Planner Karli Jones wed Matthew Spangler in her home state of Colorado, but took their Texas ties with them.
Karli Jones met Matthew Spangler at a barbecue during the summer while the Texas Christian University sophomores were both working internships. The pair ended up slowly getting to know each other before going out on their first date a year later. “He was supposed to pick me up, but he had car problems—which I thought was a complete sham,” laughs Karli. It wasn’t: The duo dined on tacos at a friend’s place while Matthew waited for his repairs. Three years later, Matthew had a limo take Karli to all their favorite spots in town before finally stopping at the Flippen Park gazebo, where he got down on one knee. The professional wedding planner chose her home state of Colorado for the couple’s dream wedding on July 28, 2018.
When planning a destination wedding, you’re bound to have multiple events for guests to attend—and keeping the weekend feeling cohesive can be a challenge. Fortunately, Karli, owner of wedding planning company Ivory & Vine Event Co., knew just how to handle it, opting for a Western-inspired rehearsal dinner that echoed the wedding day’s nod to the Colorado setting.
“My approach to any couple’s wedding and my own is that you should be infusing your personal style into everything that you do,” she says. She recommends turning a blind eye to Pinterest and Instagram and focusing on what really feels like “you”—in this case, it was a weekend full of white-water rafting and an outdoor rehearsal dinner with farm-to-table barbecue served with sauce from Matthew’s favorite Kansas City restaurant, Joe’s Kansas City.
Guests wore Western attire to lean into the theme—complete with the groom in a bolo tie. Karli chose to forgo the traditional white cocktail dress and don a white pantsuit from Lulu’s; the bride and groom both wore cowboy hats that they bought at the Fort Worth Stockyards.
The rehearsal dinner was held at Collective Vail, a hilltop working ranch located about 20 minutes from Vail’s town center that offered beautiful views of the sunset. “Everything we chose was because it related to us in some way,” Karli says.
A Family Affair
The invitation suite featured a sweet family touch. “My Grandpa and I are very close,” says Karli. “He is a retired longtime art teacher. For our invitations, he sketched Colorado wildflowers that we incorporated into the design of all our paper goods. Seeing his artwork preserved like this was such a cool, personal touch that he and all of our guests loved.”
“I included personal details in our styling, including a gold engraved pocket watch that my Grandma has had as long as I can remember,” Karli says.
A Planner’s Take
As a professional wedding planner, Karli knows a thing or two about wedding planning. Her main takeaway? Remember what’s important. “While I wanted the weekend to be beautiful, I always remembered why I was doing it: Matthew and I spending time with our closest family and friends,” she says.
Throughout planning, Karli would make a decision she was happy with and move on—she didn’t allow herself to second-guess or put too much emphasis on little details. “I couldn’t tell you the hors d’oeuvres or napkin color—I just enjoyed the wedding weekend. People put a lot of time and money into planning these events so every detail is important, but be sure to enjoy the experience.”
Besides that, Karli recommends “trusting your vendors to execute your vision—give it your own creative stamp, but let them do what they do!”
Bali, Indonesia. “[The Simple Sol] planned an amazing custom experience for us including culinary crawls, massages at the base of a waterfall, a private holy water blessing ceremony with a priest in the middle of the jungle, and other special touches at every turn,” Karli says.
Art Deco Moment
Like the bride’s gown, her ring’s design was inspired by the 1920s and ’30s. She provided a sketch to Shapiro Diamonds, which made her custom vision come to life. “I’m a minimalist when it comes to accessories, so I only wore my wedding ring paired with my custom wedding band made of emeralds, [which are] my favorite stones,” Karli says.
The bride’s stunning, minimalist gown was custom made by a designer in Israel. “I wanted something clean and minimal to reflect my personal style, with a nod to ’20s and ’30s wedding gown design, which are decades that I absolutely love,” says the self-professed old soul. “We grew up summering at our family cabin in Minnesota with my grandparents, where the only radio station was an old ’20s–’50s station, and spent the evenings listening to
Karli wore shoes from Joy Proctor for Bella Belle collection. “[Joy is] one of my favorite wedding designers and role models,” Karli says.
For some ethereal photos, the couple opted to take portraits down by the creek that runs through Vail Village.
Knowing that she wanted to play off the natural palette of the Colorado landscape and wildflowers, Karli tapped Moss Floral Design to create “happy pops of color” and let the rest of the wedding echo the mountains’ muted tones.
A Textured Table
Karli mixed a muted color palette, a metallic, and a bit of texture to create the perfect table. “Gray is my absolute favorite color—my friends joked that it was a ‘50 Shades of Gray’ wedding because I had all-gray everything!” says Karli.
Rehearsal Dinner — Fresh salad with Colorado peaches, veggies, and balsamic glaze; barbecue with barbecue sauce from a favorite restaurant in Kansas City, Joe’s KC; peach cobbler.
Reception — A gnocchi station inspired by the couple’s trip to Florence; seasonal veggies; herb-baked bread; Colorado peach, blueberry, and apple pies made by the bride’s grandmother and served à la mode.
Again, neutrals abounded throughout Karli and Matthew’s reception decor—all part of Karli’s idea to match the misty mountains behind them. “I am very picky when it comes to chairs and tables and things the venue provides,” she says. Karli ultimately opted for cross back chairs and farm tables. “It went very well with the natural surroundings and didn’t feel like something that didn’t fit where we were.”
Here’s to You
Upon RSVP, the couple asked each guest to select his or her preferred cocktail from a list of favorites. When guests arrived at the wedding, each was given the selected cocktail as an escort card. The cocktails were a grapefruit margarita, lavender lemonade, and “100 Years of Solitude”—a spicy Old Fashioned served at Thompson’s Bookstore, one of the couple’s favorite speakeasy bars in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square.
“100 Years of Solitude”
- 2 ounces Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
- 1/2 ounce jalapeño agave syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Add 2 ounces Buffalo Trace bourbon, 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier, and 1/2 ounce jalapeño agave into a mixing glass with ice. Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and then stir vigorously with a bar spoon for approximately 30 seconds. Prepare a rocks glass with a 2 1/2-inch ice cube and flamed Angostura bitters. Julep strain over the ice cube and serve.
Following the couple’s introduction, first dance, and dinner in her gown, the bride made a quick change into something she could dance in easily. “I changed into a white pantsuit for the reception, which my friends deemed my ‘party suit,’ ” Karli says.
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