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Inaugural Issue


Featured Interviews

Windy Gillespie on Wedding Planning Andrew Clark on Photography

& Sarah & Aubrie of Blue Bridal Boutique on Fashion

Featured Weddings Brandy & Mike Sally & Chad Shannon & Kevin Your Wedding: Keeping It All In Perspective A Walk Around Aspen with Kate Holstein Defining Your Unique Wedding Style!

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PHOTOS: BROOKE HEATHER (top left), LEIGH ANN (top center), JESSE STARR (top right), ROBIN PROCTOR (bottom left), KATE HOLSTEIN (bottom center), ADAM & IMTHIAZ (bottom right)

Contents SUMMER/FALL 2011

Real Aspen Weddings


FEATURED COUPLE 1: Brandy and Mike at The Little Nell .................................................................................................... 18 FEATURED COUPLE 2: Sally and Chad at The Little Nell........................................................................................................ 42 FEATURED COUPLE 3: Shannon and Kevin at the Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum....................................... 72

Inaugural Issue


Featured Interviews

Windy Gillespie on Wedding Planning Andrew Clark on Photography

& Sarah & Aubrie of Blue Bridal Boutique on Fashion

Featured Interviews WEDDING PLANNING: Meet Windy Gillespie of Events by Windy ........................................................................................ 32 WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: An Interview with Andrew Clark of Andrew Clark Photography............................................ 38 LOCAL BRIDAL FASHION: Meet Sarah & Aubrie of Blue Bridal Boutique ............................................................................ 62

Featured Weddings Brandy & Mike Sally & Chad Shannon & Kevin Your Wedding: Keeping It All In Perspective A Walk Around Aspen with Kate Holstein Defining Your Unique Wedding Style!

Featured Articles Your Wedding: Keeping It All In Perspective................................................................................................................................. 28 Taking the “Maid” Out of Maid of Honor..................................................................................................................................... 54 A Walk Around Aspen with Kate Holstein ................................................................................................................................... 56 Large Weddings & Little Details .................................................................................................................................................... 68 The Perfectly Sized Wedding .......................................................................................................................................................... 70 Defining Your Unique Wedding Style!........................................................................................................................................... 80 Puppy (and Kitty) Love ................................................................................................................................................................... 82

8 | | Summer/Fall 2011

ON THE COVER: Brandy & Mike Photography by: Brooke Heather Photographer

SUMMER / FALL 2011 $14.99


INAUGURAL ISSUE Experience love at 11,212 ft.

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The Inaugural Issue


As the Founder and Editor in Chief of Aspen Bride, it is my great pleasure to deliver this inaugural issue. For most couples, the decision to marry in Aspen is not simply a matter of convenience; it is a deliberate choice intended to select a wedding location that outwardly reflects the inner beauty of their relationship and commitment to one another. Aspen, Colorado is home to world-class ski resorts, secluded mountain lodges and a historic downtown – all nestled perfectly amongst the scenic Rocky Mountains. It is a place that evokes a sense of adventure in the hearts and minds of residents and visitors alike. A unique place like no other, with a charm truly all its own.

Every couple that marries in Aspen will inevitably tell you that there is simply no other place on earth they would have preferred to start their journey together. Aspen Bride strives to serve our readership as the preeminent source of information, inspiration and guidance for all couples planning to marry in Aspen. Ultimately, we endeavor to share the sophistication and elegance inherently reflected in Aspen’s natural beauty and eclectic culture. This is achieved by means of in-depth featured wedding stories, informative interviews with local wedding professionals and substantive featured articles. All of this combines to create a publication that is just as much inspirational as it is informative. I would like to personally thank each of the featured couples, our contributors and the multitude of experienced wedding professionals who have contributed their time, knowledge and experience to this inaugural issue of Aspen Bride.

Matthew Lauren, Editor in Chief

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Patricia Hammond Contributing Editor Patricia has lived in Colorado since 1974 and could not imagine living anyplace else. She loves horseback riding, biking, dancing, traveling to new places and spending time with her family and friends. Patricia has three adult children. Two of her sons live and work in Washington, DC where one is a lawyer and the other a campaign advisor. Her youngest son is now a sophomore at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Lauren Guillory Contributing Editor A recent graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Lauren achieved a double major in English (Creative Writing) and Communication. In her time at CU, she experienced as much as her schedule would allow; she was a three-year member and one-year head captain of the University’s Goldrush dance team and a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. She spent her weekends snowboarding, socializing, and enjoying the natural amenities of Colorado. Her parents, Cheryll and Gerard Guillory, came to Colorado in 1985. Gerard coaxed Cheryll into leaving their home state of Louisiana with the promise that they would return in two years; twenty-six years later, they reside in the charming town of Parker, Colorado, with one explanation: “Colorado’s environment is intoxicating, leaving after two years would have cut our adventure short!”

Kate Holstein Contributing Photographer Kate’s two passions are photography and people. A romantic at heart, she captures the beauty, both subtle and obvious, that is everywhere and in everything. “Nothing captivates me more than light in the eyes of a child, the way a dress flows softly in the wind, the loving embrace of two hands… these are the fleeting moments that when captured on camera help remind us of the beauty and love that are interwoven into every day of our lives.” Kate shoots in a candid journalistic style to capture the emotion and feeling of a moment. Kate studied photography at the Parsons School of Design in New York, and the University of Denver. Aspen, Colorado is her home, though she feels most at home than when she’s wondering the globe with her camera. Kate and her talented husband, Matt, photograph all weddings as a team.

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Matthew Lauren President/Editor in Chief Patricia Hammond Contributing Editor


Lauren Guillory Contributing Editor SUMMER/FALL 2011 Contributing Authors Sarah Goldstein, Jessica Smith, Jennifer Kennedy Contributing Photographers Kate Holstein, Robin Proctor, Brooke Heather, Leigh Ann, Jesse Starr Aspen Bride Magazine is published by A4G Publishing Company. Any opinions expressed in the featured content of Aspen Bride are not necessarily those of the editors and/or publisher. None of the featured content or photographs appearing in Aspen Bride may be reproduced without the express written permission of the publisher. Aspen Bride and Aspen Bride Magazine are trademarks of A4G Publishing Company and their use is strictly prohibited. A4G Publishing Company | Tel: (970) 205-9785 | Submit all advertising and featured wedding inquiries by email to: |

Summer/Fall 2011 | | 15

Full Circle will help make your wedding unforgettable! As Aspen’s premier resource of beauty and wellness for over 20 years, we have


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Brandy & Mike

August 28, 2010 | The Little Nell

Photography by Brooke Heather Photographer


Describe your wedding theme

Your advice for Aspen weddings

Brandy & Mike: The theme that we ended up working toward was outdoor Aspen mountaintop in a casual and personal setting. The more time we spent planning our wedding, the more we got in touch with our vision to create an atmosphere that embodied all that we are as a couple. We wanted people to know us even better after experiencing our wedding day; this thought process was a driving force in the planning stages and heavily influenced the theme of our event.

Brandy & Mike: The first piece of advice for couples considering Aspen as their destination of choice is to go to Aspen and walk the city. Figure out what type of ‘feel’ you experience and what you want your guests to experience. Our tour of reception site locations helped us to identify what the town meant to us, which ultimately lead to our decision to get married atop Aspen Mountain.

Why Aspen, Colorado? Brandy & Mike: Mike lived in Aspen when he was younger and knew that Aspen would bring an air of adventure and excitement for our guests. For this reason, Aspen was his choice and Brandy happily went along from the beginning. Aspen is a wonderful town with many options for entertainment and outdoor activities; we wanted to give our guests a reason to visit Aspen and to experience some of the best that Colorado has to offer. Summer/Fall 2011 | | 19


Secondly, we would recommend selecting a wedding planner that works well with your personalities. There are many great options, but we selected Windy Gillespie of Events by Windy for several reasons that turned out to be quite important. Your wedding day can present many challenges (for us, two biggies were weather and ‘uninvited’ guests in the form of wedding crashers) that could be stressful enough to ruin your much anticipated and highly emotional wedding day. The last thing we wanted to put ourselves through was to be the bride and groom as well as the decision-makers du jour.

What type of feedback did you receive from your wedding guests?

Third, make sure that Aspen is a location that your most important guests can drive or fly into; we knew that about half of our guests would be arriving from out of state and we were sensitive to their travel needs (thankfully, it worked out well!). Last but not least, we wanted our wedding guests to be able to travel by foot all weekend long and not have to rent a car, drive in an unfamiliar setting, or worry about arranging for a designated driver.

Did you hire a local wedding planner?

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Brandy & Mike: Our guests loved the wedding. Multiple guests told us it was the best wedding they had ever attended. The views from on top of the mountain made a lasting impression. Everyone had a great time at the event and also raved about the fun they had all weekend long. Most guests took advantage of the outdoor activities that summer in Aspen offers, and their opinions and feedback were very favorable.

