When Heather Dwight was invited to join Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book of wedding planners in Colorado, we also heard that she had recently planned her own wedding. Heather is the mastermind behind Calluna Events in Boulder, Colorado. So, today, we thought it would be great to share the behind the scenes plans of a really great wedding planner! Without further ado, in Heather’s own words … the inside scoop on planning HER most important day!
After five years as a wedding & event planner in Colorado, I finally planned my own. Although I’m a wedding planner, I wanted Brandon to be very much a part of the process. It was important for me that our wedding be a reflection of us and our relationship. Neither one of us wanted to have a long engagement but juggling work schedules was difficult. We picked September 20th because it was my first available weekend without an event scheduled! Although I’ve planned weddings in just a few weeks, I loved having nine months to enjoy being engaged and participate in the many events that my friends & family wanted to throw for us.
We picked tangerine and bright green for our wedding colors. I felt that these colors really embodied the modern meets organic look and feel that we were going for. We chose to write personal letters to each of our guests as their escort card. In each note we expressed why their presence at our wedding meant so much to us. Our tables were named after places we had traveled together. The table name was also handwritten on the outside of the envelope.
My gown was designed by Alvina Valenta. The day I found my dress I had made an appointment at the Bridal Collection in Denver, CO. I was with a friend and it turned out that Alvina Valenta was having a trunk show. I always recommend to my brides’ that they go to trunk shows because of the selection and the potential savings you might find on dresses. However, I was also able to meet the owner & designer of Alvina Valenta, Victoria, in person. To have her see me in a gown that she designed was incredible and made the experience that much more special for me. Also because Victoria was there I was able to make some minor changes to the dress. In a way I think I fell in love with my gown more because of the experience with Victoria.
The ceremony took place outside at our venue next to a pond and the Boulder Creek. We stood in front of a large tree and had our immediate family seated in front of us. We didn’t decorate the space much because the setting really spoke for itself and we wanted to let that come through. It did rain, fairly heavy but briefly, in the middle of our ceremony. I had brought orange & white paper umbrellas (actually in case of sun) but my coordinator was able to hand them out, without us knowing. In my business I’m constantly working with brides on their back up rain plan and I would say it’s one of the things that causes the most stress. I always tell them not to worry about it because in the end, even if we have to move inside, the most important part is why you are there in the first place…to get married to the love of your life. I was able to listen to my own advice during the rain on my wedding day. During the ceremony there was a point where it was raining so hard on both Brandon and me. I sort of looked up and saw the sun shining through the rain and smiled to Brandon. I just kept looking at him and he at me and really didn’t feel the rain at all. It was amazing how intently I was able to concentrate on Brandon, the words of our ceremony and our vows and not let the rain ruin my experience. And, incredibly, the rain stopped right at the end of our vows and the sun appeared right as we kissed.
My bouquet was supposed to be white anemones with black centers. I wanted it very different and modern with a feminine look. However anemones aren’t in season in September and we were chancing it with our order. The anemones that came in were in bad shape, so several days before the wedding we changed it up. My favorite flower is ranunculus so we chose white ranunculus with some white berries, white hydrangea and white heather. In Scotland it is good luck for a bride to carry white heather in their bouquet.
During the ceremony we performed a handfasting ceremony to honor my Scottish heritage. My mom was born and raised in Scotland and I had family in attendance from Scotland and England. Growing up, I visited my grandparents and family in Scotland so it was important for me to tie in different aspects of my heritage into our wedding.
It is a tradition during a Scottish wedding for the bride to be presented with a horseshoe by a little girl at the end of the ceremony before the couple walks back down the aisle. My cousin’s little girl presented me with a handmade horseshoe that was brought over from Scotland. We also had a bagpiper play our recessional songs. The bagpiper was a surprise for everyone, including our family. He waited in the front of the house until he was cued by my coordinator at the end of the ceremony and walked in playing the Flower of Scotland (which happens to be the flower Heather), followed by Scotland the Brave and then Amazing Grace (my Scottish Gran’s favorite song).
We served Clementine (orange) and Apple (green) alcoholic & non-alcoholic IZZE’s in the bottle with orange & green straws. IZZE’s are 100% fruit juice with sparking water and the company is based in Boulder, CO. We loved the look of people walking around, holding the bottles, drinking from the straws before the ceremony. We love great food and really wanted our guests to walk away having had an incredible dining experience. Working with one of my favorite caterers in Colorado, Catering by Design, we crafted a unique menu. We picked a 4 tiered cake with white fondant and handmade orange sugar ranunculus flowers. The cake was a dense banana cake with chocolate panache filling and espresso butter cream. It is sinful! Simply to die for.
In Scotland it is traditional to have a wedding fruitcake which is a dense cake with royal icing frosting. I actually made the cake myself a few days before the wedding. It was a surprise for my Mom and my family at the wedding from Scotland. My Aunt Moira, who lives in Scotland, made homemade Scottish Highland Shortbread that we served with the Scottish wedding cake and the regular wedding cake.
We created our own guest book with our designer BirdDog Press (Little Black Book member). It was a bound book of orange & green envelopes. We set up a table near the pond so that guests could write a note to us on a piece of paper provided, place in the envelope and then provided a small green bowl of pennies where we asked guests to make their wish for us and throw the penny into the pond for the newlyweds.
Wow! What a fantastic wedding day! Thanks SO much, Heather for sharing all the details of the day.
As you can see, Calluna Events has the skill, the talent and first-hand experience planning sensational weddings!! Congratulations Heather & Brandon!!
VENDORS: CEREMONY/RECEPTION SITE: Private Residence, Boulder; PHOTOGRAPHY: Recherché Photography, Boulder; CONSULTANT: Calluna Events, Boulder; OFFICIANTS: Mary Monroe & Travis Brown, (friends of ours who are married), they live in Durango; GOWN: Alvina Valenta, The Bridal Collection, Denver; HAIR: Andy Mendoza, Boulder; MAKEUP: Jessica Shinyeda, The Face Lab, Boulder; VEIL: Winters & Rain, The Bridal Collection, Denver; SHOES: Gino Vaello, Scotland, U.K.; Wedding Rings – Walters & Hogsett Fine Jewelers, Boulder; BRANDON’S FORMALWEAR: Hugo Boss, Kinsley & Co. Boulder; INVITATIONS, ESCORT/PLACE CARDS, SIGN-IN BOOK: BirdDog Press, Lyons; PROGRAMS, MENU CARDS: The Envelope Please, Boulder; FLOWERS: European Flower Shop, Boulder; RENTAL EQUIPMENT: All Events Tent & Party Rentals, Longmont; DÉCOR COMPANY: Design Works, Denver; CATERING: Catering by Design, Denver; MUSIC Ceremony and Reception: Pure Sounds Productions, Loveland; OTHER ENTERTAINMENT: Colorado Bagpiper, Scott Beach, Denver; CAKE: Tee & Cakes, Boulder; OTHER DESSERTS: Highland Shortbread by Heather’s aunt, Traditional Scottish wedding fruitcake by Heather herself! TRANSPORTATION: Colorado Pearl Limousine, Denver.