My "Best of 2017" Colorado Wedding Ceremony Vendors

My "Best of 2017" wedding vendor list is here! Every year, I select a top vendor from several different wedding service categories and feature them on my blog. Each of my chosen vendors is someone whom I've worked with in 2017, and each has earned this special mention by being outstanding in some way. This year, I've selected Officiant Phillip Gallagher, Laura Murray Photography, Snapdragon Celebrations, and Della Terra Mountain Chateau.


Phillip Gallagher

Colorado Wedding Officiant

What I Loved: When I worked with Phil for a wedding this past December he became an instant friend. His upbeat personality, flexibility, and professionalism made everything fun and easy for everyone. When a wedding appears effortless, you know that means your vendors are doing their job amazingly well. At this small wedding with no planner, Phil acted not only as an officiant but he went above and beyond his job description in coordinating the little details and putting smiles on everyone's faces despite the cold weather. I highly recommend Phil for any wedding from large to small!

Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher

Laura Murray Photography

Colorado and destination wedding photographer

What I Loved: Laura Murray's stunning photos are creatively crafted and each one tells a special story. She poignantly captures both the large and small moments of life, bringing out the personality of her subjects in a thoughtful and genuine way. These amazing photos speak for themselves!

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Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray

Snapdragon Celebrations

Colorado wedding planner

What I Loved: Jill Chalfant was so professional and easy to work with. She contacted me with all of the information that I needed well in advance and was communicative if I needed anything. She was also helpful and available on the day of the wedding, and the entire ceremony went so smoothly that you knew there had to be expert planning behind it all.

Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations

Snapdragon Celebrations Photos Courtesy of Laura Murray Photography


Della Terra Mountain Chateau

Colorado Wedding Venue

What I Loved: I love Della Terra Mountain Chateau and the wonderful folks that work there so much that I just had to feature for a second time. The Chateau is situated conveniently near Estes Park and features grounds that have several elegant wedding spaces. The whole property is surrounded by the mountains, trees, and nature's beauty. The inside of the chateau is just what you'd want from a mountain chateau, with a rustic elegance and lively seasonal touches. The ladies that work there are communicative and on top of every detail from start to finish. Della Terra is truly a stunning location for a wedding ceremony!

Colorado wedding venue, Della Terra
Colorado wedding venue, Della Terra
Colorado wedding venue, Della Terra
Colorado wedding venue, Della Terra

Della Terra Photos Courtesy of Crystaline Photography

My "Best of 2014" Colorado Wedding Vendors

Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer

Another wonderful year has gone by and I want to take a moment to recognize and thank my top vendor picks of 2014. This year's top vendors are Gemini Event Planning, Steve Tinetti Photography, and Della Terra Mountain Chateau. Congratulations for doing such a wonderful job! You are all amazing and it was such a pleasure to work with you this year!

Gemini Event Planning

Colorado Wedding and Event Planner

What I Loved

Meg Stepanek is warm and friendly and easy to work with - Meg responds clearly and promptly to all communication - Meg and her team seem to be everywhere at once on the wedding day, and it runs like clockwork - Meg is extremely organized, but she is also very flexible and stays positive when the unexpected happens - Meg and her experienced team are amazing at designing weddings that fit the bride's personality and dream, from country Western to posh elegance and everything in between - The following pictures speak for Meg's style and creativity

Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning
Colorado wedding ceremony planned by Gemini Event Planning

Steve Tinetti Photography

Colorado Wedding Photographer

What I Loved

Steve Tinetti is wonderfully creative and isn't afraid to experiment to get that perfect shot - Steve is a great person and easy to work with - Steve is very responsive to communications - Steve worked on the day of the wedding with organized efficiency and yet stayed unobtrusively in the background as he captured his perfect shots - Simply put, Steve's pictures are amazing! Check them out below.

Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer
Steve Tinetti, Colorado Wedding Photographer

Della Terra Mountain Chateau

Colorado Wedding Venue and Luxury Boutique Inn

What I Loved

Location, location, location - Della Terra is located conveniently in Estes Park in an amazing mountain setting - The lodge and grounds are stunning - Multiple wedding ceremony locations are available across the property - The Lodge provides luxurious and comfortable accommodations in a setting full of natural beauty and wildlife - The staff is helpful and accommodating

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Della Terra Chateau, Estes Park
Della Terra Chateau, Estes Park
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Della Terra Chateau, Estes Park
Della Terra Chateau, Estes Park
Della Terra Chateau, Estes Park
Della Terra Chateau, Estes Park
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Flute and Guitar Duo Wedding Ceremony Music at the YMCA in Estes Park

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Our flute and guitar duo recently played for a beautiful October wedding ceremony at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning with gusty winds that challenged our ability to secure our sheet music and supplies. However, with many clips for our music and heavy rocks to hold down our music stands, we kept everything secure for the duration of our performance. By keeping the wind directly to my back, I was also able to get a good sound out of my flute. The ceremony was held outdoors at the Sara Smith Chapel which was a lovely location with a wild Colorado mountain feel. We played classical prelude music that the bride let us select and then a classical processional that I helped the bride select. During the ceremony, a small choir sang an incredible version of "Be Thou My Vision" and I felt honored to hear their talented performance in such an amazing setting. They sang this while the couple performed a foot washing ceremony, symbolizing the the servant-hood of marriage in comparison to Christ and the church. Then, because both the bride and groom are scientists, they did a small science experiment that they made up to represent marriage and the blending of two lives together. While they did that, we played Simple Gifts.

Selected Prelude Music:
Musette (Bach), Gavotte (Gossec), Polonaise (Mozart), Little Italian Song (Tchaikovsky), Valse Sentimentale (Schubert)

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Bridal Party (Grandmothers, Mothers, Bridesmaids, Flower Girl) ~ Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Bride ~ Gavotte from Sonata for Flute in C major (Handel)
Unity Ceremony ~ Simple Gifts
Recessional ~ Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
Postlude ~ Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel), Gymnopedie No. 1 (Satie)

Vendors:
Venue: YMCA of the Rockies - Estes Park
Photographer: Katie Keighin Photography
Wedding Ceremony Musicians - Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Guitar Duo

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Solo Flute - Wedding Ceremony Music at Della Terra Mountain Chateau in Estes Park

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Outdoor autumn wedding ceremonies can be tricky in the Colorado mountains because the weather can be anything from warm and sunny to freezing cold and snowing. This bride hoped for the best with her early October wedding ceremony, but was also ready to brave the worst. It was clear to see why she wanted an outdoor wedding ceremony at Della Terra Chateau in Estes Park. The chateau is beautifully situated in the mountains and gives the feel of majestic isolation that is pure Colorado. The grounds feature garden areas and small ponds and bridges that blend well into the wild Colorado landscape. Wildlife abounded and I saw several elk, wild turkeys, and many birds and chipmunks. Inside, the chateau was built to reflect the classic European charm of years gone by. I had no idea what to expect from the weather as I drove up the fog-shrouded mountains. The forecast was calling for thunderstorms and even snow later in the evening. When I arrived at Della Terra, it was cold and cloudy and I set up under a small musician pavilion to protect my flute from the drizzling rain.

The bride chose solo flute music for her wedding ceremony, and I played elegant music on my flute as the handful of guests began arriving. As the guests arrived, the cold rain began to fall in earnest and umbrellas were quickly supplied to the guests and they wrapped themselves in the warm blankets that had been provided. I chose cheerful spring-like music to give the atmosphere a feeling of warmth, and one of the guests later told me that my music was the perfect balm for the cold, dark weather. The processional began, and just as the bride reached the front, the sun came out and the rain abated just long enough for a beautiful ceremony to take place.

Selected Wedding Prelude Music:
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach), Danza Pastorale (Vivaldi), Spring (Vivaldi), Hornpipe (Purcell), The Swan (Saint Seans), Minuetto (Mozart)

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Wedding Party ~ Trumpet Voluntary
Bride ~ Trumpet Tune
Recessional ~ Bourree from Handel's Water Music
Postlude ~ Hornpipe from Handel's Water Music and Chopin's Waltz, Op. 69 No. 2

Wedding Vendors
Wedding Venue: Della Terra Mountain Chateau
Officiant: Reverend Simone Shepherd
Ceremony Musician: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Solo Flute

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The view behind the ceremony site

Flute and Cello Duo at Piney River Ranch in Vail, CO

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In August, our flute and cello duo headed up to Piney River Ranch in Vail to play for a wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. After a string of cold and rainy days, the sun finally came out at this incredible mountain location and made for a beautiful wedding day. Once we arrived in Vail, we followed a long set of directions through White River National Forest. The 45 minute drive brought us over very rutted roads and was very challenging in our Prius. Since the going was slow, we embraced the moment and rolled down our windows to enjoy the peaceful quite and the spectacular scenery. We arrived at the lodge in time to enjoy a meal at the Piney restaurant. I ordered their signature pulled pork BBQ, which was exceptional, and having lived in North Carolina for a while, I can be picky about my BBQ! We also had time to take photos of the lake and of the resident moose, Monty Jr.

