Aspen Winter Wedding Inspiration

Notes from the event planner and designer, Chelsea of Gold Leaf Event Design & Production

In the brisk, fresh air of the Rocky Mountains, Jason + Gina Photography caught our bride and groom heating things up on the set of our enchanting, and intimate winter wedding shoot. If you’re a thrill seeking bride, or a groom who loves adventure, there’s no better place to tie the knot than the new Elk Camp venue, located mid-mountain, in Snowmass Colorado.

Strolling through exquisite scenery, the groom, dressed by Ralph Lauren accompanied his bride, who wore elegant lace, complemented by maroons, purples, and emerald floral. Taylor and Tessierís necklaces and bracelets, and Ippolita rose-gold earrings balanced the ensemble, which made for incredible inspiration.

We wanted to combine our coupleís passion for the outdoors with romantic elegance. Instead of toasting their first glass of champagne over wedding cake, they picnicked with Veuve Cliquot in the mountains. Mercury glass votives lit faux deer decor, garland, winter fruits, and grape vine balls that sat beautifully on a well-dressed table, in front of the artistic Elk Mountain shattered glass decal. Later, the bride slipped out of her heals and into her ski boots, and the newlyweds took their first ski run together. Guests were treated with a bundle of goodies to share on their ride down the Elk Camp Gondola.


Venue: Elk Camp at Aspen/Snowmass in association with ASC Catering {LISTmember}  | Event Design and Coordination: Gold Leaf Event Design & Production | Photography: Jason + Gina Wedding Photographers {LISTmember} | Videography: Red Mtn Productions | Floral and DÈcor: Carolynís Flowers | Jewelry: Taylor and Tessier and Ippolita | Groom’s Clothing: Ralph Lauren | Bride’s Clothing: J Crew | Gift Box: Bundles Colorado Artisan Gift Co. |  Calligraphy: Kelle McCarter of Designs Girl | Paper Goods Printing: Express Yourself Basalt

A Guide to Planning Your Special Day

Planning your own wedding is like planning a military operation. Everything must be perfect, otherwise you’re sure to turn into a huge Bridezilla that nobody will want to be around. The process of planning sure is a rollercoaster ride. One minute you’re happy, the next you’re sad, then you’re angry, then you’re in denial, and then the process starts all over again. The truth is, you don’t need to plan your special day and go through this all on your own. Use this guide to get you started!

Grab a Folder

Use a folder to document everything to do with your wedding, from ideas and inspiration to services you’ve booked. This will help you to keep track of things as the day draws closer.

Set a Budget

You must have a budget before you start planning your wedding, as it’s so easy to go over it. Set your maximum budget, and try to stay below it. If you need to, cut back on expenses that aren’t so important to improve cash flow.

Get Wedding Insurance

Weddings cost a fortune. Everybody knows this. Get wedding insurance to protect you! You never know what might happen, and although it isn’t very nice to think about, it’s important to be sensible.

Sort Out Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Who will you ask to help you with the big day and be there for you? Ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen if they’ll do the honors of being in the ceremony!


Image by Chowen Photography {LISTmember}

Write a Guest List

Begin to write your guest list. It helps if you and your husband-to-be have discussed whether you’d like a big, extravagant ceremony or a small intimate ceremony. Usually, the less people you invite the more money you can save. However, sometimes costs are fixed. If this is the case, make the most of it!

Select Venues and Reserve Your Desired Dates

Where do you imagine getting married and celebrating? Select your venues and see if you can book your desired dates. Do this as far in advance as you can to make sure you can get the times you want.

Book the Officiant Who Will Perform the Ceremony

You need to book your officiant. This is the person who will make you man and wife!

Select Entertainment, photography services and caterers

Now it’s time to think about entertainment, photography, and caterers. When it comes to entertainment, you have many options. You can go for a DJ, a live band, or even dancers. Use your imagination! You could even hire a photo booth with props for everybody to pile in and take funny pictures. These make great souvenirs!

You’ll need to pick a photographer whose style you like, and meet with them several times to make sure you’re on the same page. You’ll need to give them a list closer to the day of moments you’d like captured for your wedding album.

Caterers will be in charge of the food. You’ll usually get a better deal with family run businesses, as they always go the extra mile to make your day special!

Pick Your Flowers

All weddings need beautiful flowers, so make sure you pick flowers that you feel represent you and your partner. Roses are a popular choice, but don’t be afraid to pick more colorful, tropical flowers.


