How to Choose a Colorado Wedding Photographer

How to Choose a Colorado Wedding Photographer

An in depth and wordy (sorry in advance) post about how to start the search for your perfect wedding photographer. Figure out what styles you like, what you should budget, and the right questions to ask during your consultation! How do I know these things? I’ve been a wedding photographer in Denver, Colorado for over 6 years!

New Things!! Dogs + USB Drives

So this is a bit of an eclectic post, but it's what's really going on in my life this week! It's starting to feel like spring in Colorado, and that in my experience brings about changes and new things. The first one is our new rescue pup, Obi Wan! This guy is seriously the perfect dog. Super mellow, chill and friendly in new places with new people, and is a big fan of our two dogs, Luke and Leia. They're still working out how they feel about him, but I know he's going to be the best little brother ever. He spends most of his day curled up snoozing in a little donut shape, and the rest of the day obsessing over food. It's okay for now because he needs to pack on a few pounds! 

Here's our sweet Obi! 

Here's our sweet Obi! 

The other exciting new thing that I got this week: samples from a new USB supplier! I am over the moon about these beauties. I hadn't found one anywhere that I really felt confident offering my couples. Either they looked just like everyone elses, or they were so unique you couldn't even use them as a flash drive! These are a perfect middle ground and I think fit me perfectly. The gorgeous maroon wood shines when the light hits it, and USB Memory Direct did such a great job printing my logo on them. My husband mentioned he loved the way the magnets keep the top closed so you don't lose the cap if you have it in a drawer somewhere. They offer a ton of wholesale drives, so check 'em out if you ever need one. 

I'm now going to offer these beauties to all my rad couples if they want a more tangible way to hang on to their photos! If you want to add one, just shoot me an email! 

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Keep an eye on my Instagram for more updates from the dog pack! They even have their own instagram you can follow too...@LukeandLeiaPitties. I guess I'll have to figure out how to add Obi into the handle now! Leave your name suggestions in the comments! 

Advice // 10 tips to Design the Best Harry Potter Themed Wedding

The summer of 2001 was a special year... I was 11 years old and was ready. I'd been preparing for this day for the last 3 years of my life. I was going to Hogwarts. Dumbledore was going to write me a letter on crisp parchment with my name penned in glossy green calligraphy. I checked the mail every day for all of July AND August to look for my Hogwarts letter, scanned the night sky for owls every night before bed. 

Alas, my letter never came. But, believing in that magic more than I ever believed in Santa or the Tooth Fairy is not a feeling that goes away, and I still love Harry Potter and the world that JK Rowling created with my whole heart! Now, Harry Potter has morphed into a symbol for those who believe in a little bit of magic, connected with a kid who was a bit of an outcast in his normal life, and see the world a little differently. It's so special to the people who still love and follow it that I've even seen it incorporated into weddings! Yes, Harry Potter themed weddings. You might imagine it as an event full of cloaks and wizard hats, but there are ways to incorporate it that aren't as outlandish and traumatizing to your grandparents. Here are some fun ideas for incorporating a little magic into your wedding celebration! 

**This post contains links that I get a small kickback for recommending to you. BUT, I don't include anything that I wouldn't buy myself, and fully vet anything I include.**

**This post contains links that I get a small kickback for recommending to you. BUT, I don't include anything that I wouldn't buy myself, and fully vet anything I include.**

#1 Bouquet Alternatives

I think wedding bouquets are a great tradition to rethink and make more unique to you! My first thought for a Harry Potter themed wedding would be to ditch flowers all together, and give each of your wedding party members a custom wand! Maybe they each have a different character they love, or a wand that they remember wanting. These replica Harry Potter wands are super legit (made by Universal Studios), come in different styles for a ton of characters, and have a super fab box with literature so these could double as gifts for your peeps too! 

#2 Book Decorations

I've seen books at weddings in all sorts of different capacities before! Whether as table decorations, ring boxes, or props for photos, there are a ton of ways to incorporate your favorite HP books into the wedding. Check out this vendor on Etsy who will make pages from your book into flowers you can use throughout your wedding. 

#3 Vows

You can make your vows more personal by adding some of your favorite quotes from HP, or find a fun book for you both to read your vows from during your ceremony. You could write letters to each other leading up to the big day, and make the book a keepsake of your wedding memories. I love how sleek and understated this replica of Tom Riddle's Diary is. Only the hard core fans would get the reference, and that sometimes makes it way more special. 

Now for all the accessories!!!

#4 Tie Pins

For those members of your wedding party wearing suits, these fab "deathly hallows" tie pins are sure to be a hit (and again, double as a gift they could wear again). 

