The history of Colorado’s Liongate Center

The Lionsgate Center has two facilities that both have amazing histories. Both places began as houses and the current owners are constantly adding and improving the grounds. Many of the defining features of The Lionsgate Center have a separate history themselves. With all the stories and tales I just couldn’t pass up writing a blog about it!

The Dove House

The Dove House was built in 1927 for Miss R.A. Dove and it is a rather scandalous story!

Once upon a time in a far away land, aka New York, there was a girl in love. Dove came from a long line of money and a very prestigious family but Dove had fallen for the butler and just couldn’t keep away. Dove was soon expecting a baby. The family was astonished and ashamed and just wouldn’t have anything to do with it! So they built her a house in the middle of nowhere, Colorado for her to move and raise the baby. What a punishment huh?

We have a beautiful yellow rose bush on the fence near hwy 287 (used to be the driveway) that Dove herself had brought with her from NY. It still blooms to this day and has been here for over 80 years!Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 3.42.47 PM

The Bar

Eventually the events held at the Dove House outgrew it’s room and we had to add on. We tore down the garage and turned it into a bar. It is now home to an old New York bar that was originally from the Hampton Hotel in Albany. The dome stain-glass that you see when you look up is also from New York. It originated on a boat ride in Coney Island. Notice a NY theme?

dove bar with glasses Stained Glass Dome

The Phone booth

Who doesn’t want to jump inside this bright red booth for a photo shoot? Before you go jumping in, don’t you want to know where it has been?! This phone booth isn’t just any ordinary phone booth. It is the largest model that England ever built and only 200 were produced. The rarity comes from there only being 4 in private hands. We know of two people for sure that own this model, us and Madonna! Madonna bought one of the 4 for her New York apartment that she later turned into a fish tank. How about that for awesomeness in your wedding photos?!

phone booth 2

The Gatehouse

The Gatehouse and surrounding barns were built in 1910. The original house is what we now call the “East Room”. The porch and front yard are all original. Everything else is newly built for events. It was originally a dairy farm, hence the barns and silo! This cute little old house doesn’t have much more history on the original grounds but the fun stories come from the pieces the owners used to make it what it is today.

The Stair Case

The grand stair case that is all carved wood came from a mansion in Denver. It’s beauty caught the eye of the owners at an auction and forced them to redesign the add on. Marie (the owner) called up her architect that moment and told him to add on a second level…they just bought a stair case!


The Stained Glass

The unbelievable sight of the massive stained glass has taken the breath from many of people. From pictures to in person, people just can’t get enough of it. It’s beauty, being over 130 years old, came straight from France. The center two panels were originally doors and the 4 largest panels were added later in the 1920’s. The gorgeous scenery of flowers and birds has one small frog in the left corner that is a cute hidden gem. Next time you see the window, try to find the frog!

The other miscellaneous stained glass including the peacock and arched windows on the north side are also from France. The arched pieces are the oldest at about 150 years old. When the owners had bought them originally they were covered in sticky tar from all the years of coal burning stoves. They had to have them professionally cleaned with acid. They turned out gorgeously!

Lionsgatecenterpics-19 copy Lionsgatecenterpics-20



The Entrance

Have you walked up to the front and yanked on the massive door? Well, you just touched a gem from Argentina! The door and both the side lights were on a mansion in Argentina and give the feel of royalty.


The wood work

Lining the walls in the Gatehouse ballroom is stunning wood work that included an amazing fireplace and server. These are all panels from a library in Germany. My favorite part? The seemingly “secret” door under neath the copper bar. The owners purchased this unique find and used every piece!



A new engagement – Alex and Steve

Where did it start?

Steve and I met in high school. The moment I saw him I had the BIGGEST crush on him. However, at the time he was a coach at my high school. I know what you are thinking, but for quite some time it was just a dream of mine. A long four years later, after I graduated we went on our first date. We aren’t really sure as to when we officially started dating and stopped being friends but somewhere along the line we decided we liked each other. 🙂858652_4893224203374_1720022547_o

How long have you been together?

We have known each other for 9 years now but have been dating for 5ish years now (remember, there was no official date that we started dating).

The proposal:

Steve and I are very non-traditional. We had been talking about it for a while and I was looking at rings I liked. I finally found a ring that I just couldn’t pass up. So we were sitting around and he looked at me and said “Let’s do it”. I know, I know…it’s not some crazy story with hot air balloons and rose petals but it was perfect. It was low key, personal and very him. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Upcoming wedding at the Lionsgate Center: Shauna and Brian

Introducing the beautiful Shauna and BrianJS_ShaunaBrian (1 of 1)-8

Shauna and Brian are making it official on June 21st at the beautiful outdoor wedding center – The Lionsgate Center, Gatehouse.

Shauna and Brian are meant to be! A classic friendship that turned into more.

