Spruce Mountain Proposal Stories: Part 2

After reading the first issue of “Spruce Mountain Proposal Stories,” we know you can’t wait to read the next part of these sweet, romantic stories! Without further ado, we give you “Part 2.”

Story #4 ~

“Lauren had been quite sick for a few weeks and John had been waiting for her to get better so that he could propose! When Lauren was well enough to leave the house, John called her to say that his car had broken down at the grocery store and he needed her to come pick him up. In order to get to the grocery store where John had “broken down,” Lauren needed to drive through the stoplight where she and John first met back in 2005…

Lauren left her house looking like a sick mess in the middle of a snowstorm to go get John from the store. As she approached the light where she and John met, she saw a man standing in the snowstorm on the sidewalk and he seemed to be looking at her. Lauren slowed down to realize it was John! At that point John opened a sign that said “Lauren will you marry me?” in big letters. Lauren was in shock and pulled over onto a side road where John was parked. Just as Lauren got out of her car, hugged John, and said “YES!,” a cop pulled up behind them.

Lauren: “Is this part of your plan?”

John: “No.” (Cop approaches.)

Cop: “Do you guys have a problem here?”

John: “No, I’m just trying to ask her to marry me!”

Cop: “Oh! Wow! Congratulations, that’s awesome, but you guys can’t stop here. You gotta move.”

John and Lauren then got in Lauren’s car and John said some very sweet words and proposed to her with a very special ring that belonged to his grandmother. Lauren said, “YES,” of course, and they drove off in the snowstorm to spread the exciting news to friends and family!”

~ Lauren Adams and John Meighan say “I Do” at Spruce Mountain Ranch on September 26th, 2015!

Story #5 ~

“A couple of years ago, Amy had the opportunity to move to San Diego from Denver for an enticing career opportunity. The very first weekend in San Diego, Amy and Jason drove around looking for apartments and sightseeing. Somewhere along the way, they found their way to the rows of lavish beach houses in La Jolla. At the end of one road off the beaten path, they found an old set of sea-worn stairs that led down to a secluded, rocky cove right along the ocean. Coming from landlocked Denver, Amy and Jason spent the afternoon soaking up the view and knew they had made the right decision to move to San Diego. Occasionally, Amy and Jason would drive down to this point and watch the sunset or just take a break from the fast-paced city life of San Diego.

Now, for the engagement story – it was June 7th, 2014 and Amy’s parents were visiting from Arizona. Jason, Amy, and her parents decided to take a day trip to Southern California’s gorgeous wine country in Temecula. As they were heading back to San Diego after a full day of wine tasting, Amy’s dad mentioned he had to meet a colleague for dinner and drinks. Little did Amy know this was all just a ploy to free up a little time for Jason. Amy’s parents ended up going to “meet the colleague,” and Jason told Amy they were going to go over to a friend’s house for happy hour in the meantime, and insisted that they bring their dog Denali along. As Amy and Jason drove to their friend’s house, Jason made a wrong turn and insisted they go watch the sunset instead. As it turns out, Jason drove to the rocky cove where their San Diego journey began. Jason arranged for several of their friends to hide up on the bluff overlooking the cove to capture the moment. After a few tense moments waiting for the thumbs-up that they were in position, and a few tears later, they were engaged! As the night went on, Jason surprised Amy with a sunset dinner cruise through Mission Bay and out on the Pacific with a few great friends and Amy’s parents. It certainly was an unforgettable night!”

~ Amy Ireland and Jason Shear will tie the knot on July 3rd, 2015 at Spruce Mountain Ranch! ~

Story #6 ~

“We had been together almost five years by the time Ben proposed, so I wasn’t really sure he could surprise me anymore. I was so wrong.

