shannon + jay

We’ve wanted to feature this beautiful wedding for more than a year now. So, today we are thrilled to feature this Vail, Colorado winter wonderland wedding. Last year, the mountains didn’t get a lot snow…the snow gods waited until Jay and Shannon gathered with their friends and family in January 2012 to say I do to let the snow fly. And fly it did – it dumped snow – which made for the perfect backdrop to this bride and grooms fairytale day.

This wedding is near and dear to my heart because Jay and Shannon and good family friends of ours, and Jameson {my son} was a ring bearer. Jay, the groom, has been my hubby’s bestie since they were 3! I first met Jay in high school, spent time with him on weekends when I visited my husband at college, and he stood by Tommy as his best man at our wedding {best best man speech, btw}. I love Jay. When I first met Shannon, I knew I wanted Jay to marry her…and I wanted to be her friend. Such a kind, fun, genuine, sincere and outgoing woman. I’m happy they found each other.

From the gorgeous bride, Shannon…I am not one of those girls who has known forever what their wedding day would be like, but it turned out to be exactly what I wanted. The only thing I knew going into the planning process was that I was wearing boots {cowgirl of course} and I wanted a winter wedding! We kept the theme very simple, wintery, and elegant, and tried to include as many “Colorado” touches as we could.

Jay and I both wore boots to the wedding and the reception. I am a huge boot fan, so my custom Liberty and Co. boots with my new initials will be a forever-loved item in my closet and a special reminder of our wedding day. I picked an all lace dress by Alvina Valenta because it was wintery and romantic, and also had somewhat of a country/rustic look to me. My fur shoulder wrap was a life-saver, as my wish for a “white wedding” did come true and it started snowing about an hour before the ceremony and didn’t stop until Sunday! My girls wore full-length Amsale dresses in chocolate brown with boots. They looked so gorgeous. And the boys equally as handsome in tuxes and for some, boots as well.

For the flowers we chose white flowers with natural accents of pods, twigs, and greenery, and of course lots of candlelight to give the room a warm glow. My favorite part about the flowers were the pheasant feathers that we included in my bouquet, the boutonnieres and the centerpieces. My dad and Jay are big bird hunters, so their contribution to the flowers was finding me some beautiful feathers to have our florist incorporate. A nice way to make the men feel involved. 🙂

We used all local vendors to support the Vail area, and they were all fantastic! My caterer is a rock star. Our menu reflected our Colorado roots and love for great cuisine. We served a split plate of Colorado trout and beef tenderloin with fresh veggies and risotto.

Nothing beats Willie Nelson for a first dance, someone who we really felt was a perfect artist to represent both of our styles of music. Jay loves to play this game where he asks the five musicians you would see live and Willie was one of mine, so years ago he surprised me with tickets. We took weeks of dance lessons to master our first dance as a married couple and the funniest thing in the world to me is that Jay drew our dance out on a post it note about a week before the wedding so he wouldn’t forget it. So darling.

For the favors we wanted to do something that wasn’t just chocolates or midnight snacks. I love to cook and so I visited my favorite spice shop in Denver, Savory, and had them put together spice packets that were the perfect mix to include in Jay’s favorite burger recipe. We included the recipe for “Juicy Jay Burgers” with the spice packets as a thank you to guests for being a special “ingredient” in our day.

The best part of our wedding was that we were surrounded by our incredible friends and family. It’s amazing to me to look at the friends we have made along the way, the friends we have had since we were two, and the family that has supported us the whole time, and know that they were there for each moment and by our sides for our wedding. Our friends and family are simply the best, and we are so incredibly blessed to have such love and support.

Photographer: M Todd Thiele Photography
MakeUp: Glo makeup, Laura Anzalone
Catering: Foods of Vail, Tracey Van Curan
Wedding Coordinator/Tuxes: Mountains and Meadows, JoAnn Moore
Ceremony Site: The Chapel at Vail
Reception: Donovan Pavilion
Ceremony Music: Pat Hamilton Music
DJ: A Great Time DJ
Reception Decor and Lighting: Pink Monkey Solutions
Flowers: Rose Petals
Hair: Inga Cox Hair, 970.471.9820
Transportation: Turtle Bus
Liquor: West Vail Liquor
Bridal Gown: anna bé, dress designer is Alvina Valenta
Bridesmaids Gowns: Amsale, worn with own boots
Bridal Boots: custom-made by Liberty Boot Co., from Cry Baby Ranch in Denver
Escort door: courtesy Tutto Bella gals!