Image by laura smith - Bouquet by Lalé Floral Designs {LISTmember}

Go Dress Shopping

The dress is one of the most important aspects of your big day. Go dress shopping with a few people who you trust to find the perfect gown. You may also want to find a separate gown for the evening, but this is optional.

Send Out Your Invites

Send out your invites as soon as you can to make sure all of your guests can get the time off work and make arrangements. A really quick and easy way to get your invites out is to use a service like Most people use the internet these days, so you can be sure that your guests will receive your invite in the quickest most efficient way!

Other Wedding Attire

It isn’t just your dress that’s important. You need to get your bridesmaid’s dresses too, along with the groom/groomsmen outfits. You may also want to buy gifts for the wedding party at this point!

Arrange Transport

How will you arrive to your venue on the day? Arrange your transport, and make sure people who are traveling in from out of town know how they are going to travel too.

Order Your Cake

Decide on a cake design and flavour and put in your order in time for the big day.

Pretty in Peach

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Diane Von Furstenberg Dress  / Pointed flat shoes / Charlotte Russe cocktail ring / Forever 21 hair accessory / Love Art Photograph, Romantic Pastel Photograph Print, Pretty Floral… / Favorite wedding cakes of 2012 / Peaches and Cream Ivory Champagne Pink Rose Peach Wedding Decor 12 / Ivory And Peach Wedding / Wedding Ideas / Peach Australian wedding Nicola Darren / Peach Australian wedding Nicola Darren

Can You Have Your Dream Wedding On A Budget?

Can you really have it all without the designer budget? Your wedding is the day you looked most beautiful in your entire life. In the photo album, the pictures you treasure most are the ones of the day you were born, the day you won your dance competition, the day you graduated, and the day you got married. It is one of the most important days and probably the most expensive. Is it really possible to cut any corners and still have the wedding of your dreams?

Those of us that meet our soul mates late in life feel a little bit awkward about running back to Daddy in our 30s to ask for a wedding. We have a career and probably a mortgage by this time, so running home just seems weird. The trouble is we are only in our 30s, so the lifetime of savings isn’t there to cover a dream wedding. What’s more, Dad might be retired and living on a pension in poor health.

The dilemma of what to do when money is tight is upsetting. We have always dreamed of a beautiful big wedding. We waited for Mr Right to come along, but now it seems we may have other financial priorities. Is it possible to have everything on a tight budget? Of course not. The designer dress and bespoke invitations, and a five-course meal just can’t be reached. But there are ways to make the most of what you do have, and even cheat a little!

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photo by Vanessa Kruse {LISTmember} - view real wedding feature

First, pull out your wedding file and take a good hard look through it. Pick the one thing that you absolutely must have. This may be the dress or the invitations or the venue. Whatever it is, pull that picture out and put it in a new blank wedding planner book. This is where you are going to start again from. And let’s face it, styles and ideas have progressed since you were a teenager putting the original book together.

Whatever you have pulled out of the old book to start your new file with, here are some tips and tricks to still have it in all its glory:

The Dress – If you have a picture of your perfect dress as the one thing you absolutely cannot compromise on, look at it carefully. Is the model wearing the dress the same build and coloring as you are today? If you are not the same shape and size, or you’re a brunette instead of the blond in the pic, you may need to ask yourself if this dress will actually suit you at all. Perhaps there is some detailing that has caught your eye. It could be the corseting at the back or the lace cuffs. Can these things be replicated on another dress that would suit your physique?

When was the last time you really scoured the latest bridal magazines? Styles and designers have changed. It is very likely you will find something contemporary that you could fall in love with just as much. The old picture probably features a dress you just cannot buy today. If you need your dress to be made bespoke, think carefully about your designer. You could choose a well-known established dress-maker. Alternatively, contact the local design school to see if any students stand out that would love your commission. You don’t have to settle for off the peg, but if you see the one, there is no shame in buying it or renting it from a shop. Spend the budget on the venue instead.

The Invitations – There are many things to consider in the perfect wedding invitation. You may have saved your dream one in the file because of the texture, or the font. The color scheme and how the invitation opens are both important considerations too. A good design house will reproduce your dream invitation effectively for a fee. It may be that fee stretches your budget too far. You want the designer look of grace and glamor, but without the price tag. Have a look online at some specialist invitation printers who offer quick service with a couple of clicks of the mouse. You could even look further afield to see if your money buys you more. For example, if you looked for UK wedding invitations you would see different styles and ideas to inspire you. Don’t feel bound by what you liked years ago. Part of the excitement of planning a wedding is to see what is in vogue now.

