[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography

Studio-Kiva-Photography_061513.jpg

Hiring a photographer for your wedding is one of the first things you start to plan as soon as you get engaged. Sometimes it can be a lengthy research process, with many emails requesting pricing lists, looking through wedding portfolios, or perusing through your friend's Facebook wedding album to see who they used for their wedding day. Either way it's a big decision because who ever you do choose will have that one chance to document your wedding and make sure to tell the best story of your day as possible. That's why we wanted to ask  local professional photographer Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography a few questions about the ins and outs of the her wedding photo business in the mountains. [ studiokivawedding.com ]

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography

Q.  How many years have you worked as a wedding photographer?

A.   I have worked as a wedding photographer for 24 years and I am in my early 40s and still young and fun! The photographer is usually with you a lot of time with your wedding so it is good to like there personality and have some fun!

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva

Q.  What's your contingency plan?  Do you have a back up camera?

A.   We always carry 4 or 5 cameras to every shoot with us as a back up because even the most expensive ones can go down.  Speaking of that it is really good to have top of the line cameras and not just an SLR that does not have a two compact flash card system.  Reason?  Compact flash cards can also go bad and if you have a two card slot system you can back one up directly in your camera, because you can't reshoot a wedding.  A lot of the photographers don't have this because they don't want to spend the money.  But to me this is all insurance.  We back up, back up and back up.  We have never lost images due to all our back up plans.  We also put back up copies at the safety deposit box at the bank and have had customers call us if they lose a disk or their house burned down in a forest fire we had the back up and made them another copy of their images.

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva

Q.  Can we hire you only for the ceremony and part of the reception and not the full night?

A.   We have all types of packages from full day, half day and elopement type packages.  Couples that are looking for a photographer it is good to meet them in person and feel comfortable with that person along with having a local photographer that has the knowledge for shooting in the mountains.

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography

Q. What's one thing you'd like to tell all the couples talking to photographers about a wedding in Breckenridge?

A.   I also would like to say not someone that is going to drive up from Denver and get stuck in traffic coming up here but someone who is local and knows the area and lives in the area to really get the feel of being here in Breckenridge and the mountains.  I also believe that a good photographer will give you the images and not hold them over your head since they took the time to shoot them all!  We give all our couples the photos in color and black and white and no hidden fees!!

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography

Q. Any unexpected or funny wedding moments recently?

A.    We could write a book on all the funny moments!  We stay in touch with our couples and they are life long friends.  One of the funniest moments is we had a woman forget to put her teeth in for the photos so we had to photo shop teeth!

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge

Lots of venues have appeared over the years, but one of the original wedding venues available for Breckenridge weddings was the Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge. Located on a cliff side, this facility offers on site lodging, ceremony and reception options. Lots of couples choose the lodge because of its large deck overlooking the Blue River Valley, with panoramic views of the Ten Mile range and the Breckenridge Ski Resort. Ask for Rhonda, and tell her you found her on this blog!

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

A. We are The Lodge & Spa at Breckenridge, and I, Rhonda Profaizer, am the person to assist you with putting together the perfect wedding event here at The Lodge.

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge – Breckenridge wedding ceremony and reception location, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. This is your day, make it what you want, and of course, let other chime in but remember in the end it is your day!

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge – Breckenridge wedding ceremony and reception location, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. In the winter I love to snowboard and snowmobile and in the summer camping and hiking keep me occupied.  I love Colorado in the fact that there is so much to do here both winter and summer.  When we go camping we pull out our map and pick a desolate spot and that is what makes the trip for me, being in the woods surrounding by nothing but nature.

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge – Breckenridge wedding ceremony and reception location, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. Mohawk Lakes, Bankers Tank and the drive to the top of Boreas Pass, as the wild flowers there are amazing.  Fall hiking by the Country Boy Mine is the best for fall foliage.

