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Saddle Ridge Wedding: Laura & Sam Brown

Saddle Ridge Wedding in Beaver Creek:  I’ve always loved this venue and though I have been there on many different occasions for different events, this was my first experience photographing a wedding there and it was fantastic!  Between the eclectic upstairs dining room where the reception was held, the library where cocktail hour was hosted, and the gorgeous outdoor back patio where the ceremony was preformed, it was a magical and very special day for everyone. The weather was picture perfect, the food was absolutely delicious, and the guests ate, drank, danced and celebrated to their hearts content.

Laura and Sam’s love story started with an old baseball hat, left semi-intentionally at Laura’s Chicago apartment after a gathering of mutual friends in the summer of 2008. With the help of social media Sam kept Laura interested by regaling her with mostly inflated tales of his rock and roll pursuits in Los Angeles while she studied for nursing school back in Chicago.

Things heated up in 2010 when Sam took what he believed would be a seven-day trip home to watch a few White Sox games from section 139, row 32, seat 10 of US Cellular Field. After a rousing victory over the Atlanta Braves a chance meeting with Laura changed everything. The week long trip stretched to a month and Sam fell madly in love with Laura. It was of course of no small significance to Sam that during this time the White Sox went 26-6 and enjoyed a 12-game win streak directly coinciding with the first two weeks of his and Laura’s love affair.

Foolishly thinking he could return to his fledgling rock and roll career in Los Angeles Sam boarded a train for the coast. Within a week he was back in Chicago. Within a month he had moved back permanently. The rest followed inevitably….

They went for a bike ride along the ocean and then stopped to watch the sunset. Right at sunset Sam nervously popped the question! Laura says that she “may or may not have seen it coming.” :-)

This darling couple says that they would someday love to end up in Colorado permanently and that being in Beaver Creek and getting hitched at Saddle Ridge was just about as special as it could get for them.

I’d like to give a huge thanks to Carolyn Moorman and her wonderful assistant Kay from Artisan Events for their flawless planning and execution of this wonderful wedding day.  Vintage Magnolia provided the beautiful florals, and Sugar Breck made the gorgeous wedding cake.  The staff at Saddle Ridge were delightful and the food was amazing.  And last but not least, thank you to my associate Melissa Rich for being a fab second shooter with me for the day.  We had a blast with this couple, their families and friends and I adore the images we were able to capture for them.

Congratulations Laura and Sam!! I wish you a lifetime of happiness and adventure together!

Beano’s Cabin Wedding: Emily & Alex Sitomer

Beano’s Cabin Wedding:  Out of all of the amazing venues to choose from in the Rocky Mountains, Beano’s Cabin, located mid-mountain in Beaver Creek is my #1 favorite venue of all time!  Truly, I have never had less than a fantastic, two thumbs up, over the top, amazing experience photographing there!  Couples that choose that venue are always people that I have an instant report with, the weddings are always beyond gorgeous, and to top it off, I always get a really amazing dinner!  HA!

Emily and Alex’s wedding was no exception.  And talk about LUCKY!  We were minutes away from moving the ceremony inside due to intermittent rain showers, but the wonderful Beano’s staff and the fantastic planners were watching the weather radar like hawks and saw an opening.  We moved the ceremony up about 10 minutes and the timing was impeccable!  Alex and Emily got to have their picture perfect outdoor ceremony outside with the mountain backdrop, just like they had always dreamed of, and their guests got to have the scenic experience that had been planned for them.

Emily and Alex live in Dallas now, but met at Vaderbilt University in Nashville TN their senior year. They met outside of class on the first day of classes second semester. Emily was coming while Alex was going, but on his way out, after getting up the courage to speak to Emily, Alex did a u-turn. While he fumbled around getting Emily’s number into his new Blackberry, Alex was successful, and after several days of chatting, even managed to talk his way into a date. While casual, Emily did extend the initial offer and roped Alex into dancing the night away with some of her closest friends at The Stage in downtown Nashville.

