Preferred Vendors At Spruce Mountain Ranch ~The list and descriptions of the ranch’s best vendors~

Spruce Mountain Ranch has a list of required vendors for the categories of catering, alcohol, and event rentals. The reason for this is that Spruce Mountain wants clients to have a wonderful, stress-free experience. After working with numerous different vendors, the ranch has chosen only the very best for their list. They hope that by selecting those well trained in service, organization, and their field, clients will know their event is in responsible hands that will do everything possible to make a seamless and beautiful event.

~Caterers~

Selecting a caterer can be a difficult decision. Caterers are typically chosen based on the type of food they serve, the cost per plate, and the service of the catering team. While Spruce Mountain clients will still need to choose which caterer suits them based on price and kind of food, the ranch has eliminated the guesswork when it comes to the areas of customer service, quality, and organization. Whichever caterer clients select, they know that the meal will go seamlessly and that the guests will leave very pleased with their meal.

~Caterers From Denver~

*Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering

(Avie Rosacci): (303)-662-9353, www.tonyrosaccicatering.com

*Epicurean Catering/Grillworks

(Jessica Stapp): (720)-488-2156, www.epicureancatering.com

*Occasions Catering

(303)-789-1867, (719)-445-8152, info@occasionsdenver.com, www.occasionsdenver.com

*Catering by Design

(Brandi Lipe): 303-781-5335, www.cateringbd.com

*Biscuits and Berries

(Laura Hylton): 303-277-9677, www.biscuitsandberries.com

~Caterers From the South of Denver~

*The Broadmoor

(Mark Klein): 719-577-5817, mklein@broadmoor.com, www.broadmoor.com

*Cravings/Picnic Basket/Buffalo Gals

(Michelle Talarico): 719-635-0200, www.bestcaterer.net

*The Food Designers

(Heather Darrigan): 719-632-5414, www.fooddesigners.com

~Alcohol~

Peak Beverage is the only vendor that Spruce Mountain Ranch allows to serve alcohol on their property. The reason for this is that all of Peak Beverage’s staff members are highly trained in bartending, and have received TIPs safety training. Not only are they very qualified to create and serve alcoholic beverages, but they also recognize when a guest has had enough alcohol and needs to be cut off. At Spruce Mountain Ranch, the safety of guests is taken very seriously, and therefore they only allow Peak Beverage because the well being of guests is as important to them as it is to the ranch.

*Peak Beverage

(Andy Klosterman): (720) 722- 1140, http://www.peakbev.com

~Event Rentals~

Event rentals include items such as dishes, cutlery, glassware, linens, tables, and chairs. Spruce Mountain does provide tables and chairs (although some brides choose to rent different ones that better fit their vision), but they do not place settings or linens. Event Rents has all the items that brides need to rent, and in numerous varieties and quantities. Event Rents is at every Spruce Mountain wedding and can always be depended upon to have the perfect items to complete a wedding vision. Event Rents is also excellent in their service to customers and venues, and come highly recommended by the ranch. Because of how outstanding their products and service are, Spruce Mountain has made them their exclusive event rental vendor.

*Event Rents

(Scott Bradshaw): 303-972-0975, www.eventrentsdenver.com

~Other~

While caterers, bartenders, and event rentals are all major parts of a wedding, there are numerous other vendors required for the perfect wedding. Some of these include a planner, photographer, DJ, florist, and baker. When it comes to vendors such as these, Spruce Mountain Ranch will make recommendations to the bride and groom based on their preferences. The ranch has a large list of recommendations to suit all the different styles of their couples. When booking with Spruce Mountain, Tara Ames will provide some options to the happy couple. *(Tara Ames): 303-324-0345, taraames@sprucemountainranch.com *Whatever you are in need of, Spruce Mountain Ranch has taken extra care to ensure that they provide you with the best, most highly recommended vendors!

Dream Honeymoon: Your Guide to Choosing and Planning the Perfect Honeymoon

After the stress of planning a wedding, couples need time together to relax and bond. The honeymoon is the time when newlyweds can rest and enjoy their new stage of life before they launch back into everyday life. This is why planning the perfect honeymoon is so critical. Gretchen Lambertson from Gateway to Magic offers insight into choosing a destination based on budget, popularity, and preferences of the couple. Gretchen was the travel agent featured at Spruce Mountain Ranch’s “Wine & Nosh” show in February, and has lots of experience with the ranch’s clients.

Advice For Choosing a Destination-

- Gretchen explains how she helps couples choose a destination, saying “We talk about what their dreams are for their honeymoon – do they want to relax the entire time or do they want a more adventurous/active trip?  I listen to their descriptions of their lifestyles and wishes for the perfect trip. I encourage them to ask a lot of questions. A big part of the process is educational. They learn what’s available, and I learn what they’ll find memorable. From our conversations, I pull together a list of options, which we refine until we find the perfect trip.”

- She advises couples, saying “Talk to each other about your ideal trip and reach some agreements on what is best for you. I’ve had many couples tell me the “make it/break it” lists for each of them, which makes it easier to plan the perfect trip. For example, not wanting to pack or unpack more than once, great food, adventure-related tours, etc.  Of course the best advice I can give is to call your travel agent! We take the tricky parts of planning and finding the best deal – all at no additional cost or fees.”

Popular Destinations This Year-

- Gretchen explains “The Caribbean continues to be in high demand, especially the Dominican Republic. St. Thomas, Turks, Caicos and the Bahamas also attract a lot of newlyweds. Hawaii continues to be both a honeymoon destination as well as a wedding location. You can’t go wrong with Hawaii. Finally, there are some fantastic cruise itineraries that are great for new couples.”

