[ Vendor ] Q&a W/ Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography

Hiring a photographer for your wedding is one of the first things you start to plan as soon as you get engaged. Sometimes it can be a lengthy research process, with many emails requesting pricing lists, looking through wedding portfolios, or perusing through your friend’s Facebook wedding album to see who they used for their wedding day. Either way it’s a big decision because who ever you do choose will have that one chance to document your wedding and make sure to tell the best story of your day as possible. That’s why we wanted to ask  local professional photographer Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography a few questions about the ins and outs of the her wedding photo business in the mountains.

[ studiokivawedding.com ]

*Editor’s note: This blog is the first showing the photography from Andrea Parnell, media contributor.  She’s been busy posting on the new Instagram account for BreckWeddings, so click here to check it out!

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography | Photos by Andrea Parnell

Q.  How many years have you worked as a wedding photographer?

A.   I have worked as a wedding photographer for 24 years and I am in my early 40s and still young and fun! The photographer is usually with you a lot of time with your wedding so it is good to like there personality and have some fun!

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva | Photo by Andrea Parnell

Q.  What’s your contingency plan?  Do you have a back up camera?

A.   We always carry 4 or 5 cameras to every shoot with us as a back up because even the most expensive ones can go down.  Speaking of that it is really good to have top of the line cameras and not just an SLR that does not have a two compact flash card system.  Reason?  Compact flash cards can also go bad and if you have a two card slot system you can back one up directly in your camera, because you can’t reshoot a wedding.  A lot of the photographers don’t have this because they don’t want to spend the money.  But to me this is all insurance.  We back up, back up and back up.  We have never lost images due to all our back up plans.  We also put back up copies at the safety deposit box at the bank and have had customers call us if they lose a disk or their house burned down in a forest fire we had the back up and made them another copy of their images.

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva | Photo by Andrea Parnell

Q.  Can we hire you only for the ceremony and part of the reception and not the full night?

A.   We have all types of packages from full day, half day and elopement type packages.  Couples that are looking for a photographer it is good to meet them in person and feel comfortable with that person along with having a local photographer that has the knowledge for shooting in the mountains.

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography | Photos by Andrea Parnell

Q. What’s one thing you’d like to tell all the couples talking to photographers about a wedding in Breckenridge?

A.   I also would like to say not someone that is going to drive up from Denver and get stuck in traffic coming up here but someone who is local and knows the area and lives in the area to really get the feel of being here in Breckenridge and the mountains.  I also believe that a good photographer will give you the images and not hold them over your head since they took the time to shoot them all!  We give all our couples the photos in color and black and white and no hidden fees!!

Katie-9

Q. Any unexpected or funny wedding moments recently?

A.    We could write a book on all the funny moments!  We stay in touch with our couples and they are life long friends.  One of the funniest moments is we had a woman forget to put her teeth in for the photos so we had to photo shop teeth!

Q and A with Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva Photography | Photos by Andrea Parnell

[ Venue ] Q&a W/ the Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge

Lots of venues have appeared over the years, but one of the original wedding venues available for Breckenridge weddings was the Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge.  Located on a cliff side, this facility offers on site lodging, ceremony and reception options.  Lots of couples choose the lodge because of its large deck overlooking the Blue River Valley, with panoramic views of the Ten Mile range and the Breckenridge Ski Resort.  Ask for Rhonda, and tell her you found her on this blog!

[ Vendor ] Summit Express: Transportation for your Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, #BreckenridgeBridalBash

Q. Who are you and what’s your role in the Breckenridge wedding scene?  

A. We are The Lodge & Spa at Breckenridge, and I, Rhonda Profaizer, am the person to assist you with putting together the perfect wedding event here at The Lodge.

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge – Breckenridge wedding ceremony and reception location, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

Q. Any advice for couples planning their wedding in the Breckenridge area?  

A. This is your day, make it what you want, and of course, let other chime in but remember in the end it is your day!

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge – Breckenridge wedding ceremony and reception location, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

Q.  Ski or snowboard? What do you do in the summertime for fun?  

A. In the winter I love to snowboard and snowmobile and in the summer camping and hiking keep me occupied.  I love Colorado in the fact that there is so much to do here both winter and summer.  When we go camping we pull out our map and pick a desolate spot and that is what makes the trip for me, being in the woods surrounding by nothing but nature. 

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge – Breckenridge wedding ceremony and reception location, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

Q. Top 3 family-friendly hikes for families visiting for the wedding?  

A. Mohawk Lakes, Bankers Tank and the drive to the top of Boreas Pass, as the wild flowers there are amazing.  Fall hiking by the Country Boy Mine is the best for fall foliage.