The bride knew what she wanted for music, and she chose most of the prelude music and all of the ceremony music on her own with the aid of my repertoire list. She requested that we fill out her prelude selections with music from movies with big scenery to compliment the lake and mountain backdrop. I really enjoyed making these music selections and it was wonderful to play them in a location that perfectly complimented them.

One of the best moments of the wedding ceremony was when Monty the moose walked through the water right behind the couple! The pastor had been talking about living in the moment and not letting life slip by us unnoticed. The reactions of the guests was wonderful as the ceremony paused and we all took some time to embrace that wonderful moment.

For the cocktail hour, the bride requested Beatles, Sinatra, and jazz styles. Our flute and cello duo mostly plays classical music, but I was eager for the challenge and after looking through my extensive music library, I found a number of popular and jazz pieces that would work wonderfully with the flute and cello.

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Wedding Ceremony Music:
Mothers, Groom, Pastor, Groomsmen ~ Haunted by the Waters from A River Runs Through It
Bridesmaids ~ All I Ask of You Bride ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Recessional ~ La Rejouissance from Handel's Water Music
Postlude ~ Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (Handel)

Selected Prelude Music:
The Sound of Music, To a Wild Rose (MacDowell), Largo from Winter (Handel), The Wedding and the Ludlows from Legends of the Fall, Clair De Lune (Debussy), Si Bheag, Si Mhor (Irish Traditional), Moon River , from Breakfast at Tiffany's, What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)

Selected Cocktail Hour Music: 
Imagine (Beatles), When I'm Sixty Four (Beatles), A Whole New World, I Want to Hold Your Hand (Beatles), Can You Feel the Love Tonight?, Blue Spanish Eyes, All of Me, My Funny Valentine, Blackbird (Beatles), Misty

Christen and Heather playing at Piney River Ranch, courtesy of Zach Mahone Photography

Wedding Vendors:
Wedding Venue: Piney River Ranch, Vail
Wedding Coordinator: Meg Stepanek of Gemini Event Planning
Photographer: Zach Mahone Photography
Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Cello Duo

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Flute and Piano Duo at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon

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This summer, our flute and piano duo enjoyed playing for this beautiful wedding ceremony at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon, Colorado. This bride loves sunshine and has a sunny personality to match, so she chose the appropriate "Sunshine on my Shoulders" to walk down the aisle to. The church was situated on a hill overlooking a panoramic mountain view, and the weather was perfect and sunny. The piano in the church sanctuary was a very fine instrument with an amazing sound that we enjoyed. The bride told her family and friends that there would be music and everyone was so excited to hear the music that they all arrived 45 minutes before the ceremony, so we began our prelude early and gave them a little concert of hymns and sacred songs.

Selected Prelude Music:
Sunshine in My Soul, One Eagle's Wings, Great is Thy Faithfulness, How Great Thou Art, Your Grace Still Amazes Me, All Creatures of Our God and King, As the Deer

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Processional ~ Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Bride ~ Sunshine on my Shoulders (John Denver)
Unity Candle ~ Be Thou my Vision
Recessional ~ Wedding March (Mendelssohn)

Vendors:
Photographer: Studio Kiva - Thank you for the photo of me playing the flute and the photos of the dancing bride!
Ceremony Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Piano Duo

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Flute and String Trio - Wedding Ceremony and Cockail Hour Music at Silverthorne Pavillion