Rising in Popularity-

-She shares about areas rising in popularity, saying “I’m seeing a lot of interest in Costa Rica. The number of options (for honeymoons) has grown, giving couples the ability to mix luxury and adventure. Mediterranean cruises are expanding, too. It’s a great way to see a number of different countries and take advantage of the leisure of cruising.”

Affordable Packages-

-Gretchen states “Mexico is often the most affordable. Many suppliers I work with have chartered air, which makes flying to Cancun or Puerto Vallarta very reasonable. There are some beautiful resorts – especially in the Riviera Maya portion of Cancun, and also in Cabo San Lucas. Cruises are great too! Since they are nearly all-inclusive, you can find excellent rates for a variety of wonderful itineraries.”

More Luxurious Packages-

-For couples seeking luxury, there are plenty of options! “The larger suites on cruises and at the all-inclusive resorts are beautiful. One of my new favorite cruise lines, MSC Cruises, even has suite and butler service – at very reasonable prices! The South Pacific also has amazing resorts with over the water bungalows – so romantic!”

Going Local-

“Planning a local or domestic honeymoon, in many aspects, is the same as something more exotic. I learn what they’re looking for and provide them with what I hope is a great set of options.” Gretchen will make sure that no matter where the happy couple wants to go, that it will be perfect!

Payment Options-

“Payments can always be made in installments if the couple prefers.” Trips can also be paid for at one time.

Timeframes-

Gretchen explains about booking that “The earlier the better – for the best availability and pricing.  Also, sometimes in the midst of wedding planning it takes couples a little longer to review options and make decisions.  I’ve booked trips within a month of travel – so it can be done – but earlier is usually better.”

What Brides Should Know-

Brides should know that “I love working with couples to plan the trip of their dreams – I listen, follow up and present great options to choose from.  I absorb a lot of the stress that can come from this part of planning a wedding. I can also match and often beat the rates that you might see online. I will never charge an extra service fee for my services, and I always put my clients’ needs first. I’m there from start to finish and will always be available to help.”

*A Warm, Spruce Mountain Thanks to~

-Gretchen Lambertson from Gateway to Magic! We so appreciate her help and advice! To get more information or book a honeymoon, call her at- 303-882-1233. Or, email her at- gretchen@gatewaytomagic.com.

Wedding Style: Hair and Makeup at Spruce Mountain Ranch

Hair and makeup are an important part of any look, but they are especially critical to a wedding look. Brides want to achieve the perfect style for their wedding, not only because they want to glow with beauty on their special day, but also because this is the day they will look back on for the rest of their lives. This is why selecting the right hair and makeup artists is so critical. Spruce Mountain Ranch would like to introduce you to Jade Darrough and Cynthia Mazzara. These two ladies are experts in their fields and are sure to make for bridal perfection.

Jade Darrough- Wedding Hair Artist

Pricing-

-“For my services, I typically charge $150-250 for the bride (including her complimentary bridal trial done in salon), depending on the distance. The bridesmaids or extras are $75-125 depending in distance. I charge by the person and I can also offer group discounts.”

Spruce Mountain Ranch Client Discount-

- “I would like to offer 15% off the total bridal cost OR if there are multiple people in the bridal party (maids, MOB, flower girls) I would love to give the bride a group discount where ultimately, the mother and/or flower girls would be complimentary. Please let me know what else I can do to help!”

Pictures-

What is your favorite part of working in your industry?

-“My favorite part about working in this industry is connecting with my brides on a business and personal level. I also cherish being a part of someone’s wedding day; it is such an honor to me.”

How long have you worked in your field?

- “I have been doing hair for 4 years, and bridal hair for 3 years. I offer services such as cut, color, highlights, extensions, and more behind the chair.”

What would you say to brides planning their wedding right now about hair/makeup?

-“ My advice to brides currently planning a wedding is to give yourself plenty of time in advance to find your hair/makeup artist. Do a trial and if you feel the need to, do multiple trials. Pictures are always appreciated as well.”

Is there anything else you would like for brides to know?

-“ I would like to remind the brides to trust their hair and make up artists. I do this for the love of it and my mission is to make you look and feel like a flawless princess on the biggest day of your life. Every bride is different and their hair and makeup should reflect their lifestyle and personality with the addition of some glamour!”

*To see more of Jade’s work, visit: www.JadeDarroughBeauty.com

Cynthia Mazzara- Wedding Makeup Artist

Pricing-

- Bride ~ $140.00 ~ Consultation, trial makeup appointment, and lashes.

-Bridesmaids ~ $55.00 ~ Includes wedding day makeup and lashes.

-Jr. Bridesmaids ~ (Ages 12-16) ~ Includes wedding day makeup.

-Mothers ~ $45.00 ~ Includes wedding day makeup and lashes.

-Flower Girls ~ Complimentary- sparkle eye shadow, blush & glitter.

-Travel Fee ~ Depends on the location

-At the time of booking wedding makeup with Magnifica Bella, a $40.00 non-refundable “Save the Date” fee is due, then at the time of the trial makeup appointment, a $60.00 fee is due, both of those prices are then deducted from the total amount due on the wedding day.

Spruce Mountain Client Discount-

-See the upcoming Spruce Mountain Ranch Newsletter for featured bridal special.

Pictures-

What is your favorite part of working in your industry?

-“ What I enjoy most about being a makeup artist is the satisfaction of seeing the transformation in my clients. It’s so rewarding helping my clients achieve the image of what they want to look like for one of the most important days of their life! (I also love to) experience the boost it gives them and see their self-esteem just come to life!”

How long have you worked in your field?

-“ October marks my sixth year of being in business!”

What would you say to brides planning their wedding right now about hair/makeup?

