Where did you have your ceremony? The Little Nell Wedding Deck
How did you decide on this location? It is the prettiest place in Aspen! The views and mountains speak for themselves.
Where did you have your reception? Hotel Jerome
How did you decide on Hotel Jerome for your reception? We love Hotel Jerome. The style, hotel and décor we have always loved. It was the perfect combination of mountain and downtown Aspen. We love Aspen and knew it would be a great town for our friends and family to enjoy with us. We had 80 of our closest friends and family with us to celebrate.
Where did you have book your accommodations? Hotel Jerome & Hotel Aspen
What was the mood at your wedding? “It was all a dream” theme for our love celebration. Dream Catchers were given for guest favors. Relaxed. Titos Vodka & Gatorade signature drink/cocktail. Late night diner egg sandwiches, shakes and patty melts.
What is your best memory? Being with all our friends/family. Our friend Otto, being the minister and marrying us.
Jessica Halpin, Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? Being with all our friends/family. Our friend Otto, being the minister and marrying us.Don’t stress too much about accommodating everyone of your guests.
Do you have any additional thoughts or photos you would like to share with us?
Dreamy Boho Mountain Love Celebration. The cold weather and clouds came in quicker then we had planned for in early October. We did end up with a completely dreamy & romantic day! “It was all a dream” theme & sign for our day. Dream catchers were given for guest favors. Our dogs, Henry & Ray were apart of the day too. It all ended up perfect!
There is no getting away from it, weddings are expensive affairs. It is also true to say that they just seem to be getting more and more expensive as people expect more from celebrations. The best way to save for your big day, however, is to try and cut costs wherever you can. That doesn’t mean you can’t have the day that you have always dreamt about, it’s more about making small changes that can have a big impact on the overall cost of your celebrations.
Read on and find out how you can control the cost of your wedding, to help you reach your savings goal quicker.
1. Slash the guest list
You don’t need a huge wedding for it to be a spectacular affair. In fact, inviting only the people who really matter could help make your day feel even more special. You will also save money too, as you will have to buy fewer meals. It can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling obligated to invite certain people, but remember that this is your day, which should be celebrated in your way.
2. Get married outdoors
If you can, why not consider getting married outdoors? That way, nature has already provided you with decoration and beautiful spots for photographs. Imagine the amount of money that you could save on flowers to help you decorate your venue if you just make use of what is available for free.
3. Hire a band
Bands are a great way to keep your guests entertained during your party. They often have all their own equipment too, so can be incredibly cost-effective because they limit the amount of equipment that you have to hire for yourself. Just make sure you hire a band from your local area so that you can save on costs when it comes to travel and accommodation.
4. Speak to your caterers
Providing your guests with food is often the most expensive part of your day. It can be tempting to opt for the most extravagant meal to help everyone celebrate in style, but often costs can really be managed better here without sacrificing any enjoyment of your day. Talk to your caterers about your budget and see what ideas they come up with, you might well be surprised.
5. Limit free drinks
You really don’t need to provide a free bar at your wedding or even offer top-of-the-range drinks to your guests on arrival. There are plenty of ways that you can save money on alcohol on your wedding day, so don’t be afraid to limit your offering. It’s your day and you can celebrate it the way that you want.
6. Don’t marry at the weekend
If you get married at the weekend, costs automatically jump up. Venues struggle to sell their services during the week, so the prices are often ridiculously lower in an attempt to try and encourage people through their doors. You might be worried about the availability of your guests, but with plenty of advanced warning, they should be able to organize the time off to come and celebrate with you.
After getting engaged and starting the wedding planning process, one of the biggest items to check off your wedding to-do list is securing a venue. For those starting out, it can be challenging to pick the right venue for your big day. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to help you secure the venue of your dreams.
1. Is it available on the date of your wedding?
Probably one of the first questions you should ask is if the venue is available on your wedding date. During my venue search, there were a few venues that I absolutely loved that were unfortunately not available on any of the dates I wanted. Popular venus will often fill up two years ahead of time, so try making a list of at least five to seven venues to consider.