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It's always nice to travel from the hot summer weather of Colorado's front range to the mountains, and this time our destination was the town of Silverthorne, where it was a sunny 70 degrees. This wedding was held at the Silverthorne Pavilion which is located by the banks of the Blue River. Our flute, viola, and cello trio played classical prelude music and then traditional wedding processional music that the bride and groom selected together. The wedding ceremony was very sweet and as the couple said the vows they had written for each other, we tried to hold back our tears. Sometimes it doesn't make a difference how many weddings we have played for - each one is beautiful and unique! After the ceremony, we moved to the shaded patio where we played a mix of classical and popular music as the guests enjoyed appetizers and drinks. The bride and groom had several song requests for their cocktail hour music and I put together the remainder of our set list using those songs as my inspiration.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Wedding Party ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Bride ~ Bridal Chorus (Wagner)
Recessional ~ Wedding March from a Midsummer Night's Dream (Mendelssohn)

Selected Wedding Prelude Music:
Largo from Winter (Vivaldi), Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach), Selections from Handel's Water Music, Allegro from Sonata in F major (Handel)

Selected Cocktail Hour Music:
Italian Song (Tschaikovsky), Ecossaise (Beethoven), What a Wonderful World, Over the Rainbow, All You Need is Love, Romantic Flight from How to Train Your Dragon, Imagine, Anything Goes (Cole Porter)

Wedding Vendors:
Wedding Venue: Silverthorne Pavilion
Wedding Coordinator and Photographer: Laura Pierson at L Elizabeth Events
Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Music: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute Trio (flute, viola, cello)

String Trio Wedding Ceremony Music on Top of a Mountain

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This summer, I had a once in a lifetime experience playing wedding music - in the middle of nowhere on top of a mountain! The bride and groom had an intimate outdoor wedding ceremony on family land, with only about 20 guests in attendance. The ceremony site was by their small vacation cabin and had views of rolling hills, green from the spring rain, and a panorama of snow-capped mountain peaks as a backdrop. The couple told us to bring a four wheel drive vehicle and I'm glad we did! It was quite a drive up the rutted and rocky mountain road, from the small town of Eagle, through the middle of nowhere, past the mansion of a Spanish ambassador and even higher up the mountain until we reached a point of land with a small cabin and an amazing view. The couple chose a string trio for their wedding music, and I played the cello. We serenaded everyone with a classical prelude, processional music, and finally postlude music while pictures were being taken. Our classical music contrasted with the wild and beautiful outdoor setting, and brought a sense of elegance and sophistication.

After the wedding, we were kindly invited to eat a catered lunch with the family. They were so friendly and we felt like part of their family. We learned about the land's history and heard stories about the family's relatives who settled and ranched there a long time ago.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Bridal Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Recessional ~ Finale from Handel's Water Music

Selected Prelude and Postlude Music
Selections from "Spring" (Vivaldi), Selections from "Water Music" (Handel), Italian Song (Tchaikovsky), Arioso (Bach), Ode to Joy (Beethoven), The Toy Symphony (Haydn)

Wedding Vendors:
Photographer: April O'Hare Photography - thank you April for these beautiful photos!
Wedding Ceremony Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - String Trio

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How to Find Local Wedding Ceremony and Event Musicians

If you are looking for live wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, or event music along the Colorado Front Range, you've already come to the right place. Congratulations! Visit my wedding ceremony music page or my event music page to learn more about our versatile ensemble selections.

How to Find Local Wedding Ceremony and Event Musicians
How to Find Local Wedding Ceremony and Event Musicians

If you are visiting from a different part of the country or world and are looking for live musicians in your area, I have some tips just for you.

Online Search Engines: When using an online search engine, use terms specific to what you are looking for, such as a particular instrument (flute, cello, piano etc.) or a type of group and/or music genre (jazz combo, classical quartet, bluegrass band etc.). Keep your search flexible because you never know when you may stumble upon a unique and talented group that you love but never thought of before. If you are searching for classical musicians, even if it's not for a wedding, I recommend searching for wedding ceremony musicians, because this is how most classical musicians market their websites.

Most likely, major wedding and event planning websites will appear at the top of your search list. Below those you will hopefully see results for music booking agencies and sites run by individual musicians who play solo or perhaps have formed ensembles with other musicians in the area. If you choose to hire a musician through a major booking agency, you will have many options to chose from and you may be able to get a deal if you want to hire both live musicians and a DJ from the same company. Most booking agencies also provide professional customer service and have lots of resources and equipment. If you hire an individual musician who has formed their own group, you will get personal service directly from the musician you are hiring without having to pay extra for company booking fees. When hiring an individual musician, you will be able choose a particular artist whose work you love and fits what you are looking for.