Backstory- I really love pirates and anything related to treasure. For a long time, Ben had been joking about buying me a life-size pirate statue (named Captain Edward) with a sparkling jewel on his hand. Spring 2013 went by, with many a joke about pirates. Summer comes and my birthday passes . . . and no engagement. Then our anniversary in September comes . . . and despite more piratey jokes, no engagement! After Ben has cried wolf all through 2013 about my bedazzled pirate, on a random, cold, and slushy Thursday night in November, I grumpily come home late from work in Denver. I pull into Boulder and Ben texts me: “Your pirate arrived today.” And I think, “Yeah sure, whatever. Fine.”– I’m HUNGRY!

I walk into our apartment in Boulder around 8 PM on November 7, 2013 (not a special day by any stretch, until this past 2013!) in a wet parka, boots, and a hat only to find a really giddy Ben staring at me strangely. I notice a package on the couch, but am too hungry to care.

And Ben says, “LOOK, it’s Pirate Captain Edward.”

And I look and say, “Cute, let’s eat.”

And he says, “Don’t you want to open it?”

And so, I do, and COMPLETELY miss the envelope that says “Buried Treasure.”

And again I say, “Whole Foods. STAT.”

And he says, “I think you missed something.”

And at this point, I see the envelope but am so hungry and so fried after a long day that I think he is just trying to make me laugh (as one does, with impromptu treasure hunts). So I rip open the envelope to find a completely authentic 17th century treasure map (or so Ben says), on brown parchment paper with burnt edges and a clue in calligraphy. I begin stomping around, still in dripping winter clothes, following clues to places around our home – namely:

1. Four map pieces, torn asunder / Light the path to treasured plunder / Seek ye them through coded rhymes / Start where thar’ be snuggly times [decoded= the bed]

2. On nights ‘ere frightfully cold outdoors / These will light the fire for s’mores [decoded= our little kindling box for making s’mores]

3. For greater fires a need thar’ be / Burn these trees so warm are we [decoded= our firewood pile on the deck]

4. This completes this playful prank / Kiss me now or walk the plank! / Go retrieve the treasure chest / I hope ye be the happiest

The little map pieces fit together and formed a map with an “X marks the spot” on the back. That X said “in your baby’s pocket.” So I turned around and reached into an empty right pocket of Ben’s jacket, and he got down on one knee and pulled out a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring from the other pocket.

I never thought I’d get teary-eyed on a proposal, but I definitely did. It was too “AHHHHHR-mazing.” :)  The rest is history.”

~ Brenna Finn and Ben will wed at the ranch on August 29th, 2015!~


Spruce Mountain Ranch Proposal Stories: ~Part 1~

At Spruce Mountain Ranch, we love hearing all the stories of romantic proposals behind the beautiful weddings we host! To celebrate the biggest engagement season of the year and to encourage those who are waiting for someone to “pop” the question, we asked our happy couples to send us submissions of their proposal stories. We received so many wonderful submissions that we will be doing a three-part “Spruce Mountain Ranch Proposal Stories” series! We at Spruce Mountain hope that you enjoy reading these heart-warming love stories as much as we did!

Story #1~

Our first story was submitted by Jessica Hawthorne of Haxtun, Colorado:

“Nick and Jessica had traveled out to Jessica’s hometown Haxtun, CO for the weekend to move their cows to cornstalks for the wintertime. All day Saturday was spent building fence, moving water, and moving cows. Sunday morning, bright and early, Nick was wide-awake and ready to go check on the cows. Jessica was certain they were all still accounted for, so she tried to convince him they could sleep in. However, they headed out on the four-wheeler 15 minutes after waking up, donning their matching scotch caps and insulated coveralls.

When they arrived at the cornfield, Nick suggested they get off of the four-wheeler and walk for a bit to find the cows. Jessica grumbled, but she went along with it. Meanwhile, Jessica’s Dad Ben (who knew nothing about Nick’s plans that morning) pulled up on the dirt bike and started checking fence. Jessica remembers Nick being oddly concerned that her Dad had followed them, but she was happy for the excuse to not have to check the fences.

After walking hand-in-hand for about a mile, the couple came upon the cows, all standing in a perfect row as if they had been waiting for them.

