Q - What sets you apart from other officiates and wedding services?
A - WE are what makes us different!
1) - Weddings ARE our BUSINESS - Weddings are our passion, and are 100% of how we make our living. This is NOT a 'hobby' or a 'sideline' for us. We focus all of our efforts on writing custom ceremonies, creating photos to last a lifetime, exquisite floral designs and meeting with and getting to know all of our couples and performing the most important service of your wedding day. We are a small business and NOT an officiating conglomerate built of multiple officiants. For you, that means you are guaranteed to get us and will not be 'reassigned' to another officiant after you have finalized your services with us.
2) - Life experience! We walk the walk, talk the talk, and as a married couple of nearly 25 years with 2 daughters we know the sweet and romantic aspects of marriage, and understand the trials and tribulations that are waiting for you. Who better to help write vows that will become the stepping stones for your future marriage than someone experienced, and successful, in the path ahead of you!3) - We have over 35 years experience in just about every aspect of weddings, and as a result offer our couples benefit from that invaluable experience with our services. Not only can we assist with your ceremony, but can help answer questions along the way that brings your wedding full circle to the day you dream of.
4) - We take pride in offering unsurpassed customer service. You are not just another face or another license to us. Many of our couples keep in touch to share news of new homes, impending births, job changes and more. We build long-term relationships with our brides and grooms! We take the time to get to know WHO you are.
5) - The importance of your ceremony. We know the details involved in putting together a wedding and reception. We also see all too many times the aspects of a wedding ceremony put on the back burner and many times left until the last minute. The vows you make to one another are what the day is about, and at the end of the party, after the photos are dusty on the shelf, we know the importance of the promises you will make to one another. We will guide you to find the perfect way to express yourself, to honor family and friends, to bring your children into the ceremony to reflect the formation of a blended family. We will customize your ceremony so that you incorporate important traditions while setting the tone for a ceremony that you can reflect back on in the years to come.
6) - Personality. While your ceremony is certainly a formal occasion, it should also be memorable, and stress-free DESPITE the fact that you are standing in front of 100 of your closest family and friends! We make you comfortable, confident, and you will suddenly find that our ability to make you giggle a little to relieve that tension, to bring your own sense of humor into your ceremony, not only personalizes your ceremony, or makes it memorable by engaging your guests and keeping their attention, but we melt away the stage fright you may be concerned of!
Q - How soon do we need to book our wedding with you?
A- At any time we can receive a call just like yours requesting a date for a wedding. We book on a first-come, first-serve basis and subsequent weddings have to book around our existing schedule. We can book out as far as 18 months in advance, and as close as only a few days for last minute elopements. Essentially the longer you wait, the more flexible you may have to be on your time or date. Our recommendation is that as soon as you know your date and preferred time, fill out our ONLINE BOOKING FORM to get a tentative hold on your date on our calendar.
Q- We are from out of state but want to elope in Colorado. How to we decide where to go?
A- Elopements and Destination Weddings in Colorado have become so much more popular for those couples wanting to escape the formality, the stress and the financial burden of a large wedding. Many of our elopement clients come for a romantic, memorable occasion just for the two of them, our destination and intimate weddings bring a few close friends and family and plan a simple dinner celebration following the ceremony in one of the area's suggested restaurants. Either will allow you the opportunity to celebrate with friends and extended family on your return... and our spectacular photos of your ceremony can play a center role in reflecting the day as you experienced it.
We hold our elopements in the mountains, lakeside, in private homes, city parks, restaurants and hotels, any where you like! We are very happy to help with guidance on selecting a spot based on your vision, your personality and even your hobbies (hiking, snowshoeing, horse-back riding, etc). The great thing is that our packages are completely 'mobile'... meaning as long as we have your date and time booked, we give you the option to choose your final destination! Popular spots in the park such as Lily Lake, Sprague Lake, Moraine Amphitheater, etc. do require a reservation along with the $200 permit, so if your inclination is one of those spots we will need to reserve it for you to avoid it being booked by another couple.
We are also happy to travel outside of the Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park areas. There is no travel fee within 15 minutes of travel from Estes Park, but travel fees do apply for sites outside of this area.