The Venue – when you put your perfect wedding book together, you may have chosen a venue that just doesn’t live up to the pics anymore. It may not be available on the date you had in mind. Most importantly, there are likely to be many more beautiful places to get married today than there were then. What was it that attracted you to the venue you had fallen in love with? Was it the pillars at the door, or was it just how it was decorated for that particular picture? While people are willing to do some traveling, the location of your venue is important if you want to maximize the guest list.


image by Jackie Cooper {LISTmember} - view more on featured interview

When you are looking for a venue, don’t just melt for the pictures. Your day will not be decorated or dressed in the same way. There are other factors to consider, like the landscaping for photos, and the interior space to accommodate your guests. The menu should always be a top priority as this will be a meal you want to remember for the rest of your life. Some wedding venues will refuse a request for you to bring your choice of chef, so this may affect which place you can choose. Others do not include a dance floor in their charges listed so you will have to pay extra for this to be utilised. Finally, if you want live musicians rather than a DJ, you need to confirm your venue of choice can accommodate them and has any appropriate licence for live music.

a&be Stylebook

The third edition of a&be bridal shop’s stylebook is epic. It is bold, romantic, a little sexy, slightly whimsical and most of all super stylish! This stylebook highlights the designers that are made with pride in the United States, the gowns that are particularly affordable, and those gown from designers you may not have heard of yet but are certainly worth knowing about!

The gals a&be bridal shop {LISTmember} think that picking your dress shouldn’t be difficult, it should be FUN, free of fuss and always filled with the joy and knowledge that the dress will be worn on the day that you get to entwine yourself to your love.

Below is a preview but go to a&be bridal shop to preview the complete book.


Bridal Gowns: a&bé bridal shop {LISTmember} | Photographer:  levi tijerina photography Florist: lalé florals {LISTmember} | Venue: river bend and lyons farmette {lyons, co} | Stylist: emily smoot | Hair: matthew morris salon | make-up: alchemy mineral blends

Nov 28-30: Lela Rose Bridal Dress Event

Join anna be Thanksgiving weekend to shop from one of their favorite bridal gown designers, Lela Rose. From Friday – Sunday, an extended collection of these gorgeous wedding dresses will be in the shop, giving Colorado brides the chance to find your designer gown with vintage details and a contemporary appeal. The collection ranges from $4,995 – $6,995. Book your appointment today as these appointments will go quickly.

Call or book online: Anna Be {LISTmember} – 1575 boulder street, denver, co 80211 – 720-855-1111


Beautifully embellished fabrics are the foundation for Lela Rose’s glamorous yet whimsical gowns. These impeccable gowns use unconventional fabrics that are fitting for a Colorado bride (Lela should know as a graduate of CU-Boulder!) who is looking for casual luxury and refinement.

Spotted: The Naturalist

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J.Crew ruched wedding dress / The best buttonholes Groom, $12 / Reindeer Moss /Whimsical Spring wedding flowers and wedding reception centerpieces /  Enhance Your Space With the Natural Look of Twigs and Trees /  Twilight wedding / Inspired by this Equestiran Garden Wedding Shoot Inspired by This Blog / Style Me Pretty / Lela New York Weddings  / Cottingley Fairies Inspired Woodland Bride Photoshoot… – Love My…

Engagement Party with Emerald & Gold

We partnered up with our friends over at Rocky Mountain Bride Magazine to create this engagement party styled shoot. The new The Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Denver was an old bank building that recently got renovated into a sleek modern hotel with vintage touches. This became our inspiration for the shoot with the colors emerald and gold.

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Photography: Rachel Gomez {contributing photographer for COUTUREcolorado} | Venue: The Renaissance Hotel | Event Planner & Designer: Pink Paisley Events {LISTmember} | Florist: Lale Floral {LISTmember} |  Bakery: Langilicious Fine Pastries | Paper Goods: Idea Chic | Wardrobe Stylist: Jill Carter {LISTmember} | Videographer: Khodge Films {LISTmember} | Makeup Artist: Raquel at Beauty Mark

Cheers Coasters available on COUTUREcolorado BOUTIQUE


Armitage & McMillan

Goldyn {LISTmember}

Inspyre Boutique {LISTmember} - available on COUTUREcolorado BOUTIQUE


Willow {LISTmember}


Adriana Neves - available on COUTUREcolorado BOUTIQUE

Elaine B Jewelry {LISTmember} – available on COUTUREcolorado BOUTIQUE

Goldyn {LISTmember}

Marcia Moran 

Willow {LISTmember}


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