Try visiting a few venues before choosing your desired date to get a feel of the space and imagine what it would be like on your big day. Pro tip: most venues will offer discounts and specials in the off-season and on Fridays and Sundays. If you’re on a tighter budget, ask for availability during these times.
2. Does it hold your desired guest count?
If that rustic barn you’ve been eyeing only holds 100 people and you were planning on inviting more than 200 guests, you might want to rethink your venue selection. See what the max capacity is at each venue you’re looking at and be sure to account for wait staff and vendors.
3. Is it within your budget?
This is one of the more important questions to ask when deciding on a venue. Set your budget before even looking at venues and give yourself a little bit of wiggle room for extra fees the site might impose on you. Figure out what the deposit amount is, what the payment schedule looks like, and what extra fees are included. You’ll also want to consider the cancellation policy. How long do you have to cancel? Will you get your money back if you do? When is the last possible date to make changes to your reservation?
4. Does the venue require you to use certain vendors?
Some venues will require you to use their approved list of caterers, day-of coordinators, florists, and hair-and-makeup teams. Keep this in mind if you’re on a stricter budget—this may give you less opportunity to choose vendors that you love and fit more within your budget. Additionally, this factor plays into how much you can personalize your wedding. For example, my friend really wanted signature cocktails at her wedding, but her venue didn’t allow any outside alcohol to be brought in and only allowed their bartenders to serve alcoholic drinks.
5. What are some of the logistics and specifics for the big day?
Think about what you want your wedding to be like before committing to a venue. Do you want a hard stop at 10 p.m. or do you want to continue your reception into the night? How many bathrooms are at the venue? Is there a space for the bride and her bridal party to get ready during the day? Are there noise restrictions? Is there parking on-site? Is there a plan-B for nasty weather? Make a list of all the minor (but important) questions you have for venue directors and ask all of these on a tour or over the phone.
Author Bio: Kealia Reynolds is the founder of A Cause for Joy and a contributing writer at House Method. In her free time, she loves to travel, try out the local food scene, and go on walks with her dog, Soren.
While wedding planning is overall very exciting, at times it can become a bit overwhelming when there’s so much to do. Everyone wants their big day to go as smoothly and elegantly as possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind leading up to your wedding day to help you work towards your dream day:
Get Your Groom Involved
Wedding planning is a team effort. It takes the input of family, friends and in-laws, but most importantly the combined efforts from you and your soon-to-be spouse. Often times the bride-to-be feels responsible for everything, but this can’t be the case! There are plenty of ways for the groom to be involved with planning the big day. After all–it’s his day too! Take the time to listen to his opinion and put him in charge of the things that mean most to him which could be the perfect DJ playlist, the food, or even budgeting notes!
Plan the Honeymoon in Advance
Chances are after your wedding day, you and your spouse will want to step back from planning and enjoy the first few weeks of marriage without stress. A great way to make sure this happens is by booking your honeymoon in advance so you can take off on your dream getaway as newlyweds. There are plenty of choices when it comes to planning a honeymoon in advance like enjoying a luxury cruise that visits tropical islands in the sun or backpacking across Iceland or New Zealand! A honeymoon, like any trip, takes planning and it’s much easier to have those details secured earlier than later.
Stop Stressing Over the Weather
If you have an outdoor venue booked, it can be especially hard not to fret over the weather and obsessively check it up until the day of your wedding. Keep in mind this is a variable completely out of your control, and the easiest way to handle that stress is by being prepared. Be sure to have an indoor or covered option at the venue you select and have umbrellas ready for the go between. It could be fun to have rain boots and matching umbrellas for your wedding parties as a cute spin to help the situation. Be sure to have warm coats, clothes, or pullovers on hand just in case it is chilly.
Stick to the Budget
Budgeting is key when planning your wedding. Even when you have every expense mapped out, it is important to be ready for the unexpected. Prioritize with your partner on where you want to spend the most on what’s important to you. There are even wedding budgeting apps out there to help you stay on track. Keep a small emergency fund for unexpected expenses that may come up, and don’t forget to factor in tips. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you can always put any extra money you budgeted towards your honeymoon or new house if not used!
