Denver Wedding Photography: Calie and Aaron

Denver Wedding Photography:  Calie Carrick and Aaron McCamant tied the knot this past Labor Day weekend in the gorgeous backyard of Calie’s uncle’s home in Cherry Hills Village with about 200 guests, most from out of state.  Both the bride and groom spent the majority of their lives in Texas, and after college ended up working for the same company in the oil and gas industry.  While they worked together for almost a year they didn’t connect until they were both sent to Denver for a Due Diligence project for a couple of weeks.  After a few casual dinners and lunches while together in Denver their relationship progressed into something more once they were back in Texas.  About a year later Aaron surprised Calie with a proposal at their first date spot, the Brown Palace.  After surprising her with a beautiful ring, Aaron and Calie moved to the lobby for champagne to celebrate.  Right at that moment his parents, her grandparents, mother and sister also surprised Calie to help celebrate their engagement!

This was far from what you may imagine a simple backyard wedding to be.  First of all the grounds of the home that made up the venue are extensive and there was plenty 0f room for 200+ people to move around with ease.  The guests arrived to a beautiful ceremony set up in front of one of the ponds.  After the ceremony there was another space allocated to an outdoor lounge-like cocktail hour, and another area where the gorgeous dinner and dancing tents were set up.  The bride wore her grandmother’s wedding dress, which was also worn by her mother.  I actually was able to get old photographs of both her grandmother and her mother in the gown, as well as a new bridal portrait for Calie blown up and printed on canvases that were hung on a beautiful old cabinet that served as the cake and cupcake display.  And, speaking of cupcakes, these little pieces of art by Elegant Bakery were by far the prettiest cupcakes I have ever laid eyes on!  Oh and tasty too!

Since most of their guests were from out of town and Calie and Aaron are somewhat new to the Denver area, they wanted to do an engagement session around downtown at some of the classic spots in order to show off the wonderful city they now call home in their guest book.  We did a fun little tour of LoHi, the clock-tower building, the big blue convention center bear, the capital building and the art museum.

I would like to offer big thanks to all of the wonderful people that made this wedding day such a success! Firstly, to Colorado Wedding Company for executing a flawless coordination and design (and also for the glowing recommendation!) Thank you to The Perfect Petal who went above and beyond, as usual, and the stunning floral everywhere!  Thanks to Catering by Design for all the delicious gourmet appetizers and the beautiful meal.  Thank you to Mike and Somer, the talented videographers at Rising Moon Films. (I always love working with you!)  And last but not least, thank you to my fab associate, Jennifer, for all of your hard work!

Finally, to Calie and Aaron:  Thank you both so much for being so delightful to work with!  I wish you both all the love and happiness and adventure that you can stand. :-)  AND, I look forward to working with you again in the future when you decide it’s time for your family to grow!

Denver Wedding Photography: Kayley & Ryan

Denver Wedding Photography:  On August 2, 2014 the beautiful Kayley Arvizu and her handsome beau, Ryan Slayton, tied the knot at the Chapel at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch and then celebrated with friends and family at Palazzo Verdi in Greenwood Village.  I have been spending nearly every weekend this summer in the mountains and it was a refreshing change of pace for me to photograph at two totally new-to-me venues.  The church itself was gorgeous!  I was in love with the way the stained glass windows framed the alter and when Kayley’s brother and sister played the guitar and piano and sang at the end of the ceremony, everyone, including me, had goosebumps from head to toe.  It was a magical and perfect ceremony.

I had fabulous and fun start to the day taking photos of the girls getting ready at the bride’s sisters house down the road, and my associate, Melissa Rich, met the fellas at the church where they put on their tuxes and Ryan handed out gifts.  Since the couple didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony, we did a traditional down the aisle first sighting and the looks on both the brides and the grooms faces said it all.  There were laughter and tears and the emotions were running high from one end of the spectrum to the other.  When Kayley’s dad and brother saw her dressed in her gorgeous wedding gown, the tears sprang into both of their eyes in an instant.  And, as Kayley made her way down the aisle, I could see the look in Ryan’s eyes, like, “yeah….  that is MY girl.”  He looked so proud!  All in all, it was such a sweet and loving day.  It was obvious to me that Kayley and Ryan have been through a lot together, and I haven’t a shadow of a doubt that these two are in it for good.  Congratulations to Kayley and Ryan! I wish you and your sweet little family a lifetime of happiness and love!

