisle - In My Place- Coldplay (Strings)Bride - Can't Help Falling In love- Elvis (Strings)Recessional - Viva La Vida - Coldplay First Dance - Baby I’m yours- Artic Monkeys (Played by a DJ)
We had a String Trio for our ceremony and a DJ (Dart Collective for our reception). We wanted a romantic feel for the ceremony and much more upbeat for the reception. We worked with Ian from Dart Collective who was amazing. Nate and I (and my mom) all love hip-hop so incorporating this was an absolute must. Nate and I personally curated the music playlist in collaboration with the DJ and played only songs we knew would be crowd pleasers.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FOOD & BEVERAGES
We knew before we picked our venue that we wanted a family style menu. I think family style is much more interactive and really gives people a chance to engage over dinner and allows for people to taste all the different types of food instead of being limited to one.
The absolute crowd favorite was the late-night Taco Bell catering we had as a surprise for all guests. I’ve never seen over 100 crunch wrap Supremes go so fast. This was actually my mom’s idea, she knows how obsessed me and my CU Boulder girls are with Taco Bell.
I also surprised Nate with custom ice cream push pops from Bluebird Creamery that had our S+N logo on them. Nate’s favorite food is ice cream. We had eight different types of ice cream push pops. It was definitely a crowd pleaser and made him so happy.
We had an open bar with any type of booze you wanted. We also had three signature cocktails. The Blushing Bride (champagne & crème de cassis), Groom's Gimlet (Vodka, cucumber,fresh lime juice), and the Just Married Margarita (blue agave tequila, agave syrup & fresh lime juice)
The most personal moment though was the vows. After walking down the aisle to String Trio, we exchanged our own handwritten vows, which we both heard for the first time. Not planned, we both ended our vows with “always and forever”—something that we say to each other daily and have engraved on our wedding bands made by best friend’s company Everett.
Chris & Ruth Photography, Also my makeup artist Mellody- she is incrdidble!
YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
Our favorite memory of the day was having almost all of our 160 guests jumping into the pool at midnight fully clothed in their dresses and suits. Nate and I lead the charge with our friends and family following. Dancing in the pool to Betty Who’s- I love you always forever (which tied into the Always & Forever in our vows and the inscriptions in our rings) with our friends and family splashing water and drinking pool water soaked cocktails was a memory Nate and I will cherish forever. The hotel told us that was the most amount of people they had ever had in that pool.
HONEYMOON TIME BABY!!!
Italy and Greece. Positano, Capri, Rome, Tuscant, Santorini and Mykonos. Positano was our absolute favorite. It’s the most romantic place we’ve ever been. Renting a private boat and cruising down the Almalfi coast is a memory Nate and I will never forgot.
ONE THING YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU STARTED YOUR WEDDING PLAN
I did enjoy the planning process and being involved in every single aspect. I made sure to set these expectations with my vendors so they knew to include me along the way. Pinterest and Intagram are both such amazing outlets that gave me all of my inspiration for the wedding. I found almost every single vendor there. I loved seeing my vision come true. It took a lot of time and effort so was really rewarding to see it unfold.
That being said, planning was also very stressful. Nate and I were engaged for almost 1.5 years which felt very long. It gives your brain a lot of time to wander and change your mind and go stir crazy. I was so excited after three months of being engaged that I wanted to get married then and there! I think a shorter engagement would have made the planning easier as I wouldn’t have changed my mind so much.
IF YOU COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES ONE PIECE OF ADVICE...
Don't sweat the small stuff and enjoy the day. Things will go wrong, but your guest’s vibe off you. As long as you are happy they will be happy. AKA be the first ones to jump in the pool!
Ceremony & Reception site - Colony Palms Hotel | Coordinator or planner – Full Service Planner- Emilia McCool | Officiant - Jason McMaster (Samantha’s Middle School Teacher) and Brian Francis (Samantha and Nate’s Cousin) | Bridal gown & Veil - Monique Lhuillier |
Olivia and Various (Shopbop) | Groom’s attire - St. Laurent | Groomsmen’s attire - The Black Tux | Florist - Shindig Chic | Invitations + Other forms of signage - Alee + Press and Urbanic Paper Botique Music Ceremony - Subito Strings Reception - Dart Collective
http://exquisitedesserts.com | Rentals/ Hire - Otis & Pearl (Vintage Stemware), Signature Rentals (Flatware, Tables and Chairs), La Tivola Linen (Napkins and Tablecloths)