Again I am a bit behind on my blog posting for 2020. The end of the year was a whirlwind… wedding date changes, venue changes and more kept us quite busy! Hailey and Andrew’s wedding was supposed to take place at Boettcher Mansion in September, but because that venue is ran by the county when Covid hit it was also one of the last venues to open back up. Couples with plans at any government ran facility were the hardest hit due to mandates that regulated the amount of guests that could be had at smaller venues.  I was willing to change things around for them, but they really wanted to host their event on their planned date and because I knew Willow Ridge Manor had been able to stay open I sent them over to Gregory and Lawrence. Luckily, there had been another couple that canceled on their date and they were able to move their event one town over to this facility. It ended up being a beautiful day with special touches that really personalized the event. The couple’s grandparents were musicians so they provided a song during the ceremony and also performed during the cocktail hour. The couple even rented a classic white Ford Mustang for the day which was a great addition to their wedding photos and a lot of fun! Having the car all day also made it easier to do more photos with the vehicle throughout the day instead of just at the end during the send off. It was a pleasure working with you both! Best wishes. ~Jamie

Bride at Willow Ridge Manor Willow Ridge Manor - Groom Willow Ridge Manor - Pocket Squares Willow Ridge Manor -  Bride in the mirror with her gals Willow Ridge Manor - Groom and Ford Mustang Willow Ridge Manor - Groom in a Mustang Willow Ridge Manor - Fun group shot  Willow Ridge Manor - Bride and Groom Portrait Willow Ridge Manor - Bride and groom with Mustang  Willow Ridge Manor - Presenting the bride Willow Ridge Manor - Veil Shot  Willow Ridge Manor - CeremonyWillow Ridge Manor - Romatic photo Willow Ridge Manor - Marriage License Willow Ridge Manor - Grandparents perform Willow Ridge Manor -  Toasts

Vendors who made this day possible:

Venue – Willow Ridge Manor

Caterer – Colorado Catering Company

Alcohol Provider – Applejack Liquor

Ceremony Music – Pianist – Jimmy West

Reception Music – Guitarist – Jeff Matchette

Photography – Crystaline Photography & Video

Video –  Miranda Adame Productions

 

When two people are really in love it’s hard to not to enjoy photographing them because the chemistry just smolders in camera! Taylor and Sam both said they felt like they weren’t super photogenic. I said hogwash! We got some beautiful rustic mountain photos at one of my favorite locations to do photos at and the rest they say is history! After spending the morning with them I’m really looking forward to their fall wedding this year! it’s going to be a blast!

Since 2020 was a really tough year for not only couples planning a wedding, but for those servicing those events I thought I would do a post about planning an event this year and into 2022 to help couples still navigating these uncertain times. We were very lucky last year to be able to provide services to all but two wedding that had booked with us which is amazing because I talked to another photographer at a wedding we only did video for and she said she lost nearly 70% of her business last year! Wow! I watched a few really amazing catering companies go under and a few DJs decide to do something else for a living. So not all of us weathered the storm. I’m not going to lie, it was an extremely stressful time for Mike and I and our two businesses. But we survived by being willing to work with our couples! We were able to switch wedding dates for no additional fees, cover downsized events and even picked up a few last minute elopements. Mike and I were both really, really grateful for the clients we had over 2020 and are looking forward to servicing those that re-booked in 2021 as well as new clients! That brings me to the first hurdle newly engaged couples have in planning a wedding right now. They are having to cope with finding an open and available date with vendors for both 2021 and now going into 2022. Since many 2020 couples pushed their dates into 2021 and some couples who were planning to do their wedding either last year or this year decided they wanted to push their date even further into 2022 it’s getting harder to find available vendors. We’re already booking dates into next year! Prime weekend dates are sure to go faster then they have in previous years and if you choose a special date like one that is a palindrome or just a cool date with some significance or holiday even more so. If you are just in the beginning stages of planning here are some of the more popular dates that you might just want to avoid because of their popularity which may make planning and booking vendors more difficult:

Popular Wedding Dates 2021

  • Friday, January 1, 2021 (1-1-21) – New Year’s Day
  • Friday, February 12, 2021 (2-12-21) – Chinese New Year (Year of the Ox)
  • Saturday, February 13, 2021 (2-13-21) – Valentine’s Day Weekend
  • Sunday, February 14, 2021 (2-14-21) – Valentine’s Day
  • Saturday, April 3, 2021 (4-3-21) – Countdown Date
  • Saturday, May 29, 2021 (5-29-21) – Memorial Day Weekend
  • Saturday, September 4, 2021 (9-4-21) – Labor Day Weekend
  • September and October are the most popular months to get married during this year in Colorado! We’re almost completely filled!
  • Saturday, October 2, 2021 (10-2-21) d
  • Saturday, October 9, 2021 (10-9-21)
  • Saturday, October 16, 2021 (10-16-21)
  • Saturday, October 23, 2021 (10-23-21)
  • Saturday, October 30, 2021 (10-30-21)
  • Sunday, October 31, 2021 (10-31-21) – Halloween
  • Friday, December 31, 2021 (12-31-21) – New Year’s Eve

Palindrome Dates 2021

Palindromes are words or numbers that are the same forwards and backward, like “9/1/19” or “racecar”. Since these are easy to remember, they are very popular dates to get married on.

  • Wednesday, January 20, 2021 (1-20-21)
  • Thursday, January 21, 2021 (1-21-21)
  • Friday, January 22, 2021 (1-22-21)
  • Saturday, January 23, 2021 (1-23-21)
  • Sunday, January 24, 2021 (1-24-21)
  • Monday, January 25, 2021 (1-25-21)
  • Tuesday, January 26, 2021 (1-26-21)
  • Wednesday, January 27, 2021 (1-27-21)
  • Thursday, January 28, 2021 (1-28-21)
  • Friday, January 29, 2021 (1-29-21)
  • Wednesday, December 1, 2021 (12-1-21)
  • Saturday, December 11, 2021 (12-11-21)
  • Wednesday, December 22, 2021 (12-22-21)

Popular Wedding Dates 2022

  • Saturday, January 1, 2022 (1-1-22) – New Year’s Day
  • Sunday, February 13, 2022 (2-13-22) – Valentine’s Day Weekend
  • Monday, February 14, 2021 (2-14-22) – Valentine’s Day
  • Friday, April 1, 2022 (4-1-22) – April Fool’s Day
  • Saturday, May 28, 2022 (5-28-22) – Memorial Day Weekend
  • Saturday, September 3, 2022 (9-3-22) – Labor Day Weekend
  • Again, September and October are the most popular months to get married in Colorado!  We typically fill these first even before June dates!
  • Saturday, October 1, 2022 (10-1-22)
  • Saturday, October 8, 2022 (10-8-22)
  • Saturday, October 15, 2022 (10-15-22)
  • Saturday, October 22, 2022 (10-22-22)
  • Saturday, October 29, 2022 (10-29-22)
  • Saturday, December 31, 2022 (12-31-22) – New Year’s Eve

Palindrome Dates 2022

  • Thursday, February 2, 2022 (2-2-22)
  • Sunday, February 20, 2022 (2-20-22)
  • Monday, February 21, 2022 (2-21-22)
  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022 (2-22-22)
  • Wednesday, February 23, 2022 (2-23-22)
  • Thursday, February 24, 2022 (2-24-22)
  • Friday, February 25, 2022 (2-25-22)
  • Saturday, February 26, 2022 (2-26-22)
  • Sunday, February 27, 2022 (2-27-22)
  • Monday, February 28, 2022 (2-28-22)

Cancellation Policies

Once you get your date figured out and have booked your venue the next step is figuring out your other vendors. Make a list of what’s most important to you and your budget for each and then start with the most important ones and the ones that are quicker to fill up  such as caterers, photographers and music. Some companies can service more than one event on a weekend while others can not, so it’s good to find vendors early and with so many couples competing for dates right now it’s not a bad idea to book right away even if it’s two years out!