These are just a few things to keep in mind when planning your wedding that can help the process move along without hiccups. Remember to worry about only what you can control. Be sure to stay organized and plan in advance. If you keep these things in mind it will be smooth sailing to your big day. Best of luck to you on this exciting journey!
Now that you’re engaged, just about any free second of your time is going towards planning your dream wedding. While you’re expending so much energy on that big day, you also need to make sure you’re thinking about life after the celebration. That’s where your registry comes into play. Your wedding registry is made up of the items that will help you begin your life as a married couple, so you want to make sure you have the items that are right for your specific needs. Here are some ideas of unique items you can include.
Donations to a charity
If you find that you have almost everything your hearts desire, including donations to a charity of your choice on your wedding registry is becoming more and more popular. Simply choose a cause that is near and dear to your hearts, and ask your guests to make a donation in your name instead of giving you gifts. Not only will your special day mean a lot to you, but it will also make a difference to an organization in need.
Equipment to keep you active
Being in Aspen means we have year round access to plenty of ways to stay fit and active. Register for some new bikes and take advantage of the many biking trails for a post-wedding adventure. Or if the slopes are more your style, register for some new skis for some winter fun later in the year.
A stay-cation retreat
Speaking of the slopes, there are so many beautiful lodges in Aspen open year round. Ask your guests to fund a stay-cation for you to enjoy and relax post-wedding. One guest can gift you a massage while others chip in for the cost of the stay. An easy way to do this is through the creation of a honeymoon fund. Just make sure to take plenty of pictures to share with those who helped pay for your “trip.”
Living room furniture
If the decor in your home is in need of a bit of an update, your registry offers the perfect opportunity to refresh it’s look. Now you can upgrade pieces that see a lot of use, like your living room sofa, to bring a fresh new style to your new, shared life. This is also a place to add smaller items, like coasters, salt and pepper shakers, towels etc. When your guests group together to buy you a more expensive item, some may also opt to purchase a smaller, less expensive gift that’s just from them.
We wish you happiness as you begin your newlywed life together!
How did you decide on this location? The St Regis has always been near and dear to our hearts, being in a long distance relationship many nights were spent together in hotels and the St Regis quickly became our favorite. When we visited Aspen to select a venue, the St Regis quickly easily was #1 on our list.
Where did you have your reception? St Regis Monarch Hall
How did you decide on St Regis Monarch Hall for your reception? For some reason I have always had this strange, uncomfortable feeling with ballrooms, even though there are beautiful ballrooms throughout Aspen. I wanted a close, intimate, romantic feel and that is exactly what I got once we transformed the Monarch Hall inside the St Regis. The low ceilings and endless windows that overlook into the courtyard helped create the closeness and intimacy that we were wanting. I wanted to make it as easy as possible on our guests and after the ceremony they were able to just walk inside to the reception.
Where did you have book your accommodations?Limelight
What was the mood at your wedding? I would have to say the mood at the wedding was pure joy and happiness. Two families finally joining as one. Most all of the guests knew each other and we could honestly feel the love and encouragement in the room from everyone.
What is your best memory? It is difficult to narrow down to just one best memory but I would have to say our first look, when Jordan turned to look at me on the bridge for the first time and also me walking down the aisle. Both memories that we will never forget.
Meredith Finley, Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? It is difficult to narrow down to just one best memory but I would have to say our first look, when Jordan turned to look at me on the bridge for the first time and also me walking down the aisle. Both memories that we will never forget.Be sure that you are ok with and understanding that some guests and potentially even some family members may not be able to travel to your destination. Given that our destination was in the mountains and high elevation, both sets of our grandparents and great grandparents were not able to attend.
Do you have any additional thoughts or photos you would like to share with us?
Jordan and I were high school sweethearts both born and raised in Amarillo, TX. After high school we went to different colleges and dated long distance for 12 years before he FINALLY popped the question.
