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)

Brown Palace Denver Wedding: Johanna & John Michael

I couldn’t be more excited about posting this gorgeous Denver wedding at the Brown Palace on my website today.  I absolutely adore this couple and after their amazing engagement session, I knew we were going to have a blast together on their wedding day too.  We had a easy and instant connection from the get-go, and I was confident that they trusted me implicitly.  Because of that, I was able to capture some fantastic images of them being truly relaxed and in love.  They were more than excited and able to be their goofy-selves with me, which I truly believe is a wonderful formula for successful photography on a wedding day.

I have always been big fan of the bride and groom’s “first look” because I believe it gives couples a chance to spend more time together on their wedding day AND because the images we are able to capture during that time are always so amazing and dripping with emotion.  It’s not something I push on my couples, since I know that there are many couples that want to wait for the traditional moment of walking down the aisle to see each other for the first time that day, but when a couple is open to the idea, I am happy to encourage it!  From this point on I think I will use Johanna and John Michael’s images to show future clients what is possible with a first look.  The expressions and the energy of their first look photos literally give me goose bumps!  In my experience over the last decade, I have found that his kind of coverage is simply not possible during a ceremony.  First, because I can never get quite the right angle due to the ceremony set up, chairs, guests, etc.  It also goes too fast so that there isn’t any time for the couple to really drink each other in.  The first look is a private (well, semi-private including only the couple, myself and my second shooter) space to give the couple time to really see each other for the first time and to linger in that moment together.  Then we take a series of photos of the bride and groom together before the craziness of the wedding day and all of the guests takes hold.  It’s simply a magical part of the day and as usual, I am in love with the photos we got during Johanna and John Michael’s first look.

The Brown Palace was, as always, a gorgeous and classy venue for both the ceremony and the reception and I loved being treated as a guest right down to the delicious meal we were served for dinner.  Thank you!  We get really hungry working so hard all day long.  :-)  I also have to thank Julia Timmer, my amazing second shooter, who I adore beyond words.  We always work together so seamlessly and I am forever grateful for her talent and great energy that she shares with me and with my clients.  Bravo Julie!  You rock!

To Johanna and John Michael; you are one of the most stunning couples I have had the pleasure of getting to know.  You are perfect together and I hope our photographic relationship will last for years to come. I wish you all the happiness in the world and I hope you  love these images as much as I do.  MUWAH!