{real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion

This real mountain wedding photoblog is all about the wedding day of a local Summit County couple who were married in St. Mary's Catholic Church in Breckenridge.  The reception was held later at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  

We received a submission via Two Bright Lights from April O'Hare Photography and these beautiful photos tell the story of Dani and Joe.  Our goal is to show more real mountain weddings, so if you or someone you know was recently married in the Breckenridge and Vail areas, please contact us!  

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion

I always like to hear the stories from other vendors, and feel like it's a good way to get to know them better.  If you like these photos, please mention this blog when contacting April.  Thanks a lot!

April O'Hare Photography ]

Q. What tips / advice would you give to a couple considering a destination wedding in Keystone or Summit County?  

A. While I haven't personally planned my own wedding in the mountains, I would definitely advise a bride and groom on giving their guests who are not from the area as much info about preparing for high altitude as possible. I'll never forget the wedding I did where the groom's mom got a severe case of altitude sickness and almost wasn't able to witness the ceremony. Some guests may not realize that there are things they can do to avoid it like drink a ton of water and go easier on the alcohol than they would if they live closer to sea level.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

Q. What are some fun ideas for engagement photoshoots in the mountains?

A. This isn't exactly unique, but I cannot get enough Aspens in my photos. Love those trees at any time of the year. They're just gorgeous.

And, I don't know if this counts as "the mountains" but I think it's close enough. I have been dying to photograph an engagement session in Manitou Springs. They have this really beautiful vibrant shopping district set against the beautiful mountains as well as a really kick ass gigantic old school penny arcade too! Hit me up if you want to do your engagement photos there!

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

Q. What kinds of questions would you recommend the bride and groom ask their potential photographers?  

A. I think one of the best things you can ask your photographer is to see a few full weddings so you can see more than just the best shots shown in their portfolio and blog. You want to make sure they have consistent work throughout the day and that the images taken during the reception when there is normally less light still look good. It doesn't hurt to see if they have photographed at your venue too. If they have then it's nice to see how their photos turned out when they photographed there.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

Q. What's the best way to work with wedding photographers?

A. Try to be open to their timeline suggestions. Most wedding photographers realize that your wedding day is not meant to be one long photoshoot, but if you suprise them with a huge formals list on the day of and haven't built in enough time to take those photos you will be disappointed that they aren't able to get through all of them. Your photographer is also likely to have some good ideas regarding what time of day will look good for your pictures. Often the prettiest light falls during your reception. If you are flexible and take 10-15 min away from the party for some shots of the two of you alone you will likely be pleasantly surprised with the results. Some of my favorite shots of the newlyweds are taken during that short window of time near sunset.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

Q. Favorite part of Colorado? Favorite Restaurant in Denver? And, one more. Last concert seen.

A. Oh man, favorite part of Colorado? I think that depends on my mood:) I have to admit to being a a city girl at heart so spending a summer day walking around shopping in the South Broadway area in the Baker neighborhood and sipping on a mocha or stopping in for a microbrew at The Walnut Room is hard to beat.

Although I will say that I LOVE being a wedding photographer in Colorado because it gives me an excuse to get up to the mountains on a regular basis:) I am particularly fond of going to hot springs. Strawberry Springs in Steamboat is high up on my list but I still have many that I want to visit like Hot Sulphur Springs which is closer to Keystone.

My favorite kind of food is Mexican and I'm partial to green chili. In my opinion, the best green chili in Denver can be found at Santiago's. I go to the one on Leetsdale or the one on 6th and Santa Fe all the time:) 

As for concerts I haven't been going to as many as I used to when I was younger. I think the last one I went to was Snoop Dogg at the Fillmore. And I'm thinking about maybe going to see Morrissey in February.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

{Real Mountain Wedding} Dani + Joe: Ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church / Reception at the Silverthorne Pavilion.  Photo courtesy of April O'Hare Photography.

