Let us be Grateful

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is all about food, family, friends and giving thanks. Perfect if you ask me!

It is also when a lot of guys are popping the question. Newly engaged? You have come to the right place.

Here are a few tips.

  • At least for one month do NOT make any wedding decisions. Just enjoy your engagement!
  • Take a deep breath. Wedding planning can be overwhelming but just take one step at a time. Remember, it is a process. Everything does not need to be completed at one time.
  • Get inspired! There is no better way to find YOUR STYLE for your dream wedding than to see what others have created. Search through our vast collection of real Colorado weddings.
  • Check out our vendor guide {THE LIST} for the top local wedding professionals that will help you create the wedding of your dreams.
  • We are here to help get your wedding planning started. We just launched our new wedding planning tool. Super Easy and Super Fast! Take one minute to fill out our request form and you can have info and pricing from vendors that are available on your wedding date waiting in your inbox.
  • Location, location, location. Find the perfect place to get married with our exclusive venue guide. From glamorous ballrooms to mountain ranches, you will find out venue guide an invaluable resource in your wedding planning.

I will resume blogging on Friday, November 27th with a beautiful fall inspired styled shoot.

In the meantime, enjoy these recent features on Thanksgiving on COUTUREcolorado LIFE & STYLE.

From our family to yours, thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!

-Laura Dombrowski Steele {founder of COUTUREcolorado}


Classic Wedding with Red Details

Notes from the wedding planner, Jessica of JA Special Events {LISTmember}:

Some of the most magical wedding days include a torrential downpour that, contrary to the hourly forecast, clears just in time for the marriage ceremony.  The sun shines brighter as vows are exchanged and guests feel a sense of awe and appreciation at the timely cooperation of nature.

Meg and Bryan, doctor and lawyer by trade, flew from Chicago to Colorado during the third week of daily lingering rainstorms, an out of character weather pattern for the normally sunny western state.  The wedding day forecast noted a 100% chance of rain, right at the ceremony time. Clearing skies clouded over again and at ten minutes to go time, we decided to bank on a patch of blue on the mountain horizon and were rewarded with sunny skies by the exchange of rings.  Meg’s father officiated the ceremony that included movie quote readings (followed by the audience guessing which movie the quote was from), a fun interaction inspired by Meg & Bryan’s love of movies.  The rain didn’t start again until guests were enjoying cocktails in the cozy library of Stanley Hotel.

The Stanley Hotel is an elegant turn of the century historic landmark, nestled at the base of the towering Rocky Mountains in the charming town of Estes Park.  Most noted for inspiring Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel in The Shining, the hotel offers a popular evening ghost tour and lays claim to the 4th most haunted building in the United States, incidentally the Concert Hall where we celebrated Meg & Bryan’s reception under blown glass Chihuly chandeliers.

As guests entered the Concert Hall for dinner, they were greeted by a hand-painted sign from one of the couple’s friends and adorable pine cone escort card holders created from Texas pine cone tops mounted on Colorado tree branch slices, all made by Bryan’s father.
Tabletops continued the mountain rustic elegance with candlelit lanterns set on tree slices and adorned with vases of burgundy peonies, ranunculus, and dusty miller.  Vintage styled postcards were framed as table names and a clever write-up on the back of each gave the highlights and personal history of places like Portland, Texas, Notre Dame, Chicago, St. Louis, and more.

One display table was dedicated to generations of marriage and it included a photo of Meg and Bryan surrounded by wedding photos of siblings, parents, grand-parents, and even great-grandparents, some ornately framed while other photos were displayed on a digital frame slideshow.

Meg incorporated one of her grandmother’s beautiful brooches into a striking feather hairpiece, complimenting the exquisite Omelia gown from designer Catherine Deane of London. Her stunning bouquet of burgundy peonies added a lovely richness to the timeless elegant look.

Guests enjoyed the celebration so much that the dj got an encore at the end of the night.  Twice! Friends and family circled the dance floor with arms around each other, swaying and singing together, ending the night in full appreciation of the timely sunshine, the sumptuous four course dinner, the wine, the mountainous beauty, and the warmth of a kind-hearted, stylish, brilliant couple.

