Today’s post kind of marries a planner interview and a venue walkthrough. Glacier Park Weddings is listed in both our WeddingPlannerLove and WeddingVenueLove directories. So, because of that you are going to get a double dose of planning and venue info  – how cool is that?

Glacier Park Weddings WeddingVenueLove

1. Tell us a bit about Glacier Park Weddings & Events.

We are an outdoor wedding venue in the mountains of Montana. In addition to our ceremony and reception locations, we offer event design and coordination services, lodging, activities, rentals– basically everything you’d need for a totally fabulous outdoor affair!


2. Do you target any particular niche?

Yes: couples who want to get married in a natural setting, but don’t want the logistical headaches that often go along with outdoor events. The philosophy behind Glacier Park Weddings actually began to take shape while I was planning my own wedding four years ago. Living in the midst of Montana’s stunning country, I thought it would be easy to find a place to have an outdoor wedding with beautiful scenery. I also wanted a venue that felt like I could make it my own, where I wouldn’t have to work with (or against) a predetermined style. Instead I discovered the opposite: the few outdoor venues I found were notably inflexible, had strict limitations on vendors, could not accommodate our 175 guests, and were often drenched in a kind of cliche ranch style that didn’t fit with my vision. When we finally did find a venue, we ended up having to truck in water, electricity, restrooms and more, in order to throw our party! It was a little insane. So now we are thrilled to be offering couples the kind of venue I had searched for: grassy clearings, trees and wildflowers, mountain views, charming paths through the woods, and in general a natural space that feels good— but that also has access to basic amenities and services to make the bride’s life a little easier. And we can accommodate 200 guests!


3. What makes your business unique?

We believe in the rock star combination of a full-service atmosphere that is also supremely flexible. Our on-site chalet lodging becomes a kind of base-camp for guests, where they can gather, play volleyball or croquet, sit by the fire pit, or barbecue. Our in-house activities like whitewater rafting are perfect for big groups (imagine all of your guests, grandma included, floating down a gorgeous river in the sunshine the day before your wedding!). Between our lodging, activities and coordination services, couples can have a totally fun and stress-free wedding weekend, enjoying the company of their guests and leaving the details to us. And the best part is that everyone feels like they’re on vacation!

4. What’s your favorite part of the job?

I love working with brides and grooms, of course, assembling all the details and executing their fabulous plans (my mother is an artist and my father an accountant, so I am a rather Type-A creative person). I love meeting new people and collaborating with great vendors, but I must admit: there is often a moment during the reception, maybe after the toasts when things have settled down, when I can look over and see the bride and groom and their families totally at ease, enjoying their food and drinks, not worrying about the band or the seating chart or whether there’s enough ice behind the bar, just completely loving their party. That sight is definitely the best part of my job. (I also have a soft spot for beaming fathers-of-the-brides, especially when they find me at some point in the night and say, ‘good work,’ which always makes me smile.)

Glacier Park WeddingPlannerLove

5. How do you help couples customize their weddings?

Because couples are welcome to work with the vendors of their choice at our venue, the possibility for customization is almost infinite. I always start with photos and a good long conversation to get a sense of what the couple is envisioning. Then, based on their budget, I recommend the vendors that I think will work best with their style. I create a file or Pinterest board for each of my brides to keep track of unique ideas. I also love a challenge: we’ve had custom burlap linens made for a bride that loved that look, and a birch arbor made from scratch when a couple decided they wanted one for their ceremony but couldn’t find an existing one of the right size.  One couple wanted their Saint Bernard as their ring-bearer, which involved crafting a beautiful leash and arranging for a shady spot with a water dish in the ceremony meadow.  I like to find resourceful, unique ways to get couples what they’re looking for.

Glacier Park WeddingPlannerLove

6. Do you have any funny stories about a past wedding or event?

Toward the end of one reception last summer, the bride, whom I had worked with quite closely, invited me out on the dance floor to celebrate with her. Because I can’t resist a good 80’s song, I got right out there, and then suddenly the entire wedding party started cheering and gathering around… which of course didn’t keep me from belting out the lyrics to “Freedom 90.” A few weeks later, I ran into one of the wedding guests at the gym, who said she had never been to a more fun wedding– and she couldn’t believe that even the wedding planner was having such a good time!

Glacier Park WeddingPlannerLove

7. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

I believe that people don’t necessarily want to get married in a ‘wedding venue’ per se, but in a special place, a place that reflects their personalities and priorities. So I’ve learned to remind myself that, although we are in the ‘wedding business,’ which comes with its own sets of trends and rules and concerns, our couples are not exactly in the business of putting on a wedding so much as simply looking for the right setting and atmosphere in which to celebrate their most important day.