I travel a lot for work and was traveling through Denver one day in December 2016. I went to collect my bags from baggage claim for my next flight and to my surprise Jordan was waiting in baggage claim and had planned a surprise getaway for us in Aspen. He had orchestrated the trip and planned everything perfectly, with the help of my sister and even my co-workers, my bags for the week had been packed for me. A horse drawn carriage picked us up at the Little Nell and under the Christmas lights downtown he got down on one knee. The following day he had hired a photographer to take engagement photos for us on top of the mountain. It was truly my fairytale engagement and after spending a week in Aspen we could not think of a more magical destination to return to and get married, surrounded by our closest friends and family.
The St Regis has always been near and dear to our hearts, being in a long distance relationship many nights were spent together in hotels and the St Regis quickly became our favorite. When we visited Aspen to select a venue, the St Regis quickly easily was #1 on our list. We were married on September 30, 2017 in the fountain courtyard of the St Regis. Therain parted just in time for me to walk down the aisle.
Description: So, you’re on the guest list for an upcoming hen do? Then it’s time to brush up on your party etiquette.
Hen parties are all about fun, but you still need to be mindful of your manners. While you’re welcome to get a bit tipsy and shout about the bride-to-be’s wedding from the rooftops, there are a few things you should restrain yourself from doing. If you avoid these little missteps, you’re guaranteed to be an amazing guest at your bestie’s hen party.
Here’s everything you shouldn’t do at a hen party.
Try to control the party
Yes, you may have helped plan the hen party, but you are not the guest of honour, so avoid peer-pressuring the bride into doing anything she doesn’t want to do. If your idea of a good time is going wild at the club, but she prefers more subdued soirées, don’t force her out of her PJs and to the nearest watering hole – she may prefer a Netflix and takeaway night, anyway.
Push the bride to far from her comfort zone
While it’s A-OK to surprise the bride-to-be, you don’t want to make her uncomfortable at her own hen party. If something you’ve planned (even if you think it suits her taste) doesn’t sit well with her, strike it from the itinerary.
Ditch your friends
This pretty much goes without staying, but you need to be with your hen party squad for the entire evening. Of course, if a handsome guy wants to buy you a drink, you can totally chat him up, but you shouldn’t spend your entire evening far from your friends. Also, no leaving super early without telling anyone – that’s a faux pas at every event.
Drink too much
Obviously, the aim of the game is to make the hen party fun. While it’s fine to indulge in a few boozy beverages, you don’t want to be the drunkest person at the event. Give yourself a limit so that the bride doesn’t end up being your babysitter (that’ll make her hen do one to remember, but not in the way she expected).
Complain about cash
Of course, being fiscally responsible is a good thing, but nobody wants to listen to you complain about your money situation – especially the bride-to-be. Keep in mind that she’s probably investing thousands of pounds into her big day, so you can probably afford club cover and one or two drinks or a trip to the spa. Pro tip: if you really can’t afford it, tell the bride-to-be and/or host you won’t be able to make it well in advance so that they can make reservations and you don’t surprise anyone with your absence when the event arrives.
Extend extra, unplanned invitations
You, the bride’s inner circle and maybe even the bride herself put a lot of work into creating the perfect hen party guest list, so don’t go changing things at the eleventh hour. Save hanging out with your other close friends for another night, this one’s reserved for the guest of honour and whoever she wants in attendance.
Be a drama queen
Drama queens may be fun to watch on the silver screen, but they’re not so great IRL. If you and another member of your group are frenemies or someone gets on your nerves, brush it off, take a few deep breaths and carry on. You don’t want to ruin the party over something petty.
Make the bride spend all her money
The bride has a lot to pay for in the upcoming weeks, from pre-wedding parties to wedding apparel to catering for all of her guests. Even if you’re not super rich, save a chunk of money to donate to the hen party. Depending on the size of the guest list, the group may be able to foot the guest of honour’s entire bill without chipping in too much.
Switch up the itinerary
You put a lot of time into making the perfect hen party itinerary, so don’t go changing it at the last minute. While you can make a few detours, it’s best to go with what you’ve got (it’s probably an epic plan to begin with).
