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Nautical Themed Kids’ Party

We’ve featured many little girls’parties, but those for little boys have been harder to come by. It doesn’t matter though, because this next party is so good, so lovely, and so creative that it’ll be the only event you ever need to reference from here on out. Captured and designed by Shannon Von Eschen of Shalynne Imaging, I feel bad for any nautical themed party that comes after it. Oh, and there’s a lot more in the gallery too!

From Eli’s mom… As a mother who’s also a photographer, I have a hard time throwing the traditional cartoon, plastic tablecloth and balloons birthday party. There’s nothing wrong with those parties, it just that I’m an over-the-top person and aside from Toy Story, I’m not big into cartoons. Neither is Eli. Just yet. So, even though he was turning two, I wanted to create a space that would bring our families together, but also hold a story . I love curated spaces with obvious color palettes and though I slept hardly at all the week prior, the whole day was worth it.

My husband and I own a tree nursery in Boulder so I chose to host his birthday party at “work” in an old barn on our property. The party was entirely last minute on my part, so this made planning and designing a bit easier since I could do it in-between clients and editing while still being with Eli during the day. And he was even able to nap in the next room while I set up all the decor! ;) But the best part was how special the set-up and design really was because of how many family members of mine pitched in to bring my vision to life with such little time. My father helped me build the pergola out of 4 vintage wooden, front-porch posts I found laying outside of an old 1900s home owned by my in-laws. We used old barn-wood from our first office to attached them all together. But my father was so much more than a handyman. He hand-made a wooden sailboat for Eli and a very large, wooden anchor to match. He also spent long nights hand-making mini sailboats as party-favors for the guests that matched Eli’s boat, and little wooden fishies that hung over an old fence as decor. My mother made half the food & chocolates and my grandmothers made pies and other desserts that matched my theme. And a picture of the USS Chauncey sat on an old armoire–the boat my grandfather sailed on in the Korean War. He recently passed away, but it would have thrilled him to see this “sailboat party.” ;)

I used a ton of old antiques I found inside of my mother-in-laws vast collection, including an old painting of a sailboat that we used as a focal point over the buffet table, and a wall of vintage national geographic maps that filled a whole wall with a sea of water. The seats for the tables were old stumps from tree our nursery, and I brought in a few ornamental grasses we were selling at the time too. The cakes were custom made by a dear friend, and award-winning cake designer here in Colorado. I simple gave Rachael a few inspirational images of what I was hoping for, and she created a gorgeous three-tired cake of fondant waves, topped with an anchor that looked identical to the one my father made. And then for Eli’s smash cake, she made a smaller cake of sugar waves and topped it with a hand-cut sailboat to match the mini sailboats we had for favors.

From a simple “nautical” vision that popped in my head a week before his birthday, a whimsical party came to life before my eyes. But seeing Eli’s face light up when he saw his very own boat, and all the people he loved in one room was the very best part. Almost as good as the icing on his cake. Almost.

Photographer: Shalynne Imaging | Event Design: Shannon Von Eschen | Cake: Intricate Icings | Invitations: Shannon Von Eschen | Culinary Styling: Kendall Lind | Handmade Wooden Decor: Twigs & Treen | Paper Goods & Lables: Natosha Cooke | Stamps: Verde Studios | Tree Nursery: CreekSide Tree Nursery | Vintage Props: Newel Post Antiques

Jacquelyn Clark

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Boulder Wedding from Angie Wilson Photography

Even though there’s snow on the ground and a chill in the air here on the East Coast, we’re holding onto the fact that today is the first day of Spring. And we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the coming warm months than with a wedding photographed by Angie Wilson that embodies everything fresh and spring-like. Think sunshine, bright punches of florals by Sweet Pea Flowers and a couple as cute as they come. Hop on over to the gallery for even more of this colorful affair.


