Where the magic happened.

Another thing that set our wedding apart, was the venue we chose for the ceremony. We got married in a meadow outside of Evergreen. The cost was totally free, since we had fewer than 50 people attending. If you plan on having more than, as long as the event isn’t held for profit, you can apply for a free event permit. The full list of rules and regulations for the area we are going to be [Jefferson County Colorado Open Spaces] are an easy web search away.

Most places have open spaces that can be used for such an event. The rates required vary significantly, and making your family stand in field or hike up a mountain isn’t for everyone, but it worked for us. We wanted to be married before God and family, and outside surrounded by family is about as close as we could get. There’s no roof to block the view or anything.

We chose to get married in the north meadow of Alderfer/Three Sisters park in Evergreen. This spot was particularly appealing, as it has abundant parking, is very flat, and is only a short walk to a beautiful backdrop to say our vows.  There is also a raised hard-packed berm that made it easy for a guest in a wheelchair to get out there. (Or stroller, etc.) Another couple was married there a few years ago, and I was able to find pictures of their wedding via Google. I found that Google Earth often has pictures of events that have been geotagged, so that is another good resource to figure out what things could look like.

Before settling on Alderfer, we looked into some of the more secluded parks and historical sites near Denver. A lot of the city government websites in Colorado maintain lists of places that might be suitable for a wedding, and prices/availability is easy to obtain, if people answer their phones! Just keep trying if they don’t-they can’t hide forever.

I would also advise finding a backup location to say the whole “I Do” thing. Colorado in particular is so unpredictable, so we have been asking around a local churches if we could reserve an hour or so in the morning. We are planning on a late-morning ceremony, so we don’t have that much competition.

A few images of our wedding site…
(Images courtesty of LiefdePhotography.com)

There is also a neat old barn that makes for an excellent backdrop.

“Silk” flowers.

So I think that artificial flowers have a bad reputation. Following my love of euphemisms, I shall call them silk flowers, which is technically correct, as it’s generally understood in the flower industry that silk just means artificial, in this situation at least.

The worst part about flowers in my opinion? They die. They’re expensive too,  but it’s the dying that really gets me. It really complicates and  limits window of time they can be made (arranged) before the wedding, and a lot of the time, they are already looking pretty raggedy before the end of the bigday. Assuming that you are already planning on doing the flowers yourself, I would suggest considering ordering silk flowers.

They are cheaper, never die, and you can do your flowers as far in advance as you please. I have been around for the 1:00am-the-night-before-flower-sweatshop experience, and I heartily recommend skipping that.

I ordered mine from a site that I really like called AFloral.com. I looked a lot of different sites, and I liked that one the best. They have really fair prices, shipping is flat rate (based on total pre-tax purchases) and provide tons of free ideas. The site allows you to search by color or type of flower, and has lots of ideas on their blog and Facebook. Another feature of the site I really liked was the suggestion. Sometimes, the suggestions on pages just annoy me, but this site seemed to offer fairly smart ones.

Another perk was the variety of qualities available. It was fairly clear from the images and the prices, that some items were superior to others. I have seen a lot of fake flowers that were clearly fake, but I have also seen some that were so convincing I just had to touch them. AFloral has both. For bouquets and boutonnieres, I ordered much higher quality items, and for decorations, notsomuch. The descriptions are fairly detailed too, so you know exactly how many blooms or leaves, and what size you will get. That detail is really helpful with shopping online.

They also have lots of promotions, if you look around.

Once you sign up for their emails, you get an offer for $10 off on orders over $100. (I *think* the code is “10Email”)

I used “FLOWER” to get 10% off my order (no minumum!)

I would suggest Googling ‘Afloral coupons’ and just seeing what you find. There are constantly new ones.

I was able to make my bouquet, boutonnieres and a hair clip for my niece with the flowers, a hot glue gun, and lots of ribbon. That’s it. I was pretty pleased with the results. (Images courtesy of Liefde Photography)

All of these flowers were ordered from Afloral.com, but are also available from JoAnn Fabric, as they carry the same brand.