#6 Cufflinks

In the same vein, I LOVE these Platform 9 3/4 Cufflinks

#7 Always

If you're a Harry Potter fan and you don't know about Alex and Ani's gorgeous jewelry... say goodbye to your budget for the month. I have earrings and rings galore from them, and absolutely adore this "Always" bracelet. Could be a gift to your wedding party, or a gift for your new partner in crime! 

...The most important wedding day beverage

#8 BEER

Harry Potter + Beer = A very happy Kate. If you feel the same way I do, these Muggle, Squib, Wizard! pint glasses could be super cute as your special glasses for the evening, or as a toasting vessel for your bridal party... or just because they're amazing. I definitely become a wizard after a tasty (butter) beer. 

#9 More Beer

So I don't know about you, but I use all my old growlers and bombers as flower vases around my house... well, how about these Deathly Hallows growlers for your wedding centerpieces. How cute would it be standing on top of a pile of books with a flower made from your favorite book in the top! Crap, I need to get married again now *facepalm.* 

#10 Butter Beer

Confession, two of these are in my amazon cart right now (one for me, one for my favorite Harry Potter fan). Beer bottle openers that say "Accio (Butter) Beer." Again, a super cute gift or favor, especially if you're having some of your favorite brews featured at the wedding!

If you made it all the way through this article... here's a freebie for you. That quote by Snape that always brings tears to my eyes? You know the one... "After all this time?" "ALWAYS." *sobs* Well, did you know they make shoe stickers specifically for weddings of that quote?? I didn't either. But you're welcome ;) 

Sooooo.... can I pretty please photograph your Harry Potter themed wedding? If yes, click here to get in touch with me :) 

vendors:

That awesome scarf and hat from the header photo: Sunshine's Whimsy

The Slytherin shirt that the guy in the photo is wearing: The Dream Societee

Want your hair dyed Gryffindor house colors? Contact: Spoilers Salon

//SPOTLIGHT// The St. Vrain Wedding Venue in Longmont

Well hey there! Any chance you're still looking for a wedding venue? What's that you say, you're looking for somewhere, urban, elegant and close to adorable places to take photos. Well, I'd say you're in luck! 

This new venue in Longmont, the St. Vrain, recently left me standing in the doorway drooling with my mouth open. Seriously. I cannot believe how perfect this place is!! I visited it the evening of Yore's Holiday Craft Fair and it was an adorable and charming event. While I was there, I took the opportunity to take a look around downstairs and fantasize about how gorgeous weddings there would be (and, of course, grabbed a couple photos too)!

"the St. Vrain recently left me standing in the doorway drooling..."

Overall, the St. Vrain wedding venue oozes class, style, and totally nails the balance between chic and urban. Exposed brick, whitewashed walls, chandeliers galore, and the whole place is full of these charming little areas that would be great for photos, or just different nooks for your guests to get lost in. You could easily stay in the venue for photos because its so stunning, but if you wanted to take a walk outside, the adorable old town of Longmont would be right at your feet!! How perfect is that. Say you're the type who wants those iconic mountain views as well as the perfect urban venue? Good thing you could drive about 10 minutes to get those gorgeous sunset shots before heading back to the venue. 

Does it sound too good to be true?? Trust me, that's what I thought too, but just check out these photos!! Then, go see it in real life and book your wedding there. Right. Now.

 

Every wall of this place could be an art piece on its own. They even feature several artists throughout the venue! ART LOVERS REJOICE!!

Every wall of this place could be an art piece on its own. They even feature several artists throughout the venue! ART LOVERS REJOICE!!

Does that wall have gold crystals in it?? Yes, yes it does. Check out all those cute couches and comfy areas to hang out as well!

Does that wall have gold crystals in it?? Yes, yes it does. Check out all those cute couches and comfy areas to hang out as well!

A little sneak peek into the two getting ready spaces... modern, chic, and just STUNNING. As a photographer, getting ready rooms are often the death of me. Most venues add them as an afterthought, but not the St. Vrain. I would hang out here all day!

A little sneak peek into the two getting ready spaces... modern, chic, and just STUNNING. As a photographer, getting ready rooms are often the death of me. Most venues add them as an afterthought, but not the St. Vrain. I would hang out here all day!

Here's some wider shots of the whole space. Check out the exposed beams, twinkle lights, and chandeliers in the upstairs room!!! Notice those gorgeous chairs and tables too! So much is already perfectly styled for you to use. 

Here's some wider shots of the whole space. Check out the exposed beams, twinkle lights, and chandeliers in the upstairs room!!! Notice those gorgeous chairs and tables too! So much is already perfectly styled for you to use. 