From Talia EventsRosie and Darin’s wedding was a mix of tradition and fresh, Colorado-inspired design with a healthy dose of a deep love of their family and friends underlying it all. They were married at a Catholic church in downtown Boulder. Paying homage to their love of family, they said “I do” with their siblings at their sides. Their gaggle of nieces and nephews served as ushers, a flower girl, ring bearer and darling sign bearers in sear sucker vests and pants. Rosie’s veil was a family heirloom; having been worn by her older sisters before her. Bridesmaids wore shifts with adorned necklines—the perfect choice for an early summer wedding day. Guys wore classic grey suits. The bouquets were a textured mix of seasonal flowers that seemed to be picked from the roadside. Rosie’s received lots of compliments for good reason! It was a beautiful combination of soft, summery colors, lots of texture and a bit of succulent whimsy. Following the ceremony, guests made their way to Planet Bluegrass, an outdoor venue with a true Colorado feel. A touch of rain fell mid-cocktails to wish the couple good luck. But no one was deterred, not even a local, bluegrass ensemble made up of friends of the couple. The bride joined in a song with a new fiddle from Darin! Dinner was followed by fresh, local made pies and vanilla ice cream and dancing lasted well into the evening. It was truly a celebration of the two of them, their love for each other and their hometown and for all who joined them that day!

Photography: Angie Wilson Photography | Floral Design: Sweet Pea Flowers | Event Planning: Talia Events | Ceremony Location: Sacred Heart of Jesus, Boulder | Reception Location: Planet Bluegrass | Band: Dressed in Black | Catering: Greenspoint Catering | Cake: Breadworks | Pies: My Mom’s Pies | Photobooth: Boothtastic

Organic Dinner Photo Shoot from Calluna Events + Megan Newton Photography

This organic styled dinner photo shoot from Calluna Events checks all of the necessary boxes on my list; delicious antipasta, an adorable setting, and a dessert bar from Tee & Cakes that could make your head spin (did you get a load of the potted parfaits? Amazing!). Captured by Megan Newton, the soft grey and vibrant yellow colour palette set against the rustic elements at this incredible restaurant with pops of pretty florals by Boulder Blooms is a fabulous approach, and one I don’t think I’ll ever tire of. Per usual, the gallery musn’t be missed!

From Calluna Events… One of Heather, from Calluna Events’, favorite spots in Boulder, Colorado is The Kitchen; a local restaurant that infuses modern simplicity with an organic twist. Heather thought it would be an incredible spot for a style shoot and provided the right mix of contemporary and warmth. The décor of the restaurant features metal and grey tones with large floor to ceiling windows, balanced by exposed brick and wooden tables. Their organic ‘farm-to-table’ philosophy and rustic-chic atmosphere was the perfect setting 

We wanted to capture the natural, radiant beauty of Boulder, while highlighting a more contemporary aesthetic that is sometimes overlooked in our Rocky Mountain Front Range locale. The striking contrast of golden, sunshiny yellows against the steely grays of the Kitchen’s decor was the perfect backdrop the rich textures of the flowers. We chose highly textural blooms such as anemones, ranunculus and craspedia to evoke a natural style. Accents of steel grey botanicals, such as dusty miller, pussy willow and tiny succulents, helped to emphasize the more urban aspects of the decor.

When designing the dessert bar we were immediately inspired by the vibrant color palette and organic items like lemons and faux bois. Sugar cookies were decorated like lemon slices, macaroons looked bright and sophisticated with the yellow, light pink, and metallic accents.  We used chocolate faux bois discs on the minis and even made cake parfaits to resemble cedar trees.  Chocolate whoopie pies rounded out the menu to add a bit of homestyle comfort to the set-up. The cake acted as a focal point with simple, clean and modern lines.  