Brandy & Mike: Yes, we retained Windy Gillespie of Events by Windy. We always knew that we needed help both planning the wedding and coordinating things on the day of our event. After meeting with multiple wedding planners, we selected Windy for her down to earth, yet business like style. She did a wonderful job of helping us to plan our wedding from afar.


Windy also found a number of ways to make our wedding more affordable to allow us to have our event on the mountain without compromising. Her experience in the hotel industry differentiated her from many of the other wedding planners in the Roaring Fork Valley, and it proved to be invaluable. We never once second-guessed our decision to work with Windy. We would work with her again in a heartbeat.

Woody Creek Tavern, the Ajax Tavern, the John Denver Sanctuary, Smuggler Trail, the Red Onion, Ajax Mountain, and Little Annie’s provide tremendous local flavor. Most importantly, Aspen is a place of unparalleled beauty.

What were the most stressful aspects of planning your wedding? Brandy & Mike: The two things we found most stressful were sticking to our budget and paring down our guest list. Because we paid for our own wedding, we experienced tension over how to keep costs down and still provide a unique experience for all of our wedding guests.

What is your impression of Aspen? Brandy & Mike: Aspen is a well-kept secret. It is a diverse world of luxury and laid back locals. It is a combination of world-class adventure sports and high-end shopping. The Summer/Fall 2011 | | 21


22 | | Summer/Fall 2011


Summer/Fall 2011 | | 23


ASPEN BRIDE: How did you meet your spouse? Brandy: I was in Denver visiting my brother and sister-in-law and decided to move out from Dallas. After changing my flight to leave a few days later, my brother asked if I would like to go to a barbeque. Never one to turn down an opportunity for a good time, I gladly went along. While in the middle of a bite of food, Mike wandered over to meet me… and the rest is history!

ASPEN BRIDE: When did you know you had fallen in love? Brandy: After a few months of seeing one another every day, we were out and about for an evening on the town. Mike told me that he thought he was going to be a lifelong bachelor until he met me. After that story, he glanced away for a moment and said, “Now, I think that may have changed.” I knew that I was in love!!!

ASPEN BRIDE: Under what circumstances did the marriage proposal take place? Brandy: We hiked our first 14er on a brisk Saturday morning. When we arrived at the top, there were people all around taking in the views off of Quandary Peak. It was cold and windy, despite the heat of summer, yet very sunny. We found a big rock to sit on while we ate our lunch and re-applied sunscreen. As I was coating my face with SPF 70, I looked over to find Mike on one knee. I don’t know if it was the shock, or the lack of oxygen, but I stared at him in disbelief as the words, “Will you marry me?” came out of his mouth… After a moment of crying, I happily accepted!!!

ASPEN BRIDE: What did your wedding day schedule involve? Brandy: I had a blast the entire day! I started off with a private yoga session in the park with some good friends, followed by an afternoon spent getting pampered with my bridesmaids at The Little Nell. Unfortunately, it was raining as I uploaded in the gondola. I arrived to the top of the mountain to find that the ceremony had been set up inside. I was heartbroken as an outdoor ceremony was at the center of our wedding day plan! Melina from The Little Nell and my wedding planner, Windy Gillespie, came to me 35 minutes before the wedding to let me know that, based on Doppler radar, the skies would clear in time for my wedding, but they warned me that it would be chilly outdoors. We decided to take a chance on the cold weather and move the decorations outside to our original plan. With fleece blankets and cocktails from the bar, our wedding guests were able to witness our vows with the most amazing views of Aspen that I have ever seen. Blue skies filled with purple and pink rays of sunshine blessed our moments where we became one.

ASPEN BRIDE: What was your favorite memory from the wedding? Brandy: Walking down the aisle to the most amazing person I have ever known.

ASPEN BRIDE: What was a funny moment from the wedding? Brandy: As Mike said his vows to me, he attempted to slip my lovely wedding band on my left ring finger. I guess my fingers were swollen, because the ring stuck on my knuckle… he looked a little shocked at what to do next, so I just laughed and pushed it into place myself!!!

ASPEN BRIDE: Do you think your wedding was indicative of your relationship? Brandy: Certainly! We asked Mike’s uncle to perform our ceremony, but did not tell any of the guests. They were surprised and enamored by the heartfelt ceremony he wrote for us. It was quite special. Also, we hired the Boogie Machine out of Denver as our live band for the evening. They play (and dress) all ‘70’s music - which our guests loved - and my brother jumped on stage to sing a few songs with them! Essentially, we planned an evening that was fun and funny… which is a reflection of how we live our lives… Aspen certainly allowed us to host a lovely evening filled with sophistication, but allowed this to transpire in an atmosphere that was laid back and magical.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your spouse in just 3 words what would they be? Brandy: My best friend.

ASPEN BRIDE: In retrospect, what would you change about your wedding? Brandy: That is really hard to say. I suppose I would have asked for warmer weather during the wedding…

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your wedding in just 1 sentence what would you say? Brandy: The most spectacular evening of my life. I married my best friend and celebrated with those that I love the most!

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ASPEN BRIDE: How did you meet your spouse? Mike: We first met at a friend’s barbecue, where I asked our mutual friend to introduce us.

ASPEN BRIDE: When did you know you had fallen in love? Mike: When I had asked Brandy to be my date for my father’s 70th birthday in Las Vegas.

ASPEN BRIDE: Under what circumstances did the marriage proposal take place? Mike: I decided to take Brandy to Breckenridge for the night. In the morning we embarked to hike one of Colorado’s 14ers and I proposed once we reached the top of Quandary Peak.

ASPEN BRIDE: What were you most looking forward to about getting married? Mike: I most looked forward to watching Brandy walk down the aisle and to seeing all of our family.

ASPEN BRIDE: What did your wedding day schedule involve? Mike: We had done all of our planning, so the only concern was the rain that rolled in during the day. Fortunately, just before the wedding the weather broke and we had an awesome rainbow for the ceremony.

ASPEN BRIDE: What was your favorite memory from the wedding? Mike: Watching Brandy walk down the aisle, and talking in the gondola under the stars on the way down.

ASPEN BRIDE: What was a funny moment from the wedding? Mike: There were two. One of the readers made fun of my lack of hair and Brandy messed up during her vows.

ASPEN BRIDE: Do you think your wedding was indicative of your relationship? Mike: Yes. It was very informal and lots of fun. Open bar all night starting before the ceremony and a 70’s band with afros.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your spouse in just 3 words what would they be? Mike: Loving, caring and giving.

ASPEN BRIDE: In retrospect, what would you change about your wedding? Mike: Find a way to make it less expensive.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your wedding in just 1 sentence what would you say? Mike: A fun evening for everyone to celebrate and for married guests to rekindle their flame.

Select Vendor List For Brandy & Mike’s Aspen Wedding Band: Boogie Machine Catering and Cupcakes: The Little Nell Flowers/Decor: Aspen Branch Harpist: Elise Helmke Photographer: Brooke Heather Photographer Venue: The Little Nell Videographer: Rising Moon Video Wedding Dress: Anna Be Bridal Boutique (Augusta Jones dress with Sara Gabriel veil) Wedding Planner: Windy Gillespie (Events By Windy) Summer/Fall 2011 | | 27


Your Wedding: Keeping It All In Perspective by Lauren Guillory

Take a moment. Ask yourself, how


many times have I said “wedding” in the past few weeks? Now compare that to the number of times you have said, “marriage.” If you are like most brides who are dedicated to wedding planning, chances are, you have spoken the former much more frequently. There is no shame in being consumed with one’s wedding. However, it is important to keep in mind the actual purpose behind ongoing conversations regarding flowers, table settings, bridesmaid dresses, guest lists, etc. These head-scratching, hair-pullingout-details may contribute to the overall aesthetic of the wedding day, but they will not contribute to your actual end goal, marriage. Try to look at the overall process of wedding planning as an indication and reflection of how your relationship functions. If, for instance, there is ongoing bickering over trivial details, make an effort to correct this flaw before it becomes a trend in your relationship well after the wedding is over. Strive for wedding planning to be exemplary of how you and your partner will face the ongoing trials of life. Like most advice, being able to plan a wedding with a stress-free approach is easier said than done.

But, while wedding planning is a daunting task, steer the focus away from the stress and concentrate on a more constructive idea, compromise. Compromise is invaluable to a healthy relationship. From the beginning, there should be a giveand-take mentality that will set the tone for wedding planning and marriage alike. If the groom is most concerned about finances, then the bride might need to compromise some of her lavish expenses. There are even more proactive suggestions to consider in returning the focus to the relationship instead of the exact shade of pink that the table clothes should be. One idea is to block out ten to fifteen minutes after the ceremony where you two are alone. Simply alone. This will afford you an opportunity to really soak up the beauty and the meaning of the ceremony, and to reflect on the journey you are about to embark on together. If it is not planned in advance, it probably will not happen, so make these few minutes a priority when planning for the big day. Another idea to consider is booking your honeymoon a few weeks after the wedding. This is not the “traditional” way to do things, but it can have many benefits. The most

important being, you can give life some time to level back out and return to a degree of normalcy. This could benefit your marriage because, when you finally do take your honeymoon, it allows you to focus solely on your partner, without residual exhaustion from the wedding. For this next suggestion, try to get rid of the negative connotations associated with the task: go to counseling. Despite popular belief, counseling is not just for troubled marriages. In fact, some studies have shown that couples who go through premarital counseling are 30% more likely to have a lasting relationship. Even if your relationship is perfect in your eyes, consider counseling as a way to spend quality time with your partner. It seems ironic that the idea of marriage can easily get lost in the chaos of weddings. There are many instances where the stress of wedding planning can drive couples further apart, instead of closer together. With these suggestions, make wedding planning a process that you are proud to stand as an exemplary model of how your marriage (not the wedding) will unfold.

