Hear it First!
New issues, New real wedding features, New ideas & inspirations delivered to your email.

Emerald Bling at DMR

Meri & Lance | September 1st | Durango Mountain Resort

From the bride:
We wanted the wedding to be very elegant with an emerald green color palette (my favorite color). We included silver and black touches to add a little bling and shine.

NathanRussell0103The bridesmaid’s dresses were long green satin dresses with silver sashes that resembled obi’s, traditional Japanese belts.

I wore a traditional Chinese jade necklace that my mother gave me.



Lance handmade the arch that we were married under. NathanRussell0105

The ceremony itself took about 40 minutes and included a sand ceremony. We were married by a close friend, something we really enjoyed rather than a judge or minister we didn’t know. NathanRussell0106

NathanRussell0107 NathanRussell0108 NathanRussell0109 NathanRussell0110

The favors were from Honeyville.  We took two different flavors, wrapped them in white tissue paper, placed them in frosted chinese takeout boxes and tied them with green ribbons that read “Thank you for celebrating with us!”


The centerpieces were small, square vases with an assortment of white flowers.  A tea leaf was wrapped around the bottom of the vases with little silver jewels for added bling. 


We had an Asian wish tree where guests wrote little words of advice or encouragement. Wishes for the bride went in one box while wishes for the groom went in another.  Wishes for the couple were hung from the tree.


My Advice: Get a wedding planner! For most of the planning process we did not have one. This was very stressful for the bride and mother of the bride. After we hired Many things went much more smoothly. I was able to relax a little, knowing that so many things would be taken care of.


Meri & Lance’s

Venue, Caterer & Lodging: DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT {more info | website}.  A wonderful place to have our wedding. The views were gorgeous, and the weather and mountain setting were absolutely beautiful.

Event Planner: CELEBRATIONS {more info  |  website}.  Mandy was absolutely amazing, we loved her.

Favors: HONEYVILLE {more info | website}.

Photographer: Nathan Russell Photography  //  Flowers:  April’s Garden  //  DJ: Aiko Aiko Sound //   Cake: Madisson’s Sweets

comments send to a friend

Fun & Spunky at Ridgewood

Deborah & Ryan  |  June 15th  |  Ridgewood Event Center {more info | website}

From the bride:
Living in Albuquerque we were a little bored with the hotel ballroom weddings. We wanted to pick somewhere close enough for our Albuquerque friends to travel to but also enticing enough for friends/family who live further away (NY, Washington D.C., Seattle, Wisconsin, etc). Ryan proposed on the beach so we thought it would be nice to do the opposite (mountains) for our wedding. Since we had visited Durango before and enjoyed the nightlife, restaurants, rafting, fishing, and beautiful scenery we knew it would be perfect for our wedding.

Photography by Photo Divine {more info | website}


Our style was a little shabby chic and rustic, but also a touch of elegance to keep it from being too trendy. We wanted a relaxed wedding day that was fun and spunky to match our personalities. PhotoDivine0102 PhotoDivine0103 PhotoDivine0104 PhotoDivine0105 PhotoDivine0106

Our ceremony was intimate to us because we wrote, organized and planned the whole ceremony/vows ourselves. Our friend was our officiant, my sister-in-law sang and played an acoustic guitar song for us and my brother read our scripture.

PhotoDivine0107 PhotoDivine0108 PhotoDivine0109

We made all the lawn games: giant jenga, ring toss, and corn hole.


We picked our favorite cocktail drinks and offered those at the bar (keeping the drink options to a couple beers, a red & white wine, and 3 specialty drinks made it so we could provide drinks for our guests all night without breaking the bank).


 Our first dance was a swing dance to Hall & Oats, “You Make My Dreams Come True”.


Looking back, doing things on our own may not save you a ton of money and are a little stressful, but I think having some DIY touches make the day more meaningful and memorable. Being able to brag about the fact that we made most the decorations made it worth the time and stress.

