All About Vail Wedding Planner: Kelly Karli Weddings and Events


January 10, 2023

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So you’re planning your Vail wedding?!

Whether you’re late to the game like me and have *just now* started watching Ted Lasso, or have been obsessing since the beginning…

You probably remember Ted’s son gifting him army men to keep him safe in England.

Which Ted then proceeds to give to others who might need the visual of feeling protected.

He gets mixed responses…

• a *meh* from Rebecca Welton

• a returned army man from Sam Obisanya because he doesn’t have the same fondness for the American army as Ted does (understandable)

• an eventually thankful Jamie Tartt after Ted sees Jamie dealing with his dad

But one thing remains consistent— Ted intends the army men to feel like the gatekeeper.

To be a visual or metaphorical reminder that someone is watching over you.

Which — by the way — is exactly why you need a wedding planner…

… and unlike Ted’s experience gifting the army men, you will have only the best response and experience with who I’m sharing about today.

Your wedding planner’s job is to not only pull together an amazing team for your wedding day, but also to be your gatekeeper and protect you in the planning process and on the day of your wedding.

However you’re feeling about planning your wedding day? A wedding planner knows what to do, knows how to execute every timeless detail seamlessly so you’ll look back on your day with joy and nostalgia.


So whether the plans you have for your Vail wedding could fill up Nelson Road or as intricate as Ted’s biscuit recipe…

…your wedding planner will ease your anxiety and create an unforgettable experience for you and your guests.

So without further ado, ENTERING THE STADIUM…

The ever so talented Kelly Karli Weddings and Events.

Based in Vail Valley and serving couples in Colorado and worldwide, this visionary professional is not just your wedding designer and planner, but also your friend.

Vail wedding painting of two brides in beautiful white dresses, based on photo by Jose Villa
Planning and Design Kelly Karli Weddings and Events / Photo Jose Villa

And in terms of planning your Vail wedding, or any wedding for that matter, Kelly is your metaphorical army man —

🍾protecting you from the exhaustion of wedding planning

❄️knowing all the details — especially about planning a wedding in Colorado in Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall (all you have to do is call…)

🥂ready to take the lead or follow yours, and create the wedding of your dreams.


Planning and Design Kelly Karli Weddings and Events

Tell me about what you do and why it’s important.

I have been a full-service planning and design company for 14 years in the Vail Valley. We provide a one of a kind experience for our couples. Due to the nature of our productions we only accept a limited number of clients each season {no more than 5 weddings}. 

Planning and Design Kelly Karli Weddings and Events | Photography KT Merry

Where are you based out of, and what do you love most about weddings?

I am based in the Vail Valley. About 30 minutes west of Vail, CO, 20 mins to Beaver Creek and an hour and ½ to Aspen. 

Why do you work in weddings?

There are so many different reasons but the words that come to mind is I am passionate about what I do, I love the teams I get to work with when producing and designing a wedding, I love learning new things and how I can incorporate them into my business. The biggest piece, I truly love the clients I have had the honor to work with. I still hear from many of my couples even after 14 years who share their baby photos with, still send me Christmas cards and tag me in their wedding photos. Those are the memories we want to create for every couple!

Planning and Design Kelly Karli Weddings and Events

What are your top 3-5  favorite venues to design weddings at and why?

Eaton Ranch – this is an exclusive ranch local to the valley. What I love the loo most is the ranch is a blank palette and the ideas you can create are endless and which can be really fun when you have a design eye. 

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is nestled in Beaver Creek and really feels exclusive to you and your guests. The feel is quintessential for a Rocky Mountain Wedding. Coule love the idea of everything being in one location for their guests, it really allows for them to also enjoy seeing their guests all weekend.

Planning and Design Kelly Karli Weddings and Events | Photography Rachel Havel

 What’s your wedding style/aesthetic?

Classic, Elegant, Stylish, Unique and one of a kind

What’s one trend in the wedding industry we should pay attention to?

Printed Bars, Festive Food Walls,  Custom Martini Bars, Seafood Towers, Floral Ice Sculpture, Overhead floating floral pieces, Disco Balls and much more!

Planning and Design Kelly Karli Weddings and Events | Photography Carter Rose

You’re planning a wedding for a client in Colorado Summer – what are three things you must do?

