3rd Annual Un-Bridal Show: A Raging Success!

We had THIRTY-ONE BRIDES attend our annual show this past Saturday. For a few hours it was so crowded you couldn’t easily move around the Salida SteamPlant ballroom floor. All our repeat vendors said it was the “BEST SHOW EVER.”

As President of the Heart of the Rockies Wedding Association I am extremely pleased by the turnout and the overall style and flow of the show. It was super helpful to have the assistance of a wedding planner! Thanks Aly Camerlo with Knot Just Another Wedding!!

And of course thanks to the SteamPlant staff (especially Jillian!!) for all their help throughout the planning process – and Jillian for helping me to put out a few fires the day-of…

Of course I have to thank Betsy with Settings Event Rental, Jane with Rancho Verde Flowers and Lori Perri independent beauty consultant with Mary Kay for being involved from start to finish. And Beth Grimes with Yellow Feather Photography for making the posters!

It takes a village, and I’m very grateful for all the help and support from our fabulous vendors these past few months. I’m THRILLED it went off well and even more thankful that it’s over.

While our event of the season is over, please continue to use us HRWA as a resource for all your wedding needs. Also, please enjoy these photos I took during the event and thanks again!!

-Cailey McDermott
HRWA President
Owner of Phreckles Photography


Flowers: Rancho Verde Flowers
Musician: John Drew Peterson
Desert: Layered Confections
Wooden Tables/plates/silverware: Settings Event Rental
Drinks: Served by Bash Cocktail Catering, distilled by Wood’s High Mountain Distillery
Baby: Curtesy of RMOC‘s Brandon and Teresa
Smiling couple: Taylor Jones Photography
Laughing couple: Ben and Abby Wright with Rocky Mountain Dance Floors



Vendor Spotlight – Yellow Feather Photography

Inspired by the natural world and the human story.

Utilizing elements of natural lighting, even indoors, the work of environmental, lifestyle, wedding and fine art photographer Beth Grimes has an aesthetically different look.

The creative founder of Yellow Feather Photography, Beth believes it is important that her work has substance and she embraces the opportunity to develop an authentic friendship with her clients.

A self-motivated learner, in school she studied fine art theory and photography, including painting, drawing and technical aspects of lighting. More recently, Beth taught creative photography and a fundamentals class at Colorado Mountain College. She occasionally offers local workshops. Her photos have been published in regional and national magazines for both her conservation and wedding work.

Beth believes weddings are a significant, magical and powerful turning point in a couple’s life. The story is already built in to the day and Beth is drawn to that experience, aiming to tell their story through her images.  Her work is often described as authentic, organic and documentary in style.

036-colorado_mountain_wedding_photosPhotographer, Beth Grimes. To view more of Beth’s work, visit yellowfeatherphotography.com

You can also MEET Beth at the Un-Bridal Show this Saturday (Jan. 28) at the Salida SteamPlant, 1-4pm.


Vendor Spotlight – Heather Barron

Tying the Knot – an Ideal Unity Ritual
By Heather Barron, Wedding Officiant/Marriage Celebrant

When I ask couples what they would like as a Unity Ritual in their wedding ceremony, often the only thing they can think of is lighting a unity candle. Based on TV and movie weddings, I can understand why. This seems to be the only Unity Ceremony ever portrayed. There are so many other options for this special moment in a wedding ceremony. And here in Colorado, it is especially good to choose something other than a ritual that depends on a flame remaining lit in the Rocky Mountain summer breeze or autumn blustery gusts. People can get awfully superstitious when the light blows out!

One of my favorite Unity Ceremonies is called Handfasting. Handfasting is an age-old ritual that can be traced to the British Isles thousands of years ago, and is where the term “tying the knot” comes from. The basics of Handfasting require a length of rope, cord, string, yarn, beautiful scarf, etcetera wrapped over clasped hands during the Unity Ceremony, which generally signifies the unification of the couples’ lives. The length of material is wrapped multiple times around joined hands, sometimes with a vow asked between each wrap and the couple responding in unison with, “We do” or We will.” Other times it is wrapped in silence. When the wrapping is complete, the officiant or beloved family members tie a knot in it to complete the symbolic unification. Then the rope is either slid off or left on through the vow exchange, and taken off to be replaced with wedding rings. The knot stays in.

