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Moscow Mules and Recycling Brides | Jenni and Bart Wedding Photographers

Finding spontaneous treasures in thrift and antique stores is so energizing to me. It feels like a sport, and if I find something good, I’ve won. Last week I popped into a local thrift store when I had some free time. I found these brand new copper mugs. One of our wedding couples from last summer introduced us to the Moscow Mule. It quickly became a favorite ‘Bart’ drink. He had been wanting these for awhile. Since shopping of any kind is like a competitive sport for me, let me tell you what the ‘score’ was as I walked out-$.99 a piece. I’m so glad I stopped.

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I love all of the vintage wedding decor that people are finding and repurposing. Don’t be afraid to spontaneously stop in your local antique and thrift stores. You never know what treasures are out there waiting to be found for your wedding. If you are a recycling bride and looking for some places online to find wedding day treasures, here are some links:

http://www.tradesy.com/weddings/

http://www.bravobride.com/

http://www.weddingbee.com/

If you know of other places to buy and sell wedding dresses, veils, decorations, and anything else wedding related, please share the wealth in the comments.

Kelli Crannell | Month of Colorado Wedding Coordination | Kelli Noel Weddings

Kelli and I met a couple of years ago. She has become a good friend. We have had the privilege of working with Kelli at a couple of weddings. She is professional, fun, beautiful and delightful to be around. Bart and I love it when couples hire a professional wedding coordinator/planner for their wedding. We asked Kelli a few questions about herself and about what her important role is as a wedding coordinator.

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1. What are you passionate about?

I think it goes without saying that I am passionate about weddings. It is my goal for every bride along with her friends and family to have the opportunity to truly enjoy this once in a lifetime day. I am also passionate about love, relationships and having fun in everything I do. I have been blessed with an amazing husband and son and I treasure them every day.

2. What do you like to do for fun when you’re not coordinating weddings?

I love spending time with my beautiful family. This business takes you away from the ones you love on evenings and weekends so the uninterrupted moments are precious and treasured. Another pastime we enjoy as a family is exploring this beautiful state of Colorado. We love to hop in the car with the dog in tow and venture out for day trips and see what we can find. We are also known for finding the most obscure restaurants to eat at. My husband has this knack for finding these lovely little gems. When I tried my hand at it – complete and utter failure so I leave it up to him. I also enjoy all kinds of music and get excited for the latest chick flick in theaters.

3. What words would you describe you and your wedding business?

Words that describe me would be – fun, passionate, adventurous and loyal with a funny laugh and infectious smile
Words that describe my business would be – Professional and personable, efficient, organized and knowledgeable. I have also been called; personal liaison, confidant, friend, nerve soother, lipstick holder, crisis manager, and all around go-to girl for the wedding of your dreams!

4. What makes you unique as a wedding coordinator?

What makes Kelli Noel Weddings unique is we know who we are, what we are good at and we excel at it. We could be good at a lot of things or simply amazing at one; we choose the latter. We are unique in the fact that we only offer one service – Month of Wedding Orchestration. It’s an all inclusive package that has been carefully crafted to offer the bride exactly what she needs in the last few months leading up to her wedding.

5. What advice would you give to couples working with a wedding coordinator or planner?

Please use professionals when it comes to your wedding day. We understand that uncle Joe loves to take pictures but are you willing to put your once in a lifetime wedding in his hands? I have seen it go wrong too many times.  Does he know how to work with different light levels, does he have back up equipment in case his breaks? I could go on and on. The other piece of advice I would give is let the professionals do the job they were hired for. By micromanaging your vendors you are sending the message that you don’t “trust” they can do the job they were hired for.

6. How long have you been in the wedding industry? Where have you worked?

I was in the “hospitality or service” industry for over 20 years in California. I have been in Colorado for 8 years and started my own business in 2010. The venues here in Colorado are amazing and I have had the privilege of working at Crooked Willow Farms, Deer Creek Valley Ranch, The Viceroy – Snowmass, Spruce Mountain Ranch, Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, Denver Botanic Gardens and numerous locations in downtown Denver, just to name a few.

You can find Kelli here at Kelli Noel Weddings.

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12 Years After our Wedding

If I could tell my engaged self 12 years ago things I’ve learned about marriage, these are the things I would say.

