We love sharing all kinds of different real weddings with you guys, and while the last few weeks have been abundant with al fresco parties in Europe and luxurious weddings Stateside, today, we've got something relaxed, fun, and decidedly more urban.
We love city weddings. There's something instantly cool and energetic about them, and they lend themselves to some of the most unique venues and interesting backdrops.
And Niki & Nick's Denver wedding had just that. It was laid-back, personalised, chic and unique, and it was photographed so beautifully by Elizabeth Ann Photography.
With the Turnhalle Room at The Tivoli at their disposal, and downtown Denver streets for their photos, Niki & Nick were able to let the city where they met and fell in love, play a role in their day, with a theatre-style venue for their ceremony and reception in the city's college campus.
They chose a chic statement colour palette of black, white and gold, with DIY florals, luxe linens, lots of candles, fun finishing touches and a three foot homage to their new surname.
Nick looked entirely cool on his big day (we're loving his sharp haircut and cool tie) and Niki was stunning in her strapless ballgown and ballerina bun.
But it's their love story that has us really falling hard for Nick & Niki, we'll let Nick tell you for himself, but let's just say, this pair have a lot to thank their persistent pal Amy for.
Our Love Story
It was the strangest feeling when Niki and I first met; a feeling I had never experienced before. How could I “miss” someone that I had never met? But that's the only way I can describe it.
Our mutual friend Amy had been doing everything in her power to set us up in the previous months.
In hearing all of Amy's stories about her, I figured I should at least meet the girl. (At this point there certainly weren't any signs that Amy would stop trying.) So, on one of those warm summer afternoons that remind me why I will always call Colorado home, Amy called me while I was at my favorite park in the city and told me that she was with this girl in all of her stories.
Of course, after all the buildup I feel like I'm 14 meeting a junior high crush at the mall, but I say, “Perfect. We're at Wash Park and I'd love to finally meet her.” When she arrives and we start to talk, it's that strange joy mixed with a tinge of sadness that it took this long. We had just met, but I had missed her so much.
From that point forward, we have done our best to make sure that not a whole lot of time goes by between seeing each other. In doing so, there has been just an incredible wealth of experiences in which not only have we become best friends, but her family has become my family.
Our circles of friends have come together. Our lives coming together created this tiny little universe of our own and I simply couldn't imagine it being any other way.
I saw a picture on Pinterest that was black, white, and gold and it stuck immediately.
Black and white were the two colors that Nick I both felt strongly we wanted, we live in a very neutral space so it fit us. After we picked the base colors, it was as if it was meant to be because it was very easy to find décor that perfectly fit the look.
I wanted to warm up and tone down the formality of the black and white to so we went with antique gold as an accent and lots and lots of candlelight.
Finding the dress happened to be another very easy decision.
I wore a simple white a-line ball-gown with a little bit of bling on the belt. I went to two bridal boutiques.
At the first, I did not have much luck and left a little discouraged. I tried on a few gowns at the second boutique before finding THE dress. As soon as I tried the dress on and added a veil, I was completely overcome with that illusive “this is my dress” emotion that I really thought was a made-up TV moment.
The girls all have such unique styles, so they picked out their own black dresses and shoes.
Nick and his groomsmen all wore classic black suits from Express that came in a variety of cuts but all looked the same, white shirts, and black and gold stripped ties.
I decided to wake her up incredibly early one morning for a hike. (Author's note: Niki is not a morning person and even less of a hiker.)
I drive a drowsy, half-pouting girlfriend about an hour into the Rocky Mountains on a crisp, beautiful autumn morning and we pull into a parking lot. Confused, Niki asks, “What are we doing here?” (There may have been an extra couple of words in that sentence.)
I ask her to follow me out to a field where men are beginning to inflate a hot air balloon. Confusion turns into curiosity; curiosity into excitement as she begins to put it together that we'll be thousands of feet in the air soon enough.
Just before we take flight, I set up my camera to capture us in front of this enormous floating bag. As I fiddle with the settings on my camera, Niki begins to lose patience. “They're going to leave us!”, she screams.
What she doesn't know is that I'm recording video, capturing much more than just a picture to share with friends later. Satisfied with the framing, I hit record and run over to her side, still feigning a still photograph.
