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Small, Intimate Wedding – Beaver Creek, Colorado

Small, Intimate Wedding – Beaver Creek, Colorado

Meredith and John had a small, intimate wedding in Beaver Creek this summer of 2020. They just didn’t want to let COVID get in the way of them still saying, “I Do” on their original wedding date. So with five close family members and an iPhone to virtually stream the wedding ceremony, they officially tied the knot with a Catholic ceremony at the Chapel at Beaver Creek on Saturday, July 11th. 

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The first look with her dad was the coolest Father-daughter first look I’ve ever been a part of. Her dad was waiting at the end of the street, and Meredith drove up in a convertible Porsche to surprise her dad! It was so funny how excited he was. Not only did he get to see his baby girl in her wedding dress, but he got to take her to the church in a gorgeous sparkling white Porsche! 

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The Chapel at Beaver Creek

The Chapel at Beaver Creek is one of those architectural gems in Colorado. Nestled at the base of Beaver Creek, surrounded by a flowing creek and aspens, the towering rock church is the perfect venue to say your vows. 

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Photos at the Top of Beaver Creek

After the ceremony, we got lift tickets to take the ski lift up to the top of Beaver Creek Mountain, and that’s where we got the amazing mountain vistas and purple wildflowers you see in some of my favorite pictures of the day. 

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Review From the Bride

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When our wedding plans changed this year due to COVID, we found Andrea last minute, and it was one of the best decisions we made. She worked with us on pricing and made our mountain vision come to life. She was so pleasant to work with and truly made the day as easy as possible. We went over our slated time with her, but it was clear she cared more about capturing the best shots, making them perfect and exceeding our expectations than focusing on the time. I could not be happier with how all of the photos came out! Truly perfection! From the dress and ring photos to the Chapel and on top of Beaver Creek, she took the time to make the pictures absolutely perfect.


-Meredith, bride

Say “I DO” in Breckenridge this July With an All-Inclusive Wedding Package

Say “I DO” in Breckenridge this July With an All-Inclusive Wedding Package

I am so excited to announce a collaboration with Petal and Bean and an all-star creative team to bring you an intimate, all-inclusive wedding package!

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Take advantage of this amazing intimate wedding experience at the Lodge at Breckenridge this month. Petal and Bean, Officiant Phil GallagherThe Cake Maker and myself as the exclusive photographer are collectively coordinating this special event. Let me capture this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have an all-inclusive and stress-free intimate wedding.

Choose Your Wedding Date and Time

July 19 and July 24, 2020

11 AM, 2 PM, and 5 PM

What You Get in Your All-Inclusive Package

You will arrive to stunning ceremony florals with your own personals created by Petal and Bean. Your all-inclusive wedding package will feature perfectly curated details for your small celebration courtesy of the floral and coordination team from Petal and Bean. 

Say your vows in front of your closest loved ones from the Lodge’s panoramic wedding deck. Celebrate with champagne and toast to your love! Enjoy a beautiful 2-tier white cake, with vanilla frosting and chocolate ganache filling. They even take care of all the serviceware including the cake stand and cake server. You don’t have to worry about a thing!

Then, head out for a private portrait session with me. I’ll take you to Breckenridge’s most jaw-dropping mountain backdrops. You get a total of 2.5 hours with me. That’s the perfect amount of time for a first look, full coverage of the ceremony, family and group portraits, first dance and cake cutting, and newlywed portraits nearby. 

This is an incredible opportunity for anyone still wanting to get married this summer in the mountains. This team is phenomenal, and every last detail has been taken care of. You’re in the best hands with these vendors!

How to book your ultimate, intimate wedding package

To book or find out more, please reach out to kayle@petalandbean.com. This package can be booked through Petal and Bean  but make sure that the time slot you want is still available before booking! There’s only 6 spots available and booked on a first come basis. 

