Friday, March 30, 2012

Questions to Ask Your Wedding Cake Bakery

A wedding cake is an important icon in your day. And boy oh boy, there are lots of mouth watering flavors, options, and styles to choose from! Don't be intimidated though, we have equipped you with the questions to ask your wedding cake bakery.

1. Bakeries are only able to fill a certain number of orders per weekend, so make sure and ask about dates and if they are available.
2. What flavors and fillings are available?
3. How far in advance do I need to place the cake order? How much is the deposit?
4. Ask if the bakers are available for a cake consultation. 
5. Ask about how the bakery prices the cakes. Pricing can be based on sizes, flavors, per slice and design.
6. When is the full balance due?
7. How will the cake get to the reception site? and is there an extra charge for delivery?
8. Talk about the tradition of saving the top tier, and how they approach this.
9. Ask if the baker is supplying the cake stand, cake knife and server and if there are extra charges for these items.
10. Some brides prefer alternative and additional options like cupcakes. Ask your baker if they offer these services.
10. Also ask about the reputation of the bakery. Ask how long they have been in business, how many weddings they have done, and even references if needed! 

In case you are cake-clueless, here are some key words that you should know before you meet your baker!
Buttercream is a delicious butter based (surprised?) frosting. It is sweet and rich and has a silky texture! But since it is made of butter, it has a tendency to melt in extreme heat so it is not recommended for outdoor summer weddings.
Fondant depending on the type of fondant, it can be rolled and draped over a cake or poured over a cake as a liquid. Fondant gives a cake a smooth, professional appearance, and keeps the cake moist longer. 
Ganache is an incredibly rich heavy chocolate icing that can be poured over cake or used as a filling. 
Marzipan is an almond and sugar paste used to ice cakes and can be sculpted into a variety of shapes for decorations. They are typically brightly colored and very sugary.
Piping is a technique used to create intricate patterns and shapes with buttercream icing from a pastry bag. 

Much love,
Lauren :: Calluna Events Planner
Colorado Wedding Planner

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Questions to Ask Your Potential Wedding Venue

I recently went through the process of finding a location for a friend's wedding with her. We evaluated about 8 different locations and after we finished, I looked into compiling a list of questions to ask when evaluating a wedding venue. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Here are some to start with!

1. First, if you have a specific date in mind, make sure you ask if it is available before you let yourself fall in love with the venue!
2. Work on an approximate guest list-head count, and then make sure the venue can accommodate that many people.
3. Ask what the rental fee is for the day and make sure to ask what all is included in the price.
4. Sometimes venues will charge less for an "off" day like a Sunday or Friday, ask about pricing for those days.
5. When you ask about budget and pricing, ask about deposits. Ask when it is due, if it is refundable, etc.
6. In this same conversation, you should ask if there is a cancellation policy. (Make sure to read the fine print! look for any hidden charges or overtime charges)
7. How long will I have use of the event space? (This is also part of #16, think about how long it will take you to set up and how late in the evening you want to enjoy your guests)

Now, the dreaming takes place…
8. Think about your theme. Does this venue best represent your theme or will it take a lot of energy to transform it into what you want?
9. Ask about catering. Does the venue have an in-house caterer or a list of “preferred” caterers, or do you need to provide my own? Even if there is an in-house caterer, do you have the option of using an outside caterer instead? And make sure if you are using your own caterer, that you ask about the kitchen facilities on the property so that you can report back to the caterer you seek out.
10. Cake is another question to ask about right about now! Ask if there are any stipulations regarding cake. Ask if there is a cake cutting fee.
11. Ask if there are spaces where cocktail hours and mingling areas are available.
12. While you are on the topic of cocktail hour, ask about alcohol. Does the venue have an alcohol license? Can you bring your own wine, beer or champagne and is there a corking fee? Ask about staffing charges for bartenders and if there is an alcohol minimum for the alcohol service.
13. Ask about rentals for the space. Typically venues will have tables, chairs, etc. on hand but may be at an extra charge.
14. Talk about the band! Depending on which type of music you are entertaining your guests with, you will need to know if there is proper space and a sound system for the band. Look at the outlets in the event space to make sure the band will be able to set up. Also ask about restrictions on what kind of music you can play.
15. Talk to your venue about decorations. Ask if there are limitations on decor or candles, and then ask how long you will have the day of to set up. 
(For most of the above questions you should keep in mind to ask "Can I hire my own vendors (caterer, coordinator, DJ, etc.), or must I select from a preferred vendor list? If I can bring my own, do you have a list of recommended vendors?")