PhotoDivine0113 PhotoDivine0114

My advice:
1.  Spend the extra money on a good photographer.
2. Something will go wrong and it will be out of your control, but don’t worry about it because it will make for good laughs later.
3. The day will fly by so make sure you take a couple minutes each hour to stop, take a big cleansing breath and enjoy the moment and your surroundings.


comments send to a friend

A Botanical Wedding in the Snow

Kristin & Jeffrey  |  November 26th  |  Keyah Grande

From the bride:
We wanted a family reunion/Thanksgiving celebration/wedding so we rented Keyah Grande (a luxury retreat ) for one week so everyone could stay, play and really get to know each other.
Shutterfreek01 Shutterfreek02 Shutterfreek03

I carried Jeff’s mom’s Bible that she carried in her wedding in 1957.

Shutterfreek04We had an outdoor ceremony with a backdrop of freshly fallen snow. We married under an arbor decorated with understated floral and botanical greenery and a crystal chandelier.  A good friend officiated the ceremony.

Shutterfreek05 Shutterfreek06

The backdrop of the Colorado mountains in snow, juxtaposed with the greenery, fresh flowers, and crystal lighted chandelier.  It was simply too beautiful, Jeff even says, “magical”. Shutterfreek08 Shutterfreek09 Shutterfreek10 Shutterfreek11One of my favorite stories with Jeff was kayaking in Lake Tahoe on the Upper Truckee River.  A good friend, Jeff and I [three people] attempted to ride a two-person kayak and it kept tipping in frigid waters (basically ice melt). Jeff decided to run alongside the river for about 6 or 7 miles (very much like Last of the Mohicans).  Rather than use the traditional cake topper I surprised Jeff by using an inflatable mini-kayak with bride and groom Barbie dolls.  Barbie sat in the kayak while Ken ran alongside!


I loved having the dance floor in front of the enormous fireplace. Shutterfreek13The hot cocoa station was a hit, especially with the kids!  


My advice: Plan this big occasion for yourself and your partner, decide how you want to experience your wedding, and make decisions for creating that feeling.  The two of you are what matter – everyone else will deal with their own stuff.  Be strategic in who you choose to celebrate your day.  The right mix of family and friends are key to your feelings and your event’s success.


Kristin & Jeffrey’s

Venue: KEYAH GRANDE {more info | website}.  LOVED!

Event Planner & Design: Mandy Miller Winn, CelebrationsMandy took the stress away.  She considered all of the major and small pieces, and took nearly everything off my plate.  I gave a general outline of the experience I wanted the guests to have and the feeling I wanted to have, and then gave a lot of leeway.  Mandy just picked up the ball and ran with it.  She executed the details we’d asked for, and I’m sure did a million more things we’ll never know about.  I couldn’t be more pleased!  The day was so perfectly choreographed; I truly didn’t have a worry. From the lighted chandelier, the arbor with flowers, curly willow, and greenery, as well as the hanging vases, truly, guests can’t stop talking about this event being the most beautiful wedding they’ve ever attended.

Photographer & Videographer: SHUTTERFREEK {more info | website}.  I love the way they capture people, and for me, hiring Shutterfreek was about giving a gift to my family too.  My entire family now has amazing photos they wouldn’t otherwise have. They did a great job of not being noticed. We gave Paul creative freedom to edit the footage and we already know he has amazing vision.

Caterer & Cake: THE YELLOW CARROT {more info | website}. The presentation and the fun experience of building your own meal was really cool!

Flowers: April’s GardenThey’re unique, high-quality and beautiful.  The flowers  lasted for days and it was so nice to have such beauty around us!  Through conversations on the phone, Natalie determined what I wanted even though I couldn’t clearly articulate it.  Natalie knew the Juliette Rose, Mokara Orchids, and the Pincushion flowers would give me the color, depth, and texture I wanted.

DJ: Aiko Aiko Sound. Dale helped at the ceremony and throughout the reception.  We were able to make a song list ahead of time and made special requests for certain moments.  We had a blast! 

Wedding Gown: Justin Alexander, Signature 9703  //  Bridesmaid Dresses: Impressions Bridal 20151 in midnight blue.  //  Rentals: Pine Valley Rental


comments send to a friend

  • Kristin January 29, 2014 9:44 pm

    This is a wedding where we drove away thinking, "nothing could have turned out any better". We had an amazing celebration! Such a blast!! Thanks to all of our family, friends and vendors who made it happen!
  • Cara January 30, 2014 6:53 am

    Beautiful wedding, beautiful bride!