What if your own wedding was the first one you ever attended? For Kyle and Hanna, this was true! I met Hanna in high school and was totally elated when her mother, Terra, called me this past winter and said that her and her husband were surprising Hanna and Kyle by gifting them their wedding photography. We were honored and thrilled to be apart of this exciting time for the Haggerty and Conway families.
After chatting with Hanna and Kyle over FaceTime for the first time, I learned that their wedding was the first either would attend in their adult lives. How flipping incredible is that?! These two moved from West Virginia to Porland, Oregon together to pursue their careers and love of the outdoors, and their wedding day mimicked all of their wonderful personality traits. Needless to say, I felt right at home when John Denver’s “Country Roads” came on and I realized that nearly everyone at the wedding was a MOUNTAINEER from WVU! Their emotional ceremony at Postelwaits in Canby, Oregon was followed by a wonderful reception party at the barn!
Mr. & Mrs. Conway, thank you so much for having us be a part of your amazing wedding day! You are truly a special and amazing couple and we couldn’t be more excited for your journey into marriage. Love you guys!
Mike and Tay
Watching families grow and change is one of my favorite things! When I met the Iturbe family at Brian and Alexei’s wedding last year I was so excited about their family dynamics. Mama Joanna was dancing behind me to get her girls to look at the camera and giggle while Daniel, the calm papa was laughing at his wife as well. Since their last family shoot in 2015, little miss Maya has hair and her little personality is just blossoming! Danica remembered me and put some of her best facial expressions in her back pocket for her “model shoot”. It was such treat to spend the morning with this lovely family exploring our ranch as the girls gathered walking sticks, tickled each other, and enjoyed being their free spirited selves. Thank you so much to this sweet family who has allowed me to follow them in their amazing life together, documenting these moments!
Travis and Chelsea Coe | The Chapel at Beaver Creek and The Donovan Pavillion Vail Colorado Mountain Wedding Photographer
We are just so excited to share this amazing wedding with you guys! From the beginning our our relationship, Chelsea and Travis have been two of the most endearing, charming, and sweet couples. The first time we met them was for beers in downtown Denver. Travis walked in on crutches and as we chatted, we learned he had just broken his leg mountain biking in Moab (one of our favorite places). The way Chelsea looked at him and how they talked about the other, we knew immediately that we not only wanted to be a part of their wonderful mountain wedding in Vail, Colorado, but that they were two people we wanted to be friends with!
Their mountain wedding this fall was nothing short of amazing. It was only fitting that they return to the town that Travis proposed to Chelsea just the year before. The aspens had peaked when they had their emotional ceremony at the Chapel at Beaver Creek and their reception at the Donovan Pavillon. These two were game for doing anything, including walking along the river and cuddling by the campfire <3 We are so excited to have been a part of this amazing adventure with you two! Thank you so much for having us there with you and a huge congratulations as you enter into marriage! Love you guys!
Mike and Tay
- How did the two of you meet? “Freshman year of high school – we had a civics class together. We got to know each other as classmates and our friendship grew from there.”
- Tell us about your first date! “Our first official date was a Tim McGraw concert – fancy, I know! The summer Travis and I started hanging out as “more than friends,” we really bonded over a love for country music. We’d spend almost every day together and with our group of friends, blasting country music and drinking beers by a local pond. We realized that Tim was a mutually favorite artist and when he came to Denver that summer, Travis bought tickets for just the two of us. We especially loved the song “Felt Good on My Lips” and sang and danced our hearts out through the whole show. When Travis purchased my engagement ring, that very song started playing over the jeweler’s speakers as he walked out the door. He swears it was a sign.”
- When did you know you wanted to marry each other? “I knew I wanted to marry Travis when I could look back on the various life stages we’d been through together. I think it’s so important to be able to grow together and when love remains through those stages, you know it’s true. From high school friends, to college sweethearts and young, engaged professionals, we always encouraged each other to grow and learn and become the people we are meant to be. My feelings never changed about him and I realized that I didn’t want to continue through life without him. When I studied abroad in Australia, I spent six months on opposite side of the earth as Chelsea, experiencing new cultures, people and worlds. It’s really eye-opening to travel that way. And while I was grateful for those experiences, it made me realize how much I needed her and that I couldn’t be without her. Everything I saw, I wish she was seeing it with me.”
