I just got engaged! Cameron Wesley Duval and I have been together for 5 and a half years. We also just bought a house so it’s going to be a crazy year. I work for NOCO Style and Cameron works for Zillow. We have an angel boy lab-mix named Jocco. We love to travel, watch movies and hang with friends and family.
My cousin, Jordyn, is married to Cameron’s best friend Pat Pallotto, so we had probably met several times over the years, but the first time we were introduced was at Jordyn’s college graduation party in December 2013. We hung out that New Year’s Eve and he was playing beer bong with a friend when he said, “Ashley, if I make this shot, you have to kiss me!” I said, “OK, good luck!” He made it and the rest is history.
He proposed on August 22, 2019 in the Cayman Islands! I dressed up every night in anticipation of it happening. Then, one morning toward the end of our trip, we were moving from our condo to a hotel on the other side of the island. Cameron said, “Do you want to take a photo to remember this place before we leave?” I said, “Sure, let’s do it.” I was wearing a swimsuit and cover-up because we were on our way to the beach. Cameron asked if I wanted to change for the photo and I was like, “No, we’re going to the beach?” Then as we posed for our photo, he got down on one knee. The moment was so perfect.
Wedding planning has been super fun. Cameron and I are very close with our families and they have been so excited to plan this journey with us, especially my sister. It’s like she has been waiting for this job her whole life.
We are getting married on July 31, 2020. It’s such a great year (and easy for Cameron to remember). The hardest part has been our guest list. More people will mean more money. Right now, we are expecting around 150 people.
Touring venues has been my favorite part so far. We were looking for a good price, summer 2020 availability, outdoor ceremony space, room for about 150 people and, most importantly, an open bar. After some research I found great venues like the Rist Canyon Inn (Laporte), Sweet Heart Winery (Loveland) and the McCreery House (Loveland). They either didn’t end up working for our guest count or didn’t fit our needs, but I would highly recommend checking them out.
One Sunday, my mom, dad, sister, fiancé and mother-in-law got in the car and started touring venues. First stop was Brookside Gardens in Berthoud. I had toured this before for fun with Sinai, the owner, and had hung out with her at several events. This place is gorgeous. Her parents had lived here with their 30 kids and they turned it into an event space and inn. Definitely a top choice.
They had a reasonable venue price, summer dates available, beautiful gardens for the ceremony and a reception space that is indoors but has doors that open to the outside on a warm day. They also had more than enough space for everyone and a free hotel room for the bride and groom. We loved that they have 13 rooms for our friends and family to stay the night of the wedding. Open bar is an option; you can keep a tab open for your guests or set an amount and it turns into a cash bar after that amount has been reached. Go tour this place if you haven’t already.
Next we headed to Pelican Lakes in Windsor. We had been to an event at the island a couple years ago and Cameron and I said we would love to get married there. It feels like you are on a beach in Mexico. It is literally an island on a small lake surrounded by golf courses and mansions. Stunning! We took a tour with Shannon. We took our golf cart around and saw the two ceremony sites and two reception sites. Cameron loved the groom’s room where he would get ready. They have a golf simulator and it’s in the bar. We would absolutely love to get married there but unfortunately it was way out of our budget.
Back across the highway, we went to Rockin S Ranch in Johnstown. Again, it was beautiful! It has a small barn overlooking a pond and the mountains. It was a little bit over our budget and didn’t include some of the amenities, but go talk to Chris!
After a long day, we went home and wrote out the pros and cons of each. At this time, Brookside was hands down the favorite, but we had three more scheduled the next day.
Monday morning, my mom, sister, fiancé and I went to River Garden Winery in Fort Lupton. We met with Hawley. She has a wedding planning business in Berthoud, Vining Events. We talked about all our needs and she showed us around. It was love at first sight! We would get married in the grape vines, and then the reception would be under a large tent in a large grassy area overlooking a pond and the mountains. We would have the dance floor on the dock.
It took our breath away but what really sold us was Hawley. She is seriously a rock star! She offers an all-inclusive wedding package that includes literally everything but the dress, and it is a very reasonable price. I’m talking venue, wedding planner, food, open bar, photography, flowers, DJ, rentals, everything. She told us the maximum amount we’d pay with tax and tip and she would handle everything, but she said if you want to change something out to make it cheaper, great!
I live and breathe NOCO so I wanted to support as many NOCO businesses as I could. Here is a list of all the amazing vendors that are going to help with our special day:
A Music Plus DJ is based in Denver. I look forward to working with Pat.
Blue Moon Rentals offers portable restrooms and is based in Windsor. Our venue has two stalls and I thought with 150 people, a couple additional toilets wouldn’t hurt. Alexis is helping me provide a first-class restroom experience for all my guests.
Cake Works, based in Johnstown, creates beautiful cakes. Alisa helped me figure out a design and flavor combination. Hint: marble!
Elements Catering in Denver is cooking all the food. Kelly and her team make everything from scratch. We look forward to our tasting appointment next month. Her list of options is endless.
Fizz and Flutes is going to be a hit! Cynthia’s prosecco van is a 3-wheeled Piaggio Ape imported from Europe. She’s going to park right outside the ceremony site and the guests will get to enjoy a glass of champagne on their way to their seat. She’s based in Loveland.
Robin Event Rental in Loveland is providing all the tables, chairs, linens, tent, etc. Brandi is great! If you need any rentals, talk to her.
Rosie Gowns is based in Fort Collins and she is magical. I’m wearing my mom’s dress and she is going to help me transform it to fit me and my style. Surprisingly, it fits perfect and there isn’t a lot I want to change. I can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like!
Sarah Goff is my photographer. We really connected over Facetime, which I hear is super important because you see her more than anyone else on your wedding day. Plus, her photo package comes with two photographers. We have an engagement shoot coming up and I can’t wait to meet her in person. Sarah is based in Johnstown.
The Shutter Bus is a photobooth inside a vintage VW bus. I can’t wait to see all the amazing photos.
Wild Posies is doing my flowers. I work out of desk chair workspace in downtown Loveland. It is a coworking space and Lucy managed the Five Tables Café inside. Lucy does amazing work. We are picturing a lot of blues, greens and succulents.
Here are my wedding planning tips:
I highly recommend premarital counseling. We met with our officiant for eight weeks and we really enjoyed it. We talked about our hopes and expectations of marriage, forgiveness and conflict resolution, finances (which really helped when buying a house) and more.
Facials and laser hair removal are life changers. I go to Harmony Skin & Wellness in Fort Collins. They have a VIP membership where you pay a monthly fee and get to pick from a menu of services. Every month, I have been getting facials from Rachel. The HydraFacial is my favorite. With the stress of wedding planning, it’s good to take care of your skin. I just finished my laser hair removal sessions. I look forward to not shaving. I want to be smooth for the wedding and honeymoon.
Eyelash extensions are super popular right now and now I know why. I look forward to long and full lashes on my wedding day and they don’t smudge if you cry. Go see Lacy at Addiction Lash Studio in Fort Collins.
Ashley Randolph is a Sales and Marketing Representative at NOCO Style.