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Photography: Megan Newton Photography | Event Styling and Design: Calluna Events | Florals,  Decor + Favors: Boulder Blooms | Desserts, Cakes + Printed Materials: Tee and Cakes | Dress: Anna Be | Jewelry: Todd Reed | Venue: The Kitchen

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Jacquelyn Clark

Colorado Farm Wedding from Angie Wilson Photography

It always brings a smile to our face when a couple incorporates their pooch into their big day. And from the looks of this charming Colorado soiree, the sweet pup isn’t the only one on cloud nine. This adorable twosome crafted a gorgeous outdoor affair full of playful details (complete with lots of fun neon shades) that totally set the stage for an evening of all out enjoyment. Photographed by the lovely Angie Wilson, this wedding is as lovely as it is lighthearted. Now, top it all of with a sea of sweets and you have a one pretty party that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. You can see all of this rustic romance right here in the gallery.

From the Bride… Wedding planning aside, our wedding was exactly what we wanted–fun, unique and full of love. After Whitney (of Wit and Wiley) helped focus our vision, it was all about the details. A small farm setting, Frog Belly Farm, was the perfect mix of outdoor, rural and one-of-a-kind. After passing under our “Happiness Starts Here” flags, our ceremony was out in the pasture with the Flatirons as the backdrop– it was a clear, quiet and beautiful day. From the arched seating, DIY ceremony flags and neon sunglass favors, the ceremony started off our night of fun. One of the most important things to us was that our guests have fun. We had a game area for cocktail hour that included ring toss, corn hole, giant jenga, hula hoops, bubbles and horse shoes, not to mention the fabulous food and a super fun photo booth. Dinner was outside of the barn and had the perfect romantic feel. Guests were escorted to large wooden farm tables by little farm animals painted gold. The tables were draped with a burlap runner, lots of candles and large bottles of wine. The candles were quite the project: burlap, twine and ribbon embellishments were wrapped around all of the candles! It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it. The food was served family-style and all of the plating was white and square. Our “treats” station was set on an old farm cart and included some handmade dessert stands (upside cup glued to a plate anyone?). Along with more candles, our personalized napkins and absolutely delicious desserts, this was also another amazing part if the night. Desserts included: cherry pie on a stick, strawberry cream cheese bites, vanilla and chocolate mini cupcakes. Our band was also amazing. A large dance floor (complete with hot pink duct tape instructions to DANCE) in the barn housed our live music and lots of dancing. Outside was a fire pit, s’more station and three foot sparklers. Regardless of it being my own, it was by far the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to. It was perfect and I wish I could do it all again!!

Photography: Angie Wilson Photography / Ceremony + Reception Venue: Frog Belly Farm, Longmont, Colorado / Event Planner + Floral Design: Whitney Hardin of Wit and Wiley / Catering : Bradford Heap Catering / Desserts: Melissa Cambre / Wedding Dress: Kathryn Elizabeth via The Bridal Collection / Make up: Nicole Saucedo / Hair: Jessie Peterson with the Scarlet Salon / Music: Jon Wirtz

Boulder Colorado Wedding from Anna Bé Bridal Boutique Part I

We always get a little giddy when a gorgeous outdoor affair comes across our desks, but when that same picture perfect love-fest is the wedding of one of our beloved LBB members, we’re like kids in a (wedding) candy store. And when said celebration is also captured by three (yes, 3) amazingly talented photographers, serious squealing ensues. We couldn’t be more thrilled that the beautiful Breanna, co-owner of the fabulous anna bé bridal boutique in Denver, chose to share her September I-do’s right here on SMP. On top of being incredibly sweet, Breanna’s a girl who really knows the biz, so when it came to choosing her vendors she entrusted her big day to an all-star line up of true artists. With photography by Jenna Walker PhotographyJames Christianson PhotographyOtto Schulze Photographers, planning by Calluna Events, and florals by Plum Sage Flowers this is Rocky Mountain romance at its best. It is effortless and refined. It is elegant and organic and these images truly capture the spirit of this carefree couple. In fact, there are so many we had to break it into two posts. The reception is coming up shortly. Congratulations Bre + Ben! We’re honored to share your beautiful day with our readers! XO

The following images are by Jenna Walker Photography:

The following images are by James Christianson Photography:

The following images are by Otto Schulze Photographers:

The wedding of Breanna (co-owner of anna bé bridal boutique in Denver, CO) & Ben took place on September 21, 2012.