Getting married at the St. Vrain wedding venue?? Please get in touch so we can collab in this amazing space! 

//ADVICE// How to plan a wedding timeline

 
wedding timeline planning

This is something I spend a lot of time going over with my couples.  Even though almost every single one of the nearly 300 weddings I've worked has had the exact same basic timeline, it doesn't seem to be information that a lot of other vendors are trying to get into your hands! They just want to know what time you want dinner to be, what time you want your ceremony to be, but when you express an opinion they gently steer you towards this standard wedding timeline anyway. So, this post is all about how to plan your wedding timeline!

"Hold up!" you say..."I thought you were all about NON-Traditional weddings, Kate!" True. You caught me. Here's the thing, though. Nailing that "Non-Traditional" vibe works really well when you're riffing off the structure of how a "Normal" wedding should go. It gives your guests a sense of comfort that they know what will happen next, but then gives you the chance to knock their socks off with something crazy at the perfect moment. Plus, remember those venue coordinators who want your timeline to go just how they want? That conversation will go oh-so-much better if you can say..."Instead of a cocktail hour, we want to have a pre-dinner rock concert. Don't worry, our photographer said if we do our photos before the ceremony, she doesn't need cocktail hour for photos." Hook. Line. And sinker. 

I think that's enough preamble for now. Here's the standard timeline that every wedding uses so you can plan your wedding on YOUR terms. 

We'll need to start with your ceremony time. From there, the rest of the wedding timeline planning is just working backwards! I'm going to build this timeline based on a ceremony time of 4pm (which is a pretty common time here in Colorado). 

2:00pm  Photography start time

I like having about two hours prior to the ceremony, and arriving just as hair/makeup is finishing up.

2:30PM Separate Wedding Party Photos

If you aren't seeing each other before the ceremony, we'll work with one side of the wedding party first, then the other side. It takes 20-30 minutes for these :)

3:45pm Staging for Ceremony

4:00PM Ceremony

4:45PM Cocktail Hour

Also time for full wedding party photos, family photos, and photos of you guys together.

5:45PM Guests asked to be seated for dinner

6:00PM Announcement (if applicable) and the start of dinner

7:00PM Toasts 

They're usually around 20 minutes unless you have a very verbose family member, haha.

7:20PM Parent Dances (if applicable)

7:30PM Couple's First Dance

7:35PM Cake Cutting

7:45PM Dance floor opens!!

I like staying for about an hour after the dancing starts. After that things tend to be a little repetetive. BUT, if you're having a crazy send-off (sparklers, anyone?) you better keep us around!

11:00PM Grand Exit (if applicable)/The Party Ends

I hope that all helps you guys with how to plan a wedding timeline! I'd love to hear what you think of this post and if it helped you out. 

 

Not booked with me, but want to chat after reading this post? Click below!!

 

//Products// The Americano Album

album spotlight: the americano

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I'm so excited to share some photos of one of my favorite wedding albums. Today, we're grabbing an Americano (espresso with water added, similar in strength to drip coffee) and taking a peek at this lovely little album with a customized leather cover. I include 20 pages with it standard, but you can always add a few more! This, and the espresso shot are the two albums in the group that don't have photo paper printed pages. That makes them great as a book to write on if you need to (think guestbook for your wedding). 

Take a peek at the detailed photos below! You'll notice (like all my albums) it has a layflat center seams, and pages that lay flat by themselves. The leather cover definitely elevates the look and it feels so soft and silky! The colors from Ali + Kelton's winter wonderland wedding pop beautifully on the crisp matte paper.

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Thanks for taking a look! Click here if you want to order one of these beauties for your wedding or engagement photos. 

//products// The Espresso Shot Album

album spotlight: the espresso shot

wedding album

The espresso shot is the smallest and most budget-friendly wedding album that I offer. While in a perfect world, I want all of my couples to get a gorgeous leather bound coffee table book, I know it's not always in the cards. That said, I LOVE this album as an engagement session book. The fact that the pages aren't photo paper like some of the higher end albums means that it works great as a guest book for your wedding with some of your favorite photos printed alongside lines for your friends and family to leave you a note! 

Take a peek at the detailed photos below! Even though the pages are thin, you still get the huge bonus of a layflat center seam. That means there's no risk of a photo getting cut off when it overlaps the middle of the book. The cover is the same thickness as the other pages, so it feels more like a paperback novel or thick art magazine than a hardcover book. I like the feel of it though. The paper is smooth, thick, and the photos print on it marvelously. 

wedding albums

Thanks for checking out this album! Let me know if you have questions about it, and click here if you want to reach out and order one for your engagement or wedding photos!