Category Archives: Vendors

Vendors: What to Book & When

The trees and flowers are blooming which means Spring is upon us and so is the start of Colorado’s wedding season! If you are joyfully looking forward to your wedding this year we wish you all the best and hope your wedding is all that you dream of. If you are newly engaged, (congratulations!) or still looking for vendors for later this year, check out this guideline from WeddingWire about when you should be hiring certain vendors.  And continue reading for some helpful do’s and don’ts from A Vintage Affair on the planning process! Hopefully this will help you with your own planning process and make it a little more fun!

A little recap! And a few extra tips from us.

12 months before: Ceremony & Reception Venues, Wedding Planner

You want to book the venues as one of the first vendors because it will determine your wedding date. If you book far enough out a planner can help you choose the venue if you would like, but it’s hard to book other vendors without your date set.

Do: When looking into venues consider who you and your fiancé are, what you like to do and your aesthetics. Are you two big foodies? Your favorite restaurant could be a great reception spot. Check out these restaurant weddings! The Kitchen and Coohills. Do you two like to spend time outdoors? Consider something out of the city, a little closer to the foothills, or even in the mountains like Lyon’s Farmette, Vail Nordic Center, Taharra Mountain Lodge.

Are either of you from a state with more water? There are a few venues with running rivers or a lake on property! See Piney River Ranch, Riverbend, Evergreen Lake House. Do you both lean towards a more modern or industrial style? Maybe look closer into the city, as there are venues that cater to this style. Places like Blanc, Moss and McNichols Building may be great for you. Remember, it’s about you two that day, so choose what makes you both happy!

Be sure to check out our Pinterest page and WeddingWire’s venues page to check out even more venues!

When it comes to the planner, make sure you connect. You will be working with your planner the duration of the planning process whether that be five months or a year and a half.

Don’t: What I’m about to say will hold true to ever vendor on this list. Maybe parents, other family or even friends will be helping you pay for the wedding, totally normal. What we want you to remember is that it’s still yours and your fiancé’s special day. Take the others opinions into consideration, but don’t make big decisions based on what whoever’s paying wants, especially if it goes against what you really want. There are ways to thank those helping you with the wedding, without compromising your dreams.

10 months: Photographer, Videographer, Florist, Caterer

Do: Again, you want to make sure you vibe well with your photographer. Aside from one another, you and your fiancé will be with your photographer more than anyone else that day. You want to make sure you both get along well with whoever you choose. The same goes with the videographer.

When you narrow down your selection of caterers, it is okay to go to more than one tasting. We’d probably recommend narrowing it down to two but no more than three. Menus are a great way to figure out what you’re going to serve, but until you actually taste what the caterer has to offer, you won’t know for sure if you like it or LOVE it!

Here at A Vintage Affair, we have a love affair (get it?!) with flowers. So we get excited to discuss your flowers, hear what you want and help you find which florist we think you’d mesh with the best. Again, take your style into consideration, are you more romantic, free spirited, traditional or a mix? All florists have their own signature and style. Chat with your planner about it and they can point you in the right direction.

Don’t: Even if florals may not be in your top priorities it is definitely important to seek florists out early on.  Again let your planner know your priorities so they can point you to someone who would work well with you, your vision and your budget. But it’s always sad when a couple leaves florals last, because they aren’t as focused on flowers so the florists we would recommend to them are already booked. As you can see from this list, florists book out months in advance so better sooner than later.

9 months: Band or DJ

Do: Consider the range in prices for bands. They can range vastly among bands and with the amount of people you want to hire. If you’ve always imagined a band at your wedding but don’t have the budget for a 10 piece band consider going down in number of band players.  A three to five piece band can be just as awesome! A guitar, drums, and bass with a vocalist is a good starting point and then you can add on keys & horns etc… 

8 months: Ceremony Music (if different from Band or DJ), Guest Accommodations, Officiant, Wedding Dress, Stationery Save the Dates

Do: When making guest accommodations check if hotels can provide transportation to the venue for potential guests staying there. Some venues even have an arrangement with venues and transportation companies and if a certain number of guests are staying on property they will work directly with a transportation company to book a bus.

7 months: Cake Baker, Bridesmaid Dresses, Honeymoon Travel Consultant
6 months: Stationery Invitations, Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist, Rentals

Do: We absolutely recommend doing a trial with both your hair stylist and makeup artist before the wedding date. It helps ensure that you are on the same page with each other on what you want and you’ll know if you really do like that look from Pinterest or if you need to change it up a little bit.

