Katie and Matthew first met while working at the same international architecture firm in Denver. Katie was a publicist and Matthew was a rising designer – they rarely bumped into one another but were friendly colleagues. Katie moved to New York after landing her dream job and that’s where the two reconnected. Matthew reached out for help with job hunting and that quickly turned into coffee dates and casual meetups when they were visiting each other’s cities. Katie had lost her father that January and her only brother 10-years prior. After Matthew visited her in New York one weekend, Katie recalls the moment it all clicked. “I’m pretty sure that my father tilted my hand that night. My dad was an architect too. And Matt had all of the qualities that my dad would have wanted me to have in a husband. It felt like divine intervention.” Katie immediately texted her best friend, “Found the one.” That night sparked a 9-month long-distance relationship which led to a romantic proposal outside Matthew’s family ski condo in Alaska. He remembers the nervous moment as pure magic. “As I was going down on one knee she grabbed my shoulders and asked if I was alright. She thought I was falling down. When she realized what was happening she started sobbing and didn’t respond to my proposition but rather just continued, sobbing. I had to ask her again to make sure that the tears meant ‘yes’, and not ‘no’.”
The couple originally planned to have their 150-person wedding on July 4th in Fort Collins, Colorado, but as the pandemic took hold, they postponed it to September 5th and ultimately cancelled that date too. “I was STRESSED pre-wedding and felt very vain for asking our family and friends to come together during a scary time. We doubled down on everything. Our guests quarantined for two weeks leading up to the wedding and were tested prior to gathering. Because of that, no one got sick but at that point we really didn’t know if it would be years before we were out of this mess and after being engaged for two years we had to get married and start the rest of our lives.” Their third attempt was a go but they shifted gears opting instead for a more intimate affair with their closest family and friends. Matthew and Katie, both keen on design, fixated their sites on the Buena Vista Surf Hotel + Chateau for their third and final date. Katie recalls the venue being picture perfect. “At Surf Hotel it’s as though the Rocky Mountains met up with New Orleans’ swagger.” The venue is a perfect mix of what Katie and Matthew love most: great design, great food, New York-level cocktails, the Rocky Mountains in a charming, yet energetic, small town. It’s instantaneously a magnet for adventure seekers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Denver.
Katie and Matthew worked with a team of vendors who understood their vision but felt inspired to use their own creativity and create their magical day. Alisha Rodrigues of ANA Trio Solutions, whom Katie says made the entire replanning process, “a breeze” helped plan and bring the couple’s vision to life. They wanted their guests to feel included throughout the entire weekend and planned events such as hiking and hot springs. Perfect Petal created floral arrangements with color palettes showcasing the beauty of fall in Colorado. They utilized pops of blush, marigold, mocha and white throughout their arrangements. “We originally we’re going to have an all white summer wedding, but the pandemic had other plans that shifted our wedding date from July 4 to October 17. We had already ordered bridesmaid dresses and made the most of it by altering the floral colors to compliment the aspen’s in Buena Vista turning gold.” Despite shifting their wedding multiple times due to a global pandemic, the couple finally ‘said yes’ on October 17, 2020 and had their dream wedding. They ended the weekend with a farewell brunch at the Surf Hotel’s Ivy Ballroom.
Q: Rate, in order, your priorities during the planning process:
A: Venue, Location, Videographer, Wedding Planner, Photographer, Dress, Floral, Catering, Decor and Paper.
Q: Now that you’ve had your wedding, would you change any of your priorities?
A: I think we did a good job on our priorities and really centered it around our guests’ experience vs. our own. We prioritize our guests’ safety during a global pandemic while also allowing everyone a bit of escapism during a very serious year.
Q: If you could go back and change anything about your wedding day, what would it be?
A: We absolutely loved our intimate wedding but we were very emotional cutting the guest list. If I could have changed anything, I would have extended the invite to have our cousins, aunts and uncles there.
Q: What was one the one thing you are so glad you did and why?
A: I am so glad that we had our wedding in 2020. It was stressful but not only did we need to get married, our guests needed something to look forward to during one hell of a year.
Q: What did you think was going to be really important and in the end didn’t matter much?
A: I insisted on having top shelf drinks and I think we could have gone without it.
Q: Were there any vendors you wish you would have hired that you didn’t?
A: I wish I would have had a wedding planner from day one. Alisha Rodrigues and ANA Trio Solutions literally saved me from myself and helped us navigate all of the crazy COVID requirements. I could have not done it without her and wish I wouldn’t have waited until 3 months from the wedding to bring her on board.
Q: Was there anything you wish you would have done that you didn’t?
A: A farewell photo and photo of the entire party.
Q: What three takeaways would you share with future couples?