Kate and Jeff’s wedding at Boulder’s St. Julien Hotel was the destination wedding the couple dreamed of—a stunning, scenic location with travel accessibility to their dearest family and friends. Self-proclaimed “professional wedding guests,” the couple knew exactly what they wanted in a reception—an ideal seating layout where each guest had a great view. With the help of their planner Banks & Leaf , there was no bad seat in the house—a house decked out in elegant details and stunning florals by Statice Floral Design. Lucky for us, Callie Hobbs Photography captured the day with her signature style in the beautiful images below.
What made the wedding special and unique?
It was special to us to have destination wedding that was in an accessible location. Boulder was a perfect choice, especially since we had a lot of friends that were pregnant at the time. A destination wedding also has a different vibe since everyone was treating it like a vacation.
Our wedding was on the smaller side, with 80 people, so it was imperative to Jeff and I that all of our guests felt included in every aspect of the weekend, especially at the reception! We’re basically professional wedding guests, and have experienced a few weddings where all the friends were sat at a large round table in the very back of the room, where it was hard to see or hear what was going on. When we had our final head count confirmed, we went back to the St Julien layout to rearrange everything a few weeks before the wedding. Jeff and I scoured Pinterest, along with every wedding magazine and website, to look at layout options. We fell in love with a U-shaped layout from an outdoor wedding, the only thing was we had to make it fit in the room at the St Julien. During our final walk through we worked with Gabby and multiple staff members at the St Julien, walking through different options and taping off measurements, making sure no one would have a bad view and while also trying to optimize the layout for the servers. It was so stressful at the time, but on our wedding day it paid off in spades. Looking around the room during the toasts, speeches and dances, everyone was engaged and best of all, we could see every person’s face! Looking back, it was one of the best decisions Jeff and I made!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
I went into the dress searching thinking I wanted an ethereal, bohemian wedding dress. I tried on a bunch that I really liked but wasn’t necessarily in love with. I was in Denver for Thanksgiving and decided to make an appointment at LWD. It was one of the first ones I tried on. I remember thinking my mom wouldn’t like it for some crazy reason. Then when I came out of the dressing room she started crying! Since my family is just a bunch of group criers my sister and I both started crying and it turned into one of those cheesy but touching moments that I look back on.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
Jeff’s mom’s side of the family comes from Guatemala, so it was important to us to incorporate his heritage into the ceremony. His grandmother did the second reading, doing it first in Spanish then followed by English. It was beautiful. We also incorporated arras (wedding coins), which is a Spanish tradition where the groom gives the coins to the bride followed by the bride giving the coins to the groom as a symbol of marriage and commitment to each other. We also incorporated El lazo which was essentially a large rosary in a figure 8 that was placed on our shoulders during the ceremony, symbolizing everlasting love and unity. Multiple guests came up to us at the reception and the brunch afterwards, commenting how much they loved how we personalized the wedding.
We weren’t able to bring our dog out to Boulder so my step-dad surprised us with a life-size cut out of our dog, Mowgi! Jeff was so surprised and absolutely loved it since they are best friends. He also made an appearance in wedding guests’ photos.
For our guest book we worked with Simon Pearce since we wanted a unique guest book. They helped us pick a large vase that could be engraved. My stepmom decorated the paper for guests to sign. All of the guests wrote well wishes on the paper that was then sent to Simon Pearce to be engraved.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
I could never choose just one memorable part of the day! One of my absolute favorites was at the ceremony, when the doors opened and I walked down the aisle looking at Jeff. I was experiencing so many emotions, I could not stop smiling.
Just being surrounded by so many people you love is a surreal experience. I still remember that feeling. I will remember that for the rest of my life!
In the car on the way over, Jeff’s sister led us in yoga breathing ending with OM before we walked out of the car. The calmness carried through the entire ceremony.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
My stepmom actually introduced us! I had just moved back to Chicago from the east coast after a break up and was living with my sister when my stepmom texted me saying, “don’t kill me but I told one of executives we work with about you. He’s TALL!!!” He then messaged me on LinkedIn. We finally met up at brunch a few months later and were inseparable since then.
I was in no rush to get married, I actually didn’t want to get married. One Friday after a friend’s birthday party, he told me he had a surprise. Jeff is a very carefree person, so I assumed it was something small, like a piece of jewelry or my favorite type of wine. When he called me in the other room, I walked over and there were flowers EVERYWHERE and he was waiting there on one knee. I instantly started crying and made him walk me through all of the details of how he got here before saying yes. Blame my OCD.
However, he had thought of everything! Our close friends were waiting outside for us afterwards, and he had the whole weekend of celebrating planned with friends, siblings and family. It truly was an experience I will never forget!
Planner: Banks & Leaf // Photographer: Callie Hobbs Photography // Florist: Statice Floral Design // Stationery: Minted // Venue: St. Julien Hotel // Gown: Justin Alexander / LWD Bridal // Hair: Some Claudia Girl // Rentals: Amora Group // Band: #Rockslide with Give 5 Productions // Linens: Nuage Designs // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box