5 months: Men’s Attire, Accessories, Transportation
3 months: Favors, Wedding Rings

While you do not have to follow this guideline exactly, it is a good place to start. Our biggest takeaway: don’t wait to book your vendors! Happy happy wedding planning to all of you. Remember to enjoy the process, have fun planning!

What’s in Bloom?

We were so excited to meet with Ashely Swapp, owner of Park Floral Design, to get her input on what it takes to create these stunning floral installations. It was great to sit down with her to hear about her inspirations, the design process, and her background. Read the interview below! 🙂

Photos by: Jill Thomas Photography

How and when did you get into floral design? Were you inspired by something or have you always been interested in it?

I have always known that I want to work with weddings. I thought my passion was photography, but after a while I wanted to try something more hands on and creative that’s still in the wedding industry. My mother and grandmother have been garden lovers ever since I was little, so I grew up around flowers and have always been very familiar with them. So I really just started teaching myself! I took online classes and was able to get internships with florists and now have my own company.

What’s the most important thing you need to know from a bride when creating her bouquet, flower attire, center pieces…

Color palette. Color is my favorite thing and I love the concept of always wanting to make it more complicated. I would say my style is very feminine and more on the wild side,  But keeping a natural, garden look is also really important to me and a big inspiration for my designs.

What is your favorite part about designing floral attire and decorations for an event?

I think the reason I love my job so much is that it’s the exact opposite of calm. I love the design process and the crazy rush that comes from being in your element and how everything finally comes together after so many months. When the wedding day comes and everything is set up and the bride is happy, there’s no better feeling and is for sure one of the best parts about my job.

What is the time frame you need to get everything done?

It all starts with the clients and how early they decide to book. The ones who book around a year are obviously ideal, but if not a year at least a few months before is absolutely necessary. There’s material that needs to be ordered, flower orders to be placed, things that just take time and can’t be done last minute. But the week of the wedding is the most important week because i can’t start any designing until then. If the wedding is on saturday, then that Monday and Tuesday of that week is when I will start to pull candles, supplies, buy any last minute materials, start to put together arches… Wednesday I pick up the flowers from the airport and make a trip up to red daisy farm to complete any needed purchases. I’ll start to unwrap the flowers, clean and trim the stems, and start to fill the buckets. It’s an all day process but it always feels like christmas to me. Thursday and Friday are my actual design days and then Saturday is the wedding!

You have a variety of designs on your website from really simple greenery to these huge bright colored flowers, what display is your favorite to create and allows you to be the most passionate?

I love to incorporate both if I can. Flowers are obviously the focal point and it’s easiest for me when I have something to focus on and then i can build off of that and add in greenery and fillers.

Obviously there are thousands of types of flowers in the world, how do you know which ones are right for the couple you are working with? Meaning of the flowers?

The first and most important thing I have to consider is seasonality. Once I’ve narrowed down the flowers I have the option of working with I choose a few focal flowers that I’m familiar with, and then build off of those with greenery and fillers. Color palette plays a huge role in the design process because for the colors to go well together they have to transition smoothly and almost ombre into each other. I don’t ever want a  polka dot effect. But actually some of my best designs have come from last minute forging, which is just clipping flowers or greenery or branches myself and adding them in. It’s only really necessary if something isn’t ordered properly or doesn’t come in the right color, but it’s fun to add in some personal touches and they always end up making the piece.

Who is your ideal client?

A bride who loves and appreciates art, as well as texture,  color and of course flowers! It  always makes choosing a color palette 100x easier. They will have a better understanding of what flowers will look best on their wedding day and can tend to be be more open as to what options they have for their flower attire and decor.  

How do you stay up with all the current trends of floral design?

Art inspires me in so many different ways. All the different forms of nature, the certain colors that I love together, and the act itself of doing something for fun and because I love to do it allows me to show my true passion and love for floral design.

Let’s Talk Cake!

I am so excited to introduce you to our guest blogger Megan Kaminski,  owner of Megan Joy Cakes. Megan creates exclusively custom and exquisitely tailored cakes and delivers her cakes all throughout Colorado. Megan was willing to share her knowledge and love of wedding cakes and what clients should know when thinking about their wedding cakes.

What is one thing you wish clients knew about the cake process?

This kind of goes as advice- trust your cake maker! We do this all the time and know which shapes and designs will work best for you and your venue. We’re not going to show up with an ugly cake if it’s in our control.

What is the time frame like for making and creating these cakes?