Wedding and Event Planning Websites: Today's most popular wedding and event planning websites often have a large selection of musicians for hire and are worthy of a separate mention. One of my favorite websites is Thumbtack.com which allows you to submit a request with your event specifics and receive quotes from local professionals within 24 hours. Another good site is Gigmasters.com. Through Gigmasters, you can also get price quotes from local professionals, and book online using their secure payment service and a 100% money back guarantee. Three other well-known sites are the The Knot.com, WeddingWire.com, and GigSalad.com which are like online bridal and event planning magazines.

All of these websites are paid advertising, and the musicians who appear higher in the listings are often those who paid more for that privilege. Because these musicians paid to advertise, you can be assured that most of them are actively playing and seeking bookings.

How to Find Local Wedding Ceremony and Event Musicians
How to Find Local Wedding Ceremony and Event Musicians

Venue Recommendations: Most wedding and event venues have a list of recommended vendors either available online or upon request. Each venue has their own set of criteria for what vendors they recommend. Some venues charge vendors to be added to their list for a yearly fee, some include musicians whom they can personally recommend from experience, and some may have their own list of criteria that their musicians have to meet. It’s important to know what criteria your venue uses for putting together their recommended vendor list and that they can personally vouch for the vendors they recommend. Venues also frequently collect and display brochures and advertising from a variety of musicians for your convenience.

Word of Mouth: If you are booking musicians, you are probably also booking other vendors such as a caterer, photographer, florist and event planner. Often these vendors have seen and heard some of the local musicians and can make recommendations for you. It can also be beneficial to contact local universities or local orchestras. If you go this route, you are more likely to get a better price but less likely to get an established working group, which has potential pitfalls.

Bridal Publications and Shows: Bridal publications and wedding shows deserve a worthy mention. Most of the musicians who can afford to advertise in magazines have a high budget, and the size and quality of their ads generally reflects on the size of the company and/or the amount they charge per event. Wedding showcases are also a good way to hear musicians play live, but most venues can only support one or two groups playing at a time, so your selection is limited.

Ultimately, in our internet society, the easiest way to find local wedding or event musicians is on the internet. However, personal recommendations and word of mouth will always be an important way to find vendors who are excellent in their craft.

Visit my contact page to book your Colorado Front Range wedding ceremony or event music today!

Flute, Viola, and Cello Trio - Wedding Music at the Greenbriar Inn in Boulder

Flute and String Wedding Ceremony Music at the Greenbriar Inn, Boulder
Flute and String Wedding Ceremony Music at the Greenbriar Inn, Boulder

On Saturday, our flute, viola, and cello trio played for a wedding ceremony at the beautiful Greenbriar Inn located in North Boulder. The couple got married outside surrounded by warm autumn colors drenched in late afternoon sunshine. This couple chose to select all of their own music including their own prelude music. They chose favorites ranging from classical, to ragtime and popular. I made several special music arrangements for our trio to play including “New York, New York”, “I Feel Pretty”, and “When I’m 64”. We played the prelude as the guests enjoyed light refreshments, and just as the sun began to descend towards the mountains behind the "Chuppah" (traditional Jewish wedding canopy), the wedding ceremony began. The vows went by quickly as the couple chose to say their "I do's" in unison, and guests did various readings. Once the sun set, there was a sharp chill in the air, and everyone went inside to enjoy a warm fire and refreshments.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Prelude Music ~ Trumpet Tune (Purcell), Salut d’Amour (Elgar), Ave Maria (Schubert), Selections from Handel’s “Water Music”, London Trio #1 (Haydn), Paragon Rag (Joplin), I Feel Pretty (Bernstein), When I’m 64 (Beatles)

Attendant’s and Parent's Processional ~ Canon in D
Bride ~ Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Recessional ~ New York, New York

Wedding Vendors:
Venue: Greenbriar Inn
Wedding Ceremony Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute Trio

Flute and Cello Wedding Music at the GM Ranch in Sedalia, CO

Flute and Cello Duo - Classical Wedding Ceremony Music in Colorado
Flute and Cello Duo - Classical Wedding Ceremony Music in Colorado

This past week, I played my flute in the wedding ceremony of a very special young bride awaiting a lung transplant. My heart remains with this couple as they walk together in future trials and hopefully many victories as well. The day of the ceremony was unusually hot for September, with temperatures over 90 degrees. The ceremony site was wisely situated in the shade of the ranch house, facing lovely views of the countryside, mountains, and horses. The shade combined with falling evening temperatures and a nice breeze coming from the mountains felt wonderful, and everyone stayed cool.