Now think about your guests and their comfort…
16. Are there elderly or disabled guests that will be attending and do they have accessibility for those guests?
17. Will there be a coat check room? Is there a cost for a coat check attendant?
18. Ask about parking and services, are there enough parking spaces for all of your guests? Is it complimentary? Is there an option for valet? And what are the charges? (Have the venue keep track of the number of cars that are parked so you can tip appropriately)
19. Ask about restrooms and make sure you should have approximately 10 restrooms for every 100 people.

Happy venue hunting!

Much love,
Lauren :: Calluna Events Planner
Colorado Wedding Planner

Friday, March 23, 2012

What's your favorite wedding color combination?

What are your wedding colors? Do you feel like you are asked that from the moment you are engaged. Some brides know right away which hues to choose as their wedding colors and others need a little inspiration. Some color combinations seem to stand the test of time and yet others are new and trendy. 

We recently asked the Calluna Events team what their favorite wedding wedding color combinations are. 

Lauren ::  I will start off by saying that I am a color enthusiast. I don't know how else to put it. Coming from a background in graphic design, my whole world is color and how colors combine and work together. My office shelves are lined with books about color palates and with Pantone color books for printing. Despite living in a constant state of color, my current (I emphasize this because it may change in a week) favorite color combination has got to be mint and peach. I do typically lean towards muted and neutral palates with pops of color, but the peach & coral family paired with the turquoise & minty family is perfection in my opinion.

Gabbie :: I love yellow + gray or green + orange and pink + orange!

Spice :: I love any color paired with mustard! It's incredible with satin white, silk white, cotton white, creamy white (every white but probably not champagne), formal black, farm blues, urban grays (my favorite), jewel tones, outdoor settings, winter settings... It makes eyes pop, it makes hair color look rich and healthy and it warms every skin tone.  I love to see it in wraps, shoes, crinolines, jewelry, ribbons, hatbands, socks, ties... everywhere. It's an an amazing statement color for a MOH to stand apart from the rest of the bridesmaids. A rich mustard used as an accent color makes my jaw drop every time.

Kayla ::  I am really enjoying the colors that are popping up in weddings this year.  The mix of soft, romantic colors with bold, bright colors is great, and my favorite combination for right now is mint green and soft gray with pops of hot pink.  I like this palette because it can be sophisticated or rustic, and it is a good mix of feminine and masculine. 

Heather :: I gravitate toward neutral palettes and love anything paired with grey. You'll find lots of grey in my closet and we just painted our house a combination of light and dark grey-brown.  Grey is so lovely and can be modern, sophisticated and also feminine and romantic at the same time. I love bridesmaids in different hued grey dresses...think slate, light grey and pewter. A combination of florals or accents in light pinks and blushes would be romantic and feminine while the combination of fuchsia or cantaloupe would be modern and sophisticated. Grey is such as versatile color and can be paired with anything or simply used as an accent color with a stronger color combination such as kelly green and off white. Grey could be subtle in hints of an accent in berries, pods or succulents.

Much love
Calluna Events
Colorado Wedding Planner + Stylist

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tara + Pieter :: Jason + Gina Photographers engagement shoot

engagement session

 Tara and Pieter are getting married in Boulder in October and spent time recently with Jason and Gina of Jason + Gina Wedding Photographers to capture their love! We are truly excited to be planning Tara + Pieter's wedding and have enjoyed working with them these past few months. They are actually living in South Africa, where Pieter is from and where the two met on a safari Tara attended with her family. Pieter was their guide!  

They spent the entire month of February here in full swing wedding planning mode. In fact, we literally planned their wedding in one month. Now all we have to do is sit back, relax and wait for October to come! Well almost!