- If you could pick one word to describe your ceremony what would it be? “Full. I know that sounds kind of strange, but those 45 minutes where so full of anticipation, excitement, love, happiness and some laughter. There was a charge to it, an energy. That church was full of love from friends and family that traveled to see us and surround us in it.”
- How did Travis propose? “We’d been dating for four years and planned a weekend getaway to Vail to celebrate. The week before, Travis had lunch with my dad and asked for his blessing. With my dad’s approval, he purchased the ring he’d been eyeing and packed it in his suitcase.Travis insisted that we make it to the top of Vail Mountain before dinner and we rode the gondola up. It was COLD and I’d been rushed out of a nap, so I wasn’t exactly pleased with his insistence on finding “the perfect spot” to sit and open a “surprise.” I was slightly suspicious but he gave in to telling me that he’d brought up one of my favorite beers – Cherry Kriek by Strange Brewing Co. in Denver – that he wanted to open in celebration of our weekend.
He made me turn around and I thought he was pouring drinks, but when I looked over my shoulder, he was down on one knee. He delivered the sweetest speech and I didn’t hear a single word of it, my mind was racing too fast and I was in complete disbelief. He even had to prompt me to say yes, since I couldn’t get the words out. I cried quite a bit – I was caught very emotionally off-guard! – and he was a little teary too. I made him repeat his speech so I could actually appreciate what he’d prepared.”
- What is a fun quirk you love about the other?
Chelsea : “Travis is SO chatty in the morning. That’s definitely when he has the most energy. He’s like a little kid, just bouncing off the walls, ready to start the day. He can be so goofy and I love it.”
Travis : “When Chelsea eats something that she really enjoys, she will do two things: a happy dance while eating and tell you how happy she is. Nothing puts Chelsea in a great mood like some good food.”
- How did you choose the Donovan Pavilion for your wedding? “I have a really large, Catholic Irish family. Like, REALLY big. And we had a good idea that most people would travel to help us celebrate, so we wanted a reception venue that would comfortably accommodate all those people and still reflect who Travis and I are and how we love to spend our time. I will admit, I wanted to show off our state a little. Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year and the Donovan is the perfect resemblance of a mountain lodge. It was just the right fit for us.”
- What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding now? “You put so much time and effort into planning a wedding and then it’s over in a blink of an eye. You’re left with a marriage that lasts forever. Focus less on the little details and more about what you’re going to end up with. The health of your relationship is the most important part!”
- What are you most looking forward to in your marriage? “Experiencing the joys and even the sorrows of life with my very best friend.”
Ceremony Venue :: The Chapel at Beaver Creek | Avon, Colorado
Reception Venue :: The Donovan Pavillon | Vail, Colorado
Florist :: Sara Mica
Hair and Makeup :: Jade Darrough, Jaded Beauty
Caterer :: Taste 5 Catering
Rental Company :: Alpine Party Rentals
Cake / Dessert :: Three Tomatoes
DJ :: A Music Plus
Wedding Planner :: Promise Event Planners
Officiant :: Father Tomasz Strezbonski
Bride’s Dress :: Emma & Grace Bridal
Bridesmaid’s Dresses :: Bella Bridesmaids
You guys. I wish so much that we could bottle up the love and connection this amazing couple has and share it with the world…we’d seriously be bajillionaires. We first met Elizabeth and Jared for coffee in August and immediately fell in love with them and their story and their vision for their wedding day. We knew the stakes were high as they had big plans for their wedding photography and wanted to hire the right photographers, so we were humbled just to be in the runnings with some of Colorado’s best. Needless to say, we were completely thrilled and honored when they asked us to be a part of their engagement season and wedding day! These high school sweethearts have two of the biggest hearts we’ve ever seen and come on…are they not two of the most photogenic folks ever?! I seriously felt like we were shooting a Taylor Swift music video with them. Their sense of adventure (and willingness to follow me into the river at Lair O’the Bair Park) and photo ideas they brought with them was so refreshing. Their connection and adoration for each other is so apparent in how the love and respect the other. We are so elated to have been welcomed into their lives and be given the opportunity to document this incredible time in their lives! Congratulations, Elizabeth and Jared! We love you guys and are so excited for you!