Q- We have family or friends who we would like to use to perform services in our wedding - is that allowed?
A- Yes! We want you to take advantage of all talents that you are offered! We can customize a package to remove those services from our end and make it a perfect fit for you. a PERSONAL recommendation is that if you plan to provide your own officiant, if there is any question that that person may or may not be qualified to solemnize your wedding in the State of Colorado, you can utilize our services for legalizing and processing the license for you. Another tip - be careful with family or friends doing photography. Too many times we have seen photos not turn out, or important shots missed because of mishaps like uncle Bob was chatting with a long lost cousin and subsequently missed the kiss - UGH!! Consider using a professional photographer for those "Must Have" shots - family, romantics, and the ceremony. This allows your friends and family to enjoy the ceremony, participate in photos, and you can always ask this person to take charge of the photos at your dinner or reception afterwards!
Q- We have another photographer that we would like to have take our wedding photos - is that allowed?
A- This can be a bit tricky. Any professional of ANY sort (Hiking Guide, Fishing Instructor, shuttle service, wedding services and ANY photographer) who is being paid for a service in Rocky Mountain National Park MUST be licensed and certified by the National Park Service and must hold a valid Certified Use Authority (CUA) Permit and MUST have their CUA card available to produce for park rangers when asked. Working in the park requires a strong commitment to the park service and resources that the person is knowledgeable of all rules and regulations, permitted areas for their line of work and that that person carries a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy that lists Rocky Mountain National Park as additional insured in the case of damages to the park, their client, injury, etc. If a professional is found to be working and does NOT have this license, they will be escorted from the park (along with their clients) and will be fined. This being said, it is VERY important that whoever provides your photography follows these guidelines. Because the permits are obtained in both your name and in Marry Me In Colorado's name, it leaves both of us also liable for having a non-licensed person performing work in the park. We have, MANY times, seen rangers stopping ceremonies mid-way to confirm appropriate permits and CUAs and have seen those violating the rules removed from the park. As you can imagine, Marry Me In Colorado is ALWAYS compliant with the rules - which is why our weddings are confirmed with park officials (IF necessary) and not stopped by rangers to confirm authorizations!
A - Absolutely! The packages are based on sample sizes, but our services can be packaged for any size of a wedding. The only time your costs will change based on additional guests is when a larger cake or additional chairs become necessary. Then, you only pay the necessary cost to get exactly what you need!
Q- I see there are lots of samples of flowers and cakes on your website, but I have something specific in mind from a photo I cut out of a magazine years ago - can you work with us on something custom?
A- Most definitely!! We have lots of photos on our site to give our clients a place to start when making their plans - BUT, we LOVE to be challenged!! If you have a photo or just an idea in the back of your head on what you would like for bouquets, table decor, ceremony flowers, your cake or other aspects of your wedding, send it to us and let us work our magic! Just keep in mind that some things you may like would need to be adjusted for your number of guests, or there could be upgrades in cost from whatever package you've chosen. We will let you know those fees right away so that you can make your decision!
A- Unless it is something you request special - NOTHING! We built our packages to be complete with NO SURPRISES at the end of the day - we don't like businesses that operate that way ourselves, and we never expect to burdon our couples with extra charges! The ONLY fees that you can expect over and above a standard package would be something outside of the parameters of one of our packages, and can be built in and determined in advance to create a custom package for you. These fees can, only if applicable, include:
1. Travel Fees - Depending on your choice of locations, travel ranges from no charge within 15 minutes of Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park and increase from there depending on the location of your site. Our travel fees are based on travel time in 15 minute increments and cover all expenses for staff, fuel, auto expenses, etc.
2. Marriage License - Your license is up to you to obtain prior to your wedding and is only $30.
3. Site Fees - Depending on your package and location, there may be site fees imposed by the location you select. We'll take care of the leg work for you... Wedding fees for Rocky Mountain National Park can be obtained from the local concessions office - Standard pricing for weddings in Rocky Mountain National Park of $200.
4. Package Add-Ons - Interested in extra photos, a bigger cake, or fresh flowers? These are all optional fees based on your personal preferences and needs to make your day perfect!
