Spotted: Neutrals

One trend I find timeless and truly elegant is the neutral color palate. Not many combinations can work for a modern downtown wedding, a beach wedding and even a mountain chic wedding just as well. Really, there aren’t wedding vibes that this tonal look doesn’t work for. Below are a variety of may favorites, all displayed from very different weddings showing exactly how versatile it is!

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1. Modern Downtown Wedding

2. Simple Bouquet & Boutonniere

3. Long Taupe Bridesmaid Dress

4. Sweet Zion Wood Grain Tonal Invitation Suite

5. Printed Tonal Rehearsal Dress

6. Lowcountry Beach Display

7. Rustic Lyons Wedding He & She Detail

8. Beautiful Beach Vases

By Rachael Hofmann of Décor Design + Production Group {LISTmemeber}

Happy Fourth of July!

I wish you a very happy and joyful Fourth of July. Looking for something cool to do in Colorado this weekend, check out our top 10 list of things to do for The Fourth on COUTUREcolorado LIFE & STYLE.

Here is a little Americana wedding inspiration in honor our country’s birthday.

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Wallis evening dress / The Patriotic Tassel Garland (Red, White & Blue) / I Heart Nautical Collection / The Beau- americana collection double stacked bow ties for boys of all… / Set of 200 Red, White and Blue Glitter Heart Confetti- 4th of July,… / Oh So Beautiful Paper / Oh So Beautiful Paper / Phenomenal Photography Creative Use of Shadows / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Winter-Inspired Engagement

Time to cool off with this charming snowy engagement shoot. Just got engagement, consider winter for your engagement shoot. It is fun, romantic and makes for great pics.

This winter-inspired engagement shoot is so cute and cozy filled with plaid blankets, hot cocoa, and an adorable puppy.

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Photographer:  Kelly Lemon Photography

DIY: Lemonade Bar with a Twist

Give your lemonade bar an adult twist with Prairie Organic Spirits, a handcrafted line of organic gin and vodka, meticulously created and distilled to taste. These cocktails will be sure to impress guests.
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Pretty in Pink Lemonade

  • 3 cups Prairie Organic Vodka
  • 2 cups simple syrup (2 cups sugar and 2 cups water, cooked until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool)
  • 8 cups (two liters) cold seltzer
  • 4 cups fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup grenadine syrup
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • Ice, as needed

Directions: Add Prairie Organic Vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and grenadine to dispenser. Add seltzer and lemon slices. Stir to combine ingredients, and top with ice.

 

Here Comes the Lime

  • 3 cups Prairie Organic Vodka
  • 2 cups simple syrup (2 cups sugar and 2 cups water, cooked until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.)
  • 8 cups (two liters) cold seltzer water
  • 3 cups lime juice
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • Ice, as needed
  • 6 cups fresh or frozen sweet black cherries (optional)

Directions: Add Prairie Organic Vodka, simple syrup and lime juice to dispenser. Add seltzer and lime slices, and stir gently to combine ingredients. Top with ice. To make cherry limeade, add 6 cups of fresh or frozen sweet black cherries to simple syrup while cooking.

 

The Display: While the drinks may speak for themselves, below are a few ideas for pulling together a beautiful table to present your tasty drinks.

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Display your cocktails in glass beverage dispensers, complete with a label so guests can see what they’re getting before they sip. To make beverage pouring as simple as possible, place your dispensers on top of simple glass cake stands to elevate your drinks without taking away from their colorful splendor.

Add to the DIY feel of your table by lining it with colorful Mason jars and striped paper straws for the guests to drink from. We suggest placing chalkboard labels on the glasses and laying out chalk for guests to use – with labeled glasses, no one will drink from the wrong cup again!

Interview: MJM Designs

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One of the exciting and fun parts of planning a wedding is the design aspect. Flowers set the mood from romantic roses to plush peonies. I am pleased to introduce you to Denver Wedding florist, Mandy of MJM Designs {LISTmember}.

Describe your business and what sets you apart:

I am a boutique floral design business that enjoys making a one-on-one connection with a couple to customize and create an overall vision for the their wedding day. I want my passion to show through the flowers yet show off the couple’s ideas and personal expression. I also enjoy making out-of-the box creations to even further express creativity of the couple, and myself.

When and why did you start your business?