Mike and Tay
Jared picked me up on Friday evening, and we went to Capital Grille, the restaurant where we had our first anniversary dinner. Dinner was delicious, but I could tell that Jared was nervous about something. But again, I played it off as nothing significant. Towards the end of the meal, Jared asked me if I wanted to go do something else, either see the Christmas lights at the Botanic Gardens or go see the lights at the zoo. Even though it was just barely starting to snow, he wanted to make the most of his time in town and this was something spontaneous and fun. I didn’t know about this plan prior to being picked up for dinner, so I wasn’t as prepared for the weather as I would’ve liked to be… but Jared was very persistent about going to see lights, saying that he only comes to town every so often, it’s a holiday week, etc. etc. I even put “watching a movie on our couch” back on the table once more, but he didn’t take the bait. I began thinking that on the off-chance that this was the engagement, I shouldn’t be too stubborn, so I decided to give in, and sure enough, we journeyed to the lights.
We were going through the path of lights, and we stopped at a point by a small gazebo, just right off the path. It was a pretty quiet night, just starting to snow, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said “Yes!” and the rest is history.”
What has been the most fun element of wedding planning?
If you’ve lived in Colorado of any longer than six months, odds are you’ve heard of Kenosha Pass and how majestic it is in the fall. Folks from all over the state and country come to see this amazing place during the months of September and October (we call them fall peepers). The beauty there is totally undeniable and needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled when Alex and Matt were on board for doing their fall engagement shoot there! This place holds a special place in my own heart, as it was one of the few drives that I remembered the first time I drove through Colorado nearly ten years ago, and it fit this wonderful couple’s adventurous sprits perfectly! From the first time I met Alex and Matt, I knew their wedding was one I wanted to be apart of. Their connection and our shared story of meeting the love of our life online was so awesome. I loved hearing their story of how they met, where they came from in their walks of life, and how Matt proposed. Their fall wedding next year at the Pines at Genesee has me so giddy and excited, I can hardly wait! Congratulations to you two and thank you so much for having me be a part of this magical time in your lives!
• How did you two meet? “Matt and I meet on eHarmony, the best part is we have lived within 20 minutes of each our whole lives we share common places of interest growing up.”
• Tell us about your first date! “As far our first date goes we went to a place in the DTC landmark area, for drinks after a long day of work for both of us. conversation was okay but I (Alex) felt like Matt didn’t like me because he wouldn’t keep eye contact long, he kept looking above my head. I later discovered he did this because behind me an NBA playoff game was playing. Needless to say I was shocked when he asked me to join him on a second date. it’s all history from there. ”
• When did you know you wanted to marry each other? “We realized we wanted to get married when we could just sit around and enjoy each others company, learning to take pleasure in the simple things and not need to do anything fancy. We became comfortable enough with each other to share and talk about our faith, goals, aspirations in addition to passionately yelling at the TV during CSU and Vikings games.”
• What has been the most fun element of wedding planning? “So far it has been picking the venue.”
• How did Matt propose? “We ventured up to Fort Collins for the day to enjoy the city of Fort Collins and a CSU basketball game. After the game we enjoyed some burgers and beers and than headed to the home we share where Matt had set up a surprised, were I could see the ring, candles, and a collage of photos form the previous two years of us dating.”
• What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day? “Getting to pronounce our love to each other in front of friends of family as well as party the night away and Duh, the Honeymoon!”
Watching families come together at a wedding is one of our favorite things. From the first time we chatted with Kristen and Anthony, we knew the were a special couple, and a story we wanted to capture. At their Evergreen engagement shoot, we got to know them intimately, and had the pleasure of spending some quality time with Anthony’s adorable daughter, Sydney. Watching her interact with her soon to be step mother, Kristen, was nothing short of amazing. We knew when their intimate wedding day in Dillon, Colorado came, we were going to be in for a wonderful afternoon filled with love from 38 of their closest friends and family! What an amazing fall day it was and we are so honored that we got to be apart of this time with them. Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Brewer! We are so excited to watch your adventures through marriage and see your family grow.
