I may be in the minority, but I love winter. There isn’t a season as cozy or as intimate, forcing you to layer beautiful textures to keep out the chill. It just screams romance to me. So I think it’s pretty obvious that I am head over heels for winter weddings – and winter weddings in Vail planned by Love This Day Events and captured by Brumley And Wells? Well, that’s my perfection.
From Love This Day Events…Mehgan and Randall’s wedding was a dreamy winter wonderland. Everything about these two is completely timeless. From her veil and dress to his simply perfect tux, I had to remind myself all day that it really was 2014 and not a movie set from the 1950′s. That kind of style, combined with the gorgeous photography from Brumley and Wells made this one of the best weddings of the winter.
From The Bride…How did Randal propose? We had planned a two week trip to Europe to see what we called the “trifecta” of events; the Tour de France, Wimbledon and the Henley Royal Regatta in London. We spent a week in Provence wine tasting, staying in little French bed and breakfasts and ultimately cycled our bikes up Mont Ventoux, a challenging Tour de France mountain climb. We then flew to Calvi to see the Tour’s first three stages on the beautiful island of Corsica. We saw the first stage the next day in Bastia and drove back to Calvi. We were finally relaxed, had an amazing dinner outside at a little Corisican restaurant and afterward went browsing for some gelato. We strolled through the city to the Citadel overlooking the ocean to finish our gelato. Taking me by surprise, he asked if I had had a good day and I told him yes, it was great. He smiled, got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife with a ring he pulled out of his pocket. I can still taste the strawberry gelato on his kiss as I think back to that amazing moment.
What I didn’t know was that Randal had been planning the proposal for a couple of months before the trip. He called Ashley Morgan in San Francisco who is a jewelry designer I have bought pieces from in the past few years. We visited her together the year prior and he wanted the ring to be something that she made for both of us since she had met us. She worked fast and furious on the ring to complete it in time for our trip to Europe. She shipped the ring and the Post Office lost the package for about a day. So the day we were set to fly to Marseille, he was running around trying to locate the ring at the Post Office. He found it a few hours before our flight and then carried the ring with him everywhere we went on the trip; to the vineyards, to dinners and even to the top of Mont Ventoux waiting for the right time to propose. I’m so lucky he did.
I chose the dress as soon as I had it on, it is an Anne Barge dress with a keyhole back. I loved the cocoa backing to the lace overlay and the way the lace was so different from other lace dresses I had tried. It was soft and romantic but also flattering and sexy, the perfect combination of what I was looking for on my wedding day. Little did I know that two months after I ordered the dress I would find out I was pregnant! As we were celebrating our surprise, I started getting concerned that the dress might not fit once it arrived! I was 5 1/2 months pregnant by the time the wedding date arrived and my amazing seamstress magically made the dress work, I couldn’t believe it. It was so wonderful to still get married in the same dress I chose for our day.
The veil was made by my seamstress too, I wanted a vintage look to go with the romantic lace of the dress and the vintage fur. I fell in love with the cap veil style at a fitting in a bridal store so my seamstress and I created a similar custom look in a much more affordable version.
Randal and I live in Houston but we were both raised in the snow; he in Edmonton, Alberta and me in Michigan. So we visit the snow in Colorado and Canada to ski and snow shoe as much as possible during the winter months. After we got engaged over the summer, we didn’t want to wait a whole year to get married during the popular summer months, so we started thinking how amazing it would be to have a winter wedding. Vail is one of our favorite ski destinations because the mountain offers such great skiing and the Village has amazing lodging, dining and shopping. We had spent a few weekends at The Sebastian and we loved the design and feel of the hotel and thought our wedding would be so much fun there. We pictured a wedding weekend with our family and friends in Vail and it just seemed perfect.
We had so many favorite parts of the design but I especially loved getting married outside in the middle of winter. It was chilly but we made sure our guests were warm and happy before they were seated and moved inside quickly as soon as the ceremony was over. In the end, everyone said they loved the ceremony outside and it was such a unique twist on winter ceremonies. We also loved the gorgeous flowers Love This Day put together on our rectangle tables which were perfect. I also spent time trying to think of ways to make the day personal for Randal and me; I had the band learn a horrible 90′s song that is one of Randal’s favorites and surprised him with it during the reception, I called the restaurant in Austin that makes one of his favorite cocktails and asked for the recipe and used it as one of our signature drinks and knowing my daughter and Randal are doughnut lovers, I asked my pastry chef to make fresh doughnuts at the end of the night as a send off for our guests which was a huge hit.
My favorite moment of the day was standing at the ceremony with the love of my life. We worked with our officiant to create a ceremony that was special for us. She read aloud advice that our families had given us about marriage, we had my daughter read a poem about “things that go together” to the guests and we recited our handwritten vows to one another. We were anxious about writing our own vows but it was important to both of us so we spent quality time crafting what we wanted to say. It will always be so special to remember that we spoke from our hearts that day, to one another, words that will never be the same as any other bride and groom.
My practical advice is to first hire a professional wedding designer I was planning from a different state, working full time and I’m a lawyer, not a wedding planner. I left the details to the professionals and took their advice on room design, flow of the day and it was so nice to have one person to rely on the day of to solve all of the little last minute questions. It let me enjoy the day and really take in everything that was happening.
Second, negotiate with all of your vendors; band, flowers, cake, photography, video, menu, etc. Weddings are so expensive and you never seem to get everything into your beginning budget which means you’ve gone over your budget by the end. If you try to negotiate with each of your vendors you will win some and lose some, but it will help you make an informed decision about whatever piece you’re planning. I saved 50% on my photobooth vendor by telling him what the competition was offering, but ultimately decided not to skimp on my cake design because saving a bit of money there would have taken away from the look I wanted.
Lastly, while we all try to keep our guests and family in mind when planning our wedding, you and your groom ultimately have to do what makes the day special for you. After it’s over, guests will talk about how fabulous your wedding was and that makes you feel great, but really what matters is that you and your groom remember the time as an amazing start to the rest of your life and enjoyed every minute of it.
Photography: Brumley And Wells | Cinematography: Cinematique Films | Wedding Gown: Anne Barge | Cake: Megan Joy Cakes | Stationery: Mink Letterpress | Reception Venue: The Sebastian | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: Ashley Morgan Designs | Hair: Kacee Picot | Groom's Jacket: Hugo Boss | Earrings: Vintage From Gilt | Event Design / Floral Design / Planning: Love This Day Events | Flower Girl's Dress: Marchesa | Fur: Central Park Vintage | Makeup: Laura Anzalone | Photobooth: Lightbooth | Tuxedo: Giorgio Armani