The ceremony site was decorated in a simple and striking theme of red and white and the bridesmaids wore red. Because of the bride's health, chairs were provided for the bride and groom and wedding party to sit in during the ceremony. It was a short, moving Catholic ceremony and our flute and cello duo played a prelude before the wedding began and then accompanied the vows and sand pouring with soft music by Schubert and Bach.
 

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Selected Prelude Music ~ Rondo Alla Turca (Mozart), Fairest Lord Jesus, My Heart is Ever Faithful (Bach), St. Anthony's Chorale (Brahms) Processional Music ~ Arioso (Bach) Bridal Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel) Vows ~ Ave Maria (Schubert) Sand Pouring ~ Air on the G String (Bach) Recessional ~ Wedding March (Mendelssohn)

Wedding Vendors:
Venue: GM Ranch, Sedalia
Photographer: Rebecca Marie Photography
Wedding Ceremony Musicians: ChristenStephens.com - Flute and Cello Duo

Flute and Cello Duo - Classical Wedding Ceremony Music in Colorado
Flute and Cello Duo - Classical Wedding Ceremony Music in Colorado
Wedding Ceremony Music in Colorado
Wedding Ceremony Music in Colorado

Musician photos courtesy of

Rebecca Marie Photography

Flute, Violin and Cello Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia

Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia
Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia

A short while ago, I drove south of Denver to play music for a wedding ceremony and reception in the small town of Sedalia, the home of Gabriel's Northern Italian Restaurant. Gabriel's is a darling Victorian restaurant with a wraparound porch, gardens, and a large stone patio perfectly sized for events and wedding ceremonies. This wedding was to be held in the garden area accompanied by our flute, violin, and cello trio. This was a beautiful outdoor wedding and everyone enjoyed the sunny day that wasn't too hot. This wedding, as with all outdoor weddings, offered a few complications. As we played the prelude music, I had a run-in with a horsefly who kept giving me painful bites on my legs. I knew the music had to go on and I kept playing as smoothly as I could until he finally got bored with me right around the time the ceremony began. However, just as the minister asked the couple to repeat their vows, we heard a very loud, long whistle and a train went roaring by, right behind the guests, and for several moments, it was impossible to hear anything. The minister made a few false starts which were interrupted by more whistles but the couple took it all in stride, and after a good-natured laugh and a little bit of waiting, the ceremony went on and they were married. We then played a lively recessional and transitioned into more upbeat classical music during the outdoor reception.

Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia
Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia
Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia
Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Prelude music ~ selections from Telemann, Vivaldi, and Mozart Wedding Party and Bridal Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel) Recessional ~ Allegro from Spring from the Four Seasons (Vivaldi)

Selected Reception Music:
Selections from Water Music (Handel), Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart), Minuet (Beethoven), Selections from String Quartet in F major (Haydn)

Wedding Vendors:
Venue: Gabriel's Northern Italian Restaurant
Photographer: Bob Sullivan
Wedding Ceremony Music: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute Trio (flute, viola, cello)

Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia
Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia

Flute and Violin Duo, Wedding Ceremony Music in Breckenridge

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It's hard to surpass a Colorado mountain wedding in July, and this gorgeous Breckenridge wedding ceremony was no exception. The ceremony was held outdoors at a private home with a sweeping view of the mountains and Breckenridge Golf Course. With only about 8 guests, this was the most intimate wedding I have played for, and among the sweetest. The festivities began as the guests enjoyed appetizers while our flute and violin duo set the mood with elegant classical music. Then the guests gathered around the alter for the wedding ceremony. During the ceremony, friends and family had an opportunity to speak to the bride and groom, and they laughed and cried as words of encouragement and advice mixed with many fond and humorous memories were passed around. Then the daughter of the groom sang "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison, a song that was meaningful to the couple, and I accompanied on the flute. Afterwards, everyone gathered inside to congratulate the bride and groom, visit, and enjoy a special dinner.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Selected Prelude Music ~ Gavotte (Gossec), Rondeau (Mouret), Presto from Sonatina in F major (Telemann), Romanza from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart), selected Menuets (Devienne), St. Anthony Chorale (Brahms), La Rejouissance (Handel), March in D major (Bach)

