Whimsical Colorado Wedding

Brace yourself because this wedding shot by Erik Clausen of Poser Image will knock your socks off. This is a gigantic feature, so I am going to let the bride, Abbey, take the stage:

From the bride, Abbey: Dan decided early on in the planning process that top hats were high on his list of “must haves.” A nod to his British heritage, this started the ball rolling. Having both grown up in theater (with mothers who are both costumers) we knew that drama (and DIY) would play a big part. More than aesthetics, however, we knew we wanted a wedding that was a uniquely “us” and so we set out to incorporate meaning into every detail so nothing was included unless it spoke to our lives, our families and our love.

 roaring twenties bride and groom in vintage car

We rented a 1936 white touring coach from The Ambassador’s Rolls. The coach, which seated 14, was originally designed and used for touring national parks like Zion and Yosemite. My dad’s side of the family was heavily involved in the founding of national parks in the southwest, so we felt that this was an appropriate choice.

 1920s black and white wedding save the date

Your wedding style? Whimsical, theatrical, traditional (with a twist).

I could not commit to a tight color palette, so I opted instead to keep most of our details black and white allowing our flowers to be a total explosion of color.

Almost everything about our wedding was DIY, from the 10 page booklet style invitations to the website designed with help from my new brother-in-law (https://www.abbeyanddan.com/) to the clay mustaches in our photobooth that we set up with crepe paper streamers, lighting kit, tripod and remote shutter release. We used the same remote shutter release to take our own engagement pictures in DC and had so much fun with it, we knew our guests would too.

We folded cootie catchers, designed and printed signs, made programs that doubled as fans and attractive mustaches and spent a year collecting the vintage globes, books, scrabble tiles, bells (to ring for a kiss), snow globes (from places we’d visited), sugars and creamers and random treasures that decorated the tables. We made arrangements out of wholesale flowers, created a dozen different guest books and assembled photos of every member of our extended family on their wedding day. Even my shoes were a DIY achievement, but more on that to come.

 1920s inspired hollywood glam wedding shoes

Dan and I both grew up in Colorado, so deciding to host the wedding extravaganza in Denver was a no-brainer.

We were married in Our Lady of Loretto Chapel on the campus of Colorado Heights University (which most Denver-ites remeber as Loretto Heights). The church celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The art history geek in me loved the catholic church trappings, carved canopy over the altar, statues of Mary and Jesus and plenty of stained glass. The non-traditionalist in me loved that there was no resident congregation, and so we were free to choose the readings, music and officiant we wanted.

 1920s inspired hanging light lanterns
 1920s inspired bride and groom outfits

Our dear friend and Boulder Fire Chief, Andrew Moschetti was ordained for the occasion and did us the honor of officiating. Friends gave readings that ranged from Madeline L’Engle to dinosaur stories.

We chose Mile High Station for our reception because we loved the industrial feel that was so reminiscent of our old warehouse loft that we lived in in Denver before moving to DC. From the polished concrete floors to the incredible chandeliers, the space is fantastic and requires no additional decoration.

 1920s top hat inspired wedding theme
 1920s inspired typewriter guestbook

We designed, printed and assembled our 10-page booklet-style wedding invitations ourselves. The labels on the front were from Envelopper, Inc. The paper including linen cover stock, velvet interior stock and vellum were all from The Paper Mill Store. The kraft paper outer and RSVP envelopes were from Paper Presentation, and the booklets were bound with black and white twine from Divine Twine.

 1920s inspired scrabble and mercury glass decor
 1920s table settings ideas

My dress was custom-made for me by my college costume design professor, and incredibly talented friend, Ted Stark. It was exactly the ruffled-cream confection of my dreams and was all the more special in that it was made just for me.

My mom made my birdcage veil decorated with an antique rhinestone necklace from her mom.

My shoes were a near disaster – and one of my favorite DIY moments. After deliberating for weeks over which pair of shoes to buy (but knowing I wanted blue) I selected a white dye-able pair and brought them to the cobbler so I could choose the perfect hue. Just days before the wedding I received a nervous call; the shoes were somewhat tie-dyed, blotchy and runny, not at all what I had hoped for. My two teenage cousins and junior bridesmaids swung into action with a trip to the craft store, a handful of blue fabric markers and hundreds of clear crystals. Everyone took a shift at the kitchen counter affixing sparkles and the final product was made with so much love, they surpassed anything I could have purchased. They may have dyed my feet blue, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Another very talented friend, Jessica, coiffed my hair along with most of the bridal party’s. I did my makeup myself.

 1920s inspired candlelabra decor
 roaring 20s vintage decor ideas
 1920s inspired birdcage veil
 1920s inspired wedding ceremony

Our moms entered to Simple Gifts; The bridal party to Trumpet Voluntary, and I walked down the aisle to the classic Bridal Chorus all played on the 100-year-old pipe organ.

