I recently had the chance to sit down with Nicole Lowery and Christie zumBrunnen, owners of Denver based party planning and styling team Hey! Party Collective. This party planning dynamic duo is intent on pushing the envelope with wedding and event styling while also keeping it sophisticated.
Setting out to show brides they don’t have to have a ho-hum wedding, they are also notorious dance party starters, which is just a bonus! Who doesn’t love a good dance party, right? I recently sat down with these two creatives to get the inside scoop on their best wedding planning tips.
From the beginning, Nicole and Christie's goal has been simple: to inspire clients to be themselves, to push the envelope, and to think outside the box. "We try to work with venues with a unique atmosphere, promote and collaborate with local and like-minded industry badasses, stay on top of rad new trends, and find styles that cater to the particular tastes of our clients," says Lowery.
Nicole & Christie's Top 8 Wedding Styling Tips
Get Creative. You don't have to spend a ton of money on a wedding gown, nor does it need to be white, lacy, or floor length. Wear a dress that makes you feel amazing and special. Bridal accessories and a bouquet will add those final "bridal" touches.
Get it Tailored. Men! We want you to look smashing as well! Instead of the ill-fitting rental suit of the past, go for a more tailored look with a fitted jacket and complementary slacks. H&M, J. Crew, and Express tend to have great fitted jacket options.
Shop Vintage. For a more affordable option, shop for a vintage jacket or dress at a local thrift shop and have it tailored to your size.
Break the Mold. Another tip for the groom — don’t be afraid to break the mold and wear jeans! For a summer look, go with a great pair of raw selvage jeans cuffed up, cognac boots, a collared gingham shirt and a signature Primary tie. For winter, or something more formal, pair a black jacket and crisp white shirt with fitted black jeans. Trust us, you will be much more comfortable, and no one will ever know you're wearing jeans.
#2 Creative Details
- Remember to have fun! Props are always fun to have for photos, both for you and your bridal party and for guests. How fun are these metal marquee letters (handmade in Colorado by Meredith Moran of Saddle Shoe Signs)?
- Handmade and crafty details are a way to invoke your own personal style and add a personal touch.The napkins shown in the top pic at each place setting were handmade using a bright graphic yard of fabric.
- Look for creative decor supplies in unexpected places, like hardware stores and thrift shops. Here, we painted a concrete block to use as the cake stand.
- Be sure to find a photographer/ photography team you connect with! Do a pre-wedding shoot (such as an engagement session) with them to get comfortable in front of the camera.
- Don't skimp in this area. This could take a significant portion of your budget, but your photos will be the only thing you have left after the flowers wilt and the cake disappears. Trust us! You will want to have something (truly special) to remember this day by.
#4 Working with The Pros
- Hire a stylist/planner who will help show you the important decor areas to spend your money and where you can save. You don't want to spend all your time and money on tiny details that will be missed. A good stylist will show you how to get the most "wow" out of your dollar.
- Find vendors who have worked together before and recommend each other. Not only will their styles mesh well, but the familiar relationships will help make your event seamless!
- Be sure to get a trial run with your hair and makeup artists before the big day. That way there are no last minute surprises or crises before those important pictures.
- Look glamorous, but look like yourself! Em Stockham of Clementine’s - A Boutique Salon subtly accentuated our model's hair by adding some loose waves. Heather at Makeup By Heather B created a beautifully natural look on the model, with just a couple of special touches to enhance her gorgeous eyes and lips.
#5 Paper Goods
- Work one on one with a local designer to come up with a one of a kind invitation suite. This letterpressed set from local Denver company Banshee Press even included custom coasters!
- Your paper goods designer can also help with fun details like signage, ceremony programs and placecards.
#6 Food & Drink
- We are big fans of food trucks! Having a food truck cater your wedding is many times a cost-effective and fun option. And these days you can find some pretty sophisticated cuisine being catered out of a truck.
- We also love the idea of a signature cocktail. Having just one creative cocktail is a great addition to a simple beer and wine menu.
- Rev up that cake! This colorful cake was designed and made by Emily Pahl & Evette Fisher at Whipped Bakery.
- We are loving the air plant and succulent trend right now, and by displaying them strategically in small vignettes, a little can go a long way.
- Use funky objects in your floral design and centerpieces. Stephanie at Lalé Floral Designs took our initial inspiration a step further by adorning antlers with flowers to make a spectacular centerpiece.
- Get creative with wedding favors, and send guests home with something they’ll use and remember, not toss out the next morning. Yummy treats are always good, and so are things like olive oil, honey, tea, or a beer coozie for summer BBQ’s!
- Thinking of offering a signature cocktail at the reception? How about matching that by sending your guests home with these fun custom bitters made by Dram Apothecary. Each one is just the right size and creates a custom favor that is quite out of the box.
#8 Creative Favors/ Guest Gifts
Feeling like Denver was in need of a little kick in the pants when it came to creative event design, these two set out to plan events around unique venues, bold decor, and a complete disregard for conventional trends. In doing so, they have brought a fresh perspective to the wedding and event styling industry in Denver and wowed each client from start to finish.
Thanks, Nicole & Christie!
(Images: Kathryn Bacalis)