Cindy and David hosted a very small wedding in the chapel at Ralston Crossing Event Center last Spring. It was the perfect venue for this couple to share their sweet vows to each other and celebrate with cake and first dances in the pavilion behind the chapel after the ceremony. Ralston Crossing has both an indoor and outdoor ceremony site. The chapel works well as back up location for when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate. For this couple their plans were to use the chapel from the beginning due to their small event size and the time of year they were getting married. We utilized some of the amazing features on the grounds for taking photos with their wedding party and alone. Checkout some of our favorite photos from this lovely day!
Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is one of the most iconic locations to tie the knot. It’s a very popular place to elope or host a very small wedding in our state and you can see why from the photos below. I captured this amazing couple last summer in this beautiful location! And had a great time following them around for an hour taking photos before their sunset ceremony. One of the perks of this location is that as of 2023 they do not require a permit to do an elopement or take photos here, but because of the popularity I don’t know if that situation will last for much longer as the city of Colorado Springs is already floating the idea of charging at least a photo permit. This location is probably one of the busiest spots in our state for both tourist visits and weddings. If you are thinking about eloping at this location here are some tips to help make this an experience to remember for a lifetime. Here’s a link to their site to keep up to date on requirements – https://gardenofgods.com/events/weddings/
1.) Keep it small! An elopement should be either just the two of you, the officiant and the person(s) documenting the occasion. If you do want to have a few friends/family present I would highly suggest keeping the guest list to 10 or less. You can have up to 50 guests, but having that mean guests at this location is very difficult. It’s very hard to coordinate large groups of people especially at a location where you can not reserve a spot to exchange vows.
2.) DO NOT ELOPE ON A WEEKEND! This couple chose a Thursday evening on my recommendation and we still had to wait for parking spots to open up and for other couples that were utilizing the amazing scenery to finish up so we could also take photos. Choosing a more off season time-frame will also help. November through April are a little slower for visits to the park.
3.) Choose vendors who are familiar with the location and can help you pick the best spots to do photos and take pictures at. An experienced photographer can recommend the best time to do photos, how to pose and come up with creative shots (even if it’s just the two of you!)
4.) Keep it relaxed and fun! No need to stress for an elopement!! If you’re doing a destination wedding here from another state just make sure you make an appointment before your arrival to get your marriage license a few days beforehand. And touch base with your vendors the week of the wedding to make sure everyone is on the same page.
We’re here to help make your day amazing! Reach out if you’d like to chat with us about elopement options. ~ Jamie
This beautiful spring wedding held at the Ken Caryl Vista by Wedgewood was a fun one to cover. The bride & groom also had an interest in Super Heroes so they also incorporated some fun props into their wedding photos. A great way to celebrate an event with my first time back at his venue in over a decade. A lot has changed since Wedgewood took over the operations here. It’s a great place to tie the knot with amazing photo opportunities on site and just a couple minutes from the venue at South Valley Park. Check out some of my favorite photos from the day!
Venue & Caterer: Ken Caryl Vista at Wedgewood
Photography: Crystaline Photography and Video
I photographed Rachel’s mom’s wedding to her step-father over a decade ago in the early years of my business. Having her trust me to also cover her big day as has been one of the biggest joys of my career! It’s a crazy feeling knowing that their daughter is all grown up and ready to start a family of her own! It also makes you realize how short the passage of time really is and also how important it is to have someone there to capture the memories because they go by so fast. One of the bride’s mother’s biggest regrets from her own wedding was not hiring us to do video at her event, so they made sure to have us capture that for Rachel & Brandon this time around! They also hired my husband’s DJ company, Digital DJ to take care of the entertainment. The couple’s amazing early Spring wedding was held in Denver at Wedgewood’s Brittany Hill location. It was great getting to utilize all the beautiful natural sunlight that streams through all the windows at this venue for their morning/brunch themed wedding.
Check out some of our favorite photos and their highlight video below!
Vendors who made this day possible:
Venue: Wedgewood at Brittany Hill
Officiant: Amazing Colorado Weddings and Ceremonies
DJ/MC: Digital DJ
Photography & Video: Crystaline Photography and Video
If you are at the beginning stages of wedding planning or fully engulfed in the process unless you are a royal with an unlimited budget then you more than likely have some sort of budget in mind for your event. Some couples have a large 20,000+ budget, some have a modest 10,000+ budget and some are working with just a few thousand dollars. Did you know that the average price of a wedding in Colorado is now $30,000? The picturesque venues start at around $7000 for a weekend event and most caterers are charging $100+ a person per a meal. Those costs alone are going to add up quickly and with a very modest budget are not going to leave you much for extra for all the other vendors needed at a wedding. The best way to start figuring out your budget and how much to spend on each vendor is to prioritize what is most important to you.
