And the winner is…
Introducing Robert and Kayla, winners of The Barn at Raccoon Creek’s Dream Wedding Giveaway!
It all started with an idea. An idea to give back to a community that’s been so supportive of our wedding venue since we opened in 2015. After a little brainstorming, we realized the greatest way to give back would be to do what we do best—host a dream wedding—and so the first ever Dream Wedding Giveaway was born. Our vision was to roll out the red carpet and pull out all the stops for this unforgettable event and so with the generosity of the most amazing wedding vendors, we put together a dream wedding package valued at over $30,000. That’s enough to make anyone’s heart skip a beat!
One very special couple would win the wedding of their dreams. We posted a call-for-entries and the submissions began pouring in. All summer long we read through the incredible love stories submitted by, or on behalf of, many wonderful, deserving couples. While we had many worthy submissions, in the end, it was one story that stood alone and stole our hearts.
A very special couple. A timeless love story, deserving of a very special day.
Picture this. After years of dreaming, and months of planning, your wedding day is finally here. You’ve planned it down to the tiniest detail. The diamond-encrusted bodice of your gown matches the “something borrowed” hairpin from your grandmother perfectly. The peonies in your bouquet are the most delightful shade of pink. The string quartet is serenading your guests with the very first song you ever danced to with your soon-to-be husband. Everything is exactly as it should be. Almost…
Something—or someone—is missing. The man who raised you. The man you first gave your heart to. The man you called “Daddy” isn’t there to give you away.
And your baby sister who you always dreamed would stand by your side as you said your “I do’s” is gone too.
Tragically, this is the reality for Kayla, winner of our Dream Wedding Giveaway. At just 17, Kayla lost her little sister Brianna to a senseless act. She lost her dad just five years later. Experiences like that might break most young women. Not Kayla. As heartbreaking as it was, Kayla handled both losses with grace and resolve to live life to its fullest and honor her sis and dad. And for the last six years, she’s had one special guy, Robert, by her side, loving her, encouraging her, and inspiring her to keep going.
Robert and Kayla met while he was helping his friend move from California to Colorado. It was an instant and powerful attraction. Kayla says she was blown away by the tall, dark, and handsome man standing in front of her. Upon first laying eyes on Kayla, Robert literally had to step away because he couldn’t believe how beautiful she was.
After trying the long-distance thing for a while, Robert knew he needed to be with Kayla. In 2011, he moved to Colorado to share a life together and they have been inseparable ever since. In keeping with tradition, Robert called Kayla’s mom and asked for a meeting. Of course, her first thought was the correct one: Robert wanted to ask her permission to marry Kayla. She said yes.
“Right away I began crying. He started crying, and it was perfect. I asked to see the ring and that was perfect too. He said he had it built as he is a man of all trades and “builds” things.” – Kayla’s mom, Babette.
While celebrating their sixth anniversary in May, Robert popped the question in their favorite spot, Glenwood Springs. The wedding planning began right away. Kayla toured several wedding venues and after visiting us here at the Barn, fell in love. Like Robert, she knew it was “THE ONE”. Unfortunately, the Barn was just out of reach financially and Kayla reluctantly considered other options.
Unbeknownst to Robert and Kayla, Kayla’s mom, Babette, submitted an essay on their behalf for the Dream Wedding Giveaway. They didn’t even know there was a contest! Kayla and Robert celebrated with mom and grandma on the day we told they won. They were so surprised and beyond grateful.
Reflecting on why we chose Robert and Kayla for our Dream Wedding Giveaway, Audri Piper, Director of Sales, had this to say:
“Their love story is great, one that has withstood time, distance, and family hardships. They are two of the most phenomenal people we have ever met. I was immediately drawn to Kayla’s character as a human being. No one should ever have to go through losing not one but two family members in their lifetime. And Robert is one of the most kind, caring, and compassionate men I have ever met. I feel honored to be able to give them this gift!”
Robert and Kayla will exchange vows on September 24, 2017 here at the Barn.
Obviously, the day will be bittersweet. Kayla will not have her dad to walk her down the aisle and give her away. She will not have her baby sister as her maid of honor. With the help of our amazing vendors, our goal is to make the rest of her day as perfect as she imagined when she first started dreaming about it. And waiting for her at the end of that aisle will be Robert, the man of her dreams.
The happy couple is looking forward to this amazing new journey as husband and wife. After they marry, Kayla will continue to honor her sister through the work she does at the BRI Project, a not-for-profit she founded with her mom to educate parents and teens about the realities and dangers of the choking game – the terrible “game” that took the life of Brianna. She also plans to continue her education to pursue nursing and someday, work in the trauma unit for children so she can help others. We have no doubt, Kayla’s dad would be very proud.
Special thanks to our vendor contributors.
Robert and Kayla’s dream wedding would not be possible without the generosity of some of our favorite vendors. They have stepped up in a big way to help create this unforgettable experience. We would like to send a heartfelt “thank you” to the following providers:
Hawk Flowers: Centerpieces, Bouquets, Boutonnieres
Jewels Gray Photography: Engagement Shoot
All Digital Studios: 4 hours of Videography
Elevate Photography: 8 hours of Wedding Coverage
Shutter Bus: 5 hours of Photo Booth
DJ Guy: 6 hours including Ceremony and Reception
Butler Rents: Linens
Elite Entertainment: Event Rental Decor & Draping
Kim J Beauty: Hair and Makeup for Entire Bridal Party
Holiday Inn – Lakewood: Honeymoon Suite
The Bundt Shoppe Inc: Wedding Cake & Dessert
Blue River Event Service: Transportation
Mary Dreitzler – Here Comes the Dog: Pet Services for Pets in the Wedding Ceremony
The Diamond Reserve: Custom Wedding Bands for the Couple
The Barn at Racoon Creek: Venue and Catering
Engagement photos by Jewels Gray Photography.