Skylar is a Texas-based wedding planner & designer sharing her sanity-saving processes & templates.


Colorado Springs Wedding Planning Day

Planning your Colorado Springs wedding from a distance could make you feel disconnected from the process or like you are “missing out” on all the fun parts of planning, but it doesn’t have to.

On-Location planning days are a great way to streamline your planning process and ensure you get the fun experience of wedding planning. I like to build at least two of these on-location planning days into my couple’s planning process. For my Colorado Springs wedding couple, we recently headed to Olympic City, USA for their first on-location planning day. Here’s a behind the scenes look into what went into making the most of our visit together.

Views from Garden of the Gods Resort & Club

8:00a – Breakfast on Your Own

We like slow mornings around here. I encourage my couples to sleep in a bit later than they may be able to on their regular work days and enjoy a leisurely breakfast before we hop into a full day of wedding planning.

This is also a great opportunity to test some restaurants to add to your wedding website or hotel welcome cards as a recommendation for your guests.

For this trip, I leaned on the expertise of the Garden of the Gods Resort & Club concierge. Sara helped me compile a short list of breakfast recommendations which included:

The Rocks Lounge at Garden of the Gods

The Margarita at Pine Creek

King’s Chef Diner

9:30a – Venue Site Visit

I always like to kick off planning day with a site visit and this Colorado Springs wedding was no exception. But it was especially important for this couple as we were reviewing spaces for their additional wedding weekend events.

We looked at all of the Garden of the Gods Resort & Club’s options for three events – a Vietnamese tea ceremony/rehearsal dinner, welcome drinks, and farewell brunch – along with walking the ceremony & reception spaces.

One of the ideas we’re toying around with is renting all six cottages on property that share a common green space. We could then use this space for the farewell brunch to keep guests close to their rooms for an easy, speedy check-out process. And, of course, we’d have a weather plan in our back pocket in the main lodge – an essential for any Colorado Springs wedding.

It’s always fun to host these planning days because it’s often the first time the couple has been back to their venue since they first fell in love with it. It’s easy when you’re planning from a distance to start second guessing your choices. I find these visits are key in quelling some of these nerves and reminding couples why they love their destination wedding location.

View from the Reflection Pool Ceremony Site

11:30a – Lunch & Debrief

Space in a planning day to relax and debrief is important. We took our first “break” at lunch at Brakeman’s Burgers, a delicious burger joint in the historic railroad station.

I was planning on eating a salad after a filling room service breakfast, but once I saw the mushroom and goat cheese burger on the menu, I couldn’t miss out!

When you build in space to the day, you allow ideas to bubble up natural rather than overwhelming couples – and yourself – with tasks and questions. It makes the time more fulfilling and productive.

1:00p – Rentals Meeting

After lunch it was time to play!

We met with Tomi at Colorado Party Rentals to discuss some of the foundations of the reception design for this Colorado Springs wedding.

We looked at chairs, chargers, flatware, plates, and linens. The couple shared their vision for a welcome drink display wall. And the bride looked at string light option to fulfill her want of a glowing, romantic cocktail hour.

Ultimately the goal here wasn’t to make a decision. This is where we play, try out a variety of ideas, and get a more solid idea of where we’re headed. We do want to sign paperwork to reserve our current selections for their prime October date, but we’ll be able to make changes to our selections until they sign-off on their final design plan in late July/Early August.

While we were there, the groom kept feeling drawn to a charger that had a great wood grain to it. Since it didn’t fit the more polished look for Saturday’s reception, I recommended we utilize it at Friday night’s joint tea ceremony and rehearsal dinner. It actually played nicely with a red napkin the couple is leaning toward for that evening to reflect the celebratory color of their Vietnamese heritage. We plan on adding a napkin ring and cohesive place card to elevate and connect the pairing.

3:30p – Miscellaneous Planning Tasks Meeting

With our major meetings out of the way, we all took a quick break to freshen up before rejoining in the living room of one of the Cottage suites at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club.

View from our Cottage Suite patio

Bottle of wine in hand, we drove into some of the outstanding planning tasks that we wanted to cover this month. The next steps were laid out for setting up their wedding website. We calculated who would want hair & makeup services, as well as what style of services the bride would like. Finally, we created an outline for the weekend’s wedding attire for the couple and their wedding party.

While this particular meeting did have more structure than our lunch debrief, I still like to keep this fairly open to allow topics of discussion to naturally evolve. One of the ideas that came up in this free flowing discussion time centered around a late night snack concept that I’m dying to share with you but am going to keep quiet on for just a bit. It’s so personal and sure to be a hit after a few hours of drinking.

6:30p – Farewell Dinner

After a full day of planning for their Colorado Springs wedding, it’s great to kickback, relax, and enjoy some great food.

We reconvened for the final portion of our on-location planning day, dinner in their reception space the Grand View Dining Room at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club.

As we were traveling during the Valentine’s Day weekend we got to enjoy a prix fix menu. This four course meal blew us aways. Special shoutout to the sommelier, Sean, for his pairings and for sharing the secret stash of bourbon which had both the groom and Matt totally geeking out.

I always enjoy when Matt gets to tag along for a planning day and not just because I get a travel buddy. The final dinner is mainly about connecting outside of the tasks of the day. Having Matt there is a fun way to share a little bit of “who I am” with my couples. We always enjoy taking about hometowns, wild work stories, and our own stories.

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Photography by Smith House Weddings