Mike and Tay
• How did the two of you meet? “We met on a camping trip at Lake Dillon with mutual friends in June 2014. Kristen was heading out to snowboard closing weekend at Arapaho Basin Ski Resort. Anthony stayed back to get camp ready for the night. We cooked, played in the lake, and sat by the fire sharing stories. What happened next is when the love started. Anthony says Kristen, “put a spell on him.” She started digging in the dirt with a stick, then cleared out a little section to play a “game.” She drew three lines in the dirt, and told Anthony to connect the lines, and make a picture. From then on, we were inseparable.”
• Having done a first look, what did you love most about it? Would you do it again? “We loved everything about the first look and would absolutely do it again. We recommend everyone doing it!”
• What was the most memorable moment of your wedding day? “We couldn’t pick just one so… First, our first look. We’ll never forget the moment we saw each other for the first time that day. Every nerve about the day went away and it was just the two of us on top of Keystone. It was such a magical time for us to be together. Second, seeing our friends and family during the ceremony. We had a very intimate and small wedding. Everyone stood, so when we turned to face them, we could see every single smiling face that was there. It was beautiful.”
• When did you know you wanted to marry each other? “We can’t pin point an exact time for either of us, but probably couple months after meeting Anthony’s daughter, Sydney. We became a little family pretty quickly and we couldn’t imagine life without each other. It sealed the deal for both of us once we moved in together.”
• If you could pick one word to describe your ceremony what would it be? “Perfect.”
• How did you choose Keystone, Colorado for your wedding destination? “Keystone was an easy choice! For starters, it’s our favorite mountain to snowboard, so we’ve spent a lot of time there together. More importantly, we got engaged there. It really holds a specials place in our hearts, and we wanted to be able to share that with our family and friends.”
• How did Anthony propose? “We were headed up to the mountains for what Kristen thought was going to be a weekend birthday celebration for our mutual friend. The day started in Keystone, hitting the hills and getting in a few runs before our Snow Kat tour. Little did Kristen know, Anthony bought out the entire Kat for a private tour up the mountain. She thought they just got really lucky that no one else signed up. She was a bit timid, but quickly began to LOVE it! Phew! Anthony was sweating bullets, while Kristen was giddy, and giggling staring out the window. We get to “the spot.” As we all know, mountain weather is always unpredictable. We get to the top of the mountain only to find 50 mph gusts, and blowing snow. We grab a quick group photo, and Kristen jumps back into the Kat. Uh…what?!?! Thankfully, the driver knew what was happening, and had a second spot for photos. We hop out, grab a few photos. Anthony took Kristen’s hands, got down on one knee and said, “Kristen, I want to spend the rest of my life with you…” “YES!”
• What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding now? “Get away from it all. Weddings, no matter how you plan it, are stressful. We both wish we had more time to just get away with each other during our engagement.”
• What are you most looking forward to in your marriage? “Creating memories, going on adventures, making our family bigger, and growing old together.”
Paul and Carey Scharfenberger | Ridgeway State Park and The Secret Garden Ouray Colorado Wedding Photographer
Life has a funny way of putting you in touch with people you’re meant to meet. When Mike and I decided to sell our home in Conifer this past winter, we had no idea we were going to meet such an amazing couple in the process. When Carey and Paul came to our open house, they were one of nearly a hundred people who had come through our house on that single Saturday. They saw our travel books scattered around the house and with a shared interest in travel, particularly to New Zealand, Iceland, and other U.S. destinations like Utah, these two wasted no time contacting us about their mountain wedding in Ouray, Colorado this fall. Little did they know, Ouray was at the top of our list of places we wanted to shoot in 2016! When we met with these two over beers, there was an immediate click and we were so excited to hear their story and that we all shared meeting online in common. When Mike and I left the meeting we PRAYED they wanted us to share their wedding day with them and capture these memories. To our luck, they invited us to share in this time with them and we couldn’t have been more honored! A huge congratulations goes out to this amazing couple! Thank you so much for letting us share in your wedding day with you.