Summer/Fall 2011 | | 29

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Meet Windy Gillespie Events by Windy Photography by Robin Proctor Photography

Interview by Patricia Hammond

How long have you been a wedding planner? Windy: I have been in the event industry since 1995 working for the Ritz-Carlton Hotels and the Starwood Hotels Corporation, eventually starting my own event planning company (Events by Windy) in 2005.

Are you originally from Aspen? Windy: My family moved to Aspen in 1972 and I graduated from Aspen High School. After college and living in a few other cities, I knew that Aspen was where I wanted to be. I came back home in 2000 and my husband and I are raising our daughter here. The Roaring Fork Valley is a wonderful place to live, with close knit communities and an abundance of things to do.

What made you want to be a wedding planner? Windy: When I moved back to Aspen after college, I began working at the Ritz Carlton, Aspen (now the St. Regis Aspen). I watched a Destination Management

Company turning the Ballroom into a Mine Theme Welcome Dinner for a conference group. I thought “that is what I want to do, plan parties for a living!” I had graduated with an Interior and Commercial Design degree and was pursuing that career, but this was my calling. I have a passion for details, love to meet people from all walks of life, and am a self proclaimed multi-tasker. My first memory of knowing this was when a General Manager told me, “look at this hotel as you would a party at your home, the lights are on, flowers fill the room with their aroma and food beautifully presented.” From that statement, I have always treated an event as if it were my own, ensuring every detail is anticipated and executed to perfection.

“I have a passion for details, love to meet people from all walks of life, and am a self proclaimed multi-tasker.” Summer/Fall 2011 | | 33


“A wedding planner takes your dream or vision and heightens it.” What is your advice for couples planning a wedding in Aspen? Windy: Use local resources. Our valley is home to many talented professionals. From nationally recognized musicians, to Master Sommeliers; each bring their own unique twists to personalize your wedding. Since Aspen is host to numerous world-class events, many of these professionals have expertise that exceeds most destination vendors. When couples are getting married in Aspen it is a perfect opportunity to create a unique memory for their guests. The little touches of your “Aspen experience” ultimately make your day a reflection of you as well as the town you are marrying in.

Why is it important for Aspen brides to hire a wedding planner? Windy: When choosing a wedding planner, you have to be 100% comfortable with the person you choose. You will be spending a lot of time with your wedding planner and entrusting them with one of the most important days of your life. A wedding planner takes your dream or vision and heightens it. While you make all the fun decisions you have been dreaming of, we handle the myriad of details. With that being said, having a wedding planner who lives in Aspen is even more valuable. Not only do we know the perfect private ranch, but we also know when the winds will calm and the sun starts to turn the valley into a golden calm evening... and we tell your photographer too! Now, I am certainly not saying that an out of town wedding planner would not do a fabulous job, but when most brides come to visit one or two times before their wedding, having an Aspen based representative is extremely beneficial.

How far ahead should brides start planning their Aspen wedding? Windy: It depends upon the concept of the wedding and the time of year. If you are planning a grand soiree with 300 plus guests, mid-summer; then a year or more is needed to ensure the best venues are available, plus you

34 | | Summer/Fall 2011

will have more choices for your vendors such as, cake artist, hair and makeup specialists, etc. If, however, you are planning an intimate family wedding under 50, then less time is needed. It is always proper etiquette to give your guests at least six months so that they can plan their work and family schedules, make travel arrangements and budget. Aspen does have limited resources to some of its vendors and when those resources are booked, we must look outside the valley to Vail and Denver to fulfill the demand. Unfortunately, this means higher costs to the bride not to mention, it is not eco-conscious.

How many decisions should the bride leave to the wedding planner? Windy: This is subjective. Some brides have been envisioning their wedding since they were young and want to be involved in every step of the way. Others are more focused on various aspects of the wedding, such as the printed items either because it is their career or a passion. When I am beginning to work with a client, we determine how involved she would like to be and what, if any, of the aspects she would like to handle herself. I recommend to my clients the majority of the final decisions related to the ceremony and reception be left to the wedding planner six to four weeks out from the wedding, so they can prepare to leave for Aspen and their honeymoon. Of course, I am always able to step in at any time of the planning process, should the bride become overwhelmed with her given tasks. In general, the fun decisions; dress, songs, menu, location should always have the bride’s participation. Creating a schedule of events, event execution, last minute malfunctions, etc. can be left to the wedding planner.

What are the top four things you always tell your brides? Windy: (1) Let your guests know it will be an outdoor ceremony at 11,202 feet. (2) Hire a professional photographer and videographer, this will be your lasting memory of a day that goes by very quickly. (3) The weather is ever changing in the mountains, but if you can be flexible, so can the weather, wait 15 minutes, it will change. (4) Don’t have family and friends partake in the pre-wedding tasks, let them enjoy this time with you, tell them your wedding planner has taken care of it.


Do you tailor the wedding to the couples’ personalities?

What are the main advantages to getting married in Aspen?

Windy: Always. I like to be able to speak with the couple initially by phone, but preferably in person. This way I can get to know them and both their personalities. I also find out their personal style and hear all about the vision of their wedding day. In this meeting we discuss design ideas and why they are choosing Aspen to be married in. I find that I can tailor their wedding to themselves if I know this and how they met, but most importantly what they enjoy as a couple. Sometimes a couple retains my services when the planning process has already begun. Building an open dialog with the couple throughout the planning process is paramount. Whether it is through one-on-one meetings, photos, wedding websites or just asking investigative questions.

Windy: (1) The views and mountain panorama’s are breathtaking. (2) Your guests will have a vacation as well. (3) There are many community events throughout the year in which your guests can partake in when not attending wedding festivities. (4) Most of the hotels provide transportation to and from the airport and Aspen can easily be seen by foot. (5) Activities, restaurants and bars are abound. (6) Many of the venues and locations are beautiful just as they are, so they require little decor and allow you to keep it organic to the environment.

How do you deal with last-minute malfunctions? Windy: I always try to have a back-up plan, but many times it is something unforeseen. You have to consider every scenario and plan for it, but also be creative to resolve the issue. Then you have to keep smiling and remain calm. If it is a weather issue, I have already discussed this plan with the bride and the venue. Keeping the wedding party informed as to what is happening, especially the parents, keeps everyone from feeling anxious. Keeping the music playing and drinks flowing keeps the guests completely unaware there was a change in plans. I also like to have enough staff so that I am free to float and deal with any issues that arise. The most important thing to remember is that guests generally don’t know what to expect so if something does happen, they aren’t the wiser.

What is the most common malfunction you encounter at weddings? Windy: Besides weather delays, I find that the bustles on the dresses don’t last. Most weekends you will find me sewing up a bustle about midway through the dancing of the evening. I think that even the best seamstress is unable to anticipate the wear and tear on a dress. Thus, your wedding planner will always have a needle and thread to compensate.

Do you have a favorite moment from a specific wedding? Windy: That is hard, narrowing it down to one wedding, it seems as if every wedding has a moment that you think, “wow, now that was great!”. Perhaps, one three years ago on top of Aspen Mountain, mid-September, which typically is one of our driest months for precipitation in Aspen. The weather had been sunny and rainy all day, back and forth. While waiting for the guests to arrive, the weather really started turning for the worse. We prepared for the ceremony to be inside, the guests were milling around. Suddenly, there was a break in the weather, the groom said, “go” and we quickly moved everyone outside for a standing ceremony. As the ceremony begun you could see the clouds darken and begin circling onto the ceremony and I am thinking, hurry up, it is going to start raining! Soon the clouds were completely incasing the congregation with the lightest of mist coming down, umbrellas started coming up and people started huddling together. All the while, the bride and groom just looked straight at each other smiling, holding hands, not even feeling the rain drops, chill or seeing the clouds floating around them. It was truly mystical, like a fog was enveloped around the bridal party. And it was silent, except for the voice of the minister. I don’t think I have ever heard it that quiet on top of Aspen Mountain. Then, the foggy mist started to roll out and the clouds billowed around the mountain side. Towards the end of the ceremony the sun was out and guests enjoyed hors d’ oeuvres and cocktails for the next hour.

Summer/Fall 2011 | | 35

It was a photographers dream and the images from both him and the videographer were amazing. The couple was a delight to work with and I am happy that they have such imagery to cherish. I definitely love being a wedding planner in Aspen, you just never know what the day will bring, but I do know it will bring something amazing.

