Santa Fe: A place where the wine tastes crisper, the sun feels warmer, the art appears brighter, and the history reaches deeper.
An artist’s oasis in the New Mexico desert, Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States. The nightlife may not compare to the likes of Vegas or New Orleans, but what Santa Fe lacks in nighttime revelry it makes up for in artistic authenticity. Here are our ideas for an ideal bachelorette party in Santa Fe!
For the month of June, Santa Fe is our favorite place to host a destination bachelorette party.
Things to do
One of Santa Fe’s most notable attributes is its plethora of galleries. Hundreds line the city streets and they range in prices and artistic styles. The largest concentration, with some of the most notable galleries, is on Canyon Road. An art district all in itself, this area is one of the oldest and most beautiful parts of Santa Fe. As early as 1610, Spanish settlers would walk their burros up the road to gather firewood in the neighboring mountain forests. It remained this way until the early 1900s, when artists began to move in and turn it into the art-centric area it is today. This area is a must see in Santa Fe.
The historical part of town has a great deal of jewelry shops with Native American style metalwork and rare stones. Many Natives post up near the plaza to sell handmade pieces. Take some time to pick out a nice rehearsal dinner piece or a special gift for the bride or bridesmaids. They are wearable art that you or a loved one will cherish for years to come.
Get your stomach ready, because it’s about to digest some of the best Mexican food north of the border…and lots of it! Two of our favorite spots for lunch and/or dinner are The Shed near the Plaza and Harry’s Roadhouse, which is slightly out of town. Get there early or make reservations if your group is large.
Need a break from the beans and cheese? Il Piatto near the plaza will feed your pasta-craving soul with its “Italian Farmhouse” style cooking. The menu offers everything from calves tongue to pumpkin ravioli. This restaurant is a good reason to take a night off from Mexican food.
[caption id="attachment_1058" align="aligncenter" width="601"] Photo from Heritage Hotel[/caption]
Beauty and RelaxationSpa time at The Inn at Loretto
Go ahead…take the plunge into one of the most remarkable spas in Santa Fe, and quite possibly in the entire southwest. The creatively homey atmosphere and the elevated hospitality relax you the second you walk in the door. Our favorite treatments were the Loretta Pedicure, the Mindfulness Massage with custom scents, and their Signature Organic Facial. The prices are a bit steep, but the experience is worth every bit of strain placed on your wallet.
[caption id="attachment_1060" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Photo by Inn at Loretto[/caption]
Makeovers at the Cos Bar
Test run your wedding faces before the big day with makeovers at Cos Bar near the Plaza. This fragrant-filled store is one of thirteen luxury cosmetic stores in the country and touts some incredible brands. You may leave there with enough makeup for 20 weddings…but it’s a risk worth taking.
Santa Fe is surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which boast some of the highest peaks in New Mexico. To get fully immersed in this beautiful mountain range, head to Santa Fe National Forest, an hour away. The 1,558,452-acre area covers a range of elevation, from 5,300 to 13,103 feet. Because of this, many of the trails can be accessed year round.
If Santa Fe National Forest is too much of a trek, there are several accessible trails only a short drive from downtown. The Chamisa Trail is 4.75 miles round-trip and takes you through rolling terrain, boundless meadows, and lush evergreen forests. For a slightly more challenging feat, try the Aspen Vista Trail, one of the most popular uphill treks in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
If you’re group travels to the area in the winter months, make sure to check out the 1,284 acres of skiable terrain at Taos Ski Valley. It only takes two hours driving northeast of Santa Fe to find the powder. Take a day trip there and stop and have dinner in the town of Taos on the way back.
Whether you are getting married or are in charge of planning a destination bachelorette party, consider Santa Fe as your destination. The beautiful city will not disappoint. Contact Gold Leaf Event Design & Production for any of you wedding or event planning needs.
Summer Lovin in Aspen: We have now officially entered the summer season! This is a time for barbecues, pool parties, outdoor weddings, luaus, and more.
These are the delightful months when our senses defrost from the harsh winter and the chilled spring. The days lengthen, the evenings linger, and we take it to the outdoors.
