Wedding Date: 10/03/2015 Bride and Groom: Teresa (Ground) Dunn and Mickey Dunn
(From the Bride)
How would you describe your wedding? Destination Platinum wedding with three days of events, with a 20’s (Great Gatsby wedding) theme, and the best, most beautiful event ever.
Location of Wedding Ceremony: Aspen Mountain Wedding Deck
How did you decide on your wedding ceremony location? I wanted the most breath taking view in Aspen, and that is at the wedding deck at the top of Aspen Mountain. Location of Wedding Reception: The Hotel Jerome
How did you decide on your wedding reception location? Our wedding was a Great Gatsby wedding theme, the Jerome Ballroom was the perfect setting for a 20’s theme.
What was the mood at the wedding? It was three days full of surprises and fun events for our guests.
Best memory from the wedding day? Walking down the aisle to my husband, overlooking the great view behind the altar, then saying our vows.
Any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? You have to get the right planner that can lead you in the correct path to achieve your dream wedding. An experienced Planner like Elizabeth at EKS Events already knows how to make things happen the right way, her standards are high. Also, the Photography and Videography for a wedding has changed significantly over the past few years and only the right people can make your memory unforgettable. There is a lot of competition but the best by far is Robin Proctor and Fidelis Films.
Wedding Date: August 2015 Bride and Groom: Bethany Leeson Verrills and Edward Mackenzie Verrills
From the Bride:
Edward and I chose a location that was steps away from where we met as employees for Aspen/Snowmass in 2010. Our home towns were so far away from one another, so we decided to have our wedding in the town where we fell in love. We planned the wedding by ourselves, as many of our loved ones were far away. All the signs, table numbers, picture frames, favors, welcome bags, etc. were hand-made by the bride and groom. We wanted our wedding to be elegant yet fun. Our theme was rustic chic. We had a Thursday meet-n-greet at The Maroon Bells, a champagne toast on top of Aspen Mountain for my bridesmaids on Friday and a Sunday doughnut send off so that our guests could experience all that Aspen/Snowmass had to offer.
How did you decide on this location? It was steps away from where we met (at The Commons as employees of Aspen/Snowmass) and was all inclusive, which we knew we wanted for our guests so they could enjoy the beauty of Snowmass all in one place. Beautiful views and Deborah Gerlach (day of planner at the Snowmass Club) was wonderful to work with!
How did you decide on The Snowmass Club Patio for your reception? The outdoor patio made us feel like we were outdoor, yet we weren’t. We hired a clear top tent and had access to Sage’s indoor area as well. The views were wonderful and the venue added a rustic/lodge vibe and yet was still elegant and classy.
Where did you book your accommodations? The Snowmass Villas
What was the mood at your wedding? Our wedding was a destination wedding for 90% of our guests, so many were visiting Aspen/Snowmass for the first time. We wanted our reception to feel warm, romantic, elegant and fun.
What is your best memory? Our ceremony — surrounded by Aspen trees, saying our vows. It was perfect!
Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? Our ceremony — surrounded by Aspen trees, saying our vows. It was perfect! Be familiar with the area, as we (bride and groom) were locals. Trust and ask for help from the venue manager and look for free and affordable ways to get your guests involved in the area. We had a sunset Meet-n-Greet at The Maroon Bells on Thursday and a champagne toast on top of Aspen Mountain on Friday. Wonderful ways to show off our beautiful town!
You just got engaged, (CONGRATS!) and now you are beginning to plan your special day. One of the most important details involves your wedding vendors. As you begin to meet with and decide on your vendors, keep these questions in mind. You don’t want to be surprised on your wedding day, so make sure you are completely comfortable with your vendors policies and prices.
These are specific questions that you should ask all vendors (venue, caterer, photographer, florist etc.)
How long have you been in business?
Can I see references?
Can I see examples of your work?
What kind of insurance do you have?
What is your payment structure like?
What is your cancellation policy?
What are your emergency plans? (If they were to fall ill, be unavailable, weather issues etc.)
Do you have any other fees? Travel fees?
Do you subcontract with other vendors?
What happens if you go out of business?
Are you available on my date?
What do you include in your packages/service?
Have you worked with a wedding my size? Budget?
What is the most challenging situation you have dealt with at a wedding and how did you handle it?
How can I get in touch with you with questions/concerns?
How many weddings will be on my date or around my date?
Will you be the exact person at my wedding or will an assistant/coworker be there in your place?
