Describe your wedding day...
"When we first started planning, we tried to decide on what was most important to us. We didn’t want to get bogged down in all of the details that can come along with getting married, we wanted to stay focused on the really important things. For us, we decided the ceremony was the central focus of the day, and the second most important thing was that we create a space for our families to spend time getting to know each other. At this point, our families had not met, and we wanted this celebration to bring together these important people, and give them time to socialize. After we decided these things, the rest sort of fell into place.
Finding the Flagstaff House was key. We wanted good food, and good drinks, and they provided all of these things for us. They allowed us to have our ceremony out on the gorgeous terrace, and the service throughout our evening was impeccable. Since all of our wedding guests were coming in from out of town, everyone stayed at the Niwot Inn. We rented out the entire 14 room inn. This provided extra space for socializing during down time over the weekend. We put together welcome bags for each guest, which included a reusable grocery bag with the Colorado flag on it, a Camelbak water bottle, and some local snacks. The bag also provided information for our wedding guests on the timing of big events over the weekend. We had a rehearsal dinner the night before at Colterra, a restaurant in Niwot, and then directions to the Flagstaff House, and what time we would like people to arrive at the venue.
The cowboy boots were also a central element when planning our attire. I went to NYC with my mom and sisters to search for a dress. I knew I wanted something knee length to show off the boots. Mark had shirts custom made from a shirtmaker in Houston, Hamilton shirts. He had his wedding shirt monogrammed, and found monogrammed cuff links from Tiffany. Our rings were designed by a local jewelry store, Sarah O Jewelry. The stones for my ring came from a family heirloom, a ring owned by Mark’s grandmother, and we had it redesigned and set for my ring.
The ceremony required a lot of thought and planning, between Mark and me, and our officiant, Brett James. We designed our own ceremony, gaining some ideas from various wedding blogs. I would recommend being involved in the planning of your ceremony. It was a lot of work, but it was more meaningful than I ever thought it would be. Brett included a smudging of the ceremony space, an ancient tradition of burning sage to cleanse the energy in a room. He also surprised us by having wedding guests cover the terrace with red rose petals before we began the ceremony. In addition to writing our own vows, we included a ring blessing. We held the rings, and had everyone in attendance come forward and lay their hands on us, or someone around them, so we are all connected. Then Brett asked people to send prayers, good energy, or positive thoughts into our rings. These could be hopes for us as a married couple, etc. This was one of my favorite parts of the ceremony. My sister Lindsay, read from a book called “I Like You”. It was a picture book that Mark found online, and we thought it fit us perfectly.”
How did you and Mark meet?
"We met at the Holiday Party at school in 2009. We had both worked at the same school for 1 1/2 years, but had never officially met. We started talking that night, and the rest is history :)”
How did Mark propose?
"We first talked about getting married when we were in New Orleans together. We were staying at the Royal Orleans hotel, and we were sitting out on our balcony overlooking the French Quarter. Mark just asked, “You want to get married?” It took us another few years to actually make it official."
Was there a moment that you knew Mark was the right person for you?
"Probably less of a moment, but more of a process. The more time I spent with him, getting to know his family, the more I knew this was a person I could build a life with. We not only have the same values, but we also share an eerily similar sense of humor. We like to do the same things, and also, I’m head over heels in love with him. All of these things came together, and we are really happy.”
Any advice you could give to future couples on wedding planning or the wedding day?
The only advice I would give, is to spend time planning the important things: the ceremony. Don’t lose sight of what this day is really about. Planning our ceremony was the hardest work, but the most rewarding. Also, to just be in the moment. The day goes by in an instant, and being present as much as possible will make the most of it. And having the day documented by someone as talented as Liz! I can’t tell you how many times we will get lost looking at our photos, and remembering the day.
Describe working with Elizabeth Cryan Photography:
We absolutely LOVED all of our photos! The quality and variety of both our engagement and wedding photos was phenomenal. She captured all of the moments we will treasure from that day. Every detail and every person who shared our day with us was photographed, and captured beautifully. Working with Liz was always easy and fun. Not being people who are at ease with being photographed in this way, Liz went out of her way to make us comfortable, and to put us at ease. She is funny, cheerful, and willing to be flexible. We chose Elizabeth Cryan Photography because Liz was someone we knew through school. She was a photography teacher at our school, and so we thought we would check her out first. Once we met with Liz, and saw the kind of work she did, we were hooked. I wholeheartedly recommend Elizabeth Cryan Photography for anyone who is looking to artfully document an event, or their family. She is the best!
Venue: Flagstaff House
Photography: Elizabeth Cryan Photography
Officiant: Brett James
Dress: Oscar de la Renta
Shoes: Rios of Mercedes custom boots
Planner/Coordinator: Jean Davis, Flagstaff House Event Coordinator
Flowers: Boulder Blooms
Caterer: Flagstaff House
Cake: Flagstaff House