Since the couple are avid travel junkies and Alex has always dreamed of getting married in the mountains in Colorado, they planned their destination wedding from afar with the help of the wonderful ladies from Bella Event Design & Planning.  Emily, the owner, recommended me to the couple and after checking out my work online, they hired me without ever meeting me.  We clicked instantaneously and I spent the day photographing them like they were old friends.

Before I dive into sharing their beautiful images (which I am over the moon about), I want to give thanks to all of the fabulous vendors that made this day so perfect.  Vintage Magnolia provided the lovely floral arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres.  Mountain Flour provided the delicious wedding cake (I know because I tried it!).  Diamond Empire Band rocked the house during the reception. And finally, a massive thanks to everyone at Beano’s Cabin that provided 5-star service not only to the couple and the guests, but to all of the vendors too.  Thank you also to my associate, Telly Weddon, for being a total trooper and a fantastic second shooter!  We rocked it sister!

Lastly, I just have to share a few words from the bride because these kinds of things are what keep me so inspired and passionate about what I do!

Hi Frances!!

First of all, we LOVE the photos!!! Could not be more happy with how they all turned out. You and Telly did such a fantastic job. We can’t thank you enough! We can’t stop looking through all the wedding photos over and over — They all bring back such amazing memories and make us want to renew our vows already ;-) You captured everything perfectly!!!  Our family and friends cannot stop raving about them either!

We will recommend you to anyone and everyone! Truly, we may be your biggest fans! :-)

Love,

Emily & Alex

Be sure to check out their slideshow at the bottom of the post for their full wedding day experience.  **Note: The slideshow will not play on smartphones or iPads, only on desktop or laptop computers**

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!

Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch Wedding: Lindsey & Charlie

Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch Wedding:  I am ecstatic to share this absolutely fantastic wedding today!  Lindsey and Charlie really and truly stole our hearts. It will be easy to see why.  These two love-birds are both avid outdoors-people. They love hiking, biking, kayaking, and anything that involves action and adventure!  They have a love-affair with sushi, traveling, and let us not forget, whiskey!  HA!  And beyond that, they are absolutely adorable.  Both on their own, but especially together!  When Lindsey told me that photos of the two of them in the beautiful Colorado mountains were a top priority for them, I suggested that we do a first look and that we schedule in about an hour for photos of just the two of them.  They were on board and we had time to get the most amazing romantics (bride and groom photos) to date.  We photographed their first look at Anderson’s Cabin, just up the road from the Ritz-Carlton in Beaver Creek, which was a perfect setting, surrounded by Aspens, also the theme of their wedding.  The sun was shining, the wild-flowers were blooming, and the couple was beaming from inside to out.  The energy in their images is 100% true-to-life genuine as we could literally feel the love between them oozing into our lenses from every angle.  Julie, my rock solid second shooter, and I were in photography heaven with these two.  Words cannot begin to express the way that I feel about this couple or this wedding… but the pictures might do the trick.

Besides the always amazing staff at the Ritz-Carlton, all of the vendors involved in this wedding made it a smashing success.  The planning and execution was thanks to Meg Stepanek of Gemini Event Planning.  I haven’t worked with Meg in years and it was wonderful to see her again.  Great job Meg!  The gorgeous floral was done by Vintage Magnolia. And, Starkey Productions provided the rocking band. Besides having an A-team of vendors, which makes a world of difference,  it’s important that I also to mention how wonderful the wedding party was, how lovely both families were, and how friendly and sweet all of the guests were.  Everyone at this wedding was smiling from ear to ear all day long, making my job as the photographer, a piece of cake.  THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to everyone that was there to make this wedding such a smashing success.  To Lindsey and Charlie, you may not know this yet, but you will probably never get rid of me now.  ;-) And I wish you a lifetime of sweetness, action, adventure, and….sushi date nights.  XOXO ~Frances.