Q- We will have children attending our wedding - how do they count in the final guest count?
A- As a standard, children over the age of 10 are considered adults where weddings are concerned. This is because they still require seating, they eat full servings of cake, and in most cases consume the same amount of food at a reception as an adult. Children from the ages of 2-10 are charged at a reduced fee, and those under 2 do not need to be counted in as additional guests.
Q- Do you require pre-marital counseling?
A- No, but a pre-ceremony meeting, even if we just spend time on a conference call, is essential for putting together a customized ceremony.
Q-Are you a particular religion? Will you perform inter-faith ceremonies?
A- We can perform ceremonies that range from full Christian ceremonies to the simplest of ceremonies, our custom written ceremony most often performed is our own version of a romantic ceremony that celebrates your relationship, love and family. Any aspect can be added in to your ceremony to personalize it to make it reflect your own beliefs. We ourselves don't ourselves as 'religious', we do consider ourselves 'spiritual'. We have performed ceremonies that have cultural traditions including everything from Catholic communion to Jewish Mazel-Tov celebrations, We encourage each person to incorporate something from their individual faiths and/or beliefs.
Q-Do you provide services for our rehearsal?
A- Although not required, a rehears is recommended if you have a larger wedding party or if this is your first experience with a wedding. A rehearsal is a critical element for a well run ceremony. We can handle all details of your rehearsal - including so many things to consider such as who stands where, how parents and grandparents are escorted, when each attendant enters, how to hold your hands, when to turn... I consider it insurance for all of the work you have done to plan your wedding day. A separate fee for the rehearsal will be charged.
Q- Is it NECESSARY to have a rehearsal if we are having an intimate wedding or eloping?
A- Rehearsals are more so for the benefit of the wedding party than anyone. For those who have never been in a wedding - how to walk in, how to stand, when to take the bouquet or pass the rings to the pastor. HOWEVER, our more intimate weddings are, very honestly, NOT in need of rehearsals. We will take the time prior to the ceremony to show everyone where to stand, how to face and what their role in the ceremony is. As well, we will talk the two of you through the details and during the ceremony will let you know when to turn to face each other, pass your flowers on, etc. The final decision is ALWAYS yours... if you feel better having a rehearsal, by all means we are here to help and always happy to provide you with one!
Q-What is your attire for ceremonies?
A- Attire is a black suit with corresponding colors to match the wedding colors (If needed). I also wear a judicial robe on request and have even been asked to wear jeans and hiking boots if it's in the rugged outdoors of the mountains. For theme weddings a cowboy hat or kilt is also an option! My attire is based on the request of the couple.
Q- Can we write our own ceremony?
A- After meeting with you, either via phone or face-to-face, I will put together a proposed ceremony based on what I observe and hear. I love for you to add your own vows, special readings or take a moment to recite your feelings for each other. My goal is to make each ceremony as unique as each couple.
Q- What are your fees?
A- Officiating only fees start at $400.00 for the ceremony, which includes writing and performing your custom ceremony. Depending on how far the venue is, there may be a minimal TRAVEL FEE. The rehearsal is based on individual needs and the size of your wedding party and family involvement. Rehearsal fees start at $200.00, but can go as high as $300.00. Visit our OFFICIATING FEES page or pricing and package options on officiating services.
Fees for ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGES start with our Bella Package including officiating with a custom ceremony, a professional photography with photos copyright on a CD and customized certificate keepsake. This packages is $725 and based on your needs for flowers, cake, music and additional photography can be either selected from our standard PACKAGES or let us create a package that fits just the services you need!
A- Absolutely! We NEVER want you paying for services that you don't need, and want to be sure you get all of the services you DO need to make your day fit into your vision AND your budget! For a custom quote you can call our office or complete the ONLINE CUSTOM PACKAGE REQUEST FORM and indicate the services you are wanting - feel free to make notes if there are things you want but don't see - we most likely have the resources at our fingertips!
Q- How do we secure you for our wedding?