Next, almost all vendors had to deal with Covid changing event plans for their clients this last year and because of this have had to re-vamp their cancellation or re-booking policy. Before 2020 couples would pay their deposit and know that if they had to cancel their event for any reason they would be losing all of the money they had paid towards the venue and the services they booked. When the government created a mandatory shut-down of events due to the pandemic everyone had to come to terms with not being able to host an event even if they wanted to. Some companies were understanding and others were not.  So the big thing in 2021 is to read the fine print and discuss cancellation policies with each and every vendor you hire. Understand that once you book a business for a specific date that it most cases it comes off the calendar anyone else. Dates are often booked months in advance and re-booking them becomes more and more difficult the closer you cancel to the date which is the reason for no refunds. It doesn’t hurt to ask a vendor you are considering about their cancellation/re-booking policies and asking if they are flexible. For us we’ve decided to allow couples to re-book with no additional fees as long it’s a mutually agreed upon date and done within a year. A cancellation is a forfeiture of monies paid, but we’re not holding anyone to final payments as we have in the past and we’re still working with couples to do planned photo-shoots or elopements in lieu of the big wedding to give them something for what they’ve already paid for. We’ve split payments up to make this a bit easier and so couples would be out less money if they decide to just completely cancel their event. Since we’d really, really like to provide the services you paid us for we’re willing to do everything we can to work around changing dates during the pandemic.

Consider vendors that provide more than one service for your wedding to make it easier on yourself. It’s going to be a lot easier rescheduling services if you only have to make one call instead of five. Since my company provides: photo, video and photo-booth services and my husband’s is a disc jockey we often do events together. So this also means that we also have a lot of the same dates open together as well (not always, but better chances). If you have photo, video, photo-booth and DJ booked with us and have to reschedule it’s one call to me and we should be able to find a date that works for both you and us!

Consider Downsizing

Wedding planners are telling couples to consider making 2 or 3 different sized guest lists so that you can easily pivot to what ever sized list you have to go with due to mandates in your area. Or just consider a smaller wedding from the start. Since we ended up covering a lot of intimate weddings in 2020 I can definitely say there are some advantages to having a smaller guest count. The first being you should be able to save some money on your catering bill. Less mouths to feed means less money to spend.  Less guests also means you will have more time to spend with the ones that can attend. Weddings are a whirlwind and extra time with the ones you love is never a bad thing. If you are set on having a large 100+ person event then depending on your venue’s capacity you may just want to consider hosting your event in 2022 or later.

Health Safety

Should you require your wedding guests to either provide vaccine proof or take a Covid test before they attend your event? I covered one wedding last year where the couple was so conscious of everyone’s health that they asked all of their guests to take a test two weeks before the wedding and then to basically quarantine before the big day! If a person wasn’t “Ok” with doing that then they were asked not to attend the wedding.  While this sounds kind of like an over kill because what kind of world do we live in where you have to take a test before you can attend an event? But that wedding was one of the more relaxed and fun events I covered last year. Because in reality it is hard to feel safe in a large crowd right now and especially after the masks come off. And they will come off when everyone sits down to eat and drink and then they are probably not going back on after that (from what I’ve seen covering many pandemic weddings in 2020).

If you’re not sure where to even begin with this request, remember two things. First, when it comes to a wedding, the couple sets the tone. Second, by setting very clear, very firm rules that prioritize health and safety you are actually doing people a favor. For your guests you are removing the guess work. By being clear and upfront about the Covid-19 Safety policy for your wedding you are saving your loved ones the mental gymnastics of “What does a wedding right now even look like?” You’re telling them what your wedding looks like and then they get to decide if that works for them or if they would prefer to celebrate your wedding in a different capacity (online, zooming, sending a card, etc.).

Setting this boundary also has another huge upside. Rather than feeling awkward and sad in a room of 100 people without masks and without tests, The couple gets to experience the same privilege of a couple who got married before COVID. They would actually get to enjoy their own wedding day and not worry that their decisions may have put someone in the hospital or at worst killed them.