// VENDORS

Photographer: April O'Hare Photography

Ceremony: St. Mary's Catholic Church

Reception: Venue: Silverthorne Pavillion

 Flowers and Decor:   DIY (Do-it-Yourself)

The Riverwalk Center and the Wedding Pros in Breckenridge

The Wedding Professionals during a speed networking event, hosted by the Breckenridge Resort Chamber at the Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center.

Today in Breckenridge, I went up to the Wedding Professionals speed networking event at the Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center.   I met some new folks, two guys that run photo booths, separate companies, that are based in the Vail Valley.  Plus, I got to see local venue managers, a videographer (holding the baby above) and a rental company representative.  These folks made the effort to see who's doing what around town.  And we had two minutes to do it!   

The Wedding Professionals during a speed networking event, hosted by the Breckenridge Resort Chamber at the Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center.

We had our meet up in the Imperial Ballroom, the most popular room at Beaver Run for weddings.  You see, from this room, you have mountains all around you, including the lower slopes of peak 9.  A chairlift out the door makes this venue a no-brainer for a convenient venue for a winter wedding that requires ski-in, ski-out, slopeside and in-town amenities.  

The Blue River Plaza is on the other side of the Riverwalk Center. It's a natural attraction that the kids love to walk in, hop from rock to rock and just be kids.

Now that we have another wedding season under our belt, we'll be updating our vendor directory with fresh new options for mountain shin digs.  And, if you are getting married and want some help figuring it all out, please contact us right now!

The image below shows the Blue River near the Riverwalk Center. It's a natural attraction that the kids love to walk in, hop from rock to rock and just be kids.  Repin this venue here:  http://pinterest.com/pin/13370130115155953/

The Riverwalk Center. October 16, 2012.  |  photo[stacysanchez]

On my way back from the meet up to the barn, I walked by the Riverwalk Center to grab these photos for you to check out.  See the availability for this venue by clicking here.  Thanks for reading!

October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado.

Yes, it is October believe it or not.  I'm listening to spooky music to match all the Halloween decorations that I see everywhere already.  We love to visit family in Kansas City and go to the real deal, the warehouse district transformed into a myriad of haunted horrors, with a street party vibe.  

But what made me look back at the summer was me going through all the photos.  All the photos  I'm trying to pull together to show you, tell you about, and to inspire the countless other brides, grooms, planners and family  members that will stumble upon this site in their quest to solve a wedding planning problem or issue, or maybe to just look up an idea that crossed their mind.  

However you find us, I just want to tell you that we're a bonafide brick-and-mortar business, not just some wedding blog who advertises vendors, but doesn't actually work weddings, or actually work with said vendors.  We do it all.  That's how this blog came about.  From a local to you, let's solve problems, get inspired and plan the wedding of your dreams.  That's what we're here for.  No other online resource is here for you the way we are.  We are the local mountain experts.  

Mt. Baldy, Bald Mountain - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

Mt. Baldy is the mountain you've looked at a thousand times if you've ever skied at the Breckenridge Ski Resort.  Below is a rare, messy shop photo that I took in the midst of wedding prep earlier this week.  Out of the chaos comes beauty.

October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

Fall, Aspen Trees in Breckenridge - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

We are literally surrounded by nature as our barn / design studio lies in the heart of the historic downtown area of Breckenridge, on the bike path in between the gondola and the Gold Pan.  That's all you need to know and you'll find us.

Main Street in Breckenridge, Colorado - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

This and other images of Main Street in Breckenridge have been picked up by the social media team (click here to see our tweets among many other tweets that'll have you waxin' your sticks tonight) at the Breckenridge Ski Area, even repinning stuff to their own wedding, or no, wait, it's love in the mountains I think.  Either way, they share our stuff from time to time.  Thanks team Breck!

