A wedding with 500 guests isn’t easy to pull off, but Mari and Tomas managed it brilliantly with the help of Steve Stanton Photography, Calluna Events, and The Perfect Petal. The day was full of elegance, tradition, and hometown charm, using a recurring motif of olive branches to tie everything together brilliantly.
From the bride, Mari: Tomas and I both have very large, exciting and involved families. I’m Greek and Tomas is Spanish, with both cultures being very passionate, when we come together everything escalates quickly. When the news spread from California to Colorado and overseas to Greece and Spain, everyone was ready and elated for the marriage of Tomas and I. Our engagement party set the foundation for our planning, reminding us that no matter what comes our way during the process we were going to throw the most elegant, meaningful, passionate celebration. This celebration was not only for us but also for every single person that helped us get to where we are today. So from there the blueprints of our dream wedding were mapped out. After losing my mother five years ago, wedding planning was very emotional to take on by myself. It was a time in my life that I always dreamed I would have my mom by my side. Together we were a dream team when it came to planning, and without her, I knew every decision would be bittersweet, wishing that she could be a part of all the details. Keeping her always at the front of mind through the entire planning process she helped as my guardian angel. Being an event planner and marketer by trade, I had a clear vision of what we wanted and needed.
While Tomas and I are very different than most in many aspects of our life, we have very traditional values. This is the reason we knew that getting married back in Northwest Colorado in the church I was baptized and grew up in, would be the most meaningful and powerful. There is nothing quite like my hometown of Craig, Colorado. It’s a place that no matter how long you have been away, it always welcomes you and makes you feel right at home. I started first by finding my right hand lady to help guide me through the planning process. After interviewing over ten wedding planners in Colorado and the surrounding area I chose Heather Dwight with Calluna Events. With her as my right hand lady along with my godmother and my mom’s best friend as my left hand lady we had a lot of items to check off of our list. We wanted grandiose, elegance, intimate, romantic, completely rare yet still hometown.
First, we had the task of finding the reception venue. Finding a venue that hosted 500 guests wasn’t easy in my hometown. We looked high and low for a venue and it proved to take up a lot of time. Then, as if my mom had her special plans all along; she gave my dad an epiphany. He said, “Why don’t we look at the ice skating rink, it’s huge and your mother helped build it when she was County Commissioner.” I looked up and knew my mom had been leading us here all along. And in a matter of minutes, we got the key for the ice skating rink and found out it was still available (another reason small towns are amazing). Looking beyond the plexiglass, sponsorship signs, locker rooms and scoreboard… we had the potential for a masterpiece before us. Everyone’s eyes lit up and we were busy bodies running around the large floor plan, pointing above to the 40 feet plus tall ceilings and dreaming of all the draping, uplighting, florals and decor that we could do. That’s when I knew I had the right team in place. We were going to make the unimaginable possible.
We booked the venue and it was crunch time. When I told people that our reception was in an ice skating rink, people were very confused and not sure what to expect. They laughed it off thinking that it might look like a high school gym homecoming. And to their credit, it did seem crazy. The olive branch and olive tree were the foundation of our design and theme for our wedding. Both being of Mediterranean decent, we felt that the olive tree not only represented our cultures but also symbolized peace as we looked forward to our marriage. Olive green, sage, ivories, champagne, apricot and mauve colors were painted through every piece of our wedding. From the custom watercolor invitation suite and paper goods, the escort card display and tablescapes, to the custom welcome bag totes, everything was cohesive and detail-oriented. Our first date was a picnic on the beach so we gave our guests a welcome bag that included everything one would need for the finest picnic. Overall, even with all the ups and downs that came our way including the absence of my mother, I really enjoyed the wedding planning process and couldn’t wait to see the transformation of the space. I couldn’t have done it without my team.