Postponing Your Wedding – Five Things to Consider

Postponing Your Wedding – Five Things to Consider

Are you considering postponing your wedding? Love isn’t cancelled! Thank the Lord for whoever said that, and I’d credit them if I knew who first said that when all this COVID-19 craziness started happening. During this time, I’ve been listening to hours of webinars from professionals in the wedding industry. I’ve had so many phone calls with planners and picked their brains about how we can best help our clients and keep our business afloat not only during this time of uncertainty but also looking forward to 2021 events. While so many things are unknown during this time, I’ve gained a lot of optimism and hope because of these five things that I’d like to share with you.

If you are considering postponing your wedding this year, I’ve got five tips to consider:

1. Consider a Weekday Instead of a Saturday.

Years from now, no one is going to remember if you didn’t get married on a Saturday. Most of the guests make a vacation out of their destination wedding anyways, so it doesn’t matter if your actual wedding date is a Saturday. Venues usually have discounted rates, too for non-weekend weddings. Definitely something to consider if you’re having to postpone your wedding to make sure you keep all of your vendors. If you’re wanting to get married in 2021, secure your vendors now! Prime wedding weekends will be harder to come by the longer you wait. 

2. Consider Inviting Less Guests and Live Stream Your Wedding.

If you want to live stream your wedding to your very important guests that now can’t make your wedding, let’s add it on as a service for you. When I got married, in 2015 my grandparents couldn’t make the wedding last minute, so we live streamed it just for them. We can live stream the ceremony to as many guests as you’d like, so let me know if you’d like to do this!

3. Consider Revising Your Guest Count.

My small, intimate wedding packages are perfect for weddings under 50 guests! I personally believe that this is going to be the immediate future of weddings and is inviting between 20-40 guests to keep the total count under 50. Yes, your vendors count as a part of your person count. If you have less guests attending your wedding now, you get a lower rate for your wedding, even full day weddings. Send me a note here to get information about my small weddings packages. I talk more about planning a small, intimate wedding here, so if you are considering this as an option, that post is a must read.

4. Secure Wedding Insurance.

Consider getting wedding insurance. In the age of coronavirus, you can never be too careful and the need to safe guard your wedding is important. Wedding insurance can help you do that. This article I found fantastic and it explains all your options and why you need wedding insurance. Wedsafe.com or Wedsure.com are two great options that I would highly suggest you research and choose the best policy to protect you. 

5. Communicate New Date to Guests On Your Wedding Website.

Communicate with your guests as soon as you have chosen a new date. Make sure all your vendors are on board and you’ve signed any addendums from vendors for your new date. Quickly let your guests know. Keep it informal and post your update on your wedding website. Don’t have a wedding website yet? Let me create one for you! It’s something I love doing and is a great way to use your engagement pictures! I’m loving this post from Green Wedding Shoes on sending postponement invitations. 

Please don’t feel guilty for having to postpone your wedding during this time. It’s not your fault that a pandemic happened in the midst of all your wedding planning. You are choosing to save lives by postponing your wedding. It’s one of the most selfless things you can do. And your wedding planning isn’t just getting thrown away or wasted because you postpone. I believe it is still valuable time that you will get back. You’ve invested in important people in this industry that will help make your wedding happen! 

I’m here for you! Even if you’re not a bride, but a former client or another wedding vendor, please let me know how I can help you during this time of uncertainty.

Winter Wedding Venue Highlight: The Lodge at Breckenridge

Winter Wedding Venue Highlight: The Lodge at Breckenridge

There are not very many winter wedding venues in Breckenridge, PERIOD, but The Lodge at Breckenridge is available for weddings year-round. It is a perfect, all-inclusive venue. The fact that the Lodge at Breckenridge can combine accommodations, ceremony and reception space at the same location, and offer you the rustic Colorado charm, regardless of the season, is reason enough to have your wedding here.