What advice do you have for managing prewedding stress? Windy: Ensure yourself a good night’s rest prior, waking up tired and feeling run down is stressful in and of itself. So perhaps have your rehearsal dinner on Thursday so that Friday can be an evening of more relaxation and an early night. In the morning, take a walk or plan a yoga class with your bridesmaids. Better yet, reflect in the beauty of the surroundings by meditating for 10 minutes alone. Allow extra time for hair and makeup, and getting 36 | | Summer/Fall 2011

into your dress. I always plan for an extra 30 minutes or more. If possible, don’t turn on your cell phone, answer questions or emails about the day and defer them to the wedding planner. Focus on you, your family and friends and enjoy the day, all day! Relax, this is your moment and we have got it under control.

“I definitely love being a wedding planner in Aspen, you just never know what the day will bring, but I do know it will bring something amazing.” Events by Windy | (970) 319-0058

“Give Your Guests The Adventure of A Lifetime”

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4250 Divide Road Snowmass Village, CO 81615


Meet Andrew Clark Andrew Clark Photography

Interview by Patricia Hammond

W h a t m a ke s A s p e n u n i qu e w h e n compared to other wedding locations in Colorado? Andrew: Aspen is the ultimate destination for mountain weddings. Anchored by luxury resort properties like The Little Nell and the St. Regis, the town provides a beautiful and sophisticated backdrop for every type of wedding from the intimate 5-person backyard ceremony to the 500-person five-day extravaganza. Downtown Aspen’s rich combination of historic buildings, modern interiors and sophisticated services makes it unique, and in many ways more understated and intimate than other Colorado resorts. While maintaining the small-town feel (and first-class skiing which draws the Winter X Games every year) Aspen is served by an excellent airport only a few minutes from the town center, and the vast majority of the restaurants, hotels and amenities are truly world class. The Viceroy Hotel in nearby Snowmass has recently become another fabulous wedding destination replete with all the outdoor sports and activities for which Colorado is famous in summer and winter. The

Little Nell’s incredible wedding deck facility at the top of Aspen Mountain has some of the best views in Pitkin County and is probably the most sought-after wedding venue in the Rocky Mountains.

“Aspen is the ultimate destination for mountain weddings.” Based on your experience, what factors contribute to an enhanced level of difficulty when shooting a wedding in Aspen? Andrew: From a technical standpoint, the light at high altitude is much harsher than at sea level, and Colorado usually enjoys a cloudless sky, which gives everyone a healthy sunburn and extremely high-contrast shadows across the face. The altitude can also cause wedding guests breathless exhaustion and dehydration much more quickly; I remember an elderly guest passing out at a wedding once and requiring an ambulance due to the change in altitude from his hometown on the east coast.

Summer/Fall 2011 | | 39


“As with any top service provider, lengthy experience of destination wedding work is always the most important factor.” How does an experienced local photographer such as yourself work to mitigate and/or eliminate these factors so that your photography is not jeopardized? Andrew: I sometimes use fill-flash to balance the sun’s direct effects, or I make many of the wedding portraits in open shade, where I can use softer, bounced light from bright surfaces and reflectors. I use exclusively ultra-fast prime lenses and the best cameras available to produce as-near-perfect digital files as possible. This ensures that everyone’s skin tones look soft and flattering, despite the weather and the light Mother Nature provides on that day! (I also pray for diffusely clouded skies, enough distant precipitation for a rainbow, plenty of Fiji Water, animated wedding par ties, and easy -going grandmothers.) I try to stay fit too; wedding photography is extremely tiring and athletic when done properly, so I eat well on the day, and practice Anusara-inspired yoga four times a week to keep my back strong.

When advising potential clients about the important matter of choosing a professional photographer for an Aspen wedding, what questions should the bride and groom ask a wedding photographer prior to retaining them for their wedding? Andrew: Apart from the obvious need to find someone whose personality is charming and polite (the bride is going to be with him all day and he must be able to put his subjects at ease instantly) I would encourage the couple to ask about past assignments. “Who have you worked for in the past?” is always a very revealing question. “Who refers you?” is another. I would also ask: “Do you love your work”? As with any top service provider, lengthy experience of destination wedding work is always the most important factor. A longstanding reputation of consistency, courtesy,

40 | | Summer/Fall 2011

professionalism and excellent work will always identify the most respected and sought-after photographers. We have found over the last ten years that our personalized “white-glove” service has always been a highly significant factor. Aspen couples value a unique personal experience more than anything. With such an important set of pictures at stake, the photographer must be ultra-reliable (in any weather, any light, any venue, any time) and be able to capture exactly what the client expects, gracefully and under pressure. Top sports photographers often make great wedding photographers because they understand how to anticipate a decisive moment that can’t be repeated. My senior associate photographer, Trevor Brown Jr., is a great example of a veteran sports photographer who now excels at wedding photography. His wonderful personality makes him truly exceptional with people too, which brings us many enthusiastic referrals. I believe that a posed or prompted wedding picture is a very poor substitute for the authentic, genuine emotion that is taking place all around you during the wedding day. Our clients always want a true record of what their wedding felt like so they can relive it for the rest of their lives. I think clients can tell whether a picture was made for the benefit of the photographer (i.e. the couple was posed to look “too-good-to-be-true”), or if it was a captured moment that speaks volumes about the genuine emotion that could be felt at that instant in time. Most of us love the unique picture of ourselves that someone took “when we weren’t looking”, because it shows truth and spontaneity. I’d advise any couple to look out for this type of picture in a photographer’s portfolio, to make sure he or she understands the difference and can accomplish the harder task of anticipating these emotional moments consistently, creatively and reliably. This separates the great photographers from the merely average. The couple should also ask if the photographer carries duplicate equipment, a full set of prime lenses, top-ofthe-line camera bodies, and strobe lighting powerful enough to balance the most intense Colorado sunshine. The days of wedding photographers using “adequate” zoom lenses, and the cheap “pro-sumer” camera bodies are long gone.


What style of photography, in your opinion, works best for Aspen weddings?

Why are photographs such a special component of any wedding?

Andrew: The cheeky answer is “the style which the client asks for”. Frequently, however, couples can’t articulate what “style” they like, but they know it when they see it. What they are drawn to are images of raw emotion that speak volumes about what was happening at that instant. Great photography inspires an instant emotional response from the viewer.

Andrew: I found out the answers to this question the hard way at my own wedding! I hired a friend, who was a professional photographer from New York. He had never shot a wedding before, but was a very talented and creative fashion photographer, so I figured he would be great. He missed everything important to us; we were horribly disappointed. Wedding pictures can’t be redone. The huge investment in friends, family, venue, flowers, food, drink, music and cake, is all lost if there is no well-captured memory.

Whether the style is formal, photojournalistic, creative, artistic or even “iPhone”, if the picture speaks volumes, and needs no explanation, the photographer has succeeded. You can usually tell, because the viewer simply says, “wow”. This is the intrinsic romance that I am honored to witness and capture at every wedding, and it never fails to electrify me. It is the solitary tear rolling down the cheek of the father of the bride as he watches his daughter accept the ring from her groom; it is the gentle hands of the grandparents, clasping each other tightly as they remember their own wedding 60 years before; it is the junior bridesmaid’s innocent look of absolute wonder as the bride first puts on her dress and becomes a princess; it is the radiant smiles and the passionate kisses that accompany the phrase, “I now pronounce you…”; it is the way the groom puts his hand around his bride’s waist and looks into her eyes on the crowded dance floor like there is no one else in the room. Great wedding photography captures what others overlook; Dorothea Lange once said, “A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera”. I couldn’t agree more.

What keeps you motivated to always improve as a wedding photographer? Andrew: It is always the tears of joy shed by the bride when she first looks through a slideshow of her wedding pictures; I can feel her re-living that most special day of her life, and I know how important it is to do the best job possible every time I go to work. These spiritual rewards of our work as wedding photographers are enormous and are what keeps me hungering to improve.

The reason great wedding photographers are in such high demand and book up so far in advance, is that they are the very best insurance against any loss of this wonderful family history – a wedding is possibly the most valuable and happiest memory of one’s life – certainly a huge amount of effort has gone into the planning of the day, and sadly, our memories fail us all too quickly. It is pictures that preserve those once-in-alifetime joys for decades to come.

“The huge investment in friends, family, venue, flowers, food, drink, music and cake, is all lost if there is no well-captured memory.” What sets Andrew Clark Photography apart from other photographers? Andrew: You would be far better served to ask my past clients that question! All I know is that we are truly honored to be chosen and referred over and over again by the most gracious families who can afford the best of anything. Andrew Clark Photography | 1.888.525.9090

Summer/Fall 2011 | | 41

Sally & Chad

June 4, 2011 | The Little Nell

Photography by Leigh Ann Photography


Describe your wedding theme

Your advice for Aspen weddings

Sally & Chad: We didn’t have a theme really, but we did have a vision. Our vision was to spend time with each and every one of our guests, and that was the guiding concept to our planning efforts. Our vision became a reality – everyone had fun, and we got to spend time with our dear friends and family who traveled all the way to Aspen.