I started MJM Designs last July. My brother was getting married and I had the amazing opportunity to create all of the floral arrangements. With the help of my family and friends, I decided to pursue my own business.

How did you learn your craft?

My experience has been all hands on from the start. In college, I worked for a floral shop and discovered my love for designing all things floral. Several years later, I worked as an intern with another wedding and event florist, while assisting several other designers during the week and day of their client’s weddings. Designing and creating with flowers is truly my zen!

Describe your floral style and approach to weddings.

My style would be natural, wild, free form, artistic and often asymmetrical. I also enjoy more traditional styles like Martha Stewart’s “roundy moundy” bouquets. I work with the couple to envision the atmosphere of their wedding, making sure the flowers are part of their story in a way that truly relates to who they are. Together we create a Pinterest board to work from, understanding the mood and style, as well as the other details, to see how everything comes together. I want the couple to feel confident and comfortable, trusting that I can create exactly what they are looking for, based on our collaboration

What or who inspires you? 

Art – paintings – colors found in nature; and I also pursue inspiration through Pinterest and by following floral design blogs throughout the U.S.

Any awards or features/publications?

I have been featured twice on Style Me Pretty: Emerald Inspired Shoot and Thanksgiving Hanukka Inspiration Shoot.

Favorite flowers to work with? 

There’s so many!  I love hydrangea’s because they are full and soft; poppy’s always bring a “pop” to an arrangement; ranunculus because they have so many petals; all types of roses… you can never go wrong with roses!

Favorite Wedding Trend. 

I enjoy seeing brides carry asymmetrical bouquets. The traditional styles are still popular, but it’s always great seeing the bride choose something a little different.

Tell us a little bit about planning florals for your own wedding

As a florist, I know that people were expecting the flowers to be amazing, so there was a bit of pressure there! I knew fairly quickly into the planning process what I wanted as far as shape and colors; but the hard part was picking which flowers to use! I wanted to use all my favorites but had to keep in mind cost and which flowers were in season compared to those that weren’t. After all the hard work putting the flowers together amongst everything else in the last 3 days before the wedding, it turned out amazing and I love how everything looked. It is truly a great feeling seeing the vision in your head come to life!

Advice for a couple planning a Colorado Wedding?

My advice is to avoid getting caught up in trends like rustic chic, and vintage barn weddings unless they truly speak to who you are. All of those styles are amazing and gorgeous in their own right, but keep in mind what you two really want, and who you really are as a couple. No matter the style you choose, it will be amazing, because it will be you.

Where did you grow up and how did you end up in Colorado?

I was born in Virginia but I’ve lived in the Denver Metro Area since I was 3 yrs old. Even though I’m not a technical “Native,” I feel that I am!

Here are just few favorites of her floral portfolio. View more on her website: MJM Designs.

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Photography by Rachel Gomez Photographer {contributing photographer}

Spotted: Fleur De Lis

LISTmember Fleur De Lis is a local Denver-based stationery company with serious style. Choosing your invitations can be overwhelming with so many styles and designs to look at.  Fleur De Lis prides themselves of creating unique, custom invitations within your budget. Being perfectionists, each and every design that comes from their studio is high quality and style!

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Reach out to Fleur De Lis for more information on creating your custom invitations for your big day!

Rustic Luxe in Telluride

The COUTUREcolorado team recently headed down to Telluride and created a Winter Rustic Luxe Wedding Style Shoot. It was a pleasure working with a few of our LISTmembers on creating this shoot. And WOW, there is seriously no place like Telluride. It is THE perfect location for a destination wedding in Summer or Winter.

The venue, Tomboy Tavern at Telluride Resort, created a rustic cabin feel with distressed woods and oversize leather couches. We added in the luxe with gold and chic accents including our DIY candle holders. They were so easy to make! Simply select a variety of sizes and heights of bottles and spray paint them gold. Easy peasy!

Our custom invitations and paper goods by Sweet Zion {LISTmember} were inspired by the distressed wood grain found in the venue.

The brides look was understated chic with a lace Anna Maier Gown from Anna Be {LISTmember}, head chain by local designer Nerdia Mason {LISTmember}, a fur cape by Gorski {LISTmember} and a pearl statement ring provided by The Telluride Gallery. With a simple baby breathes bouquet in hand, this gal was perfection for a winter wedding.