These are important questions for you to ask! Additionally, you want to make sure you feel comfortable with and are able to effectively communicate with your vendors. Since these people will be around you on your wedding day, you don’t want someone that you don’t enjoy being around. Choose vendors that you get along with and that click with your personality.
Have you found your vendors? What was the most important question that you asked during the process?
Favors are a small part of your wedding day details but they can be important. After months of planning you may just be considering the smaller details like favors. Wedding favors are a special way to thank your guests for attending your special day. They can be a part of your table decor and connect with your wedding theme. Still, wedding favors can often be extremely difficult to decide on. Here are 5 ideas for fun Aspen wedding favors.
Photo: The Wedding Chicks
1. Sweet Treats Surprise your guests with an edible treat to-go! Fun ideas include homemade flavored popcorn, s’more kits, cupcakes in a box, candy, chocolate, coffee or tea, honey or jam, and more. Hot chocolate mix with marshmallows and chocolate shavings in a mason jar is a cute idea for a winter wedding. The options are limitless. Pick something that is meaningful to the two of you. Make sure it is easy to take home, you don’t want people leaving them behind! Add little tags such as “Love is Sweet,” “Donut Leave Without a Treat” and other fun cards with a thank you!
2. Watch Love Grow Send your guests home with some seed packets, a satchel of lavender or a mini plant. These are perfect for outdoorsy weddings or for couples that love nature.
3. Kiss the Cook If you and your significant other love creating masterpieces in the kitchen, creating your own spice mix or condiment is a great gift. Give guests a spice packet blend that you mixed up yourself or share your signature salsa or BBQ sauce. Keep in mind that if guests are traveling by airplane to Aspen, they may not be able to bring anything liquid back in their bags.
Photo: BeCollective on Etsy
4. Cheers to the Mr. and Mrs.
Keep the party going after the wedding by gifting mini alcohol, wine or champagne bottles. Another quirky idea is to give your guests mini hangover kits. Include a water bottle, tylenol, mints, visine, small toothbrush, chapstick, hair tie, tissues, emergen-c, etc.
5. Local Aspen
Put together a little gift bag of goodies local to Aspen. Bundles Gift Company can help you put together an amazing looking bag. You can also choose to do welcome bags for an extra special treat for your guests. Include sweet and savory snacks, a refreshing drink, water bottles, altitude kits or anything that will make their stay more enjoyable.
Hopefully these ideas helped inspire you for your own favor ideas. Have you picked your favors already? Comment below with what you are doing, we would love to know!
When planning a wedding, you want to put all of the different pieces together for one cohesive design. Choosing vendors that fit in to your vision and work well together is an important part of this. GATHER is a unique service with many quality vendors that came out of this idea, where vendors work together creatively and collaboratively.
We spoke to Tara Abbaticchio, owner of Modern West Floral Co., and Katie Baum, owner of EAT catering, about what makes Gather such a unique and special Aspen wedding service.
Aspen Wedding Guide (AWG): What is Gather?
Gather (G): Gather was a vision born out of the desire to work creatively with the people we love the most. We (EAT, Harvest Tables, Modern West Floral Co., and West Side Lighting) all have niche businesses that happen to fall within the event/wedding umbrella, but we wanted to create a “parent” company that allows us to work together on creative events that really fit our style.
We specialize in intimate gatherings with a purpose – be that learning, wedding celebrations, engaging with family and friends or celebrating life milestones. We work with clients beginning with their initial vision, and help to curate the most special and meaningful gathering based on the client’s style, meaning and purpose. We try not to do anything ‘just because we’re supposed to’ and love the creativity that comes along with each unique client and their reason for celebration!
Photo: Harvest Table Co.
AWG: What are good resources for inspiration, where do you find inspiration for design?
G: As a whole, Gather Collective has many years of experience in the event curation and production business. Each one of us seeks inspiration in different ways, but with a common core – community, love, and perfect simplicity.
EAT is inspired by local farms and foods takes great pride in the presentation and taste of each meal we create, while at the same time striving to inspire healthful and sustainable eating practices. We believe every element of your event, including the food, should be at the same time simple, joyful, creative, beautiful and delicious.
Modern West Floral Co. seeks to highlight the beauty of the native landscape around us here in the mountain west. Our floral palette is Colorado grown as much as possible, with an emphasis on the form and architecture of the plant rather than jumbles of tropical flowers you might find in the standard floral industry.
We find inspiration in nature and in the landscape and flora silhouettes that surround us in this beautiful place. With Harvest Tables’ beautifully handcrafted in Lyons, Colorado from reclaimed wood from Colorado barns. Gather also has supply of additional rental items – stemless wine glasses, vintage dinnerware, & silver plated silverware.