In reality, I'm stalling. My hearts in my throat. My stomach feels like it has more hot air in in it than the aircraft behind me. I reach into my pocket and to make sure, in all my nervousness, I didn't leave the ring at home.
I take a deep breath and turn to the girl I met in my favorite park.
She looks at me and right then, all of the nerves went away. This is exactly where I am supposed to be and this exactly who I am supposed to be here with. I pull the tiny box out of my pocket, get down on one knee, and ask her to be my wife.
We fell in love at first site with the Tivoli Turnhalle room in pictures.
We went to visit a few days later and fell even deeper in love. The split level room has so much character, charm, and style, and it wasn’t even decorated!
It was the perfect blank canvas, and the décor we had chosen seamlessly fit in.
We tried to keep the ceremony non-traditional and light. We had one of our best friends marry us, which added to the love we felt that day.
We exchanged declarations of love followed by our short and sweet vows “You are the love of my life, and my very best friend”.
For our processional walk we didn’t want to go the traditional wedding march route, so we found this incredible orchestra Vitamin String Quartet and walked down to ‘Somebody to Love' by Queen and ‘In Your Eyes' by Jeffery Gaines.
We absolutely love to dance and wanted to set the tone for the party, so our recessional song was ‘It Takes Two' by Rob Base.
When we started looking at venues and details the photographer was one of the most important pieces to us. That person is capturing moments that we will go back to for years together and with our children, family, and friends.
We initially chose Elizabeth because we loved her dreamy romantic style. Her packages are priced very reasonably for an engagement session, as well as a full day of wedding shooting with all images.
She and her sister Jen who also shot on the wedding day were absolutely incredible. They each had unique styles and vision, but captured our day to the fullest.
The ladies were sooo easy to work with and really brought something special that added to our big day.
Advice for Other Couples
Of course Pinterest was the main site for all things design. After that I would find a piece, plates, flowers, tablecloths, etc. that I liked in a store or on a website and would hunt for it or a more cost effective substitution through online retailers.
Plan the big dollar items and then work the other details in from there.
Once the big day hits just remember you have done all that you could to prepare for the day then let go. It really does go by in the blink of an eye, so enjoy and take it all in.
We did not have any signature drinks, but had a full open bar.
For dinner the tables were set in long rows so that it had a casual family style feel. We chose our two favorite cuisines, Italian and Mexican, and had stations set up that people went to by table.
The dessert table had a variety of options from fancy popcorn to cookies and a sheet cake that was cut in back for guests then brought out.
Instead of a traditional cake topper we went with sparkles that spelled out OWEN.
I kept the flowers very simple and CHEAP and ordered a variety of multi-colored roses that we placed in individual cups and antique candelabras with moss to add texture.
For the bridal party flowers I l went to Whole Foods and picked a variety of petite bundled bouquets for myself and the girls.
The Decor & Details
The décor was fairly simple as the dinner tables were the highlight and most consuming part of the space.
The tables were set with black tablecloths, black and white stripped runners, then topped with a varying sizes of hurricane glass with pillar candles, and flowers.
To add to the warm glow of the candles, bistro lights were hung from the horseshoe balcony with multi-colored party lights on stage for the dance floor.
For the ceremony the aisle was set with white resin chairs in a V so that everyone could see and hear. On the floor at the back of each wedding party we placed 24” balloon bouquets in white, gold, and black. On top of the stage we set 3’ letters that said OWEN.
We had a fun kids table with lots of activities like coloring books, legos, and cards, and of course the biggest hit, glow sticks.
We spent just over 20k – it adds up fast, but we didn’t feel that we sacrificed anything to have a great party.
We had our favorite local band Alive on Arrival.
We didn’t actually know what song they were going to play for our first dance and we were pleasantly surprised when it was a little Barry White.
With no hesitation Nick and I let it all go and had the BEST spontaneous first dance.
We are taking an East Coast road trip in October. We highly recommend waiting to recover after the wedding.
It was such a whirlwind and we were absolutely exhausted, and it took a few weeks to feel normal again!
It looks like a really fun day, I love the black and while hues against the vibrant city backdrops, and that venue looks awesome.
Thanks so much to Elizabeth Ann Photography and of course, the new Mr & Mrs Owen for sharing their gorgeous Denver wedding with us.
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