The Wedding Planner — When Books Don’t Work for the Book Worm

wedding, wedding planner, books, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library
Loveland Public Library
Author Showcase

In the first article of this series, When the Book Worm Is the Wedding Planner, we established that I am first and foremost a book worm, whether it be reading or writing books. It’s reasonable for the book worm to go to her local library, peruse the wide assortment of books, and select two of the most comprehensive books as a guide toward a successful wedding. Right? That’s just what I did, but as I was reminded, never assume anything. A noted law school professor wrote the word “ASSUME” on the board the first day of class and then added hyphens after the second “s” and the “u” and said, “That’s what assuming does.” And, that’s just what it did. Hence the title, “The Wedding Planner — When Books Don’t Work for the Book Worm.”

Why Didn’t the Books Work?

If I suffered from panic attacks (which thankfully I do not), I would have had a big one. Yes, these books were thick, detailed, and quite comprehensive, but that was just part of the problem. The other part was that according to the books, I was too late…

wedding, wedding planner, books, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, too late
The Wedding Planner — When Books Don’t Work for the Book Worm
Too late to book
  • the church
  • the ideal setting for the reception
  • the DJ
  • the photographer
  • the videographer

And, too late to

  • have formal wedding invitations printed.

Whew. What a downer that was. Next, I returned the books, but not before I made my checklist.

A Critical Tool

wedding, wedding planner, books, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, libraryThe books did prove helpful to give me an idea of what I was up against. As a business lawyer, checklists are my strength. Checklists are critical to make sure deadlines are met and nothing falls through the cracks. Since I already missed the boat for their timeline, I had to create my own and pray it would all come together.

Additionally, most of these books assumed (there’s that word again) an unlimited or large wedding budget. Since our focus was always education, I got creative in finding ways to get the best out of our limited wedding budget.

What’s your preferred organizational tool?

When the Book Worm Is the Wedding Planner

I confess to being a book worm, not a wedding planner. When my daughter announced her engagement and followed it with, “You’ll have to handle everything Mom, I trust you…,” my voice crackled and I had difficulty breathing. “Are you sure you want ME to handle it?”

wedding, time, medical student, white coat
Medical Student

As a fourth year medical student on rotations that kept her in the hospital most of each day, she had no time. My sister inherited those event planning skills from our mother, not me. The problem was that the wedding would be in Colorado, and my husband and I with our son were the only ones here. My daughter had no choice, and neither did I.

wedding, wedding planner, books, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding
Wedding Planners
                           My Sister and My Mom
A Little Background

So that you can better understand my dilemma, I’ll share a brief story of a time when my daughter was just 4 years old and I was the Senior Attorney for a national organization located in 33 states.

A Little Background

I typically wore a suit, however, on this particular day I wore a knit sweater/skirt set. Although my daughter and mother had spent the day together, my daughter was dropped off prior to us leaving for a family dinner at an upscale restaurant. When my mother left, my 4 year old turned to me and said, “Mommy, you’re not planning on wearing that tonight are you?” When I answered in the affirmative, she responded, “No, mommy. That won’t work. Follow me.” She led me to my closet where she picked out a suit for me and I changed. “That’s better… .”

When we entered the restaurant, the first thing out of my mother’s mouth was, “Thank God you changed that awful outfit.”

The Start of Planning a Wedding

This is the daughter that trusted ME with planning every detail of her formal wedding. “God help me!” I prayed… . The first thing I did was go to the library and check out 2 of their best books on planning a wedding — what else would a book worm do, right?

With the most popular month for weddings just 6 months away, I thought this was the ideal time to share those do’s and don’ts of planning the perfect wedding, even if things don’t go exactly as planned. And just as important, is planning that elegant wedding within a smaller than desired budget. Stay tuned for those essential tips, tricks, and money saving ideas…

wedding, wedding planner, books, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding
The Engagement
Photo by Laura Grace Photography

What do you think is the best month for a wedding?

The Chapel on the Rock for the Perfect Wedding

The Chapel on the Rock - Inside
Inside the Chapel on the Rock

The Chapel on the Rock is the perfect setting for the perfect wedding. My earlier post, The Chapel on the Rock – Perfect Setting introduced you to one of the most photographed sites in the country. This article takes you inside and you won’t be disappointed. It truly is the perfect setting for that perfect, quaint wedding. Just ask the multitude of couples who said, “I do” there or check out the wedding in Hidden Bloodlines.