Sally & Chad: Get creative and take advantage of nature. You don’t need to decorate much when you have Aspen as a backdrop. Also, don’t think that you can’t afford a wedding in Aspen. There are beautiful options for all budgets.

Why Aspen, Colorado? Sally & Chad: We never really considered anywhere else. We both live in the Aspen area and have family/friends who live all over the country. What better way to get them to come and visit than to have our wedding here? We wanted our friends and family to see and understand why we call Aspen home. We got married in early June because we knew it was still considered “off season” by some hotels and would be more affordable for our guests than midsummer. Also, most of our families don’t ski, so we thought a summer wedding would be more enjoyable for them to attend. That said, we ended up getting to ski at our June wedding anyway! Summer/Fall 2011 | | 43


What type of feedback did you receive from your wedding guests? Sally & Chad: Many said it was the best wedding they had ever been to, and skiing down the mountain after our reception was the icing on the cake (even though we didn’t serve cake).

Did you hire a local wedding planner? Sally & Chad: Yes, we used a day-of wedding planner. Ashley Cantrell of Events Elevated did a great job making sure we didn’t have to keep track of details like plugging in the iPod or timing the processional down the aisle. She was an invaluable addition to the day. Also, having a venue like The Little Nell made it easy. Their catering/events staff has everything perfectly dialed.

What were the most stressful aspects of planning your wedding? Sally & Chad: The weather. It’s always nerve-wracking to have an outside wedding, and we just kept watching the 44 | | Summer/Fall 2011

forecast leading up to our wedding day. Fortunately, the sun was shining, and the temperatures were warm. Furthermore, cooperating on such a big project brought us closer together and made us really work as a team. We made all major decisions together but certainly divvied up the tasks. We split up the planning pretty evenly.

What is your impression of Aspen? Sally & Chad: Aspen is eclectic, beautiful and a great place to live/visit. Our out-of-town guests loved how close the airport is to town, how easy it is to walk everywhere and how safe a community it is. The dining options, as well as the recreational and cultural pursuits, make it easy to entertain yourself or your guests.

Describe your wedding schedule? Sally & Chad: To give you a wedding timeline, we had our welcome party on Friday afternoon. Then on Saturday morning, we rode up the gondola to get ready. The guests arrived at 10:30, and we had an hour to mix and mingle with mimosas on the Aspen Mountain Club deck.


At 11:30, we were married on the Wedding Deck by Pastor Dan Bosko of Crossroads Church. Lunch was served from 12-2, and then we took a ski run with about 20 wedding guests behind us. Sally in her dress and everyone else in their wedding clothes. We then took the gondola down. That night we had a pizza and beer dance party at The Mountain Chalet from 7 to midnight. We served pizza from White House Pizza in Carbondale and sheet cakes from City Market, decorated with ridiculous photos of us from junior high school in icing. On Sunday morning we had family and friends come to our house at Ruedi for brunch. Sallyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dad cooked breakfast in the kitchen, and Chad made lots of coffee.

If you could change one thing about your wedding what would it be? Sally & Chad: We wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change a thing. The wedding is exactly what we wanted it to be.

Summer/Fall 2011 | | 45


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Summer/Fall 2011 | | 47


ASPEN BRIDE: How did you meet your spouse? Sally: We met at an “orphans’ Thanksgiving” at a friend’s house in Carbondale.

ASPEN BRIDE: When did you know you had fallen in love? Sally: I knew when we had survived a particularly stressful weekend together and the only person I wanted to be with in the entire world was Chad.

ASPEN BRIDE: Under what circumstances did the marriage proposal take place? Sally: Chad left a book he had written and designed on my chair at work, which directed me on the last page to go to Gondola Plaza. Unfortunately, I was late getting back to the office that night from a meeting, so he was waiting and waiting. He looked so relieved when I walked around that corner and saw him there with the ring, which was a snowflake ring he had designed himself.

ASPEN BRIDE: What were you most looking forward to about getting married? Sally: Combining our homes and our lives more completely.

ASPEN BRIDE: What did your wedding day schedule involve? Sally: The morning of was really calm. My cousin is amazing and did my hair and makeup. My incredibly talented friend, Leigh Ann, was our wedding photographer, so everything seemed so natural and fun. It was great to visit with everyone before the actual ceremony at our mimosa cocktail hour and introduce Chad to some friends and family who had not met him before.

ASPEN BRIDE: What was your favorite memory from the wedding? Sally: Skiing! It was crazy skiing in a wedding dress and even crazier to do it in June. After such an emotional ceremony and feeling so elated and excited to be married to Chad, it was so amazing to pop on those skis and just live in that moment together. I’ll remember it forever.

ASPEN BRIDE: What was a funny moment from the wedding? Sally: Chad’s vows. He was somehow really funny and really sweet at the same time (like vowing to let me use my tip calculator, which he hates).

ASPEN BRIDE: Do you think your wedding was indicative of your relationship? Sally: Yes, our wedding reflected how we are a laid-back couple. We got married outdoors and kept decorations simple. Overall, our wedding was indicative of our relationship. We love to spend time outdoors together (married outdoors on the top of Aspen Mountain), and we love to cook/eat great food (The Little Nell’s food is delicious). We’re certainly not a formal couple, so keeping things laid-back and fun (skiing/pizza and beer dance party) while still connecting on a deeper emotional level (writing our own vows, making time to visit with our guests) was certainly a priority for the wedding, as it is in our relationship.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your spouse in just 3 words what would they be? Sally: Kind. Intelligent. Determined.

ASPEN BRIDE: In retrospect, what would you change about your wedding? Sally: Nothing.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your wedding in just 1 sentence what would you say? Sally: The perfect wedding for us.

48 | | Summer/Fall 2011


ASPEN BRIDE: How did you meet your spouse? Chad: She had showed up late to a Thanksgiving dinner party, and I immediately had my eye on her. When I heard her mention that she had gone to Church at Carbondale (where I had attended as well), I knew I had an excuse to talk to her.

ASPEN BRIDE: When did you know you had fallen in love? Chad: About 9 seconds later (see first question).

ASPEN BRIDE: Under what circumstances did the marriage proposal take place? Chad: I had made this Dr. Seuss–like book that documented (in a rather cute and graphically well-designed way, I might add) some of the significant and funny moments from our relationship and left it at her office, where I knew she’d be returning at the end of the day. For whatever reason, she got back a lot later than she planned, so I was sitting in the cold in Gondola Plaza for over an hour in early November. That’s a lot of time for your mind to come up with reasons why she might not be coming!

ASPEN BRIDE: What were you most looking forward to about getting married? Chad: The sense that we’re really in it together, no matter what.

ASPEN BRIDE: How did you feel throughout your wedding day? Chad: It was fun and terrifying. Not terrified that I was marrying Sally, but terrified that this huge and once-in-a-lifetime event that we had spent so much time planning was actually happening – today – and just hoping that the reality would be as great as I had made it out to be in my mind. It was.

ASPEN BRIDE: What was your favorite memory from the wedding? Chad: Seeing Sally walk down the aisle. I hadn’t realized it, but up until that moment, I was totally consumed with details and making sure everything was falling into place and everyone was having a good time. Suddenly, seeing this indescribably beautiful woman walking down the aisle, I think it all kind of sunk in, that I actually get to marry this woman today.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your spouse in just 3 words what would they be? Chad: Amazing, capable, complete.

ASPEN BRIDE: In retrospect, what would you change about your wedding? Chad: I should have skied, instead of snowboarded, our celebratory run. Trying to stand in a snowboard while people took photos was pretty awkward.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your wedding in just 1 sentence what would you say? Chad: It was a simple and classy wedding.

Select Vendor List For Sally & Chad’s Aspen Wedding Catering and Venue: The Little Nell Day Of Planner: Ashley Cantrell (Events Elevated) Evening Party Catering/Venue: White House Pizza/Mountain Chalet Flowers/Decor: A Funky Mountain Flower Photography: Leigh Ann Photography Summer/Fall 2011 | | 51

i do gracious & creative wedding planning vail . aspen . santa barbara 970.471.4413

breathe This day is significant, full of joy, but is also complex.

I am here to help. With ten years experience planning exquisite events, i do offers destination wedding planning from the Colorado mountains to the beaches of California, providing comprehensive wedding styling, with services ranging from graphic design, event dĂŠcor, to timelines & budgets.


Taking " “Maid” Out of Maid of Honor BEING ASKED to participate in a wedding can either be a delightful or daunting task, particularly for the Maid of Honor (M.O.H.). Her duties are lengthy, expensive, and usually exhausting. She is the bride’s right-handwoman and with her coveted position often comes the brunt of Bridezilla-dom. Her responsibilities can put her emotions to the test, leaving her relieved instead of enthused when the wedding day finally arrives.


