Wedding planning was one of most stressful, but ultimately rewarding times in Maggie and Daniel's lives. The most important advice they kept in mind on their wedding day was, "Look around you and be thankful. There is likely never going to be another moment in your life when all of these most important people are in the same place, at the same time again." Read on to learn more from Maggie and Daniel!
Daniel and Maggie met on a warm summer night in Boulder. What started out as a gradual courtship eventually developed into a whirlwind romance. With a shared love of simplicity in life and the importance of family, Dan and Maggie built a solid foundation in Christ before gifting their lives to each other before an intimate group of close friends and family at St. Catherine of Siena Chapel, known as the Chapel on the Rock, outside of Estes Park.
It all began with the chapel. When Maggie moved to Colorado in 2007 with just a broken heart and her dog, she rounded the corner in Allenspark, on the way to RMNP, to a stunning stone chapel perched on a rock at the base of a towering mountain. She never made it to RMNP that day, instead hiking around the chapel and praying that someday the Lord would bring her to the altar in that chapel.
10 years later she was walking down the aisle of St. Catherine of Siena Chapel to commit her life to the man God had finally brought into her life. With such a magnificent backdrop for their wedding, Maggie and Dan knew it was the perfect setting to incorporate a simple theme, with neutral color palette and classic detailing.
Baby's breath, with its beautiful, delicate flowers, was the foundation from which the color palette was built. Classic ivory, sage green and light beige with subtle hints of blushing pink were incorporated to create a soft, romantic palette.
Maggie wore a corset-backed, ivory lace wedding dress, lined with blushing pink satin to complement her fair skin and red hair. She altered the dress, adding matching lace cap sleeves to honor the traditions of a Catholic Mass.
Dan wore a simple black suit with a white dress shirt, black bowtie, and black vest with Fleur de Lis cufflinks as a nod to his New Orleans family ties. To balance Dan's look, Maggie's four bridesmaids each wore their own, unique black dresses while the groomsmen each wore their own, unique mix of light and dark suits.
Maggie and Dan chose to complement the baby's breath with roses and eucalyptus. The ivory colored roses elevated the romance and kept the look classy and traditional while the eucalyptus incorporated a beautiful sage green color, unique texture, delicious scent, and height contrast to the centerpieces and chapel accents. Together with baby's breath, the combination was a truly simple and elegant design perfect for a traditional summer wedding in the high peaks of Colorado.
Maggie and Dan knew that location and logistics were going to eat up a large part of their already modest, less than $12k total budget. With the chapel located high in the Rockies outside of Estes Park, they decided on a reception venue in Lyons at Lionscrest Manor which fit not just the budget and elegant ambience they were looking for, but also offered another set of gorgeous mountain views since it is perched up high enough to glimpse Long's Peak at sunset.
With family flying in from out of town, they decided on the Renaissance Flatiron hotel in Broomfield as a central location for the room block. Given the steep and mountainous terrain to the chapel and reception, they knew that roundtrip shuttle service was an absolute must for their family and friends on the day of the wedding. They worked out a deal with the hotel for discounts on shuttle service based on the number of rooms booked, which almost cut the bill in half!
Like most families, Maggie and Dan's family appreciate good food! When it came to the catering service, they partnered with Front Range Catering who worked in a discount based on their double booking for the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception! Maggie and Dan chose to keep it budget-friendly with a buffet style dinner and nobody left hungry! Several appetizers including mini twice baked potatoes, petite quiche lorraine, and sesame coconut chicken skewers were served when guests arrived to the reception. A lighter main course of chicken roulades and stuffed tilapia as entrees, with a few rich sides including Dan's favorite penne Alfredo rounded out the menu. Maggie and Dan chose to have a small 6" cake, and guests were served table side from a more economical sheet cake, all baked by Front Range Catering!
With a setting like this, Maggie and Dan knew that photography was going to be super important. Jamie Striplin of Crystaline Photography fit the bill for them in terms of the GREAT package deal she offered, and the experience with epic mountain wedding photography that Jamie and her team brought to the table. Most importantly, Jamie and her team were almost invisible throughout the day, and executed on all of the very specific shots that Maggie and Dan had in mind. With over 2,000 gorgeous photos, this couple may never get around to selecting album photos and prints!
As a musician, Dan was able to lock in a great deal with a fantastic band, "Jus' Sayin" who played the entire reception.
Planning the entire wedding together, with help from Maggie's Mom, was time consuming but ultimately gave Maggie and Dan greater control over negotiating contracts, and finding deals on everything from the wedding dress to flowers to catering to decor. They wouldn't have done it any other way!
The setting for this wedding was incredible; guests will remember the views and serene beauty of the historic chapel more than the centerpieces. This really allowed Maggie and Dan to take advantage of the scene that was already set, incorporating fewer accents and decor than would have been required to dress up another church and venue at a different location.
Maggie and Dan will never forget the moment their eyes met for the first time that day at the top of the aisle. That moment stood still for both of them before the rest of the day flew by!
Budgeting was always top of mind for Maggie and Dan, so they found every way they could to cut costs. The reception venue and caterers both took payment installments which really helped to spread out the larger costs over more time. Costs were also a concern for our wedding party, so allowing them to all choose their own attire really alleviated any stress there and saved so much time in coordinating and shopping for those items. Maggie was knee deep in flowers creating all of the accent and centerpieces two days before the wedding, and Dan designed and created all of the invitations, mass cards, and signage.
For first timers, Maggie and Dan did pretty good at planning and executing the wedding! Maggie wished she would have appointed a bridesmaid to be the point of contact for the event staff during the reception so that she wasn't as concerned with logistics during the reception. Dan wishes his band would have played the reception. ;-)
Tips for Engaged Couples
Due diligence is important. Take the time to research online before making a short list to actually meet with or visit in person including venues, caterers, vendors, prices, etc. Read reviews from other couples. There are plenty of sites that allow real couples to review their experiences. Choose those that are in the budget first, and have great reviews!
Decide early on what you are willing to manage yourself and what you want to delegate to others or outsource to a planner. Remember there are trade-offs. Your time and sanity are super important during this time! If you are the type of person who enjoys having full control over every detail, then do most of it on your own! But if you have trouble making decisions, or feel overwhelmed at the prospect of where to start, meet with a few planners and decide if you want to take all or just some of the work off of your plate.
First of all, enjoy the process and don't lose sight of what is important when planning a wedding! It was one of the most stressful, but ultimately rewarding times in our lives. When your wedding day finally arrives, enjoy it. One of the best suggestions we received before our wedding was, "Look around you and be thankful. There is likely never going to be another moment in your life when all of these most important people are in the same place, at the same time again."
Guest List Count: 80 // Photography: Jamie Stiplin of Crystaline Photography and Video // Ceremony Venue: St. Catherine of Siena Chapel // Reception Venue: Lionscrest Manor // Bakery and Caterer: Frontrange Catering // Bar Services: Frontrange Catering for service and B-Town Wine & Spirits for supply // Musicians: Jus Sayin // Hairstylist: Corey Sutton // Makeup Artist: Sarah Salyer, Sadie B Lash Studio // Wedding Dress: StillWhite.com (Preowned never worn Maggie Sottero for $550, retails at $4500!) // Groom's Wardrobe: Macy's // Shoes: Amazon // Accessories: Macy's // Officiant: Father Peter Mussett, St Thomas Aquinas