Rubywood, Paragon Lodging - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

We went back to Rubywood, acouple's favorite private home rental from Paragon Lodging, picked up a few rental items and then went for a hike up on Baldy Mountain.  Ask us how you can take your friends and family on hikes that are approriate, camera-friendly and will have them talking for years to come.  We know which hikes go into the woods and are shady with not many views, while others are easily driven up to, grandma-and-toddler-friendly hikes and / or walks.  We want to help make it fun.  We find new trails here every year, and we'd love to share our favorites with you!

October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

The Breck Connect Gondola, The Breckenridge Ski Resort - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

I've watched the leaves change colors here since 1996, and this gondola wasn't here when I first showed up in town.  I stayed at the Fireside Inn, and then camped out a few nights before landing a place in Blue River.  I taught skiing by day to kids, worked at the spa in the afternoon, and worked the door at a bar at night.  I was where I wanted to be.  And, for you, all that should matter is that you want to get married in the mountains.  And because of that, you will.  The numbers will fall into place (after long, mind-numbing nights of detail-oriented focus by the way), the right vendors will make their way into your plan, and the details will not work out the way you originally thought they would.  They will be better than you ever imagined.  

The Warming Hut - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

The couple we worked with earlier in September had a tent put up on the back deck at the Warming Hut, our neighbor to the north.  Please tell Stacey you saw this post and maybe she'll be extra sweet, which will be hard, she's super nice and they serve a nice bourbon slushy.  That was recommended via a fellow tweeter from the Vail Valley.  I'll tell you more about him at another time.

Main Street in Breckenridge, Colorado - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

The image above got some retweet love from the ol' twitter feed from the ski area.  Thanks Breck.  We love ya.  Our sign is just beyond the thrift store sign and after a short walk through the garden, you'll find the barn, our basecamp for adventure wedding planning.  

Peak 8 Sunset - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

Smoke and other stuff in the air makes for fun photos sometimes, but I always wonder how things are going where the smoke is coming from.  It was a helluva start to fire season this year, and our hearts and thoughts are with those who are still rebuilding.

Katie and Victor Girtman of Studio Kiva - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

Victor and Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva, a Breckenridge-based wedding photography company, make final preparations before Kristye and Bill's wedding on Boreas Pass.  This alternative wedding venue had no solid structure for the event, but instead, was created by the natural surroundings.  Check back for more photos from this event!

Kristye and Bill at Boreas Pass - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[studiokivawedding.com]

Arapahoe Basin, Black Mountain Lodge - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

The image above and a few below are from the Arapahoe Basin.  The Black Mountain Lodge gets booked up pretty quickly, so ask us how to get it all dialed in once you've secure this location.  And if you want remote, mountain valley settings, we've got a few more in mind. Please contact us to learn more and start the dialogue regarding your custom special event.

Arapahoe Basin, Black Mountain lodge - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

 The musicians and DJ get the sounds just right, moments before the ceremony, which happens at the top of nearby chairlift, the Black Mountain Express.  For wedding favors that are darn right practical for this type of alpine venue, we've seen other couples give out mini-lanterns for the end-of-the-night-good-luck-riding-that-chairlift exit, to a nice warm, fuzzy, fleece blanky, or the not-so-stylish-but-very-functional Elmer Fudd-type hat, while looking kinda dorky, keeps your ears very warm.  

Arapahoe Basin, Black Mountain Lodge - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

Meredith, from the Araphaoe Basin wedding team, checks on vendors and the bridal party as part of the normal pre-wedding routine.  

October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

Oh, and did we tell that we did the flowers for the Procycling event that came through town this year, and last?  

The Keystone Ranch - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

Here's a quick sneak peek of some of the other places we worked this past summer.  The image above is of the Keystone Ranch, just west of the ski area, with a nice private valley setting on the golf course.  And below, Vail's Donovan Pavillion.  We worked with a bride who blogged about her whole planning experience, and hope to have her and other brides share their stories as we share the best venues, vendors and planning resources for Breckenridge, Summit County and now, the Vail Valley.  Check back soon to learn more about how we'll be spending more time in Vail and Beaver Creek, touring venues, talking to vendors, and learning more about all the good stuff the valley has to offer.  Thanks for reading!