1. Marriage is a lot of fun, and a lot of work.
2. Take time in the beginning to establish your family together apart from extended family.
3. Don’t let anyone get in between your relationship as husband and wife.
4. Marriage counseling is a good thing. Think of it as preventative care and don’t wait to go until your marriage is in need of the ER.
5. Having kids does not make being married easier.
6. When you experience the loss of children, run to each other and not away from each other. Give each other lots of grace to experience grief differently.
7. Make time each year for small retreats and getaways with each other.
8. Dating and flirting in marriage is as important as it was when you were first getting to know each other.
9. Be humble, practice forgiveness, and admit when you are wrong.
10. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
11. Be an encourager. Build Bart up and don’t tear him down.
12. Don’t expect Bart to meet all of your relationship needs. Since you believe in God, lean into Him to meet your needs. Also, make time to connect with your friends.

A lot of these are things I’ve learned the hard and painful way. Most of them I’m still in process and trying to live out in our day to day life. Happy 12 years babe!

Thanks to Rick Hunt from r.d. hunt photography in Indiana for taking our wedding photos 12 years ago.
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May 9, 2013 - 8:00 PM

Beth Langer - Loved it! What a beautiful and true list — it gave me some great reminders…I don’t know why, but I seem to need to review these things every so often, or they start to fade a bit…you know? Anyway, thanks, Jenni!

May 9, 2013 - 8:47 PM

Lynne - Excellent post, Jenni! What an adorable couple you are – then and now. Hugs to you both! Happy anniversary and many, many more to come!

May 10, 2013 - 9:10 AM

Jenni and Bart - Thanks Lynne and Beth!

May 10, 2013 - 10:17 AM

Julie O - Beautifully said, Jenni! Been thinking about you guys. We need to get together, soon!

Katie + Nick | Lone Hawk Farm Wedding | Longmont, Colorado

We clicked with them right away. Nick is an artist at heart and Katie shares my occasional craving for a Big Mac. Both are committed to having God at the center of their lives and surrounding themselves with their close friends and family. Their wedding day was a perfect reflection of that.

Katie and Nick have known each other since junior high and have a genuine and pure love for one another. Their wedding at Lone Hawk Farm near Boulder was bohemian, natural and totally them. She wore Toms shoes, and he wore his Chuck Taylors.
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Natural purple and yellow wedding flowers photo
Nick’s mom, Lisa, did all the simple and beautiful floral design for the wedding.
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Watching the hug-fest after the ceremony was awesome. I’m a ‘hugger,’ and have been told by friends that I give great hugs. It’s fun to watch another family who are ‘huggers’ too.
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bride and groom kiss photo
Who also doesn’t love a little American Gothic?

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They are so cute together.

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Nick and Katie, I hope you always have a spark of romance and deep love for many years to come. Not to mention lots of hugs for each other.

Jenni

Sweet Family Secrets | Wedding Cakes and Desserts | Westminster, Colorado

The Starzyk family made me feel right at home. Their Brazilian heritage brings color, vibrancy and rich culture to the family business of creating gourmet sweets. As soon as I walked in and sat down at the table, I could see how they have used their relationships, story and history to build a business. Their storefront is professional, but felt like a home. The dessert choices were amazing to look at and even better to taste. Certainly a lot of love goes into creating them.

Daniela and Juliana, who are sisters, are beautiful inside and out. Their mom, dad, and brother are so welcoming and friendly. Together, they have compiled a list of family recipes straight from Brazil, and the flavors you will find here can be found nowhere else. Additionally, Juliana has studied at the August Escoffier School in Boulder Colorado, which allows her to apply contemporary techniques to her family’s delights.  And did I say it was super delish? I can’t stop thinking about their chocolate spice cake, the chocolate-covered truffle-filled strawberries, and the beautiful creme brulee.

But beyond what you can taste, they create dessert tables that are a feast for the eyes. They have special touches for displaying and packaging chocolates and desserts with handmade paper flower cups and fabric colored lids that will match, coordinate or compliment your event or wedding. From mini cakes and single serving sweets to full size creations, you’re sure to find an amazing ending at Sweet Family Secrets.

Jenni
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