Best Qualities about The Lodge at Breckenridge for a Wedding

There are four factors that make this one of my favorite venues in Breckenridge:

  • Accommodations
  • The all-season wedding deck on an overlook
  • Multiple location options for portraits in the winter
  • The reception space

Follow me on this journey of Tanya and Preston’s wedding while I showcase the best of The Lodge at Breckenridge wedding venue in the winter.

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Accommodations at The Lodge at Breckenridge

The possibility to have your family and guests to stay on site during your wedding weekend is a huge plus. Not to mention they have a shuttle that will take you to town, which is a huge reason to not bring rent a car. If you’re going to be staying at the Lodge for a few days, I would highly recommend booking their luxury cabins. It is a private space for your entire wedding party and is such a nice space for getting ready photos. So many ideal places for hanging the dress.

They have 25 guest rooms that sit at the top of Boreas Pass Road. The Lodge is designed so that each room has incredible views of the mountains, and each has rustic features that are true to its Colorado vibe.

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You can have up to 220 wedding guests at your reception, but ideally this venue would be best for 50-100 guests in the winter. The Lodge is also a dog-friendly wedding venue so don’t leave out your pups!

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Wedding Deck Overlook

Regardless if you want to have a summer or winter wedding, you have to get married on their incredible wedding deck overlooking they Rocky Mountains. If it’s freshly snowed, they will snow blow all of the snow off the deck so that you and your your guests won’t have any trouble walking on the deck. Aisle runners or rugs also make a fantastic way to create your aisle on the expansive deck.

Worried about getting cold? Don’t! They have beautiful heaters for the deck. I’d also just go ahead and budget for blankets and hand warmers for your guests. They are a nice touch and keep everyone comfortable and warm.

Tanya and Preston’s wedding ceremony took place on the wedding deck in front of a gorgeous floral arch created by Petal and Bean.

 

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Wedding Group Portraits

There are beautiful wooded spots around the lodge to take group portraits. The Lodge also has two decks: the wedding deck and the hot tub deck. Both have amazing views, and if your wish is to stay hidden from your wedding guests but to also get all your family portraits done before the wedding, the hot tub deck is your best friend. The is allows your guests to grab a cocktail before the wedding ceremony and mingle with other guests while you get your group pictures out of the way and hideaway for a few moments before the big “I dos.”

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The other little tidbit of information about having your wedding at the Lodge is its proximity to the best portrait locations in Breckenridge. I’m not going to give away all my secret spots, but two fantastic spots for newlywed pictures are Boreas Pass Road and Baldy Overlook. Each of those locations are within a quick five minute drive from the Lodge.

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The Reception Space

The Lodge has the potential for a sophisticated and elegantly designed wedding with rustic touches. You don’t have to go “totally rustic” in your wedding design with this venue. I love when couples opt for gold accents with white and greenery in their floral arrangements.

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Vendor Credit List:
Venue: Lodge at Breckenridge
Florist and Planner: Petal and Bean
Photographer: Marianne Brown Photography, associate: Andrea Stark Photography

Leigh and Carlos Christmas Winter Wedding – Lodge at Breckenridge

Leigh and Carlos Christmas Winter Wedding – Lodge at Breckenridge

Leigh and Carlos had a beautiful Christmas winter wedding this December at the Lodge at Breckenridge.

I love when my clients refer me to their friends! Lara and Tim had hired me for their maternity pictures, and recommended me to their friends, Leigh and Carlos who were planning on getting married. We first met at their wedding venue, the Lodge at Breckenridge for happy hour. We hit it off instantly! Leigh is an artist, and Carlos is a political candidate and is currently running for Colorado State Legislature. You can’t be in the room without feeling their infectious love. Carlos adores her!

Scroll down to read the sweetest reviews from both Carlos and Leigh – and to see their dreamy winter wedding gallery!!

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From the groom: We had an exceptional experience with Andrea Stark. She was thoughtful and professional. We had several conversations before the wedding, and we were always allowed flexibility. The day of the wedding was stress-free and wonderful. Mrs. Stark and her co-photographer were well-coordinated in their efforts. Lastly… the photos are amazing! We even got a sneak preview sent to us during our reception. We live four hours away, and we will always call Andrea first for our professional photography needs.

From the bride: Andrea was Amazing!!! She braved a 24-inch snow storm to take the most wonderful pictures of our wedding. All our photos were wonderful, and everyone asks to see them. She really helped make our day special.

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Breckenridge Florals by Petal and Bean

They also included Christmas colors throughout their florals and wedding decor since they were having a December wedding. December weddings compliment more of a Christmasy color palette in this space. The large stone fireplaces just scream Colorado comfort and make me just want to take a seat on the hearth and stay there a while with a hot boozy cocktail or glass of pinot.

Leigh and Carlos Winter Wedding Details

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Benefits of a Breckenridge-Based Photographer

Leigh told me she wanted snow on her wedding day, and oh boy, did she get it! The night before their wedding, it started snowing, A LOT! 24 inches later, it stopped dumping right before I was scheduled to start shooting their wedding details. We still got beautiful, slow-falling snow during their portraits which I know it was exactly what they wanted on their wedding day.

Thank the Lord, I live in Breckenridge, because otherwise, it would have been really hard to get to their wedding. Interstate 70 was backed up, and places on the byway were even closed completely. I would never want that stress on my wedding day, so brides, please hear this tip: Hire a photographer that is based in the mountains – not one that lives in Denver or on the front range and will have to gamble with the weather and I70 traffic to get up here!

A Perfect Colorado Winter Wedding Venue at The Lodge at Breckenridge

The Lodge at Breckenridge was the perfect venue for their wedding. It’s rustic and had plenty of room available to accommodate their family and wedding guests since most were coming from out of town. We took getting-ready pictures in their two private cabins, and once it was time for the first look, I stomped out a path in the trees for them to meet. Their first look was so precious! They were both blindfolded, so their amazing wedding party had to be their guide to help them both get down the path to the spot.

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The ceremony was on the deck of the Lodge with an aisle of their own Sante Fe woven rugs, lanterns, and a triangle arch for them to perform their hand-fasting ceremony.

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For Leigh and Carlos newlywed portraits we jumped in the car, just the three of us, and drove up to Boreas Pass Road. Just look at all that snow!

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They planned in their timeline to finish all the group pictures before the ceremony. This was great because as soon as their ceremony was over, we got to go up Boreas Pass road and take some beautiful newlywed portraits while their guests had cocktail hour with a mariachi band as entertainment. I mean, Why not have a cocktail hour with a mariachi band serenading your guests?!

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I was so excited for their newly wed photos! After the ceremony, we snuck away for some wintery portraits in the woods. One of the only things that Leigh requested as far as pictures is to have a soft light bridal portrait that she can paint. Leigh is an incredible fine art oil painter. She wanted to paint her own bridal portrait from one of the photos I took on their wedding day. I can’t wait to see the work of art she creates!

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One of the things I found out about Leigh at our initial meeting is that she is a childhood cancer survivor. I admire her strength so much to overcome all the challenges she faced and still see so much beauty in the world. I’m very thankful that I got to be there to capture their wedding day!

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Vendor List:
Venue: Lodge at Breckenridge
Planning: Distinctive Mountain Weddings
Photographer: Andrea Stark Photography
Florals: Petal and Bean

 

Planning a Winter Wedding In the Colorado Mountains

Planning a Winter Wedding In the Colorado Mountains

A winter wedding in Colorado can be a magical experience. The snowy white backdrop makes it seems like all the world stands still for your momentous occasion. 

In order to keep the wedding details as peaceful as the scenery, I have gathered a few nuggets to share that may be helpful to keep in mind while you are planning and preparing for your special wedding day.