Celebrations occur all over the world when the summer solstice arrives. Here in Aspen, the saying goes that we come for the winters but we stay for the summers. The snow-packed mountains draw us here in the cold months, but the warm days and brisk nights of summer are where we fall in love. Many of our brides and grooms would agree with this. That is why summer is our busiest time of the year at Gold Leaf.
Here are our some of our favorite things about summertime:
The Sunsets: That last moment of the day when the sun is hanging on for one more picture before it makes its way behind the distant peaks for the night. That’s the time of day we live for at Gold Leaf. It’s where we get the best photographs and the most memorable moments for our clients. Everyone loves a good sunset, but add a blushing bride and a lucky groom in the foreground and you have yourself an image that will last a lifetime.
The Wildflowers: In the Colorado high country, a breathtaking adornment of summer is the wildflower. Packs of them can be seen almost anywhere. They’re sprinkled on the rolling meadows, situated throughout the Aspen groves, and,
if the flowers are not endangered or taken from a national forest, they can be seen filling out bouquets for a bride and her bridesmaids.
Extended Days: Everyone loves the long days that the summer months bring. With more sunshine, events can start later and last longer. Plus the light provides even more opportunities to capture those special moments.
Fresh Fruit: A Colorado summer would not be complete without your favorite succulent fruits. Berries, peaches, pears, and mangos are officially in season! But, just like summer, these delicious drupes won’t last long so get them while you can!
Summer fruits are splendid to eat on a daily basis for pure enjoyment, but they also make great desserts for events. No one can turn down a homemade peach cobbler or a luscious berry pie. It’s simply an impossible task.
These are some of our favorite things about the summertime. Make sure to tell us what you like most about this season!
Deciding where to plan your wedding? Look no further!
Here are the top 15 reasons to have your wedding in Aspen:
Mountains are the defining landscape feature of Aspen, Colorado and they provide a breathtaking backdrop to any wedding ceremony. One great option is to ride the Silver Queen gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain, and get married on top of the world (or what feels like the top of the world) with the Elk Mountains in the background and we are sure you will feel Aspen was the right place for your wedding within seconds.
The incredible local cuisine and fine dining options in Aspen offer your guests an opportunity to experience a fabulous meal, in a picturesque town, while still feeling intimate and cozy. Matsuhisa Aspen is a wonderful example of this. Every foodie knows Nobu, and this is his fabulous Aspen outpost.
Mountain Elegance:Aspen can’t look bad. She is a town that allows you to chose just about any month of the year (avoid April and November - these months mark the end of the ski and summer seasons and many local places shut down to regroup for the next season’s guests) to host your wedding and you are always promised fabulous photos, and wonderful Colorado weather. The summers are warm but not humid, the winters provide a white blanket of snow at all times and the fall produces color changes on the trees that are overwhelmingly beautiful.
Aspen has 5 star lodging accommodations as well as charming, quaint and budget friendly hotel options. Every end of your guest spectrum will be happy with the accessibility to the downtown area as well as the range in pricing they can chose from while staying in Aspen.
We’ve made it to number 5 without stating the obvious, and now it shall be: For the Outdoors activities! Your guests will have options that range from skiing, snowboarding, river rafting, hiking, biking, walking, pool lounging, outdoor dining, and more, to indulge in their free time. The landscape is so beautiful, that even those less active guests, sitting outside enjoying the view, in the summer or winter (most places accommodate outdoor seating even in the winter with heat lamps) will be a complete treat and something they will enjoy.
Aspen is the playground for the rich and famous, so if you have a cousin, friend or guest you know who loves people watching and celeb spotting Aspen will not disappoint! The likes of Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon, the Hilton sisters, Rhianna, Goldie Hawn etc etc etc etc are constantly seen coming off the chair lifts, enjoying an apres drink outside of the local eateries and shopping about town. You will feel like a star yourself just being in Aspen!
Have you given some thought to hosting an eco- friendly wedding? Aspen event planners and venues receive this request often and are happy to oblige. From biodegradable and eco friendly decor, minimizing products that will end up in a landfill and providing options for floral and decor from the natural elements easily obtained in Aspen, a green-minded bride can feel happy she is doing her part for the environment while inviting guests to a memorable and beautiful event.
