I’m Jolene. Yes, just like that really great Dolly Parton song. I have brown hair (not auburn) and eyes of emerald green. I am so lucky to have the greatest job on the planet! I get to be a part of other people’s parties and witness life’s most precious moments on a regular basisthrough special events and celebrations. Calluna Events made my dreams come true on my wedding day (October 2011), and now I get to be a part of future celebrations as Calluna’s newest team member, with a company I know, love, and trust.
A little about me…
I was born and raised in Palm Springs, California, among mid-century modern design, palm trees, mountains, pretty people, and a lot of sunshine. My two younger sisters and I laughed often, traveled as much as possible, and were constantly surrounded by other family, friends, and great dinner parties. From birthdays to bat mitzvahs, there was always reason for celebration!
I discovered at the age of 13 what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, while “helping” Beverly Hills event planner, Mindy Weiss on the planning of my own bat mitzvah.
Yep, just a wee young 13 year-old party planner-to be with a blossoming sense of style + creativity and passion for bringing ideas to life.
5 years later, I went on to legitimately work with Mindy Weiss and her amazing team in Los Angeles, while attending the University of Southern California. I assisted with high-profile + celebrity weddings, bar / bat mitzvahs, destination events, corporate parties, and more. I am SO grateful for my time with Mindy Weiss Party Consultants and have taken everything I learned along with me throughout my career.
From one rock star planner to another, I am now so fortunate to be in Boulder, working with Colorado’s most creative event curator, the fabulous Heather Dwight at CALLUNA EVENTS!
I contacted Calluna Events to help with the details of MY big day, and wanted to share my inspiration, details, images (big thanks to our phenomenal photographer Cary Jobe), and reflection…. Spice, our Lead Planner, was heaven-sent. She made my wedding dreams come true and now I get to make that happen for others as a Calluna Event’s team member! Enjoy the overwhelming amount of collage photos below + I look forward to working with you!!
HOW AND WHERE DID YOU TWO MEET?
After my first week living in Avon, Colorado (having just moved from Los Angeles), a fellow co-worker invited me to join their “team” at the Tuesday Trivia night at the local hang-out, Loaded Joes. The man with the mic had me at Round One, and three years later he proposed…
There is another story when we actually met for the first time, but it was years earlier, lasted about 5 minutes and involves a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne on New Year’s Eve. Ask me about it when we meet.
HAVING BEEN IN THE EVENT INDUSTRY, HOW DID YOU FINALLY CHOOSE YOUR VENUE?
The Vail Valley held such strong meaning for us. We knew right away that we wanted to incorporate the mountains and valley views in our wedding day. After much investigation and contract comparison we thought … let’s just get married on the mountain!!
Fall has always been my favorite season… The colors are magical and can’t be compared to anything I’ve seen, having grown up in the season-less Southern California. So, we decided to take our chances on the leaves and booked our early October wedding on Beaver Creek mountain’s wedding deck. The deck was brand new, so there were no “inspiration photos” from past events to work from. We only had our imaginations and the breathtaking natural scenery to create our eclectic ceremony site. Fortunately for us, we were surrounded by one of the most stunning backdrops in the world, so the space required very little decorating. Our simple chuppah with notes from our friends + family hanging were all we needed. Oh, and a touch of yellow orchids to compliment the yellow backdrop.
For our reception, we decided on the FABULOUS LEED Silver-certified Westin Riverfront Resort + Spa’s restaurant Avondale, now Cima, (voted #1 Western Resort by Conde Nast Traveler 2012).The Westin’s restaurant has a huge deck, modern furniture, a “fire pit table”, PHENOMENAL food, tasteful mood lighting, and the best views of the entire Beaver Creek mountain. It also allowed for a convenient stay after the reception at the hotel for out-of-town family and friends.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU WHEN YOU WERE PLANNING YOUR WEDDING?
I am (and was) inspired by a number of different things on a daily basis – from a Pinterest post, dish at a restaurant, someone I spot on the street, the weather, interiors, fabrics, blogs, etc…
I stayed away from any and all “trends” and wanted our day to be timeless and of course feel completely authentic! We didn’t want to have traditions for the sake of traditions. So, we found a way to fuse together my Jewish background with Chad’s sense of spirituality and only incorporated traditions that had real meaning to us. We also created our own, new traditions….
For example, instead of just Chad and I cutting our wedding cake, we decided we wanted each table to partake in the cake-cutting. So, we had a smaller version of our wedding cake at each table and asked that our guests all cut their cakes with us. It was fun to see who grabbed the knives and who the “leaders” were at each table. Thankfully, no chocolate food fights.
ANY OTHER INTERESTING PERSONAL TOUCHES?
Yes! We decided that instead of including the traditional tallit on the top of the chuppah, we preferred something more personal. So, we asked all of our guests to send back little hang tags that we included with their wedding invitation. I was SO impressed by the creativity and wise words our friends + family had to offer. One family friend wrote a poem and other’s included their marital advice. My favorite was the one that said, “Chad, Jolene is always right. Happy wife, happy life.” Correct!!
Music was so important to us and we definitely wanted our personal music tastes to shine through. For example, I walked down the aisle to the Eels “Fresh Feeling”
For our guest book, we ordered a custom “tree” with our names + date at the bottom. Each guest was asked to use their thumb to leave a leaf print + name/note to create our wedding tree. The final product was absolutely beautiful and is hanging in our bedroom.
Our invitations were also completely customized. We designed them from the innovative Printable Press and used very untraditional verbiage to set the tone of our wedding. We had a quote on the invitation from the very clever Story People that read, “You’re the strangest person I ever met, she said & I said you too & we decided we’d know each other a long time”
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE WHOLE DAY?
There are so many different elements to making a wedding come to life, so watching the pieces come together was the ultimate satisfaction. Spice was there from day to bounce ideas off of me, plan for every possibility, and to pull everything together.
I loved our intimate ceremony, I cherished every toast, hug, tear, dance, bite of food and sip of champagne, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to been the star of my own wedding fantasy. But, to be surrounded by so much love from my new husband, my family, my friends, and even my amazing vendors will still trump any of the beautiful details. No one (or no blog) could have prepared me for the overwhelming happiness that I experienced being on the other end of the event.
ADVICE FOR THOSE TYING THE KNOT?
This answer is fivefold:
1) Hire a professional planner to help (Calluna Events). You may think you have everything under control (and you probably do for a while), but you will truly be able to enjoy every moment of your special day if you aren’t worried about who will light the candles, tip the vendors, pin the boutineers, or make sure your cute cousin remembers the rings. Planners offer a variety of price points and packages to fit every budget. WORTH EVERY PENNY!
2) Don’t sweat the small stuff…. And it’s all small stuff. If you find out last minute the peonies you dreamed of just went out of season, remember that no matter what it is going to be beautiful and you are probably the only one who will notice. Give yourself a minute of panic, then step back and remember what your big day is really about.
3) Try to say hello to each and every guest (and try to take a picture with them too). Your guests are almost as excited about your knot-tying as you are, so let them feel the love. Chances are your family and friends traveled long and far to send you off, so try to take a few moments for everyone on the guest list and let them know how glad you are to have them there.
4) Experience every emotion. Smile, dance, freak out (for a minute), hug, kiss, talk, drink, cry, laugh, sing, eat the food you ordered, and ENJOY! This is your day. It (hopefully) only happens once, so let yourself feel everything. It goes by really fast and there is nothing else like it.