To avoid making your M.O.H. feel like your pre-marital maid, follow these simple steps to leave her feeling cherished, not deflated. To start things off, host a luncheon where your Maid of Honor can have some bonding time with the other bridesmaids. She will be spending a lot of time with these other women, from planning events to spending time together on the big day, the bride

Article by Sarah Goldstein

can make her M.O.H.’s job much easier by simply breaking the ice.

a reason, now sit back and let her contribute.

Provide her some direction. Sure, your M.O.H. knows you better than most, but that doesn’t mean she wants to make each and every decision for you. If you have an idea for the theme of your bridal shower, let her know. She will appreciate the input and feel more fulfilled in planning something she knows beyond any reasonable doubt that you will love.

Say, “Thank You”. This one sounds like a given, but it is pretty easy to get wrapped up in the chaos and overlook the importance of these two simple words. Your M.O.H. is making a lot of sacrifices for you with the ultimate goal of making you happy.

Be Flexible. Constantly take into consideration the amount of pressure your M.O.H. is under. If she has to change the location of the bachelorette party or trim the budget for the bridal shower, the best thing you can do for her is be open to change. When you have a M.O.H., you are giving her the right to make decisions; that means you (gasp!) give up the rights to make every decision yourself. Let her do her job and fulfill her duties! You entrusted her with these responsibilities for

Telling her, “thank you for planning this bachelorette party, it’s going to be a blast” or “thank you for coming dress shopping with me today, I know you had a lot going on” will make her day by making her feel acknowledged and appreciated.

Summer/Fall 2011 | | 55


A Walk Ar#nd A!en with Kate Holstein

The natural beauty of Aspen is oftentimes difficult to articulate in words...

Thus, we thought it would be ideal to share a bit of Aspenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique natural beauty in photographs. The images appearing on pages 57 through 61 of this inaugural issue of Aspen Bride have been captured by Aspen local and professional photographer, Kate Holstein.

Kate Holstein Photography Tel: (720) 938-0923 | Aspen, Colorado

56 | | Summer/Fall 2011


Meet Sarah & Aubrie Blue Bridal Boutique Interview & Article by Lauren Guillory



THROUGH the entrance doors

and strolling into Blue Bridal feels like walking into a girlfriend’s trendy downtown loft. The decorations are tasteful, the floor plan is simple, and the owners treat you as a friend instead of a potential sale. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sarah and Aubrie to discuss their store, high fashion, and the high country. Sarah and Aubrie each have an extensive background in retail; and since Sarah hails from Texas and Aubrie is from New York, the girls bring

much diversity to the table in terms of fashion. Their paths crossed when they wound up as coworkers at Blue in 2008. When the previous owner put the shop up for sale, Sarah and Aubrie seized the opportunity to buy the store and turn it into one of Denver’s most exquisite bridal shops.

“The decorations are tasteful, the floor plan is simple, and the owners treat you as a friend instead of a potential sale.” Summer/Fall 2011 | | 63

Blue is unique not only in its history, but also in its sales approach. Sarah and Aubrie have aimed to derail from the high pressures of a hard sale; their ambition is to help each bride find her perfect dress, even if she does not find it at Blue. As Aubrie explains, “We would rather be your girlfriend and make sure you are making the right choice for the right reason,” allowing brides to leave Blue feeling satisfied, with or without a dress in hand. Not finding a dress at Blue, though, might be a harder task than happening upon your dream gown. Even with the clean layout, Blue manages to offer brides extensive variety in trends, designers, and accessories. Some of their most popular designers are: Tara Keely by Lazaro, Rivini, La Sposa, Anne

64 | | Summer/Fall 2011

Barge, Essense of Australia, Jenny Yoo, and many more. With this variety, if brides are still having trouble falling in love with a dress, the designers offer the option to customize certain parts of the gowns. It is common to add straps and/or adjust the neckline for a personally customized wedding dress. As far as the pair’s suggestion for a timeline, Sarah and Aubrie say that a dress should ideally be ordered nine months to one year in advance. Since most brides require three or more fittings, it is best to order the dress as far in advance as possible. Every bride’s experience finding her dress is different. Some know immediately, but for others it takes countless stores and designers to happen upon the right one.

Allow enough time in case you fall in the latter category because as Sarah points out, “finding your dress is like finding your fiancé; for some girls, they know right away and for others, it takes some time to be 100% sure.”

gown against the rustic background and it creates a breathtaking contrast.” They state that the biggest mistake a bride can make is to compromise her dream dress for what she thinks is “appropriate” or “expected of her.”

In regards to proper gown selection for the high country, Sarah and Aubrie have insightful instruction. Sarah advises that a bride should “consider her venue, but not let it dictate her dress selection entirely” so that the bride can be comfortable, while still feeling like herself.

Sarah and Aubrie also shed light on another concern for Aspen brides, inclement weather. No matter the season, Colorado is notorious for unpredictable weather; in that spirit, the pair point out a few creative ways to be prepared.

Aubrie draws attention to the idea that a mountain bride may feel restricted in her selection because she feels she has to be earthy or overly simple.

One suggestion is to incorporate parasols as party favors. When the parasols are the same color as the rest of the wedding, they can make for adorable accessories that can look planned in pictures.

Though, from her experience, she has found that “the most magnificent weddings have an ornate

For the wedding party, consider buying bridesmaids color-coordinated galoshes so that rain and mud Summer/Fall 2011 | | 65

wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t interfere with the aesthetics of the wedding. The outdoors can also make dresses more prone to snagging or tearing; Sarah and Aubrie advise brides to pack an emergency kit with needles, thread, and other forms of adhesive such as velcro and doublesided fashion tape to avoid mountainous mishaps. Finding a dress is a process, but at Blue Bridal Boutique in Denver, it can be an experience. With Sarah and Aubrieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chic yet casual approach, brides will find themselves in exceptionally good hands.

BLUE BRIDAL BOUTIQUE 500 16th Street, Suite 222 Denver, CO 80202 (303) 446-2583

66 | | Summer/Fall 2011


little details

LARGE WEDDINGS & Article by Jessica Smith

THE DECISION to have a large wedding brings on significant responsibility. While the advantages are plentiful, it requires a great deal of attention to small details. The biggest pitfall of a large wedding is that guests can have an impersonal experience. With heed to these few suggestions, your wedding won’t have to sacrifice a sentimental experience for a lengthy guest list. Make a welcome video For your guests, make a DVD that expresses your genuine sentiments as a couple. This way, the invitees are aware that, although you are amidst a whirlwind, you are still considering their feelings and keeping them in your thoughts.


Be thoughtful in regards to table seating arrangements Guests inevitably tend to break off into familiar groups of friends and family, leaving some people feeling left out or isolated. A thoughtful way to ensure your guests have a good time is to consider putting people of similar interests at the same table

instead of assembling them with people they already know. This way, you have the potential to create a warm environment where everyone is mingling with new people and no one has to feel like an outsider. Tell them “thank you” Take a brief moment to remind all of your guests that this day simply would not be the same without each and every one of them attending to share in your wedding celebration and that each of them holds a special place in your hearts. Have a receiving line

people or angry that the flowers are periwinkle instead of lilac, save face and enjoy your day. The general idea is that, the larger the wedding, the more important the small details become. It is your attention to the little details that will make your large wedding fun and enjoyable for all. The bride and groom are more likely to achieve maximum satisfaction with their wedding when each and every one of their guests feels welcomed and is made to feel an important and integral part of their wedding day celebration.

Receiving lines require that key members of the wedding party (bride, groom, respective parents) stand in a line and greet each guest personally. Though tedious, this is a practical and effective way to make your guests feel welcome and appreciated. Enjoy yourselves! Guests are there for one reason and one reason only, to help make your day spectacular. If you are showing that you are overwhelmed with the number of Summer/Fall 2011 | | 69


The Perfectly Sized Wedding Article by Jennifer Kennedy

THE DESIRE for a perfectly sized wedding doesn’t require that everyone subscribe to a specific number of guests; disagreement about wedding size is in many cases the norm, and those who disagree with you on both sides of the big or small coin, will never be in short supply. This struggle, if and when it occurs in your wedding planning process, will be a source of tension in what should otherwise be a joyful activity that brings friends and family together through your union with your significant other. Remember, at the end of the day, this is your wedding and you must be sure to stay true to your vision. You should never feel as though you are being cajoled by friends or family into

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having a wedding that strays too far from the original vision you have in relation to the appropriate size of your guest list. Big or small, there are obvious pro’s and con’s to either. That said, here are some useful tips that will help you determine the appropriate size of your wedding guest list. Ask yourselves, what are the most important aspects of the wedding for us as individuals and as a couple?

• • • •

venue reception facilities guest entertainment and so on…

Remember, nearly every feature of your wedding will relate, in one way or another, to the number of guests you plan to invite. Once you have had a chance to prioritize the

most important aspects of your wedding, you will start to understand how the size of your guest list will impact the choices related to those aspects of your wedding that you value most. This method of prioritization is useful because in a sense, it forces you to look at your wedding backwards or in reverse. Stated another way, when you place the end product at the forefront of your planning, you mitigate the chances of sacrificing those elements that are most important to you. For example, if being married in a small church where your parents were wed is the single most important factor in your wedding planning, then plan around that factor. Make the guest list conform to your venue and keep moving forward.