- Your wedding day is “ALL ABOUT YOU”!  Please be sure that your makeup artist truly listens to you and knows exactly the desired look you want to achieve for your wedding makeup.”

Is there anything else you would like for brides to know?

-“ Customer service is a must!!!  From the time a bride contacts Magnifica Bella, she receives 100% customer service.

-Always do a makeup trial appointment!  Your wedding day is too crucial of a time to not know what your entire special look requires. When booking wedding makeup with Magnifica Bella, several steps go in to the process of making sure everything is the way the bride wants it, and is then duplicated exactly on the wedding day.

-Your wedding photos are a big part of what you cherish from your special day for many years to come!  It is imperative that makeup is done a certain way, as well as certain products used to provide the staying power, and application that is conducive for photos.  Some elements that need to be carefully considered when planning for wedding makeup are lighting, climate, sensitivity to products, etc.

-Always a must are “GREAT LASHES”!  What a way to make eyes pop for photos!  Magnifica Bella uses only the best brands of false lashes and lash glue. Only individual lashes are used, as they provide a natural look, while enhancing eyes.”

*A warm, Spruce Mountain thanks to Jade Darrough and Cynthia Mazzara! We hope all Spruce Mountain brides consider making these two talented ladies a part of their special d

Do It Yourself: Tips for Simple, Budget-Friendly Wedding Décor

Brides who are planning their weddings have many things in common: shopping for the perfect dress, planning a budget, and dealing with pre-wedding nerves are only a few of these. One often-forgotten commonality is the fact that every bride has to plan décor that aligns with their vision, is cost-effective, and is true to who they are. For many brides, finding the perfect centerpieces and flowers can be a challenge. With that, we present you with tips on choosing and creating wedding decorations that will meet bridal expectations and reduce pre-nuptial stress levels.

Tips for Creating a Vision:

1. Set a Budget!

  • Before any bride can decide what flowers or vases she wants, she must first ensure that she knows how much she has to spend, and that she sticks to that amount. While it may be tempting to overspend, or not place limitations on spending at all, brides will be thankful in the end that they watched their spending

2. Stay With the Color Scheme.

  • Between the bridesmaid gowns, the flowers, the cake, and the decorations, there are many things that need to stay within the color scheme. While it may seem like a good idea to add colors in along the way, it is in the best interest of everyone at the wedding that a color scheme be chosen and followed.

3. Close Your Eyes and Dream.

  • Yes, it sounds corny, but it is actually helpful to refer to the mental image of your perfect wedding while considering décor. When you think about what you consider to be your “dream wedding”, what do the centerpieces look like? Are there flowers in abundance, or very minimal touches? Thinking of this perfect wedding image while choosing how to personalize your wedding will help ensure that it aligns with your vision.

4.  What Makes You Unique?

  • This is one of the biggest and most important days of a bride’s life. It is a day centered on the bride and groom and the love that they share. With that said, what makes the bride and groom special? Are they Colorado outdoorsy people who prefer simple flowers and earthy tones? Are they a glamorous couple who desires lots of glitz and metallic touches? Personalizing the day and décor around the two people the day is about will ensure for the perfect wedding.

5. Will You Regret This in 20 Years?

  • Yes, every bride will look back at some point and think that her hair was outdated or her make-up was so telling of that time period. However, I’m sure there are plenty of 80’s brides regretting turquoise satin gowns with puffed sleeves and frill hems, wondering what on earth they could have been thinking when they chose them. Yes, things eventually go out of style. However, try to choose things that are not overly trendy, are very personal, and have timeless elements to them to help prevent future horror whilst reminiscing.

6. Is This Realistic?

  • While there are a great number of people who will be there on a bride’s special day to help make sure that it is the wedding of her dreams, there comes a point when things are not reasonable. If you are choosing to go the route of making it yourself, ensure that what you select can be made without excessive blood, sweat and tears. Also, make sure that it is not so intricate that it cannot be set up at your venue the day of the wedding. Sometimes, less is more anyway: less attention on the centerpieces and more on the happy couple is not a bad thing at all!

DIY Ideas:

There are so many areas of a wedding that can be made at home. Some of these include centerpieces, guest books, favors, and invitations. Others are bridal bouquets, isle runners, and programs. Spruce Mountain Ranch employee Erin Mondragon offers tips and suggestions for DIY weddings that are based off of her own DIY wedding at Spruce Mountain Ranch. She married at Spruce Mountain Ranch in September of 2011 with a head count of 250 guests. Her theme was autumn, and her colors were burnt orange, brown, and yellow.

Erin explains that doing things for your wedding by yourself is not only personal, but it is cost-effective. Some of her money-saving tips are in relation to finding the right photographer and Chaplain as well. She shares that “I found a start up photography business that was looking to expand their portfolios for their new website. They offered their services free of charge and the photos turned out wonderful!” In relation to the Officiant, she explains that “The gentleman who married us is the Chaplain for the Colorado Springs Police Department. He really believes in marriage and only requires the couple to meet with him a couple of times, not only to prepare for the ceremony, but to prepare for marriage as well. He also does not charge for his services. There are many Chaplains and Reverends who will do the same, so ask around.”

Where to begin?

Erin shares about how she discovered ideas for her wedding, as well as how she executed her DIY plan. She says that “With all of the ideas floating around the internet and Pinterest, I was able to find several ideas for DYI projects for our wedding. However, with a venue like Spruce Mountain Ranch, little decoration was necessary, so I was able to stick to basic decor and DIY projects. DIY was important to me because I wanted my wedding to be full of personal touches. We also did not set a large budget for our wedding, so some DIY was necessary to keep costs down. I am a huge planner, so I started to get organized and plan early on (10 months before), which is a must when creating any DYI projects for the wedding in order to keep the stress out of it. I also invested in the help of family to make sure projects were completed early on. DIY isn’t for everyone, but I loved how personal all of the little touches were at our wedding and so did our guests.”