If you have a $10,000 budget I highly suggest not blowing it all on the venue. There are options out there for couples with this minimal budget such as parks and recreation rentals or even churches offer a more affordable alternative to the high ticket wedding venue. If you have a $20,000+ budget then by all means book that amazing venue. A location with a beautiful view and lovely decor might even save you some money in decorating just because it may not need much more. The time of the year you host your event might also effect the pricing. Some venues even offer savings for hosting an off season event. Depending on the venue this time-frame in Colorado is typically November through March.
A trend in the wedding venue companies is to now offer all inclusive packages. These venues advertise as a one stop shop that is supposed to save couples money and the hassle of looking for all of their other vendors. I’ve worked at a few of these types of venues over the years and can see the advantages and disadvantages to them. The main benefit being that you will probably be able to host an event for under the cost of the average Colorado wedding (sometimes) if you use all of their vendors. The disadvantage of this concept will be that because vendors on these lists are often making their services available for under the market value they are also having to pay their employees under the market value for their work. For instance the DJ hired to fulfill these packages is often a college kid with maybe one or two events under his belt and you won’t be allowed to chat with him directly before your event. This person may not know how to keep a dance floor full, what announcements that need to be made or even how to handle a problem with equipment should it arise. My thoughts about this is to make sure you are able to vet all of the vendors they use. Make sure that you are able to replace vendors with your own when necessary and that it won’t cost you extra to use your own. There are still advantages to being able to create your event the way you want it to be even if it may cost a little more.
Some venues that do not provide food onsite might also require that you choose a caterer off their preferred list. Typically, there are reasons for this requirement. The main one being they’ve worked with these vendors a number of times already. The venue knows the quality of the service they provide and want to make sure that the same quality is provided to the guests they are hosting as it reflects poorly on the venue if the service is bad. If the venue you want to book has a list of caterers you must choose from then request a list of them before you book the venue so you can reach out them to figure out the average pricing. I’ve seen it a hundred times… couples book a venue because they are offering a great deal only to find out after the fact that the caterers on the venue’s list are all out of their price range! Ask questions!!!
After you list all of the items needed to service your wedding, rearrange them in order of importance and then research the average cost of each service and decide on how much you’d like to spend on each item. Leave a little wiggle room in your budget for services that are of the most important to you. For instance if photography is at the top of your list and you’ve budgeted $3000 for it but you found a photographer who’s work you love and personality clicks with yours but they charge $3500 don’t compromise on that service, instead take that $500 off your budget somewhere else. Maybe you had $500 earmarked for wedding favors, but do guests really need some tchotchke that will more than likely end up in the trash after the event? Probably not, but if your wedding photos get screwed up you will remember that forever! Don’t be afraid to ask vendors if they can work with your budget. The worse they can say is no.
Remember that there are also a lot of little items that add up quickly as well. I once covered a beautiful DIY wedding held in a tent on the property of the bride’s parents. The day of the event she told me that she thought they were going to save money by hosting it themselves, but by the time they rented everything they needed (including the porta potties, something they had forgotten about) they were at the cost of the most of the venues they toured, but had all of the hassle of having to set up everything themselves! Her biggest regret was not having researched the costs of everything that would be needed to do the event themselves and having to beg friends and family to do all the heavy lifting!
The biggest take away you should get from this article is to do the research. Ask questions from your top picked vendors, read reviews and research some more before you sign on the line. Prioritize what’s most important to you and understand that priorities are different for every couple. Just because your best friend dropped a ton of money on a band at her wedding doesn’t mean you have to if hiring a DJ will still fit within your vision and save you some dough.
Happy wedding planning!!! Reach out if you need some advice. We’ve worked at tons of venues throughout Colorado both big and small. We truly believe that every couple deserves to have the wedding of their dreams no matter what their budget!
November is becoming a more popular time of year to get married, due to it being a little bit off “wedding” season. There are usually savings to be had if a couple chooses a venue during their off peak times. And if you book around the Thanksgiving holiday you might still get a time when all your relatives are planning on gathering anyways! It’s typically not a great time to get married outdoors because the weather is hit or miss and the trees have lost all of their foliage, but with a beautiful venue with indoor photo options it can still be a wonderful event.