 

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge – Breckenridge wedding ceremony and reception location, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

Q. What’s an important factor that couples don’t want to overlook?  

A. Things start to add up and sooner than later you will be looking at your budget, saying “how did we end up here, over budget.”  Make a list of your most important things and then work your way down from there, so that you can cost cut on the things that are not ‘As Important’ as the things that are. 

[ Venue ] Q&A w/ The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge – Breckenridge wedding ceremony and reception location, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

The Groom-er and his entourage strike a pose on the deck.

[ Vendor ] Q&a W/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions – Breckenridge Wedding Videos, Videography, Videographer

This is another installment in our blog series dedicated to helping promote the Breckenridge Resort Chamber‘s inaugral Breckenridge Bridal Bash!  Today’s featured vendor is Erin, a local Colorado videographer that is here in the mountains to capture moments and put them into a video that you’ll be sure to watch many, many times.  

[ Vendor ] Summit Express: Transportation for your Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, #BreckenridgeBridalBash

Q. Who are you and what’s your role in the Breckenridge wedding scene?

A. My name is Erin Pellant and I’m the owner and videographer for Elegant Productions wedding videography in the Breckenridge area. I create one-of-a-kind wedding films for my clients telling your unique love story through my camera lens and editing. I use a combination of documentary style and cinematic style filmmaking in creating the videos for my clients, so that you get an accurate portrayal of the people and places on your day as well as highlighting all of the artistic magic and style that you’ve created on your wedding day.

 [ elegant productions ]

Keri Doolittle Photography // [ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions - Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, vendor

Q. Any advice for couples planning their wedding in the Breckenridge area?

A. The advice that I would give to couples planning a Breckenridge wedding is to keep in mind the environment of this unique mountain setting. Alert your guests ahead of time about traveling and how the altitude can affect people differently. Let people know about things to do to curb altitude sickness, like drinking plenty of fluids leading up to their trip and while they’re here. Also, let them know about the oxygen bar or oxygen rental services – these can be a great help to those suffering from headaches and other altitude-related symptoms. When traveling from out of state, it also helps people to acclimatize by possibly staying in Denver for a night before traveling up to Breckenridge’s higher elevation.

[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions – Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer – Breckenridge Bridal Bash, vendor

The other piece of advice I like to share with couples getting married here is to try to find local professionals to help you with your wedding day. Traveling to the mountains from Denver or other Front Range areas can be tricky, and occasionally vendors driving up from this area can run into challenges getting here. One specific example that I’ve personally witnessed was a couple having a winter wedding in Breckenridge, who had hired their ceremony musicians from Denver. Unfortunately the musicians got stuck on I-70 and couldn’t make it through the tunnel and completely missed the wedding ceremony. There are so many great wedding professionals here locally that know the area, and know all the ins and outs of our mountain community, that you won’t have to stress about whether your musician, or photographer, or DJ is going to make it here.

[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions – Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer – Breckenridge Bridal Bash, vendor

Q. Ski or snowboard? What do you do in the summertime for fun?

A. I am a skier in the wintertime. But the summers are my favorite here in the mountains.  The weather is somewhere around perfect I believe, although growing up in the Midwest with summertime heat and humidity really makes me appreciate the mild, dry climate of the mountains in the summer. I love that it in the middle of summer, there are days that require lots of sunscreen while soaking in the mountain sunshine, then evenings that cool off so much that you may need your fleece to throw on when the sun goes down. My husband and I love to go camping and 4-wheeling in our Jeep in the summertime. There are so many beautiful places right here in our backyard to explore. I also love catching the local concerts around the area – nothing like being outside, taking in the scenery, while listening to music over a cold local microbrew or a glass of wine!

 [ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions – Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer – Breckenridge Bridal Bash, vendor

Q. Top 3 family-friendly hikes for families visiting for the wedding?

A. I’m going give you my favorite 4-wheel drive trails instead, since that’s one of my favorite hobbies. One of the easiest scenic trails to drive in the area is Boreas Pass Rd. This can be driven easily in most vehicles, (although 4wheel drive is usually better), and has some great history and amazing views. Georgia Pass is another trail I love, although slightly more difficult and takes you up to the continental divide at the top – again with great views on both sides. Renting a Jeep is a great way to explore trails while visiting, or contact one of the companies running Jeep tours for a guided trip.