Mike and Taylor
• How did the two of you meet? “We met on Match.com! Neither of us can really believe that that’s our “how did you meet” story, but it was meant to be. We were both so ready to meet “the one” and decided to put it all out there. He contacted me first and I was blown away by how intelligent and genuine he was and by how much we had in common. We bonded over loving the same places (New Zealand, Ouray), loving the same books, the fact that we had both lived in Connecticut and in the same neighborhood in Queens, and that we had both made huge sacrifices in order to follow our hearts. Our first date was electric and we literally haven’t been apart since.”
• Having done a first look, what did you love most about it? Would you do it again? “Absolutely we would do it again! Paul and I really wanted our wedding day to be about us and our love for each. We’re both very introverted and planning a wedding ourselves was very stressful at times. We wanted to share our big day with family and friends because they mean so much to us, but we had to keep reminding ourselves throughout the whole process that it wasn’t about them and it wasn’t about making anyone else happy but us. The first look was so special and important for us. It allowed us to take a breath, recenter and refocus on each other, and have a really profound and beautiful moment just the two of us, before heading into the blissful revelry of the wedding.”
• How did you choose Ouray, Colorado for your destination wedding? “Ouray was a special spot for both of us separately before we even started dating – I liked the hot springs and Paul loves to ice climb. I said Ouray was one of my favorite spots in my Match.com profile and he totally picked up on that. It was one of our bonding moments. Since being together we have travelled to Ouray regularly and have decided we really want to move there someday. We are currently in the process of trying to figure out how to make that work, sooner rather than later. We almost instantly agreed that it’s where we should get married. It’s such a gorgeous little mountain town and we really wanted to share it with our family and friends.”
• If you could pick one word to describe your ceremony what would it be? “Pure love (I know that’s two…but there’s no other way to describe it!)”
• When did you know you wanted to marry each other? “Even though we met online, our first date was for reals love at first sight. Both of us knew the minute we laid eyes on each other that we had found the person we would spend the rest of our lives with.”
• How did Paul propose? “About three weeks after we had begun dating, Paul asked me to go on a road trip with him. He took me to Zion National Park – a place that holds a special place in his heart. It was magical. I had never been, but now it is an incredibly special place to me too. Fast forward a year and a half later, we decide to take another trip to Zion. Actually, Paul made me think that the whole trip was about going to see one of his favorite bands in San Diego. As an afterthought (or so he made me believe) we decided to make a stop in Zion. It was mid-January, so the park was almost completely empty and we basically had it all to ourselves. The snow was falling on the tops of the cliffs and we hiked to one of our favorite spots right next to the river. We were wearing ponchos to keep dry. We sat down in a cozy little spot to drink some wine and munch on beef jerky and dried seaweed. Paul handed me a card, which I thought was a really sweet way to commemorate the moment. In it he talked about how much I meant to him, how happy I made him, how he had waited for me his whole life…I started to cry and when I looked up he was on his knee with a little box in his hands. He asked “Will you marry me?” and I think I said “Are you serious?” and then “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes….” I don’t think I even looked at the ring, I just went in for a kiss. That whole day was so blissful – we explored Zion a bit more, had a cozy dinner in town, and enjoyed a fire in our little cabin. The next day we road-tripped to Las Vegas to celebrate and then onto San Diego to celebrate even more with our friends.”
• What is a fun quirk you love about the other? Paul : “She’s prone to spontaneous outbursts of dancing/hip thrusting.”
Carey : “He makes up the funniest, catchiest little songs about the most random things – and they make me laugh so hard.”
• What was the most memorable moment of your wedding day? “Our first look and driving away together as man and wife – best 25 minutes on the road ever!
• What did you love most about your venue, The Secret Garden? “The Secret Garden was such a perfect spot for our reception. It is such an idyllic spot, the grounds are so serene and it created exactly the cozy, intimate feeling we wanted for our reception. Sara (the owner) is amazing too! She took care of everything and was such a huge help in planning the whole wedding. She knows everyone in the Ouray area and hooked us up with some amazing people. Also, the food was absolutely delicious!”