Or, alternatively, invite more guests to the reception, but limit the guest list for the ceremony to family and select close friends. Remember, this is your wedding day and it is most important that you retain your sense of control when in the planning phases.


As another example, if reconnecting with old friends and distant family members is the single most important element of your wedding planning process, then select the wedding venue and reception facilities based upon the number of invitees on your extended guest list. Long story short, prioritize and do so early. You will be thankful that you did so as you begin to move on to other elements involved in the planning of your wedding day.

Feeling the pressure to have a wedding that can keep up with the Joneses, inviting large masses of wedding guests with no real connection to you other than to appease the social expectations for a large wedding.

That said, the main point to remember is that no couple should ever feel overly pressured by friends or family to conform to an extended guest list if such is simply far outside the realm of their ideal wedding day.

Let’s face it; it does happen. Inviting large masses of wedding guests is, for some couples, a burdensome social expectation and nothing more.

To quote the wise words of Dr. Suess, “those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” Your wedding day is about you, and the sensible people who truly matter to you will understand if a grand soiree with hundreds of guests simply isn’t your cup of tea.

These types of weddings are always fabulous to attend, but may severely limit the intimacy of your wedding day – since, for many of your guests, this will be their first and last time meeting each other. Let’s be clear though, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a large guest list if that is what you have always desired and dreamt of.

Deciding the exact size of your wedding guest list is often a grueling task. That said, if you prioritize and set expectations early on in the process, you will be able to make a firm decision while reducing your stress and anxiety.

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Shannon & Kevin

June 11, 2011 | Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum (Aspen Historical Society)

Photography by Jesse Starr Photography


Describe your wedding theme Shannon & Kevin: Our theme was rustic, Colorado, and sustainable. We bypassed traditional invites and communicated with our guests via our wedding website and through email updates. We were able to send out Save the Dates, Formal Invites, and information about the rehearsal without having to print a single piece of paper. Our flowers were grown locally and organically, our caterer recycled everything, and we used re-usable products whenever we could. Our wedding came together perfectly and we would not have changed anything. We are runners and our ceremony reflected our similar interests, goals, and passion for staying active outside. The cocktail hour featured a miniature pony carrying around bottles of water and beer in a mini satchel; originally, Kevin had a donkey lined up, but the donkey became injured a few days before the event. A Roaring Fork Valley resident stepped up and found us a pony that even had navy blue cloth, a main wedding color, wrapped into her braids. The reception started early in the evening because

we had 9 kids under the age of 6 at our wedding; family is important to us and we wanted our friends and family that had kids to enjoy the festivities. The kids danced to our Boulder-based band, Smack Thompson, during cocktail hour and after eating some yummy bbq. Our goal for the wedding was for it to feel more like a dressed-up bbq where people could mix, mingle, and dance if they wanted to and we think it turned out perfectly.

Why Aspen, Colorado? Shannon & Kevin: We were drawn to Aspen because we had spent some time in and around Aspen since we started our relationship. The first summer that we were together we had a great backpacking trip through the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area. We originally wanted to have the wedding ceremony at the Maroon Bells, but the weekend that we wanted to get married was booked up. That was actually a blessing in disguise because having all of the wedding events at the same spot was easy for our guests and us! Summer/Fall 2011 | | 73


The Holden/Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum grounds were able to house our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.

Your advice for Aspen weddings Shannon & Kevin: Aspen is a great town for your guests to stay entertained, whether they are into the outdoors or not. Guests can enjoy the Maroon Bells, shop, hike, raft, bike, golf, ski, snowshoe, and find something to do no matter the season. They should consider how their guests will be coming to Aspen; do they live local? Is this a vacation? Or a weekend trip? Also, the season that you choose can greatly affect how much you can expect to spend. We were able to get some great deals and have the wedding we wanted without breaking our bank or any of our guests. By having our event during shoulder season, mid-June but before the Food and Wine Festival, our guests were able to stay at a 5-star hotel for $170/night!

What type of feedback did you receive from your wedding guests? Shannon & Kevin: Our guests had a great time. We had a few people tell us that it was the best wedding they had ever been to, which is always a compliment. Our friends and family with kids thanked us for getting booster seats, high chairs, mac n cheese at the buffet, and mini-cupcakes. We wanted everyone to be comfortable and entertained! We also wanted to make our wedding more than simply a one-day event, rather we had everyone staying pretty close to each other and we were able to spend time with our guests throughout the weekend. We also had a bonfire on Friday night, after the rehearsal dinner, up at the Maroon Bells East Portal Picnic area. It was open to everyone in town and we had about 50 people at the bonfire sipping wine or beer and toasting marshmallows for s’mores. The morning of the wedding, Kevin went hiking with a group of guys and I went on a walk with some gals and the dogs. After the wedding reception, we continued the good times at the Aspen Brewing Company and had some 30 people continue to hang out and enjoy the day.

Did you hire a local wedding planner? Shannon & Kevin: No, we did not use a wedding planner. First off, it really wasn’t in the budget. Plus, we already had

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a pretty good idea of what we wanted our wedding to look and feel like. We figured that by planning and doing most of the wedding stuff ourselves we would have something fun to do together and would have more control over our budget and any decisions.

What were the most stressful aspects of planning your wedding? Shannon & Kevin: We stressed most over how close we were to our budget. Things really start to add up and we quickly realized that we hadn’t taken certain items into consideration early on. In the end, we ended up right on with our budget, which allowed us to breathe a little easier. We both recently graduated from grad school and didn’t want to break the bank with our wedding, as we would rather have money left over to go on a honeymoon too (which we did!).

What is your impression of Aspen? Shannon & Kevin: Aspen is a beautiful town with good food, great places to stay – all situated in an amazing landscape. It can serve as a launching pad for many adventures in the Roaring Fork Valley, yet offer a nice place to relax after a hard day on the trail.

Why did you decide to marry in the summer season? Shannon & Kevin: We love all that Colorado winters have to offer, but summer is still our favorite. The weather in mid-June was perfect, mid 70’s during the day and sunny, with lows in the high 40’s. We really wanted to have our two Airedale Terriers, Aspen (5 years of age) and Suki (8 years of age), included in our wedding. We figured an outside wedding would allow them to attend and it really fit our personalities well.

What would you have changed about your wedding? Shannon & Kevin: We would have encouraged more guests to fly directly to Aspen, rather than drive up from Denver. Many of our guests were only in Colorado for the weekend and had to spend more time in the car than was desirable. For slightly more, many of our guests would have been a free shuttle ride away from Aspen.


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ASPEN BRIDE: How did you meet your spouse? Shannon: We actually met on After a good friend of mine confessed that she met her husband on the website, I made a profile and WHAM, Kevin was my first and only date from the site. We met on a Monday night at the Uptown Tavern; we drank a beer or two each and proceeded to drink water non-stop for the rest of the night. Every 30 minutes or so, one of us would have to get up and go to the bathroom. It was pretty funny and obvious that neither one of us wanted it to end. After the date, we made plans to go for a hike in a few days and the rest is history.

ASPEN BRIDE: When did you know you had fallen in love? Shannon: This is pretty tricky, I think I always knew even early on that Kevin was the one and that this is the way I was suppose to feel about someone and be treated by someone. I bought tickets to the Swell Season, a two person act, back before we were even dating. The music ended up winning a Grammy the following year for their soundtrack to the movie Once. I invited him along and we headed to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for the show; we got some glasses of wine and sat down in our seats. Glen Hansard started to sing my favorite song and I turned to Kevin and he took my hand in his. I kind of had this weird sensation… I didn’t say anything about it for a long time, for another 5 or 6 months maybe!

ASPEN BRIDE: Under what circumstances did the marriage proposal take place? Shannon: Kevin had it all planned out. I was out of town staying with my Grandpa for two weeks in Illinois while my Grandma and mom were in Italy. He had some time to do some planning and purchase a ring with a Fair Trade diamond! He took a half day off from work and I ended my clinical early on Friday because I wanted to head out for a trail run with Kevin and the dogs before heading out of town for a wedding in Chicago and a quick visit with the family. I picked him up from the office and stopped by home to pick up the dogs (and I assume the ring!) We headed west towards some of the closest trails and I kept saying all the trails I would rather go than the one that he wanted to run on. He insisted that we go to Corwina Park and run up to Panorama Point; I said I was kind of sick to my stomach and didn’t feel like running up hill for over 20 minutes straight. Kevin kept insisting and finally I caved. Corwina Park (near Evergreen) is where we went on our first hike together about 2.5 years earlier. Kevin was bounding up the trail ahead of me and I was really feeling it and lagging behind. At the top, Kevin went off to the side into the meadow where there is a great view of the Continental Divide and the start of the taller mountains. I wanted to keep running but he insisted that I come out to the meadow; I turned and faced the view and saw the storm clouds rolling through and said, “This would be a great place to get married.” Kevin said, “Well, this would be a great place for me to ask you to marry me.” He got down on one knee and pulled out the ring from his running shorts pocket and explained how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, his best friend. I of course said yes! Our dogs, Suki and Aspen were there the entire time! On the run back down I kept looking at my left hand in disbelief! We got to the car and snapped some photos with our phones!