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge – Breckenridge wedding ceremony and reception location, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. Things start to add up and sooner than later you will be looking at your budget, saying “how did we end up here, over budget.”  Make a list of your most important things and then work your way down from there, so that you can cost cut on the things that are not ‘As Important’ as the things that are.

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge – Breckenridge wedding ceremony and reception location, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

The Groom-er and his entourage strike a pose on the deck.

[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions - Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer

This is another installment in our blog series dedicated to helping promote the Breckenridge Resort Chamber's inaugral Breckenridge Bridal Bash!  Today's featured vendor is Erin, a local Colorado videographer that is here in the mountains to capture moments and put them into a video that you'll be sure to watch many, many times.  

[ 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. My name is Erin Pellant and I’m the owner and videographer for Elegant Productions wedding videography in the Breckenridge area. I create one-of-a-kind wedding films for my clients telling your unique love story through my camera lens and editing. I use a combination of documentary style and cinematic style filmmaking in creating the videos for my clients, so that you get an accurate portrayal of the people and places on your day as well as highlighting all of the artistic magic and style that you’ve created on your wedding day.

 [ elegant productions ]

Keri Doolittle Photography // [ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions - Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, vendor

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

A. The advice that I would give to couples planning a Breckenridge wedding is to keep in mind the environment of this unique mountain setting. Alert your guests ahead of time about traveling and how the altitude can affect people differently. Let people know about things to do to curb altitude sickness, like drinking plenty of fluids leading up to their trip and while they’re here. Also, let them know about the oxygen bar or oxygen rental services – these can be a great help to those suffering from headaches and other altitude-related symptoms. When traveling from out of state, it also helps people to acclimatize by possibly staying in Denver for a night before traveling up to Breckenridge’s higher elevation.

[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions – Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer – Breckenridge Bridal Bash, vendor

The other piece of advice I like to share with couples getting married here is to try to find local professionals to help you with your wedding day. Traveling to the mountains from Denver or other Front Range areas can be tricky, and occasionally vendors driving up from this area can run into challenges getting here. One specific example that I’ve personally witnessed was a couple having a winter wedding in Breckenridge, who had hired their ceremony musicians from Denver. Unfortunately the musicians got stuck on I-70 and couldn’t make it through the tunnel and completely missed the wedding ceremony. There are so many great wedding professionals here locally that know the area, and know all the ins and outs of our mountain community, that you won’t have to stress about whether your musician, or photographer, or DJ is going to make it here.

[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions – Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer – Breckenridge Bridal Bash, vendor

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

A. I am a skier in the wintertime. But the summers are my favorite here in the mountains.  The weather is somewhere around perfect I believe, although growing up in the Midwest with summertime heat and humidity really makes me appreciate the mild, dry climate of the mountains in the summer. I love that it in the middle of summer, there are days that require lots of sunscreen while soaking in the mountain sunshine, then evenings that cool off so much that you may need your fleece to throw on when the sun goes down. My husband and I love to go camping and 4-wheeling in our Jeep in the summertime. There are so many beautiful places right here in our backyard to explore. I also love catching the local concerts around the area – nothing like being outside, taking in the scenery, while listening to music over a cold local microbrew or a glass of wine!

 [ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions – Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer – Breckenridge Bridal Bash, vendor

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

A. I’m going give you my favorite 4-wheel drive trails instead, since that’s one of my favorite hobbies. One of the easiest scenic trails to drive in the area is Boreas Pass Rd. This can be driven easily in most vehicles, (although 4wheel drive is usually better), and has some great history and amazing views. Georgia Pass is another trail I love, although slightly more difficult and takes you up to the continental divide at the top – again with great views on both sides. Renting a Jeep is a great way to explore trails while visiting, or contact one of the companies running Jeep tours for a guided trip.

[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions – Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer – Breckenridge Bridal Bash, vendor

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

A. An important factor for couples to keep in mind, as your planning for the big day is to give yourself ample time to get everything done. Plan a little more time than you think you need for hair and makeup and getting ready, or add in a little extra time for traveling from location to location. The last thing you want to feel on your wedding day is rushed, so if you’re always asking someone what time it is or running late, you’re not going to really enjoy all the special time with your family, friends, and loved ones. The day will inevitably go by fast, so the more you can soak in all the memorable moments, the better! 