Wedding favors have become masks personalized with the couple’s wedding date, individual bottles of hand sanitizer at the place settings and even color coded wrist bands that tell the other guests the level of interaction with other guests that they are comfortable in sharing.  All things you can do to help provide a safe event.

Whatever you decide to do for your 2021 wedding just know that people love and support you and will do everything that they can to support your decision to get married and celebrate with you in whatever capacity that they can. We’re so happy that vaccines have been opened up to anyone wanting one in Colorado. Mike and I just got our first dose and will be getting our second at the end of April! And our excited to be covering all of the events we have scheduled for this year! Best wishes with all of your wedding planning!

 

 

Zach & Megan originally had a big event planned for their wedding in Estes Park this past year and then Covid happened! Ugh! A familiar story in 2020, but despite having to postpone their event they still wanted to get married! So Megan’s mom booked the Historic Morrison Church down the road from her home for their original date of 10-10-2020! And the couple along with the bride’s immediate family held a small ceremony here. Due to the date being a special one – 10+10 = 20 it was also the busiest wedding day of the year. Our company covered three events in one day! Not something we typically do either, but because two of the events were very small and located just a few miles from each other and also because the timing worked out Mike and I were able to handle them both and Chris covered another one for us in Lafayette! It ended up being a beautiful Fall day and just as memorable for these couples even though all three ended up being greatly downsized.

Here are some of my favorite photos and the downloaded ceremony only video from this first wedding on 10/10/2020. Enjoy!

I just really love this little chapel! It’s the perfect place to hold a small gathering or to elope at. It’s non-denominational so you are welcome to bring in your own officiant or self-solemnize (which is legal in Colorado). It’s also located downtown Morrison where there’s a beautiful bike path along a creek for photo opportunities and some amazing restaurants to hold a little reception at. Not to mention it’s just a few minutes down the road from the amazing Red Rocks Amphitheater and a couple other amazing parks such as: Matthews Winters Park & Mount Falcon which also have amazing views that you can only get in our state! The church also makes a perfect back-up plan for weather issues for someone planning an outdoor wedding in the area because the price is very affordable to reserve. Check out the ceremony only video below.

Vendors who made this day possible:

Venue – Historic Morrison Church

Wedding Planner – Pink Diamond Events

Photo & Video – Crystaline Photography & Video

Carly and Matt were one of those couples that just rolled with the punches in 2020! We were all set to take photos at their wedding in April and then Covid hit! Putting a complete hold on to their celebration…. The couple decided to elope in their backyard on their original date, but then still were able to hold their celebration in September with a small selection of guests and wedding party. Luckily, everything worked out and I was still able to capture their beautiful event at Willow Ridge Manor. I’m excited to share some of my favorite images from their event below! Enjoy!

 

Vendors who made this day possible:

Ceremony & Reception Venue – Willow Ridge Manor

Caterer – Occasions Catering

Bakery – Das Meyer

Photography – Crystaline Photography & Video

I just love how my career has allowed me to experience many different cultures and celebrations. I had photographed a few Indian weddings before, but never had I had the privilege of covering one of the Singh faith. It’s amazing how different religions have similar elements and then again how different they can also be. Sahiba & Yash had to also downsize their event due to Covid, so they planned a weekday wedding at their temple with a beautiful garden brunch at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It was simple and elegant. Since a lot of their overseas friends and family could not attend we also did a video with a full download of their ceremony the next day so that they could do a viewing party with everyone.  Enjoy this intimate Colorado wedding!