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Two One Photography | Venue: Stanley Hotel | Planner: JA Special Events {LISTmember} | Florist: Boulder Blooms | Dress Designer: Catherine Deane | Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist: Amethyst Spa, Stanley Hotel | Reception music & lighting: Elite DJ | Ceremony music: Cheza String Quartet | Cake & Desserts: Shamane’s Bake Shoppe

Lakeside Mountain Engagement

Notes from the photographer, Emmy of Searching for the Light Photography:

Mandy and Josh are extremely adventurous people. During the summer you’ll find them surfing the Colorado rivers and during the winter you’ll find them riding the slopes. They originally wanted to do an engagement session on their Stand Up Paddle boards but due to Josh injuring his leg we stuck with a canoe they found under his front porch. Which was absolutely perfect for their silly personalities to snuggle up close and make each other laugh through the night with their cheesy, but adorable canoe jokes.

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Searching for the Light Photography | Location: Lake Dillon – Summit County

The Stacked Topsy Tail Braid Hair Tutorial

“I am excited to share a cool new hairstyle that is so easy to recreate you won’t believe it,”  explains Latest-Hairstyles.com contributor Melissa Cook.

“This “braid” is the perfect way to change up your typical French braid because it looks so intricate and detailed. The best part is that it isn’t actually a braid at all! This style is made by creating a bunch of topsy tails stacked on top of one another. The final look is created by gently pulling everything loose to create voluminous, romantic twists that are perfect for any occasion.”


Step 1


Start by separating off a small section of hair at the top of the back of the head. Tie it off with a clear elastic band.

Step 2


Create a small gap right above the band and flip the end of the ponytail up and through the gap.

Step 3


Pull the tail back down, creating a topsy tail.

Step 4


Pick up two new sections of hair to the right and left of the first topsy tail. Tie these two sections together and create a second topsy tail directly beneath the first one.

Step 5


Create two more topsy tails with the remaining hair along the sides of the head.

Step 6


Separate off two outside pieces from the remaining hair and tie it into a fifth topsy tail.

Step 7


Continue creating topsy tails using outside sections of the remaining hair, stacking them one below the next.

Step 8

hairstyle tends

After creating your last topsy tail, spray the style with hairspray and comb through the tail to remove any tangles.

Step 9

trendy hairstyles

To create a fuller effect, gently pull on the edges of each individual twist until they become the size and shape you prefer.

Step 10

braid haitsyle

Mist the style with a firm hold hairspray to finish and set it.

Rustic Chic Wedding Inspiration

Colorado is absolutely the perfect setting for a rustic chic themed wedding. A rustic chic theme combines rugged elements like burlap with romantic soft details. Get inspired by the follow boards.

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Framed Rustic Chalkboard Sign – 4×6 Size Chalkboard – Chalkboard Photo… / Tree Branch Candle Holders I- Rustic Wood Candle Holders, Tree Slice,… / Heart Shaped Mason Jar Chandelier Light – Romantic Wedding Swag… / Wedding Corsage Made to Order-Wedding Flowers Mother of the Bride…Wedding clutch / Cottage decor love wedding sign rustic white – wooden wall sign / Woodland Wedding Place Cards, 20 Pine Cone holder Table Setting Rustic… / Custom Wedding guest book wood rustic wedding guest book album bridal… / Barn Weddings – Rustic Country Barn Wedding Ideas, Decorations,… / 10 Barn Wedding Decor Ideas / Rustic Santa Barbara Wedding / Rustic Barnwood 12×4 Planter Box $11 each / 3 for $10 each / Brides / Real Weddings – A Rustic Wedding in Galena, IL – DIY Escort Cards

Need more inspiration? Browse through our catalog of rustic chic real weddings.

