Archive for Ceremony

Destination weddings in Colorado have become big business in the wedding industry. Couples from all over the world are imagining themselves saying their nuptials with majestic peaks in the background. Maybe the couples has previously vacationed here and fallen in love with the state or perhaps like one of the couples I photographed a couple years ago the bride had never seen snow before and had always wanted to get married on a snow covered mountain top! Whatever your reason for getting married in Colorado it’s now easier than ever to do! The internet has given everyone the key to searching out thousands of venues and vendors. Couples can check out photos and videos of properties, search by price point and even view reviews from others who have used the vendors in the past. Tools like email, FaceTime and Skype make is easier to do virtual meetings to discuss your needs and concerns that some couples choose to book some or even all their wedding vendors without ever meeting in person! If this is something you plan on doing here is some tips to help you navigate choosing the best vendors!

1.) Consider hiring a Wedding Planner – I’m all for do it “yourselfers” that want to save money, but sometimes a planner is a huge help in facilitating the wedding of your dreams; especially if you don’t live or know anyone where you plan on hosting your event. A planner can have more insight on particular venues and vendors and can even in some cases save couples money by helping them find the best value for what they want to spend. If hiring a planner isn’t in your budget, look for venues with amazing on-site coordinators. When booking a site that includes an on-site coordinator make sure you get a list of their duties so you know what you’re getting. Some venues provide a coordinator purely to  protect their own interests. The coordinator is just there to turn on and off the lights, show you what you can and can not do and make sure guests don’t destroy the property. Others offer full on planning services as well. They help with decorating, organizing guests and the wedding party and more. Just make sure you are aware of what they will and will not do especially if you are paying extra for them.

2.) Hiring Pros…when to choose someone from home and when to go with someone locally – Hiring some local vendors are much more obvious. Hiring a caterer from home and expecting them to haul out all of their gear etc. can become very cost prohibitive. So looking at local caterers is probably recommended. Others might not be so cut and dry… not to shoot myself in the foot, as I would love your photo and video business, but sometimes you have built a repertoire with a photographer who lives near you and you really want to use them. I completely get that! I myself have covered a number of destination weddings for people who have grown to love my work. I’ve covered weddings in Florida, the Virgin Islands and even Costa Rica! But sometimes choosing a photographer who lives and works in the area you’re getting married in can be very beneficial. They might work at your venue on a regular basis or know some amazing off the beaten path spots to take photographs. Consider the travel costs you might have to cover when bringing a vendor with you. Sometimes these costs can double the cost of the service they provide.

3.) Do your research and set a budget in advance – Talk with all the parties involved to set-up realistic budgets for each service you are looking for prior to meeting with venues and vendors.  In your research don’t be afraid to ask the business what their starting prices are and a rough estimate of what their services would cost for what you need. Caterers this might go off of an estimated guest count and food preference. Photographers and videographers might charge for how much time you want them to document your event and whether or not you want more than one cameraman present. Disc Jockeys and musicians usually start with the time-frame they will be playing music and then add-on for things like extra lighting. Once you have found a few vendors in your price range only set-up meetings (whether they are on the phone or in person) with vendors who are in the range of your budget.

4.) Visit your Destination Location – If at all possible schedule a scouting trip to the area you are looking to getting married at during the time of year that you plan on hosting your event. Photos of a property are great, but we all know that photographers have ways to take the photos showing the venue off in it’s best light and can doctor the images using Photoshop! It’s good to see and meet vendor in person whenever possible. Remember that great venues and vendors book up quickly so while I recommend doing your due diligence with all services, if you have a particular date in mind it might be wise to do this sooner than later because for most vendors once they are booked they’re no longer available to take on more work.  Don’t be afraid to ask for past client referrals!

5.) Get it in writing! – Make sure the vendors you hire always use a contract and be sure to review the contracts before signing. Bring up any concerns to the vendor before you sign and give them a deposit. If the vendor doesn’t provide it for you, ask them for an itemized list of everything that is included in the quoted price. At a destination wedding, it’s especially important to make sure things like pick up and drop off of items are being handled by the vendor and everyone is on the same page of timing and what’s included. Be sure to think about things that make it easier for guests traveling to your destination like room blocking at hotels and shuttle service to and from ceremony and reception locations.

6.) Go with your Gut – If after meeting with a vendor for any service something feels “off”, but you can’t put your finger on it listen to what your subconscious is trying to tell you.  Some red flags to consider: disparaging talk about a current or past clients (unless it’s to explain how they handled a challenging situation without naming the clients), how quickly they return emails and phone calls (sometimes with emails it’s just technology failing, don’t hesitate to pick up a phone and call them), trying to strong arm you into features or add-ons that you might not need or judgemental comments about your budget and an unwillingness to work within it. While vendors all understand budgets please don’t call a vendor that says their prices start at “X” price expecting them to do basically the same service they are advertising for at a 1/3 of the price! There may be a little wiggle room in some vendors prices, but don’t expect over a 5-10% difference.

