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Card Dealing Grandparents Set the Stage For This Meant to Be Marriage

This is one of those “Wow, it’s a small world” weddings. Their grandparents played bridge together at their Jewish Country Club years ago and their fathers became friends in middle school. So after some smart parental meddling, these two found each other and well, here they are now. Lisa O’Dwyer captured their happily ever after – planned in six weeks may I had – and the results are picture perfect. Head to the Vault for them all!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Al Fresco

From the Bride… Like all great love stories, ours started long before we were born… our grandparents were fierce bridge competitors at their Jewish country club in Minnesota.

Our fathers befriended each other in middle school and later, they survived many harrowing ski trips and the 70’s and 80’s as best friends.

Michael and I grew up seeing each other at holidays, family gatherings, and bar mitzvahs. We weren’t in close touch, as I lived with my mom in Seattle and Michael’s family harkened from Denver.

We went about our formative years with no sense of what was to come… We pursued our respective interests, went off to college, traveled, and forged our way toward adulthood with no inkling of our foreshadowed fate.

In the spring of 2011, Michael, who was at that time traveling and working his way through Colombia, decided it was time for a change of scenery and took a job sight unseen, just hours outside of New York. I was, at the same time, living in New England, training horses and riders for national competition.

Through a series of discoveries (instigated, of course, by our Jewish parents) it was brought to our attention that Michael and I were living a mere five miles apart from one another in rural Connecticut!

In late August of that year, we connected for a drink (for our parents’ sake, naturally!). And that very drink turned into (GASP!) a date! And after dates two, three, and four…. we were in love. Instantly. Surprisingly. IN LOVE!

We carved out a life together in the quiet of Litchfield County, amidst a cacophony of crickets, owls, and frogs. We cultivated a wonderful community and prepared for our next steps of togetherness.

I returned to Event Planning, my previous career, and became the Senior Event Planner at Winvian, Relais & Chateaux in the Litchfield Hills, planning high-end weddings and events for the country’s heavy-hitters in fashion, finance, global business, and the arts.

In the winter of 2013, we relocated to Denver to grow our own businesses and be closer to friends and family. Claire Gordon Events made its Colorado debut later that season. Chef Michael created Farmer’s Kitchen, a locally sourced and organic fresh meal delivery business, servicing Colorado’s busy families.

Michael proposed on March 17, 2015 while we were on a venue scouting trip to Mexico with a custom four carat morganite and diamond ring! We deliberated long and hard about how and where to have our nuptials, always mindful of having an intimate experience, a grand departure from the 250+ person weddings that I produce for work.

It wasn’t until we were vacationing at our mountain home in Crested Butte, Colorado over the July 4th holiday weekend that we decided to push the “GO” button and begin planning our wedding…IN SIX WEEKS!

I had an open weekend August 22, 2015 and once we had confirmation from our nearest and dearest 35 guests, it was full steam ahead and the Claire Gordon Events team got to work!

Cicada Bridal, a Seattle-based design house, created my semi-custom gown in five weeks with the help of bridal boutique extraordinaire, A&Bé. Donna Beth Creations crafted a perfect off-the-shoulder bolero jacket to accompany.

I rallied a dynamic vendor team of Colorado’s finest! Both our floral designer, Flora by Nora, and our incredible photographer, Lisa O’Dwyer, rearranged previous commitments to be available for our wedding weekend and dove into the project with love and enthusiasm. We rented a beautiful private residence for our ceremony, featuring 360 degree views of the Butte, Maroon Belles and the Crested Butte valley. We partnered with husband and wife team, Kate and Chris Ladoulis, Crested Butte’s premiere restaurateur and chef, to host our reception. Sweet Letterpress and DesignsGirl created our incredible botanical print inspired invitation suite with hand-calligraphed envelopes.

Together, Nora and I conceptualized the design for the wedding, a modern interpretation of a Victorian aesthetic, updated with whimsical and unpretentious mountain-inspired details. The design reflected a warm palette of bright blooms with French blue details, natural elements like stoneware containers juxtaposed with antique pewter, and late summer stone fruit and figs.

Our ceremony was “Jewish-ish”, featuring an Aspen branch chuppah, a blessing circle and ring warming ceremony, and wine in our Kiddush cup dating back to the year of my birth (set aside 25 years ago by my step father).

The reception featured James Beard Foundation nominee, Kate Ladoulis’ famed tart cherry braised short ribs and Colorado striped bass with a golden raisin and shallot agrodolce. Chris selected Italian wines to pair perfectly with the meal. We enjoyed a smattering of desserts including the guest favorite, citrus crema catalana. Our guests noshed and drank and celebrated until the wee hours of the morning!

Our shotgun wedding (planned in six weeks) exceeded all expectations and the details were truly representative of our history, our families, our autonomous love, and our future!