As soon as we were pronounced husband and wife, a 20 person choir made up of musical friends from across the country erupted in Can’t Help Falling in Love of Elvis fame from the church’s balcony.

Dan and I danced to Ben Fold’s The Luckiest performed by on of our multi-talented groomsmen, Jordan Kenning and we twirled around the floor with my dad and his mom to La Vie en Rose – which it certainly was.

 1920s train station inspired wedding
 1920s scrabble game wedding decor
 1920s inspired wedding flowers ideas
 1920s inspired wedding decor ideas
 roaring twenties decor ideas
 1920s inspired candy buffet penny candy
 1920s inspired ruffled flapper wedding dress
 twenties ruffled flapper inspired wedding dress

The bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnière for groom, groomsmen, ring bearer and dads, and corsages for our moms and grandmas were made by Megan at Happy Canyon Flowers. She did a fabulous job of incorporating all of my different ideas. My bouquet included favorite flowers for the women on my mom’s side of the family. The groomsmen wore craspedia, the dad’s; bachelor buttons and Dan; an incredible fuchsia dahlia. Our mom & grandma’s wrist corsages included vintage 50’s pins that said “Mom” and “Grandma” and our ring-bearer’s boutonnière, a lego man; his favorite.

 1920s inspired wedding polka dot dresses
 1920s wedding table arrangement ideas
 roaring twenties top hats and wedding suits

The groom and groomsmen all wore full morning suits (in keeping with our British styling). Dan’s was purchased and tailored just for him while the rest of the guys rented from Men’s Warehouse. We bought the vests online separately to avoid the shiny backless options at Men’s Warehouse and get something a little more authentic. Each groomsmen wore a different black and white cravat and a set of Chicago U token cuff-links – a gift from Dan to commemorate his bachelor weekend there. Dan finished his look with a purple cravat and grey and purple argyle socks. Our littlest bridal party member, ring-bearer Brandon opted for black Converse instead of dress shoes. The hats that set the whole party in motion were also ordered online.

 1920s inspired wedding decor ideas
 1920s inspired bride and groom
 twenties style wedding table ideas

Catering by Design worked with me to create the family style feast we envisioned. A traditional British meat and potatoes meal featured roast beef and mashed potatoes with spicy mustard and basil mayo with plenty of roasted veggies on the side. Appetizers during cocktail hour focused on our different backgrounds with mini rellenos representing my southwestern roots.

 roaring twenties flapper ruffled dress

Any advice for brides planning their weddings? Have fun, enjoy the ride, take time to incorporate meaning and let your personalities shine through and find meaningful ways to incorporate your family and friends into building your big day.

My favorite memories of the wedding were of the week before with all of my family huddled around the table, sculpting mustaches, bedazzling shoes and arranging flowers. By the time we got to the reception, they had as much ownership of the event as I did! It was their party too, and I loved that.

Check out Abbey and Dan’s DIY paper goods bonanza on Abbey’s Flickr!

Wedding Vendors (Denver, Colorado):

Ceremony Venue: Our Lady of Loretto Chapel on the campus of Colorado Heights University / Reception Venue: Mile High Station / Photographer: Erik Clausen of Poser Image / Wedding Dress: custom made by a friend / Birdcage veil: handmade by the bride’s mom / Table arrangements: DIY, flowers from Fifty Flowers / Bouquets and Bouts: Happy Canyon Flowers / DJ: 8trac M.E / Caterer: Catering by Design / Wedding Cake: Das Meyer Pastry Chalet / Wedding Cake Topper: Melabo on Etsy / DIY Invitation resources: Envelopper Inc, The Paper Mill, Paper Presentation, Divine Twine / Transportation: The Ambassador’s Rolls

140 Comments
  1. Wow. The style of this wedding is incredible! It is a breath of fresh air in a wedding world of overly “vintage” and “diy.” This is great! Amazing feature!

  2. holey moley do i LOVE this wedding. let me count the ways: the top hat. the black and white polka dot dresses. the everything. yes.

  3. Wow – everything about this is incredible! Great job to the photographer for capturing such beauty with the Colors! The shoes… Love them – Love the Top Hats – and the photo of all the men with the bouquets – hands down one of the best wedding photos I’ve ever seen.

  4. GORGEOUS!!!!! i LOVE the save the dates & the bridesmaid dresses! black & white is so classic!

  5. I never comment, but this deserves an “Obnoxiously cool wedding!” (in a good way of course because I’m super jealous). I hope to have a cool wedding like this, but I doubt it will be this COOL! Wow, now I wish I bought a ruffled dress…

  6. Bouquets like hers make me wish I had gone with a colorful one instead of white! We’ll just have to have a vow renewal soon. ;]

  7. Oooh! Love the old english vibe to this wedding. I’m super excited to be shooting a wedding at the MIle High Station next year…looks like its an awesome venue!