Centerpieces-

Erin says of her centerpieces that “We kept the centerpieces simple. I found several different size glass candle holders and filled them with ivory candles. We placed 6-8 of these on wood cut rounds. (We actually went into the mountains, found the logs we wanted, and then my father cut them into rounds). I also had several fake fall aspen leaves that we used to sprinkle around the centerpieces. The candles added a beautiful soft glow at the tables while keeping with the rustic design with the wood and fall theme with the leaves.” Other ideas for centerpieces include anything with candles, burlap, mason jars, vintage vases, lanterns, pictures, and personal touches.

Guestbook-

She says that “I ordered a photo book from Shutterfly using all of our engagement photos to create a book for guests to sign.” Other brides have chosen to have their guests sign old skis, quilt squares, pieces to a puzzle, giant Jenga pieces, and guestbook trees. The possibilities are endless!

Flowers-

Erin explains that for the bridal party, “I purchased flowers from local stores/Costco and wrapped the stems of the bridesmaid bouquets with ribbon. To my bouquet I added a rhinestone bracelet of my late grandmother’s to secure the bouquet as well as a small picture frame of a wedding photo of my late grandparents.” For boutonnieres and corsages, “Purchased materials from Michael’s and secured them with floral tape and ribbon.”

Favors-

Erin says that “My sister makes killer caramel popcorn, so I invested in her help the week before the wedding to make several batches. We used paper lunch sacks (cut down to a shorter size) and filled them with the popcorn. The tops were cut with fun shaped scissors, hole-punched, tied with ribbon and stamped with a fall leaf hand stamp. I also printed out small thank you tags that were also attached.” Other DIY brides have chosen guest favors such as s’mores kits, a soundtrack of their love songs, homemade salt scrub, and flower seeds.

Ceremony Programs-

“Programs were fairly simple. Even though it was a September wedding, it was still warm outside, so we decided to make the programs fans as well. We printed out our program on card stock and attached them to large wood craft sticks to make fans.”

Other Personal Touches-

Drink stir sticks were “A fun addition to the bar. I created stir sticks quite simply by printing out different fun sayings, cutting them into circles, and placing them on different print and colored card stock circles. I then attached them to coffee stir sticks and placed them in jars at the bar.” For an isle runner, “I printed out wording/outlines on the computer and placed them behind the isle runner to trace an outline. I then hand painted the design onto the runner.” Lastly, Erin shares that “I wanted a fun and subtle punch of color, but couldn’t find any shoes in the color that I wanted. I found the color(burnt orange) in a fabric dye and purchased dye-able shoes from an online site, and then dyed them myself.”

* Whether your wedding DIY includes bouquets, centerpieces, and favors, or just adds a little extra touch such as an isle runner, remember that less is more. Simple and elegant decorations and additions will keep the focus where it belongs: on the bride and groom and their love for each other. We hope that this article helped you decide whether or not to do some of your wedding décor yourself, and what ideas you would prefer.

-A warm, Spruce Mountain thanks to Erin Mondragon for providing so much information for brides to consider!

Spruce Mountain Ranch: Event Spaces

We at Spruce Mountain Ranch realize that potential brides are eager to learn about all the ranch’s available event spaces. Because of this, we have decided to feature both the upper and lower ranch with each event space shown.

The Lower Ranch-

  • Albert’s Lodge- This lodge is the perfect venue for a wedding of up to 250 guests, a small prom, or corporate event. It can have a warm, cozy atmosphere for winter events, or the doors to the courtyard can be opened for a warm summer wedding. Albert’s Lodge can be rented on its own, although other venues may be rented in addition to it. This venue can cost anywhere between $9,000 and $10,000, depending on what month and what day of the week a wedding is. Guests who choose Albert’s Lodge as their venue can have their ceremony in the building or outside at Grace’s Chapel.

  • The Colorado Room- The Colorado Room is a wonderful site for a cocktail hour or for intimate parties such as bridal showers. Its convertible side makes it a cozy room in the cold weather or an open area in the summer. This can be rented on its own, or as an addition to Albert’s Lodge.

  • Ames Patio- The Ames Patio is a perfect site for guests to enjoy fresh air at cocktail hour. Its beautiful landscaping adds to the rustic, outdoor ambiance. Ames Patio and Genevieve’s Garden come with the rental of the Colorado Room.

  • Mountainside Ceremony Site- The mountainside ceremony site is a beautiful, scenic place for brides to select as part of their package with the lower ranch. The Spruce Mountain Ranch shuttle greets guests at the parking lot and transports them to the mountainside site.

The Upper Ranch-

  • The Ponderosa Room- The Ponderosa Room is Spruce Mountain Ranch’s wedding venue that is able to accommodate up to 600 guests. Not only is the Ponderosa perfect for larger weddings, but it is also an excellent site for corporate events and proms. Brides who choose the Ponderosa as their venue may choose to get married outside the building under the bistro lights, at the Lakeview Terrace, or they may choose the new outdoor site, Trey’s Vista. This venue also ranges from $6,000-$7,000, depending on the month and day of the week.

  • The Lakeview Terrace- The Lakeview Terrace is a wonderful area overlooking the lake by the Ponderosa. It is the ideal venue for a couple who wants a small, rustic, and outdoor wedding. The beautiful view and landscaping combined with the cozy pavilion make for an excellent small reception site or ceremony site.

