Happy Thanksgiving from the #CallunaCrew


Monday, November 23

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Happy Thanksgiving to our clients, vendors, friends and community in our unstoppable industry! We hope your day (and week!) is filled with happy hearts, lots of laughter, delicious food and bottles of your favorite tasty wine. Words fall short trying to express ample gratitude for all of you, especially in the banner year of 2020. We are incredibly appreciative and honored for the love, support, partnership and trust over the years but especially this one. We are first and foremost thankful for you, Calluna Communty, so THANK YOU! We wish you happiness, love, yummy food and good health to you and your loved ones this Thanksgiving.

Each year we love taking a moment to pause and reflect about the year behind us. Our team is sharing what’s on their gratitude list –– will you join us? What are you thankful for this holiday season?

Xoxo, Calluna

::Heather Dwight::

“As I sit down to write our annual Thanksgiving blog post I am overcome with immense gratitude with what we as a team, our clients, our wedding community, as well as humanity, has endured this year, our 17th year in business. In this unprecedented year, with so much uncertainty, sadness, loneliness and disappointment I am amazed at the resilience of our team, our couples and our vendor partners in Colorado and across the country. When COVID started in March we had no idea how long this would last, what we and our clients might have to go through or which companies would get to the other side. And for planners, that uncertainty is extremely unsettling.

Our team embraced the news of COVID head on, swiftly and calmly action. They were thrown head first into navigating the ever-changing governmental regulations regarding gatherings in March and April and didn’t really have a moment to catch our breaths. Because our team stepped up, we were really able to be extremely proactive with our couples and provide reassurance and calm to them, as well as up to date, factual information to help them make the best decisions for their weddings and events.

During this chaotic year we still planned 20 wedding and assisted many more couples with their postponements. Many of our weddings were modified in size and scope and we planned weddings in four different states other than Colorado and at the same time navigated wildfires in Napa and Colorado.

Our team positioned ourselves as an advocate for both clients and vendors alike in the beginning part of the pandemic through our Calluna Consulting, stayed on top of all the state, county and local government regulations as well as an active member of the Colorado Event Alliance, our COVID focused blog posts, social media updates and e-newsletter and messaging we were putting out there. Our team embraced small weddings, and elopement style dinners as well as developed Curated by Calluna. At a time when many days we just wanted to crawl under a rock and wish this year away, I was inspired by how our team just put one foot in front of the other and didn’t question our direction –  they embraced it!

I’ve said it so many times before but I am always in awe of and humbled by our team.  They are the heart and soul of Calluna, who work tirelessly and who have such positive enthusiasm for our couples. Wedding planning is a challenge in normal times but in the midst of a pandemic it was one our team was up for and they were the reason we got through this year! Wedding planning is sometimes a thankless job, a job behind the scenes, but our team is the cog that makes the entire wheel of the wedding turn! And this year more than ever they were that cog – the impactful part that made the entire process go on. 

I am once again grateful for our clients’ trust in us, this year more than ever! Most of our weddings postponed and it was because of our clients trust in us and our ability to help them navigate this pandemic as well as their wedding plans that we were able to stay in business but keep our three full time salaried planners in their jobs, and kept several of our part time planners and two interns busy. And also because of their trust in us we are nearly full for 2021 and booking for 2022!

In a year filled with quarantine, very little travel and lack of social time I am personally grateful for my family and close friends who I’ve cherished and leaned in to appreciate the small things – from phone calls, friend text threads that have gotten us all through this year, Zoom calls and more appreciation and reminiscing for the times spent together. 

And as always I’m grateful for my husband, Brandon, and our two children Maggie and Grey who I spent every single day with this year and love even more! I’m grateful for where we live in Colorado, for our turn of the century cabin in Eldora that has been an oasis during quarantine and for the quality time I nature, hiking and biking in the mountains, blue sky. I’m grateful for board games, Friday night movie night, skiing in the woods, and our brand new yellow Labrador puppy Cleo. 2020 has been a year, one that we are all ready to be over, but it has taught me to appreciate the little things – the little wins, the little moments and we know now that we can really, truly get through anything. With 2020 behind us the best is really yet to come! And I am so grateful knowing that!”

::Melanie Robertz::

“Wow – where to begin? I could easily go on for pages when prompted to list what comes to mind when giving thanks this year. I find in times of trial (so much of what this year has brought us), it’s easy for our minds to assume the worst, to lean into the scary corners of our deepest fears. In the same breath, I find that it’s just as simple to swing the pendulum to the positive. It’s the beautiful and complex thing about chaos and crisis: just as easily as our minds veer to the bad, the positive, the blessings, the grace become so evidently clear.

