For Texans Kathy + Jason, the mountains in Colorado are like a second home to them. While the couple opted to let the natural beauty of the mountains take center stage for their guests, the sophisticated look of the black and white details, coupled with the romance of pretty pink and white florals and unstructured greenery are absolutely divine! Mountainside Guide preferred vendors Erica Sarell Events did the planning and Wemala did hair and makeup. Mountain Wedding photographer Danielle DeFiore was there to capture every magnificent moment and detail.
Kathy + Jason
Copper Mountain, CO
September 6, 2015
Wedding day weather: Blue-bird sky, sunny and perfect
Number of guests: 88
Your budget: $30,000-35,000
Biggest splurge: Venue– we wanted the food and drinks to be delicious, plentiful and flowing
Biggest savings: Decor– we relied on the natural beauty of our surroundings
Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?
I grew up in Colorado Springs and moved to Houston after graduating college at Texas A&M University. Jason was born and raised in Houston, TX. We dated throughout college, so Jason would come visit me in Colorado 1-2 times per year during breaks and since graduating we go back to Colorado and the mountains 1-2 times per year. We have really good friends who live in Vail and Denver so it is like our second home. We love the mountains and knew it would be the perfect setting for our wedding and it means something special to both of us. Plus, mountains would look way better in pictures than Houston landscaping.
Wedding day theme:
I would say our theme was mountain chic-rustic. Sophisticated but had a casual elegance to where everyone was very comfortable and laid back and had a great time. I did not do a lot of decorating because I wanted the natural scenery to shine through. I focused on beautiful flowers and special details like our signage that my maid of honor designed with touches of mountain details like aspen logs for the place card holders and little antlers on the table for the table numbers and lots of candles.
Where did you find your inspiration?
I found inspiration mainly on Pinterest but I did find some good ideas in bridal magazines. What did we ever do before there was Pinterest? Our groomsmen gifts were monogrammed suspenders and was an image I saw in a magazine and fell in love. I had several different boards set up on Pinterest from hair and makeup ideas, dresses, wedding rings, invitation suites, songs, anything you could think of.
How did you choose to personalize your wedding?
My husband’s best friend led the ceremony and married us. It was very special to both of us because he had been there since the beginning of our relationship. Another great part about CO is that if you don’t have to have someone ordained marry you– you can self-solemnize. So we had my husband’s best friend lead the ceremony and take us through our vows and then he and my best friend were witnesses on our marriage license.
We also had a fun hashtag #iftheschuessfits that we put on cocktail napkins at the bar and signs. Instead of a normal guest book, I had an album made of our engagement pictures and asked everyone to sign it. It was a fun alternative to a guest book and now we can look back at our friend’s comments and remember how fun the night was! We tried to stay true to ourselves throughout the whole process and day instead of getting wrapped up in everything where it is so easy to get carried away.
I also personalized the songs for the ceremony and it was very contemporary and fun and meant something to us.
I walked down the aisle with my Dad to ” Best Day of My Life” by American Authors and our recessional was “Boom Clap” by Charli XCX. It was a fun switch from the classic instrumental music and was really unique.
What was your favorite part of the reception?
I can’t pick just one part! Our first dance was really special because it was to “Angel” by Jack Johnson. When we first started dating, that was the song that my husband used to sing to me so it was a really emotional and special moment to have him sing to me on our wedding day in front of our friends and family.
Another was the toasts from our best man and maid of honor. It was so neat to hear all of the stories and memories of our experiences together and just know that we had so much love and support.
Our best man also presented us with an old antique clock that was used by workers on the railroad to clock in. He set the time to the exact time he pronounced us man and wife. It is a really great keepsake and so thoughtful. And then of course, the dancing and party!
What are three things you’re super glad you did?
I am so glad that we chose to have our wedding at Solitude Station at Copper Mountain versus indoors or outside at the base of a mountain. This site is at the top of the mountain at 11,200 feet and overlooking the mountain range. The views are unbelievable and it is such a cool experience for your guests because they get to ride the ski lift up and down! I am also so glad I had our wedding on a Sunday– it really saves you a lot of $$ and helps your budget if you love a place. The third thing I am super glad I did was invest in a great photographer. We will have these pictures for the rest of our lives and I wanted a photographer who would be able to capture the essence of the day in spectacular photos and I got exactly that with Danielle.
What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?
I would say the biggest challenge was planning a wedding in Colorado from Texas. It took a lot of coordination. We spent one weekend in October 2014 visiting a ton of wedding venues and then we knocked out a weekend of planning March 2015 with our major vendors– Copper Mountain for food tasting, flowers, engagement photos, wedding planner meeting and I felt much better after that! Another challenge was getting everything that I needed from Houston to Copper Mountain. My mom’s best friend lives in Colorado Springs so thankfully I was able to ship the big signs, decor, favors to her and she drove them to Copper Mountain for me. Everything else I packed tightly in suitcases and brought with us on the airplane. My dress had its own overhead bin!
How did you find and choose your vendors?
God bless Google. I did tons of google searching and looking at sites like theknot.com and weddingwire.com. I must have interviewed 25 photographers and wedding planners via skype before we chose those two vendors. I spent hours researching different mountain venues before settling on the venues we visited on our trip. Its so important to physically talk to vendors face to face or via skype in order to make sure they have your same tastes and that they are available for your date(s)! The venue was the most difficult part because so many of them are booked 12+months in advance!
What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?
Enjoy the process. It goes by so fast and it is so easy to get caught up in the little details that might go wrong! Once you find and select something you like (cake, dress, venue) STOP LOOKING and don’t keep searching because it will drive you crazy! Celebrating your wedding with family and friends on a mountain/with mountains in the background is so special and such a unique experience but it can also make logistics complicated with bringing/displaying decorations, transportation, etc. Make sure you get all the information on what exactly the venue can provide/what you will need to do in order to create the perfect day for you and your husband! One venue we looked at was AMAZING but really remote and would have required us to hire buses to transport everyone which is something we decided to avoid. Keep in mind the people who will be coming to your wedding and what experience you want to give them. Most of our guests were coming from out of town and were treating this like a mini-vacation get-away so I wanted everything to be easily accessible with plenty of options for activities, food and room.
Copper Mountain Colorado Wedding Vendors
Photography: Danielle DeFiore Photography | Wedding Planner: Erica Sarell Weddings | Catering: Garden of Eden | DJ: Great Time DJ | Hair and Makeup: Weemala | Wedding Venue: Copper Mountain | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas |
Wedding Signs (program and reception): Kristen Leigh via Etsy | Calligraphy Place Cards: Lily and Rose via Etsy
Erica Sarell Events and Weemala are distinguished member of the Mountainside Guide, an exclusive vendor directory featuring the best and most reliable mountain wedding vendors in North America. Mountainside Guide members are screened and vetted for quality of work, reliability, and professionalism, both among their peers and on review web sites.
See Colorado Occasions and Weemala portfolios.