  • Both the Upper Ranch and Lower Ranch are excellent choice of venue. A package for either one includes 11 hours of time on the property, a Spruce Mountain property manager, the ceremony site, a bridal cottage and groom’s loft, ceremony and reception seating for 250 guests, a 1-hour rehearsal, and adjacent event parking. We hope to see you at the ranch! For specific pricing, questions, or further details on any of our event spaces, contact Tara Ames, 303-400-2515.

Meet the Managers: ~An Introduction to Spruce Mountain Ranch’s Property Managers~

Spruce Mountain Ranch wants all of their guests to feel right at home. One way to accomplish this is for the guests to know the employees! As it is still at the beginning of this wedding season, we present “Meet the Managers”.

Property Managers:

Anastacia Catallo:


Education- Anna is studying at Pikes Peak Community College, and plans to transfer to Metropolitan State University to study event management. She wishes to become a wedding planner or event coordinator.

Aspirations- Aside from working in the field of event management, Anna hopes to travel to Europe!

Hobbies and Passions- Anna explains that “I am very passionate in what I do.” She is full of passions and seeks to love every area of her life, including work and school.

Marital Status- She states very simply that “I am not married!”

Why the Ranch is Special to Her- Anna shares that “What is so special to me about Spruce Mountain is the fact that my dad is the builder there, and that I get to see his beautiful work every day that I am at work.”

What Brides Should Know About Her- “I am the owner of Anna’s Custom Pews and would love for all the brides to go check us out on Facebook!”

Jennifer Sasser:

Education- Jen graduated recently with a degree in Photojournalism from Metropolitan State University.

Aspirations- When asked about future aspirations, Jen shares that “My biggest aspiration in life is to create a body of photographic work that is focused on capturing the sweet, honest, real moments in lives of souls across the globe. Life is a beautiful gift we have been given, and to share it with others makes it all the more delightful!”

Hobbies and Passions- Jen says that “I am passionate about photography, non-profits, salsa dancing, traveling the world and meeting new people, all kinds of cheeses and climbing 14ers. Something unique about me is that the first time I moved out of Colorado was when I was 18 years old, and I lived and worked in an orphanage in Ethiopia. Also, I was entirely blessed this past summer when I did a photographic internship in Prague and traveled all through Eastern Europe.”

Marital Status- She explains that “I am delightfully single but I love being able to share in the blissful joy each of our Spruce Mountain brides feel on their wedding day!”

Why the Ranch is Special to Her- She shares her personal love for the ranch by stating that “Spruce Mountain Ranch is very special to me because the sense of family that runs deep here. When the ranch was turned into a venue, the Ames family instilled a sense of family and belonging into all who worked or visited the ranch and over four years later, that is still the story. I was told early on in my employment with Spruce Mountain, ‘We are welcoming people into our home and into our family here,’ and true to their word, the Ames have kept it all in the family by warmly adopting any and all who come to the ranch. It’s really something spectacular.”

What Brides Should Know About Her- She wants brides to know that “I am always happy to help with any needs or questions our brides may have as are all our managers. We are just as delighted for your wedding as you are! We love that we can be a part of such a joyous and beautiful celebration of love in your life! So if, on your special day, you need a Kleenex, a new friend to hug, someone to sneak you a piece of chocolate or just reassurance that the day will be perfect, we are here for you. J”

Micah Radakovich:

Education- Micah is currently studying at Pikes Peak Community College and will transfer this fall to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She is pursuing a degree in English with a minor in Spanish.Micah hopes to complete her degree and work as an editor and translator for a non-profit corporation. She has a heart for her community and desires to serve them in this area.

Hobbies and Passions-- Micah explains “I love antiquing, reading novels, writing poetry, and hiking in our beautiful mountains!”

Marital Status- “I am single! While I hope to be married with a family in the future, I am enjoying a single phase of life as I progress through my college career.”

Why the Ranch is Special to Her- Spruce Mountain is special to Micah because “Walking onto Spruce Mountain Ranch property is like walking into your house. It has a warm and comfortable atmosphere, and is filled with caring people who will do everything it takes to make a wedding perfect. It is such a joy and honor to work in such a welcoming environment.”

What Brides Should Know About Her- Brides should know that “While I am extremely organized and love to focus on details, I can also look at the bigger picture of an event to make sure everything is perfect, runs smoothly, and fits with the bride’s dreams.”

Erin Mondragon:

Education- Erin graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a degree in Special Education. She shares that “I was an Early Education teacher and also work(ed) for 3 private schools in Denver as a Curriculum Director, and then moved into marketing there before working at Spruce Mountain Ranch.”

Aspirations- She explains that “I love learning new things and acquiring new skills. I hope to always be learning and bettering myself. I also hope one day to travel to every continent.”

Hobbies and Passions- “I love to cook, read and travel!  I have fallen in love with the event industry, specifically weddings!”

Marital Status- Erin shares that she has been married nearly 3 years. She says that “We have a daughter (11), Son (1 ½) and are expecting our third child this October.”

Why the Ranch is Special to Her- She explains that the ranch is special to her because “I was married to the love of my life at Spruce Mountain September 2011. I’m also a small-town Colorado country girl and the ranch feels like and reminds me of home!”

What Brides Should Know About Her- Erin “Started working for the ranch in October of 2013.” She works in the field of Spruce Mountain Marketing. She shares with brides that “I can’t wait to meet you and help to make your wedding day a dream come true!”

Jamie Lynn Price:

Education- Jamie shares that “I received my wedding and event planning certificate through the corporate learning division at Arapahoe Community College, and I also received my events planning coordinator certificate through Front Range Community College.”

Aspirations- Some of her aspirations are to “Do day-of wedding coordinating or start an in-home child care business.”