   

Vendors who made this day possible:

Ceremony Site – Colorado Singh Sabha

Reception Venue – Denver Botanic Gardens

Florist & Calligraphy – Paper in Blume

Caterer- Serendipity Catering

Photography & Video – Crystaline Photography & Video

Our Fall mini sessions were such a hit this year! We chose two single days to book back to back sessions at a couple parks in the Denver Metro area. Families pre-paid for a 30 minute session where we pulled out all the tricks and poses for the best photos we could create in a quick session. This was perfect for those parents just wanting a photo for their holiday card and ones with young children with short attention spans. This session took place in North Denver at Croke Reservoir in Northglenn, Colorado. It was so successful that we’re thinking of doing it every year! It will of course all depend on how hectic our calendar is from year to year. Fall is the busiest time of year for photographers all over the state and it’s getting harder to find a whole day that we can take to schedule these. If you want to find out when we’ll be hosting our next session sign up on our email newsletter list to get the all the latest updates and deals!

I would call 2020 the year of the elopement… so many couples that wanted to have a big wedding, but couldn’t due to the pandemic decided to get married anyways because love doesn’t’ stop even for a virus. Bob & Donna were one such couple when we chatted about their wedding plans they told me how they couldn’t host a large event in their home state so they had decided on eloping at a vineyard in California. Then due to the horrible wildfires in California they decided to move their location to Colorado. At the time we were looking at going more up into the mountains here to give them that quintessential Colorado mountain look, but then the wildfires here took off as well! Ugh! I worked with them to find a spot close to their hotel in Boulder that wasn’t in any fire danger and the rest we say is history. The couple brought their motorcycle out here with them so that they could also do some amazing day trips up in the mountains while they enjoyed their honeymoon.

Getting ready at the historic Hotel Bolderado makes for some amazing photos… and guess what? They got an upgrade form the hotel to the bridal suite when they told them they were here for an elopement plus some extra help with planning from the hotel’s concierge service. Amazing! I love it when companies go above and beyond for their clients. We took some awesome photos in this grand hotel and with their motorcycle out in front of the hotel before I shuttled them up to Chautauqua Park and then on to Lost Gulch to share their vows to each other on a mountain top!

 

I loved getting to spend the afternoon with such a great couple that just wanted to make it official in an amazing location! Elopements are something that we offer special rates for when booked 1-2 months out and on a date we still have open on our calendar. Typically, they are just the couple and/or just a very limited number of guests like 10-20. If you are wanting to tie the knot without all the fuss give us a call and I can even give some suggestions on places that work well for this scenario!

Hotel Accommodations & Meal After the Ceremony : Hotel Bolderado

Baker: Das Meyer

Photo Sites: Chautauqua Park & Lost Gulch

Photography: Crystaline Photography & Video

Beautiful early Fall wedding at Willow Ridge Manor with Kayla & Devin’s friends and family. Another event that we were so lucky to have happen before the Covid cases started to go up again. The weather was amazing; so a lot of time was spent outdoors just enjoying the warm amazing day. Lots of love and joy for these two! It was a pleasure capturing your special day!

I also have to give props to the amazing job Rocky Mountain Catering has been doing all Summer with the pandemic concerns. They showed up to every event with their masks on and got the job done! Their food was still amazing in the middle of all of this what an awesome company!

 

Vendors Who Made This Day Possible:

Venue: Willow Ridge Manor

Caterer: Rocky Mountain Catering

Disc Jockey: Digital DJ

Photography: Crystaline Photography & Video

 

It seems like most of Colorado’s high school yearbook portrait submission deadlines are at the end of September going into October which consequently makes it a really, really busy time for photographers in our state. Not only is it the time that parents everywhere are busy booking those last minute high school portrait sessions, but Fall weddings and family photos are also very popular this time of year. My family realizes when September hits they are pretty much not going to see me much again until almost Thanksgiving! But we love what we do so we make the sacrifice!

Ella is one of those seniors who wanted a more urban experience for her photo-shoot. So we met downtown Denver and did my favorite back alley photo-shoot. The buildings in LoDo have great architectural features, fun graffiti and other urban landmarks like sculptures, cool bridges and more. The city photo-shoot is not for everyone, but for those that this appeal to we have a great time exploring and finding just the right spots for memorable photos! A beautiful girl also equals gorgeous photos! I’m so happy I was able to document your final year in high school.