Finishing up on our final Willow Ridge Manor wedding for the year… this amazing wedding of a couple that has shared 29 years of their life together before they were able to finally tie the knot! Marta and Sheri had an amazing wedding with a ceremony that started out with pure entertainment from a flash mob as they walked in. I’m not sharing the music that they danced into in their highlight video due to copyright concerns from the big league artist’s songs they used, but it was awesome! It was the first time we’ve captured a scene like that for a couple. I’m guessing it took lots of practice not only for the dancers, but for the lovely ladies as too.  I also wanted to mention their floral arrangements as well. The couple chose to go with eco friendly alternative flowers that were absolutely stunning and did not look like “fake” flowers at all. I was quite impressed with both the style and quality of these arrangements. Chris and I had a blast doing photos and video for this happy couple! Enjoy some of my favorite photos below.

 

Vendors Who Made This Day Possible:

Venue: Willow Ridge Manor

Caterer: Fresh Tracks

Disc Jockey: DJ Guy

Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes

Favors: PB Love CO and MODma

Florist: Flintwood Floral and Design

Photography & Video: Crystaline Photography & Video

The beautiful early fall wedding of Frank & Kayla’s Willow Ridge Manor event is featured below along with their highlight video. My crew and I had a wonderful time covering this event. This couple with their little baby girl was the sweetest couple ever, so much love and admiration between the two of them made it an extremely easy wedding to photograph.

I really don’t know how we avoided the rain on this event, but working quickly and saying a few prayers we were able to do just that. One of the amazing things I want to point out about this venue is Lawrence and Gregory’s attention to detail. When those storm clouds started rolling in the two of them were right there handing out umbrellas for all the guests to use and even though they didn’t end up needing them, they were there and ready just in case! Just par for the course with this amazing wedding venue!

Enjoy the photos and the video and congrats again you two! ~Jamie

 

       

Vendors who made this day possible:

Venue: Willow Ridge Manor

Caterer: Occasions Catering

Disc Jockey: Digital DJ

Florist: Flowerama

Photography: Crystaline Photography & Video

 

We finally had a hot Summer day at this August wedding at Willow Ridge Manor! After multiple rainy and cloudy events this Summer this was a welcomed change. Kori and Chris had a pretty decent sized wedding party as well, but everyone was having such a great time that they were pretty easy to manage! I also really liked the red, white and blue theme. When I asked one of the bridesmaids if there was a significance to why they chose this color pallet I was told Kori is a die hard “Patriots” fan. (Sorry Broncos fans!) I thought the colors worked really well on the red rocks. I also loved that the bride got all of the ladies tennis shoes to wear for later in the evening when their feet would be hurting. It was a thoughtful and cute idea!

Another amazing day that seemed to pass too quickly! But that’s how I know it was an awesome event when everything turns out perfect and almost effortlessly after all of the hard work of putting it together you can’t ask for much more! Congrats again you two! ~Jamie

    

Vendors Who Made This Day Possible:

Venue: Willow Ridge Manor

Caterer: Rocky Mountain Catering

Disc Jockey: Digital DJ

Photography & Video: Crystaline Photography & Video

Time to chat about the non-traditional/traditional wedding… which really seems to be the way  a lot of today’s couples are going. It’s really a way to put your own stamp on your event. Ryan and Anna really wanted to do their wedding in a manner that was special to them and stayed within their budget. Their Harry Potter theme was awesome! Anna wore a non-traditional black wedding gown and a black opal wedding ring set. They also opted to have a food truck serve all of their guests which not only kept their catering costs down, but made amazing cusine. This venue is great in that it allows couples to use any vendors that they want which can save you a ton of money in the long run. It has amazing views and a rustic charm that is perfect for Colorado.

Anna contacted me because not only had I photographed her friend’s wedding last year, but also because we’re recommended by the venue. It had been a couple years since we’ve covered an event here. A lot of improvements have been made to the facility in that time. The first being getting ready areas for both the bride and the groom. This helps a lot! All of your wedding party can get ready on site making it easier for your photographer to capture those moments along with keeping you on schedule for all of your events. I had a lot of fun photographing these two… we had amazing weather, an awesome wedding party that was willing to go above and beyond for these two and lots of helpful friends and family that really helped to put this event together. Thanks again for having me capture your special day!

     

 

Vendors who made this day possible:

Venue – Evergreen Red Barn

Caterer – The Cravings Food Truck

Photography: Crystaline Photography & Video

 

What amazing weather we had at this Willow Ridge Manor wedding the first weekend in August! Another amazing couple that shared their vows at this picturesque venue.  Our whole team covered this event. Faith and I did the photography while Taleen used her amazing video skills and my husband, Michael with Digital DJ provided microphones for the ceremony and music and entertainment for the reception. I love it when we all get to cover an event together as everything usually just clicks!  Henry and Bethany were just a joy to work with as well…. lots of love between these two as well as from their friends and family.

I  also loved the Art Deco/ Great Gatsby theme they created for their event. The Golds and shades of purple worked amazingly with this venue. Art Deco represents luxury and glamour. The style uses a lot of geometric shapes and bright colors that seem to be very popular right now with couples and worked really well for these two!

