Karli Jones was planning weddings before she even knew her husband-to-be. In July 2013, she was interning for a wedding planner when she first met Matthew Spangler as a student at Texas Christian University. The couple fell in love, graduated, and settled down in Dallas, where Karli opened her own wedding planning company: Ivory & Vine Event Co..
After four years of dating, Matthew told Karli that they were attending his coworker's wedding, so she got ready—but was surprised when a limo showed up at her house. Of course, the limo was not intended as wedding transportation. Instead, it took Karli on a tour of her and Matthew's favorite places throughout Dallas. "At each location, one of my best girlfriends was hiding and waiting to give me the next clue," she recalls. "They'd all flown in to surprise me!" Once she'd picked up all of her friends, the limo took her to her final destination: Flippen Park, where Matthew was waiting to propose.
The bride grew up in Colorado, and wanted to share the beauty of the mountains in the summer with their 110 guests. "It was the perfect excuse for an escape to Vail with our nearest and dearest," she says. The couple filled their wedding weekend with adventure, from white water rafting and dinner on a working ranch to a mountaintop ceremony. "All I'd envisioned before we got engaged was marrying Matthew, and I kept that feeling in my heart as our big day approached," says the bride. Of course, as a pro she knew her way around the process: "I knew exactly which vendors I wanted to have by my side on my wedding day," she admits. "Matthew and I weren't afraid to buck tradition and make the day our own!" That said, Karli turned to Grit & Gold Event Co. to take over the details the month of, executing everything Karli had planned so that she and Matthew could embrace the weekend and all the feelings that came along with it.
Keep reading to see everything this wedding planner dreamed up for her mountaintop wedding on July 28, 2018. The photos by Stephanie Brazzle are sure to impress you, below!
Every destination wedding needs a great welcome box, and Karli and Matthew welcomed their friends and family with water, canned prosecco, and a selection of their favorite treats.
Karli's wedding gown was custom-made by Yasmine Layani. "We put together elements from some of the favorite gowns I'd seen," says the bride. "I wanted something classic, with a slight nod to vintage gown design." The final creation paired a bateau neckline with sheer sleeves, a chiffon wrap skirt, and a high-low hem that was perfect for showing off her lace Joy Proctor for Bella Belle booties! Karli's bridesmaids all wore gray, with each 'maid choosing a dress (or jumpsuit!) that fit her own personal style.
Matthew wore a navy suit for the mountaintop ceremony, and could barely contain his emotions when he spotted Karli walking down the aisle toward him. "I had both my father and my stepfather walk me down the aisle together," says the bride of the special shared moment.
The couple's venue, the Vail Wedding Deck, flaunts spectacular views of the surrounding peaks, so Karli and Matthew kept their ceremony decor simple. "We had a few wild and organic arrangements set in a semicircle on the ground," she says.
After exchanging personalized vows, Matthew and Karli's officiant invited their parents and grandparents up to the altar to join them. As another nod to their families coming together, Karli gave Matthew her grandfather's wedding band.
"One of my favorite memories of our wedding day was the time we got to spend together as newlyweds," says Karli. "We got to explore the scenery while taking pictures with our photographer. The pressure was off, we could just have fun, and we were finally married!"
Meanwhile, guests headed to the reception area: a clear-top tent set on the square outside of the Arrabelle at Vail Square. "On our RSVPs, we asked our guests to choose one of three cocktails: a grapefruit margarita, lavender lemonade, and a spicy old fashioned," Karli says. "We placed drink stirrers customized with each guest's name and table number in their drink of choice so they could have a sip while they found their seats."
The reception design—including the aspen branches suspended from the tent—was inspired by one of the couple's favorite restaurants in Positano, Italy. Long bare farm tables were topped with taper candles and garlands of greenery.
On the head table, a navy runner wove between floral arrangements and gold-rimmed glassware. Lush creations combined pink roses, lisianthus, tea roses, and sprawling branches. Each place setting featured soft gray plates, modern gold flatware, and linen napkins embroidered with each guest's name.
The wedding's Italian influence continued with the dinner menu as guests enjoyed a gnocchi bar. The newlyweds also stepped away to visit the gelato shop across the square for a sweet treat.
Karli changed into a chic white pantsuit for the party, then she and Matthew headed to the dessert table to slice into blueberry, apple, and Colorado peach pies all made by the bride's grandmother. "We also brought out a cake for my grandparents to slice, since the next day was their anniversary," adds the bride.
Though she's planned countless weddings professionally, Karli says she got new insight into her job when planning her own wedding. "I have much more appreciation for brides struggling to stick to their budget," she says. "Matthew and I did our best to focus on what really is important: marrying one another, and the fact that all of these people will never be in the same place again. We did our best to take advantage of the time we got with everyone that weekend!"
Wedding Planner: Ivory & Vine Event Co. || Month-of Coordination: Grit & Gold Event Co. || Ceremony Venue: Vail Wedding Deck || Reception Venue: The Arrabelle || Bride's Dress: Yasmine Layani || Bride's Shoes: Bella Belle || Bride's Jewelry: Shapiro Diamonds || Hair & Makeup: Meagan Bechtel || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Floral Design: Moss Floral Design || Paper Products: Pink Champagne Paper || Catering: The Arrabelle || Music: Le Force Entertainment || Rentals: Colorado Party Rentals, Premier Party Rental, La Tavola Fine Linen || Videography: Jonathan Mayfield Media || Photography: Stephanie Brazzle