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A Thought For Thursday
gallery Apr 26 2018
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"I will wait for love

In the morning dew

I will wait for love

When you ask me to

When the morning comes

I will wait for you

And in the afternoon

I will call on you"

- Saint Lucia

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Ali Title_key Rachael

Elopment
gallery Apr 25 2018
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Estes Park Elopment

Tell us your love story!

Ali and I met in 2013 through a mutual friend on Kentucky’s most well known weekend, the Kentucky Derby. To say it in the most graceful manner, lots of drinks are poured on that weekend of fun here in Louisville! Somehow in the midst of this fun weekend, Ali and I managed to cross paths. Do we remember all the details of how we met? Probably not, but that’s what makes our story so exciting. After lots of conversations we realized that not only did we go to the same elementary and middle school, we also lived a few streets away from one another our whole lives! Somehow in that time we managed to never cross paths. Crazy huh? Throughout the coming weeks and months, Ali and I spent very little time apart and I was training for my last season of NCAA D2 field hockey. With each day that passed I quickly realized that Ali was the most amazing individual I had ever met. She was my #1 supporter in academics, athletics, wine drinking and dog obsession. This had to be too good to be true, right? I quickly fell in love with Ali’s family and friends and the more they spoke of her genuine heart the more I knew she was the one.

From one of the very first conversations we had together, we spoke of our love for Colorado and the mountains. Ali had visited Colorado over the years and my family lives in Fort Collins. We decided one evening that it was time to take a trip out to the mountains for a week full of camping, bike riding and craft beer drinking. The perfect trip. We boarded a flight and we were off to the mountains! During that week we saw a different side of one another that we had never experienced. We felt more at peace with ourselves as well as a total state of simplicity in both ourselves and our relationship. The mountains will do that to ya. Ali totally hit it off with my family and they grew to love one another to the point of tears when it was time to head back to Kentucky. Soon after we returned we got engaged and the wedding planning began. At first we tried to plan a very large and detailed wedding here in Kentucky that fell short of what we truly wanted together. What we kept dreaming back to was a small and intimate Colorado wedding. As soon as we said the word, we discussed with our families and my Colorado family quickly got to work planning! A cabin in the mountains was booked and a date was set.

On July 12, 2017, we woke up in our cabin and planned to get married later that afternoon. The day started slow with elk watching, breakfast on the porch and a slow downpour of cold and misty rain (“It’s like rainnnnn on your wedding day”- come on friends sing it with me!). Despite the peaceful atmosphere of being in the mountains, we both were so nervous! We each took a hike around the YMCA of the Rockies and tried to shake off the nervous jitters of it being our wedding day. We decided not to take the traditional route of getting ready separate and decided to have fun with the day and get ready together. We went into town and ate an amazing pre-ceremony early dinner in the city of Estes. Mama Rose’s is a one of a kind trademark of Estes and known for Italian food. Once we arrived back to our cabin, my cousins Jacqui and Ildi went to grab our flowers from the fridge. “Houston we have a problem” was said a few times with or without some added curse words. Our beautiful bouquets and hair arrangements had froze! You all, I have never experienced such shock and girl power than what we witnessed Jacqui and Ildi do next. Within a ten minute time period they had gathered local wildflowers from the grounds and made two new bouquets from the natural Colorado terrain. I have no idea how they managed to pull what they just did off, but the flowers looked phenomenal. Surrounded by family, Ali and I said our vows in the meadow of our cabin with the mountains in the distance.

The ceremony was a quick and intimate moment for us where we were able to say “I Do” to committing our lives to one another. We had been speaking to a local photographer, Janea Smith, for months prior to our wedding and trusted her to take us to all of her favorite Rocky Mountain Park spots for our post ceremony pictures. We jumped in her car and raced to the top of Trail Ridge Road to beat the sunset. Not many know, but Trail Ridge Road is the highest man made road in America. It was a good hour drive up to the top of Trail Ridge and we laughed the entire time about how the day had turned out. Once at the top of Trail Ridge, it was a whopping 48 degrees and snow had fallen. It was one of the most magical images I had ever experienced. How incredible that I would be sharing this moment with my wife. We posed, laughed, cried, opened a bottle of champagne and toasted to the day at 12,000ft. The sky turned a shade of pink and blue that looked exactly like cotton candy. It truly was magical. As the sunset faded, we decided to head back down the mountain. Shew, talk about bad timing. I got the case of car + altitude sick and had to pull over in the pitch black to have a moment with throwing up in my wedding dress. No worries, it was a successful moment and no wedding dresses were dirtied during this time. And my newly titled wife still thought I was attractive, so it was a win. We arrived back to the cabin where our family surprised us with a glow in the dark glow stick rave and Michael Franti on the speakers. This was truly the perfect and most wonderful day. We are both so happy we chose to say our vows in Colorado while in the beautiful Rocky Mountains and would live it over and over a million times again.

Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?