To say I’m beyond grateful feels like the cliche of the year, but to say anything less would be untrue. Each year I am wholeheartedly counting my thanks for the health, happiness and prosperity of my loved ones and community, but this year the bell rings louder. A few notable mentions:

  • I’m grateful to have a renewed sense of perspective and purpose, awakened by the jarring events this year has forced us to confront. The lessons learned both this year and the continual education and activism to come has changed the way I approach my life on a micro and macro level.
  • I’m grateful to be a champion of the small businesses and the underdog – both as a member of this industry but also as a conscious consumer, voter, shopper, citizen.
  • I’m grateful for the both trust and support of my small but mighty team as well as the grace and perseverance of my phenomenal clients and vendors. We’re navigating trenches we never even imagined, all in the name of love. 
  • I’m grateful to have a roof over my head, nourishing food to eat, a family that I can connect with on the other side of a screen (for now) and an overflowing heart for those I love and humankind at large.
  • Also grateful for the small but incredibly significant details to get us through this quarantine like miles clocked on lunchtime strolls, a boyfriend-turned-unexpected-office-mate who always keeps me laughing, and a hefty neighborhood discount at Mondo Vino wine shop 😉

Wishing you and yours a very happy thanksgiving, however you’re celebrating!” 

::Lindsay Hayden::

“WHAT. A. YEAR. I’ve truly always believed that everything happens for a reason. This time last year, Ken and I were preparing our hearts to leave the East Coast – a place we not only love but also found love. It was hard – really hard. On January 13, as the rain came down (sings in Hilary Duff tune), I cried the whole way to the airport playing Empire State of Mind and our Uber driver probably thought we were crazy people. The song is true – that concrete jungle is what dreams are made of. I found a career I loved, friends I adore and the person I am meant to be (and be with – heyyy Ken!). New York made me. Fast forward {almost} one year, 3 moves, 1 more puppy and a global pandemic – I am sitting here with the most grateful heart that we’ve made a home together here in Colorado. Quarantine on the fifth floor of our NYC apartment (90 steps up, no elevator) could have been a layer of Dante’s Inferno, I think. There have been so many ups and downs, missing family & friends, training a dog, working from home, cooking like every meal (seriously, humans aren’t made to cook dinner every single night) and I feel so fortunate to have a career – that despite a global pandemic that has threatened the entire hospitality industry – is thriving because of the hardwork and perseverance the amazing team at Calluna Events has put into each and every one of our clients and each other. 

This year, while we won’t be celebrating with our extended family in Houston, Texas as we have for the last six years – we’ll be here in Colorado (my first thanksgiving here in 7 years!), drinking Old Fashions, spending time with immediate family, enjoying the delicious cooking of my mom and being with our puppies – and at the end of the day – that’s all I’ll really ever need!” 

::Kristen Kennedy::

“2020 was certainly unexpected, but I’ve tried to stay positive and focus on all the good things that have come my way. Some 2020 highlights include…

  • Not one, but TWO epic road trips up and down the West Coast. I usually take several trips a year, so I’m extra thankful for road trips in 2020. Some highlights from those driving adventures include The Surfrider Hotel in Malibu (someone, please get married here and let us plan), Beach walks at home in San Francisco, Mexican food in sunny San Diego, and lake hangs in Idaho.
  • Spending more time with my family than I have since high school! They’ve spent the past six months in Colorado 🙂
  • I am reading more than I usually do. Some of my favorites have been The Dutch House, Save Me The Plums, and Measure of My Powers.
  • I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn this year. 2020 has been a whirlwind, and I’ve done a lot of thinking, self-analyzing, and educating.
  • I’m so happy that I was able to explore more of Colorado this year! I went to Telluride for the first time and have spent several weekends at The Wyman down in Silverton. Colorado truly is a beauty.
  • And I’m OBVIOUSLY grateful for the Calluna crew and the resilience of the event and wedding community.

Need THE BEST cookie recipe ever for the holidays? Try out these ginger molasses cookies from Gimme Some Oven. One of my favorite holiday recipes!”

::Megan Dunlap::

“This year I am most thankful for my circle of support. In a year of such uncertainty, it is a year where my support system has helped me through a few unimaginable circumstances and these people are the ones that I know I can count on for anything. This year I have been able to slow down and read a few more books than normal, support local/small businesses more, and virtually grow my relationships on a deeper level. For the Holidays this year my family and I are keeping it really small and doing small intimate gatherings to help keep the holiday spirit alive.  I hope everyone hugs their loved ones a little longer either virtually or at a distance this holiday season.”

::Elizabeth Hefron::

What a year it has been! Despite the craziness of it all, I am thankful for the many blessings I have in my life. Earlier this year, I graduated college from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a bittersweet moment to say the least. As I closed one chapter of my life and turned the page onto a new one, I was not sure what the future would entail or even look like. The plan I had for post-graduation soon did a 360, along with the majority of others.

They say some of the biggest blessings come when you least expect them, as the newest member of Calluna, I am so grateful to be a part of such a strong and talented team. I have grown so much this year, as a professional, as a friend, as a sister, and as a person. I am so thankful for the people who I have in my life, my family, my friends and of course the amazing team I have met through Calluna. This year has taught me to truly appreciate the little things and soak in every moment, cherish the time that you can spend with your loved ones. I am grateful that even in times of uncertainty, I have so many things in my life to be thankful for.

This year I will be spending the holidays with my immediate family, taking in all of the little moments, and cherishing the time I have with my family. I look forward to the future, and working with this amazing team this coming year! I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!

Feature Photo:
Photographer | Jill Houser Photography

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