Ashlee and Jacob still wanted to host an outdoor ceremony, but provided blankets for guests to warm up. The ballroom at this venue is really close to the outdoor ceremony site so guests were able to view the quick outdoor ceremony and had straight up to the mansion to warm up and enjoy the cocktail hour while we finished up with a few more photos of this couple with their small wedding party. Check out some of our favorites from an awesome venue we love working at Willow Ridge Manor in Morrison, CO.
Another beautiful fall wedding from last season! This bed and breakfast is an amazing small venue to host weddings and events in the mountains, but just a short drive from Denver in Pine, Colorado. It’s especially beautiful in the fall because it has a meadow with aspen trees surrounding it! Marci & Eddie came to us via a referral from another couple who’s wedding we covered already almost a decade ago! It’s awesome when couples think so highly of us that they recommend us for friends and families’ events. This October wedding had our whole crew out again for it… Chris was filming their video, I was covering the photography and my husband, Michael was providing the entertainment with his company Digital DJ. Having the whole crew just makes the day so much easier for us to cover.
Check out their wedding highlight video above and some of my favorite photos from their event below! My favorite thing about this couple was Eddie’s boisterous laugh! These two envelope what love means and make us so very happy to just be there to capture it!
We just passed this couple’s first year anniversary at the beginning of October! Congratulations again to Pascal and Jennifer who celebrated their amazing DIY wedding at a close family member’s home out on the plains East of Denver. This home made for a perfect wedding venue! A large open back yard with rolling hills and horses in the background. A lovely waterfall feature and a great pole barn that worked out great for hosting the wedding reception and our photo-booth! As far as do-it-yourself weddings go this one was the tops!!! Every part of this special day was taken into account and turned out amazing! Check out some of my favorite photos below!
Here’s another early fall wedding at the fabulous Willow Ridge Manor. We can never get enough weddings from this venue! It’s an amazing place to tie the knot. And with getting ready areas for both the bride and groom on site, gorgeous views and a place for both the ceremony and the reception without having to leave the venue who needs to look further!
Taylor and Sam were just two of the nicest people you could ever meet. I see many many years of marriage for these two. I can’t wait to see what the future will hold for them.
Check out some of my favorite photos from their event last September!
Vendors who made this day possible:
Venue: Willow Ridge Manor
Catering: Rocky Mountain Catering
DJ: Digital DJ
Florist: Hawk Flowers & Gifts
Cake & Desert: Little Man Ice Cream
Bridal Wear: David’s Bridal
Tuxedo Rental: Men’s Wearhouse
Jeweler: Trice Jewelers
I have just one more couple from last year to finish up on their wedding album and that couple’s wedding is being featured on my blog today! The day started out with our associate photographer, Chris going to the couple’s apartment to get photos of the guys getting ready and I went to the mother of the bride’s home to get pictures of the ladies. After that we traveled to Genesee Mountain Park to do a “first look” of the groom seeing his bride and wedding party photos before the ceremony being held at Christies of Genesee. We had some lost wedding party members, but we persevered and were able to get just a few photos of the large wedding party completed before the rain started to come down. After a mad dash back to everyone’s vehicles we continued on to the venue to prepare for the ceremony and moved the rest of the formal portraits to after the ceremony. The day just flew by! Before I knew it we were staging the requested night shots with the full moon in view and seeing the couple out the door for the end of their evening. Sometimes weddings just go so quickly you barely get a chance to take it all in and today was certainly one of those days.
Large wedding parties can always be challenging (especially when you lose a few members). I always recommend booking a package with at least two photographers if you are planning on having more than four bridesmaids or groomsmen and/or if you are getting ready at different locations or even if you can’t utilize the venue for your preparation space. Christies of Genesee is a wonderful venue, but it only has a very small dressing room that can only really accommodate 2-3 people, thus the reason for the separate preparation quarters on this event. Having two photographers ensured that every aspect of this couple’s big day was captured.
Reasons we love this venue: 1.) Close proximity to Denver 2.) Mountain and city views 3.) Affordable price range for couple on a budget 4.) Outdoor and indoor space 5.) Gorgeous picturesque views nearby 6.) Friendly and courteous staff
Vendors who Made this Day Possible:
Venue, Catering & DJ: Christies of Genesee
Photography: Crystaline Photography & Video
Bride’s Dress: The Bridal Collection
Groomsmen’s Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse
Bridemaid’s Dresses: Birdy Grey