Tell us how it began…

Brian and I met when we both worked for a non-profit organization called Imagine! Colorado. Together, we worked as therapeutic instructors for adults and children who have been diagnosed with developmentally disabilities. Brian and I grew closer as friends and started dating. Although we have both moved on from the job, together we keep in contact with some of the clients and a few will be attending the wedding!

Just how long has it been?

We have known each other for four years and have been dating for three years (just had our anniversary on Jan 1st.)

The proposal through his eyes

Red Roses and White Snow. That soft image was stuck In my head the winter I proposed to Shauna.

Almost like a miracle, at the perfect time and on the perfect day, the heavens opened up and beautiful Boulder, Colorado was dusted with fresh powder. There is a place near Chitaqua Park with a null that overlooks the city. On the top of the hill there is a stone bench and a single tree. I had been going to this spot since high school and would often retreat there to ponder the world with my friends. I remember telling them that this would be the perfect place to get engaged…and that day had finally arrived.

Of course, I couldn’t do it alone. My brother was my wing man through all of the planning and had woken up early that morning to prepare the spot with roses. After Shauna found my note saying, “You are invited to a special snowy breakfast, so bring your snow boots and dress warm because it’s cold outside”, she eagerly got into the car looking forward to pancakes. But little did she know we were arriving at a trail head for a different surprise. It was there where she noticed the single rose that my brother had stuck in the snow under the trail sign. After plucking up the rose, Shauna agreed to travel up the hill through the deep powder to see what was ahead. Once we reached the crest of the hill, the path continued with roses guiding the way to the bench where hundreds of rose petals were scattered in the snow.

It was there that I asked Shauna Marie to marry me. We looked over the city getting beautifully dusted with snow and I told her I wanted to spend all of our beautiful days together. To make the moment more magical, my brother had taken photos of the whole event.

Then, the three of us ended up going to our special snow breakfast to celebrate.

What makes the Gatehouse perfect for you?

We wanted a backyard/home feel for our vintage style reception. We were not sure where to begin and then a friend told us about a wedding she attended at the Dove House and encouraged us to check it out. We made an appointment for a tour of the Lionsgate Center (the first place we visited) and fell in love with the whole place, the Gate House in particular. We loved the garden with big trees and the patio and of course the fountain outside. Inside the house, we thought the stained glass and wood work was the perfect warming feel that we were looking for. We booked it and decided we did not need to look anywhere else!


At Lionsgate, we are not “just the facility,” we are a group of women (and a few guys) that really know weddings inside and out.
We’re full of ideas, suggestions and methods to take the stress out of planning a wedding, and most importantly – make it fun!

Plan your wedding on a budget!

Planning a wedding can be one of the most expensive things you do in your whole life. So, how do you do it on a budget? Well, you are asking the right people! We here at the Lionsgate Center have been around for 23 years and find it almost like a tough sudoku to work with small budgets. We have become pros at it!

The first good thing to figure out BEFORE you go look at all the pretty, glittery and shiny things is to set your budget. Have you seen “Say yes to the dress”? God forbid you fall in love with something you can’t afford. Debt is no way to start your life off with the man (or woman) of your dreams! So sit down together and be realistic with yourselves.

Next, while you are sitting in the same room together, make a list of all the things a wedding entails (i.e. caterer, photographer, cake, etc.) and put them in order so what matters most to you is on top. Now, take a good look at that list. What is on bottom? Is it something that you can cut out completely? If not, try finding cheaper ways around it! But, just incase google hasn’t been helpful to you, I also will start a list of ways to help reduce cost! Like I said, we’ve done this for a long time!

1. Ditch the Dress cost


Not totally sure what you are going to do with the dress after your big day? Have your heart set on a Pnina but can’t afford it? Then rent it or buy it pre-owned! There are some great sites out there to get designer dresses for less than half the price!

2. Cut the Cake


for just the two of you that is! You could easily save if you purchased a two tiered cake for just you two to cut and have a sheet cake hiding in back for everyone else! It taste the same and you still have the prettyness of the tiered cake. Another small tip to save some moolah is to use fresh flowers for your cake instead of sugar. Sugar flowers are very time consuming and therefore cost more!

3. Flourish with in season Flowers


This one says it all. You will get prettier flowers AND save on cost if you find out what is in season and stick to that.

4. Fake the Favors

How many weddings have you been to where the favor was something that you TOTALLY wanted and actually remembered to take home? Point made. Most people will forget your favor on the table at the end of the night anyway. I know I am a happy camper if I get some food and maybe a drink!

5. Crop out the costly photographers

Photographers can be one of the biggest costs in a budget and there are so many other options. In this day and age you could make a cute sign and ask your guests to take pictures for you! If that is just not an option there is a great site called that is newer and less experienced photographers that don’t have the price tag you would normally see.