Imagine a wedding where…
Perfect Roses
Imagine a Wedding with Pink Roses
  • flowers adorn the simple stone sanctuary and wooden pews…

    St. Catherine of Sienna Stained Glass
    Stained Glass
  • the soft glow of candlelight illuminates beautiful stained glass …
  • music fills the air….
    Organ
    Organ in the Chapel on the Rock

    You get the picture.

    The Rocky Mountain National Park
Lily Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park
Karen at Lily Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park

The chapel sits in the Rocky Mountain National Park. These mountains attract visitors from all over the world, with good cause. If you haven’t visited yet, put it on your bucket list. When I returned to take photos of the chapel’s interior, my husband and I made a Sunday morning of it. We started with the 8:00 a.m. mass at Our Lady of the Mountains, the beautiful church responsible for scheduling the Chapel’s weddings. Father Joseph Cao began with a joke that made us all laugh.

An angel appeared to a 60 year old couple celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary. He granted them each one wish  — anything that their hearts desired. The wife wanted a cruise around the world. The angel gave her two first class tickets. The husband asked that his wife be 30 years younger than he. The angel made him 90. The moral of the story — Be careful what you wish for.

Places to Eat
Inside the Other Side Restaurante
Inside the Other Side Restaurant

After mass we stopped for breakfast. I normally don’t share places where I dine, but this was our first visit to The Other Side Restaurant and I was impressed. Not only was the food good, but the restaurant was spotless. Each table was cleaned with a new bleached towel between guests, the chef was in a hairnet and gloves, and they appeared to follow safe food handling procedures. Sundays they offer brunch, and although it looked yummy, I had a smaller breakfast. You may want to stop by if you’re in the area.

Sunday Brunch
Sunday Brunch at The Other Side Restaurantand

After breakfast we checked out the chapel. Unless there is a wedding, it will be open every day until the middle of August when they replace the roof. Expect it to reopen in the middle of September. Check with Our Lady of the Mountain for further details. Enjoy the peace, tranquility, and beauty the Chapel on the Rock offers…..We did.

(C) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer

Colorado Rockies
The Chapel on the Rock, set in the Colorado Rockies

The Chapel on the Rock-Perfect Setting

Colorado Rockies
The Chapel on the Rock, set in the Colorado Rockies

The Chapel on the Rock, formally known as St. Catherine of Sienna Chapel, is the perfect setting for an intimate wedding. Situated in the Colorado Rockies, its beauty is revealed in its simplicity.

Pope John Paul II was one of a number of dignitaries who visited

Hidden Bloodlines
Hidden Bloodlines

this chapel and it still attracts visitors both near and far. The Chapel on the Rock is the only real place in my novel, Hidden Bloodlines, which will be released on July, 22, 2016 … just 6 days away. And yes, it is the setting for a wedding.

This chapel, built on a rock is reflective of scripture — “[O]n this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18). And Hell did try to overcome it — twice.

The Perfect Setting
The Chapel on the Rock 2016

The first time was with a fire in 2011 which destroyed the 60,000 square foot St. Malo retreat center. With the exception of an old stone fireplace, there was nothing much left of the lodge and guest wing. The chapel was untouched despite the fact it sits on the same 160 acre property. The second time was with the devastating Colorado flood of 2013. A five-mile landslide started on top of neighboring Mount Meeker causing tons of debris made up of soil, rock, and trees to surge onto this same church property. In some places, the debris was 15 feet deep. Although this landslide destroyed the beautiful, serene Cabin Creek Trail walked on by the Pontiff during his 1993 visit for World Youth Day, the wave of debris ended at the base of the chapel. Miraculously, the Chapel on the Rock was unharmed.

Chapel on the Rock
St. Malo Retreat Center

Prior to the “100 Year Flood” of 2013, plans were in place to rebuild Camp St. Malo. Unfortunately, with estimated costs of $4.4 million to rebuild and a determination that the future sediment and water flow was uncertain, rebuilding St. Malo on that site is indefinitely on hold. However, the untouched Chapel on the Rock is still open to the public.

Built in the 1930’s, Boulder County designated the Chapel on the Rock as an historical landmark. Weddings and masses are still held at this beautiful chapel. For anyone interested in reserving this chapel for a wedding, contact Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church in Estes Park, Colorado. It is available as the perfect setting. This chapel is not to be missed, if not in person, than in Hidden Bloodlines.

(C) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer