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Elise + Jess’ DIY garden wedding | USA

Real Weddings / December 17, 2015
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Wedding Planning Details
Wedding date: 18th July, 2015
Budget: Standard budget
Number of guests: 100 people
Planning time: 2 years (sporadically)
Venue Type: gardens + boathouse
Food menu: Buffet style

Wedding Vendors
Photographer: Green Blossom Photography
Attire: David’s Bridal
Cake: friend
Catering: Colorado Catering
Favors: Colorado Catering + Dunkin’ Donuts
Hair: friends
Make-up: Cynthia @ Magnifica Bella
Music: DJ Gatsby
Officiant: Eric (Elise’s brother)
Rings: Intrigue Jewelers
Stationery: Wedding Paper Diva
Sweets: Colorado Catering
Styling, Set-up & Pack-down: DIY + Denver Black Ice Rugby Team
Venues: Mt. Vernon Gardens + Washington Park Boathouse
Wedding Coordinator: Vows

The Story

It was a warm Summer’s day in July when the rain began. But then the rain seemed to orchestrally stop just in time for the ceremony commence. Guests began emerging (from where they sheltered from the rain) to witness Elise and Jess declare their love for each other in this beautiful garden wedding at Washington Park, Denver Colorado.

Elise (wearing the short dress) and Jess (in the strapless dress) met “playing rugby for Denver Black Ice in October 2010; we got together officially a few months after, on March 17, 2011 (St. Patrick’s Day).”

Speaking of which, the girls’ Rugby team mates played (pun totally intended) a crucial part in their wedding… but we’ll get to that part later on.

Jess on her proposal to Elise

“Jess and I were moving from Denver to Atlanta the Summer of 2012, where I would begin law school that fall. I knew I wanted to propose before we left Denver, so one week prior to our departure date I took Jess out to dinner and wine at a few of our favorite places. I made a terrible date as I was pretty nervous about executing the whole thing. After dinner I suggested a walk through Cheesman Park, a park we’d both enjoyed during our time living in Denver. At one point we walked over a hill and Jess saw a picnic blanket with roses and champagne laid out for her. After that I dropped to one knee and she fortunately said yes. (Though I think she officially said yes the next day, she says she emotionally blacked out with excitement).”

On their attire

“Jess and I both decided to wear white dresses, with a few embellishments. Jess chose navy blue sequined heels that would show since her dress was short, while I had coral heels hidden underneath. We both wore significant jewelry – Jess had pieces her parents and I had given her, while I had pieces from my grandparents.”

Traditional or non-traditional wedding?

“I think our wedding was pretty traditional, with a few flairs of non-convention. Both our parents walked us down the aisle (separately), and we went with simple traditions like Father-Daughter dances and cake-cutting. It was important to me not only that our wedding be ours, but that we participate in the traditions of our parents and grandparents before them. Incorporating those traditions sealed the fact that we were joining a group of people who had made this commitment, and who would be there to support us as we started our married life.”

On their Ceremony + Reception

“Our ceremony was short and sweet; Elise’s brother officiated and there were about 100 people in attendance. It had rained right before, and since it was an outside ceremony we were worried we’d have to re-locate. But the rain gave us a chance to see our guests before, which was great since we don’t often get to see our Denver friends and family. The rain stopped after not too long, and it kept everything cool and little cloudy – perfect for pictures.”

“The reception was all about the party, as Jess and I just wanted our guests to have a great time. So after our Maid-of-Honor speeches and dinner we opened the floor and danced the rest of the night away.”

On their vendors and helpers

“Everyone we worked with was awesome, but our day-of coordinators were an integral part to making sure the day went off without a hitch.”

“We met Jennie and Heather Crate playing rugby for Black Ice, and we had seen their work from other weddings; we knew they specialized in great, candid shots and that was what we wanted. We got the added benefit of knowing them before hand, so it sealed the deal. They went above and beyond to make sure we were able to remember the day.”

“A lot of people we used were friends and family, which made the whole day even more special. We decided we didn’t want a huge cake, and a friend of ours offered to make a small one so we had something to cut. A friend of ours did each of our hair styles, and it was great to have that time with someone we knew. We knew Jennie and Heather from playing rugby, and we ended up using our rugby team as a set-up and tear down crew; they did an amazing job, and even went so far to lift each other up to get decorations on the ceiling when they couldn’t find a ladder. It was important for Jess and I to give back to the team that brought us together.”

Most memorable moment?

“The best moment came immediately after the ceremony, when Jess and I were driven through Washington Park on our pedal bike. We had a just married sign on the back, and people waved and cheered for us and we rode through, total strangers congratulating us and wishing us well.”

Wedding tips for our readers?

“We had a long engagement, so we were really excited by the time our wedding day came. Ultimately though, the day came and went so fast and it was hard to get a good grip on it and appreciate everything. Try to enjoy each moment, and not get so bogged down in minute details. And of course, make sure you do what you want, and not what anyone else thinks you should do – it’s your day, not anyone else’s.”

Elise and Jess, it makes me exceptionally proud to congratulate you both on your union… which is LEGALLY recognised by your state and country! F YEAH!!!!

Fun facts: I'm a "loud" little Latin gurl. I heart my label maker as much as I do my partner. I also like red things, leg-day and red velvet everything. My daily vocab includes "have you eaten?", "I love you" and "I farted"... not all at once or in that order. If I'm not talking to you about feelings I'd be helping you organise something.

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on December 17, 2015

Thank you so much for sharing, so exciting!!

    on December 27, 2015

    Yay! You’re welcome :D

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