Yes! As soon as we were engaged, we immediately began stressing and discovering we were arguing more and were enjoying the planning process less and less. At one point in planning we seriously considered going to the court house and forgetting about any sort of wedding or reception. I am so glad we didn't do that! Once I discussed the opportunity to say our vows together in Colorado during a summer vacation, Ali quickly jumped on the dream and we discovered it was what we wanted from the beginning...simple and different! We recommend that couples chose one or two must haves for their big day. Write them down and focus the rest of their wedding planning around that. Our must haves were to have a mountain backdrop and beautiful pictures at 12,000ft. Once we were 100% set with those two must haves, the rest of our planning quickly fell into place.

What was your favorite part of your wedding?

We would have to agree that our favorite part of the day was celebrating at the end of the day at 12,000ft while drinking champagne, (beer for Ali), while the sun was setting. Once the sun set and we left to head back down to the cabin, we were greeted to a glow stick rave by family. We sat up by a fire and reminicsed on how amazing the day was.       

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Sneak Peek
gallery Apr 24 2018
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Anna Title_key Kirstie

Real Wedding
gallery Apr 23 2018
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Hudson Valley Brides

Tell us your love story!

We me online on OkCupid, neither of us were expecting anything serious to come out of an online relationship. We had messaged back and forth for about two months before we even met in person, she had even ghosted me along the way so clearly there were low expectations. But, we finally both said "Hey, is this ever going to happen?" and we bit the bullet and set up a first date.

I was so nervous I set up for late night drinks which sure enough came back to bite me because Kristie grabbed drinks with co-workers beforehand and showed up to our date plastered! On more than one occasion she got up and forgot where our table was and thought I had left. But, the conversation was still good and I had gotten to know her for the two months prior which is why the date wasn't a complete write off. I caught up with the drinks and one thing led to the next and we have been together ever since, and it still makes for a good first date story!

What about the proposal?

We had been talking for awhile about the next step and getting married, we knew it would happen, we just didn't know when. As time went on though the conversation just became more about what are we waiting for, we know we both want this. We had plans to go hiking one day and when we woke up it was pouring so the day was a wash but our picnic stuff was still ready to go, so we had an impromptu indoor picnic. Our conversation gravitated toward the marriage conversation and Kristie said "but really, why haven't you married me yet?" and I said "I don't have a good reason, will you marry me? Like for real? I'm asking you right now!" It was completely spontaneous, no ring, no planning and the worst bottle of wine we ever had but it was us. Little did I know I had ruined her plans she had made for her own engagement surprise just 3 weeks away, her and my best friend still won't tell me what they planned because they never got their chance to shine haha!

When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?

I think we just kind of always knew. We clicked really immediately, two weeks into us dating she was on vacation for two weeks visiting family and those two weeks were agonizing to be apart.  It felt strange because we had just really started seeing each other, but at the same time everything felt natural. If you ask her she will say she knew after the second date which happened to be my birthday, and I say after the fourth date when she had to come with me to the hospital after I found out I was allergic to pineapple at dinner. Really the first week for us was so profound we just knew.

Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?

We definitely knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, something with a rustic feel and definitely not anything too large. I had had a clear vision of what I was looking for the day and Kristie luckily trusts that vision so it was easy to jump in.

What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?

The biggest surprise about planning was all the stress that set in the 3 weeks beforehand. We had done all the big things like venue, photographer, catering all relatively quickly and things seemed to come right together. But when you get down to mere days to go you realize how much little stuff there is to do to make it really come off exactly how you wanted. The easy part for us was just finding a venue and agreeing on our vendors.  We had had a clear vision and the people that we chose shared in that vision and we really connected with them. They made the wedding process easier by being so helpful and offering suggestion to help make our day what we planned. The most difficult part was in the days leading up to the wedding, handing over the reigns of this thing you have worked so hard on to other people and hope it's everything you envisioned when you walk down the aisle.

Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?

I wish we knew how useful a wedding planner or day of coordinator could be.  That would have definitely alleviated a lot of stress that piled on in the home stretch weeks.

Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?

Our advice is to stay true to yourself and your vision. The wedding is for you and your spouse and make it what you want, don't let others try and steer you from something that you want.  But also know, that when you look back on the day you won't remember anything that was wrong or off because the experience is just so amazing, and just taking it all in is so important.  We wouldn't do anything different because I do think we feel our day was perfect, but we do encourage if you can afford it to have a wedding planner or day of coordinator that will help alleviate stress. And, splurge on your photographer/videographer, costs can be daunting but truly at the end of the day those are the only memories you will have so the cost can ALWAYS be justified.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Our favorite part of our wedding day for us was being able to celebrate with our families and bring two families together and getting to see that interaction for the first time and just being surrounded by love and support. It was 100% the most special part of the day, we ended the night by saying we didn't want it to end and frequently say to this day we just want to do it all over. Really one of the best days of our lives to date!

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Weekend Snapshot
gallery Apr 20 2018
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