Make the party all about you
Even if you’re the most outgoing person at the event, you shouldn’t try to steal the spotlight from the bride-to-be. Remember, she only gets one hen party, so you can stand not being the centre of attention for one evening. We promise, it won’t kill you.
Ignore the dress code
If the hen do you’re attending has a dress code, stick to it. The bride has requested everyone in their best 80s glam? Get yourself a neon bodysuit and scrunchie and get ready to rock it. Does she want everyone to don matching robes for her spa day? Embrace it! You can save that fancy dress for another event.
A destination wedding sounds dreamy, but if you don’t prepare correctly it could turn into a nightmare.
There are many tempting reasons to desire a destination wedding, though. For one thing, you have a beautiful landscape for the best and most important day of your life. It also gives you a shortcut to the honeymoon since you’re already in a dream location!
Destination weddings don’t have to be intimidating, and you shouldn’t give up your dream of a romantic ceremony in your dream locale just because people say it can be disastrous. As long as you properly prepare beforehand and understand what expectations you need to have, your destination wedding will run smoothly.
Make sure you keep the following in mind when planning for your big day:
Planning will not be a tangible experience
If you’re planning on having a wedding on the opposite side of the globe, traveling frequently to make all of the arrangements will not be practical. You may not even be able to go once before your wedding.
The disconnect you will have from your venue and potential venues can make planning feel 10 times more stressful. The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone.
Image by Pexels
Because destination weddings are such a huge trend, hotels and resorts have capitalized on the opportunity to be your host. This is both good news for their wallets and your ease of mind. Many offer a package deal, including an on-site consultant who can help you coordinate all the need-to-dos before you say, “I do.”
It may seem costly, but it will probably save you money in the end, especially if you bundle your purchases. If anything, it will help you have a dedicated person at your destination who helps you start to finish.
Though you should be wary that sometimes these staff have large numbers of personnel who rotate duties. The person you booked with may be different than the one in charge of your wedding’s operation. Be sure to fully understand the details of your resort’s offerings so there are no gaps in communication.
You might be jet lagged
Depending on how far you’re traveling, it’s likely that you will experience jet lag from flying to a different time zone. Even if it’s only a minor change to one time zone over, jet lag can still have a big impact on your overall health and mood. The last thing you want to be on your wedding is a half-awake zombie.
Make sure to consider this in advance. You can prepare by clearing any sleep debt you’ve collected before you leave. This means you should catch up on your lost sleep and develop a healthy sleeping routine. A week in advance, you can start shifting your sleeping schedule to the destination’s time zone, so when you land, you’ll feel like a local.
Image by Pexels
It will also help to arrive at your destination a few days before your wedding, so you have time to adjust. Be sure that you’ve checked out your accommodations beforehand, so you know you’ll be able to stay properly rested once you’re there.
The main reasons people report losing sleep are due to disruptive noises, beds that cause pain, or being located in busy areas with lots of light pollution. If you do your research before booking, you can make sure the place you’re staying will allow you to have a little rest and relaxation time before and after your big day.
People might not show up
You shouldn’t be surprised if people aren’t prepared to spend a ton of money to fly out to your destination wedding and book a hotel for a few nights. This is a big ask. And unless you’re loaded with money, you won’t be able to pocket the bill for your guests.
A smaller ceremony may be your preference as they tend to be more intimate and personal, but if you were expecting to have a large party with all your family, friends, coworkers, estranged family members, and old friends, a destination wedding isn’t for you.
Image by Pexels
It’s important to be clear on your expectations before you start booking. It can also help you be conscious of how many people you invite. Some people may feel burdened by an invite because they will feel obligated to go. Others may be offended if you don’t invite them because you think you’re doing them a favor.
Be clear on your communication with all your loved ones so you can create an appropriate guest list before planning your destination wedding.
Your marriage may be void
Depending on where you book your wedding, your marriage may not be official. If you book through a resort offering wedding services, you’re probably in the clear, but if you choose to do it all on your own, you may end up with some major complications.
