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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!

Surprises abound: Allison and Eric’s Castle Cliff Wedding, Sedalia CO

When Eric surprised Allison on January 11, 2013 by proposing to her in a hotel room at the historic Brown Palace Hotel with red and white rose petal scattered everywhere, they had no idea about the surprises that lay ahead on their journey to the alter.  They had made all of their arrangements to get married in Estes Park at The Chapel on the Rock at St. Malo with their reception to follow at the Taharaa Mountain Lodge on October 5, 2013.  They were excited to share the beauty of Colorado in the fall with all of their out of town family and friends.  But, after the biggest flood in Colorado history devastated Estes Park and all of the surrounding areas the weekend of Sept. 13th, their well made plans were about to get scattered into the wind.  Exactly one week before their wedding day, the Taharaa announced that they were officially in the “no-flush” zone and that they would not be able to host the reception after-all.  Inset freak out here.  With most venues and churches all over the state already being booked for Oct. 5, Ann Marlin, their rockstar wedding coordinator, put on her wonder-woman costume and made some serious magic happen.  She was able to get them the best plan B I could ever have imagined… and from a photographic standpoint, I couldn’t have been happier!

In the end, they had a traditional Catholic Ceremony (like they wanted) at the Holy Ghost in downtown with a gorgeous reception at Castle Cliff Estate in Sedalia.  It was a beautiful day and thankfully Allison and Eric had an A-team of vendors that were able to come together to give them the fairy-tale wedding day they had been dreaming of.

A huge thank you to everyone that helped make this gorgeous wedding one for the record books, and in record time.  First and foremost to Ann and Cortney from Cloud 9 Weddings and Papers for all of your rockstar moves leading up to and ON the wedding day itself.  You ladies should be very, VERY proud of yourselves!  I know I am proud of you!  Secondly, to the Perfect Petal for all of the gorgeous flowers that made that tent absolutely glow.  To Soul School, the off-the-chain wedding band that had everyone on their feet dancing the night away.  You guys are awesome and it was easy to see that all of the guests thought so too.  And last, but certainly not least, to Sarah Fischer, my fantastic second shooter that day.  I always love working with you! Your energy and attitude are contagious on so many levels.  Grazie, everyone!

Allison told me that her favorite memory of the proposal was “walking into the room and being totally surprised and then not being able to stop smiling afterwards.”  It would seem that history repeated itself on her wedding day too.  I can attest to the fact that when Allison walked into the tent at Castle Cliff Estates, she was beyond surprised…  and didn’t stop smiling for the rest of the night!  Congratulations to you both!  I wish you a lifetime of love, happiness, and lots of surprises.  :-)

Kelly & Wade’s Engagement Session at Denver Botanic Gardens

Meet Kelly and Wade. What an honor it was to capture this stunning bride and groom to be at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

With a love for the great outdoors and all that Denver has to offer, these two can’t get enough of Colorado’s mountains, sunshine and breweries. While they certainly work hard (Kelly does marketing for higher education and Wade is a commercial investments broker), they definitely know how to play hard. They are super active and into volleyball, golf, hiking, skiing, running, music, traveling, riding their motorcycle and scooters, and trying new things.

Weather permitting, this adorbs duo plans to tie the knot on the terrace at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver with 165+ family and friends, then move the party to the main ballroom with a live band (Groove Nation). They’re going for a “mountains in the city” theme and will have different 14ers for their table numbers, as they hike a new one every year.

They’re working with Heather Allen from Table 6 Productions to plan their wedding, and clearly are in good hands.

I can’t WAIT to capture their big day! Happy planning, Kelly and Wade!

Fun facts:

Most exciting/scariest thing they’ve other done:Swam with sharks and sting rays in Belize!

Favorite things to drink: Wine, gin & tonic, V8, margs, Moscow Mules, beer, and lots of water

Their favorite restaurant: Syrup

One thing on each of their bucket lists: Wade dreams of climbing Mt. Everest, and Kelly wants to visit the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica.

Santa Barbara Dreamin’: Shauna & David’s Wedding at Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?  I do!  Here’s one reason why:  About seven years ago I met a fabulous brunette (Shauna) in some random airport (we can’t really remember which one) as I was coming home from an amazing photography workshop in Bend, OR.  I had been inspired that week to find renewed creativity through setting up photo shoots with models, just to “play.”  It turned out that she was seated next to me on the plane and we immediately started talking.  We were like long lost friends talking and laughing all the way home as we found that we actually had a lot in common.  Among which, we had both lived in Santa Barbara (she for longer than me), and that while I was going to the Brooks Institute of Photography, she was modeling for some of the students there at the same time.  By the time the flight landed in Denver we had exchanged numbers and were already talking about doing some shoots together just for fun….which we did.  The photos were gorgeous and I used them in my portfolio for years.  I always remembered her fondly, though we did not stay in touch.

Fast forward to about 8 or 9 months ago.  Shauna was engaged and shopping for wedding dresses at the Little White Dress Shop where she saw my name on the preferred photographer list there and remembered me!  We set up a meeting where I was able to meet her gorgeous and incredibly sweet fiance, David.  We had the same instantaneous connection that we did seven years ago and they immediately signed a contract with me for their destination wedding on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 (for good luck!) in Santa Barbara at The Four Seasons Resort, Biltmore Hotel.

It was so special being back in the place that fired my artistic passions in the first place-Santa Barbara!  It felt like my career had finally come full circle.  I remember being on the same beach in front of the Biltmore when I was first getting started as a wedding photographer dreaming about “some day” photographing an amazing wedding there.  I guess dreams do come true… We had an fantastic engagement shoot on the beach right before the wedding rehearsal.  Then it was on to the Santa Barbara Yacht Club (a restaurant Shauna had worked at for four years while she was in school and always dreamed of having her wedding at) for the rehearsal dinner; a delicious Mexican buffet, complete with churros.  YUM!

The wedding day was a dream come true with absolutely perfect weather and two of the most gorgeous subjects my lens has ever laid it’s glass on: Shauna and David!  Their energy was contagious and everyone had the most amazing time together.  From the model couple, to the gorgeous wedding party, to the delicious CA light, to the intimate and sweet ceremony, to the vintage romantic dinner set up family style, to the belly dancer, to the rocking DJ… it was one of the most fantastic wedding days I have ever been lucky enough to be a part of.  I had a blast getting to know their family and friends and by the end of the weekend, I knew I would stay fast friends with Shauna and David, except this time, for life!

Major props to Lindsey Hartsough, the executive Event Producer at Magnolia Event Design & co-maid of Honor to Shauna, for planning a flawless and gorgeous wedding while also being IN it.  I hope that I am able to work with you and your team again in the future.  You are amazing!

To Shuana and David, I wish you a lifetime of spontaneous dance parties in your living room; all the happiness in the world; and the same kind of friendship, adventure, trust and inspiration that you have for each other today multiplied by each and every day of your lives together.  THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for including me in a wedding I will never, ever, ever, forget… for as long as I live.

And lastly, to the brides brother, Chris:  thanks for becoming my new buddy.  You are super fun!