Many, many hours! All of my cakes are baked fresh right before your wedding. Sometimes I source local ingredients for different fillings or flavors and have to prepare those as well. The cakes are then leveled, filled, and assembled. Then they get their coating of buttercream and fondant, followed by the exterior design process. I usually reserve the entire day before the wedding to work on the exterior design. Sometimes this can be 14 hours or more. The morning of delivery day is spent touching up the design and going over all the details so they’re perfect.

What is your favorite part about creating a cake for a client?

I like that I can add a beautiful, delicious, and memorable cake to such a personal day for my clients. Cakes are a symbol of celebration, and I’m honored to be a part of that.

Could you talk more about cake tastings? How does that process work?

Cake tastings are a fun step in the wedding planning process. I let my clients choose up to four flavors to sample, and we sit down together and discuss flavor pairings, the cake design, and any other cake-related wedding details. Each wedding cake truly is custom.

Could you talk about the process from the tasting to the event date? How does the cake all come together?

Following the cake tasting, I’ll send over several different cake shapes that work for the number of desired servings and the client’s style. Once a shape is chosen, I’ll create some design sketches. This is followed by a proposal, and then a contract. There is lots of room for revisions and discussion throughout this whole process.

What makes you passionate about making wedding cakes?

I love to create, and I also love to eat, so combining the two is fun for me! I enjoy that each cake is different and I’m not doing the same work all the time. I also really love my clients and get excited to play a role in making their big day even more special.

I see that you use a lot of local ingredients in your cakes, what is your favorite cake pairing?

One of my favorite cake pairings is soft butter cake studded with peaches and swirled with pecan frangipane. It’s layered with Colorado peach preserves that I make using Palisade peaches, and a silky vanilla bean whiskey buttercream that has delicious caramel notes. I use Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey for this and it’s just such a summery, local flavor.

Your cakes are beautiful, could you talk more about your specific cake style and design?

Thank you! I like creating styles that are organic and textured. These kinds of cake designs are fun for me because they truly make each cake unique- no one (not even me!) will ever be able to recreate the exact same look.

Who is your ideal client?

My ideal client loves food and appreciates art. He or she is also someone who wants more than just a regular cake for their wedding.

How do you keep up and stay ahead of the current and future wedding trends for cakes?

I usually don’t pay too much attention to trends- or at least incorporating each and every one into my designs. I’ve found a style that works for me and I will keep doing that as long as my clients enjoy it too!

Guest Blogger: Wedding Dress Trunk Shows

Today’s informative and fun guest blog post comes from Anna, co-owner of anna bé  and a&bé bridal shop, two of the best wedding dress boutiques in Denver. She will be sharing all you need to know about wedding dress trunk shows.

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What exactly is a wedding dress trunk show?
A trunk show is a weekend event where brides have the opportunity to shop some of the newest styles from a featured designer. When a designer comes out with a new collection of wedding dresses they may design anywhere from 8 to 20 new styles. And as much as we would love to, we generally are unable to have all of the styles in our shop and so we may only have 4 – 6 styles. But… that all changes during the trunk show. During the trunk show the designer will send us lots of new styles and usually some past favorites as well allowing a bride to try on tons of gowns! In the past, the gowns traveled in an actual trunk from location to location, which is where the name originally came from.

During a trunk show, a bride will still work one-on-one with our stylists for a 90 minute appointment. Once a bride finds her gown, measurements will be taken and the dress will be made to order. In terms of timing, we recommend ordering your wedding gown at least 6-9 months before your wedding date and with a trunk show sometimes that timing may be even longer as sometimes we only host 1 trunk show per year per designer! If you are lucky enough to be shopping during the trunk show definitely take advantage of this special event!!!

What are some of the benefits are attending?
In addition to being able to try on a TON of styles, sometimes these styles can be seen before they even arrive in the stores! This means a bride will be one of the very first to ever buy that particular dress.

And if a bride is really lucky, the designer will be at the trunk show. Seriously, how cool is that. A bride could meet with the person who designed the dress that she will wear on her wedding day.
Lastly, we rarely have sales or incentives, but if there is going to be one, you can bet it will happen during a trunk show! Sometimes meeting with that designer means making a change to your dress for no cost!

When are your upcoming ones? Anyone in particular you are excited about?
For a&be denver we’ve got some really fun events on the horizon:

February 26-27 // Wtoo and Willowby
Hands down, this collection coming from the Wtoo and Willowby line is the strongest collection that has been put out in years. There’s something for every type of bride: the rustic, the romantic, the classic, and the bohemian. And, this collection starts for less than a $1,000 and during the trunk show all brides who buy will save 10%!