Donovan Pavillion - October in the Rocky Mountains. Scenes from Fall in and around Breckenridge, Colorado. | photo[stacysanchez]

[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Alpine Spa and Salon: Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding Makeup and Hair

This is part of a series of blogs that I'm sharing to help promote the Breckenridge Bridal Bash, and today's featured vendor is the Alpine Spa and Salon.  They are supporters of the Breckenridge Resort Chamber and operate in the Town of Breckenridge, Colorado.  

Located on the south end of town, this spa is ready to help put the finishing touches on the girls for the big day.  Please mention this blog when talking to the pros at the Alpine Spa and Salon, or when you register for the inaugral Breckenridge Bridal Bash!

Introducing the Breckenridge Bridal Bash! | www.breckenridgebridalbash.com hosted by gobreck.com

Q. Who are you and what’s your role in the Breckenridge wedding scene?

A. We are Alpine Spa and Salon, a full service spa and salon, offering wedding services, including up-dos and wedding makeup, as well as nails, skin care, massage and body treatments.  

We also have a beautiful space overlooking the mountains and the town from our 3rd floor location.  Wedding parties enjoy a panoramic view from our patio, and we encourage groups to bring food and drink (or we can cater for you) or anything else to help make the experience a memorable one.

 [ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Alpine Spa and Salon: Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding Makeup and Hair

Q. Any advice for couples planning their wedding in the Breckenridge area?

A. I always encourage the bride and groom to come see our space before hand and to experience some of our services. Particularly, the bride can have a practice run on her hair and make-up, so there will not be any surprises on the big day.

Also, if the practice is done on the day of the rehearsal dinner, then after the updo, our stylist will let her hair down and style it, so she is ready and looking beautiful for the rehearsal.

 [ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Alpine Spa and Salon: Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding Makeup and Hair

Q.  Ski or snowboard?  What do you do in the summertime for fun?

A.  Ski!! In the summertime, I hike, play golf, and sit on our beautiful patio and enjoy our gorgeous mountain weather.

 [ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Alpine Spa and Salon: Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding Makeup and Hair

Q.  Top 3 family-friendly hikes for families visiting for the wedding?

A. Rainbow lake in Frisco, French Gulch and Iowa hill in Breck

 [ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Alpine Spa and Salon: Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding Makeup and Hair

Q. What’s an important factor that couples don’t want to overlook?

A. The time of day for the ceremony. The clouds roll in the afternoon.

 

[ Vendor ] Summit Express: Transportation for your Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding

[ Vendor ] Summit Express: Transportation for your Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, #BreckenridgeBridalBash

The purpose of the Brecknridge Bridal Bash is to invite brides and grooms planning their destination wedding in the Colorado Rocky Mountains to meet local wedding pros, tour ceremony and reception venues, and taste and drink the yumminess that exits in the local restaurants.  

The art of mountain travel takes practice.  You learn the curves of the road, where the icy spots are, and where the bathroom stops are.  Renting a car and driving up the mountains is fun, but if you're not up for the adventure and sometimes white-knuckle experience of alpine driving, then we suggest you leave it local experts.  

[ Vendor ] Summit Express: Transportation for your Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, #BreckenridgeBridalBash

Q. Who are you and what’s your role in the Breckenridge wedding scene?

A. Summit Express - Wedding day and Airport transportation provider.

 [ Vendor ] Summit Express: Transportation for your Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, #BreckenridgeBridalBash

Q. Any advice for couples planning their wedding in the Breckenridge area?

A.  Ask yourself these questions.

1. Plan ahead- Does the venue of choice have enough parking to accommodate your group size? 

2. Post party - How will your guest return safely to their lodging after the reception?  Do you have enough designated drivers for your group?  Summit Express does! 

3. Do you have 6 hours in your day to make a trip to the airport to pick up friends and family flying into DEN (Denver International Airport)?  Summit Express does!

