"What’s meant to be will be" might be clichéd relationship advice, but for Kathleen and Patrick, it proved to be true. The high school sweethearts began their romance during sophomore year, then parted ways, only only to be reunited in New York City some four years later. They (of course!) picked up right where they left off, and Patrick surprised Kathleen with a proposal in Sea Island, Georgia.
For their wedding, on October 15, 2016, the New Yorkers decided on their hometown of Denver, a city they plan to move to one day, as the location. "I’ve been going to the Broadmoor since I was little, and I’ve always wanted to get married there,” says the bride. "I wanted to let the beauty of the mountains, fall colors, and hotel grounds speak for themselves." And with just six months before their date, they called on planner Ashley Summers of Ashley Nicole Events and got down to business. See how photographer Rachel Havel captured the gorgeous celebration, which was full of natural touches and Rocky Mountain views.
The couple gave guests a sneak peek of the wedding venue on the envelope liner of their invitation suite. The watercolored design continued on the welcome kit, which included personalized koozies, local snacks, and an itinerary of the weekend’s festivities.
When Kathleen put on a flowy Leanne Marshall gown for the first time, there were no fireworks or tears; she kept things logical and trusted her gut. "I kept thinking about it, so I went back and I really liked the way it looked and fit, so I got it! But there definitely wasn’t a big moment the first time I put it on. I really liked all the dresses I tried," she says.
The deep-V-neck gown featured a satin bust, an open back, and an ethereal layered skirt that complemented the soft, natural beauty of her venue. Drawing more inspiration from nature, Kathleen wore a gorgeous flower crown made of alternating white roses and greenery. Her cathedral-length veil was trimmed with lace and had extra-special significance, as it was her grandmother’s and has been worn by many of her cousins too.
She completed her look with custom shoes that had a little bit of fringe for a fun added detail.
As for her girls, Kathleen didn’t want to put her 11 attendants in a “typical” bridesmaid dress, so she searched high and low for a look that that was formal yet fashionable. Ultimately, she found an off-the-shoulder number by Show Me Your Mumu that fit the bill. Each ‘maid carried a smaller version of Kathleen’s bouquet of all-white flowers and greenery.
The guys wore navy-blue suits with brown shoes and funky, colored socks. But their most unique accessory was custom feather bow ties, which added an unexpected pop of color and texture to the look.
The groom topped off his look with cuff links with his alma mater’s seal for some added personalization.
Kathleen and Patrick took great care planning the details of their ceremony, and when it came to choosing an officiant, they wanted someone who knew who they were as both individuals and a couple. Sure enough, they chose a person who would have no shortage of material to work with: Kathleen’s brother. "He knows us better than any pastor, and his sermon message had everyone in the audience inspired,” says the bride of her brother’s special job. The officiant also provided Patrick with what he says is a moment he’ll remember forever. "He said, 'Patrick, turn and behold your bride.’ I turned around as Kathleen was walking down the aisle. I’ve never cried so hard in my life."
The ceremony was held on the west lawn of the Broadmoor, with a petal-strewn aisle and rows of wooden pews. The couple’s programs carried on the watercolor theme from the invitations and guided guests through the service. One of the most memorable moments came when Kathleen walked down the aisle with her father as her godsister sang along to the music of a string quartet. “She brought the whole congregation to tears,” remembers the bride. After exchanging traditional vows, the newlyweds headed to the lakeside terrace to enjoy the cocktail hour—and were escorted there by one very festive guest: a bagpiper.
The decor in the dining room was minimal and natural, with tall leafy centerpieces spotted with white flowers and red berries in glass vases on each table. Floral arrangements were hung from the room’s chandeliers, making use of the space from top to bottom and adding an outdoorsy feel to the ballroom space. Seating assignments dangled from white ribbons, creating a whimsical entryway to the main room.
In terms of dinner, the couple knew they wanted a relaxed vibe but weren’t sold on the idea of a buffet-style meal. “We wanted everyone to really enjoy the food and be able to spend time in conversation with friends and family,” says Kathleen. With this goal in mind, they opted for a family-style meal, creating a warm and inviting vibe as friends and family passed proper homestyle foods like short ribs, shrimp and grits, green beans, and fried chicken legs.
After dinner, everyone headed to the dance floor, fueled by the night’s signature drink: the Fiona Gimlet, which was inspired by the bride's fave drink at the Dutch in NYC.
A live band kept kept the dance floor packed, but one song in particular took the party to the next level. "All my cousins, aunts, and uncles performed a flash-mob dance during the band’s first and only break," says Kathleen. "As soon as 'Club Can’t Handle Me' by Flo Rida started playing, about 50 of us made our way to the dance floor and performed our choreographed dance.”
As the party continued on, the newlyweds sliced into a five-tiered vanilla naked cake. But it wouldn’t be the only dessert! Much to his surprise, Patrick was treated to an impeccably designed groom's cake that looked like a Yeti cooler, complete with beer bottles, stickers, and a lid.
Looking back on it all, Kathleen has this advice for brides-to-be: "It’s totally fine to steal ideas from other brides! You can’t be completely original in every little thing, which I quickly learned, and then I appreciated the advice and ideas."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Broadmoor || Wedding Planner: Ashley Nicole Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Leanne Marshall || Bride's Shoes: Dee Keller || Hair: Brandi Martinez || Makeup: Makeup by Heather B || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu || Groom's Attire: Suit Supply || Save-the-Date Cards: Tasha Rae Designs || Invitations: Pier 9 Designs || Floral Decor, Rentals & Lighting: Design Works || Ceremony Music: Aspen String Quartet; Ken Miller Entertainment: 719-388-8953 || Reception Music: Syndicate || Photography: Rachel Havel Photography