We Have Officially Transitioned to Heather Gardner Weddings


Greetings and thank you so much for stopping by!

La Dolce Vita Weddings has recently transitioned to Heather Gardner Weddings and as such, I invite you to take a peek on over at our new website & brand :: www.hgweddings.com

Colorado wedding planner, colorado wedding, denver wedding planner

You can also find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HGWeddings or on Twitter at @hgweddings

I am still doing weddings however focusing on month-of coordination needs. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at heather@hgweddings.com.

Best wishes to you,


The Sky is Purple

I was perusing Pinterest this evening and I realized how different all of us are. Yes, I know we are all different, but I think we tend to live in our bubbles and forget that each person has a different flavor about themselves. Our tastes, our perspectives, our likes/dislikes, how we perceive beauty and color – this is what makes us, well, us. For me, I like to think the color of the sky has various shades of blue but the next person may think something completely different.

And you know what? That is okay. That’s why I love people!

So why are engaged couples trying to emulate the weddings they see on TV or in a magazine?

I get it, without these publications, there wouldn’t be much of an industry to “hype” up. They show us what is possible with an unlimited budget and a dream team of wedding professionals. But how many engaged couples do you know that have a high or even unlimited budget?

Weddings are beautiful, fun to plan yet I see so many couples stressed out over the planning process, enough to just elope to a remote island where they can’t be found.

And this is fun, why?

Here’s what I propose –

Figure out why you’re getting married, why you want to spend a butt-load of money, and why you want to invite everybody that has ever crossed your path.

Then, hire professionals to help you plan your wedding event. Even if you have an informal backyard wedding, I recommend that you hire a professionals. Decide on your top three priorities for your wedding and budget accordingly.

Finally, remember the reason why you’re getting married in the first place.


(A Fine Photographer)

The Art of a Simple Thank You


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(My grandparents in the early 50’s)

I watched my grandmother work over a hot stove as she feverishly worked to cook her family a wonderful holiday meal. Every holiday, we gather at my grandparent’s house and every time, my grandmother is in the kitchen 80% of the time, cooking and working so hard. Regardless of how many times the family attempted to step in and help, she would shoo us out of the kitchen by whipping her dish towel at us.

Audrae has done this for 30+ years and continues to do it to this day. She doesn’t take praise very well and always refuses credit for the beautiful meals she magically creates.

I decided that the only way I could tell her how much she means to me and the family (and to get her to listen!) was to write a heartfelt thank you note. In the letter, I told her that I loved her and have always appreciated her abilities to create harmony out of chaos and all with a smile on her face. A week later, I received a very loving letter from her expressing her appreciation and love for me. It instantly melted my heart.

Why is it that the simply art of a thank you has seem to go lost amongst today’s generations? I remember being taught from a very early age that when somebody goes out of their way to do something nice for you, you say thank you.

When a nice gesture is exchanged between you and another person, you say thank you.

When somebody opens the door for you, you say thank you.

When you receive a gift from somebody, you say thank you.

I’ve been debating on whether I should write this post because to me, this seems like common sense and didn’t feel the need to *announce* this to the world. Quite frankly, I am surprised with the inability of some to formulate two simple words :: THANK.YOU.

And that makes me sad.

You never know how a handwritten note, a quick text or simple email of thanks will be met by the other person. They could be having the crummiest of days and they get your quick note of thanks, and then all of a sudden they have a little spring in their step. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty cool.

So engaged couples, I have a few tips for you to make sure you don’t forget to say thank.you.

  1. Tell each other thank you often; if your fiancé folds the towels and puts them away for you, without being asked. Say thank.you.
  2. Send a quick note of thanks to your wedding vendors who are helping you throughout the process. We LOVE to hear a simple “thank.you” if we’re doing a great job.
  3. Let your family know how much they mean to you during your wedding planning process. Make it heartfelt and personal. Even though you think you’re the only one going through the process of getting married, sorry friends, this isn’t the case. Your entire family is going through this with you and these events are a huge change for them as well. Say thank.you.

If you’re worried about *how* to say thank you in a more formal way, take a peek here.

When in doubt, send it out.




Homemade Mints & Food Trucks


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Your ceremony was a hit and now it’s time to entertain your guests.

