Check out this wedding in the January 2020 Issue of 5280
Q&A with Denver couple, Abigail and Paul:
How did you meet?
We met through a mutual friend/coworker! Abigail's coworker knows Paul from the gym and after attending a party with Paul, felt they would be good couple. She was right!! We met at a quintessentially Denver venue, Denver Bike Café, for a beer and music and hit it off right away.
What is your proposal story?
We went to Mexico City over July 4th last year. We visited Teotihuacan, ancient ruins just north of the city. We left early in the morning to beat the crowds to the top of a pyramid. We climbed (ALLLLL the way) to the top and had another couple take a few pictures of us with the beautiful mountains and ruins surrounding us. Paul pulled in Abigail who was embarrassed about the public display of affection, but then he got down on one knee and proposed! She was super surprised and had no idea we would be getting engaged!
Tell us a little bit about your wedding (your vision, color, style, and location choices).
We knew we wanted a small ceremony and reception. We are both close to our immediate families and knew we wanted them as involved as possible. We decided on just family for the ceremony and incorporating aspects of each of their weddings into how we structured our own ceremony. We asked our siblings to read portions of our favorite books as well as verses that were read at Abigail's parents' wedding. Abigail's best friend is a minister and married us, keeping with the family theme. Then we made the reception a little bigger, but still intimate, only about 70 people total. Our friends have been instrumental in our relationship and we knew we wanted those who had nurtured us as single people and as a couple in attendance to celebrate with us. We met and fell in love in Colorado and knew we wanted to incorporate our home into our wedding so decided on a Colorado wedding in the fall, only 4 months after we were engaged.
We were having a cocktail at one of our favorite bars in Denver, Fort Greene, and suddenly knew this was our venue. The vibe is perfect for us, unassuming from the outside, but full of character on the inside and with amazing cocktails. We also loved the owner and how easy it was to coordinate with her. We also love showing off Denver and it allowed our out-of-town guests to explore the city while they were in town, as well as showing locals a new part of town that is often overlooked.
We wanted our friends to feel like family and the venue almost feels like a living room in a big, old house. The walls are a rich dark green and has red, paper poppies hanging from the ceiling. These colors were really inspiring so we took that moodiness and richness and ran with it. Knowing that fall colors would be in full swing, we wanted to bring that to our wedding colors, deep red, wheat, green, and some lilac. We wanted visually interesting and inspiring floral arrangements so used trees and our own personal flowers/plants to make a space where would say our vows, as well as wooden hoops of flowers to tie in the other rooms of the bar.
We had the best time making our own signature cocktails with the staff at Fort Greene and knew that our love for whiskey would be shared with all our guests. We also bonded over our love for tacos in the early parts of our relationship and knew that our food would be from a local taco joint. La Abeja is a favorite and the owner was so easy going that we knew it would be a perfect fit for our low-key wedding dinner to share with our family and friends.
Our photographer, Regan, has a wonderful eye for color and moments. After we met her and felt like we were friends already, we knew we were in good hands. Her style is somewhat moody but rich colors and very natural. We never felt like we were not being ourselves on our wedding day. She was a dream on our wedding day and we couldn't be happier with how the pictures turned out!
Tell us about your attire choices.
Paul wore a navy blue suit from Banana Republic and Abigail wore an ivory lace dress from BHLDN. Abigail's dress was high necked and open backed with a small train. Paul's socks and Abigail's shoes were the same deep red as our wedding colors. Paul wore a floral tie that beautifully matched Abigail's bouquet. Abigail also wore a bracelet that her grandfather (who had passed about a month before the wedding) had given her grandmother on one of their wedding anniversaries. Our family knows us well, and dressed within our color scheme without much planning! Our pictures look amazingly coordinated!
What were your favorite parts of the day? (memories and stories)
Abigail had her siblings, mother, and best friend come spend lunch at the hotel where she was getting ready, the Ramble Hotel. We ate, drank champagne, and got hair and makeup done. It was such a fun moment to share in the last moments before starting my own family.