A big thank you to Rachel Gomez, the photographer, and to Rachael Hofmann of Décor Design + Production Group for coordinating and designing this shoot.

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Photography: Rachel Gomez {contributing photographer} | Wedding Design & Coordination: Décor Design + Production Group {LISTmember} | Venue: Tomboy Tavern at Telluride Resort {LISTmember} | Invitations: Sweet Zion {LISTmember} | Dress: Anna Maier Gown from Anna Be {LISTmember} | Headpiece: Nerdia Mason {LISTmember} | Fur Cape: Gorski {LISTmember} | Florist & Speciality Rentals: New Leaf Telluride | Cake: Sweet Rhi’s | Pearl Ring: provided by The Telluride Gallery |  Make up: Alline Arguelles at AlpenGlow Beauty | Hair: The Peaks Resort’s | Tux: Al’s Formal Wear

July: American Made Month at Anna Be

For the entire month of July, Anna Be {LISTmember} is honoring designers that produce American-made wedding dresses! I am pretty proud that the list at anna be is long: Amy Kuschel (San Francisco), Anna Maier (New York City), Carolina Herrera (New York City), Elizabeth Fillmore (New York City), Hayley Paige (New York), Lela Rose (New York City), Modern Trousseau (Connecticut), Monique Lhuillier (Los Angeles), and Tara LaTour (Minneaplis).

Not only are all of these designers amazingly talented, they are helping shape and build the American economy.

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

With July 4th just around the corner, there is no better time to be proud to be an American and honor these American designers.  Let’s get to know our American designers:

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Amy Kuschel: San Francisco designer Amy Kuschel was inspired to start her line of “clever” wedding dresses after shopping for her own wedding dress. These clever gowns are elegant and modern, but don’t cost a fortune. Amy Kuschel crafts gowns that are for the savvy bride. Amy Kuschel gowns are made in San Francisco.

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Anna Maier:  Following a storied career at luxury retailers including Barneys, Charles Bunstine took over at Ulla-Maija and rebranded the company in honor of his great grandmother (Anna Maier). Bunstine’s impeccable eye is evident in each gown that is made in his New York studio to flatter and hug a woman’s shape. Anna Maier gowns are made in New York City.

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Carolina Herrera: Legendary designer Carolina Herrera is known for impeccable style. Having dressed many First Ladies, her elegance and grace is for the bride who wants a stylish, classic look that will stand the test of time.

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Elizabeth Fillmore: Tucked into a stylish Chelsea loft is the working studio of Elizabeth Fillmore. The graceful silhouettes are meant to show off a woman’s figure and are sensual without being overly sexy. Utterly feminine, the wedding gowns are designed with touches of lace. Elizabeth Fillmore gowns are made in NYC.

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Hayley Paige: Hayley Paige is taking the bridal world by storm. The wedding dress designs echo Hayley’s personality and are a mix of girly romance, playful fabrics, and a youthful spirit. Hayley and her dresses are totally fab. Hayley Paige gowns are made in NYC.

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Lela Rose: We heart Lela. Her always pretty gowns are effortlessly elegant.The romantic wedding dresses are feminine, graceful and luxurious. Lela’s gowns are made in NYC.

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Modern Trousseau: Even though the designer is originally from down under, Callie now lives and creates in Connecticut. And boy can she create a wedding dress. The gowns are all made to measure and Modern Trousseau is one of the most flexible design teams to work with ensuring that the bride truly gets the dress of her dreams. The gowns are made in Connecticut.

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Monique Lhuillier: Monique Lhuillier leads the wedding dress industry. Her fashion house based in LA is known for setting the trends and not following them, yet she always retains an air of whimsy and romance. These are dresses that you look at and think wow! Monique’s gowns are made in LA.

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Tara LaTour: Minneapolis based Tara is incredibly talented and creative. Her dresses are always shown in an array of colors (but of course can be ordered in a more traditional ivory) and no detail is overlooked. The fit is fantastic almost sculpting the bride and every dress comes with custom color lining that is of the bride’s choosing. Tara’s gowns are made in Minneapolis.

Interview: Merrick Chase

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Choosing your wedding photographer is one of many important decisions you must make when planning a wedding. They will be not only capturing images that you will cherish for a lifetime but also you will be with this photographer the entire wedding day. So this person needs to be a killer photographer AND someone that you genuinely like to be around.