6. Demand Drop-Off

If the facility that you have booked allows drop-off catering this is a great way to go. Have your favorite restaurants (think Rodizio Grill, Carrabba’s, or even Chipotle!) drop-off food and then you can usually hire an event staff (Lionsgate has an on-site staff) for considerably less dough.

7. Decide for a different Date


Most facilities, photographers, DJ’s and even officiants will charge you more for “In season” months as well as weekend days. Believe it or not, people will still show up for your wedding if it is on a Thursday! Plus, then you have all weekend to spend time with that out of town family!! You could easily save thousands if you decided for a winter wedding.

Well, I hope that helps a little bit! Now, get planning!



At Lionsgate, we are not “just the facility,” we are a group of women (and a few guys) that really know weddings inside and out.
We’re full of ideas, suggestions and methods to take the stress out of planning a wedding, and most importantly – make it fun!

Upcoming Colorado Weddings at the Lionsgate Event Center: Courtney and Nick

Introducing the lovely  Courtney and Nick: Friends and family will gather at the Gatehouse this coming June to celebrate the union of this cute couple. Where it all began: “Nick and I met playing pick-up basketball at Colorado State University.” … Continue reading

Upcoming Colorado Weddings at the Lionsgate Event Center: Samantha and Ryan

Introducing the lovely Samantha and Ryan: These two will be hosting their wedding at the Gatehouse in July of 2013. Where it all began: “Ryan and I met at the apartment complex we both lived at in 2009. On moving … Continue reading

Cutting costs for your wedding … what’s first to go?

You’ve spent hours and hours of envisioning… and brainstorming… and pinning… and planning for your wedding. You’ve upgraded your wedding binder from a .5″ spine to a whopping 3″ and it’s stuffed with: contracts, to-do lists, inspirations galore, a bit of rookie scrapbooking, brochures – scribbled notes flood every page and it’s all stained with tears (both happy and sad). Your fingers are sore from texting your girlfriends for opinions on just about everything, and your ear hurts from talking to florists, DJs, officiants, caterers, bakers, and everyone in between. After this whirlwind of “happy-stress” let’s call it – BOOM your wedding is finally planned! Now comes the part when you total up all of your costs, take one look at the figure and sprint straight back to the drawing board – you ask yourself; “What can I cut?”. Even if it’s just shaving off a thousand bucks it will help you sleep better at night.

So what’s first to go?

Let me briefly delay the answer to this question to  share a fun fact with you. The ladies at Lionsgate (sounds like a burlesque show huh?) recently came to a realization that collectively we have 75 years of experience in the wedding industry! Neat huh? We’ve done a lot of weddings, and for most of us a typical weekend isn’t going out for happy hour or catching a movie – it’s going to YOUR weddings! 🙂 And we love what we do. Ok, back to it.

Nix party favors for your guests.
In no way are you breaking any wedding etiquette rules by skipping out on party favors! Guests anticipate some good food and drink, and to see a pretty lady in a dress, but in no way are they expecting to walk away from your event with a gift. Here are some additional reasons why you’ve got the “okay” to ditch the favor:
1. Favors add up quick.
Say you order customized M&M’s in a little tin for each of your guests. These are $4.19 a pop x 120 guests – you’ve just spent over $500 to give out candies with your face on them.
2. There will be wounded soldiers.
In our experience guests pick at favors and leave parts behind. Especially if your favor is edible, our clean & set crew rounds up a lot of discarded favors. And think about it – your guests are too wrapped up in the fun of your event to make it their #1 priority to remember to bring home a little nic-nac that will collect dust on a shelf.
3. They’ve got the memories!
You’ve worked really hard on making your wedding a delightful experience for your guests and even if things don’t go exactly as planned, your guests are too busy chatting, drinking and dancing to notice! Guests don’t need to walk away from your wedding with a keychain frame of the bride and groom to remember your event. They’ve got it all stored away in their brains (assuming you didn’t pass tequila shots at your cocktail hour).

Ditch the Disposable Cameras
No matter what design your wrap a disposable camera in, it still looks disposable. From a quick Google search I’ve derived that
you can spend anywhere from $2 to $25 on these paper and plastic picture takers. And as with everything in your wedding things can add up quick! Here’s some more to think about:
1. Don’t step on your photographers toes.
More than likely you’re paying a professional photographer some good money to capture special moments from your day. If guests are busy snapping photos, the photographer will be capturing photos of guests taking photos…not such a frame worthy opportunity.
2. Don’t obligate your guests.
When your cousin Sally uses your disposable camera to snap the most hilarious candid photo of the little ring bearer holding a beer she has to set down her own camera. And once the picture is snapped, the moment has passed – and who has the picture? The bride & groom do. Sure, it’s not the end of the world, but Sally is the mother of the little cutie and she’s a little disappointed she’s missed out on the picture. Don’t obligate your guests to set down their own cameras for yours!

