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Top Tips From Colorado Wedding Planners

Colorado's top wedding planners share their juiciest insider info for planning a wedding in Colorado.

Photo: Jensen Sutta

The Planner

Aimee N. Monihan, Mountain Occasions, Boulder, (303) 975-8892
Years in the biz
15 in event planning -- including a stint as Costa Rica's very first wedding planner!
Secret Weapon
She keeps it real. "I'm always honest about whether a bride's idea will work or not."

The Planner

Courtney Hayes, Swank Soirees by Courtney Hayes, Denver, (720) 496-3297
Years in the biz
Five. She went out on her own a year-and-a-half ago.
Secret Weapon
Negotiating prowess. "I can figure out a way to get almost anything a bride wants at the right price."

The Planner

Julie Gambrell, Classic Creations Weddings and Special Events, Highlands Ranch, (303) 471-0082
Years in the biz
Seventeen. Now that's experience!
Secret Weapon
Her emergency kit. "I have more than 500 things in there so I've got you covered -- safety pins, stain remover, cuff links, you name it."

Welcome-to-the-Heights Bags

"Pair a welcome letter with a basket of Colorado-themed goodies. Throw in Udi's Granola Samplers (303-657-6366), ski-goggle cleaner or wildflower seed packets, and an eco-friendly thermos; after all, we're a green-conscious state and your guests coming from sea level need to remember to drink tons of water at our high altitude." —Aimee

Brand-New Venue

"Crooked Willow Creek Farms in Larkspur (303-681-2209), a former horse-breeding and boarding facility, is now open for weddings! This place has acres and acres of rolling hills, fabulous barns and buildings, luxurious accommodations and even helicopter rides for a really great getaway!" —Julie

No Officiant Necessary

"You don't need a licensed officiant in Colorado. In fact, you can run the ceremony yourselves! But I love when couples choose a close friend or family member to officiate. I had a groom's best friend do it, and he did a great job sharing how special the couple was because he knew them so well." —Julie

Candle-Burning Rules

"In certain areas of the state, summer means fire restrictions. Check with your venue about local laws on having candles and torches. Don't stress if they put the kibosh on paper lanterns and votive candles. LED lights look almost like the real things." —Aimee

Foodie Favorite

"Whether you're eco-conscious or just love a good meal, host a small reception at cozy Potager (303-832-5788) in Capitol Hill. They have amazing, fresh food that comes straight from their backyard garden. They also have an extensive wine list that includes biodynamic and organic varieties." —Courtney

Throw-Back Singer

"If you dig the Rat Pack, hire Derek Evilsizor (720-434-5330), Denver's own famous Frank Sinatra singer/impersonator. In his vintage suit and fedora, Derek entertains everyone in the room, from the babies to the grandmothers. I hired Derek for a retro-themed wedding's cocktail hour, and the bride and groom wished we booked him for the entire night!" —Courtney

-- Alison Goldman