A- We require a 50% non-refundable deposit that is agreed on with a Weddings Services Agreement (WSA). AS WELL - if your wedding will be in Rocky Mountain National Park, a wedding permit fee will be necessary to complete the scheduling of your wedding as well. This reservation is then made with the park and is NON-REFUNDABLE. After signing and returning, you can call our office and pay by credit card, or mail a check. The balance is due 72 hours before the ceremony. Many couples seem to prefer paying the entire balance up front so they have one less worry the week before the wedding. In either case, a receipt will then be sent via email and a copy kept in your file. For more details on the process of securing us for your date, visit our FEES page. You can use our easy ONLINE BOOKING FORM to fill out your details and you will receive a preliminary Wedding Services Agreement within 72 business hours! For full details of the wedding booking and the process along the way, see our LINK TO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
Q-How do we finalize our wedding details?
A- Once your Wedding Services Agreement (WSA) is completed, you will receive a welcome email from us. There are many resources in this email that include local wedding site maps, referrals for outside service (hotels, restaurants, hair salons, etc). You will receive 2 worksheets, one to fill out for the creation of your customized ceremony and the other will walk you through planning your flowers, music, cake, photos, etc. If you have photos, color swatches, etc., send them along and we will work with your ideas to make your vision come true!! For full details of what happens during your wedding planning process, you can see our WHAT HAPPENS NEXT page!
Q-How can we include our children in our wedding ceremony?
A- They can be be involved in the sand and/or family unity candle ceremony. I have even been asked to include them in the vows asking them if they promise to love, honor and respect the marriage. It's VERY important for the younger ones to feel that they have not been forgotten in the midst of the chaos a wedding can create. They are very much a part of the new family unit.
Q - Do you perform Same Sex Weddings?
A - ABSOLUTELY! Not only do will we perform your union but will embrace and celebrate it! We believe that love is celebrated by a couple regardless of their sexual orientation, religious beliefs or race. We embrace and celebrate that you have found someone to share your life with and look forward to sharing the day with you!
Q- How can we honor family members who we have lost?
A- A moment of silence, lighting of a memorial candle, a reserved seat of honor or a special reading within the ceremony is typical, but anything special you would like to add I can incorporate into the ceremony.
Q- Do you perform elopements?
A- Yes. A large percentage of the ceremonies we perform are elopements, and one of the more romantic as well, since they can be done at any location. I've done them in front of fireplaces, beside lakes and in the National Park to name a few. We can provide you everything from just officiating service to photography, flowers, music, a cake for 2 and other services as you may need them!
Q- Do you have suggestions for making our ceremony more personal?
A- Maybe that special moment the spark first hit you, a special reading or prayer or hand-written vows from the heart. I love traditions, but love breaking away from the norm even more!
Q- How long does a typical ceremony last?
A- Approximately 20-30 minutes, depending on how many individual ceremonies you would like to incorporate. If you add in additional readings, music, etc. you can plan on closer to 30-40 minutes.
Q-Will you work with an interpreter?
A- Yes, I have worked with sign language interpreters as well as translators for Spanish ceremonies.
Q- How far do you travel to perform weddings?
A- This answer always depends on our existing schedule. Because 90% of our weddings are all performed in the Estes Park or Rocky Mountain National Park area, our existing schedule can affect our ability to travel. Based on our schedule we can chat about options for your destination. Travel fees average $50 per hour and trips over 4 hours of drive time can require accommodations for an over night stay.
Q- Will you work with our location or coordinator?
A- I love to work with all different types of venues and coordinators, and may even be inclined to recommend some good ones if asked.
Q- How do we get our marriage license, and what are the requirements?
A- Most any County Courthouse will have a Marriage License department. I provide you with local offices, service hours and all necessary requirements for obtaining a Colorado Marriage License. You must be over 18 years old or under with parental consent, and do not have to be residents of the state of Colorado. Colorado licenses are valid anywhere in the state, and are good for 30 days from the date of issue. There is no waiting period once a license is issued, and proper identification is required and you must both be present to receive your license.
Q- What type of ceremonies do you specialize in?
A- Semi-religious, romantic and same-sex or civil ceremonies. I am not a fire and brimstone, sermon within a ceremony officiate. I really like the romanticism of the moment and believe that all who are gathered are there in honor and respect of the wedding ceremony.