I am thrilled to introduce you to Boulder-based photographer Merrick Chase.

Describe the service you provide: 

I provide wedding photography services to what I’d call discerning and adventurous clients, primarily in the Colorado Mountain market. I’d say about half of my clients come from out of state, from all over the country, as a lot of the weddings I shoot are destination weddings. My couples tend to care a lot about their photography and I get to work with some really cool people. I shoot all over the state, primarily in the Telluride, Vail, and Beaver Creek areas, but on the Front Range as well.

When and why did you start your business?

I’ve been shooting my entire life, or at least since I was about seven, and I came over to wedding photography about five years ago from a background in portrait and event photography. I was living in Telluride at the time and shooting for a lot of the festivals and action sports competitions in addition to shooting family and commercial work. I’ve always loved photographing people and I’m a very high energy person, so shooting high profile events where I’m under a lot of pressure came very naturally to me. At some point it just seemed like a natural progression to move from one high pressure shooting environment to the next- from events to weddings. Really, it was the right clients who came to me at the beginning. I got hired by a fantastic guy to shoot his proposal to his sweetheart on the spot where he’d told her he loved her several years ago. I was hiding out up the street with a big zoom lens and the fellah and I were texting each other to get the timing right. I was incredibly moved to bear witness to this couple’s love. I actually teared up while it was happening! The couple liked the photos so much that his family flew me down to Austin, Texas to shoot their 200-plus person wedding. That was my first one and I couldn’t have had a better couple. I loved the huge emotion of the day, how joyous everyone was and how freely everyone expressed their joy. I was hooked.

How did you learn your craft?

I developed a photography habit early on in my life and I learned how to shoot first in school- middle school that is. When I was thirteen and had been an ‘avid photographer’ for several years already, my grandmother saw that I was serious about it; as serious as a thirteen year old kid can be about anything. So, she bought me my first Nikon. I took a darkroom class at school and then I started shooting my friends at every opportunity. Setting up little photo shoots here and there, shooting at parties. Later at concerts and for newspapers. I was pretty much hooked.

From then on I always had a camera, or two, or three with me at all times. It was kind of like a curse and I actually put it down a couple of different times in my life. It stops being fun when you feel compelled to shoot everything you see. The flip side is that the camera has been a great friend to me. I learned how to shoot from shooting everything I saw for many years. I was fortunate enough to get out of the States traveling for almost ten years and in that time I photographed an awful lot. Got into video for some years, too. I was always fascinated by the people I met and the connection that simply creating a photograph with someone could spark. It’s an intimate thing, a photograph, and as I’ve shot over the years I’ve developed my own style and methods that are still evolving today. In fact, that’s what keeps photography interesting to me, is that I never stop learning.

Describe you photographer style and approach to weddings.

My style has always been a very personal one. It’s very important to me to connect emotionally with my subjects, when I can, especially when my subjects are a bride and groom about to be married. To be a part of such a monumental day in a couple’s lives is a very special thing. I feel honored to be let so intimately into so many couple’s lives where only a short time before we were strangers. My approach to wedding photography is to capture the energy and emotion of the day as each moment unfolds, for the most part. Something’s going on everywhere, and I want to capture a slice of all of it. Naturally, I aim to make everyone look their best in the images, so I pay a lot of attention to the direction the light is coming from and also to my framing and the angle I’m shooting from. The best looking person shot in the wrong light or from the wrong angle is going to look poorly nine times out of ten.

Great candid shots are fantastic when you can get them, and I do get a lot of them, but during some parts of the day I like to slow things down a bit and create very deliberate, glamour or fashion style portraits with the bride and groom. Images that really showcase the couple’s love for one another while making them looking absolutely stunning together at the same time. For as great as I can capture a beautiful couple that looks their best,’ I can make them look a whole lot better with just a little bit of direction. I take a lot of my inspiration from the fashion world; I’m a junkie for the latest edition of W, Vogue, or Vanity Fair- as much for the ads as anything else. I tear through the latest edition of every Victoria’s Secret Swimsuit Catalog to study the poses and the lighting and I try to take a little something away with me from each issue. The lines are just so perfect in those images, the lines of the body and how the light plays upon them. I try to replicate those smooth lines and beautiful lighting in my portrait sessions with a bride and groom.