[ Venues ] Q&A w/ Amy Russo of Breckenridge Hospitality

Today's blog is featured on the venues that Amy Russo, of Breckenridge Hospitality is responsible for.  There are the individual venue managers that you'll work with on the day of the event, but you'll start the process with Amy or Kelly.  She's a great source of information, and will even help you book activities!  Please mention this blog post when you talk with Amy.

[ 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. Amy Russo, Catering Sales Manager for Breckenridge Hospitality. I represent all Vail Resorts / Breckenridge Ski Resort owned / operated wedding venues and lodging properties in Breckenridge. 

[ Venues ] Q&A w/ Amy Russo of Breckenridge Hospitality - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. Plan down / free time in the schedule for your guests to explore the area.  Organized outings are fun, but most people also want the opportunity to pursue their own interests.

One Ski Hill Place - [ Venues ] Q&A w/ Amy Russo of Breckenridge Hospitality - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. Skiing is my second greatest passion, only one small step behind hiking.

Ten Mile Station - [ Venues ] Q&A w/ Amy Russo of Breckenridge Hospitality - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. Lily pond outside of Frisco; McCullough Gulch on the way up Hoosier; Vail Pass.

T-Bar [ Venues ] Q&A w/ Amy Russo of Breckenridge Hospitality - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. Sunscreen and water......can't get enough of either.

[ Venue] Q&A w/ the BlueSky Lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado

The Breckenridge Bridal Bash, sponsored by the team at the Breckenridge Resort Chamber, is an opportunity to meet vendors, tour venues and get to know the Town of Breckenridge in Summit County, Colorado.  On Saturday you'll be able to join a venue tour, with one of the stops being at the BlueSky Lodge, located on Peak 9, off of Four O'clock Road.  If you know this area, there are slopes all around it, and a chairlift out the back door.  

[ 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. BlueSky Breckenridge – wedding ceremony and reception venue and lodging

[ Venue] Q&A w/ BlueSky Lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. There is so much to do in Breckenridge; get information about what your friends and family can do while up in the mountains!  Take advantage of all of the great wedding resources we have in Breckenridge.  From amazing florists to great musicians and some beautiful venues, Breckenridge has so much to offer.  Most vendors have referral lists that are a great resource to help you plan an amazing wedding.

[ Venue] Q&A w/ BlueSky Lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. Snowboard!  Hike, camp, BBQ with friends.

[ Venue] Q&A w/ BlueSky Lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. Lenawee Trail

[ Venue] Q&A w/ BlueSky Lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

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

A. Day-of wedding planners really assist with the flow of the wedding.  If you are not going to hire a planner, keep in mind who is going to help the event flow.  You cannot be running the evening.  Who will turn your ceremony music on, who will tell you to start walking down the aisle, who will tell people to move into the reception area from cocktail hour, who will decide when to cut the cake, etc. This is one of the biggest surprises I see people become aware of.  You want your wedding to flow from one part to the other for your guests, but you usually need someone to help in the background.  

[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Kevin Abernathy of Colorado Tents and Events - Breckenridge, Colorado Event Rentals

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

Today's blog is a sampling of what kind of advice you can expect to hear from local wedding pro, Kevin Abernathy of Colorado Tents and Events, a special event rental company that specializes in the mountain areas near Breckenridge, Colorado.  

Destination weddings in the Rocky Mountains use lots of local resources to pull all the pieces together, and renting items from trusted resources is a good idea.  They can help you save time and money.  And that's what brides and grooms can expect to do if they come to the first-ever Breckenridge Bridal Bash on June 1-3.

 [ breckenridge bridal bash ]

[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Kevin Abernathy of Colorado Tents and Events

A tent outside the Elk Ridge Ranch, south of Breckenridge is dressed up with florals from Petal and Bean.