To lighten up your space indoor and out, West Side Lighting is able to make your event space beautiful and unique. Gather has the ability and passion to work together to combine all of these elements into one beautiful package personalized to each client. It is important to us that we build relationships with our clients and our vendors so that each event is executed with passion.
Photo: Our Love is Loud
Photo: Our Love is Loud
AWG: What are some of your favorite ways to personalize the wedding day?
G: We are a true farm-to-table company that believes in sustainable practices when curating an event – we “shake the hand” of our farmers, we are friends with our purveyors and vendors, we connect with people, which makes our events extra special. We learn about our clients and their guests – we take time to hear their vision and implement it.
Some of our favorites:
Incorporate family heirlooms into the decor.
Fabric napkins to suit your style (that you get to keep!)
Wedding menus personalized around palate and favorite foods.
Using seasonal and locally grown and sourced foods, flowers, and decor.
Intimate gatherings for the bride or groom and their loved ones into the event schedule around creative crafts or classes that allow guests to connect in other ways than around the bar.
Photo: Our Love is Loud
Booking the experienced professional wedding vendors of Gather for you wedding day will truly make your wedding one-of-a-kind. They work with you to create a special and meaningful event based on your own unique style and needs.
Are you getting married on the 4th of July, or do you desire an Americana style wedding? Here are some sophisticated ways to put a chic twist on the patriotic red, white, and blue.
Photo: Jeff Loves Jessica via Style Me Pretty
1. Dress festive
Bridesmaids: Have your bridesmaids wear blue, red or a combination of the two. Add in pops of red in the flowers or stick with all white. Use nautical stripe blue and white ribbon around the bouquets.
Groomsman: Wear navy suits with red ties or bowties. A fun detail is to have the guys all wear American flag socks.
2. Bold décor
Add in some pops of red, white, and blues and mix in patterns like stripes, ikat, plaid, checks, polka dots or floral.
Photo: Rustic Wedding Chic
3. Have fun with food
Be creative with your wedding menu by serving typical American foods. Mini apps can include mini burgers/hotdogs, mini pb&j sandwiches, grilled cheese with tomato soup shooters, baked mac and cheese balls, and more. Serve lemonade and iced tea in mason jars with striped straws, have signature cocktails that fit the patriotic theme.
For dessert you could serve mini pies, a naked cake with berries, red velvet cupcakes or even cookies. Late night s’mores are a fun treat if you have a bonfire or fire pit at your venue.
Photo: Lindsay Docherty Photography via the Knot
4. Light it up!
End your celebration with a bang! Fireworks or sparklers make a fantastic ending to your 4th of July or Americana themed wedding. Or a fun favor idea is these super cute confetti poppers.
Photo: Alice & Lois
Photo: Ruth Eileen via Style Me Pretty
Bring on the flags, sparklers, and festive red, white, and blue for a perfectly patriotic 4th of July wedding! Are you having an Americana wedding? Share your favorite details and ideas below!
Aspen is a gorgeous location for a destination wedding. If you are from out of town, whether a few hours drive or a plane ride away, it can be challenging. There are a few things you can do to make the planning process easier on you.
1. Hire a local Aspen wedding planner. Having a professional wedding planner familiar with the area will be extremely valuable during the planning process. Your wedding planner can help recommend vendors and ideas. Additionally your planner may be able to attend appointments on your behalf.
2. Research, Research, Research. Use Aspen Wedding Guide to find the best vendors and venues in the Aspen area.
3. Take a wedding planning trip. Whether for a weekend or a week, a trip to your wedding destination is obviously important. Try to schedule all vendor meeting during this trip. You will likely want to see your venue in person, taste your food, try cake flavors, meet your florist and other vendors.
4. Utilize technology. If you need to have a vendor meeting and being there in person isn’t feasible, there are plenty of tools that you could utilize for communicating including Skype or FaceTime.
5. Arrange Accommodations. Plan these details far ahead of time so that you know where you will be staying for the days before and your wedding day. Booking a hotel block for your guests is also a good idea. Many hotels will give discounted rates to your group and you will keep everyone close by. Since you are from out of town, it may be a good idea to rent a house or condo near your venue. You likely will have decor and other stuff to store.
6. Welcome your guests. Since you are from out of town, likely many of your guests will be traveling to attend your wedding. Make your guests feel at home with welcome bags and set up a shuttle to take your guests from the hotel to your wedding venue.