We had a very simple wedding with the beauty of nature and delicious, local food playing important roles. The groom owns a local food company in Colorado (MM Local) so the expectations were high!.

For the ceremony, we bussed everyone up an hour outside of Boulder where we had found the perfect meadow with an aspen grove (after looking at a good half dozen others first) We were lucky; the aspen leaves were turning and it was a gorgeous day. After the ceremony we invited our guests to enjoy the beauty of The Meadow while sipping on a beer or two. Then we headed back down to town for our reception at the Kitchen in Boulder. The food was exceptional and the company second to none. It was one of the best meals I’ve had in my life (and I married a foodie, so I’ve had a lot of amazing meals) and by far the best meal I’ve had at a wedding – EVER.

As favors we gave a jar of MM Local peaches and for part of our dessert we actually had fresh peaches from a local farm that Ben works with from the western slope.

We were extremely fortunate to work with (at least what I think is) the best team in Colorado. The photography is gorgeous and I love how the artistic style of the images (what lucky girl gets three AMAZING photographers?). One of my favorite things about the wedding was working with these crazy-talented, kind, amazing people. To see how each photographer interpreted each moment, each landscape, each tiny detail so uniquely was really awe-inspiring.

I couldn’t have sanely survived the wedding planning process without the help of Heather at Calluna Events, I’m so glad I had her there to listen to me whine, help problem solve and tell me everything was going to work out great (and make sure everything worked out great -which it did!). I slept better at night knowing she was on my team.

I was in love with my flowers from Plum Sage! I would carry around that bouquet every day if I could. The flowers and arrangement were just gorgeous! The Dahlia’s were picked at their peak right here from a local Colorado flower farm.

As for the style or inspiration for the wedding, I really love the juxtaposition of nature and what I’m going to call ‘fancy’. We drew a lot of the inspiration from The Kitchen decor itself. I love the wooden, raw tables and brick walls with the metallic chairs and crystal chandeliers. So largely, I tried to do that in The Meadow as well with the wedding party wearing metallic colors and traditional dress. We really went for simplicity in details – we both have crazy work schedules and it was all we could do to figure out the big picture and logistics of the wedding. In the end, I don’t think anyone (expect maybe the photographers) missed the small details. We really just tried to make it a fun experience for our guests through the adventure of going to some unidentified meadow, taking a little ‘hike’ in nature and then enjoying each other’s company around delicious food. It was about the awesome community we have in our lives and celebrating bringing them together.

To continue the celebration, the morning after the wedding about 40 of us all met up at the Boulder Farmers Market for a local breakfast and cup of coffee and then we all headed to Crested Butte for part 1 of our honeymoon. And quite the show awaited us in Crested Butte – the aspens were at their peak and looked so incredible! We rented a couple of houses in town and also on the mountain for our family and guests to stay in. It really was such a gift to share one of our favorite places in Colorado and one of my favorite things (turning aspen trees) with so many people that we hold near and dear.

Thank you to everyone who helped Ben and I during this process. To our wonderful parents, our amazing families & friends, our team of wedding professionals, our business partners (anna and jim) – we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Wedding Photography: Jenna Walker Photography + James Christianson Photography + Otto Schulze Photographers  / Ceremony Venue: a meadow outside of Boulder, Colorado / Reception Venue: The Kitchen, Boulder / Event Planning: Calluna Events / Floral Design: Plum Sage Flowers / Cake + Cheesecake: Living the Sweet Life, Denver / Invitations: DIY by Bride / Wedding Gown: Lela Rose via anna bé bridal boutique / Hair Accessories: Sara Gabriel / Hair Stylist: Jacqui Jolly at Side Door Salon / Favors: MM Local Foods / Groom’s Custom Suit: Metroboom / Photobooth: The Traveling Photo Booth