Once the coast was clear and Jessica’s Dad had left for home, Nick dropped down on one knee and pulled out a hand-written letter. It is a good thing Nick had it all written down in a note, because the only thing Jessica remembers of that moment were her happy tears, laughter, and feeling overjoyed to finally get to say “Yes!” She shares that ‘Our cows are our witnesses!’”

~ Nick Lemmel and Jessica Hawthorne will be getting married at Spruce Mountain Ranch on November 8, 2014. This is almost exactly one year after Nick proposed on November 10, 2013.

Story #2~

Our second proposal story was sent to us by Jaclyn Ackerman:

July 31, 2013-

Top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris:

“I was that girl that was proposed to on the top of the Eiffel Tower. I’d seen a girlfriend towing a blindfolded boyfriend to a romantic sunset at the top, and I’d seen a man down on his knee proposing to his future wife. After all, it is the city of love, right? But, tonight, it would be me! July 31st was our big Paris day, and of course, in more ways than one!

We started off the morning with some long Louvre hours. Next, [we visited] those floor-to-ceiling Saint Chapelle stained glass windows (which have always been a favorite!). We had seen the Notre Dame glowing the night before, but went to see the inside today (another favorite!). We stopped for lunch and a much-needed Nutella crepe break in the Latin Quarter (I should just stop saying “another favorite.” This whole city is a favorite!). Then we walked past the Notre Dame to the Pont de l’Archeveche, better known as the Love Lock Bridge. I surprised [my fiancé] when I pulled out a small heart lock; I’d had it engraved in San Diego and it had been shoved in a corner of my purse since then. We found the perfect spot, clipped it on, tossed the key in the Seine, and headed off to the Eiffel Tower. I took us to the usual spot, the Trocadero—[where we took] lots of pictures, and Nigerian Eiffel Tower salesmen. We waited in line, rode the elevator up to the middle floor, and got off. Once we had finished exploring the level, we were eager to head to the top! We got off at the top, looked at the flags and distances to other countries, and made our way to the outside deck! Chris and I got separated in the hoards of people, so I just pointed out landmarks to myself and waited till the crowd cleared a bit.

I had made my way to him, just as he was saying he wanted this lady to take our picture. So I quickly scooted to my spot by his side, situated my self, and smiled. He starts talking and turning me towards him… I kept smiling for the lady with camera and telling him to stop moving. He keeps pestering me, and I keep telling him to stand still and smile. Then he takes his backpack off and kneels down, so I finally turn to look at him. AH! As I’m writing this more than a year later, I can’t remember what he even said, but I stuck my left hand out and gladly said yes! Only later did I learn he had separated himself from me earlier and went to find an English speaker in the mass of people. He filled her in on his secret. So turns out, she wasn’t taking a picture– she was recording it!

We finished our Eiffel Tower evening and went back to the hotel. As you can imagine, the next bit of time was spent calling everyone back home (all of which were already aware of the question of the day!).”

Jaclyn Ackerman and Chris Shea will celebrate their special day at Spruce Mountain on June 21st, 2015.

Story #3~

Our 3rd and final story for the first part of our proposal story blog was submitted by Madeline McBride:

“My fiancé Matt and I have been together for almost 10 years, and have always had a “thing” with penguins. We have a stuffed penguin named Hubert, love the movie “Happy Feet,” have a World Wildlife foundation adopted penguin, and just love the fact that penguins are mates for life. We currently live in Denver, CO. However, we are originally from Texas. We were in Dallas, TX for my best friend’s baby shower the weekend after Valentine’s Day, and she mentioned that she really wanted to go to the Dallas Zoo on Sunday before we left, because it was supposed to be a beautiful day. I thought this was an odd request from her, but I was all up for it since I love the zoo and animals.

Sunday morning we got up, made breakfast, and then headed to the zoo. It just happened to be “Penguin Day” at the zoo, which made it even more exciting. After walking by a couple of the exhibits, one of the educational animal handlers at the zoo approached us. She explained that the zoo was considering offering an up-close experience with the animals to zoo-goers for an additional cost, but before they started marketing this and going forward, they wanted to see if customers thought it was a good experience and worth the money. We were all for getting to spend some one-on-one time with some of the animals, and followed her with excitement.