[ Vendor ] Q&A w/ Erin Pellant of Elegant Productions – Breckenridge wedding videos, videography, videographer – Breckenridge Bridal Bash, vendor

Q. What’s an important factor that couples don’t want to overlook?

A. An important factor for couples to keep in mind, as your planning for the big day is to give yourself ample time to get everything done. Plan a little more time than you think you need for hair and makeup and getting ready, or add in a little extra time for traveling from location to location. The last thing you want to feel on your wedding day is rushed, so if you’re always asking someone what time it is or running late, you’re not going to really enjoy all the special time with your family, friends, and loved ones. The day will inevitably go by fast, so the more you can soak in all the memorable moments, the better! 

[ Venues ] Q&a W/ Amy Russo of Breckenridge Hospitality

Today’s blog is featured on the venues that Amy Russo, of Breckenridge Hospitality is responsible for.  There are the individual venue managers that you’ll work with on the day of the event, but you’ll start the process with Amy or Kelly.  She’s a great source of information, and will even help you book activities!  Please mention this blog post when you talk with Amy.

[ Vendor ] Summit Express: Transportation for your Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, #BreckenridgeBridalBash

Q.  Who are you and what’s your role in the Breckenridge wedding scene?

A. Amy Russo, Catering Sales Manager for Breckenridge Hospitality. I represent all Vail Resorts / Breckenridge Ski Resort owned / operated wedding venues and lodging properties in Breckenridge. 

[ Venues ] Q&A w/ Amy Russo of Breckenridge Hospitality - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

The Mountain Thunder Lodge

Q.  Any advice for couples planning their wedding in the Breckenridge area?

A. Plan down / free time in the schedule for your guests to explore the area.  Organized outings are fun, but most people also want the opportunity to pursue their own interests.

One Ski Hill Place - [ Venues ] Q&A w/ Amy Russo of Breckenridge Hospitality - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

One Ski Hill Place on Peak 8

Q.  Ski or snowboard? What do you do in the summertime for fun?

A. Skiing is my second greatest passion, only one small step behind hiking.

Ten Mile Station - [ Venues ] Q&A w/ Amy Russo of Breckenridge Hospitality - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

Ten Mile Station

 Q. Top 3 family-friendly hikes for families visiting for the wedding?

A. Lily pond outside of Frisco; McCullough Gulch on the way up Hoosier; Vail Pass.

T-Bar [ Venues ] Q&A w/ Amy Russo of Breckenridge Hospitality - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

The T-Bar at One Ski Hill Place

Q. What’s an important factor that couples don’t want to overlook?

A. Sunscreen and water……can’t get enough of either.

[ Venue] Q&a W/ the Bluesky Lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado

The Breckenridge Bridal Bash, sponsored by the team at the Breckenridge Resort Chamber, is an opportunity to meet vendors, tour venues and get to know the Town of Breckenridge in Summit County, Colorado.  On Saturday you’ll be able to join a venue tour, with one of the stops being at the BlueSky Lodge, located on Peak 9, off of Four O’clock Road.  If you know this area, there are slopes all around it, and a chairlift out the back door.  

[ Vendor ] Summit Express: Transportation for your Breckenridge, Colorado Wedding - Breckenridge Bridal Bash, #BreckenridgeBridalBash

 Q. Who are you and what’s your role in the Breckenridge wedding scene?

A. BlueSky Breckenridge – wedding ceremony and reception venue and lodging

[ Venue] Q&A w/ BlueSky Lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

Q. Any advice for couples planning their wedding in the Breckenridge area?

A. There is so much to do in Breckenridge; get information about what your friends and family can do while up in the mountains!  Take advantage of all of the great wedding resources we have in Breckenridge.  From amazing florists to great musicians and some beautiful venues, Breckenridge has so much to offer.  Most vendors have referral lists that are a great resource to help you plan an amazing wedding.

[ Venue] Q&A w/ BlueSky Lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

Q.  Ski or snowboard? What do you do in the summertime for fun?

A. Snowboard!  Hike, camp, BBQ with friends.

[ Venue] Q&A w/ BlueSky Lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

Q.  Top 3 family-friendly hikes for families visiting for the wedding?

A. Lenawee Trail

[ Venue] Q&A w/ BlueSky Lodge in Breckenridge, Colorado - Breckenridge wedding venue, ceremony, reception, lodging, Breckenridge Bridal Bash

Q. What’s an important factor that couples don’t want to overlook?

A. Day-of wedding planners really assist with the flow of the wedding.  If you are not going to hire a planner, keep in mind who is going to help the event flow.  You cannot be running the evening.  Who will turn your ceremony music on, who will tell you to start walking down the aisle, who will tell people to move into the reception area from cocktail hour, who will decide when to cut the cake, etc. This is one of the biggest surprises I see people become aware of.  You want your wedding to flow from one part to the other for your guests, but you usually need someone to help in the background.