Paul had several friends and his parents come to our (newly purchased!) house for grilling and beers before the ceremony. He lived with most of these men throughout his life so it was a lot of fun.
We decided on a first look, which was the best decision! We had so much time to spend together before our wedding ceremony and really appreciate the journey we were starting that day. We took pictures at the Ramble Hotel, a perfect backdrop and preparation for the rest of the evening.
We had a ring warming ceremony before we got married. This was a special time to know that the rings we wear each day were touched by each of our family members. Even though they live far away, they are with us daily in our rings.
What was most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
We wanted our family to be comfortable and our friends to feel like family. We really felt that the vibe of the wedding should feel relaxed and give us a chance to speak to all our friends and for our friends to make new friends! We wanted pictures to remember the day, but did not feel that a videographer was in our budget so that was cut early on. We allowed for a bigger budget on flowers since Abigail loves them so much, but also knew that the venue brought so much character itself, that we wouldn't need to cover it with floral arrangements. We tried to be economical with our purchases, but knew that this marks the beginning of our new family and we would look at these pictures for years to come so we didn't want to be too dated or skimpon quality. Since we only had about 4 months to plan the wedding from when we were engaged, we made quick decisions which ended up being amazing. We didn't have any buyer's remorse because we don't know what else is out there! Both of us work full time and we already had a two week vacation planned abroad about a month before we were supposed to get married, so we knew we would need help. Our wedding planner, Jenna, was probably the best thing we did through the whole process. She was helpful for being realistic in expectations, but also in helping us to visualize what we wanted the day to feel like to us and our friends and family. The day of, she was a DREAM! We thought of zero things on our wedding day except each other and actually getting married. There were lots of moving parts and Jenna and her assistant did everything. Jenna and Abigail knew each other from middle school and high school, so it felt like family. And Jenna was in control of everything while we were unavailable in Europe which allowed us to really relax while we were away, despite a wedding coming up! At Jenna's suggestion, we also hired a musician to play music during the ceremony and cocktail hour. It was absolutely worth every penny and many people complimented us on our choice of musician. He was communicative and flexible, learning a few new songs and only playing music we wanted. We skipped a DJ, then, and made our own playlist for the reception. This was fun to do (last minute!) and it was enjoyed by all. We included songs from shows we had seen, as well as songs we played together while hanging out, goofing around.
Tell us about your wedding cake/dessert.
Neither of us are really cake people, though we will eat it if given the chance! We do, however, love pies. The Long I Pie came up on a search for a wedding cake, and Shauna bakes out of Fort Greene's kitchen so it seemed like a perfect match! We opted for personal pies so we could plan out exactly what we wanted, and we were able to have several kinds of pie. We got so many compliments on the pies and the few leftovers were so good in the days afterwards! Again, we loved Shauna (she also got married at Fort Greene and was a fount of support to us) and she felt like an old friend so we knew we would have a perfect experience with her. She was a dream and makes the BEST pies.
What did you do for favors?
Since a substantial amount of our guests were coming from out of town, we didn't want to burden them with hauling "stuff" home, only to toss it later. We also felt that our biggest thanks to our families who have blessed us richly with wonderful lives, would be to pass along our good fortune to those who need it most. We donated to one of our favorite charities in Denver, Project Worthmore, in honor of our guests. This charity helps refugees settle into Denver metro area by teaching English, teaching job skills, and providing navigation of the complicated systems in Colorado.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Make quick decisions! The more options you see, the more you will get confused or worry you don't have the "right" whatever-it-is you are trying to buy. If you like it and it is in your budget, get it!
Also, ask around. The best referrals we got were the ones from our friends or our vendors. Even if our friends were married elsewhere, similar sentiments applied to us. And the vendors see a lot of weddings so ask them! They've seen it all and will be able to give good advice.
And ask for help! We were not at a loss since everyone was so supportive. It's hard to not stress, but knowing that we could reach out was exactly what we needed!
Lastly, have a wedding you want to have. Make sure it is a party you would like to attend. We felt like this party felt like a good reflection of our personalities and didn't feel like we needed to do things because "we were supposed to". This made it so fun and stress-free since it was us.