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

A. Kevin Abernathy with Colorado Tents & Events.  We are a full service party rental company specializing in outdoor events in the Colorado Rockies.  From tents, tables and chairs to china, glassware, flatware and more chances are we have the equipment you're looking for for your big day!
 
My personal experience, having been in the industry for just over 10 years, is a valuable resource to my clients especially when it comes to finding unique locations and talking through the logistics of each location to best fit each client.
 
[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Kevin Abernathy of Colorado Tents and Events
 
Q. Any advice for couples planning their wedding in the Breckenridge area?
 
A. My biggest piece of advice is to make sure to plan your wedding around you, the wedding couple.  The wedding celebration is about your friends and families coming together to celebrate you, so if you can plan aspects that communicate your likes and who you are as a couple through food, through location, through flowers, through activities etc...then everyone get's to truly celebrate and experience the two of you.  This is not to say that you can pay no attention to certain details such as food and any special needs of your friends and family, however, don't plan the whole meal around those special needs...plan around the two of you and incorporate their needs.
 
[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Kevin Abernathy of Colorado Tents and Events
 
Q. Ski or snowboard? What do you do in the summertime for fun?
 
A. In the winter I'm a skier...definitely  have not been enjoying as much as I should be...so that's the goal for 2012/2013, get on the slopes more.  In the summertime, I enjoy taking my dog Buddy out kayaking on Lake Dillon, camping with friends, hiking and my new found love of water skiing.
 
[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Kevin Abernathy of Colorado Tents and Events
 
Q. Top 3 family-friendly hikes for families visiting for the wedding?
 
A. The biggest piece of advice would be to hold off on Quandary until after your wedding!  I had a client a few years ago where the "boys" went on the Quandary hike the day before the wedding and unfortunately the groom had come back with a few broken bones and was in a wheelchair for the ceremony.  Definitely a memorable experience for all involved, however, let's make other memories that are less painful!  
 
I don't really know the names of the trails, but there are some nice hiking grounds that take off from the Ice Rink in Breckenridge, there's the Blair Witch loop off of Tiger Road by the old Dredge Boat and a very nice hike is the Peaks trail from Peak 8 in Breckenridge to Frisco and then take the bus back to Breck.
 
[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Kevin Abernathy of Colorado Tents and Events
 
Kevin talks to the local wedding pros from the Breckenridge Resort Chamber at the barn.
 
Q.  What’s an important factor that couples don’t want to overlook? 
 
A. So many times I've seen couples more stressed out about the whole process that they cannot enjoy it.  I would say to make sure to begin getting your ducks in a row early on so that you can have fun in the planning process and therefore ensure that your special day is fun and not a stressful experience.  
 
If you are a "control freak" perhaps this is a great opportunity to delegate to someone whether that be a friend or a professional wedding planner/coordinator to do this for you.  Make sure that both of you are involved in the planning together as you don't want a huge surprise on the day of, but also it's a great way for the two of you to enjoy each other while planning for this special day.  Please remember that you do not have to try and "out do" your sister's wedding or your cousin's wedding...those things won't ever matter 20 years down the road, however, capturing the essence of the two of you on your special day will.  
 
If that means having a celebration for 300 people or if that means a more intimate celebration of 30 people do what is best for you not just to get a "one-up" on someone else.  Finally, don't miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful space of Breckenridge.  
 
When you plan a "planning trip' make sure to add an extra hour or an extra day or two to enjoy all that Breckenridge has to offer.  Go for a small hike and plan a romantic picnic, visit the museums or mines if history is your passion, enjoy local art at the many galleries, take a moment to grab a local cup of java and sit on the natural rocks by the Blue River listening to the sounds of the water, walk up and down Main Street searching for those unique shops you know your friends and family members absolutely have to visit while they are here, catch the local entertainment at either of the local live theaters or a concert at the Riverwalk Center.  Whatever you do make sure to make it different from your routine back home so that your entire memory of your special day can be relived through pictures, stories and the moments you create together!
 
