“Ben Eng is a photography ninja. He was super experienced and professional and knew the area extremely well. He directed us to some areas that he knew would be good and the photos turned out looking unreal. We would recommend Ben for anyone getting married in Telluride. I love looking through the pictures and reliving that incredible day.” -Carly L
Patrick and Carly’s Wedding Story:
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: Our wedding was done in a non-traditional, traditional way if that makes any sense at all! We had three venues. San Sophia Overlook for the ceremony and champagne reception, Allred’s Restaurant for dinner, and The Sheridan Opera House for the reception/party. Each venue had a slightly different theme or vibe. The Ceremony was very natural with a spa like color palette of pale purples, teals, and blues. Our good friend was our Officient and he included both Catholic and Jewish traditions (chuppah, glass breaking, catholic vows along with our own written ones) along with an ode to nature as well as a quote from John Lennon! The Dinner reception had a woodland fairy vibe with tons of candles, pale blue accents and vines running down the tables. Our reception was off the hook with a psychedelic disco theme. Tons of uplighting in fusia and orange, disco balls, fiber optics and balloon sculptures created a party ambiance like none other. Complete with the groovy dance band CAPYAC from Austin, Texas. I don’t think I will ever attend another party as fun as that one. We chose to do this three venue option because three is a magic number, just kidding… it really allowed us to maximize our guest list to 250ppl without having to move tables or give up anything we really wanted. We were very happy with the sit down dinner because it gave people to a chance to get to know new friends and family and catch up with old ones, we heard speeches from the parents, best man and maid of honor while enjoying a truly top notch meal. Riding the Gondola down to the party during the late summer sunset was fun too. All of this for a price tag of around $75,000. That is what surprises people the most about our wedding. It felt like it was a lot more expensive, but through love and support from our local friends around town (our cake was gifted by a friend and other things of that nature) we were able to put together something truly unique and special.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: We hired three event designers for our three different venues. The ceremony was simple. Patrick and I built our Chuppah DIY style and the florist decorated it. We borrowed a really awesome rug for the aisle runner. One of the Bridesmaids made the wooden signs that led people where to go, and another made fairy wings for the flower girl. There wasn’t ver much decoration needed, because of the overwhelmingly beautiful scenery that telluride has to offer. The San Sophia Overlook was truly special. After the 30 minute ceremony was over we popped some bottles and passed around canapes. This allowed us to get some more photos and take in the spectacular views. decorating was dinner at Allred’s was all thanks to Megan Miller. The only thing I made DIY for that event was the empty picture frame escort card holder. I stole the idea from Pinterest, but it turned out to be really pretty. Megan and a couple helper friends decked out the alpine lodge style restaurant with a ton of candles, hanging glass globes, and vines. We chose a burlap runner and pale blue napkins, and Megan added a special touch by putting lavender sprigs in the napkins with the menus. For the reception at The Sheridan Opera House we hired local installation artist, Flair Robinson to decorate and Lighting Designer Tree Priest to do the lighting. Flair CRUSHED it with tons of super fun disco and artsy decor. She made mirror centerpieces for cocktail tables with fiber optic volcanoes on them. She lined the bar with tons of funky ribbons. There were balloon sculptures on the ceiling with led lights in them and a table with glow sticks that said, “let your love glow”. We had a photo booth and a dessert table as well.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: The floral part of our wedding was done by The Garden Store a.k.a. Kristen Undhjem. The only flowers we had were used to decorate the Chuppah along with the bouquets. We saved a lot of money by decorating our tables with candles and vines as opposed to a ton of flowers. She used a lot of the common flowers such as peonies and roses, but also threw in some funky accents. I couldn’t name exactly what she used (I think one of them was a baby onion?), but if you see in the pictures there were some weird things thrown in that made them unique.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: Oh goodness! The whole wedding was very personalized from the friend Offient, the rug runner, the local menu, and to the great band that were friends of mine from high school. They were probably my favorite. Capyac just played at the ACL fest in Austin and is growing a following quickly. Looking around around the room I can’t remember seeing one person who wasn’t dancing. We planned party to plan a party. Hiring an actual band that only played a couple covers along with their own material was more fun, in my opinion, than the average wedding band or DJ. Capyac is very talented and appeals to all ages.
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you choose your wedding day look? How did the groom? Describe both looks in detail.