Backyard Wedding in Boulder

Notes from the wedding planner, Jessica of JA Special Events {LISTmember}: 

After donning a plaid bow-tie and custom shoes etched with mountains, his wedding date, and the line “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, Ian walked to the backyard of his bride’s family home for a First Look. Kelsey awaited her groom clutching a bouquet of balloons that hid her from view until she released them into the air at Ian’s arrival.

Festive details continued with piñata guestbooks where guests left notes to be read on the couple’s first anniversary. Signs matching the vintage festive theme of Kelsey & Ian’s invitations encouraged guests to replace their escort cards with polaroid snapshots. Mr. & Mrs. Cornhole games and eclectic vintage vignettes entertained guests during cocktail hour.

Food trucks offered fun food options, enjoyed at wooden tables adorned with milk glass vases, terrarium fish bowls, and silver animals at each place setting. The beer wall offered self-serve taps under a moss-covered cheers sign.

Kelsey and Ian made their grand exit to the cheers of guests waving sparklers and rode off in a vintage car as newlyweds.

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Ryan Polei  | ackyard | JA Special Events {LISTmember} | Florist: Statice Floral | Dress Designer: Anna Campbell | Catering: Footers Catering | Food Trucks: Manna from Heaven – Steuben’s – Sweet Cow Ice Cream  | Décor & Design:  Kelsey & Ian (Bride & Groom)  | Lighting & Tent Décor:  Pure Energy Events |  Invitations: Ian Gilliland (groom)

Sunflower Love

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Photographer:  Aldabella Photography | Venue: Crooked WIllow Farms | Event Planner:Jen Miller | Floral Designer: Think Flowers | Caterer: Three Tomatoes Catering | Cake Designer: Happy Cakes Bakeshop | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Dress Store: Bijou Bridal  | Hair Stylist:Jen Goodrich | Makeup Artist:Vicky Arias | Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Men’s Warehouse

Iceland Destination Elopement

Ever since Icelandair announced direct flights from Denver to Iceland, I have been dreaming of traveling there. This elopement feature proves that Iceland needs to be at the top everyone’s travel list. And if you are considering eloping, save the beach for the honeymoon and get married in Iceland. Seriously, these photos are mind blowing.

Notes from the photographer, Mait of M&J Studios

First thing what comes up in my mind when thinking about Maja and Patrick are they were just so brave! Iceland is a magical natural wonder out of this world, it can take your breath away in every corner but will put you in a test as well. We agreed right away if in case it’s rainy and too windy we will keep the second day as a back-up. The wedding day was so fiercely windy, like nothing I have felt before and when looking back to those photos I truly think Maja and Patrick are one of the bravest couples I’ve ever had. We really fought with the weather, my lenses were constantly full of black sand and it was hard to move on the beach. But, it was so rewarding to see the most happy faces when we ended up on the iceberg fields so called “ice lagoon” in the end of our first day.We drove more than 800km in two days in southern part of Iceland. After every corner the veil of dreams was lifted and we thought this is the mother of core beauty of all. Raw, clean, pure, you feel so small in it that it must be one of the most magical places to get married on earth. Mostly we were just improvising, exploring new places and places I’ve been before, not in a hurry, just enjoying it all despite the weather. Memorable days to remember forever. I’m so happy that I was able to be there with you, Maja and Patrick.

Notes from the couple, Maja and Patrick: 

We fell in love with Iceland for its romantic melancholy scenery – and its neutrality: with our families being spread all over the world (in China, Germany and the UK) it was impossible to include everybody, so a private wedding followed by receptions seemed the fairest way. Plus, this way we got to follow the wedding with the honeymoon right away! Iceland turned out to be the perfect destination – so much more breathtaking in person, every turn of the road brought us to new, spectacular views. In fact we were so enamored, we drove 800km over the two wedding days in search of new vistas (which Mait so beautifully captured!) and we already can’t wait to go back.

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Photographer: M&J Studios |  Dress Designer: Rami Kadi | Shoes (both heels and booties): Vivienne Westwood x Melissa | Vintage Coat: Borrowed from Mother in Law | Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss | Grooms Shoes: Ted Baker |

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