[ Vendor ] Summit Express: Transportation for your Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, #BreckenridgeBridalBash

Q. Ski or snowboard?  What do you do in the summertime for fun?

A. Rafting, biking, hiking, a leisure walk down main street for the afternoon.

 [ Vendor ] Summit Express: Transportation for your Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, #BreckenridgeBridalBash


 

Happy Mother's Day! Celebrating Moms Everywhere. Thanks Mom, for all you do.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there!  I've been watching the feeds throughout the day, and have seen many heartfelt thanks to the ladies that we call Mom.  

My Mom is not a mountain girl.  But, she's not afraid of challenges, and taking her time, made her way around rocky terrain in the mountains south of Breckenridge.  And if I can get my Mom out in the mountains, then you can too.  

If you have questions , please contact us for Mom-friendly activities that you can share during your destination wedding experience in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Happy Mother's Day!  Celebrating Moms Everywhere.  Thanks Mom, for all you do.

A short drive south of Breckenridge brings you to Blue Lakes Road, where I suggested you go for a photo shoot in an earlier blog.  All cars and trucks can make it to the trailhead you see above.  Winter is a different story.  

Avery and Stefan on Peak 9 in Breckenridge, Colorado

My sister is a Mom to Avery and Stefan, the two kiddos you see in the photo above.  We drove up in my truck to the Peak 9 Restaurant and got out to take these photos.  If you have folks that can't go hiking in mountainous terrain like this, a 4WD road excursion is an easy way to see the views.  

 

[VENUES] A Sampling of Keystone, Colorado Wedding Properties

There are a cluster of mountain towns that surround Lake Dillon, and if you follow the Snake River inlet, you'll be at Keystone, Colorado.  The dramatic backdrop of fourteen thousand foot peaks, lodgepole pine, and snowmelt creeks provides a special opportunity for a Rocky Mountain wedding.

Couples can choose to rent a private home tucked away from the resort, or you can check out the bigger venues on the mountain and stay near the River Run Village for quick access to the gondola.  

We're busy talking with local wedding professionals and venues, to source all the best vendors to make your destination wedding experience a seamless experience.  Keystone wedding planning has never been easier.  Contact us to help you arrange showings at some of the options around Keystone.  

[VENUES] A Sampling of Keystone, Colorado Wedding Properties  |  Keystone Wedding Planner, Keystone wedding venue, home rental

Near the Keystone Stables and the Keystone Ranch, is a private home rental.  Ask for Jamie and tell her you saw this post on our blog for a special offer!  >>Click here to see the property

[VENUES] A Sampling of Keystone, Colorado Wedding Properties  |  Keystone Wedding Planner, Keystone wedding venue, home rental

The Ski Tip Lodge

[VENUES] A Sampling of Keystone, Colorado Wedding Properties  |  Keystone Wedding Planner, Keystone wedding venue, home rental

There are few different options in the River Run Village.  You can take over some of the local restaurants and bars, but there is the Warren Station and the Quaking Aspen Amphitheatre, which had snow on it when I popped over earlier this week.  

Warren Station -[VENUES] A Sampling of Keystone, Colorado Wedding Properties  |  Keystone Wedding Planner, Keystone wedding venue, home rental

[VENUES] A Sampling of Keystone, Colorado Wedding Properties  |  Keystone Wedding Planner, Keystone wedding venue, home rental

Steps away from the gondola, across a small bridge, and you're staring at the best slopeside bar in Keystone.  The Kickapoo is run by All Events Catering, so be sure to ask for Cheryl and tell her you found them from this blog for a special offer!  

[VENUES] A Sampling of Keystone, Colorado Wedding Properties  |  Keystone Wedding Planner, Keystone wedding venue, home rental

Please ask us any questions you have about planning weddings in Keystone.  Be on the lookout for more detailed reviews, photo galleries and real weddings from these properties and more.  Thanks for reading!

>> Mention this post and get a special planning package made just for you.