One-by-one she brought out interesting animals from their crates and taught us fun facts, while letting us pet and hold them. After seeing a chinchilla and 35-year-old Texas owl, she brought out Sid, the African black-footed penguin. At that same moment, I felt my fiancé’s hand on my lower back turning me around, and I caught a glimpse of something shiny tied around Sid’s neck. My fiancé was then down on one knee and proposed. I was shocked and ecstatic. We then got to hang out with Sid and the other animals…. it was AWESOME!

After leaving the zoo, we headed to a restaurant, only to find our parents and close friends had driven to Dallas to surprise me and celebrate with us. After all of the excitement, we boarded our plane to head back to Denver engaged. It was a whirlwind of emotions, and now I am so excited to marry my best friend and penguin for life.”

Madeline McBride and Matt Comneck will tie the knot on May 5th, 2015 at Spruce Mountain Ranch!

A warm, Spruce Mountain Ranch thanks to our brides~ Jessica Hawthorne, Jaclyn Ackerman, and Madeline McBride! Thank you for sharing your proposal stories with us! We look forward to the honor of hosting your weddings!

“Tips for Tipping your Wedding Vendors”

To tip, or not to tip? That is the question many brides and grooms have concerning their wedding vendors. Knowing when and how to tip vendors can be tricky. Thankfully, some seasoned wedding planners have agreed to offer their insight on when tipping is appropriate. Debbie Orwat from Save the Date Events, Jessica McTaggart from Pink Champagne Events, and Adrienne Gardner from The Gardner Effect all share their thoughts on tipping vendors.

1. What vendors do you recommend tipping (Caterers, bartenders, D.J., photographer, etc.)?

– Jessica McTaggart answers: “I recommend tipping any vendors who will complete their service on the wedding day. That includes; DJs, live musicians, catering staff (servers + chefs), transportation driver(s), bartenders, photo booth attendants, hairstylists, makeup artists, valet/coat check staff, and security (where appropriate). If the photographer, videographer, etc. do a fabulous job, I recommend that the client send a thank you note, after receiving their album/video/images, with a monetary token of appreciation.”

– Adrienne Gardner says: “I always tell my couples to “tip accordingly”, but to also “take care of those that take care of you and your guests.” I normally recommend you tip your catering staff, DJs, and bartenders first. As they usually work for large companies, and simply make an hourly rate working the event. I recommend tipping coordinators, florists, and photographers if they provided exceptional service/were a pleasure to work with during the planning process.”

2. Is tipping always appropriate for vendors, or just for exceptional service?

– Jessica: “Tipping is always appropriate with service related categories (catering, bar-tending, valet/coat check, etc.). If it [the job] is performance based, such as live musicians, photo booth, or DJ, I make recommendations based on the client’s expectations. If the dance floor is packed all night, a band or DJ deserves an above average amount.”

– Adrienne: “If the service was average or alright, perhaps [give] a small tip. Large or full [tips] for exceptional service.”

3. How much is appropriate to tip/what percentage of the total price?

– Jessica: “For catering, I recommend 18-20% of the total, pre-tax amount, if [you are] tipping on their final invoice. If they’re tipping each staff member individually with cash (preferred), I recommend $50/server, $75-$100/chef, and $100/captain or lead. For DJs, I recommend $50 -$75, if they are playing reception only, and $100-$125 if they do both ceremony and reception. For other vendors in the industry, tips can range from $75-$250 based on the product/service they provide. Depending on the client’s budget, these numbers may be higher or lower.”

– Adrienne: “Depends on the vendor. Please see attached tipping guide.”