I’ll position a couple so that they’re standing into the light just so, and I’m also working with an assistant who will usually be reflecting light back onto them with either a reflector or a video light. I’ll offer some simple suggestions about how to stand, what to do with their limbs, where to look, to raise their chin a bit here or there. Get the shadows on the face right. I keep things moving along and keep the energy up, of course; it’s far from boring or stiff, and I’m also sure to bring emotion in before I click the shutter. Very few people can actually tell the difference between my candids and my composed images. Any couples (usually it’s the groom) who express concerns about ‘not wanting to do posed shots’ beforehand always relinquish any concerns once I show them how the first shots we take look on the camera back. Utterly natural, and they’re always excited at the results.

What or who inspires you?

Light inspires me, and what is possible to create with it in a photograph- especially in an image with people in it. I shoot on location a lot with studio lights; I generally bring them to cover the dance floor during the reception, and I also use a variety of daylight modifiers, reflectors and scrims. There’s just so much you can do whether it’s natural or manufactured light; there’s no end to it, really. I never cease to be intrigued by the way that light and shadow fall on a human face for instance, and what the subtlest of changes- in a subject’s positioning, or in a camera angle or setting, or an adjustment of your light- can bring about… I really geek out about light.

I’m inspired almost every day by other photographers. It’s so easy to stay current with anything you’re interested in these days, or anyone. Jerry Ghionis is a big inspiration, incredible wedding and fashion photographer. I was fortunate enough to do a five day intensive workshop with him and him [amazing] wife Melissa in LA a couple years back. Really opened my eyes even after shooting my whole life. Cristian Othe and Otto Shulze are two other incredible wedding photographers I admire. Some of my favorite fashion and commercial photographers are well-knowns like Mario Testino, Bruce Weber, Mark Seliger, and Terry Richardson. Less known ones are David Benoliel and Miller Mobley. Again, I take a lot of my inspiration for my wedding photography from fashion. They’ve got it down in that world and there’s an awful lot to learn just from turning through the pages of the latest magazine, or opening up any of a thousand Tumblr blogs.

Any awards or features/publications?

I’ve won a couple of small awards for my portrait and landscape photography years back but nothing for weddings yet. One day I hope to have the time to actually submit my images around for consideration. In the meantime, it’s all I can do to shoot and edit!

Favorite Wedding Location.

My favorite wedding location in Colorado is Telluride, hands-down. There’s an energy about the place, about that valley, that’s unlike anything anywhere else. It’s an out of the way place to get to and anyone who gets married there, you know they put a lot of thought- and effort- into getting there, and to getting everyone else there. It’s not just down the road. It’s a special kind of couple that Telluride draws, and they’re always a lot of fun to work with. It’s also a very magical place with tons of great venues.

Favorite Wedding Trend.

My favorite wedding trend right now is the one that sees couples asking their guests to be more present with them and less present with their phones, namely referring to the Instagramming and Facebooking of photos and videos of the wedding throughout the day. I think it’s great to see people ‘check their technology at the door,’ so to speak, and to simply enjoy the day with family and friends. It can also be an added gift to the guests to be free of their phones and that connectivity for several hours. When’s the last time any of us were truly disconnected?

What is your advice for a couple planning a Colorado Wedding?

My advice for a couple planning their wedding in Colorado is to really take your time and choose the right location. There are so many great towns in Colorado and they’re all very different. Do your research and try to find out which place will suit you best. If you’re here and traveling, talk to locals as much as you can. If you’re looking from afar, read reviews online. There are so many out there and so many incredible places to consider. I will say that the best places are often the hardest to get to!

Where did you grow up and how did you end up in Colorado?

I spent half my childhood in southern California and the other half in south Florida. While traveling after college I wound up visiting a friend in Breckenridge, where I lived on and off for a few years. When I returned to the States after traveling for nearly a decade, I knew that I wanted to return to Colorado. I love the outdoors- skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and the mountains in general. I love the immediate access to wilderness in most parts of the state. I raised my son in ski towns for seven years (Crested Butte and Telluride) and then found that my family as a whole wanted access to more things, so in 2011 we came to the big city, Boulder. It’s hardly very big. I find it a great mix of urban and mountain environments, and I get up to the mountains to shoot all the time, usually Telluride, Crested Butte, and the Vail/Beaver Creek areas.

Below is a glimpse into his portfolio. Check out more on his website.

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