Andy & Nicole | Botanic Gardens Wedding & Great Divide Brewery Reception

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Andy and Nicole were one of those couples that I connected with instantly after meeting for a dring Happy Hour last year. We talked for a long time about the similarities we found in each other and our lives and the conversation felt so natural and real. I knew from the get-go this was a wedding I really wanted to be apart of and i’d be lucky to be their wedding photographer.

How did you meet? Although we moved to Denver within two days of each other back in September of 2009, our lives didn’t cross paths until years later when we met at CrossFit Wash Park. After a night out with our CrossFit community and a Bumble swipe later we decided on casual drinks for our first date.

How did he propose? It was a Sunday morning in late July when Andy schemed with our friends Becca and Jake to organize the proposal, which involved a hike around Red Rocks. Becca had organized a weekly hike club, so I thought we were just hanging out with our friends for our weekly catch-up. After hiking for approximately seven minutes Andy stopped for a “water break”,  reached into his bag and said “Wait, that’s not water!” as he pulled out the engagement ring he had purchased the day prior. The timing of the engagement couldn’t have been more perfect: our Europe trip just three days later served as a twelve-day celebration. Andy loves to laugh about my reaction which was a mix between a laugh/ugly cry.

What made you decide on your wedding venue?
We made a rule to not talk wedding during our Europe trip following the engagement so when we returned we quickly jumped into brainstorming. We knew we wanted an intimate ceremony and a fun party after but the rest needed some research. We had done yoga at Great Divide for their monthly Happy Yogis event and after a quick tour with our girl Emma (Great Divide Event Planner) we were in. We loved the idea of a private ceremony with just family and close friends. Our initial thought was using a local park, but then after a tour at The Botanic Gardens in Denver we knew we just knew The Woodland Mosaic was our perfect fit. We joke about how we basically looked at each venue for five minutes and quickly said yes, but both just felt right. We based all of our decisions on what felt true to us and these both fit our vibe perfectly. 
The date? Honestly, we wanted a wedding at the beginning of the summer so that we could adventure around Colorado the rest of the summer. It also ended up being really special because it was Father’s Day weekend. 
Which details? I seriously dream about all of the details still; I loved every single one. Just like the rest of the wedding we tried to be very intentional about everything feeling like “us”. I had an eclectic/minimalist vision and we always tried to refocus the details back to creating meaning behind the day. If I’m picking a physical detail I would have to say MY DRESS! I wanted to wear that thing to bed, seriously I was so sad to take it off and I initially wasn’t into the idea of getting a wedding gown but Carly at Lovely Bride Denver is my hero and was patient and kind and helped me find this dress by Sarah Seven. Andy’s mom altered it which also made it really special. I’m really bad at picking favorites so here are some highlights: We wrote a shared affirmation together and put that on each person’s seat at the reception as a way to invite them into the life we are creating. The Cochrans neon wall was definitely one of our favorites. Nicole designed the neon, Echo Neon Studio created the sign, and our friends Davy and Hailey spent hours building the wood backdrop to hang the sign. The pictures in our guestbook are epic and we love that people had so much fun with it. The flashtats with The Cochrans were at the top of the list as well. A few people went full send with the tattoo placement which made for an interesting brunch the next morning. I can’t forget the hours online I spent ordering eclectic vases and the hours my planner spent putting flowers in, which created the most perfect centerpiece for the venue (and the hours spent were worth it). Finally, we LOVED our vendors who brought all of their own details and fun. Kaleigh Glanton played acoustic guitar during the cocktail hour and first dance. Jaz from Elite Entertainment helped to turn the party up and our caterers Mountain Crust and Sugar Bakeshop stole the show. Also, Andy loved getting ready with the boys at The Source Hotel and those pictures are epic.


What was our favorite part of your wedding?
The ceremony. It was magical. We had 50 guests, had Andy’s cousins play an acoustic guitar and cello, and we had spent many lunches with our pastor, Jon Gettings from DCC, getting to know each other and creating a ceremony that felt perfect. The only things we brought into the ceremony were a rug, some programs, a painting of our dog so he could be present, and an artificial tree to represent the real love tree we planted in our front yard the week of the wedding. The Botanic Gardens brought the rest of the vibes. 


What advice for planning?
Make it fun and be intentional!! Think about how YOU want the day to look/feel. We spent many Sundays at Novel Strand Brewery down the street from our house drinking a few beers, sending emails, creating seating charts, and picking out cupcake flavors. This helped to give us something to look forward to and eased the pressure of wedding planning. Also, we were the most intentional about who we invited. We only had a list of “we want to invite them” instead of “we should invite then” folks.  As far as the day, I would say spend some time together, just the two of you. We did a workout with our friends in the morning and then went out for breakfast together just the two of us the morning of at Devils Food. This helped to slow down, spend some time together, and set our intention for the day. The first look and pictures we took before the ceremony were another favorite part of the day with just the two of us.
The biggest shout out goes to you, Catherine. These pictures capture the day so perfectly. I LOVE every single thing about them and I can’t stop looking at them over and over and over again. Your calm presence and expertise helped to capture all of the moments that I want to remember forever. I’m pretty sure between the engagement photos and wedding photos we soon will have no other photos hanging in our home. Thank you so much for everything you have done for us.

Venue: Botanic Gardens & Great Divide
Wedding Coordinator: Emma & Laura Irizzarry
Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven
Dress Boutqiue: Lovely Bridal Denver
Florist: Leher’s
Caterer: Mountain Crust
Desert: Sugar Bake Shop
DJ: Elite Entertainment DJ Jazz/ kaleigh glanton (acoustic)
Officiant: Jon Gettings (Denver Community Church)

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