  8. Can we talk about these bridesmaids’ dresses?! *Obsessed* Custome made too? How do you find six styles that coordinate like this? I would love to have different Betsey Johnson’s but that’s too much $$. This wedding was nothing short of magic!

  9. Thanks to everyone for the kind words – I still get teary-eyed looking over this blog 🙂

    Christy – the bridesmaids actually weren’t custom-made, they were sourced from everywhere from anthro to Macy’s and ranged in price from $50-150. I originally gave the girls about 20 to choose from and then helped manage the balance of stripes/spots/etc… as they each made their choice. It was so much fun for them to each have their own look.

  10. This is stunning Gorgeous. Love, love the vintage details and the photography is amazing, how I wish I had photo’s like these when I married. I Love her veil in 40’s style like hat.

  11. AMAZING!! The bride, the groom, everyones attire! The snowglobes on the tables! The bride is gorgeous! Love her custome made gown…jealous! Whomever her friend is that made her gown did an amazing job!

  12. This wedding is so cool! I love the reception set up, the clocks, the scrabble, the top hats, the typewriter.. everything!

  13. I love this wedding! Everything is so unique and beautiful! Congrats! I am dying to know where you got your shoes!!! They are perfect!!!!

  14. Absolutely stunning wedding! My first love is the love that Abbey and Dan obviously share. I adore that they came up with a truly beautiful mix of both of their ideas. The fact that this was a prominently DIY designed fete is totally inspiring. When I read your theme I thought how perfectly those three descriptors could meld together and then I was proved completely right by the selection of fabulous photos! I am trying to design a wedding that includes whimsical, vintage, and traditional (love the “with a twist” line) and I’m finding it difficult to design my paper goods. I want to use a top hot image on the reception cards; is the image you used a stamp or clip art? The groom is pushing for top hats and tea cups (for flowers) as a nod to his English ancestry as well. Congratulations! Wonderfully done!

  15. Ok this wedding has so many great features, but my favorite is the chandelier- very retro and modern at the same time – love it – the tales, top hat and most of the pure simplicity in the flowers

  16. Socks have been knocked clean off. … How inconvenient 🙂

    Beautiful wedding guys. What’s better than whimsical elements at a cool wedding?!

  17. Well done. Incredibly imaginative. Almost theatrical. A wedding i would like to have. Passionate and unique.
    I like the wedding boys, nice outfit!

  18. What a truly whimsical wedding! I love vintage, and this wedding really brings the vintage theme to life! Thanks for sharing, Abbey- LOVE the shoes! 😀 x

  19. Ack! There is so much to love about this weekend. The little DIY touches here and there. The simple vintage centerpieces – each one a little different. And oh my, I absolutely adore the bridesmaid’s patterned dresses that are all so different but came together beautifully!

  20. Stunned! such depth, such rich colors and textures I can taste it. Bravo and this couple should be thrown another party, the smiles the art are a glad story indeed.

  21. Love the wedding! I’m relocating to Colorado this summer and can’t wait to get shooting weddings there!

  22. This is what a wedding should be! Everyone looked like they were having fun. All of your DIY touches looked professional. Attention to detail makes the difference, and the attention you gave to the tiny details is evident in the photos. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!

  23. Beautiful photos! I love the first one in black and white of the couple. And I love the studded shoes. Beautiful colors of the flowers. Great photography makes all the difference in the world!

  24. What a great wedding, bet it was such an eventful day. Every detail from the scrabble letters to the typewriter is just brilliant to make it unique.

  25. WOW. I absolutely love this wedding. The bride looks like an even more more distinctive Katherine Heigle, and I love the selective focus the photographer used. WOWEE. Rock on. Tobin

  26. They had the best of everything and it all looked worth it. Congrats on the beautiful wedding!!!!

  27. I love the idea of a wedding made mostly of DIY details and including family members in the creation of your wedding! It definitely adds a special touch and I think everyone will feel more connected to the bride and groom along with the whole ceremony. Love this!

  28. What a FABULOUS wedding to represent Colorado! The style is fantastic! The bride looks flawless and her bridesmaids look amazing standing next to her — can’t forget the men, how handsome are they!? Absolutely adore the theme and every little detail that brought it all together! Seriously fantastic!

  29. You have fabulous pictures! Love the industrial feel! The hanging lights are awesome. 🙂 I super loved your bridesmaids dresses! They coordinated lovely and really added a fun element!

  30. Where, can I ask, did you buy the hats?? They are perfect and exactly what we were looking for, for our wedding. Can you please tell me where you bought them online?

  31. I ADORE the shoes!! Please tell me where you got them because I have been searching for a unique low heel wedding shoe for my June wedding! :))