1.} Hire a planner in the area, then set up venue tours. We live in the valley and know all of the great locations to look into before yo9u book. We can save you valuable time instead of researching on your own.

2.} Book your location early. Colorado and especially the Rocky Mountains is a popular place to have a wedding.  Right now bookings are as far out as 18 + months.

3.} You don’t need an officiant. Colorado is one of few states that couples can get married with just two signatures on their marriage license. You can apply online with the county you are getting married in and pick up the marriage license when it’s ready. 


You’re planning a wedding for a client in Colorado Winter – what are three things you must do?

Understand that the weather can change at any point. There are two major passes from Denver to Vail, Beaver Creek and Aspen that you have to go over, Vail Pass {10,000 feet above water} and Eisenhower Tunnel {11,000 feet above water} so hiring locals is key. Denver to Vail is about 1.5 hours, Denver to Beaver Creek about 2 hours and Denver to Aspen is about 3.5 hours. Secondly,  room rates can be very high as the winter is our prime season due to the ski industry. This can be quite costly to the guests coming to the wedding. Lastly, make sure you hire a planner that is local to a mountain community – we understand the ins and outs of gondola rides, intimate places to get married and have long standing relationships with special venues that couples may be attracted to. 

Planning and Design Kelly Karli Weddings and Events | Photography Carter Rose

What’s your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Well that depends on the season – but mostly everything that is my favorite thing to do is spend time with my son, Bruin. IN the winter, I love watching and going to his hockey games, skiing/snowboarding, winter trips and in the summer we camp and travel. 

Words to live by?

​​“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” — Confucius

Planning and Design Kelly Karli Weddings and Events

What advice do you have for couples planning a wedding in 2023?

Please understand that we are still climbing out of COVID and supply and demand are a very real thing especially in a small mountain town. You may see all these amazing trends on Pinterest, Blogs etc., but in order to create a beautiful vision some things may have to come out of Denver or out of state. This is why it’s important to hire a planner who understands their area. 

Drink of Choice?

Whiskey Ginger in the winter and Paloma’s in the summer

Planning and Design Kelly Karli Weddings and Events

If you’re getting married in Colorado, there are huge benefits to hiring a local full-service wedding planner like Kelly Karli Weddings and Events. Her knowledge and deep understanding of not only wedding planning, but wedding planning in the mountains when plans can change in an instant, can ease your stress when planning (especially if you’re not local to Vail Valley). Kelly Karli has got you taken care of.

What’s one word to describe 2022 for you, and if you have a word for 2023 please share that as well! 

2022 word, challenging.

2023 word perspective and personalisation {I know it’s two but I think they are great ones!}

Planning and Design Kelly Karli Weddings and Events | Photography KT Merry

Hire a Local Vail Wedding Planner like Kelly Karli

One of the common themes I see when talking with Kelly is to hire a wedding planner familiar with the area. Your Vail wedding will be beautiful and timeless, and you need someone on your side that knows how to get things done effectively and beautifully in order to make your vision come to life.

And if you’re already working with Kelly, you definitely need a wedding painter to capture the beautiful views and the feeling of your day. Let’s chat.

Bringing your wedding day to life, thrilling your guests with a show-stopping live wedding painting experience, and creating a timeless keepsake that honors your sacred bond and will warm your heart every time you look at it – it’s what I do best.

Hey, I'm Courtney.

From behind the easel, I serve timeless brides who still embrace the unexpected by creating heirloom painting experiences that are immersive, one-of-a-kind, and thrilling to watch.

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  2. […] Just as the bride is the epitome of grace and beauty, her bouquet should be nothing less than extraordinary. Picture cascades of delicate orchids and gardenias gently embracing the bride’s gown as she glides down the aisle, radiating Beyoncé-level confidence. YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THIS VAIL WEDDING PLANNER… […]

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With a slightly abstract Impressionist live painting experience that captures the love and joy of your story, shows off the beauty of your wedding day, and helps everyone who enters your future home to feel your wedding day, you’ll finally have THE THING that makes your wedding day unforgettable.

And your guests? They'll talk about your wedding forever because of the experience you gave them.


Simply put? This is way more than just a wedding painting.