Glacier Park WeddingPlannerLove

Heather from Calluna Events brings us today’s interview. You will not be disappointed with this one! Not only does she have lots of great information to share with us, but she sent some AHH-MAZING photos as well. Thank you so much Heather!

Calluna Events on WeddingPlannerLove

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company:

Calluna Events combines unique, creative and fresh ideas with unparalleled organizational skills and an exceptional attention to detail to create your perfect wedding or special event. Based in Boulder Colorado, we offer hourly consulting full service planning and Day of Coordination along the Front Range and Mountains of Colorado and beyond.

We bring a keen sense of style and creative flair making every event one of a kind and pride ourselves on getting to know clients well and helping implement their personality, style and vision into each special event.

We have planned numerous weddings and special events that have incorporated green elements or were 100% green. Working with specific vendors in the Colorado area who are committed to being green, we can pass along tips and ideas to our brides for making their wedding green and environmentally friendly.  We love infusing local element wherever possible, whether it’s local craft beers and wine or buying locally grown organic produce, meats & cheeses. Our commitment to helping our brides plan eco-friendly events extends beyond just the common sense of it; We are committed as a company to being as green and sustainable as possible. 

 

Calluna Events WeddingPlannerLove Calluna Events WeddingPlannerLove

How did you get into wedding planning?

I started Calluna Events in 2004 (we just celebrated our 8th anniversary!). When I was in college a dear friend got engaged. I helped her plan a wedding in six weeks. Through this, and other event planning experiences at nonprofit organizations in college, I realized I loved everything about events and had a knack for planning them.  After college, prior to starting Calluna Events, I worked for six years as an Event Planner & Development Director for a national non-profit organization. During this time a few things happened – I helped more friends plan their weddings, I planned several destination events in New York, Seattle & San Francisco and through these events gained the experience to start Calluna Events.

 

Calluna Events WeddingPlannerLove

What’s your favorite part of the job?

We love getting to know each and everyone of our couples by truly listening to them and important for their wedding day. We thrive on the challenge of creating something new, fresh and unique for each one of our couples. Our clients describe us as calm and laid back. And yet through our calm, laid back and fun personalities we are detail oriented to the core.  We are a friend, advocate & confidant to our brides (and grooms & mothers too!). And a lot of times we are psychologists. Our clients are, first and foremost, our priority. We ask questions, we listen, we find out who they are, how they met, what they like to do, what makes them who they are, how he proposed and what their ideal day looks like. We keep a completely open mind. From there we ask them to envision their dream wedding. If money were no object, what would they do? We listen, and then listen again and then set out to help them implement their vision, their style and personality into an event that truly reflects them. We are “yes”, people.  We have no preconceived notions about what is proper, trendy or will make their wedding day. We want to help them craft the wedding that fits them. We recommend the best of the best wedding professionals, but take care to recommend the vendors we feel are best suited to each of our individual clients personality, style, budget and needs. At the end of the day we love watching a bride walk down the aisle to meet her new husband knowing that we helped in some way to get her to that place. In the end our main goal is to have a wedding run smoothly, seamlessly and perfectly, without ANYONE knowing we were there.

 

Calluna Events WeddingPlannerLove

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?

Stay true to yourself and create your own brand. There are a lot of super talented vendors in this industry and it is up to all of us to set the bar high and create an inspiring, unique and authentic experience for our clients. Find ways to differentiate yourself and know in your heart what sets you apart from your colleagues and stick to it. You only help yourself and you help the industry when we all elevate our brands and do what we each do best. Learn from others around you and continue to educate yourself on the best practices for the industry as well as what your clients want.

 

Calluna Events WeddingPlannerLove

Any great stories from working with a client?

I could probably talk about a lot of the weddings we’ve done where rain (and snow) in Colorado thwarted our plans and made us work that much harder on the day of. Those experiences are the ones we remember…walking in the rain with water soaking up to our knees making sure guests are comfortable and dry. Then fifteen minutes later drying off chairs and escorting guests back to their seats and watching the bride & groom marry as the skies open up. Having a plan B AND C are critical!  However, most of our great stories start with us helping a bride get to the point where she walks down the aisle, but then we remain a part of their lives and watch as their wedding photographer photographs their maternity then baby shoot. Or follow their experiences as they travel together or move overseas for work. We love becoming a part of their lives, getting holiday cards and knowing that somehow we will remain piece of the memory they’ll always cherish.

 

Calluna Events WeddingPlannerLove

What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?