March 4-5 // Claire La Faye
Claire is the coolest ever. Before bridal, she worked as a stylist and really takes this strength of taking one’s individual style and bringing it to a bride’s wedding dress. During this trunk show brides will get to meet with and work one-on-one with Claire!

March 10 // Sara Gabriel (thursday night)
We adore Sara! Sara is a local Denver veil designer and is taking over the bridal world with her hand-finished collection of veils and headpieces that have classic roots and are perfect for the free-spirited, independent bride. Not to mention, she’s pretty fabulous. For one night, we’re inviting all of our brides to come get styled by Sara. She’ll help you pick the perfect finishing touch for your wedding dress!

March 11-12 // Limor Rosen
Limor Rosen is a new Israeli line that is going to be one of the hottest names and we get to bring the collection to Denver brides first! The gowns will only be in our shop for one weekend!

March 18-19 // La Poesie
This line is effortlessly cool. It’s inspired by parisian boho chic and is so romantic. This also is a collection that we are bringing to Denver brides first and will only be in the store for one weekend.

Do I need an appointment to attend?
YES! We want to make sure that we have a fitting room and a stylist to work with you. We encourage you to call us at 720.627.5760 to schedule your trunk show appointment. If you have any questions about the designer, a specific dress, or any of the events we would love to help answer your questions.

Good luck to all you lovelies looking for the dress!

Mountain Wedding Venues: Our Favorites

1. Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, Buena Vista

Mt. Princeton is the perfect mountain destination and has everything to offer for a wonderful  wedding weekend. With the natural hot springs, the spa, the restaurant, the waterslide built into the mountain, and all at the base of one of Colorado’s greatest 14er, you and your guests are sure to have a weekend they will never forget. The views from the main pavilion are breathtaking with large windows capturing all of Mt. Princeton. 

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Photos by Jessica Christie

2. Donovan Pavillon, Vail

Donovan Pavillon is a wonderful picturesque colorado mountain venue. Located mountain side with the beautiful meandering Gore Creek running behind it who wouldn’t want to be married there. The Pavillon also has a wonderful back patio perfect for an outdoor ceremony or a gorgeous cocktail hour. A venue that that very flexible and wonderful to work with. With the capability to bring in your own catering and alcohol and an option to get married in the Colorado Snow or the Colorado Sunshine. 

Photos by Chris McLaughlin

3. C Lazy U Ranch, Granby

A breathtaking family owned  guest ranch since 1919 C Lazy U is a wonderful Colorado venue. The natural setting of the guest ranch is far from the distractions of city life, serene and inspirational and perfect for creating memories that will last a lifetime. Although there are many to choose from, the main wedding venue overlooks the Continental Divide. Also, a new addition to the ranch is their Hay Barn reception area. 

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Photo by Connie Whitlock

4. Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Tabernash

Few places on earth give you the sense of awe and romance that you’ll feel here. And fewer still can combine that feeling with facilities and staff that can make your Colorado mountain wedding truly a memory to treasure.

Photos by Tess Pace Photography

5. Taharaa Mountain Lodge, Estes Park

Taharaa Mountain Lodge offers a casually elegant setting for a truly memorable Estes Park wedding celebration with a sweeping backdrop of Colorado’s Mummy Range and the awe-inspiring peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park. The lodge also includes a great deck looking to the peaks. Another venue that is flexible and great at accommodating making your day everything you ever wanted. The reception room comes with beautiful chiavari chairs and has big windows bringing in natural light spectacular views. 

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Photos by Connie Whitlock

6.Evergreen Memorial Barn

The Evergreen Memorial Barn is just outside of Denver allowing for a close commute for your guests. With the warm ambiance of the Barn Chapel, the stained glass windows, the picturesque fields, and  the hidden lake behind the barn…this venue is truly a unique and memorable setting for your special event. Hidden behind the barn is a beautiful lake 

Colorful Bohemian Outdoor Colorado Wedding | Connie Dai Photography

Colorful Bohemian Outdoor Colorado Wedding | Connie Dai Photography

Photos by Connie Whitlock

7. Beano’s Cabin, Beaver Creek

We are waiting for your day to have a wedding at Beano’s Cabin. Although we have yet to plan a wedding at Beano’s we are aware of their breathtaking views. It has an open lawn and wraparound deck at the foot of towering Grouse Mountain. Inside, vaulted ceilings, antler chandeliers and the warming glow of a stone hearth it is the perfect Colorado mountain  venue.

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Photos by: Jenna Walker

Denver Wedding Venues: Our Favorites

There are so many great weddings venues in Colorado, but here are some of our favorites in Denver!