ASPEN BRIDE: What were you most looking forward to about getting married? Shannon: Celebrating our decision to be best friends for life. We had been living together for almost 2 years and outwardly making our promises to each other was really important. We wanted our close family and friends to share our day and get to know one another.

ASPEN BRIDE: What was your favorite memory from the wedding? Shannon: Walking down the aisle and seeing the look in Kevin’s eyes as I walked towards him. We were traditional in that we didn’t see each other after our rehearsal festivities. Can I have two favorites? Listening to Kevin read is vows and promises to me; made me cry, him cry, and just about everyone else in the audience. Prior to our wedding, I had never seen a tear come from Kevin. The guys in the crowd kept saying that there must have been a lot of pollen in the air, causing the tears, nice cover up!

ASPEN BRIDE: What was a funny moment from the wedding? Shannon: There were many funny moments. For starters, our flower girl had a pretty funny throw down with her flowers while she was walking out. I got Kevin to high five me during the ceremony, something we joke over because he thinks I do it too much. My nephew, Henry, cheered for his dad, the best man as he walked down the aisle and during his speech by saying, “Yay, daddy!” Plus, we had a pony at our cocktail hour… this made people laugh as she walked around with a handler and beer in her satchel.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your spouse in just 3 words what would they be? Shannon: Driven, funny, and caring.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your wedding in just 1 sentence what would you say? Shannon: A great afternoon filled with our closest friends and family, the best afternoon of my life!

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ASPEN BRIDE: How did you meet your spouse? Kevin: We met on originally and after, met up at a bar for a first date. We enjoyed each others company a lot and I had a few beers, but didn't want to drink too much, so I switched to water. We ended up chatting for 4 hours and were going to the bathroom every 10 minutes. My best first date ever!

ASPEN BRIDE: When did you know you had fallen in love? Kevin: I can't recall the exact moment, but alcohol induced moments usually helped get my feelings out.

ASPEN BRIDE: Under what circumstances did the marriage proposal take place? Kevin: I took her out on a trail run where we had our first hike/second date. I wanted to propose at a particular vista in Evergreen, so I had to run up the hill to make it all work. When at the top of the hill I suggested we enjoy the view. She said it would be a great place to get married which was a perfect lead in.

ASPEN BRIDE: What were you most looking forward to about getting married? Kevin: Making it official and knowing we would spend the rest of our lives together.

ASPEN BRIDE: How would you describe the moments right before the wedding? Kevin: They went by really fast. I seemed to be pretty rushed most of the morning except for my hike up to Crater Lake with my friends. When at the lake, I decided to strip down to my boxers and jump in the ice cold lake. Good way to get the day started!

ASPEN BRIDE: What was your favorite memory from the wedding? Kevin: Seeing Shannon come around the corner and down the isle. She looked absolutely amazing and I thought I was the luckiest guy in the world.

ASPEN BRIDE: What was a funny moment from the wedding? Kevin: My nephew was cheering for his dad (my brother/best man) during the wedding ceremony and during his speech, at just the right moments. My nephew is 2 years old.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your spouse in just 3 words what would they be? Kevin: Caring, energetic, and smart.

ASPEN BRIDE: If you had to describe your wedding in just 1 sentence what would you say? Kevin: One of the most incredible moments in my life that I hope to remember every single minute of.

Select Vendor List For Shannon & Kevinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Aspen Wedding Accommodations: Hotel Aspen, Hotel Jerome, Molly Gibson Lodge Band: Smack Thompson Catering: Hickory House Clothing: JCrew (Bride), Tommy Hilfiger (Groom) Flowers: Field Florals Hair/Makeup: Queen B Salon Photographer: Jesse Starr Photography Rentals: Premier Party Rental Venue: Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum (Aspen Historical Society) Summer/Fall 2011 | | 79


Defining Y#r Unique Wed$ng Style! Article by Lauren Guillory

MOST if not all people have a clear idea of how weddings are “supposed” to be. The traditional ones incorporate a wedding party, host a reception, end in a honeymoon etc.; but few people think to question why these customs exist. Asking yourself this simple question when wedding planning can give you more freedom to make decisions that appeal to you and your husband, instead of obliging the “tradition” of marriage. A Brief History


The institution of marriage predates reliable recorded history; hence, the “wedding” we have come to know and practice has been seasoned with varying beliefs and rituals from cultures world-wide over the course of time. In the Roman era, the tradition of incorporating a wedding party arose out of necessity. The bride had to travel to the groom’s country to hold the ceremony. On her journey, she could encounter other jealous suitors or ill-wishers. Thus, her bridal party dressed exactly like the bride in

order to confuse those whom might cause her harm. Likewise, the groomsmen held an equally practical position. Often times, the groom would have to steal the bride away from her family. The groomsmen (then referred to as “bride-knights”) would stand guard while the groom took his bride. Then, at the ceremony, they would also dress exactly like the groom in order to distract evil spirits. Even the honeymoon that marks a modern wedding’s blissful beginning is a far cry from its initial purpose. The word “honeymoon” comes from a Northern Germanic word, which means “in hiding”. Since the groom abducted the bride, he had to take her away to a secret location after the wedding to impregnate her without interruption from those who did not agree with the union (usually the bride’s family). Pressure to Employ Tradition Weddings are bloated with tradition. And, for often subconscious reasons, brides often feel pressure to give in. We advise you to trim the fat! Your wedding day is fleeting; each

element of it should have a deepseated meaning to you individually and as a couple. Ultimately, the entire purpose of a wedding is to celebrate your union, not to re-create a formulaic event for the enjoyment of others. While there is no shame in including customary components, it will be most fulfilling to make your wedding unique to you as a couple. If you don’t want your bridesmaids to wear matching dresses because you think it looks too generic, that’s okay. If you prefer your wedding party not stand at the end of the aisle because you feel it detracts from you and your husband, that is perfectly acceptable. If you don’t want to have a honeymoon right after your wedding, save it for a time when you can truly enjoy it. There is no rule-book for wedding planning, there is only the simple privilege of celebrating one of life’s greatest gifts. Your love is unique, why shouldn’t your wedding be?

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Puppy (and Kitty) Love Article by Sarah Goldstein

pets to be a significant part of their union; after all, they are part of the family too! Pets can be a fun and sentimental addition to a wedding ceremony, but there are a few guidelines to consider before making the decision to include them. Start off by consulting your venue to make sure they are petfriendly. One major benefit for animal-lovers looking to wed in Aspen is that most hotels not only allow pets, but they cater to them! The Little Nell accommodates dogs by providing a Puppy Jet Lag Kit, recommending groomers, and giving a list of favored pet-friendly hiking trails. The Hotel Jerome gives their four legged guests a signature Hotel Jerome food and water dish and even has a special menu with Pet Selections. Bringing your pets to Aspen can be a very enjoyable experience. 82 | | Summer/Fall 2011

Once you have determined if your pet is welcome at the venue, you can start to consider how your petâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role in the ceremony can cater to his or her personality. If you own a laid back Bulldog, put him at the end of the aisle with the wedding party. If you have a hyper-active Maltese, consider taking pictures with her before and after the wedding, but leave her with a sitter for the ceremony. Most mishaps occur when owners fail to appropriately assess how their pet will behave at the wedding. Be honest with yourself and know that if your pet is typically tame, he or she will likely behave at the ceremony. If not, find another way to incorporate him or her. There are a number of creative ways to include your pet in your nuptials. The most common responsibility for an obedient dog is to be the ring bearer. Simply tie a pillow around his neck (official dog ring bearer

pillows can be found online at websites like and practice with him a few times to make sure he will know when and how to walk down the aisle. Another idea is to tie a shallow basket filled with flower petals around his belly so that the petals fall out when he walks, making a creative alternative to a flower girl. Cats are a bit tougher to accommodate. That said, their participation is no less valued! For cats in particular, one great option is to create a welldecorated encased wagon that can be drug down the aisle by the wedding party. Pets are an important element in any relationship, why not make them an integral part of your ceremony? With these guidelines, your four-legged companions can have a memorable part in your wedding.


MANY couples consider their

At The St. Regis Aspen Resort, indelible memories are created as our guests experience an unfolding of delightful moments and thoughtful gestures. No detail is overlooked and no request is too extravagant to ensure that a flawless experience is delivered at every turn.

there is no address like st. regis.

st. regis. aspen. Two Legendary Names, One Captivating Address. 315 east dean street aspen, co 81611 970.920.3300


Aspen Bride Magazine strives to serve our readership as the preeminent source of information, inspiration and guidance for all couples plann...


Aspen Bride Magazine strives to serve our readership as the preeminent source of information, inspiration and guidance for all couples plann...