Getting a marriage license arranged in another country, especially when you aren’t in that country, can be challenging. This may be one more nudge for hiring a coordinator who specializes in helping you navigate these roadblocks. If you’re stubborn and want to do it all on your own, be sure you do your research on getting a marriage license in that location.
While planning a destination wedding can be a large challenge, it also offers an unmatched reward. Though if after reading up on all the warning signs you’re not up to the task, no one will judge you. Besides, you can always plan your big trip for a bachelorette party or your honeymoon. Whichever way you choose, we wish you the best of luck in your happily ever after!
Laurie Larson is a freelance writer who enjoys writing on home, health, and lifestyle topics.
Preparing for your wedding is one of the most exciting times of your life. However, it is also full of important decisions and life-changing plan that cause stress. As the stress levels start to rise, getting enough sleep becomes a challenge. Many people think of sleep as a luxury, but if you’re going to avoid becoming a bridezilla, you’ll need to make sleep a priority.
More Stress, Less Sleep
Stress and sleep loss have a cyclical relationship. As you get less sleep, the emotional center of your brain becomes more sensitive to negative thoughts. At the same time, the part of your brain that applies reasoning and logic to your emotions becomes less active. Without enough sleep, a few last-minute changes to your guest list could send you into an emotional rant that would never happen otherwise. And, unfortunately, a continued lack of sleep only serves to build more stress.
Whether your stress stems from planning seating arrangements or simply balancing wedding planning with your work schedule, it can ruin the joy of preparing for your special day.
Put a Stopper in the Cycle
You can’t get rid of all stress. Planning for a wedding just happens to be one of those periods of life that’s unique, special, and stressful. By placing a focus on healthy sleep and using good stress management skills, you can keep yourself in good emotional equilibrium.
Take a good look at the conditions of your bedroom. Is there anything that’s preventing you from getting a good night’s rest? Does your mattress support your preferred sleep style – back, stomach, side? Does the color of your room help you feel relaxed and calm? Is all light blocked out at night? You might need to make a few changes to give your mind and body better chances at relaxing.
Your personal habits and behaviors can also have a big impact on your ability to sleep. Try to:
Avoid Stimulants Late in the Day: Stimulants like caffeine temporarily block the release of sleep hormones. Try to cut back or stop your intake of soda, coffee, and energy drinks early in the afternoon to prevent a delay in the onset of sleep.
Limit Your Screen Time at Night: The bright blue light that some electronics give off can suppress the release of sleep hormones. Try turning off your television, laptop, or smartphone two to three hours before bed to help you fall asleep faster.
Eat Healthy, Snack Smart: A well-balanced diet contributes to your overall health, but it makes a big difference to your sleep quality. Avoid big meals close to bedtime as they can disrupt your digestion. If you tend to reach for a snack in the evening, you may want to stick with foods that help in the production of sleep hormones like almonds, bananas, or dairy products.
Be Consistent: A consistent sleep-wake schedule helps your body know when to start the release of sleep hormones. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day even on weekends.
Stress Management and Relaxation: Don’t forget the importance of letting your mind and body relax. Regular exercise helps relieve tension and stress and some forms like meditation and yoga can also help you sleep better at night.
With a focus on healthy sleep, you’ll be prepared to enjoy this special time with your fiancé and plan the wedding of your dreams.
The right wedding arch helps set the tone for your special day. Over the years, couples have taken many routes to create their arch and tailor it to their theme. More traditional arches still incorporate sheer fabric and fresh florals while modern arches take a creative approach by using unexpected materials like shells, bamboo and glass. Some even shy away from the traditional arch shape for more modern shapes like hexagons, triangles, circles and more. The only limit is our imagination!
ProFlowers created a guide to wedding arch ideas so you can get a better idea of what you can do with your arch. They have tips for different ways to decorate your arch and inspiration for modern, classic and rustic arches. Their guide also has tips for different types of materials you can use so you can get a better idea of what you can do to make your wedding arch your own. Peruse through their guide to see what styles you’d like to incorporate for your big day!