Sometimes couples create their own cord, made from beautiful thread/yarn/string choosing colors that symbolized important qualities to them and braiding them together.  A few couples have used climbing rope form memorable climbing adventures. One pair who met rafting used a throwbag (a bag filled with rope thrown to rescue boaters who’ve gone overboard – great symbolism from this was written into the ceremony). Another bride and groom even used a length of cotton t-shirt that held special memories for them, which they ripped in a circular way around the torso section to create one length of fabric. You can get as creative as you like!

A Handfasting Ceremony is an ideal Unity Ritual for couples traveling to their wedding site via plane, since it is easy to check or carry on, and can easily be taken with them after the ceremony. One of the many reasons I also love this ceremony is that you leave with a souvenir from your altar – one that can be displayed in the home or taken out on anniversaries as a reminder of promises made and vows exchanged.

Heather will be present at our Un-Bridal Show Jan. 28 at the Salida SteamPlant Event Center. The free event is 1-4pm. Pre-register here.

Photo credit clockwise: David Brenowitz Photography, Autumn Twilight Photography and Yellow Feather Photography.

Spotlight – Lori Perri Mary Kay Consultant


Picking your wedding makeup: The hardest decision you’ll make after choosing the groom.

Deciding on your bridal makeup can be tricky: You’ll want to pick something that’s true to your style, without risking the chance that you’ll look back in ten years and wonder what in the world you were thinking when you chose that lip color or no lip color, to be immortalized forever in your wedding photos.

The best beauty look for the classic bride is a touch of pale pink blush and a tint of gloss on the lips. This makes for an eternally beautiful wedding makeup look.  Try a subtle flick of liner at the outer corner of your eyes for an understated cat eye that looks clean and fresh, especially when paired with cheery blush and matching lipstick.

If you’re not a full-on glam kind of girl, but still appreciate a little sparkle, pick a skin tone shadow and concentrate on the middle of the eyelid, while a matte shadow in the crease will add definition.  Light contouring and a rosy lipstick will tone down the eye shadow and keep it within the “classically glamorous” category.

A sharp, precise cat eye is the first trick every vintage-loving bride needs to have in her arsenal. When paired with a pink-toned red lipstick, the result is modern and chic.

For a boho or natural look use a shimmering, neutral eye shadow and a touch of red or pink lipstick to subtly enhance glowing skin. Add soft definition to your eyes with softly smudged liner to keep your look from being overshadowed by your botanical crown, (no self-respecting boho bride should be without a gorgeous headpiece).

So the question is, what is your style?

I’ve been helping brides look their best for 15 years and I will be so excited to find out what your style will be.

You can meet me, Lori Perri, at the Un-Bridal Show at the Salida SteamPlant Jan. 28. I will help you look and feel beautiful for your special day!

Photo by Phreckles Photography

Vendor Spotlight – Layered Confections

You have all seen them, the wedding cakes looming in the back of your parents and grandparent’s albums.  The traditional cookie cutter all-white cakes, adorned with swags, pillars, staircases and don’t forget about the toppers!  Today couples are feeling less tied to traditions and trends.  Instead, couples are adding their own unique personality and event style into their wedding cakes and dessert tables. With all of the choices, it can be overwhelming. Layered Confection’s advice to you for creating a sweet centerpiece that your guests will remember for years to come is to start by picking a style, consider your inspiration and enjoy a tasting or two!


Pick a style that speaks to you and your fiancé.  Spend some time looking at wedding cakes and dessert tables online or in books and magazines.  Decide what styles you like and dislike.  Do you lean towards more classic, modern, rustic, or a combination? Do you prefer clean lines or bold colors and patterns? Perhaps you prefer a more natural feel with earthy colors, leaves, and flowers.  Create an inspiration board to share with your wedding cake designer.


Before choosing a cake or dessert table design, make sure some of the major elements are in place so your wedding cake designer has some inspiration to start with! While your wedding season or location might suggest a certain style of cake or decor, you are not limited.  Inspiration can be found in many places, such as the venue, attire, accessories, invitation, color scheme, and passions.  The more you have selected before meeting with your designer, the more he or she can tie into your cake so that it is the perfect centerpiece for your momentous occasion!


