The Wedding Party | A Recap of A Collaborative Wedding And Festival
Monday, November 18
When Shalisa and Jeff with DiningOut Events asked Calluna Events to be The Wedding Party’s official Wedding Guru, we instantly knew this was an experience couldn’t pass up. New around here? We’ll catch you up on what exactly this one-of-a-kind party is and how we were so privileged to be involved!
The Wedding Party is the first of its kind – it is a collaborative wedding ceremony, reception, and festival all rolled into one amazing day. You heard that correctly – a wedding, turned festival!
Hundreds of couples applied to participate in this immersive experience to express their love in such a powerful and unique way. After months of interviews, nine amazing couples across the USA and Canada were chosen to inaugurate The Wedding Party 2019. There were months of meetings and hundreds of hands working to ensure that the inaugural Wedding Party was as well paired as the couples themselves. The nine couples paid $15,000 – well under the industry average for a traditional wedding in 2019 – and invited 100 guests to what turned out to be a wedding experience of a lifetime. There were wine and beer tents, games, lounge areas, art installations, and desserts for days. The Wedding Party gathered 30 of Denver’s top local restaurants, forgoing a traditional sit down dinner, and instead offered up bottomless bites and drinks.
The collaboration between these nine couples, together with dozens of incredible sponsors, the top restaurants and beverage companies in Denver, DiningOut Events, and partner Ben Higgins, resulted in an unforgettable experience unlike any wedding or festival before it.
“Our focus was always on ensuring that The Wedding Party would in no way make a mockery of what is the most important day in a couple’s life,” said partner and Master of Ceremonies, Ben Higgins. “From the get-go, we set out to create a blowout celebration, but always with the mission to create a deeply personal and meaningful experience for each couple.”
Executive Producer (turned Bride-to-Be and later married at The Wedding Party) Shalisa Pouw spent nearly a year creating this experience and it was no small feat. “This was always meant to be a journey for our couples. They were pioneers, and in our small world, they became celebrities. We brought in a video production team to capture the stories. We flew the couples into Denver for shopping trips, gown and suit fittings, and most of all, to create a connection with the other couples sharing in their adventure. The brides and grooms all became very close and the collaborative experience became very important for everyone.”
The Wedding Party was a year in the making. It grew from a desire to create a one-of-a-kind experience that would celebrate love and commitment, eschewing the idea of spending a small fortune on a run-of-the-mill reception. “We showed that collaboration and cooperation make anything possible,” beams Pouw. “Everyone told us, ‘good luck having brides compete with each other!’ But we found that the brides became entirely supportive of one another. The wedding parties fell in love with the other couples, and wanted nothing more than to celebrate together—it was magical!”
On September 1st, 2019, the nine brave couples gathered together to participate in a wedding festival like no one has seen before. These amazing couples all started the day at The Oxford Hotel in Denver Colorado. DiningOut Events secured custom suits from IndoChino for the grooms, while the brides stunned in Watters dresses. Zinke Hair Studio and Makeup By Sameera took over the ballroom at The Oxford Hotel and worked with each bride to get them ready for a night of celebration. Engaged from Hyde Park provided all of the couples’ wedding bands, and Kendra Scott Jewelers graciously sponsored earrings and necklaces for our couples. Sage Hospitality gifted suites to all of the couples for their wedding night, and as soon as Honeycomb and Co. provided the stunning personalized florals, our couples were First Look Ready!
The photography and videography team from Velare guided the brides down and beautifully captured each first look, and the raw emotion that followed.
Once our couple’s portraits and family photos were captured, we were all set to get to Westminster City Park and get the celebration started!
After everyone was lined up, and their family had been seated, each couple walked down the aisle to their emotionally moving and personal vows, as the Denver Pops Symphony Orchestra played the soundtrack of this incredible journey.
They then tied the knot in a gorgeous ceremony officiated by host Ben Higgins, as a crowd of 2000 guests and onlookers stood witness to this powerful moment. Two of our couples chose to forego their first looks, instead seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony.
Once the ceremony concluded, and our couples danced down the aisle – officially married – the epic celebration began! All the couples gathered together for a Korbel toast before signing their marriage licenses. Guests and attendees were then free to enjoy the city’s top eats at favored restaurants and sip on an array of cocktails and dessert bites. On the grounds were an abundance of food trucks, a silent disco, a DJ tent, lawn games, lounge areas, and even an alpaca-attended photo booth for all to enjoy. In the main tent, The Taylor Pace Orchestra lived up to its reputation as one of the best wedding bands in the country as they initiated their energetic 3 hour set with a shared first dance with all of the couples. The dance floor was jam packed all night as they played hit after hit, our couples only stopping for their private cake cuttings back at their own personal lounge areas.
The magical night ended as the insane brass band, Gora Gora Orkestar led Ben Higgins, the nine couples, and remaining guests around the festival grounds in a second line before their final send off.
We finished the night as we started it – so excited, and happy to be surrounded by SO MUCH LOVE. We feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of this collaboration – between our amazing couples, the sponsors, DiningOut Events, and Ben Higgins – and ended this event in complete gratitude and awe of this community and experience.
We absolutely can’t wait for the next one – and the search for couples is already underway for 2020! If you feel like you missed out, don’t worry, you can still apply here to participate in a one of a kind experience!
A giant thank you to all of the incredible sponsors of The Wedding Party
Korbel California Champagne
Compass Real Estate – Josh McKinley
Bride & Groom Specialty Sponsors
Brides Jewelry | Kendra Scott
Bridal Gowns | Watters
Bridal Hair | Zinke Hair Studio
Bridal Makeup | Makeup by Sameera
Men’s Custom Suits | Indochino
Wedding Bands | Engage at Hyde Park
Wedding Night Accommodations | Sage Hospitality – The Maven, The Oxford, The Crawford