4. Do you tip the individual workers of a team (ex: caterers), or the team as a whole?

– Jessica: “I prefer both (when the client can do it). It allows the couple to show appreciation to the company when tipping the team as a whole, but also individually thank the staff at their event. [only one] needs to be done, I recommend tipping individual staff members.​”

– Adrienne: “I suggest you tip the team as a whole. I ask my couples to prepare tips in sealed envelopes. I give the catering envelope to the captain on duty to distribute. Clients can easily find out the amount of staff the caterer will provide by reading their contracts or asking their catering rep. You can also tip after the event with the cc your caterer has on file, which can be a bit easier than having all that cash on hand.”

5. Should you tip a wedding planner in addition to paying her?

–Jessica: “I leave that entirely up to my clients.  Some of my clients have tipped me at the end of the night, some have sent it in a thank-you, and some have thanked me in other ways (gifts, referrals, etc.).  They’re all very appreciated and never expected.”

– Adrienne: “I suggest you tip coordinators for great service, especially those that worked non-stop for 10-12 hours that day to pull off a flawless wedding.”

6. Should you tip a venue representative?

–Jessica: “That is also something that I leave up to the client. Some of them experience an above and beyond experience that they might monetarily recognize. Others don’t.”

– Adrienne: “Venue reps are normally not included in my tipping guidelines.”

7. Are tips ever included in a bill?

– Jessica: “Some vendors include a 20% gratuity on their final invoice or in the total amount due.  Some do not.”

– Adrienne: “They can be- always read your contracts! Or, ask your coordinator to review them for you and make tipping suggestions. Most often, they are not included. 9 times out of 10, administrative fees do not include tip, which I think some couples find confusing.”

8. How much of a wedding budget should be factored towards tipping vendors?

– Jessica: “It’s hard to say what percentage of the budget should be allocated to tipping. A good estimate is 2%-5%.  Depending on the complexity of the wedding and the budget, the total amount for vendor tips could be higher or lower.”

– Adrienne: “To me, tipping should be a bit more flat rate (except for transportation, hair/make up artists). Meaning whether or not my client’s budget is 10k or 100k, I will still work equally hard for both.”

9. Is there anything else clients should know about tipping?

– Jessica: “Tips are not expected, but they are greatly appreciated across the board. A large portion of vendors in the wedding and event industry are small businesses, and [they] value each and every client they work with. A monetary recognition of that work goes a long way.”

– Adrienne: “First of all, read your contracts to make sure it [tipping] is not already included. Second, tip based on performance. Third, most of your vendors love what they do and work very hard at every wedding, and a little bit at the end of the evening is very much appreciated.”

*Debbie Orwat and Adrienne Gardner have generously shared the following links to their tipping guides that address many tipping FAQs

Gratuity Guidelines- Save the Date Events

Tipping Guidelines – The Gardner Effect

*A Warm, Spruce Mountain Ranch Thank You to:

-Jessica McTaggart: Pink Champagne Events, http://pinkchampagneevents.com/

-Adrienne Gardner: The Gardner Effect, http://www.gardnereffect.com/

-Debbie Orwat: Save the Date Events, http://www.savethedateevents.com/

Spruce Mountain Ranch’s Preferred Alcohol Vendor: Peak Beverage Company

Spruce Mountain Ranch only allows one beverage company to transport alcohol and serve it at the ranch, and that company is Peak Beverage. Not only are the Peak Beverage employees highly trained in how to create and serve drinks and how to safely serve guests, but their company is also highly affordable! Andy Klosterman, owner of Peak Beverage, answers several frequently asked questions for potential brides.

-How much money can our clients save by using Peak compared to using a venue in which they have to buy the liquor through them?

- Andy explains “A venue with a liquor license will at least cost the client TWICE as much as going with a venue that doesn’t. This is because they must pay to support the infrastructure of having an entire team manage the liquor license for that venue, as well as having to pay for very expensive insurance costs. If you were to take our base rates and double or triple them, that would be how much venues would charge for the bar service. They also usually have labor costs on top of that, separate from their bar packages. The average client will save thousands of dollars by using a venue without a liquor license.”

-What is the average cost (at Peak and at another place) for a full-service bar at a 100-person wedding?

