Say goodbye to your typical traditional wedding ceremony and welcome Denver’s newest festival: The Wedding Party. Brought to you by DiningOut Events and Ben Higgins, groom to be Jeff Suskin and bride to be Shalisa Pouw came up with the idea after they had decided they themselves did not want a wedding.
This non-traditional wedding will celebrate nine couples, before turning into an extravagant festival with restaurants and sponsors from around the state.
We spoke with Shalisa and got to hear all about this new and exciting event that we will be crashing on September 1, 2019 in Westminster.
You and Jeff are the creators, producers and one of the bride and grooms to be – how did the idea come to be and how has it evolved?
“Jeff Suskin who is my fiance works with festivals and is a publisher of DiningOut. We got engaged last June and discussed a lot about weddings and I didn’t want to have a wedding due to expenses and stress and guest lists. But friends were still pushing the idea of a wedding and my brother in-law brought up how we should invite everyone to Top Taco to celebrate our wedding and just have fun. Jeff and I tossed the idea around and never thought we would bring the idea to life but thought about having a festival centered around a wedding.”
Shalisa told us that they told their good friend, Ben Higgins (former ABC Bachelor) about their idea and he was immediately excited and got behind it. They had Ben film a video asking for couples to apply and within a week over one hundred applications came through. The couple was blown away from the response and realized this event really could be the celebration of love that they were looking for.
Weddings are very intimate and this is a very public event, can you talk to us about this unconventional set up and what inspired you to invite the public to it?
“ Today there is more of a trend towards collaboration. We never expected to change the way people got married, we just wanted to celebrate love. Moreover, all the couples getting married are excited to share their wedding with each others families and the wedding crashers. We know it is so unconventional but for the people that do want to do it, it’s the perfect way to celebrate this special day.”
Shalisha and Jeff both work for DiningOut, so she knew they could handle the food and beverage component. However, they wanted to make the wedding aspect special so they brought on a wedding planner, Heather Dwight, so they didn’t miss anything important.
“She’s (Heather) making the ceremony special and making sure all the couples have everything they need on the day,” said Shalisha. “We didn’t have a roadmap for putting this event together so we just gotta make our own rules. We threw away tradition when we wanted to and used it when the couples wanted to hold onto it.”
Because most wedding focus on two people and this will be 18 people how will you showcase and give each couple the attention they should get on their special day?
“We wanted the couples to feel like it was their day and they were the celebrities of the event. We first made couple video online and shared their stories which have been super special and allows everyone coming to the event to know everyone’s story and celebrate everyone altogether. Each wedding party will also have their own LED colored wristband that will light up when something is going on with the couple, such as cutting the cake or their first dance, so no one will miss out.”
Festivals for Life is super excited to cover this event. As wedding crasher, we were told we can expect a wedding that has never been done before. Shalisha put it best by saying, “I want guests to laugh and cry and all things you should do at a wedding, but then it’s a full blown out festival like people haven’t seen before.”
We can’t wait to see these nine couples tie the knot!