Hobbies and Passions- “I am a dance instructor and choreographer. I enjoy arts and crafts, and I definitely have a sweet tooth!”

Marital Status- She is not married, but explains that “My boyfriend and I recently celebrated our 6 year anniversary!”

Why the Ranch is Special to Her- Jamie explains that Spruce Mountain is special to her because “The way in which Spruce Mountain Ranch began and blossomed is a wonderful story. The vibe of family and comfort spreads throughout the entire property.”

What Brides Should Know About Her- Brides should know that “I was a bridal consultant in the past. I am extremely detail-orientated, and I love a stress-free environment with smiling faces. J”

Jennifer Haar:

Education- Jennifer shares that “I graduated from Michigan State University with a triple Major in Elementary Education, Child Development, and Language Arts. (I) then got my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.”

Aspirations- She shares that “I am currently a 1st grade teacher and love my job with all my heart. I also run a small wedding coordination business on the side. Though I know that life can send curve balls and I can never know for certain what my future holds, I do know that I love both of my jobs and look forward to teaching primary grades until I retire; then I hope to be able to give back to my community by planning fundraising events for the Children’s Hospital of Denver.”

Hobbies and Passions- Jennifer says that “I love planning events.  That sounds like a weird ‘interest’, I guess, but it’s true. I love putting on weddings, auctions and any other event that makes people have fun and be happy, but most of all, I love planning over-the-top birthday parties for my children. Making a world, for a day, which is just for them, brings me so much joy! When my girls get older I would love to bring this passion to the Children’s Hospital of Denver, and plan events to both benefit the hospital and bring joy to the children.”

Marital Status- She explains “I am happily married to my high school sweetheart, Tim, and have two amazing girls: Rory (6) and Rylen (4).”

Why the Ranch is Special to Her- Jennifer shares that “I was just introduced to Spruce Mountain Ranch recently when I planned a wedding here in March. The second I drove onto the property, I knew that it was something very special. Once on the property, I was introduced to Tara Ames and realized that I knew her previously! It’s funny how things work out. I am so happy to be a part of this amazing group in this amazing place!”

What Brides Should Know About Her- Brides should know that “I love being a small part of any event that brings people together!  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make your event special!”

Prom at Spruce Mountain Ranch ~ A Special Night Turned Magical~

Prom is a magical night for students. Not only is it a time to dress up and enjoy themselves, but it is also a time to connect with all their peers and share a special experience before graduation. Because of this, schools try to make prom as significant of an event as they can. An easy way to make prom magical is to host it at Spruce Mountain Ranch. Spruce Mountain Ranch’s prom package has much to offer, and is sure to be a success.

This year at Spruce Mountain, the month of April is dedicated to hosting proms. Both Albert’s Lodge and the Ponderosa rooms are used for these special occasions, based on the size of the group. While the space is already booked for the 2014 year, it’s not too late to book it for future proms! Questions about proms are addressed below, in addition to a few photos of prom at Spruce Mountain.

Brus Osborne of Spruce Mountain Ranch answers the following questions concerning booking a prom at the ranch:

1.  How much does it cost a school to host prom at Spruce Mountain?

-Brus explains that “The Spruce Mountain Ranch Prom package is $6,500.00” This package is all-inclusive.

2. What is included in the prom package?

-Spruce Mountain offers a wonderful package for schools wishing to host their prom at this location. “Our prom package is very inclusive. It includes parking attendants, tables and chairs, a large built in stage, 2 VIP areas, 17 restroom stalls, coat check space with racks and hangers, internet access, and 2 locations for royalty presentation to choose from.” In addition to this, Spruce Mountain allows schools to bring in entertainment for the VIP areas, including stations such as photo booths. Entertainment such as this is perfect for students who don’t wish to dance the entire time, and even for students who want to make fun memories together.

3. How many hours are included in the contract?

- “It (the prom package) includes 5 hours of set up from 8:00am – 1:00pm and Prom from 7:00pm – Midnight.” Therefore, the package purchases 10 total hours at Spruce Mountain Ranch: 5 for preparation, and 5 for the event.

4. What kind of safety precautions are taken to keep the kids safe?

-There are security and parking attendants on site for the duration of the event. For schools interested in even more security, police officers may be hired for the prom. Spruce Mountain Ranch prides itself in keeping events running smoothly and safely in addition to being a competitive venue. They will happily work with schools to ensure students’ security.

5. What kind of food is served at proms?

-Brus shares that “The student councils (from the schools) usually choose a dessert buffet, but we don’t require that food be served like most venues (require).” Food is a wonderful addition to any prom, but is not a required element. For those interested in adding refreshments to a prom package, chocolate fountains, snow cones, and mini desserts are very popular with the students.

6. What makes prom at Spruce Mountain Ranch better than it would be at other venues?

-There are so many components that give Spruce Mountain Ranch a cutting edge over other potential prom venues. Brus shares that “Most importantly, the Spruce Mountain Ranch Team loves having the students enjoy the space! We try to be on top of our customer service strength. I also think that the wide-open rooms and our indoor-outdoor options for prom are very appealing to the students. A ranch is a fun place to have prom, and opens up new and exciting prom themes.”


Pictures of The Classical Academy prom being set up this year in Albert’s Lodge (with the theme “Rio Carnaval”):

Photo Credit: Tonya Baldessari

*A warm, Spruce Mountain thanks to our very own Brus Osborne! –To contact her about booking an event with the ranch, please email her at bosborne@sprucemountainranch.com

The Story of Spruce Mountain Ranch

Spruce Mountain Ranch is not only a functioning cattle ranch, but it is also a place where happy couples begin new lives together, and a place where communities can come together. However, before Spruce Mountain began hosting weddings, corporate events, cattle auctions and proms, the ranch went through several transformations. It changed its owners and purposes  multiple times, leading it to become the wonderful place that it is today. Since so many friends of the ranch want to know the story behind this great establishment, we bring you “The Story of Spruce Mountain Ranch”.