- Andy Shares Examples:

*Beer and wine:

(Peak) ~ $10 – $13 per person

(Liquor licensed venue) ~ $20 – $60 per person, plus labor

*Full bar (mid range spirits and wine/beer):

(Peak) ~ $14 – $18 per person

(Liquor licensed venue) ~ $30 – $90 per person, plus labor

-What would you like for couples to know about how Peak saves them money?

-“Peak is a combination of retail liquor store, bar rentals, and staffing. Similar to Target or Amazon, by combining services we are able to lower costs in the end. Someone can go to Wal Mart or Target and get clothes, electronics, even food now at a lower price than going to three different stores. Also the speed and ease at which the customer gets their product is MUCH better.”

-What are trends you’re seeing in regards to beverage service at weddings?

-“We’re doing a LOT more classic cocktails, like Manhattans, French 75, and Olde Fashioned drinks. Also, the craft beer movement is still going strong and we have a LOT of home brewers.”

-How does Peak help couples with their custom drink needs for their wedding?

-“We can do anything really!  We can either take a theme or favorite drink recipe and recreate it, or offer a huge list of cool cocktails for clients to choose from.”

-Are couples more likely to have a full-service bar, a partial-service bar, or just a custom drink or champagne toast?

-“With our concept it is actually usually cheaper to go with a full service bar rather than a beer and wine bar with a specialty drink. Champagne toasts are also always included with our packages at no additional cost.”

-What makes Peak bartenders different than those through a catering company?

-“Most companies do not train or hire their bartenders efficiently. The problem is that in bars downtown, a good bartender can make a LOT of money. In the special events world, tips are much more rare and thus a bartender does not make as much. We pay our staff more than any bartenders in the state right now, and do our own in-house hiring and training. We actually prefer to hire novices instead of veterans, because most bartenders are VERY poorly trained in different areas of service!”

-What training have Peak bartenders received?

-“We do everything from bartending basics and customer service to classes on beer, wine, spirits, etc. We work closely with our distributors and offer classes for our staff every month that enhances their ability to bartend. We also do tests every month to see where our staff is at and allow them to promote themselves if they pass a speed and accuracy test in a real life situation.”

-What would you like for couples to know about Peak in general as a company? What would you as the owner say makes it the best?

-“We really strive to make every event exactly what our customer wants. I love when folks call us and tell us about what kind of drinks they like best so we can try to deliver on that, or even to make it better than an experience they have had before. We can customize anything and are not limited to the bar packages we offer. Peak is really about making the best experience possible for our customers – from the moment you call in to the moment the wedding is over, we hope to be a part of the wedding that couples will remember forever.”

-Spruce Mountain Ranch is truly honored to be able to partner with Peak Beverage Company for all events that wish to purchase alcohol. A special thanks to Andy Klosterman for answering these questions! To book an event with them now, contact Andy Klosterman!

* P: (720) 722-1140;  F: (888)-814-6410 Andy@peakbev.com*

Spruce Mountain Ranch: August Cattle Sale

The August cattle sale at Spruce Mountain Ranch is a monumental event for the ranch’s cattle industry. What many people do not know is that Spruce Mountain Ranch is not only an excellent event center, but a functioning cattle ranch as well. Every year, the ranch has two large auctions to sell cattle and breeding rights to other cattle industries. One of these sales is in August, and this year, it took place on August 8th and 9th. Prospective cattle customers came from around the nation to view and purchase top-quality Black Angus cows for breeding excellent lines of beef cattle. Guests came from many states, including Colorado, Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, New York, Kentucky, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oregon, and California! Not only were there many out-of-town guests in attendance, but the owners of Spruce Mountain Ranch, Tom and Lois Ames, also attended the event along with the entire Ames family. Some guests stayed in the bridal suite in the Ponderosa Room, and others stayed at nearby hotels during this event. Needless to say, this auction is a large, annual milestone for Spruce Mountain.