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Photography: Lisa O'Dwyer Photography | Event Planning: Claire Gordon Events | Floral Design: Flora By Nora | Wedding Dress: Cicada Bridal | Invitations: Sweet Letter Press | Stationery: Designsgirl | Makeup: Bronze And Beautiful | Venue: Bacchanale | Alterations: Donna Beth Creations | Bridal Boutique: a&be bridal shop

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Succulents + Cute Kiddos Make For One Super Sweet Celebration

Some pics are just too pretty for words and these shots of this Bride and her ladies by Tamara Gruner are just that – pretty darn perfect if I do say so myself. But add in the kiddos and we amp up the cuteness quota like whoa. Don’t miss this handsome little ring bearer who just made our morning – all this and more makes for a celebration we’re happy to spend some solid time with – more in our Vault right there!

Colors
Seasons
Spring

From the Bride… Nathan and I met in 2009 at my sister’s wedding. She will tell you she waited to introduce us until her wedding because we just weren’t ready yet. I think she was probably right… although I’m not sure how intentional the anticipation was. Nate and I hit it off immediately, which was much to our surprise because we were both in full on “just-finished-high-school-start-fresh-in-college-being-single-mode” or so we thought. We started dating only three months after my sister’s wedding, and dated for six years before tying the knot this past April. We’re both originally from Michigan, but have spent the past few years building our life in Boulder, Colorado. It only seemed natural to us to invite everyone out for a Colorado wedding.

Our style overall was a bit of a mix up of traditional, rustic, and simplistic. We used purples, blues, and lots of natural greenery with white and cream flowers. I knew I wanted the décor to be cohesive, but not match too much. There is something beautiful in a little bit of imperfection, which was my mantra throughout the planning process. Our long wooden farm tables created the perfect backdrop for simple candles and mixed flower centerpieces. We got engaged in Paris, so most of all wanted our ceremony and reception to be dripping in romance. There were bits of Paris thrown into our wedding décor, we served French food for dinner, and of course Macarons and a Croquembouche for dessert.

Our venue choice took a while; in fact I bought my dress before we even picked out a venue! At one point I thought we were being too picky and almost settled on a different venue. The goal was to find a place that acted as a beautiful backdrop so we could be more minimal with the decorations. We also wanted to DIY most of the decorations, and our venue allowed and encouraged that!

The day of the big event couldn’t have gone more smoothly. April is risky business in Colorado and we were chancing snow, rain, or shine! Luckily we got the most perfect weekend and day smooshed in-between snowstorms (for real) and it was 75 and sunny. The wind picked up after dinner, but made for some pretty fun couple photos.

My one piece of advice to any couples getting married was passed on from another couple: take at least 10 (more if possible, we took about 30) minutes at some point after your ceremony to go off and be alone with no photographers, family, or friends and just soak it in that you are now MARRIED. Share some appetizers, a glass of champagne, or an old fashioned and just be with each other with no distractions. After all, this day is about you and your hubby, not about the party. Though let’s be honest, the party is pretty awesome too.

From Tamara Gruner Photography… Anastasia and Nate celebrated their big day amongst their closest friends and family in Longmont with beautiful views to the mountains in the midst of Colorado. Anastasia chose pretty spring colors – blush, purples and grays with white. Her beautiful organic bouquet contained cotton flowers, which were also integrated in the ceremony pieces. I just loved her soft spring color choice and the little accents in the bouquet and in her hair. Enjoy this romantic and beautiful wedding!

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Photography: Tamara Gruner Photography | Floral Design: Lasting Touch | Wedding Dress: Dora Grace Bridal | Rings: Ken & Dana Design | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy After 6 Collection in African Violet | Catering: Three Leaf Catering | Hair + Makeup: Emmy at Sage Studio | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Venue: Lone Hawk Farm | Desserts: Stephanie Holmlund | Rentals: Harvest Table Company | Silk: Silk And Willow | Veil: Dora Grace Bridal

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Mountain Weddings Are Magical; Here’s All The Proof You Need

While I may be a bit biased (I said “I do” amid the mountains as well), one look through Laura Murray’s pics and I doubt you’ll disagree when I say mountain weddings are kinda extra special. Bluebird Productions knows exactly how to tap into that magic, with Carolyn’s Flowers and A Day In May adding the most perfect touches to this summer celebration. Start with these colorful bouquets below and keep on going because our Vault has many more pretty pics to pin to your heart’s desire!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Hotel
Styles
Rustic

From Bluebird ProductionsEmily and Dan are a truly amazing couple! They are not only deeply in love but they are fabulous people: focused, determined, caring, thoughtful and have a real sense of integrity. It was an absolute honor to work with them to bring their wedding to life. The couple lives in San Francisco but she is a New Yorker and he is originally from Germany. Guests came from all over the world to celebrate this amazing couple and take part in joining of their two cultures.

Emily and Dan selected the top of Aspen mountain to celebrate their wedding. Guest experience and comfort was a top priority and we took great care to ensure their guests received amazing attention from start to finish. Unique traditions, such as the saw cutting tradition from Germany, were incorporated to share elements from each person’s heritage.

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Photography: Laura Murray Photography | Event Planning: Bluebird Productions | Floral Design: Carolyn's Flowers | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: d'Elissious | Stationery: A DAY IN MAY DESIGN | Hair: Mi Hair | Band: Tunisia | Ceremony Music: Silver City Strings | Wedding Venue: The Little Nell | Audio Visual: Halcyon Productions | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rentals: Party Rentals By Premier Rentals Of St. Louis

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