Aspen has numerous venues that provide a wonderful and memorable ambiance for smaller parties. If a small, intimatewedding is something you are dreaming of, there are so many options for where to host this event. Your party will not feel overwhelmed by an event space, and will feel like the event space you chose was custom built to suit the needs of a smaller party.
Large partieshave their choice of fabulous venues as well. There are different locations within Aspen’s city limits and just beyond that can host very large parties that still have an intimate feel. No one knows this better than the Gold Leaf team, as they are continuously producing events for 400+ people without service, decor, or production value suffering.
You can tastefully incorporate the natural elements. Even if you are not the outdoorsy type, it is a natural and beautiful thing when the natural elements of the surroundings are incorporated into the wedding venue. The Aspen trees translate beautifully onto items like paper goods, table decor and even the food! Check out this beautiful Aspen tree inspired wedding cake (you’re getting the idea now):
Ever felt like taking a ski run in a wedding gown? Aspen is a wedding locale that can accommodate special requests such as this (and we have seen this done)! Fireworks displays, horse and carriage rides, and partying over 11,000 feet up a mountain with your guests are all possible when you chose to have your wedding in Aspen!
Theinternational vibe in Aspen is undeniable. People come from all over the world to experience the splendors of this mountain town. Many of your guests will be quick to recognize that the people they are sharing the lift with may be speaking another language. And if your guests are from outside of the country, this may make them feel all that more at ease. This international mix provides for something different than your average out-west ski town. The influx of international guests influences the level of service you will enjoy in Aspen as well as the continued effort of the town and establishments within it to always work to provide a memorable and lasting experience. We want to make a good impression after all!
Aspen has a nightlife! This is somewhat unusual for mountain ski towns, but Aspen is the exception at most of what it provides. From night clubs with DJs and bartenders ready to get you on the dance floor, to comedy shows, and bars with more of an out-west feel, your guests will not have to tuck in when the lights go out. The party is just getting started!
The shopping in Aspen is a draw for some and just an added perk for others. Aspen is home to high-end boutiques such as Gorsuch, Christian Dior, Prada, Gucci, Moncler and more. Small boutiques are a plenty as well, with specialty shops and art galleries spotting the downtown area. An afternoon could easily be spent strolling in and out of these store fronts or just enjoying the fresh air while window shopping.
Gold Leaf Event Design & Production first opened its doors in Aspen! We love our home base and are always thrilled when a bride and groom decide this is where they would like to get married. Aspen is a beautiful location for any event but especially a wedding and the planning process starts by giving us a call! If you haven’t made your mind up yet, we would love to provide you with information to further help you in your wedding planning process!
Every woman loves to be a bridesmaid, however very few of them like being pushed into wearing and often times purchasing an unflattering dress. Your bridesmaids should be excited about their wedding wear on your big day, and with Gold Leaf’s quick and easy tips on bridesmaids’ dresses, we can help guide you to picking the perfect dress for your best buds! Here three rules on picking the perfect bridesmaid dress:
1). First off, it’s always crucial to keep in mind your bridesmaids’ body types and color pallets. Not all dresses compliment every body type. Not to worry though, there are several cuts to choose from such as the long elegant dress, the short and sassy number, a strapless beauty or a more conservative look, just to name a few.
2) If one dress cannot be decided on for all of the girls, due to different body types or tastes, there’s always the option to mix and match! Some women can sport a long, flowing dress whilst others compliment short and flirty ones. Some girls may prefer strapless while others want the extra support. All of these are visually pleasing as long as you are consistent with a color palette and theme. Let them choose what makes them more comfortable.
3) How do you pick a eye appealing palette and theme? It’s important to choose a color palette that is prominent in your wedding. Do not feel limited to one color. You can have multiple shades of the same color or a combination of ombréd colors. Mismatched patterns within the same color pallet work as well! This is a unique way to set your wedding attire apart from others.
There are endless ways to deck out your bridesmaids in stylish dresses. The key is to keep consistency throughout all of them. And, of course, to enure they don’t upstage the bride!
Note: Make sure to be sensitive to your bridal party’s finances when it comes to picking a dress. If there are a few different styles the ladies can choose from, having a lower budget dress in the mix is ideal!