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Boulder Wedding from Jason+Gina Wedding Photographers + Save The Date Events

Some like rustic weddings with vintage charm, some like chic soirees with a touch of the contemporary, but I’m fairly positive that ALL will love this fête with it’s 1,000 origami cranes, the fabulous florals from Swank Stems, and it’s gorgeous al fresco reception. With Save The Date Events behind the wheel and Jason+Gina Wedding Photographers behind the camera, the couple was left to do nothing but be sweetly in love and fully enjoy their day – and the resulting smiles on their faces are the real reason we all love this one. Check out the gallery to see what I mean!

Click here for the full image gallery!

We live and work in Atlanta, Georgia. The first time we met, we discovered that we both shared a love for the outdoors and particularly the mountains in Colorado.  (I went to CU Boulder for undergrad and Nate worked on a ranch near Colorado).  Our first vacation together was a ski trip to Colorado, so it was fitting that Nate proposed in Colorado.  One day Nate picked me up from work to go to a dinner party with friends, but instead of going to our friends’place he got on the interstate.  I realized we were driving to the airport.  Nate had called my office, asked for time off of work for me and packed my suitcase for a surprise trip to Colorado.  (He actually did a decent packing job.) Nate made it seem like it was just a fun, spur of the moment trip.  I thought he might propose, but I honestly did not think he would keep a ring in his pocket all day on the ski slopes (he falls a lot), so I was surprised when he popped off a ski, got down on one knee and proposed to me on the ski run “Easyway” We were both lucky it was a green, or we might have fallen down the mountain from happiness.

Our ceremony was simple, short and sweet.  We had an amazing musician duo, Kort McCumber and Beth Wilberger who played our favorite songs.  The bridesmaids/groomsman walked down to “You Belong Among the Wildflowers” by Tom Petty.  I walked down to “She is my Everything” by John Prine. We exited the ceremony to “Eyes of the World” by Grateful Dead. 

Our officiant was Allix’s best friend, Alex Hunt, which made everyone laugh, since Allix was marrying a Hunt. It was a very loose, relaxed ceremony; we told Alex to just speak from the heart and we told our readers they were free to say what they wanted before or after their reading.  We wrote our vows together, which were very short.  Nate’s friend Guy picked a poem to read in Hebrew to represent Allix’s Jewish heritage.  Nate’s best girl friend, Jamie, read one of our favorite quotes from Tom Robbins. Nate’s brother Nick, read a passage from Black Elk Speaks and Alex read a Navajo wedding blessing at the end of the ceremony.

We wanted the reception to be relaxed and wide open.  Since most of our guests were not from Colorado, we wanted to make people feel like they could hang outside and enjoy the setting.  We had lawn games like bocce ball, and plenty of adirondak chairs to lounge in on the grounds.  Some of our friends waded in the St. Vrain River which runs through Planet Bluegrass, and one or two of our guests even fly fished the river. The bar was also located outside.

We had a lot of help from our wedding planner, Gabby, our amazing vendors, and our family and friends.  Our friend (and bridesmaid) Taylor handmade jute signs like the “Just Hitched”sign that hung off of the back of our chairs.  Our friend (and bridesmaid) Claire handwrote all of the escort cards.  For our guestbook, we purchased vintage Colorado postcards from eBay for people to write well wishes on and drop in a vintage suitcase we found at a yard sale.  My mom has been mailing the postcards to us over our first year of marriage, which has been a really great way to re-live the day.  Nate and I handmade our menu chalkboard together on an old window, which we painted cobalt blue to match our wedding colors.  My mom had framed all of the wedding pictures of our grandparents and parents and they were placed on our dessert table. 

Photography: Jason+Gina Wedding Photographers / Flowers: Swank Stems / Event Design: Save the Date Events / Ceremony + Reception Location: Planet Bluegrass

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