Spruce Mountain was not always owned by the Ames family. In fact, in 1871, it was part of the “Ben Lomond Ranch”. This ranch was the first official establishment on the property, although it had been part of the “Wild West” for many years prior. Now that it was no longer free grassland, the ranch was given a purpose. This several thousand acre ranch was a dairy and grain farm. Once the Lomond family found they were unable to properly farm it, the land was passed on to other owners.

In 1885, the “Ben Lomond Ranch” was re-named as the “Famous Daniels Ranch”, and was now owned by Judge Hiram P. Bennett, his son, his brother, and two local sawmill owners. These prominent members of Douglas County worked hard to keep the ranch functioning and profitable. Eventually though, the partners transitioned to other paths of life, and the ranch was sold again.

At the turn of the century in 1907, the ranch changed hands. Brothers Harold and Arthur Higginson bought 2,500 acres of what is now the Spruce Mountain Ranch property to raise cattle and to farm grain. While Arthur eventually sold his portion of the ranch and moved on, Harold and his wife remained. They built a home and a life on the ranch, and their house was still standing when the Ames family purchased Spruce Mountain just before the turn of the century.

In 1905, Harold sold the property to his son and daughter-in-law, Russell and Amelia Pearl. The couple faithfully farmed the land, even when Russell lost his arm in a tragic hay-baler accident. They learned to re-engineer equipment to make it more efficient for his disability. After the couple moved on, the ranch served many purposes and was owned by multiple people.

Tom and Lois Ames purchased the ranch in March of 1999. After allocating space for 100 houses to be developed, the remaining land was created into the cattle and event ranch that it is today. The family worked hard to build a beautiful family home, a lovely neighbor, and a functioning cattle and event ranch. They even named the buildings on the property after members of the Ames family. For example, the bridal cottage is named “Ruby’s Cottage” after Tom Ames’ mother. It is the personal touches such as this that make Spruce Mountain Ranch more than a ranch; they make it a home.

Today, Spruce Mountain Ranch is a home to the Ames family and a location where family and friends can come together. It is a site of beautiful weddings and memorable events. Without its unique history, it would never have become the beautiful place that it is today.

The ranch before the Ames bought it:

The old horse stables converted to the Colorado Room:

The barn renovated into Ruby’s Cottage:

*A Warm, Spruce Mountain Thanks to the Ames Family! For more information on Spruce Mountain Ranch history, please visit: http://sprucemountainguestranch.com/corporate/guestRanch.aspx

Wedding Entertainment -Your Guide on Keeping Guests Entertained-

Wedding entertainment is an ever-increasing part of the wedding industry. As weddings become more casual and intimate, versus feeling production-like, the idea of providing activities for guests has grown rapidly. Experts from All Digital Studios and Starkey Productions offer insight and tips for those seeking to provide wedding entertainment for their guests, including some revolutionary mediums of entertainment.
Entertainment in General:
Jake Beaber of Starkey Productions answers your questions about wedding entertainment.
- What is the importance of entertaining guests at a wedding?
  • Jake Beaber explains that “A wedding throughout time has always been a celebration. The entertainment- whether a DJ, band, or something                         simple such as a guitarist- is there not to be ‘the show’ but to heighten the experience.”

- How does entertainment change the atmosphere of an event?
  • He shares that “I believe the biggest effect on the atmosphere of an event, as far as entertainment goes, is not only that it is good, but also that it is               right for that particular event. The wrong entertainment is going to change the atmosphere in a negative way. This is an example of a great                               wedding experience that gets ruined by the cheesy DJ that stands on a speaker and tries to teach everyone the Macarena or attempts to roast the groom. Awkward!”
- What are some of the newest trends in guest entertainment?
  • Beaber explains that “One of the hottest and newest products we provide is the DJ/Live Music fusion product where the DJ is paired with live                         musicians. One product we have is Digital Pocket, which is a vinyl DJ with a guitarist and trumpeter. Or, we have “Spinphony”, which is a DJ with 3             violinists and a cellist.  It really brings the versatility of a DJ and experience of live music together without having the price tag of a full band.”
– Digital Pocket~ http://vimeo.com/70534037
– Spinphony~ http://dancetraxproductions.com/spinphony/
- What is the best way to hold the attention of an audience of all ages?
  • He states that “The quick answer is professional entertainment. From DJ to band, professional entertainers know how to ‘read a room’ and program their music or show flow to not only accommodate the group as a whole, but also doing this within the bride and groom’s vision.”
- What is the most cost-effective entertainment?
  • He explains that this is a “hard question to answer.  Cost has always been a major decision for wedding entertainment.  This is definitely something where you get what you pay for. The $500 you save by hiring a ‘cost effective’ DJ could be the difference between a great event and a nightmare horror story. Your entertainment can make or break your event. There are better places to save money than cutting corners on your entertainment.”
-Have photo booths been a popular form of entertainment?
  • “Photo booths have been very popular over the last few years. They are a lot of fun and give guests a fun ‘take home’ memory. The only tip I have as far as photo booths is to keep them in the room with the party. Nothing is worse than having your party divided up between photo booth in the foyer and dancing inside the event room.”
Introducing Slow Motion Video Booths:
A new and revolutionary idea formed by All Digital Studios is that of the slow motion video booth as a form of guest entertainment at weddings. Rather than simply taking photos at a photo booth, guests can pose with props and move around for 8 seconds. This clip is then put into slow motion video. All Digital Studios answers the questions below about their new idea.
- Why should a bride choose slow motion video booths over other ideas, such as a photo booth? What makes it stand out as different?
  • All Digital Studios offers this insight in response to this question. They explain that “The slow motion booth is a new twist on the standard photo booth. It has similar props but is more entertaining to all of the guests because of the instant video replay. Also, brides don’t want the same entertainment that was at their sister’s wedding or their best friend’s wedding.”
- How much does a booth cost to rent for a wedding? How many hours can it be used for?
  • All Digital Studios states that the cost to rent a slow motion video booth is “$1,195 for 3 hours.” The reason for this is that these booths require a very specialized and expensive camera.
- How do the videos get distributed? Is it all one video, or are they individual?
  • They explain that “Each guest gets a link with their clip. The hosts (bride and groom) will get a fully-edited 3-minute recap clip compiled from the 3 hour event.”
– Samples of slow motion videos, courtesy of All Digital Studios:

-  What inspired this new idea in wedding entertainment?
  • All Digital Studios answers that “We believe the idea began on the west coast. My own (the owner’s) son owns a company that provides booths not only to weddings but has done after-parties associated with the Grammys, Academy Awards and various television shows. We have developed and tweaked ideas together on the slow motion booth.”
- Have the booths been popular at weddings thus far?w
  • “We formed this late last year, so we haven’t done weddings yet (except in LA).  We can’t wait and are excited to have fun with wedding parties which have the right amount of ”fuel” and enthusiasm.”
- What else would you like brides to know about slow motion video booths, and why should they choose them for wedding entertainment?
  • “Video booths provide new and different entertainment, and a lifetime of memories preserved on video and social media.”
A Warm, Spruce Mountain Thanks to:
-Starkey Productions, http://www.starkeyproductions.com/
-All Digital Studios, http://alldigitalstudios.com/?page_id=112

Wine and Nosh 2014

On February 9th, Spruce Mountain Ranch hosted a bridal show for future brides. This show included over 37 vendors, as well as a fashion show featuring the latest bridal and bridesmaid gowns from “Something New Boutique”. The show was put on by Sarah Viera of “Sarah Viera Event Planning and Design”. It was through the displays and fashion show that future brides were able to envision their weddings. www.sarahvieraevents.com

The Food:

The event was catered by Occasions Catering, which served tasty Hor d’oeuvres such as biscuits and gravy, fried chicken buckets, and “steak martinis”. These were not only delicious, but they were also very satisfying. www.occasionsdenver.com

The Desserts-
There were several different vendors who displayed and offered samples of cakes and cupcakes. A few of these were The Makery and the Bundt Shoppe, as well as the Sugarplum Cake Shoppe.
The Bundt Shoppe showcased beautifully decorated Bundt cakes arranged on inviting displays. These cakes are perfect for the brides who want a cake with a new and feminine twist.

The Sugarplum Cake Shoppe and Bakery says that “If it’s cake, we do it!” They make not only cakes, but also dessert bars and desserts for those with dietary restrictions. One of their popular flavors include almond with raspberry filling. www.sugarplumcakeshoppe.com

The Makery prides themselves on being the most creative bakery. In some cupcake displays, they even utilize LED lights! In addition to being creative, this company aims to be creative, friendly, and affordable. www.themakery.com

The Seating-

The seating for this event was provided by “Anna’s Custom Pews” and “Chairished Vintage Sales and Rentals”. www.annascustompews.com www.chairished.com

The Flowers-

The floral decorations were provided by “The Perfect Petal”, “Newberry Brothers”, and “The Garden Path”. “The Perfect Petal” provided more traditional and chic displays, whereas “The Garden Path” showcased some floral arrangements with a European Touch”.  www.theperfectpetal.com www.gardenpathco.com

The Garden Path:



The Perfect Petal:

The Dresses-

The bridal show gowns were provided by “Something New Boutique”, although “Anna Be Bridal Boutique” also showcased some of their gowns. www.anna-be.com www.somethingnewboutique.com

Something New Boutique:

Anna Be Bridal Boutique:

The Event Companies-

Several event and planning companies were present to show their packages to brides. Some of these include “Cloud 9 Events” and “JA Special Events”. These companies showcased past events.

http://jaspecialevents.com/ http://cloud9bliss.com/

Wine and Nosh at Spruce Mountain Ranch was a successful event which assisted brides in planning their special days and selecting vendors.

A Warm, Spruce Mountain Ranch thanks to:

-Sarah Viera, “Sarah Viera Event Planning and Design” –  www.sarahvieraevents.com

-“Something New Boutique” – www.somethingnewboutique.com

-All Vendors represented at this bridal show:

Sugarplum Cake Shoppe
The Makery
The Bundt Shoppe
Captivate by Aleigha-provided hair for fashions show
Magnifica Bella- provided makeup for fashion show
Peak Beverage
Anna be
Something New Boutique-provided fashion show
Occasions Catering
Kat Peterson
Starkey Productions
Bare Root Flora
Newberry Bros
Twigs and Posies
Garden Path
Perfect Petal
Inverness
Chairished Vintage Rentals
Anna’s Custom Pews
Sarah Viera Events
Jessica Adler
Snowshoe Photography
Amanda Lamb Photography
Bellamint Photography-provided pictures for event
Sarah Roshan
Reign Magazine
Rocky Mountain Bride
Event Rents
Cloud 9 Wedding and Paper
Pretty Writing
DDG Classic Limousines
Jays Valet-provided valet parking
Gretchen Lamberson
All Digitial Studios
Mares