• What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding now? “Have fun and make it about YOU and nobody else. Don’t stress the small stuff, but do as much as you can upfront so you don’t have to run around like crazy people on the days leading up to the wedding.”
Ceremony :: Ridgeway State Park Overlook
Reception and Catering :: The Secret Garden
Tent + Reception Set-up :: Park Avenue Parties
Bride’s Dress Designer :: Claire Pettibone Design
Bride’s Dress :: Bought and altered at The Little White Dress Bridal Shop
Flowers :: Dahlia Floral Design
Hair and Makeup :: Salon Envy
Oh, you guys. I wish we could share the sounds of laughter through Alissa and Alex’s photos! From the moment we chatted with these two over the phone, we knew we were going to have an awesome time getting to know them and shooting their wedding this fall in Westcliffe, Colorado. These two met while in the Air Force a few years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that they started pursuing each other and with a whirlwind of a couple of days this summer, decided to plan their Colorado wedding for October! We met Alissa and Alex at her parents stunning ranch in Westcliffe for their sunrise shoot over the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Needless to say, it was breathtaking (and we admittedly got a little “ranch envy”). We are so thrilled for these two and their awesome journey to each other and can’t wait to celebrate with them on their wedding day in a few weeks!
Congratulations, you two! Thank you so much for having us be a part of it all with you!
• Tell us about how you two met? “Alex and I met briefly at Moody AFB in GA a couple years ago but didn’t stay in touch. We remet at the Nellis AFB officers club while we were both attending weapons school. His friend pointed us out to each other.”
• How did Alex propose? “The first time? After a few to many drinks down on one knee with no ring haha. The second time was after we were already married on our back porch watching a great thunderstorm in the pouring rain at night. He had a list of the 21 reasons we should be wed and my ring.”
• What are you most excited about for your wedding day? “The party!! We can’t wait to celebrate our new life together with our family and friends.”
• When did you know you wanted to marry each other? “We became instant best friends and after only a few times hanging out we both just knew that this was the person we were each meant to be with for the rest of our lives. Neither of us had ever been so certain about something.”
• Alissa, what is your favorite quirk about Alex? “Alex loves to have his back scratched. He’ll lean his back or shoulder in my direction for it. I love it haha.”
• Alex, what is your favorite quirk about Alissa? “When I lean in to kiss Alissa in the truck she always licks her lips, it’s really cute. Actually, she does that almost all the time before I kiss her.”
We’re a couple full of wanderlust. Our default gifts to each other always involve a plane ticket or trip somewhere, but those are also the scariest things to purchase before chatting with one another! When my (Taylor) 28th birthday came around this year, Mike surprised me with some pretty awesome gifts, but plane tickets to Alaska definitely took the cake!
We’d been chatting about going to Alaska probably since the day we met, but the opportunity never presented itself since we can only travel during the winter months and quite frankly, we were ready to go somewhere warm (see our blogs on Iceland and New Zealand)! When we realized that we had three complete weeks off this summer (which never happens), Mike took full advantage of our schedule and booked our tickets to Seattle and then to Alaska. We were in for an awesome trip!
Seattle may be one of our favorite US cities. We spent a few days in the San Juan Islands sea kayaking and relaxing with zero cell phone service in our adorable cabin on the islands. It was AMAZING folks. We headed from Seattle to Anchorage and spent a week in Alaska cabin hopping, hiking, exploring, kayaking, canoeing, insane wildlife, and we actually got to meet some of the folks on Alaska the Last Frontier! Needless to say, it was a much needed trip that brought a lot of R&R to the middle of our summer. Enjoy our photos!
Mike and Tay
Sea Kayaking in the San Juan Islands, a dream come true!
…and then I died. Orca whales have been my (Taylor) favorite animal since I was a child. Seriously, my bedroom had orca wallpaper all over it until I high high school! This was truly an unbelievable experience.
Mike’s dream come true : we had the honor of meeting some of the Kilcher’s who initially founded Homer, AK from Europe. Mike was speechless when we met Otto from the show Alaska the Last Frontier. We stayed with one of the Kilcher’s at her bed and breakfast on the ocean.
Reading and knitting : two things we do very well on vacation!
Our totally off the grid house on a hill overlooking the ocean.