The Auction:

The travelers arrived on Friday for an all-day cattle viewing followed by Hors d’Oeuvres from 3-5 pm, and a dinner from 6-8 pm. The dinner was catered by Buffalo Gals, and alcohol was served by Peak Beverage Company. The preview day allowed guests to mingle with one another, look at the cattle they would like to bid on, and enjoy the beauty of a Colorado mountain ranch. Around 200 guests attend this event annually. This year, there were 65 lots of cattle for sale, and many of the lots had several “sub groups”. The cattle featured for purchase at this auction included young females, donor cows, and bred heifers. Saturday morning from 9-11 am, there was a brunch for the guests and cattlemen before the beginning of the auction. The sale then began at 11:30 am in the Ponderosa Room. Lots of people bid at the live auction, including a large population of bidders over the internet. When the auction concluded at 2 pm, guests loaded up their cattle and purchased insurance for them. They then headed with their new cows back to their individual cattle companies.

Preparation for the Sale:

Much time is spent in preparation for the cattle sale each summer. Cowboys from Spruce Mountain Ranch East in Kiowa, Colorado bring cattle to the ranch to prepare them for the auction. All the cattlemen spend the week ensuring that the cattle are perfectly healthy and excellently groomed so they are ready for the sale. They also ensure that all of the genetics are correctly recorded before the sale. The week leading up to the auction is also spent preparing the ranch grounds so that they look immaculate. The Ponderosa Room is then transformed from an elegant wedding venue to an auction room with tall bleachers focused on a stage with cattle pens to display the livestock. The days of the preview and the sale are spent keeping the event space looking clean and decorated, and keeping the cattle groomed and ready for the auction.


The Menu:

The food for the cattle sale featured some of Buffalo Gals’ most popular dishes, which certainly pleased hungry cattlemen and customers alike!

Friday-

Dinner:

-Tossed Salad

-Juicy tri-tip, beef, grilled chicken, portabella mushrooms

-Grilled garlic bread

-Roasted new potatoes

-Macaroni and cheese with applewood-smoked bacon

-Calico beans

Desserts:

-Mixed berry cobbler with ice cream

-Fresh chocolate brownies

Snacks and Appetizers:

-Salted mixed nuts

-Buffalo and caramelized onion slider

-Santa Fe vegetable basket

Saturday-

Breakfast:

-Coffee, juice, and tea

-Homemade breakfast burritos with homemade green chili

-Bacon and sausage

-Summer berries and fruit

-Top round of beef carving station

-Alamosa ham

-Bags of sea salt chips

Snacks:

-2 types of gourmet popcorn

-Warm, soft pretzels with cheese on the side

-Freshly baked assorted cookies

-Mini bags of gourmet chips

-Salted mixed nuts

Desserts:

-Brownies

-Lemon Bars

-White chocolate fruit bars

-Cookies

The August cattle sale is a large event and a noteworthy moment in the cattle industry. The numerous guests travel from all over America to purchase top-quality Spruce Mountain Ranch Black Angus cows for their cattle companies. Large amounts of time are spent preparing the grounds and the cattle for this big day. The ranch is very proud of not only the wonderful weddings hosted on the property, but also of their spectacular cattlemen, cows, and annual summer auction!

Wedding Desserts: Choosing the Perfect Refreshments for Your Reception

Wedding cakes have transformed over the years from something stereotypical and “cookie cutter”, to a unique way for a couple to express themselves. There was a time in history in which every bride ordered a three-tiered white cake with white frosting for her ceremony, complete with a plastic kissing bride and groom for the cake topper. Luckily for brides today, that time in history has passed. There are now so many options for happy couples when it comes to wedding cakes! In fact, many couples are negating the necessity of cake at their wedding entirely. Some couples have instead chosen to supply desserts that they enjoy, over the traditional style of wedding refreshments. Still others opt to have a small cake to cut for tradition sake, but also supply other desserts as well.

