This week's Wedding Wednesday Series features the ladies of Gold Leaf Event Design & Production. If you are planning a wedding, these Aspen gals have some fantastic ideas to share!
How did you become an event planner?
Kate Ryan and Chelsea Dillon, owners of Gold Leaf Event Design & Production have made a name for themselves in the event industry. Kate got her start in event planning as a 13-year-old, coordinating family vacations and political events for her parents and their friends. After having attended college in Madison, Wisconsin, her bachelor's degree in Communications and Media Studies contributed to her success as an event coordinator at another Aspen based event-planning company. Kate takes inspiration from travels and experiences abroad to Europe, Australia, the Caribbean and South America. Topping her list is a wedding celebrated in the Vatican. Chelsea has a passion for the outdoors, skiing, hiking, camping, and travel, which is reflected in the way she incorporates originality and imagination into her event design. She moved to Aspen, after graduating from Quinnipiac University in 2006, where she became the co-founder of Bluebird Productions. She later sold her shares to create a new brand, Gold Leaf Event Design & Production, with Kate. Their eye for design, cohesive vision and overall love for the event industry shines through their well executed, organized and exciting events!
What's the most creative thing you've done for a wedding ceremony and/or reception?
Gold Leaf Event Design & Production coordinated a fabulous wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Manalapan, Florida. Our clients asked for unique entertainment throughout the evening. We hired fire dancers from Pyro Fusion to kick off the cocktail party, and later had an artist painting a live depiction of the reception as the night went on. This wedding will be featured this summer on www.weddingstylemagazine.com. Stay tuned!
How do you help brides who are on a tight budget create their dream wedding?
There are so many cost effective tricks of the trade. Paperless Post has become extremely popular for Save-The-Date's. Etsy has become a one-stop shop for personalized items such as directional signs, unique glassware, colorful straws, and even faux fur! In addition, couples have become extremely handy in making their own "DIY" décor. While we stress to our soon-to-be newlyweds not to take on too much before their big day, choosing a few statement items to make on their own, is always a cost saver.
What are your thoughts on outdoor weddings? Is weather a real deterrent or can the show go on rain or shine?
The Gold Leaf team are queens of the "plan b"! We often hear ourselves explaining to brides, "the only thing we can't control is the weather". While we would love to guarantee a sunny day to all of our clients, the truth is, it's just not possible. In Aspen, weather tends to move rather quickly, so while it may look like a tornado outside at one moment, it could be completely clear in 10-20 minutes. In other locations, we aren't as fortunate. As long as safety is not a concern, the show can go on outside, but to be safe, we work with the venues in advance to be sure a foul weather plan is in place, and our clients are made aware of it well before their big day!
What is the biggest trend you're seeing in weddings?
Ombre! Ombre cakes, floral, linens are a big trend we're seeing for the 2014 wedding season. This initially became a trend with celebrities' hair, like Drew Barrymore, Khloe Kardashian, and Giuliana Rancic but now the subtlety of changing colors have made their way into wedding décor. This is a great look for the "trendy" bride!
Most valuable piece of advice you have acquired over the years for brides?
Over the years we've seen so many different bride personalities, and more often than not they stress themselves out over worrying about appeasing all of their guest's needs. The bottom line is this is YOUR WEDDING, all of your friends and family are there to support you, and whether someone needs a gluten-free, vegan, not salted dish with lemon on the side, we're here to help make sure that happens, but the bride's focus should solely be on herself and her new hubby!
What events have you planned that still stand out in your mind and why?
Being based in Aspen, there's always something magical about a winter wedding. This winter, we had two fabulous winter weddings that really stood out. Both ceremonies were on top of Aspen Mountain, one reception took place at The Little Nell's, Element 47, while the other in the Aspen Mountain Club. Fur capped chairs, elegant décor, horse drawn sleigh and sparkler departures, not to mention the flawless brides truly took our, and all of their guests breath away.