Jason Inzana kisses Sofia Cortopassi at the top of Thunderhead at the Steamboat Ski Area. Photo by Forest Picture Company. 

Tips From a Wedding Planner

Steamboat Wedding Day asked Alex Mathisen of SoulSpark Events to provide insight on wedding planning’s frequently asked questions.

What should couples prioritize in planning their wedding?
Couples should stay true to themselves, and ask each other what is most important. I always ask them to think about their “Why.” Why are they getting married? Once they have figured out their “Why,” choosing a venue and prioritizing everything is much easier.

How do you suggest couples choose their venue?
I encourage couples to figure out their anticipated guest list and plan on around a 15% attrition rate. In our experience, most guests say yes as they like to come to Steamboat. Once you have a guest count, you can figure out how big a venue you need. Then I ask them to think about the budget and how much they want to spend on their wedding day. This helps keep the planning process realistic and ensures we can match couples with the right venue for them. Then we talk about the style of venue they want and talk about different options – ranch, formal, casual, etc.

How should couples decide their wedding date or season?
I ask them what they love most about each season, and why they love that season in Steamboat. If you hate being cold, then a winter wedding isn't for you. If you love fall colors, then September is the season for you. It also ties back to their “Why.”

How do you guide couples to select a color palette?
Choosing the venue is the first thing to do. The palette needs to work with the venue – not against it. I encourage couples to spend some time playing with color – looking around at what colors are in their house and what colors are in their wardrobes. I encourage them to think about colors they are drawn to in nature. I also encourage couples to go to the paint store and get a whole bunch of paint color cards and play with them. Some couples like to choose bridesmaids’ dresses first and then base the palette from the dresses. If flowers are really important to the couple, then we talk about what flowers are in season and this will determine color. 

Do you have any tips for selecting the menu for the wedding reception?
I tie everything back to their “Why,” and the food is no exception. If you want a casual, fun vibe, then a three-course seated meal is not for you, but maybe food trucks or a pig roast are the way to go. For weddings that last a couple of days and include a welcome dinner and brunch, we try to vary the food over the course of the weekend so that guests are not eating the same food at each event.