Much love,
Calluna Events 
Colorado Wedding Planner

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spa at St. Julien is the place for your bachelorette party, shower or wedding event!

The Spa at St Julien is your ticket to rest and rejuvenation. Their 12 luxurious treatment rooms and full-service salon will accommodate your group and make your occasion a success. Book your special event and receive customized packages and discounts!


:: 10% off services
:: Discounted food & beverage packages
:: All-day access to sauna, steam room, pool, hot tub & fitness center



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Questions to ask your wedding photographer

Choosing that one special person to capture every emotion and detail of your day…sounds daunting. You've put so much time and energy into planning, and you want to make sure every moment will be captured. In order to find that perfect fit, you'll need to do a little homework. Let's start with the basics.

1. Do you have my date available?
2. How far in advance do I need to book with you?

Keep in mind:  If you really love a photographer see when they are open before settling on a date. Think about the month you want to have your wedding in, don't focus on the actual date. A lot of photographers can be booked 6 months-1 year out.

Make sure to look through plenty of wedding photographers websites and find the style that fits you as a couple. As you look through their photos, notice if the photographers were able to capture the emotion of the day, the details, and stylistically, if their look matches your style. Photographers can be traditional, photojournalistic, creative, shoot with film, etc. so it is important to understand the differences between wedding photography styles so that you can discuss your preferences with your photographer.

To break down the styles a little bit:

Traditional, classic wedding photography generally includes posed photos that would look great in a photo album. Typically traditional photographers work from a "shot list" and are more focused on formality than creativity. I myself lean towards the non-traditional photography and have included some examples of non-traditional wedding photography below.

Photojournalistic wedding photography is a "reality based" approach to capturing a wedding. Rather than posing for pictures, the photographer captures candid moments as they unfold. It is incredibly popular and for good reason! Photojournalistic wedding photography tells a unique story about your wedding, from the nervous anticipation before the start of the ceremony to the reception's last toast. Photojournalism captures moments rather than poses, documenting the emotions and energy around the entire occasion.

Illustrative photography is typically used for engagement photos and captures the couple in a particular environment and works to tell a story using a mix of candid and relaxed, posed shots.

There are also photographers who specialize in editorial or fashion photography who are able to create striking dramatic photos and photographers who are able to use natural light, which takes a great amount of skill.

Since I have worked in Nashville for the last couple years, here are some examples of different styles of photography specifically in the Nashville area.


This is a great example of photojournalistic style of wedding photography.  The Ulmers  are an incredibly creative indie couple who are photojournalistic wedding photographers. They capture light and emotion in an incredible way and who also use vintage film cameras.

ILLUSTRATIVE : This particular shot is a good example though of slightly illustrative photography by The Ulmers using a pre-determined location and suggested interaction with each other. (Same couple as the wedding above)

The incredible duo at Q Avenue Photo are also a great example of photographers who are typically photojournalistic photographers that use illustrative style in this engagement shoot.

 FILM : Jamie Clayton  featured here on Ruffled  this wedding was shot entirely with film, and at the hands of Jamie Clayton, turned out magically.

Style Me Pretty's Vendor Guide is a great resource for photographers and other vendors in your area.

Now that you understand a little bit about the styles of photography, get to know the photographer; ask questions about how they work, if they blend into the crowd, want to build a relationship with you to fully understand you as a couple, if they create a more visible day of preference and take charge to choreograph the shot.

Also note that many wedding photographers are willing to travel so don't feel confined to your city!

Then, once you feel like you have found the perfect match, work out the nitty gritty:

1. Ask if they are going to be present on your wedding day or if they will have assistants or "second shooters" on the day of.
2. If the photographer is traveling to the location, talk about travel fees.
3. Ask the photographer if they have ever shot at the site you are planning on getting married at. If not, ask if you can do a site visit with your photographer before the big day.
4. Talk about timing for the day of and ask the photographer how much time they need to get the photos they need. Also ask what time they will arrive on site and how long they will stay.
5. Ask about additional charges including "if my wedding lasts longer than expected, will you stay? And are there additional charges?"
6. Talk about pricing and packages and if their pricing includes engagement photos.
7. Talk about the ordering process, if they offer album designs, retouching, color adjustments, and proofs.
8. Ask about written contracts, deposits, payment, and cancellation policies.