Let your taste buds decide! Schedule a tasting and design consultation with potential wedding cake designers. Keep in mind cake isn’t your only option!  Alternative desserts such as cake pops, brownies, cookies, pies and tarts are also available. Typical meetings last about an hour, in which time you will conceptualize a design and discuss how you would like the cake and/or desserts to be presented. 

layeredconfections@gmail.com | layeredconfections.com | 970.531.8244



Want to taste some cakes? Morgan and her delicious treats will be at the upcoming Un-Bridal Show Jan. 28 at the Salida SteamPlant. The event is free and will run 1-4 pm. Did we mention FREE CAKE?!

Vendor Spotlight – Salida SteamPlant Event Center

The start of 2017 means so many different things to so many different people. Here at the SteamPlant, the New Year signifies a fresh slate of events and weddings, starting as early as March. And we cannot WAIT! New people to meet, new memories to make. The people attracted to the SteamPlant and who choose us to be their wedding venue are undoubtedly the best part. We love the diversity of couples we get to meet from all across the state and beyond.

This past November, one of our Event Coordinators was interviewed by The Mountain Mail for an article on weddings in the Arkansas River Valley. Shannon was asked, “So what makes the SteamPlant so special here in Salida? What draws couples in to choose you as their wedding venue?” Shannon replied, “To put it simply, our centralized location, our casual urban vibe, and the ease and flow of our events.”
We’re a stylish, urban venue in downtown Salida, right along the banks of the Arkansas River, and surrounded by stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. Couples can incorporate the beauty of Salida and all of the outdoor recreation opportunities one can think of – kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, you name it – into their weekend. Or, anything else. We’ve even had wedding parties arrive for their big day via whitewater kayaks on the Arkansas River, dry suits swapped out for wedding dresses. We’ve had Firefly themed weddings, punk weddings, western weddings, you name it.

As a renovated 1887 steam power plant, the SteamPlant even has a little something for those history buffs who want to take the time to learn a little bit about Historic Salida. The steam power plant powered public lights in the city throughout the 1900s, before it was re-modeled into Salida’s premier Theatre and Event Center in the 1990s. Any historic tour of Salida, whether done by bike or by a simple stroll along the Monarch Spur Trail includes the SteamPlant. Families and event attendees from out of town love it.

That’s the best part and what we look forward to this coming wedding season – the people we meet and have the privilege to work with. We want to be what people need for their special day. And we always make sure to make the most of it.


Come see the Salida SteamPlant in ACTION during our annual Un-Bridal Show Jan. 28. Entry is free, 1-4 pm. The SteamPlant ballroom will be set up to look and feel like a wedding reception. Come for ideas, meeting industry professionals and free cake tastings!

Vendor Spotlight – Taylor Jones Photography

Hello there! We’re Mike and Taylor Fisher, a husband and wife wedding photography team who specialize in Rocky Mountain Weddings. WOW! 2016 was an incredibly, wonderfully, insane year. We moved to the Arkansas Valley in March of this year and have spent nearly the last year flipping the house that was on our 43 acre ranch. We’ve traveled everywhere in the beautiful state of Colorado, and are so excited to call Chaffee County home. 

Our style of shooting is a raw, emotional, and photojournalistic one. We absolutely love the folks we work with and want the real you to come out in your images. Having said, we work hard to create a fun and memorable experience during your shoot, making sure we coach you on posing, make you laugh, and take some time to relish in the moment. Living and working in one of the most beautiful places in the world lends itself to some pretty incredible back drops and we are so thrilled to get to meet our coupes for a beer in Buena Vista or Salida to hear all about wedding plans. So, give us a call or send us an e-mail and we’d love to take you out for a drink and get to know your love story and plans of your wedding day! Cheers, Mike and Taytayloronwhitelogo


Come meet Mike and Tay at our Un-Bridal Show Jan. 28 1-4 pm at the Salida SteamPlant!