Bridal Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Special Song (daughter of groom, voice with me on flute) ~ Someone Like You (Van Morrison)
Recessional ~ Danza Pastorale from Spring (Vivaldi)

Wedding Vendors:
Photographer: Virginia Stiles
Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Violin Duo

Solo Flute, Wedding Ceremony Music at Evans Memorial Chapel

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music

I had such a great time playing solo flute music for Irshana and Doug's wedding ceremony this past weekend. Because Irshana is a local bride, we were able to have our music consultation in person, and I quickly saw that Irshana is a lovely person, both inside and out. Meeting in person not only made selecting music easier but it made my flute music on Irshana's wedding day more meaningful to both of us. Irshana made a special request that I play "Amazed" by Lonestar, and other than that, she gave me a lot of musical freedom, asking me to showcase my wide range of musical styles. I ended up playing a broad selection of music including popular, Irish, film, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic. I think I kept the guests on their toes! On the day of the wedding ceremony it was cool, cloudy, and raining intermittently, but we were snug inside the beautiful Evans Memorial Chapel on the University of Denver campus. I had never played at the chapel before, and I believe this small chapel was the most live, echoing venue I've ever played a wedding ceremony in before. Musicians will relate to the fact that this was a very enjoyable experience for me! Because there were only 15 guests, I felt like I was giving a casual private salon concert and I got to know some of the guests as we bantered back and forth before the ceremony.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Selected Prelude Music ~ The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall, Amazed (Lonestar), The Prayer (Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli), Sheebeg and Sheemore (Irish), Minuet from Eight Minuets and Trios (Mozart), Berceuse from the Dolly Suite (Gabriel Faure), Andante from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart), Traumerei (Robert Schumann), Chorale from Cantata No. 140 (JS Bach)

Bridal Processional ~ Salut d'Amour (Edward Elgar)
Signing of the Marriage Certificate ~ Laudate Dominum (Mozart)
Recessional ~ Danza Pastorale from Spring (Vivaldi)

Wedding Vendors:
Venue: Evans Memorial Chapel
Ceremony Music: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Solo Flute

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music

Flute and Violin Duo, Wedding Ceremony Music at Red Rocks Trading Post

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music

This past Saturday I played my flute for a wedding ceremony at the beautiful Red Rocks Trading Post in Golden, CO. With cold and snowy weather the week before, and the same forecasted for this upcoming week, I was happy to wake up to a beautiful day in the upper 60's. As is usual for Colorado mountain wedding locations, our drive up the mountain to Red Rocks unfolded magnificent views. I also enjoyed my first sight of the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater which is built into the side of the mountain and nestled between two towering rocks with an amazing view of the valley and Denver in the distance.

The wedding took place at the nearby Red Rocks Trading Post, which also overlooked a sweeping vista. The bride chose a flute and violin duo for her wedding ceremony, and I played flute with Keynes Chen on violin. At the bride's request, we played light and upbeat classical music for the prelude, and the bride's special selections for the wedding ceremony. During the processional we played Handel's Hornpipe and just as the music changed in the second part to a faster lighthearted sound, the three flower girls emerged dancing around the guests and tossing out flower pedals, eliciting delighted laughter from everyone. Just as the couple was pronounced husband and wife and began their walk back down the aisle, the sun came out in full glory from behind the clouds as if to bless their union.

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Selected Prelude Music ~ Danza Pastorale from Spring (Vivaldi), Allegro from Flute Sonata (Handel), My Heart Ever Faithful from Cantata #68 (JS Bach), Air from Orpheus (Gluck), Gigue from Suite #3 (JS Bach), Gavotte (Gossec), Sicilienne from Variations on a Theme by Haydn (Brahms)

Seating of the Parents ~ Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (JS Bach)
Attendant’s Processional ~ Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel)
Bridal Processional ~ Waltz from Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky)
Recessional ~ All You Need is Love (Beatles)

Vendors:
Venue - Red Rocks Trading Post
Ceremony Music - Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Violin Duo
Wedding Planner - Entwined Wedding Planning
Photography - Denver Wedding Photographer R. J. Kern / Kern-Photo

Photos courtesy of Denver Wedding Photographer R. J. Kern / Kern-Photo.

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music