Many thing can be said of marriage. Of it I can say: I’ve resisted it, I’ve questioned it, admired it from afar, pondered it’s purpose, gingerly and tentatively crept up around the corners in an attempt to understand it, and ever so slowly, through our own time and in our own way come to see it as the beautiful commitment, celebration and covenant that it is.
These words – written in my vows that I recited in front of 80 of our dearest friends and family on our wedding day — rang true to my experience as a bride-to-be. Though a wedding lover and true hopeless romantic (cue the tears at any heart-warming moment!), I’ve had my fair share of complicated feelings about my wedding, my marriage and how meaningful commitment materializes (the irony is not lost on me!). When Erik and I made the exciting decision to get married, I knew how important it was to curate a wedding that reflected our unique path & perspective, especially as we entered our wedding planning era equipped with a decade of industry know-how.
There’s an art to marking this moment in our lives and even for a wedding planner, it can be daunting (cue the classic perfectionism! ;)) to make decisions that properly reflect the sanctity and sacred nature of a shared union. In the same breath, there is a uniquely inspiring creative opportunity to give life to this relationship – a one-of-a-kind experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.
As with many nearly-newlyweds, freedom was often found in trusting in the expertise and care of our beloved vendors, a tightly knit team who held the responsibility of this day with great weight. Where we landed – like so many before us – was the most magical, love-filled, FUN day that far surpassed our wildest expectations. In our six months of marriage, we sit in reflection and treasure the experience of hosting a wedding and all the came along with it, and I’m beyond thrilled to share it with each of you.
We happily (and shamelessly!) believe our vendors were among the best in the business, and the honor and privilege of working with them (almost all who I had long-standing professional connections with) was so heart-filling.
As with the majority of wedding planning, ours started high level – discussing eloping in Italy to a DIY bang-out bash and everything in between. With a venue search that quite literally took us around the world, we poetically landed on a private residence in Boulder’s (and Mel’s) backyard – Burning Sky Farm. The magic that Tim and Susan have created in at their beautiful home transcends physical location – we felt transported away from Colorado into our own world. Physical beauty aside, Susan and Tim’s warmth, energy, enthusiasm and generosity is what we’ll remember most. The husband and wife duo host a small number of weddings at their property (many of which have been Calluna’s events!) and their innate hospitality made our day and planning experience so joyful. It was the first venue we explored, and after exhausting many options, coming back to Burning Sky felt like coming home. It was always meant to be.
It was a dream-come-true to get to work with trusted colleagues turned dear friends, Emily and Zach from Alp & Isle. Their eye, their talent, poise under pressure is what puts them on the map (deservingly!!) for so many (including many of my own talents), but to know I’d be in the presence of two of the kindest, funniest, loveliest humans on our wedding day sealed the deal for me. In a stroke of good fortune and true delight, one of my very favorite videographers, the deeply talented and completely wonderful Adam from Aflatis Films signed on as our videographer, completing the most incredible team of artists to capture the highlights of the day, with all the meaningful moments in between. I’m floored by their creative ability to capture the essence of the day and will cherish their work for all of my days.
Our impeccable design team exceeded all of my expectations – I was then and still am giddy over the final product. Often operating under the “better, fewer things” mindset, our wedding was no exception. Quality, form and function was high on our priority list – and Event Rents undoubtedly delivered. As our nuptials were on private estate without typical event rental inventory at our disposal, it’s paramount to have a trusted event rental partner. Their inventory, product quality and phenomenal team was a true highlight, and I’m so grateful to the team for their collaboration, enormous generosity and superb service.
With our wedding vision honed, it was a no-brainer to bring Frannie on from Figment Floral, a true soul-sister and extraordinary creative. Frannie took my vision of elevated, understated garden party and dusted her beauty on top of it – perfectly pairing peachy and pink tones to emulate a floral design to both withstand the test of time, but in my (very biased!!) opinion, flirt with the fun trends of the moment. If the audible squeal (okay, scream) at my bouquet reveal wasn’t a telling indication of Frannie’s immense talent and our joy, I just don’t know what would be. I’d be remiss not to give a ~moment~ for the linens – lovingly selected with the support of Kara our MVP of Nuage Linens – that complimented the existing design elements and tied it together perfectly. My ever-trusty team at Elite Entertainment (Hi Yan, Hi Gabe!!) brought it home with just the right amount of draping, lighting and AV, and to be on the “client side” when we’ve conquered so many events together as colleagues was a total delight.