Here’s to many years of wedded bliss in their future! Congrats again! ~Jamie

Vendors Who Made This Day Possible:

Venue: Willow Ridge Manor

Caterer: Fresh Tracks

Disc Jockey: Digital DJ

Officiant: Rev. Martin Lettow, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church

Vocalist: Jacob Baker

Musicians: Renee Hemsing; violin, Anton Smirnov; violin, & Andrew Brown; cello

Guitarist: David Graham

Photography & Video: Crystaline Photography & Video

 

Moose Lodge at Crooked Creek Wedding – Jordan & Kyle from Jamie Striplin on Vimeo.

This destination wedding for this couple from Missouri was amazing! So many couples coming from the plains to get married in the mountains lately! It’s awesome! And this couple did it right… they came with just their close family and friends. There were only about 20-30 people total for the sharing of their nuptials in a field by this Air B&B rental. No caterer to pay for, no large venue, a friend grilled steaks for everyone, no florist, even a friend did their photography… this opened up their budget to have me videotape this important event for them! It was a great day… but any day I get to spend in the mountains is a great day! Enjoy this highlight video from their perfect day!

Here are some of my favorite photos from another amazing Summer wedding at Willow Ridge Manor in Morrison, Colorado! Rain did not dampen the spirits of this couple and we were able to wait the short showers out before starting the ceremony. Luckily, there are tons of indoor spots to take photos at while we were waiting! Jennifer and Jackson had already spent a number of years together before making it official. They even share a beautiful daughter together that made for a lovely flower girl along with her bestie!

   

Occasions Catering delivered an amazing meal like always! It’s so great that Willow Ridge has put together such an amazing list of caterers to work at their venue! And Digital DJ kept the dance floor rocking all night! It was an amazing event with heartfelt toasts, lots of laughter, and dancing the night away!

Vendors who made this day possible:

Venue: Willow Ridge Manor

Caterer: Occasions Catering

Disc Jockey: Digital DJ

Photography: Crystaline Photography & Video

Kelly and Steven exchanged vows on what was the hottest day this Summer at Grant Humphrey’s Mansion in Denver, Colorado. Luckily, this beautiful venue has no shortage of picture perfect indoor spots to take photos! I tried my best to keep the couple and their large wedding party from sweltering in the heat! It ended up being a perfect day. By the time the ceremony started it was starting to cool off a bit. A great deal of the reception was held outside on the back patio which was amazing! So also very happy we had great (all be it hot) weather for this event!

I loved the couple’s theme which was world travel with a touch of Paris! The bride had a specialty dress made for her from Russia and it fit her and the venue perfectly! It was so unique and beautiful… she even had a dress change prior to the dancing… I think she wanted something more managable to cut a rug in! There were a lot of elements to this event that made it different and unique! The guests were treated to four separate food stations that each had a different type of culinary cuisine! This highlighted some of the couple’s favorite genres of food! There were two piano players that serenaded guests in the main hall throughout the evening and a band the provided music for the dancing! The couple even hired my favorite violinist to accompany their first dance  song along with an opera singer! They also added on our open air photo-booth experience for their guests to enjoy! While the bride had her own ideas for backdrop and props we were able to make sure that by providing the photo-booth station and an operator that anyone who wanted to partake in this fun activity were able to do so along with providing the couple an unique guest book option!

This was an amazing event where you could see all of the thought and attention was put into the details to make it a truly memorable event! I hope they made many memories that day that will last a lifetime!

  

Vendors who helped make this day possible:

Venue: Grant Humphrey’s Mansion

Band: The Crystal Swing Band

Pianist/Vocalist: John Redmon

Violinst: Julia Taylor with Gigue Music

Opera Singer: Teresita Lozano

Bakery: T&Cakes

Florist: Petals Colorado

Master of Ceremonies: Professor Phelyx

Upstairs Pianist During Dancing: Gary Schmidt

Caterer: Clark’s Custom Catering

Bartender: Bar Star Divas

Day of Coordinator: Carson Koinzan

Video: Kevin Campbell Films

Photography & Photo-Booth: Crystaline Photography & Video

Genuine love is all I can say about Nuala & Bryan’s event! Their wedding was just a joy to photograph! And the reaction that Bryan had when he saw his bride for the first time was just priceless! That alone is worth getting the two photographer package! When I met with the couple to do the walk thru at Willow Ridge Nuala was just giddy over Gregory & Lawrence’s German Shepard dogs (which are the best behaved animals of all time by the way) and I heard her make a special request for the puppies to be on site while they were getting ready… to which I replied we must do a photo of you and all the dogs and she was ecstatic about that idea! Now I know not everyone wants a bunch of dogs at their wedding and of course the venue can be dog free upon request, but if you love canines these dogs will not disappoint! Amazing animals to go along with an awesome venue!

Check out some of my other favorite shots from this Summer event…. sure to be one of my favorites from the year!

 

Vendors who made this event possible:

Venue: Willow Ridge Manor

Caterer: Rocky Mountain Catering

Disc Jockey: Elite DJ

Florist: Sam’s Club

Cake: Azucar Bakery

Alcohol: Tipsy’s Liquor World

Photography: Crystaline Photography and Video