A: I went for a romantic, yet classic look. Strapless was the last thing I thought I would wear, but the more dresses I tried on the more convinced I was the strapless looked the best. I wanted something that would show off my curves, but not be over the top sexy. The bridal Boutique in my hometown of Austin, TX was incredibly accommodating and the woman who worked there basically chose my dress for me. We were in a time crunch and she just brought that one in after I said about 3 words describing what I wanted. Although the lace design on the dress was modern, the cut was very Marilyn Monroe and that inspired me to go with a more classic 50’s hairstyle of big curls pinned to one side with a broach and tucked under on the other side. The makeup style I went for was the “me but better” look with a slight cat eye. I got a touchup and put darker eye shadow on for the late night party as well as switching into a halston disco jumpsuit and some tretorns. Oh, and the shoes for the ceremony were the ever classic Stuart Weitzmen Nearly Nude Sandal. I have never been a fan of matching bridesmaids dresses. It would have hidden the badass individual style of the amazing ladies in my life, plus everyone was on different budgets. I found a color palette off of Pinterest and assigned each girl a color based on their own top 2 choices. I allowed them to trade colors but the main rule was that the dress had to be floor length and within that color scheme. They all looked amazing, coordinated and most importantly like themselves. For my friends and me, no outfit is complete without glitter! One of the bridesmaids had some in her purse we had fun glitterizing before the ceremony. For the guys, we chose slim fitting navy blue suits. The groom wore a pale blue tie that happened to be the same color of our napkins and invitation font. He chose it all on his own though. The groomsmen didn’t wear ties, but instead were gifted pocket squares with fun patterns that also fit into the color scheme. Our dress code was “Mountain Formal”. We wanted to keep it at a balance between nice and comfortable or practical and approachable for everyone from my super high end cousins to our ski bum homies.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: Carly and Patrick met in the summer of 2012. It was staff training for the Telluride Academy Instructors. Everyone was enjoying the sunshine, barbecue and beers. They were all mingling and getting to know each other. Carly showed up in her favorite floppy fishing hat and Patrick still had flowing curly hair that looked like a semi-afro. The two of them chatted for three minutes throughout the entire evening, but neither one of them has forgotten that little conversation that started it all. It was about music festivals and one of Carly’s recent experiences at Wakarusa in Arkansas. As small of a conversation as it was, it somehow left a lasting impression. A small crush had been formed that day. It wasn’t until the third time they met that the couple realized there was an undeniable spark. Carly was having a little get together at her place and invited some new friends from work, including the one and only Dino Ruggeri (a.k.a best man). Dino brought his friend Patrick to the party and the rest is history. It was around that time that the two of them began to realize how much they had in common and how much fun they had together. They began spending more and more time together and it became rare to find one without the other. You could find them holding hands and walking Max the dog down the river trail, or maybe wearing tie dye and dancing at the Ziggy Marley concert in the park.As the summer drew on they had an important decision to make. Carly would be heading back to school in the Fall and Patrick agreed with her that they didn’t want the relationship to end just because of a measly 370 miles. They were going to do it. Any long distance was worth the wait when it came to them. Carly lived in a fun college house on the hill in Boulder with the very awesome Shannon Lynch (a.k.a. maid of honor). They threw some legendary and groovy parties over those years (after they did their home work, of course) and Patrick was almost always in attendance. They always made time to go on epic camping adventures as well as make fancy dinner reservations and other fun plans. It was important to always have something to look forward to.Three years and thousands of miles of later, Carly graduated from college and the two of them were almost ready to move in together. But first there was something Carly had to do. She moved back to Austin for a six month internship at the longest running music program on television, Austin City Limits. It wasn’t easy being apart from each other, but they made it work with lots of fun visits. Moving back to Telluride was the easiest decision Carly had ever made. She couldn’t wait to be back in the arms of her amazing boyfriend and begin her future working with Telluride TV. They had begun a new chapter and were excited to see what adventures life had in store.To no one’s surprise, the two of them turned out to be the best roommates ever. They continued to grow as a couple and as individuals. After some time Patrick decided to take the unreal opportunity of working at Telluride Ski Resort as the Business Development Manager. It was then that he realized he could start an incredible career track in the Ski Industry and provide for a family some day.On July 3rd, 2016 Patrick and Carly went for hike to a special picnic spot. Alpino Vino is closed in the summer, which makes the deck there an ideal getaway for a private picnic. The mountain and forest views from the cliffside deck create a romantic atmosphere. A small herd of elk walked passed to say hello. It was the perfect setting. A fine dining restaurant deck surrounded by nothing but nature. As the sunset Patrick began to give a heartfelt speech. Carly had a feeling of what was coming and she was giddy with excitement and tears of joy. At that moment Patrick reached into his pocket and pulled out a necklace case…Carly’s face perplexed. He then opened the box which had the most beautiful ring she had ever seen. YES! She exclaimed and reached out for giant bear hug. Calls were made and posts on social media were blowing up faster than they could have imagined.They felt like the two luckiest people on Earth, and still do every time they look at each other.
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: Definitely the ceremony and reading of the vows. There was moment while we were reading our vows to each other and we were looking into each others’ eyes, but we could both feel how emotionally invested the guests were. It was windy that day, but during that moment the wind stopped as if to listen to what we were saying. It’s magical things like that, that make life worth living. Second place was the dance party. My brother is a super energetic and dope dancer. Watching him go is top notch entertainment. Catch some of those moments in our wedding sizzle reel here: https://vimeo.com/224786116/f7dd276bd0
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: Always make your guest list before you choose a venue. It’s not fun if you fall in love with a venue and then realize later you can’t invite your close friends from college or that distant aunt that you don’t see very often, but love and respect. Advice: Patrick appreciated that I gave him a big say in the wedding plans. Especially when it came to venues and food, he had fun. If I couldn’t make a decision on something small I would always present him 2 or 3 options and he felt good about picking stuff out. other marriage advice would be, “Pick up that thing on the floor that you’ve been waiting for that other person to pick up.” -one of our gift cards, no idea who wrote it