Planning a destination wedding can be more difficult than having one close by, but if you stay organized you can make your out of town go off without a hitch!
The food is one of the most important pieces of a wedding day for many couples. ASC Catering, is the premier catering service for Aspen Snowmass. ASC Catering offers many options for catering from formal to informal, intimate to large galas.
ASC Catering offers six different on-mountain venues all with spectacular views. Whether you want an intimate event or a larger gala, their venues can accommodate 60-300+ people. The rental is for five hours and includes chairs, tables, china, glass, silverware and more. From a fancy meal to casual BBQ, their topnotch chefs will provide a spectacular culinary experience to achieve your vision. Your wedding guests will rave over the food and service.
We spoke to Eva Pekkala, Director of Catering, at ASC Catering to learn what makes this catering service unique.
Majestic Mountain Setting
All of the venues that ASC Catering works at has stunning views. Cliffhouse looks down at the valley with clear views of Pyramid Peak. Elk Camp is a beautiful modern spot in a forest overlooking the hills of the valley. And for those getting married at Aspen Highlands can enjoy the very unique experience of riding a snowcat to Cloud Nine.
Eva says, “Being located on-mountain, the natural beauty of our venues lends itself to a serene and relaxing environment, allowing our guests to genuinely enjoy themselves.”
Unique, Custom Culinary Options
You likely have an idea of what you want to serve on your wedding day. ASC Catering can accommodate specific requests and offer you a menu that will amaze your guests. The options are endless!
“We are a full-service catering company with cuisines and styles of dinner that are completely customizable to all tastes. We lead the charge on sourcing sustainable, local, organic produce. We welcome customizing menus from all different cuisines from Farm to Table, Indian, Argentinean Asada-style feasts to St. Bart’s Nikki Beach themes. We can do sit-down dinners, stations, buffets, small plates reception. We also have the unique offering of the Sled, a customizable on-mountain food truck experience that can feature late night snacks like sliders, house-made ice cream, chicken & waffles – anything you can dream up!” shares Eva.
Having experienced and knowledgeable caterers is an invaluable resource to utilize on your wedding day. Your caterer will handle all of the details regarding planning, cooking, presenting, and serving your food. Your caterer can take your requests (in term of budget, taste, creativity) and come up with a menu perfect for your event. Additionally, having a professional staff on hand during your reception will ensure that everyone will be served at a reasonable time and everything runs smoothly. Your Aspen wedding caterers will ensure things run smoothly and you and your guests are well fed and happy.
The Wow Factor
The typical wedding held at the Aspen Snowmass wedding venues will be a late afternoon wedding ceremony with a dinner at sunset and dancing under the starry mountain skies. Wow your guests with delicious wedding cuisine and the gorgeous mountain views found at the six different venues. With many options to choose from, you will be able to find the perfect Aspen wedding venue for your special day. Everything will tie together to create a cohesive design and a “wow” worthy event.
“I love it when clients accentuate the natural beauty of our mountain landscapes with thoughtful rustic décor like burlap linen, birch accents (candle holders, etc), wild flowers, customized blankets by the fire, customized sunglasses at the outdoor ceremony. We also offer beautiful modern architecture at several of our locations like Elk Camp and Merry-Go-Round that can be accentuated with more modern décor touches.” Eva adds.
Booking ASC Catering and the beautiful venue options at Aspen Snowmass for your special day will truly make your wedding one-of-a-kind. They offer unmatched culinary expertise, stunning views, and many options for beautiful wedding reception and ceremony spaces.
Springtime weather in Aspen can be unpredictable. Lately we have had freezing weather with rain (and snow!), and sunny 60 degrees is also on the forecast. While you can’t foresee what the weather will be like on your spring wedding day, you can plan ahead in case of inclement weather. P.S., it is considered good luck if it rains on your wedding day!
Purchase fun rain accessories!
Find some adorable rain boots and umbrellas that match your wedding color. Not only will these protect you from the rain, wet grass or mud, but they will be really cute in photos.
Make a plan and stick with it.
It is your wedding day, if it is your dream to have an outdoor ceremony then do it! Tell your guests to bring umbrellas, or supply them. Have them plan on standing the whole ceremony to avoid getting wet. You can also purchase a tent or if you have a tent, coverings for the side. If this isn’t for you, then go with the inclement weather plan and move the ceremony inside. Many brides agonize over this decision only to spend lots of time thinking about it, leading to stress. Wavering between inside and outside can also be difficult for vendors that have to move things to decorate the space. Make a decision with help from your planner, venue and fiancé and stick with it!