Country Wedding with Sunflowers, part 2

Rustic. Yellow. Elegance. Barn. Romance. These words describe the inspiration for our dream wedding reception.

We took one look at Crooked Willow Farms and knew that it was made for our reception. The big, red barn is tucked in the midst of mountains, farmland and a white, picket fence – a perfect setting for our Colorado wedding celebration.

I have always dreamed of a vibrant yellow wedding with sunflowers. Ever since Drew and I were surrounded by the sunflower fields of Tuscany, Italy, I knew we wanted to be surrounded by the same sunshine and happiness on our wedding day.

We had a lot of country touches at our reception. Guests were greeted with horses and a hayride. Wine barrels served as cocktail tables. Horse shoes were the good luck charms for our guests that hung on a rustic, wood door on display for escort cards. And, our entire wedding party changed into cowboy boots for the reception.

I’m all about details. So, we made sure the DIY projects throughout the wedding reception were one-of-a-kind.

Custom cut and hand painted antique wood signage (made in our garage), were scattered throughout the reception area, pointing guests to reception, cocktails and restrooms, but also reminding them to “dance” and “eat, drink & be married”.

Our table numbers were made with burlap fabric, wood numbers and rustic photo frames.

We created custom sunflower seed packets for place cards. Women received sunflower seeds to ‘plant, love, grow’ in the garden, and men received edible sunflower seeds to ‘crack, chew, enjoy’. They went perfectly with our sunflower theme and gave guests a sweet reminder of our wedding day. 

Kids received sunflower chocolate suckers for their sweet place card.

Drew and I danced to our high school song, ‘Making Memories of Us’ by Keith Urban. I remember listening to that song at only 16 years old and imagining our first dance together on our wedding day, dancing to that song. It was an emotional moment for me – I couldn’t believe my dream of marrying Drew was finally a reality.

From my emotional walk down the aisle with my dad toward man of my dreams, to our first kiss as a married couple, to my gorgeous, handmade bouquet to match my dress, to an unforgettable wedding party entrance, to emotional and hilarious speeches, to amazing sunflower balls and arrangements, to dancing under a beautifully draped tent and rustic chandelier, to a sparkler send-off… our wedding day was everything that I had dreamed of and more – a day that I will never forget.


Dress: Amsale Bijou from Felice Bridal Salon

Shoes: Jimmy Choo ‘Isabel’, Nordstrom

Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaid

Groom/Groomsmen Attire Rental: Al’s Formalwear

Planner: Jessica, Tre Sorelle,

Paper Products {Invites/Programs/Menus/Escort Cards/Sunflower Seed Packets}: Fleur de Lis, a paperie

Ceremony: Holy Ghost Catholic Church

Reception: Crooked Willow Farms

Bridal and Bridesmaids Jewelry: Kathryn Giarratano Jewelry

Photographer: Jenna Walker Photography

Guest Book & Escort Door photos: Cori Cook Floral Design

Videographer: Creative Mountain Images {CMI} videography

Caterer: Epicurean Catering

Cake: Intricate Icings Cake Design

Tent: Event Rents

Linens: Kimi Hansen, Après Party and Tent Rental

Floral: Cori Cook Floral Design

Décor/ Lighting: Rodd Metcalf, LMD Productions

MakeUp: Aldo Celeste, Flirt Salon

Hair: Kristina Porreco, 303.313.9791, A New Image Salon

DJ: Jeff  ‘Maestro’ Hughes {violinist} and DJ Q

Cocktails Entertainment: Derek Evilsizor

Transportation: Fox Limo

Horse hayride for guests and wedding party: Gary, Kodiak Ranch

Country Vintage Wedding

Goin’ to the chapel {or backyard} and we’re gonna get married

Jordan and Justin had a simple, rustic, backyard country wedding in May 2012.
Married on a perfectly sunny day at the groom’s farm in Oklahoma, this couple went 100% country!

Belt buckles & guns, horses & haystacks … I am loving every bit!

{images via Photos by Keshia}