Blanc

We LOVE Blanc. For some many reasons!

Reason 1: It has so many little spaces: gazebo area, fireplace area, the barn, main space, outdoor space with bistro lights and trees

Reason 2: Lighting! It has a lot of natural light which is so important for photos.

Reason 3. Comfortable, flexible, retouched space everyone will enjoy!

Photos By: June Photography

The Kitchen

Reason 1. Foodie Inspired wedding perhaps?

Reason 2. Nestled in Denver’s Denver’s Lower Downtown Historic District (LoDo)!

Reason 3.   A wedding really is a celebration of abundance–of love, family, food and memories

Photos by Sarah Box

McNichols Building

McNichols Building is a great space!  Here is why we love it:

Reason 1: We love it because it is set right in Civic Center Park- easy for photos!

Reason 2: It used to be a  Carnegie Library which is awesome.

Reason 3. The architecture! The cool industrial look with the exposed beams give a beautiful open feel.

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Photos by: Dox Photo

Highlands Ranch Mansion

So not technically Denver, but just a stone’s throw! And this is why we love it:

Reason 1: The Mansion offers both breathtaking indoor and outdoor views for your ceremony and reception.

Reason 2: Surrounded by historic barns, a bunkhouse, ranch houses, corrals, pastures and the iconic windmill the Mansion is unique in so many ways.

Reason 3: The Mansion is full of unique historic rooms and if you choose there is a wonderful groom’s room on the ground floor and the bride’s room on the second floor to keep each hidden away in their special suits.

0005 Highlands Ranch Mansion Wedding

Photos By: Artessa Photography

Food Truck Fun

Food trucks are becoming more popular out here, and I absolutely love the idea. My favorite food truck is owned and operated by Epicurean Catering. They make the most delicious food! My first experience with this food truck was at Janelle and Jeremy’s wedding back in April, and I just couldn’t get enough of the deep fried doughnuts, actually I couldn’t get enough of all the food, it was all so good! So you can imagine my excitement when I went with a couple to their food tasting and it just happened to be Epicurean’s food truck. It was such a fun experience. We all got to into the food truck and watch Pete make us the food right then and there!

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We tried a sampling of a few different items and it was even better than I remembered. We had a few different sliders which were all tasty, but the items of the day that I just couldn’t stop eating? The mac & cheese and sweet potato fries. I know this was only a tasting, but I kept finding the food on my fork somehow. I am normally not an advocate of sweet potato fries, but these are awesome! They add a sweet glaze and then sea salt to make them sweet and salty. The mac & cheese is a combination of a secret sauce, gorgonzola, and bacon. These two items are mouthwatering good!

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Not only is the food amazing, but the people are too! Epicurean’s staff members are always so nice and helpful, and they know what needs to be done and how to do it. They are one of the best! Pete, the food truck chef is so friendly and just wants to do whatever he can to make you happy. We really had a great time at the tasting with him!

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If ever you’re looking for a less traditional and fun way to serve food at your wedding, a food truck is a great time. And, Epicurean really knows how to do it well!

 

Spruce Mountain Ranch Bridal Show

I will be honest. I don’t really do bridal shows. But every once in awhile there is a fun at a great venue. This one was at  Spruce Mountain Ranch. This one had a relaxed atmosphere with tons of food, wine, fashion show, and fun vendors.  We set up a little lounge area for brides to enjoy during the show. The furniture looked right at home at this wonderful venue!

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Colorado Wedding Venues

Living in such a beautiful state like Colorado lends itself to so many awesome wedding venues!  Many of these places are true hidden gems that deserve to be shared.  For those brides-to-be out there, this list will hopefully give you a few ideas of amazing places to choose for your wedding day.

Cabins and Ranches:

AA Barn – Grand Lake, photos by Kerinsa Marie Photography

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Midnight Ranch – outside Steamboat Springs, photos by Laura Murray Photography

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C Lazy U Ranch – Granby

C Lazy U Ranch

Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Center – Steamboat Springs

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Piney River Ranch – Vail

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T Lazy 7 Ranch – Aspen, photos by Laura Murray Photography

T Lazy 7 Ranch

Farms:

Pastures of Plenty Farm – Longmont

pastures of plenty

Lyons Farmette – Lyons

lyons farmette

Frog Belly Farm – Longmont

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Mansions and Manors:

Highlands Ranch Mansion – Highlands Ranch

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 Boettcher Mansion – Golden

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Check out my Pinterest Board for even more venues!