If you really want your guests involved in picture taking check out this new app: Our Photo Opp!  When you download this app all of your guests with smart phones can share photos from your day in real time. When they snap a pic it will be uploaded to an album that everyone can see – and you get to keep it! With this app all of your guests are walking away with a collective photo album of your event, and so are you! Win-win!

Cut the Champagne Toast
We don’t have anything against the champagne toast, but if you’re on a budget let your guests toast with their drink of choice. Rather than add an additional alcohol to your bar list, stick with what you’ve got got. Your guests won’t give your wedding a bad review because they didn’t feel the bubbly fizz of champagne in their tummies.

Pitch the Programs
Programs are a
great idea for the first 5 minutes that they rest in your guests hands, but after that it’s highly unlikely that your guests will take them home and paste them in a scrapbook of your wedding (unless your guests are as craft-happy as I am… then there actually is a chance of that happening). There’s no harm in letting your guests sit back and enjoy the ride rather than fill them in with a detailed outline of events. The only reason you should hold firm to the program is if there’s going to be a portion of your event where the floor drops out and dumps you into a pool and you need to warn the non swimmers in the crowd. You know –  unusual things that guests might want to be forewarned about. And yes, programs can be fun if you personalize them – give your bridal party the chance to write a blurb on why the bride and room are perfect for one another, honor a mom or dad who couldn’t be there that day, etc. While the program can be fun, it’s really not necessary – so we’re throwing it on the chopping block!

Take a comfortable walk down the aisle in TOMS – a lovely wedding shoe.

When Toms shoes first came to my attention I thought they seemed to be a style reserved for earth-loving hipsters, but once I slipped on my first pair I was hooked. Toms are not only comfortable (if arch support is not on the top of your footwear priority list), but for every pair of Toms bought, a pair of shoes is donated to a child somewhere around the world.

Check out the website here: Toms Website

To make outfit coordination a breeze, Toms come in just about every color and pattern you can imagine. At first Toms offerings were  restricted to a standard slipper style shoe, but they’ve now expanded to wedges, boots, and more!

When I dress up to go out one of two things happens regarding my shoe choice. ONE: I prance around in my cute high heels while getting ready, but by the time I’m heading out the door I’ve already made the executive decision to ditch the heels for flats. Or, TWO: I leave the house in heels because I am DETERMINED to show the puppies off for a night, but end up barefoot or walking like a crippled giraffe by midnight. Moral of the story – I don’t do well in heels.

Now, because heels aren’t my thing in “regular life” I’m not so sure if I see myself wearing this genre of shoe on my wedding day. Many brides who cherish the notion of comfortable feet on their wedding day are forgoing heels for cute flats like Toms. The perfect wedding day shoe! While some may cringe at the thought of a sneaker-like-shoe hiding under an elegant dress this trend is actually super cute and tasteful.

Here is the picture evidence.

TIP: It’s important for your “wedding Toms” to be straight-out-the-box so they look crisp and not like you’ve lived a whole summer in them.

Oh, and one last thing: a video we found that should tickle your fancy.

Chalk one up to “wonderful wedding ideas”!

Some of our favorite wedding chalkboard ideas.

The chalkboard was first introduced to the US in 1801, and I can only imagine that the this great new communication tool was  a thrill to school teachers. Well, today the chalkboard is a thrill to many wedding planners – vintage is making a comeback – in weddings! Mason jars, touches of lace, wooden crates, teacups, yellow roses – all friends to our chalkboard in the vintage theme! And, if you’ve visited Pinterest at all you know that vintage wedding is splattered all over the site!  Today these dusty relics (or more often than not – brand new re-makes) can form a beautiful union to create a whimsical theme that will delight your guests and make your grandmother feel right at home.

When it comes to chalkboards in your wedding  we are on board (no pun intended) with the trend!

DIY is a gem of an abbreviation today – there’s a whole DIY network on television and far too many blogs and social media sites devoted to the “do it yourself” cause. While DIY can be a wonderful money saving option some things should be left to the professionals. I’m going to dare to say now though that chalkboards for your wedding is one thing you should be able to DIY with a lovely outcome. So long as someone in your regime of wedding helpers has decent penmanship (chalkmanship?) and/or artistic abilities you should be fine. Switching up the frame, selecting different shapes of chalkboard, choosing a unique font to write in, embellishing with bows or whatever fits your theme – all great ways to customize the prop to fit your style .

As you can glean from our photo collage above, your boards can be used as props in photos, purely for decor, or they can give guests information that will be useful to them (the chalkboards true purpose!).

Pinterest is bursting at the seams with ideas like this. Check out our new board, “Wedding Trends” for more ideas we’re gushing over!

-The Ladies of Lionsgate