Although it may not be the sunny day you envisioned, embrace it. You will be getting a little wet, so be adventurous and get amazing photos! Is there anything more magical and romantic then kissing in the rain??
Be flexible with the timeline.
If the weather finally lets up, you may want to head out to shoot more photos. If you are flexible with the timeline, you can change things up for a few minutes.
Waterproof your makeup.
On a rainy wedding day, your makeup is vulnerable. Rely on the pros to keep you looking fresh all day. If you makeup artist is able to, book her for a few extra hours so that she can touch you up. Use waterproof/water resistant makeup. Many brides opt for the airbrush look. Also use waterproof mascara and eyeliner. Be careful not to rub your eyes if they are wet to avoid smudges. For your hair, now is a great time to rock a gorgeous up-do. A chic chignon or bun will keep your hair from getting frizzy when it gets wet. If wearing your hair down is a must for you, opt to have a style you can take from up to down (once you are inside) or wear it half up and half down.
Trust your vendors.
All of your vendors can help you with coming up with a plan if it rains. Your photographer can help with finding spots for photos and your planner can help relocate everything indoors. Even if your wedding day doesn’t follow your exact plan, plan B will be just as amazing! Relax and let the professionals take care of the details.
Rainy weather on your Aspen wedding day can be amazing! From gorgeous photos to fun accessories, make the most of less-than-ideal weather. Plan ahead, and inclement weather will not dent your wedding day plans.
Photos via Sarah Rhoads Photography, Erik Clausen and Ryan Este Photography.
Your Aspen wedding “team,” made up of all of your vendors is a crucial part of your wedding. Together, they will make your day happen. With so many wonderful Aspen wedding vendors out there, it can be a very overwhelming process to begin to book your various vendors. Narrowing down the field will help you make decisions.
Here are some tips for what to consider when deciding whether a vendor is “the one.”
Consider your budget. This may seem obvious, but you want to book vendors that you can afford. Before you begin, plan out how much you are hoping to spend on each vendor, and the realistic costs involved. Before booking, make sure you are aware what the total amount will be (including hidden fees) and when you will need to make these payments.
Make sure they are available on your date. This is important because obviously you don’t want to meet with a potential vendor only to find out that they are booked on your wedding day! Find out before setting up an appointment if they are available. Because many vendors book the most popular wedding dates months in advance, begin planning as soon as possible to get your vendors reserved.
Consider your wedding location. Is this location within the area that they work? Or is traveling an option? You will want someone that is familiar with your venue, even better if they have worked wedding there before. Having a wedding vendor from the area can also be helpful, especially if you are planning a destination wedding.
Does their style fit with your vision? This one doesn’t apply to every vendor, but for some of them it is important that their style reflect what you want. Photographers, florists, and venues especially. Looking at their work can give you a good idea of what their style typically is whether traditional, modern, rustic, formal etc.
What are people saying about them? One of the first places you went to check out wedding vendors was probably online. Visit potential vendors’ websites, social media spaces and review sites. Get a feel for how they interact with current or past brides/grooms. Do the couples seem happy with their services? Is there a lot of positive feedback? Keep in mind that every business will have someone that was unsatisfied, but if there are many really negative reviews you may want to avoid this vendor.
How are their communication skills? Communication is key during the wedding planning process. If you are unable to get ahold of them even before your initial consult, this could hint at frustrations to come. When meeting with vendors, ask them about how often you should expect to hear from them, realistic expectations about how long it will be for email responses, how much communication they do throughout the planning and if you will meet in person at all. All vendors are different and it depends on what type of services you are getting, but it is important to be aware of this beforehand.
What are qualities to look for in a wedding vendor?
You will be working closely with these people on your wedding day, you want to hire people that you enjoy being around, trust, and get along with.
Experienced- Trust that they have the skills to do a great job.
Good reputation- Do your other vendors know them? Have they worked together before? Have they worked at your venue before? Do they have past work you can see? Do they have an active online prescence with good reviews?
Helpful- You want a vendor that will be a great resource along the way. They should be interested in helping you have a great wedding day. If they seem to care only about how everything affects them (timing, time spent, money, etc.) you may not want to book them.
Good communicator– As we discussed above, communication is key.
Problem solver– You should trust that if something happens on the wedding day that they will do their best to come up with a solution to fix it.
Strong attention to detail- the details are important, you want vendors that will thing of even the littlest things to make your day special.
These are just a few of the important things to consider when booking your aspen wedding vendors. What is the most important thing for you when choosing your vendors?