Our most trusted confident and valued partner in planning the flow, the vibe and the execution of the day was undeniably the beloved team behind GB Culinary. Finding a kindred spirit in the food and beverage space was a tall order, and Claire, Grant, Lindsay and team were just that for us. If the kitchen is the heart of the home, culinary excellence is the north star of a wedding – and that rang true for us. Every step of the process was exceptional: we spent hours with Claire pouring over details, not just through menu selection, but curated wine pairings, unique and inventive displays, established unparalleled guest service. They are true masters of their craft – taking every idea and elevating it just a touch more. No detail was too small – from distinguishing specific glassware to match the progression of the party to procuring a last minute sweet treat from the nearest grocery store of a kiddo requesting a specific dessert (?!?!!?!!) – the GB Culinary team was the shining star among stars in so many way.
Some of our most treasured memories of the celebration come from the dance floor which was powered by the incomparable, can’t-be-stopped, maker-of-magic, the Jordan Kahn Orchestra with Jordan Kahn Music Company. This team is the undeniable leader in radical hospitality, generosity and phenomenal entertainment – plainly put there is no one who can energize a party like they can. I feel so privileged and will forever pinch myself to call this crew – Jordan, Sam and the entire JKMC team – not only our wedding entertainment, but more importantly, friends in this industry.
I never dreamed of what my wedding dress would look like. On a whim (and with the warm support of my favorite team at Little White Dress Bridal Shop) I tried a Carolina Herrera gown on during a sample sale months before we even began to plan. In some happy twist of fate (alongside the ever so gentle string-pulling of Kelly and Megan ;)) unbeknownst to me, that same dress was waiting for me when I returned about six months later. Enormous gratitude to the team at Donna Beth Creations, Mel at Alchemy Face Bar and Erica at LoLa Beauty for supporting with the finishing touches and making this low-maintenance gal feel like a real bride.
Special shoutouts go to the many hands that supported in the planning and execution of this event that haven’t already been mentioned: from the phenomenal team at St Julien Hotel & Spa who opened their cozy courtyard of night-before festivities to the trusty crew at The Lavish Loo, Green Ride Charter Services, All Events, Hazel’s, Boulder Wine Merchant, Suit Supply, Papier and Artifact Uprising. It’s not lost on me that it takes a village, and my endless gratitude to each person who was a part of our journey. We feel so honored to be on the receiving end of your work.
Last, and certainly not least, infinite gratitude will never be enough to our Calluna Events team who not only supported in the execution of this event (with Kristen and Gina at the helm – my iconic wedding fairy godmothers!!!!), but who have also become dear friends, trusted mentors and deeply valued confidants in this unique and exciting time. My heart is yours, thank you for celebrating with me and us. I love each of you dearly.
For a comprehensive (and more concise ;)) list of our stellar vendor team, see below. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to each person who helped make this special day a reality. We will cherish this day for the rest of time.
With love and gratitude,
Melanie and Erik
Planning and Event Design • Calluna Events
Venue • Burning Sky Farm
Photography • Alp & Isle
Videography: Aflatis Films
Catering & Culinary Experience • GB Culinary
Floral • Figment Floral
Rentals & Specialty Linens • Event Rents, All Events, Nuage Linens
Entertainment • Jordan Kahn Orchestra with Jordan Kahn Music Company
Draping, lighting and AV • Elite Entertainment
Paper Goods • Artifact Uprising, Papier
Beverage • Hazel’s, Boulder Wine Merchant
Transportation • Green Ride Charter Services
Luxury Lavatories • The Lavish Loo
Beauty • Alchemy Face Bar & LoLa Beauty
Attire • Carolina Herrera gown from Little White Dress Bridal Shop, alterations by Donna Beth Creations, Groom’s attire by Suit Supply