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)
.

Love in the City: Allison & Devin’s Denver Wedding

July 20, 2013

When Allison embarked on a college road trip with Devin and his friends to California, little did she know she was about to fall in love with her future husband. Thanks to a fateful missed exit, a resulting Wyoming blizzard and hours of chatting in the backseat, these lovebirds started dating within a few months and never looked back.

Allison and Devin don’t need much to be smiling cheek to cheek, having FUN and being themselves, and I love how they poured their laid back, fun-loving personalities into every detail of this wedding. Just take their rehearsal dinner: a BBQ picnic in Wash Park (where they live) with beer, bags and bocce. Amazing.

Desiring an intimate wedding in the city, Grant Humphreys Mansion was an ideal match for these Colorado natives. Plus, the downstairs ballroom certainly met their dance party expectations. They complemented the venue with an array of neutral colors and vintage accents (shutters for escort cards, vintage picture frames and signs) and a vibe that was elegant, comfortable and happy. And how amazing were those bridesmaids’ shoes? Just perfect pops of color.

One of my favorite details of the reception was the ice cream bar honoring Allison’s late Grandma Dorothy, who at the age of 14, started her own ice cream soda bar and ran the business for over 50 years. So, Devin re-created the sign that hung outside the store and guests were invited to scoop, sprinkle and top away.

(Oh, and the table center pieces dedicated solely to their dog Titan? Priceless.)

Can’t say enough about how much I love this unique and hilarious couple. It was my utmost pleasure to capture their special day. Hats off to Ann and Cortney of Cloud 9 Weddings & Papers for their immaculate work and amazing planning, and a huge shout out to the following vendors:

Epicurean Catering (dining)
The Perfect Petal (floral)
Erin Ferris Designs (hair)
Carissa Passerella (makeup)