Ultimately, the goal should be to find a photographer who wants to get to know you and capture the unique details of your day. Many photographers truly value getting to know you as a couple. 

Much Love,
Lauren :: Calluna Events Planner
Colorado Wedding Planner

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Love Notes:: Calluna praise from a past bride!

Today we received a lovely note from one of our past brides.  It made my day, my month even. Words such as this from a bride makes our job so fulfilling!  Knowing we made their wedding the best day of their life is everything we could ask for and more. 

"Working with Heather was by far the best decision I made with regards to planning my wedding. She spent a great deal of time communicating with me, answering all of my questions in a timely manner, with just the right amount of detail and in a positive way. In doing this she created a bond with me that was built upon honesty, trust and mutual respect. This made the process a positive experience. 

Calluna Events is top-notch. The planners are professional, kind, knowledgeable and completely willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. Hiring Calluna was hands down the best decision I made during my entire wedding planning process. I'd recommend Calluna Events to other bride's to be with no hesitation. 

I cannot say enough good things about my experience with Calluna Events. My wedding was by far the most special day of my life and Heather is responsible in large part for that! I'm forever grateful to her!"  ~ Brooke Allison

And here's a sneak peak at images from Brooke + Jeff's winter wedding in Denver at Trinity Methodist Church and Brown Palace Hotel. More to come soon! Thanks to the lovely Katie Thurmes from Jenna Walker Photographers for documenting their day so beautifully!

Much love, 

Calluna Events
Colorado Wedding Planner

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wedding Stylist joins Calluna Events team!

We'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the Calluna Events team!  Lauren Ledbetter, is a Wedding Stylist and Designer/Art Director from Nashville with a background in graphic design, an obsession with print, paper and letterpress, and an infatuation with entertaining. Though her background is in graphic design, Lauren became enamored with styling for weddings and events while in Nashville. There her work there often took the shape of planning, designing and implementing weddings, photo shoots for editorials, personal shopping or creating a unique feel in a personal or public space. Lauren will be joining Calluna Events to provide wedding planning and/or wedding styling services for our brides!

“I truly believe that the most profound and memorable moments of our lives occur when friends and loved ones come together for life’s celebrations” says Lauren.  She is blessed to be able to make her living perfecting aesthetic details for memorable events and occasions that bring people together. Though she is originally from the Pacific Northwest, Lauren says, "the Southern culture is ingrained deep in my work and planning, as the relationships and emphasis on community and connection are the most important part of my job." Bringing a mix of West Coast and Southern culture, "I am thrilled to bring the mix of both worlds to the wedding industry in Colorado."

Lauren put together a mini-inspiration board of some of her favorite Southern wedding details.

From right to left: Source unknown, Ritzy Bee, Mr. Boddington, Jasmine Star, Tec Petaja, Source unknown, Rtizy Bee, Southern Weddings, Southern Weddings.

Lauren has "gotten her feet wet" in literally every facet of design she could get her hands on in Nashville from music video styling, musician personal styling for appearances and shows, branding for large companies, styling for events, album artwork and art direction, working with photographers to style photo shoots for artists and engagements, and styling weddings at at Historic Cedarwood, a wedding venue at a pre-Civil War 1830's antebellum farm estate with a historic home, vintage barn, rolling hills, and Mooncake Lake on acres and acres of natural spaces outside of Nashville.

Here is a sample inspiration board of some of her work:

Lauren's work has appeared on Style Me Pretty, Ruffled and Green Wedding Shoes. Take a look at Lauren's styling, Vintage Airstream Honeymoon just published this week on Green Wedding Shoes!
She is also loves people with enthusiasm, fireworks, J. Crew. Montana and wide open spaces, letterpress, coffee shops, fluffy peonies, America, summer nights and fireflies, Sunday family dinners, the feeling after a long run, handwritten letters, Friday Night Lights, belly laughs, family recipes & creating things.

We are thrilled to introduce our brides to Lauren and can't wait to infuse her Southern charm into our Colorado weddings!

Much love,
Calluna Events
Colorado Wedding Planner