aspen wedding & engagement photographer

Aspen Wedding Planner Jenny McDonough with Stargazed Weddings & Events.

Inside the World of Luxury Wedding Planning; Stargazed Weddings & Events – Aspen, CO

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains – Aspen, Colorado offers a perfect blend of natures paradise and sophisticated comfort.

The untouched landscapes, clear blue skies, and charming alpine villages set the stage for a truly remarkable wedding experience.  Today, we delve into the world of Aspen Wedding Planner – Jenny McDonough, owner of Stargazed Weddings & Events.  Jenny orchestrates celebrations that blend rustic charm with sophisticated elegance.  Creating especially beautiful memories for her clients to last a lifetime.

As an Aspen Wedding Planner, the expertise lies in integrating the beauty of nature into each and every celebration. Whether it’s exchanging vows under a grove of yellow aspen trees or dancing beneath twinkle lights and bright stars, Aspen has it all.  Above all else, the best wedding planners harness the unique beauty of this mountain town. Creating moments of pure magic for all guests to enjoy. From rustic-chic barn weddings to mountaintop ceremonies with panoramic views, talented Aspen Wedding Planners transform the natural landscape into a stage for love to unfold.

About Jenny – Stargazed Weddings & Events

I had a recent Q&A with Jenny, and learned all about her life in the mountains and her living her dream career planning gorgeous weddings and events year after year.

Tell us a little about your story and how you became an Aspen Wedding Planner? 

I actually came to the events world, and eventually weddings, via classical music. I studied opera in college, and knew before I graduated that I didn’t want to be auditioning for each paycheck, but I still wanted to be around music. So I started looking at the world-class nonprofits in Pittsburgh, my hometown.  I landed in “Donor Relations” at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which included producing a number of little “thank you” events for our donors, among other things. Eventually I moved into the Events Department, and had a bigger role in our Gala fundraisers. From there, I moved to the Aspen Music Festival and School, where I produced 40-50 events in the 8 week summer season for four years, as well as national events to see our donors in their home cities. Many of these events had musical performances as a component, which has given me a sort of “theatrical” perspective when producing weddings. By which I mean great lighting and smooth transitions.
What advice would you give to couples who are just starting the wedding planning process?
Ooh, good question…  so many things… but here are some big picture thoughts:
1. Always speak with a planner before signing a venue contract. A planner who is familiar with your preferred venue can point out any challenges you might encounter that the venue might have neglected to mention. 
2. Trust your vendors. (After you’ve vetted them, or had your planner vet them, obviously.) Once you’ve hired experienced and competent professionals, then trust that they’ve got your best interests at heart, and they have it under control. Leave the micromanaging to your planner.
Please share a trend or theme in weddings that you’re particularly excited about right now.
You know, I tend to shy away from trends.  We produce timeless weddings, and trends come and go.  That’s not to say couples shouldn’t embrace a trend if they like it. Let’s just not do trends for the sake of being trendy.
Personally, I love that cakes are getting their moment lately. I love the clean, smooth buttercream cakes I’m seeing that are surrounded by a meadow of flowers. I also love when the cake takes its inspiration from details in the bride’s dress! 
What do you think sets apart a truly unforgettable wedding experience?

Without a doubt, it is thoughtful consideration of the guest experience.

A bride and groom will think through the wedding day (or weekend) timeline with their perspective in mind. What is the bride or groom doing at any given moment. They should also be thinking through what the guest is doing at any given moment. If they’re moving to another location after the ceremony, how will they know that? Can we give them elegant cues or post signage? This almost always requires additional staff to guide guests from Point A to Point B.

What is your favorite part of the wedding planning process, and why?

Design, hands down.

It’s the work I can do even when I’m tired, because it’s fun. I love working with colors and patterns (and I credit Stacy and Clinton of What Not To Wear with teaching me some of the design principles I use daily!) but lately, I’ve been challenging myself to create mono-color designs that are just as exciting, through use of texture.

How do you handle last-minute changes or unexpected challenges on the wedding day?

First, we remind ourselves and our couples that this isn’t brain surgery, and if something goes awry, it’s not a matter of life or death. Then we hustle to fix the problem to the best of our ability! The hardest part of my job is dealing with weather. The hours of set-up required to create a beautiful wedding mean that I have to make decisions well before I have a reliable forecast. We do the best we can with the information we have. 

In your opinion, what are some common mistakes that couples make during the wedding planning process and consequently how can they avoid them?

I think it’s that they dive into planning – whether they’re excited or just don’t know any better – without having a big picture in mind. Not just big picture in terms of budget, but also big picture in terms of what’s important to the couple.

When you define your priorities at the start, it’s much easier to avoid shiny-object syndrome when new ideas pop up. You can run all of those new ideas through a set of guiding principles which you’ve already agreed upon. You want an eco-friendly wedding? Great, then let’s skip the light-up cowboy hats that often appear on dance floors.

What do you hope couples will remember most about their wedding day?

I hope they remember the feeling of being wrapped up tight in love, while surrounded by their favorite people. 

Outside of wedding planning, what hobbies in the valley do you love doing?

I love to ski, although I’m very happy sticking to groomers! Summer hobbies can be tough during a busy wedding season, I don’t get to do as much hiking as I would like. I also enjoy painting and sketching with charcoals, and I enjoy practicing yoga. 

What is your favorite season to plan a wedding, and why?

What I love most is the variety we see when we do weddings in all of the seasons! The colors in nature are starkly different from summer to fall to winter. Personally, I love the cooler weather for fall weddings, so I’m not sweating thru my blazer. 

What are your top 3 most beautiful wedding venues you love to plan weddings at in Aspen?

We have SO many amazing and truly special venues in the Roaring Fork Valley, it’s really hard to choose favorites!

I’ll say that I love the mountaintop ceremony sites at the Aspen Mountain Wedding Deck and the Buttermilk Cliffhouse. The ceremony view at the Pine Creek Cookhouse is unmatched. And I love tented weddings because they maintain an outdoor feel while still providing shelter from the elements. 


As you prepare to say “I do” in this mountain paradise, know that every step of this journey has been filled with intention, care, and a whole lot of heart from your wedding planner. And as you exchange vows against the mountain backdrops of snow-capped peaks and vibrant blue skies, may your love story continue to unfold with grace, beauty, and joy.

So here’s to love, laughter, and happily ever afters – may your wedding day in Aspen be everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

Stargazed Weddings and Events

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