Fall ’12: Denim & Diamonds

November is well known for being the start of the wedding “off-season” in Colorado.  With the additional free time I have, I usually plan on attending two or three wedding or DJ conferences between November and March.  It’s a great time to pick up some new tips, learn from the leaders in the wedding industry, and recharge the batteries after a super busy wedding season that this year featured 24 consecutive weekends of weddings.

Last month’s  “Denim And Diamonds In Denver” conference was put on by the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC).  They are an international organization of not only bridal consultants and planners, but also other wedding professionals like photographers, caterers, and DJs.  It’s a great group that I’ve had the honor of being a part of for more than a decade.

ABC’s annual conference is held in a different city every year.  Last year it was Baltimore, this year was Denver, and next year will be Palm Beach, Florida.  This year’s venue was the downtown Grand Hyatt and was attended by 288 wedding professionals from all over the United States and seven countries.  Dallas-based celebrity wedding planner Donnie Brown was the keynote speaker and the always entertaining Hazel Miller Band rocked the house at the black-tie dinner on opening night.

The highlight for me was leading a group of conference attendees on a 6-hour tour of Estes Park wedding venues.  These wedding planners traveled from 11 states and four countries to attend the conference and go on this tour.  It was my first gig as a tour guide, but since most of my weddings are in Estes Park, I was very familiar with the town and the venues.  First, we stopped at Della Terra for an amazing buffet breakfast prepared by owner Pam Amelang and her staff.  Then it was on to Twin Owls Steakhouse and the Black Canyon Inn for a tour of their dual-venue facility (everyone loved the view from the ceremony site!).  We then drove to the “haunted” Stanley Hotel where catering manager Carrie Carter graciously showed everyone around, let us peak into one of the historic rooms, and took our group photo on the famous stairs in the lobby (if you look closely, it looks like a ghost joined us at the top of the stairs!).  After stopping at the Crags Lodge for the Estes Park Bridal Show, we finished the tour at the Estes Park Resort on the shore of Lake Estes.  Special thanks to Sandy Paul from Jubilations Catering for preparing lunch for us before we headed back to Denver.

The entire tour was funded by the Estes Park Wedding Association, another amazing group of wedding professionals I’ve been a part of for more than five years.  I’m looking forward to spotlighting this great group in one of my 2013 blogs.  Until then, happy holidays!

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