Friday, October 31, 2008

How to choose your Colorado wedding vendors: flowers, catering, cakes, planning, hair, make up and more!

For the past five years as a wedding planner in Colorado I have had the pleasure and honor of working with some of best and premier wedding vendors. So when it was my turn to get married this September I struggled with who use. We are so lucky here...there are many, many incredible options for brides. With so many choices how do you choose?

At Calluna Events we help YOU, our clients, with these decisions. By talking with you about your style, budget and priorities we help you select the vendors that best represent your needs. First we talk with you about you and your fiance's style and help to create an event that reflects you as a couple. We love to help imprint your signature into your wedding day and weekend. From your vows, favors, food, music and decor we help you tie in little pieces to make your wedding completely unique and special. Second we talk with you about your budget and your priorities. What do you have to spend, where is it coming from and what are your priorities. For example, if you really want a band we might want to move a little money in the budget around to accommodate live music. Are you foodies and like great wine but don't really care about flowers? More money for food, less for flowers and decor. Are amazing, photojournalistic photos a must?! Taking all of these considerations in mind we put together a custom list of vendors we feel match your style, budget and priorities.

For my wedding in September, my husband and I had a modest budget to work with. The venue and setting was very important to us. Ensuring that our guests had a good time and were comfortable was a necessity. We also wanted it to really reflect us and our personalities. Great food that was presented well, a full bar and pairing wines with our food were all priorities. Amazing photos that last a lifetime were a must! Live music, favors, and a large wedding were not so important.

All of the photographs below are from our amazingly talented photographer Regina Mountjoy from Recherche Photography. We LOVE our photos! Regina did an amazing job of capturing the love that was all around us!

Barry Jones from Design Works created floating candle installations in the pond, put up festival lighting to creating a warm glow and lined paths with luminaria.

Our menu was created by us with Catering by Design. It featured four courses (salad, pasta, fish and beef) paired with wines. Our menus, programs, table name cards and other printed materials were designed and printed by The Envelope Please in Boulder.

Scott Beach, Colorado Bagpiper played at the end of our ceremony to honor my Scottish heritage.

It actually rained a little bit during our ceremony, and during dinner and dancing. We were prepared with umbrellas for all of our guests.

Along with Pellegrino's and water, we offered our guests orange & green virgin and vodka infused IZZE's as they arrived for our ceremony. We tied our colors in by serving them with orange & green straws. A Boulder company, IZZE is a great addition to any wedding or event.

Alli Bozeman of Bird Dog Press and Handmaiden helped us create our entire line of custom wedding stationery: from save the dates, to our invitations and escort cards.

My dress came from The Bridal Collection in Colorado.

The infamous Andy Mendoza style my hair and make me runway ready! Andy is fabulous at what he does...make you look beautiful!
My dear friend and owner of The Face Lab, Jessica Shinyeda did my make up. Jess is such an amazing presence to have around when you are getting ready. She is so calm and sweet. I love referring her to my brides for their big day.

Our banana cake with chocolate ganache and espresso buttercream came from Tee & Cakes/Haute Cakes. We custom designed the cake to match our colors and modern style. Kim Boos is such a joy to work with and I'm addicted to her creations!

Our guest book was custom designed by Alli and Bird Dog Press. It is a bound book made up of envelopes in various colors and sizes. Our guests could make a wish on a penny and throw it into the pond near the ceremony site and then write their wish down for us.

Our colors were orange and bright green and we wanted a simple, clean, monochromatic look with the flowers. European Flower Shop in Boulder help to create our vision with our flowers. We named our tables after places we had travelled together and featured photos and descriptions of our travels.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The benefits of a wedding planner.

We are back from Italy! What an amazing country. We had a fabulous time but now I'm back to reality and wedding planning!

In this months issue of Martha Stewart Weddings there is a wonderfully enlightening article on the benefits of having a wedding planner. I thought I'd share some excerpts from the article for your reading pleasure.

Meet the Planners by Lauren Lipton -Fall 2008 Martha Stewart Weddings

Counselor, coordinator, cohort - a wedding consultant plays MULTIPLE ROLES so you can CONCENTRATE on one: that of happy bride. But do you really need the extra help?

There was a time when wedding planners were an extravagance reserved for the mega-rich and famous, and most brides (along with their mothers) accepted the reality that they would have to shoulder every task themselves. These days, hiring a coordinator is, if not commonplace, increasingly popular. Why? Women are marrying later in life, often have jobs that don't leave them a lot of free time, and may well be trying to plan their event from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Having a cool-headed, organized professional around to take on some of the burden is still a luxury, but many brides feel that the payoff - less time focused on the little details, more time focused on the big day - is priceless.

What will a good planner do for you? He or she will suggest vendors and negotiate with them for the best price and service; take care of the responsibilities you'd prefer not to tackle; be there the day of the event to make sure everything runs smoothly; and serve occasionally as an impromptu therapist when mounting wedding stress turns you into a crazed, tulle-obsessed mess. Many of the best planners even have backgrounds in areas such as catering or floral design and will work with you to come up with color schemes and decor elements to make your day as unique as you are.

Check out the rest of the article in the current issue of Martha Stewart Weddings.