Some things to carefully consider are:

  • Wedding Venue
  • Winter Attire
  • Photography Experience

 

Winter Wedding Venues in Breckenridge

There are several incredible options for wedding venues in Breckenridge, Keystone, and surrounding areas.

I suggest choosing one venue where you can have both the ceremony and reception, especially for winter. Weather can be unpredictable, and so if all of your guests can safely arrive to just one location, you will not have to worry about weather or traffic delays. An even more seamless experience would be if most of your wedding party and guests could also choose to stay at the same venue.

Here are a few of my favorite wedding venues for winter weddings:

Sapphire Point in Breckenridge

This is perfect for a small, intimate outdoor wedding. Sapphire Point offers 360 views of Lake Dillon and a full mountain range backdrop.

The Lodge at Breckenridge

This location offers beautiful views with a large deck, catering, indoor reception area, and accommodations for your guests.

Breckenridge Golf Club with Sleigh Ride

They also boast of incredible 360 winter views. You can have your ceremony outdoors and a reception inside. You can even schedule a romantic Sleigh Ride for your bridal entry or photo session.

 

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Breckenridge Golf Club Winter Wedding Sleigh Ride

Winter Attire and Pops of Color

Choosing Attire That Suits the Winter Weather

 

It goes without saying that the weather will be cold. Temperatures may range on average from 10 degrees to 40 degrees during the winter months in the mountains. How can you make sure as a bride and groom that you and your wedding party are warm enough and not distracted by the cold?

I recommend wearing warm boots and thick tights that are easily hidden under long wedding and bridesmaids dresses.

You can find elegant mittens that complement your attire as well as fur stoles, capes or scarves that easily layer.

Men can wear velvet blazers that offer a little more warmed than an average tuxedo.

Add Color

Because the backdrop is typically white and muted, adding pops of color to your attire with accessories makes for a most beautiful wedding, not to mention photos. The best place to begin is with your flowers.

You can’t go wrong with an over flowing bouquet of whites and greens, but you can also add colorful blooms with deep reds and pastel pinks. It might seem counterintuitive, but pastels found in peach roses, eucalyptus, and  dusty rose, lambs ear, and succulents make the perfect contrast to a winter white background.

 

Insider Tips for Altitude

Some insider tips I try to share with all my clients before their mountain destination wedding:

Drink plenty of water – We live at almost 10,000 ft above sea level, and you don’t want to deal with altitude sickness, headaches, dizziness, or nausea during this special time. It is also a very dry climate, so bring extra lotion.

Chapstick – Never leave home without it, and consider gifting chapstick to each of your guests with your wedding favors as your lips tend to become dry quickly. 

Hand Warmers – You can also offer a basket of special mittens, blankets or hand warmers for guests as they arrive to help keep them warm.

When to Schedule Your Photos

Schedule Your Portraits

Timing is everything in photography. Some things can’t be planned like capturing the perfect moment between the two of you. What can be planned is the best time of day to take pictures. Some people call it magic our but booking your session or when most of your portraits will be taken during the last 2 hours of light in the day, gives you the best chance of capturing the best lighting in the mountains.

Sunset Times

The sun sets by 3:30 pm in December and 4:30 pm in January. This is usually earlier than people expect, so it is good to plan your ceremony with these times in mind.

In December, I recommend to start your session by 2 PM and in January by 3 PM to give you enough time to travel between locations, change clothes, and experience the sun setting behind the mountains.

Photo Gallery of Your Wedding Day

 

 Each of my wedding and portrait packages come with a personalized online gallery for you to view, download, and share with others.

Share the best photos, or the complete gallery on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. It’s all integrated into your personalized online gallery so that you won’t have to fuss with any extra steps. 

Buy online  seamlessly and securely, all directly within the gallery. I try to make it as easy as possible for you to access all your favorite photos from your winter wedding. 

Planning a Winter Wedding in Colorado?

Please contact me today, and I will reach out to you shortly