Love, Snowstorms, Fires, and Wendy the Bulldog - Pawsitively Perfect Nuptials
As a seasoned planner, orchestrating weddings is my jam. However, when it came to curating my own sister Lisa's big day in February 2022, the experience turned into a heartwarming tale of love, a tiny bit of chaos, resilience, and a touch of canine charm that even the wildest snowstorm couldn't freeze. It wasn't just a career highlight it was a feat of planning excellence. We puled it off, in a blizzard, after having to re-plan the entire wedding; it was the most magical wedding of all time. I watched my sister say her "I dos" to the man of her dreams and gave the Maid of Honor toast I'd been dreaming of since 1990. It was a Wedding Planner/Sister's dream come true – a bride glowing with pure joy and love, unfazed by the cold of the blizzard surrounding their mountaintop venue, watching my team beam with pride for our very own Lisa, some in bridesmaids gowns --freezing their buns off-- and some bundled up to the nines executing the wedding-- also freezing their buns off. This was what we trained for.
Love Conquers All: The Journey to 'I Do'
James proposed to Lisa on Thanksgiving 2020 and they immediately started to plan, with my help, or course! Despite the pandemic curveballs during their 14-months of planning, they set out to plan a large Winter Wedding celebration at an art gallery in Boulder on 02.11.2022, the perfect date. Everything was planned as they headed into 2022. James even relented on his desire to have Pizza Hut cater the reception. Everything was perfect!
From the Ashes: Surviving the Marshall Fire
Just weeks before their wedding date on December 30th, 2021, Lisa and James, faced the devastating Marshall Fire. In a harrowing evacuation from their home in Louisville, Lisa fled with her wedding dress and their beloved Bull Dog, Wendy. They were displaced from their home for weeks and the fire reached just outside of their neighborhood. They now had the Omicron variant and the fire's impact on their community looming over their wedding. They decided to cancel their original wedding and downsize.
They had booked the Flagstaff Mountain Stone House for their ceremony and pre-wedding photos a year prior. So they sent a heartbreaking email and asked that the majority of their guests join virtually. They asked their immediate family, wedding party and closest friends to suit up in their wedding best and join them on Flagstaff Mountain for a micro wedding. We kept our rooms for the wedding party at the historic Hotel Boulderado, our shuttles from Green Ride, and our superb photographer and video teams, Brittany and Ben from Alchemy Creative. Amy Merritt and her team helped Lisa and the bridal party beautify in the morning as the snow fell.
A Snowstorm to Remember
Nature decided to sprinkle some extra magic on the day with an unexpected snowstorm, turning the mountain into a winter wonderland. Against the backdrop of gently falling snowflakes, Lisa and James exchanged vows, creating an ethereal and picturesque setting that was snow-stoppingly beautiful.
We'll just pretend there were no issues getting everyone up the mountain in the white-out conditions.
Wendy Steals the Show
Adding a paw-sitively whimsical touch to the ceremony was the couple's cherished bulldog, Wendy. Due to the fur-tastic laws of Colorado, Wendy was able to sign the marriage license, leaving an adorable mark on the couple's union. (As Maid of Honor, I was delighted to help Wendy in this endeavor. A chore I have walked my clients and their pups through many times as a wedding planner. Colorado couples love their puppy pals! #coloradoweddings #boulderlovesdogs)
Jewel Tones and Faux Fur Elegance
Undeterred by the winter chill, the wedding party embraced the season with jewel-tone gowns and faux fur wraps, making them the chicest snow bunnies in town. The rich, vibrant colors contrasted beautifully with the snowy surroundings, turning the celebration into a winter fashion dream.
Intimate Moments and Shared Laughter
Despite the chilly vibes, the day unfolded with cozy moments and shared laughter, proving that love has the power to melt even the iciest of hearts. Lisa and James' love radiated through the cold, creating a day filled with warmth, joy, and unforgettable memories, with laughter that echoed louder than a snowball fight. The Chuppah, was a team collaboration by some of our our favorite vendors (and friends), Have and Seat Colorado and Painted Primrose. This moody chuppah, dripping in florals, set the tone for, romance, elegance, and warmed the space.
Envisioning Thrones: A Dream Reimagined
In the initial planning stages, Lisa envisioned a Game of Thrones vibe/feel for her decor, planning for a 150-person wedding in a gallery, essentially a blank canvas. Their dream wedding offered guests a fancy bread and butter station during cocktail hour, lavish pasta dinner and epic dance party. However, the Omicron variant threw a curveball, forcing them to scrap the elaborate plan. But fate had a grander, more Thrones-worthy scheme in store. The scene was set by the florals, the wood fireplace and stone work of the venue could not have been more GOT.
She was our, Khaleesi: Lisa Ariel of the House Faye and Dave. First of her Name, the Dairy Free, Queen of Cottonwood Sub Division, Queen of the Office Binge, Mother of Bull Dogs, Breaker of Wedding Rules and Mother of Bull Dogs.
Laughter in the Chill: Kelly MacLean, the Comedy Writer / Officiant
Adding a dose of laughter to the proceedings, the wedding officiant was none other than close family friend and Comedy Writer, Kelly MacLean. Sporting a fur ushanka hat, Kelly brought humor and warmth to the ceremony, making it an unforgettable blend of love and laughter.
More Thrones Than Planned
The final setting, with a winter storm on a mountainside, a fire raging, and candlelight flickering in the cold breeze, created an ambiance more Game of Thrones than anyone could have ever planned for. With all 30 guests wrapped up in winter gear, Lisa's initial vision of Thrones vibes transformed into a reality more magical than the Seven Kingdoms.
A Tale of Love, Laughter, and Resilience
Lisa and James' winter wedding on Flagstaff Mountain was more than a celebration of love; it was a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the ability to find joy in the unexpected. As snowflakes danced outside, it mirrored the emotions of a day that left everyone feeling snow-ver the moon.
This wedding taught me that sometimes the most beautiful moments are unplanned, and love truly has the power to conquer all – even epic snowstorms, fires, and global pandemics. Cheers to Lisa and James, and to the limitless adventures awaiting them in their journey of love – it's snow joke! ❄️🐾
And immediately following the ceremony a hand full of guests and the wedding party warmed up with tropical cocktails at a tiki bar in Boulder. There is no professional photo evidence of this tiki time, thank goodness.
Planning and Design: Cherry Bomb Events
(Lead Day of Planner: Allie Howes, Cherry Bomb Events)
Officiant: Kelly McLean
Photographer and Video: Alchemy Creative
Hair and Makeup: Amy Merritt Hair Company
Transportation: Green Ride Boulder
Florist: Painted Primrose
Specialty Rentals: Have A Seat (Chuppah)
Wedding Night Hotel Accommodations: The Boulderado
After Party: Jungle Boulder
Dress: Little White Dress
Alterations: Donna Beth Creations