The easiest part of your day has concluded – you’re married! Congratulations!

Now, the reception begins and you’re responsible for hosting a really.large.dinner party. Seems daunting, doesn’t it?

One thing that I pride myself on is the fact that I march to my own beat. I’ve been known to live in “Heather’s World” and planning a wedding is no different. Sure, there are traditional elements that are necessary with a wedding, but there are so many ways to make the wedding scream “THIS IS OUR WEDDING & WE’RE NOT AFRAID TO SHOW IT!”

The key is to showcase YOUR personalities and loves. If Grandma says she can make the homemade mints circa 1975, I would politely direct her in another direction. Say, “We just want you to show up and look pretty! That is your only job Grandma”.



Not that I’m knocking homemade mints, I just don’t think it’s appropriate for our generation. (Now if your Grandma is anything like mine and offers up the home-made Baileys & Kahlua I’m ALL.FOR.IT. If you’re interested in the recipe for your own par-tay, drop me a note in the comments section and I’ll send it over to you. Delish. #MyGrandmaRocksItLikeThat)

Instead of having a traditional sit-down or buffet reception, what if you tried having a wine & cheese tasting? Or a Food Truck? Not only are these creative but they also offer ways for your guests to get up & mingle with each other. Eating is always a good thing.




Comfort Foods

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(foodfunandlove.blogspot.com) (dynamiteweddings.com)

Sushi Chef

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(studiowed.net) (vermontweddingplanner.blogspot.com)

Food Trucks

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(cinnamonkisspaper.wordpress.com) (posheventplanning.com)

Wine / Beer Tasting Station

wpid-beerstation_wedding-2012-03-18-18-42.jpg wpid-winecheese_wedding-2012-03-18-18-42.jpg

(mycookingclasses.com) (coopercarras.com)

Dessert Stations

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(jasonscatering.blogspot.com) (sacramentoweddingplanner.com)

I don’t know about you, but one thing that really bums me out is the fact that couples are scared to venture out of the “norm” or what is expected at a wedding and making it their own. Why are you so scared? Is it the pressure from your family? Or is it the perception that you’re *supposed* to have this ideal wedding that is plastered all over the internet & magazines? Trust me, I get it. I know you want to throw a kick-ass party – who doesn’t?

*PS – Leave me a note in the comments section if you want the recipe for the homemade Baileys & Kahlua

Thank You Cards – Wedding Etiquette


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Sending out a thank you note seems to be pretty common knowledge, right?

A bride contacted me asking about the etiquette for sending thank you cards after their wedding. People may give you a gift from the moment you announce your engagement until one year after your marriage. Even if you’re knee-deep in packing peanuts, keeping up with your thank-you notes is uber-important.

Although opinions may vary, I feel that you have a month to send a thank-you note. If you fall behind, asses the situation: Send notes first to people such as your Aunt Betsy who’s probably losing sleep wondering if her crystal vase arrived safely; send the next batch to folks whose checks you’ve already deposited; and then take care of the rest.

A well-written thank you note mentions the gift, how much you like it, and how you intend to use it. You may also add a few words to recipients regarding how much you enjoyed (or missed) them at your wedding.

Both of you may sign the note. A sweet touch is for the other spouse to append a brief postscript: PS. I so enjoyed meeting you after hearing Kristen say such nice things about you. Thank you again. -Gary

How to Stay Organized

So that you’re not scrambling at last-minute to organize “who-sent-what”, there are a few ways you can track this information:

1) Good old fashioned pen and paper

2) Guest Tracker

3) Review samples of wording to help you get the process started

What NOT To Do

1) Do NOT send pre-printed Thank You cards in lieu of handwritten notes. This screams that you don’t care enough to take the time to send a personal note.

2) Do NOT use an internet-based card service to send your notes e.g. SendOut Cards. This service is best left for other types of announcements e.g. birthday, graduation, etc.

Wedding Service Professionals

Last, send thank-you notes to all of the service professionals that got you through the day – hairdresser, photographer, wedding planner, venue coordinator, florist, band, caterer, etc. We rely on letters of reference for our business and a letter of applause often means more to them then a monetary tip does (although, we always like a little extra for a job well done :) ).


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