[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Kevin Abernathy of Colorado Tents and Events
 
Please mention this blog to Angela Wirth of the Breckenridge Resort Chamber when you sign up!  Click on the logo at the top of the page to register.  And be sure to tell Kevin you read his advice at the bash itself.  See you there!
 

[VENDOR] Q&A w/ Kay Beaton of Beaton Photography: Colorado Destination Wedding and Family Photographer

[VENDOR] Q&A w/ Kay Beaton of Beaton Photography: Colorado Destination Wedding and Family Photographer
Q.  What's one of the most memorable moments you've had at a wedding?
 
A.  I just so happened upon a couple eloping back in December '07 at Sapphire Point with 3 or 4 feet of new snow,  no guests, and just the presence of longtime local officiant Gretchen Abernathy.  The ceremony was barely 5 minutes, and they tipped me in exchange for photographing their wedding!  I still have goosebumps remembering that magical mountain encounter!  
 
 
[VENDOR] Q&A w/ Kay Beaton of Beaton Photography: Colorado Destination Wedding and Family Photographer
Q. Any particular mountain adventure you wish you had your camera, but didn't?
 
A. No, never.  (OK maybe once when I encountered a moose on the mountain!) Since I work full time lugging that camera around when I head up the mountain on skiis or foot, I LOVE to be camera free!  I let my friends take all the photos on hut trips, and I occasionally take photos with my phone.  But I like to to experience the backcountry WITHOUT a camera when I can!
 
[VENDOR] Q&A w/ Kay Beaton of Beaton Photography: Colorado Destination Wedding and Family Photographer
Q.  What do you love about Summit County as a photographer?
 
A. 360 degree views... there are usually so many angles to get a great photo... it's hard to decide!  Sometimes I get to a shooting location and I'm breathless aboout the possibilities.  Next week I shoot Julie and Evan's wedding at this amazing location:
 
[VENDOR] Q&A w/ Kay Beaton of Beaton Photography: Colorado Destination Wedding and Family Photographer
Q.  What are your top 3 locations to take couples for photo shoots near Breckenridge?
 
A.
        1 - Town of Montezuma outside Keystone
        2 - Top of Keystone Mountain
        3 - Officer's Gulch
 
[VENDOR] Q&A w/ Kay Beaton of Beaton Photography: Colorado Destination Wedding and Family Photographer
Q. What do you think of the progression of cameras, picture taking, social media and weddings?
 
A. It's changing rapidly like all technology... so I'm just trying to keep up with the trends!  
[ note: Kay is all over the web, she's very socially active, so connect with her, links are at the bottom of this post!]
[VENDOR] Q&A w/ Kay Beaton of Beaton Photography: Colorado Destination Wedding and Family Photographer
 
Q. How do you think social media can be used at weddings in the mountains?
 
A. I've seen lots of bridal parties taking photos [with their smartphones] and immediately uploading them - showing friends at home the experience step by step.  I think it's fun!  So much more memorable than waiting weeks for hard copy prints!
[VENDOR] Q&A w/ Kay Beaton of Beaton Photography: Colorado Destination Wedding and Family Photographer
 
Q. What's one way guests at a mountain wedding can use social media to share pics about the wedding and raise awareness of your company at the same time?
 
A. Just being honest... referencing my company when I've set up the image and they took a photo of it!  Sharing the enthusiasm for photography whether amateur or professional!
[VENDOR] Q&A w/ Kay Beaton of Beaton Photography: Colorado Destination Wedding and Family Photographer

Photos in this blog were courtesy of Kay Beaton!  

[ BEATON PHOTOGRAPHY ]

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Please let Kay know that you saw this blog on Summit Mountain Weddings and that you read wedding blogs to find creative inspiration and meet potential vendors for your special day!   If you have a question or two you’d like us to ask any of the vendors, please contact us and we'll post it on our blog!