Wedding Cakes:

Yes, for very traditional brides, white cake with white fondant is still an option. However, the evolution of the wedding cake industry has so much to offer! There are tiered cakes with fondant and elegant decor, there are sheet cakes with marble cake, mousse filling and simple frosting, and there are Bundt cakes with elaborate frosting detail. There are naked cakes with frosting between the layers of the cake but not on the outside, there are cupcakes, and there are miniature Bundt cakes to serve individual guests. Wedding cakes come in endless varieties of shapes, sizes, styles, and flavors. No longer do brides have a limited selection! We at Spruce Mountain Ranch encourage brides to express their individual style and tastes, and cake is just one of the many ways in which to do that. Not only do customized cakes add to the pleasure of the bride and groom, but guests are typically thrilled to find a change from stereotypical wedding cake.

Wedding Desserts:

While a couple may decide to have a small cake at their ceremony to cut for pictures, they often provide other refreshments for their guests. Pie is ever-increasing in popularity as a wedding dessert, and is the perfect substitute for couples who prefer it to cake. “Pie pops”, or miniature pies on sticks (think pie lollipops) are popular with guests because they are cute, unique, flavorful, and the perfect serving size! For guests who prefer chocolate, couples sometimes choose to provide small bite-sized desserts such as truffles, miniature brownies, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Sometimes providing unique, pre-portioned desserts is the perfect fit for a wedding reception. There is also less risk of desserts being thrown out half-eaten when portions are smaller, and therefore, less is wasted.


Interactive Wedding Treats:

Spruce Mountain Ranch has seen brides who provide “candy bars” where there is a candy buffet filled with sweets, and guests can fill their goody bag with the treats they most enjoy. Brides love to utilize the fireplace on Ames Patio, and sometimes use it as a s’mores station for guests to roast marshmallows and create their own desserts. For cooler evenings, fried doughnut stations and cappuccino bars are known to be extremely popular! Guests love to be able to create, assemble, or order their own dessert. It adds to the fun of the evening and minimizes waste that pre-cut slices of cake often create.

Desserts as Favors:

Even wedding favors are starting to head in the direction of edible treats. Guests and the happy couples alike love truffles, little bags of candy, pre-wrapped desserts, coffee, and tea. The guests love to eat the favors, and the couple knows that the favors are being enjoyed and not going to waste. Edible favors are always an excellent option!

Décor Styles:

Wedding desserts, and cakes in particular, can be designed to accommodate a wide variety of décor styles and preferences. Whether a bride desires a simple, elegant cake, or an over-the-top dessert bar with a wide variety of sweet morsels, there are numerous choices to please any bride’s wedding vision and budget!

Keeping Budgets in Mind:

Wedding desserts are available to please a wide variety of tastes, styles, and budgets! Wedding cakes typically cost at least $500, and usually run from $2-10 per slice. Remember that the larger and fancier the cake is, the heavier the bill will be. Individual desserts such as miniature cakes may help eliminate waste, but prices can be higher for a large quantity of small cakes than for a large cake to be cut in many smaller slices. Remember that square cakes often feed more guests because they can be cut more economically.

Bakeries Represented at the Spruce Mountain Wine and Nosh Show:

-Sugarplum Cake Shoppe
~ http://sugarplumcakeshoppe.com

-The Makery
~ http://www.themakery.com

-The Bundt Shoppe ~ http://thebundtshoppe.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQjw3vyeBRDt673h5ZTYrdQBEiQAzhkf8oafzNRsTTqNja7KHNOvsDinIto11tTTU77d49kS_58aAiEv8P8HAQ

Spruce Mountain Ranch Caterers with Dessert Options:

-Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering ~ http://www.tonyrosaccicatering.com/menus_desserts.htm

-Buffalo Gals ~ http://buffalogalsgrilling.com/pdf/sweet-stuff.pdf

- Biscuits and Berries ~ http://www.biscuitsandberries.com/menus/wedding-menus/from-our-bakery/

-The Broadmoor ~ http://www.broadmoor.com/cakes/

-Picnic Basket ~ http://www.pbcatering.com/pdf/desserts.pdf

* No matter what desserts you choose for your wedding, remember that there are countless options for your individual style, taste, and budget! Happy dessert picking!

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!