Photography by
Donna Newman Photography


Brynne McNulty & Julio Rajas-Sarmiento

August 13, 2016 in Aspen, Colorado


Brynne McNulty and Julio Rojas-Sarmiento were born in the same Miami hospital only six months apart, and grew up living just ten minutes from each other. Despite attending rival schools for college–Princeton and UPenn–the two attended the same college parties and ended up working at the same company. They even went to the same spin classes together. Somehow, it wasn’t until they moved into the same building at Harvard Business School and lived across the hall from one another, that they finally met. A close friendship followed and, ultimately, romance.

One night in Boston, the couple had just celebrated Julio’s birthday, when he casually said that they’d be flying to Miami in the morning for his cousin’s engagement party. When they arrived, Julio drove them to Fisher Island, where Brynne had spent many family vacations growing up. After a relaxing afternoon, the two returned to their villa, where Julio proposed in a space that had been filled with roses.

Since Julio and Brynn were still in school, the Rafanelli Events team in Boston were essential during the wedding planning process. “They took our ideas and created the most exquisite works of art, from our fun save-the-dates featuring a gondola rising over four pages, to transforming a horse arena into a beautiful black-tie space,” says Brynne.

Because of its natural beauty, the couple envisioned a destination wedding in Aspen, and flew out to Colorado to choose the perfect wedding venue – Chaparral Ranch. “We were planning four days of events, and wanted to spend time with many of our guests who were making a vacation out of the trip,” Brynne adds.

The festivities kicked off with a “wild western” welcome party held at a friend’s barn, followed by Friday’s lawn games, picnic, and rehearsal dinner at the private Aspen Mountain Club. For the wedding day, the ambiance was formal and elegant, while incorporating the magnificence of Aspen’s surroundings. Brynne and Julio exchanged vows at the edge of a lake, with the Rocky Mountains in the background and 380 guests in attendance. “True to ourselves, we asked our guests to refrain from taking any photos during the ceremony, as we wanted it to be a private experience everyone could enjoy with us,” Brynne says. The evening continued with tributes to the bride and groom’s Colombian and Irish heritage woven throughout the celebration – especially when it came to the music.

“Overall, the weekend of events was always upbeat, energized and featured great live music, fantastic food and stunning décor,” Brynne recalls. “Our wedding day ended at 5am the following morning, full of exhaustion but unmitigated joy. We are sad it’s over, but we have these beautiful memories to cherish forever.”

>Written by: Lauren Malamala

Location: Chaparral Ranch Aspen, CO; Event Design and Planner: Rafanelli Events Boston, MA; Floral Design: Winston Flowers Boston, MA; Linen: Nuage Designs New York, NY;
Stylist: The Stylish Bride New York, NY; Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier ; After Party Dress: Peter Scoren;