Vendor Spotlight – Phreckles Photography

Wow, 2016 was quite the year. I traveled to 2 countries (plus Hawaii), flew East 3 times to photograph weddings and got married!

Phreckles kicked off the season with a destination wedding in Jamaica. What a fantastic country! I really wish I could’ve extended my visit. It was brief, humid and full of sunshine. While I love living in the mountains, I sure miss the ocean. However, I discovered that beach destinations are not meant for a solo trip. There was no one to help me cover my back with sunscreen. I think I did fairly well avoiding the sun, but I did burn the un-reachable parts of my back.

In June, I turned down a few weddings to travel to Ireland with my fiancé for two weeks. We took the trip as a “pre-honeymoon.” We visited my friends and family in Doolin for a week and took in the annual Doolin Folk Festival. It was a bit too fun. Then we rented touring bikes and spent two weeks exploring the gorgeous Connemara region. We saw a minimum of 4 unicorns.

With 5 weddings, July proved to be fairly busy. Not to mention my own wedding was the first Thursday in August. I had 3 weddings within a week of my own. (Poor planning on my part?) My wedding was wonderful and fantastic and the wettest day of the year. I only cried twice..but not about the rain. Four months later, I’m thrilled to be a wife, and even more thrilled to have the wedding day behind us. Wedding planning is not a future career for me.

The month after our wedding, I traveled so much I spent only one of those weeks with my new husband. Thankfully he is very supportive. During that month of traveling I went to Massachusetts for a wedding, Hawaii for a week in my occasional role as #travelnanny. Then straight to Vermont for another wedding. It was wonderful to be back in Vermont in September. In the 6 years since moving west, I’d only been back to Vermont in the winter. I forgot how green and lovely the late summer can be in Vermont. It made me miss it a bit..

I finished out the year with a few Salida weddings, which are my favorite. Biking to wedding gigs is the best. My final wedding of the season was at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. What a hoot! I found it to be a perfect location for different, intriguing photos. I hope more people opt for a sandy wedding.

For more wildly entertaining stories, be sure to say hi during the Un-Bridal Show Jan. 28 at the Salida SteamPlant! As president of this wonderful association, I’ll likely be the one putting out fires.

Thanks for reading!
Cailey McDermott





Vendor Spotlight – Rancho Verde Flowers

2016 has been a great year for Rancho Verde Flowers, with more weddings than ever, and brilliant color in our expanded gardens. We love that so many couples have embraced the locally grown flower movement, and are supporting our farm and design business.

We are already booking weddings for 2017, and the calendar is filling up quickly. We recommend contacting us soon for your flowers, if you’re planning a 2017 wedding. Look for us at the Un-Bridal Show, on January 28th, at the Salida Steamplant.

Rancho Verde Flowers, LLC


Vendor Spotlight – Settings Event Rental


The off-season at Settings Event Rental is a welcome time of fewer events after a hectic summer, but for owners Betsy and Christopher Kolomitz it’s also the time when planning for 2017 kicks into high gear.

Settings is a founding member of the Heart of the Rockies Wedding Association and has Chaffee County’s largest event rental inventory – featuring everything from tents and tables to linens and dishware.

During the next several months, Settings will be busy assisting clients with their initial event planning, scouting venues, working up quotes and keeping an eye on wedding and event trends. Customers with summer 2017 events will be sure specific equipment is reserved for their events by planning now and making deposits. With five summer seasons under their belt, the experienced team at SER maintains strong professional relationships with many area vendors and is happy to give recommendations and offer answers to many questions.

When providing initial quotes it’s helpful for customers to include the date of the event, location, approximate guest count, estimated quantities and contact information. Settings works on a first-come, first-serve basis. A 50% non-refundable deposit secures the equipment and date. A final count and balance is due 10 days before the event.

For the Un-Bridal Show held on Jan. 28, 2017 at the Salida SteamPlant, Settings is planning to offer a variety of products for clients to see. Included will be the popular custom-made wooden farm tables, several seating styles, dishware and our trendy outdoor lounge furniture and fireplace.  And of course, Settings will showcase its linen, glassware and a few décor options too. Give Settings a call 719.539.2434 or shoot an email to info@settingseventrental.com to start planning your summer event now!