An Intimate Affair in Denver: Sarah and Nat’s Wedding Day

October 26th, 2013

Sarah and Nat met coaching middle school girls’ volleyball.  They were both teaching in the Cherry Creek School District at separate middle schools.  Sarah had been asked to step in at the last minute to help coach and this was Nat’s first season coaching.  The game was at the school where Sarah taught, Horizon.  Nat sauntered in wearing bright orange pants, a yellow button down, and a teal tie.  She immediately found him charming and said so to the referee, who was also a security guard at Horizon.  The game began and it became very apparent that Nat had never coached volleyball.  Sarah helped guide his girls while her girls dominated the game.  Sarah’s team won and while she helped clean up the gym, the referee approached Nat.  She asked him for his phone number because one of the coaches wanted it.  Nat didn’t know which coach was getting his phone number, but he handed it over in the hopes that it was Sarah.  It was!

Nat hatched his proposal plan with a good friend who owns The Denver Beer Company, a local brewery. The DBC was tapping a milk stout, Sarah’s favorite, the Friday before her birthday.  Nat casually mentioned it to Sarah and they decided to go.  A friend was supposed to pick Sarah up but she was running late so she called Nat to tell him and he immediately dispatched his brother, Alex, to pick her up, which she found odd, but didn’t really think too much about it.  Alex and Sarah finally arrived and before she could even sit down, the owner asked if she would help pull off the sign covering up the beer’s name on the menu board.  Again, she remembers thinking this was odd, but willingly participated.  Nat quieted everyone down and, with the entire brewery watching her, she proceeded to stand up on a chair to pull off the sign.  She realized something was up by the shocked looks on the patron’s faces.  She turned to Nat and noticed he was down on one knee.  Then she looked at the beer sign.  It read: “Sarah, say yes.”  So she looked back to Nat and said “YES.”  The whole place erupted in applause as they kissed.  She couldn’t have been more surprised and says she couldn’t have asked for a more memorable proposal.  Sarah’s favorite part was how Nat made the day even more special by inviting their family to join them after the proposal so that they could all celebrate the start of their life together.

These two lovebirds had a darling backyard wedding ceremony at Sarah’s uncles house followed by an “open house” style reception where people could come and go as they pleased. Sarah wore beautiful jewelry from her favorite grandmother that passed away last Easter and got ready in her old room as a way to keep her close while she said her vows to Nat. After the ceremony I took them to City Park, which happened to be where they shared their first kiss, for their romantic portraits set against a beautiful fall/sunset backdrop. Then we were off to the dance party and cocktail reception at Eden restaurant where Nat and his brother, Alex, blew the guests away with their amazing swing dancing moves.  It was a fantastic celebration of a beautiful love and a blast was had by all.  I would be lying if I said that I didn’t shake it down on the dance floor.  I did.  :-)  Thank you to Sarah and Nat for including me in one of the sweetest, most genuine and special wedding celebrations that I have ever had the pleasure of documenting and being a part of.  I look forward to following you both on your life adventure as a married couple!

Enchanted Romance: Jud and Steph’s Denver Botanic Gardens Wedding

Sept. 1, 2013

Four years ago on the slopes in Winter Park, an East Coast girl was set up with a Colorado boy, thanks to the matchmaking skills of her mother.

Little did Steph know that some of the greatest moments of her life would take place on skis: first, meeting Jud, then, saying “yes” when he proposed on the Blackcomb Glacier in British Columbia.

So, when they tied the knot on Sept. 1 at the Denver Botanic Gardens, it was only fitting that each table represented a mountain they had skied down. And although these two had always wanted to get married in the mountains, they chose to keep the celebration in town so their guests could enjoy a long weekend in beautiful Colorado. Plus, Jud grew up just a few blocks from the Gardens, which played a significant role in their lives.

This wedding was simply beautiful. Embracing the already overflowing beauty of this spectacular destination, Steph chose a soft, sweet palette of pinks, greens, and gentle pops of orange. The bridesmaids’ dresses blended perfectly with Steph’s stunning dress and the boys looked oh-so-handsome in those grey tuxes.

Steph wore her grandmother’s garter (which her cousin also wore in her wedding) and diamond hair pins, which added such a unique touch.

And, oh, how those roses, dahlias, succulents, billowing white flowers and dusty miller accents complemented all the breathtaking botanical backdrops. Pretty sure that sunset was planned specially for Jud and Steph, and all those hanging lights? Nothing could have topped off the magic and romance of this evening any more perfectly.

Thanks to their band, The Fever, the dance floor never saw a dull moment, and Ariel’s opera piece for the father-daughter dance took everyone’s breath away.

I’m so grateful to have been part of such a brilliant day and to work with some of my favorite vendors in town. Ann and Cortney with Cloud 9 Weddings & Papers were amazing as always, and the staff at Denver Botanic Gardens was beyond accommodating. Big shout out to the following vendors, as well:

Catering By Design (food & drink)
The Fever (band)
Event Rents (furnishings & decor)
Plum Sage Flowers (floral)
ShutterBooth (photo booth)
Spa Divas Mobile Spa (hair and makeup)
Arrow Limo service (transportation)
.