Unlike most couples, Auna Jornayvaz and Andrew Wolf had something particularly special to celebrate during their fairy-tale nuptials. Eight months into the couple’s relationship, Auna was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Trips to Minnesota for the bride’s treatment at the Mayo Clinic quickly replaced weekend hiking and skiing getaways. Nevertheless, the couple grew closer than ever during this emotional time. Following Auna’s six-month checkup, which delivered results that she was healthy and in remission, Andrew whisked her away for a celebratory stay in Colorado Springs, along with another surprise.
They toasted to Auna’s health that evening, and the next morning, Andrew proposed to his beloved while playing golf – an activity that Auna had been unable to participate in while she was recovering from surgeries. Ecstatic, the bride said “yes” through tears of happiness. Upon their return home, Auna and Andrew began planning the wedding of their dreams. After scouting for venues in Palm Beach and Newport, the bride ultimately decided that getting married in her hometown of Denver – close to family, friends, and her childhood memories – would be the perfect way to start their life together.
On the day of the wedding, 400 loved ones from all over the country and the globe gathered to witness the couple’s love and support for one another. Upon entering the church for the ceremony, attendees were welcomed by live trees, towering candelabra, and floral arrangements that led the way to the pews. Bridesmaids wore floor-length gowns in a royal blue hue, while the groom and his groomsmen donned formal black tuxedos. The bride was a vision in a one-of-a-kind cream gown; she held a bouquet composed primarily of tulips – her favorite flower.
As Auna approached the altar, she was overcome with emotion: “Walking down the aisle holding onto my father’s arm while looking into the blue eyes of the man who I would marry, combined with seeing hundreds of people who came from every chapter of my past, was probably the most emotional 30 feet of my life.” Andrew, too, found that moment to be the most memorable. “The first sight of my bride walking towards me will forever be etched in my mind,” recalls the groom, who was thrilled that he and Auna chose not to have a First Look. “We couldn’t be happier that we waited for the ‘reveal.’”
Following the ceremony, which was officiated by the bride’s uncle, guests gathered at a nearby country club for an evening cocktail hour and reception. Loved ones enjoyed delicacies such as lobster, caviar, and deviled quail eggs before entering an impressive tented space for a sit-down dinner service after sunset. Though the celebration took place in a mountainous city, Auna’s dream of having a wedding on the water came to fruition – the club’s Olympic-sized pool was covered with Plexiglas to provide a striking entrance into the tent and an unforgettable dance floor.
Vanilla blooms and verdure decorated nearly every inch of the space, which offered views of the night sky through a transparent A-line roof. Tables were strewn with ivory linens and adorned with varying centerpieces, all composed of tulips. Place settings were marked by European chargers in blue or green, vintage flatware, and a single tulip. To accommodate the bride’s diet, guests were served an entirely gluten-free menu, which included a towering white wedding cake embellished with colorful hand-sculpted sugar tulips in the same hues found in the mother-of-the-bride’s garden.
From the invitations to the floral design, each element of the couple’s wedding day reflected a chapter of their lives. Since Auna’s parents plant tulips every spring and even flew to Holland to collect new species, the flower was implemented throughout the décor. The bride’s mother sketched the couple’s save-the-dates; and invitations were crafted from the handmade paper that Auna and Andrew fell in love with during their trip to the Amalfi Coast following their engagement. Love quotes special to the couple were printed on cocktail napkins, and Auna’s grandmother’s popular potato dish was served family style.
The celebration lasted into the early-morning hours, and even older guests stayed until 2AM. In lieu of a getaway car and sparkler exit, the bride and groom chose to sit with their family as the décor and florals were taken down. “I knew that most of the flowers would make their way into a hospital or nursing home the following morning to surprise unsuspecting patients,” begins Auna. “All with a personal note from me explaining how I was treated in that hospital and how I hoped the flowers would bring them the same smile that they had brought me on our wedding day.”
Though Auna and Andrew faced more adversity in the first year of their relationship than most couples face in a lifetime, their wedding day was even more special than they expected. “The night was perfect in every way,” exclaims Auna. Says the groom, “I got the girl, and I can’t wait to live out my happily ever after.”