This Mountainside Colorado Wedding Was Inspired by New York City
Emily and Brad love living in Boulder, Colorado, so when Brad was ready to propose, he already had an idea in mind: He wanted to take advantage of their annual tradition of enjoying an October mountain drive to see the Aspen leaves change colors. As they drove through Gold Hill, a mining town, Brad turned down a National Forest road leading to a campsite, where the couple had watched a meteor shower on a romantic date two years prior.
Brad planned to take Emily to the exact spot where they camped, but the weather wasn't exactly ideal. "It was a very windy evening and we were hit by debris when we got out of the car to look at the views," Emily remembers. "I decided that it was too windy and cold and got back in the car." Undeterred, Brad insisted that Emily get out of the car to see a nearby elk. "As I stood in the cold searching for this mysterious elk, I turned around to see Brad on one knee with my grandma's ring," she says.
The couple started planning their wedding right away, and quickly chose October 6, 2018, to get married—exactly one year after the proposal. They worked with Amber Fairbanks, co-founder of Banks & Leaf, to pull off a New York-meets-Midwest wedding for the 101 guests, using St. Julien Hotel & Spa's rolling Colorado mountain views as a backdrop. With a dynamic color palette which included gray, charcoal, amber, mauve, burgundy, chocolate, and pops of metallic and leather, they created a wedding that felt cozy, as well as modern, thanks to touches of modern elegance and masculine elements.
Emily and Brad invited their guests to the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder for their wedding weekend, offering them mountain views and the convenience of being located downtown. Brad has roots in Wisconsin, and Emily hails from New York, so most of their guests traveled for the celebration and stayed at the hotel.
After leaving her first wedding dress shopping experience empty handed, Emily decided to take advantage of an upcoming business trip to San Diego. She rented a car and drove to Carlsbad to try on dresses at BHLDN with a coworker in tow. "My coworker convinced me to try on this dress that I thought was too ornate for me," she says, "But as soon as I put it on, I couldn't believe how perfect it was!" The ivory ball gown featured intricate embellishments for texture; she paired her ensemble with a floating cathedral veil, also by BHLDN, for the ceremony. A bracelet and pair of earrings that once belonged to Emily's grandmother were the finishing touches.
Emily's bridesmaids consisted of her sisters, her cousin, Brad's sister, and her three closest friends. They were asked to choose any floor-length chiffon dress in the colorway "Storm" from Jenny Yoo
, so the group ended up wearing a mix of different necklines. "I wanted them each to pick a dress that they loved and felt comfortable in," Emily says.
The Best Dog
Buster, Emily and Brad's dog, joined the party as best man. According to the couple, the cute pup "was very proud of his bow tie!"
The First Look
After their welcome dinner at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
, Emily and Brad spent the night apart, so they opted for a private first look before the ceremony. They found a pretty spot along the nearby Boulder Creek for the moment, which ended up being the most memorable one of the day for Emily. "I loved approaching Brad before he turned around and then his reaction to seeing me for the first time in my dress," she says.
The Ceremony Chuppuh
A full floral arch was created for the ceremony from locally-foraged foliage. The couple's planner, Amber of Banks & Leaf, says, "Conceptually, we wanted it to appear to be overgrown with fading greens, then embellished with a natural fade of autumnal florals to the top, ranging from soft creams, mustard, dusty pink, mauve, and oxblood."
Vases stood on crates at either end of the aisle, holding floral arrangements that matched the chuppuh.
Colorado weather is notoriously unpredictable, so the forecast kept changing in the days leading up to Emily and Brad's wedding. The day ended up being cloudy and cool, so they made sure to keep guests warm with textured blankets.
Emily was accompanied by her father down the aisle, while a violinist and keyboardist played "Clair de Lune," a song that means a lot to Emily's family. "My mom had always played it on the piano when we were growing up and both of my sisters also walked down the aisle to it at their weddings," Emily says.
The Interfaith Ceremony
The couple had a reform Jewish ceremony, and while their traditional vows were recited in English, their Rabbi customized the vows in Hebrew to reflect their interfaith marriage.
The Escort Cards
While the escort cards mimicked the simple invitation design, the display itself brought a New York vibe with copper shelving against a stark black backdrop.
Pretty Place Settings
Since their invitation suite was tied with a leather strap, Emily and Brad incorporated leather details into the big-day design with leather Stitch and Shutter menu pockets.
The centerpieces featured layers of flowers that incorporated the day's color palette of mustard, mauve, earthy neutrals, and burgundy with bold pops of autumnal pinks and orange.
The Table Numbers
The table numbers pulled design elements from the couple's invitation suite, including deckled edging and the same simple gray laurel leaf design.
The First Dance
The couple's first dance to "Waste" by Phish was easily Brad's favorite part of the day. "The band took the time to learn our song, which was outside of their typical genre, and nailed it," he says. Immediately following their first dance, guests joined them on the dance floor for the Horah.
Emily and Brad wanted a modern confection that incorporated a natural texture, so they chose a tiered cake with touches of white and burgundy floral embellishments from Intricate Icings. Guests enjoyed vanilla cake with a chocolate mousse filling and chocolate fudge cake with a peanut butter mousse filling.
The couple originally wanted to host a day-after brunch, but once they realized that most of their guests had booked early flights home, they decided to offer their loved ones brunch to-go. Mini cinnamon raisin scones and banana chocolate chip muffins, made by Liza Kofsky from Sugar Rush, were paired with orange juice and prosecco and placed in paper bags that were labeled "Brunch in Bed."
Photography, Sara Corona
Event coordination, Banks & Leaf
Venue and Catering, St. Julien Hotel & Spa
Flowers, Lale Florals
Stationery and Calligraphy, Amy Zhang
Bride's gown and accessories, BHLDN
Hair and makeup, Megan Cary Artistry
Bridesmaids' dresses, Jenny Yoo
Groom's tuxedo and accessories, Calvin Klein
Groomsmen's suits, Calvin Klein
Cake, Intricate Icings
Music, Wash Park Band
Linens, La Tavola Fine Linen
Rentals, Event Rents
Lighting, Amora Group
Leather menu sleeves, Stitch and Shutter
Favors, Sugar Rush