Cherokee Castle venue tips and Cat wedding ideas, on Holly’s hot wedding tips

Cherokee Castle venue tips and Cat wedding ideas, on Holly’s hot wedding tips

I love castles and enchanted locations, I have been exploring castles in Colorado since 2008. This week I had the opportunity to meet with the wedding coordinator Anasa Shank from the Cherokee Castle.

wedding white at Cherokee Castle

wedding white at Cherokee Castle

Anasa’s 3 top venue tips:

  1. Know your venue restrictions.
    Cherokee castle is a museum and is under the Douglass county wildlife reserve restrictions. Open flame like candles and fireworks are not permitted, and no vehicles close to the castle entrance.
  2. Ask about weather contingency.
    If you are planning on being outside will there be a tent available? Talk to your site planner about your vision and if it will work as well inside. Cherokee castle has 3 options, a large tent for 250 people, and a small tent for 200, and the great hall inside the castle.
  3. Pick your team.
    Doing all your place cards, bouquets and centerpieces sounds like a good idea, but can become cumbersome vs. the outcome. Pick a good team of professionals that you love and trust to help you achieve your vision for your wedding day, then be stress free and able to enjoy it all. Always remember a day of coordinator to ensure a smooth flow.

Anasa Shank is the wedding coordinator for the Cherokee Castle, and I asked her what was the most unique wedding she had ever coordinated? She replied that it was a cat wedding. Here are the highlights of how this bride included her furry friends at her wedding, as well as other cat wedding tips.

Cat (or furry friend) wedding ideas:

  1. As table centerpieces put a picture of each of your Cats
  2. Post pictures of your favorite cat in front of your cake. You can also buy cat wedding cake toppers
  3. Tuxedo cat place card holder
  4. Cat wedding rings
  5. Cat thank you cards
  6. Include catnip in your Bouquet
  7. White Satin cat faced slippers
  8. Cat shaped candy dish.
  9. Run a video of you with your furry friends.
  10. Dance your first dance to “Memory” from Cats, “Everybody wants to be a cat”, or “What’s up Pussycat”

Thank you so much Anasa Shank, Wedding Planner at Cherokee Castle. You can contact her at 303-688-5555, or 720-627-7176,


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Holly Collins
WEDDING DANCE instruction
author of
Holly’s hot wedding tips, 
Historically Accurate Princess Dances,
Winner of the Knot best wedding dance,
Champion Ballroom Dancer & Coach
owner of
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Good morning Anasa it’s so good to see you here at Cherokee Castle. I’m so glad to have you on my Hot Wedding Tips. Talk to me about the best pointers you have for brides and grooms getting married here at the castle? (Anasa à) Definitely, as far as vending goes it’s knowing all the details and restrictions for the vending. We’re very specific because we have a lot of fire restrictions, we cannot have any open flames, any sparklers, and fireworks, any sort of flammable items. (Holly à) Due to being a fire sensitive area or because of the preservation organization? (Anasaà) We are under a Douglass Wildlife Reserve. (Holly à) So whatever Douglas County says about restrictions that’s it huh? (Anasa à) It applies to us for sure. Also if we were to have any sort of fire issue it would affect the museum and the artifacts in the museum immediately so that’s our initial concern. So the fire restrictions are a big one, the second is we are a historic site so we cannot allow any cars at all drive up on the facility, it could damage the property. So everything that comes here has to be carted in from the parking lot. So that’s another big restriction that I tell people. You can’t drive up and drop off your grand piano. So anything that comes up here has to be carted or able to be carried. It’s a little restricted for caterers but they’re used to it. (Holly à) I’m sure they have lots of ways around it. What questions should brides and grooms be asking you? (Anasa à) Rain Plans, Ceremony site locations, Reception site locations, the biggest part of planning a wedding is being able to visualize the ceremony and reception. The last thing you want is to have a little rain and have to completely change your vision on your wedding. So ours is an outdoor ceremony, that’s plan A and we will do that no matter what if they want to be outside and if there is rain and you do want to do plan B it’s inside here. (Holly à) So you have the backup of inside the Grande room to be able to do your ceremony and then take your reception back out to the tent because you have the two huge tents on the property. One here right at the castle and then one further up the road. (Anasa à) We do yes. We have a smaller tent which can do about 150-200 and then the greater tent which can do up to 250. (Holly à) Wow that’s great! (Anasa à) So in terms of options you just have to be prepared. We had a bride last weekend and it started to rain and they had a horse and it had to stay outside. So she was in tears and it really needed to be outside so we waited and it was about 45 minutes but we had it outside and she was very happy. (Holly à) What’s the most unique wedding you’ve ever done here? (Anasa à) The most unique, I’m gonna have to say my cat wedding. (Holly à) Your cat wedding? Oh I have to hear this! Tell me about your cat wedding. (Anasa à) Well we had a bride that was in love with her cats. Those were her best friends, she had very few bridesmaids her cats were her life and her best friends. So on each table on each centerpiece it was a different cat picture, all about her cats. Even in front of her wedding cake was a picture of her cats. She wanted so desperately to have her cats there but unfortunately its our policy to have no animals on the property. (Holly à) So no animals with the exception you mentioned of the horse, you have the cows on property. (Anasa à) We have the cows, we are a working ranch I saw a couple cows this morning and stopped and took a picture of the cattle on the way up and there are tons of little babies that are adorable. But we can have horses so long as they are brought by a licensed horse caregiver so they bring their own liability insurance and we cover that through the license on the horse. (Holly à) Great. So you can have horses but not cats and dogs. (Anasa à) No domestic animals (Holly à) Domestic ok. (Anasa à) Yeah it’s kind of a personal preference after the ceremony after you leave, mainly because of liability, but if they don’t take the animals directly home we don’t want them heating up in the car. Our wildlife can be very domestic. (Holly à) Do you do dove releases here? (Anasa à) You can. (Holly à)Ok because they’re not domestic animal. Got it. What other special tips or interesting tid bits do you have for us? (Anasa à) Well I was thinking that through and what I would recommend for a bride and groom and I think the biggest issue that brides run into is that they’re trying to do it all. And they try to plan every single detail and try to do their own centerpieces and do their own escort cards and do their own bouquets and they get to be a little cumbersome vs the outcome. But I always recommend to bride and grooms pick your team, hire your team. (Holly à) Hire a team of experts, hire a coordinator at least. Its good to have a wedding coordinator throughout so that everything runs smoothly and you can attend your wedding and not run it. (Anasa à) So hire vendors that you love and you trust that understand your vision and let them do their thing. That’s what they do that’s their expertise. (Holly à) Excellent! Well thank you so much this is so wonderful.


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