Spending time with my husband and our daughter Maggie! We love to bike, ski, run, hike….basically anything outdoors. I love organic gardening and growing foods that we eat during the summer. Traveling, reading, cooking, baking and yoga. Spending time with friends. Drinking coffee and eating chocolate. :)

 

Calluna Events WeddingPlannerLove

Wow, thanks Heather! I don’t know about you, but I could look at these photos all day. Learn more about Calluna Events on WeddingPhotoLove or head over to their site.

Photo Credits:
Jenna Walker Photography
Ashley Davis Photography

Apparently, we have a knack for Colorado planners! This week we sat down with Ann from Cloud 9 Weddings & Papers. Thank you so much for taking some time out of your busy planning schedule to give some insight to our readers.

cloud 9 Planner WeddingPlannerLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

Cloud 9 weddings & papers is the culmination of two businesses we love: wedding planning and invitations/stationery. I have been planning weddings since 2002 and helping brides find their perfect wedding stationery since 2005.

Cloud 9 Weddings and Papers

2. How did you get into wedding planning?

I just love every last detail about weddings! Being a very detail oriented person paired with my love to make people happy, planning weddings was an exciting and logical career move for me. I started in 2002 and was able to work for the most amazing mentor that really shaped my career and overall event experience until I purchased her business in 2005 and the stationery company in the same year.10 years later- I still LOVE it!

cloud 9 Planner WeddingPlannerLove

3. What’s your favorite part of the job?

One of my favorite parts about my job is the last minute ‘I love you’s’ between the bride and her father right before they walk down the aisle. To think that the culmination of living together as a family, planning an amazing event to signify to lives coming together until the day the bride’s dad escorts her down the aisle to the soon-to-be husband- still gets me teary after all this time!

Cloud 9 Weddings and Papers

4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?

The biggest lesson I have learned is that you are worth your time, do not discount yourself and stay true to your life goal when it comes to a career. If you do what you love, you will be successful.

cloud 9 Planner WeddingPlannerLove

5. What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?

I am from Montana and live in Colorado so outdoor activities like hiking, water skiing and being in the fresh air.

6. Any great stories from working with a client?

Plenty! I am starting my book soon!

Cloud 9 Weddings and Papers

7. What is your current favorite color combination?

I have always been fan of incorporating vibrant and rich colors but I am loving the fact that brides are bringing back a bit of the traditionalism with whites and ivories into their color scheme. However, I am a sucker for navy and it goes fabulous with just about anything!

Cloud 9 Weddings and Papers

8. Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?

I am still loving the fact that our brides really want to tailor their wedding to their relationship and what makes them as a couple special. What I would like to see brides leave behind is the pressure they put on themselves to have their weddings look like a photo-shoot out of a mag. The photos should capture the essence of the moment in love and happiness with their friends and families rather than a perfectly untouched place setting in a field of wheat with velvet covered wing back chairs, birds in flight in the background and a rainbow to boot (you get the picture!).

cloud 9 Planner WeddingPlannerLove

Visit Cloud 9 Weddings & Papers on WeddingPlannerLove or head over to their site to learn even more.

We have enjoyed the interview series so much with WeddingPhotoLove vendors that we decided to spread the love with our planners on WeddingPlannerLove! First up is Jessica from Experience Events. Thank you Jessica for being our first interview. :)

 

Experience Events Planner on WeddingPlannerLove

 1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company:

I am a creative person who also loves a task list! Experience Events is the culmination of those two things.  We offer styling and planning services in any combination you can think of.  You will often find us in a field or barn, on top of a mountain, or near a lake, or maybe in a very sleek loft. We love to be in unique settings and make them look even more beautiful and special for you.

 

Experience Events Planner on WeddingPlannerLove

2. How did you get into wedding planning?

It was something I did for friends and family and really enjoyed it, and found I was good at it.  After receiving several job offers I decided why work for someone else when I can work for myself?!

3. What’s your favorite part of the job?

When I go to work I am a part of people’s best days.  I help create and get to be a part of the days they will remember forever-it is a real honor.

 

Experience Events Planner on WeddingPlannerLove

4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?

Vendor relationships are so important to a successful business-so treat everyone with respect and dignity.

5. What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?

Believe it or not, I love to entertain! And of course spending time with my family at our house in the Adirondack Mountains

 

Experience Events Planner on WeddingPlannerLove

6. Any great stories from working with a client?

Lots! Each wedding we do is so unique and memorable.  We have had some high profile clients that have been an absolute delight to work with. I have had a chef as the groom and that was an adventure-a bunch of brits and chefs make for one crazy party! Everyone says I should write a book!

 

Experience Events Planner on WeddingPlannerLove

You can check out Experience Events on WeddingPlannerLove or head over to her site for some serious eye-candy!