I think photographer Julie Cate said it best when she summed up Caitlin and Simon’s wedding day: “It was a beautiful and simple affair filled with love.” There’s so much love to be seen in this wedding, it feels like it simply jumps out of the screen at times. The couple had an utterly serene ceremony in a park pavilion, surrounded by those who mean the most to them, followed by a restaurant reception with the yummiest food Denver had to provide!
From the bride, Caitlin: When Simon and I first started planning our wedding, one thing we both felt strongly about was that we wanted it to feel private and personal. I come from a large, wonderful family, and while the idea of a huge raucous wedding is thrilling for some (and definitely fun to attend!), planning an event like that left us feeling drained and a little sad, which was not how we wanted to enter the next chapter of our lives together! After some wistful Google searching for “beautiful courthouses” to elope to, and a more serious follow-up conversation, we decided to scrap our plans to get married in South Florida where I’m from, and instead looked westward. Believe it or not, my internet search (and the resulting wedding photography) lead us to Cheesman Park in Denver, Colorado. We were struck by the classic yet ethereal pavilion and its beautiful park setting, and we just knew that a relaxed but intimate ceremony in such a picturesque public space would feel more like “us”. Having both spent plenty of time in Colorado in the past, and with an aunt and uncle living in Denver, it was a destination wedding that felt like home.
I sometimes hear people talk about weddings as an opportunity for the bride to be a “princess for the day”, but we didn’t want to feel like we were playing a part on such an important day. We wanted it to feel special, yes, but not fake. Simon and I are both pretty un-fancy, and I think our wedding reflects our more relaxed tastes. We love brunch, nature, and our wonderful family and friends, and those three things were pretty much our guiding principals for the big day! The pavilion at Cheesman is so lovely it doesn’t really require any decoration, but the twig-back chairs and fresh-from-the-garden looking flowers helped bring the outside in. A local musician, Frank Lynn, did an amazing job, and walking in to The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” on violin is a great memory. Most of all, it was the ceremony itself that made it such a fantastic day. Simon’s brother was his best man, and my sister was my matron of honor. My dad got ordained so he could marry us, and I couldn’t imagine him creating a more personal or touching ceremony. Two of our best friends did favorite readings from E.E. Cummings and Jonathan Safran Foer, and Simon and I exchanged vows we wrote together on my parents’ back patio. It couldn’t have been more lovely.
We followed up our ceremony with an amazing family-style brunch at The Kitchen in downtown Denver. Maybe I’m biased since we had our reception there, but I think they do phenomenal food, and their “community through food” philosophy is right up our alley. All together, 37 of our closest friends and family traveled from around the world to celebrate with us, with some of Simon’s family and friends coming all the way from England and New Zealand. With such a small group, we had plenty of time to enjoy our guests and really take in the day with them. All the great toasts, big laughs, beautiful flowers, delicious food… it was pretty much perfect, and definitely the celebration we had hoped for.