Brews, barley, bows, and bulldogs are all just about all you need to know about this awesome couple! Matthew and Cortney live in Kansas City but had their amazing destination, brewery-inspired wedding in the best state for it: Colorado. I mean, really–where else can you find over 200 breweries in one state? Aside from their love of hops and beer, these two easily make for one of the most endearing and true-to-themselves couple. Despite a hit-and-run on their wedding day, a broken wedding dress strap, and their adorable bulldog, Barley, barreling down the aisle at the Pines at Genesee like a bowling ball, Matt and Cortney were able to laugh and smile all day long. We love you guys and are so excited for your marriage!
Taylor and Mike
We all know that rain on your wedding day is good luck, but what about fog? Picture the most beautiful fog you’ve ever seen–where does that fit into wedding day superstitions? Regardless of if it has any true meaning, the insane storms Colorado has been gracing us with these last few weeks have made for some pretty incredible photos and helped make Nick and Kathleen’s wedding day one of the most special we’ve been blessed to be a part of! These two are hopelessly in love and honest to goodness something out of a fairytale. Their adoration for each other and the incredible support from their wonderful family and friends was second to none on this beautiful May afternoon at the Pines at Genesee. Their incorporation of Hawaiian wedding customs made their ceremony so special and genuine. From surprise harps to the best man wiping away the grooms tears, from rainstorms to elaborate leis, and the greatest best man and maid of honor speeches in the history of weddings, the Sutton’s wedding was one for the books!
Congratulations, Nick and Kathleen! Thank you for letting us be a part of your wonderful wedding day!
Taylor and Mike
Weddings are beautiful and an absolute honor to be apart of. When our couples have been together for nearly a decade though, it adds a new level of excitement to the wedding atmosphere. After nearly 10 years, Mario and Whitney finally tied the knot and we couldn’t be more excited for the two of them! Their sincere and honest love was evident in everything they said and did on their big day. Being huge Broncos fans, the Mile High Station paired with bright orange decor was the perfect day for these two! Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Ferrara! Thank you for having us be apart of your awesome day with you!
Taylor + Mike
A few weeks ago, we were interviewed by one of Denver’s finest catering companies. One of their questions was, “Which wedding trend are you looking forward to this spring and summer?” Without hesitation, we immediately answered: the first look.
The first look is simply when the bride and groom see each other in a secluded area without any distractions for the first time before the wedding ceremony. This is usually scheduled and prepared by the wedding photographer and is typically far enough away from all the hustle and bustle of pre-wedding events. What initially started out as a great photo opportunity, has quickly turned into a beautiful, organic, and intimate moment in time for a couple on their wedding day to spend a little time together with their best friend before the craziness of the wedding begins. The more first looks we have had the honor of being a part of, the more we value this time for the couple as it’s usually the only time they have alone on their big day.
To be clear, I am in no way trying to undermine the beauty of tradition and waiting until the altar. In fact, Mike and I opted for tradition ourselves, first seeing each other on our wedding day at the altar. My aim is to simply shed light on a relatively new tradition in the wedding industry and offer some considerations to couples who may be on the fence about seeing each other before the wedding ceremony.
The history of waiting until the altar dates back to the times when a father would sell his daughter to a man in the name of marriage to pay off debt, or just make a few bucks. The bride and groom weren’t allowed to see each other until the altar for the sole reason that the groom couldn’t bolt if she wasn’t his type/ugly/had a crazy disease. Seriously, that’s where this tradition began. Since the good ol’ days, it’s become a tradition to wait until the alter for the bride and groom to see each other. However, with the hectic nature of a wedding, many couples are opting for a first look.
Curious to hear the opinions of the couples who did opt for a first look, I decided to interview couples who we’ve had the honor of working with and being a part of their special moment. Hopefully their insight will help you make a decision if you’re consider whether or not a first look is for you!
When you chat with anyone about their wedding day, whether they’ve been married for 3 months or 47 years, the conversation almost always leads to a proud display of photos. Photographs always have and always will be one of the most nostalgic and precious memories you’ll have from your wedding. Being a bride and a photographer, I’d love to extend some advice on how to choose the person who is best for you! Keep in mind, it’s more than just photos you’re paying for. You’re also investing in peace of mind, guidance, expertise, and an experience. Using these tips will help alleviate some stress for you in the grand and overwhelming search for the perfect wedding photographer!
1. Do Your Research
Good photographers (and bad ones for that matter) tend to create a buzz and a reputation wherever they go and in the lives they touch. Create a list of characteristics and qualities you’re looking for in a photographer and company: do you want to work with a single photographer, or would you prefer two photographers to capture different angles of each moment? Is their website professional and easy to navigate? Do you see a dozens of couples showcased, or do you see one or two couples showcased several dozen times? This can be indicative of their experience and the number of weddings they have shot.
2. Determine Your Personal Style
Each photographer has a specific way they see the world and how they capture that vision. Some photographers have a staged, fine-art style, while others have a more candid, photojournalistic approach that aims to capture and tell a story. Photographers can have several variations of editing styles as well, with some opting for a muted, vintage-style look, and others preferring vibrant colors and higher contrast. Choose the style and look that best represents your personalities and filter your options to photographers who specialize in that area. This will help you easily narrow down whose work you feel drawn to and the style that will best represent and accurately capture your wedding day.
3. Evaluate Their Work
When looking through a photographer’s album, look closely for standard-industry factors, such as clarity, colors, exposure, composition, and focus. Look for common threads and consistency in their editing (adventurous, stylized, candid, posed). Pay attention to how comfortable the people in the images appear and determine if you can see yourself in those images. Hearing couples tell us that our images look relaxed, natural, and happy is the greatest compliment we can receive, as we always aim to make our shoots as fun and as comfortable as possible.
4. Professionalism & Personality
Professionalism in the photography industry is a must, and you can often gauge a photographer’s professionalism from the very first phone call or e-mail. Your wedding day will only happen once, so it’s critical that you choose a photographer you can have absolute trust in. An experienced photographer will know when to offer sound advice on images, locations, timelines, and even other vendors. Be sure to ask questions about how many weddings they’ve shot, their familiarity with your venue, whether they scout out venues prior to the wedding, if they have backup cameras in case of equipment failure, proof of liability insurance, and any other questions that will provide you with reassurance on your wedding day. Feel free to ask questions about their personality as well: is photography their full time job? Why are they passionate about wedding photography? What did they learn from their own wedding day? Their personality is equally as important as their professionalism, which leads us to the final tip…
5. Interview & Reviews
The importance of meshing and having a genuine connection with your photographer cannot be overstated. You don’t have to plan on inviting them to your baby shower (although we love when that happens), but you should feel a sense of comfort and happiness with them. A wedding-industry professional should have a servant heart and mentality, and it’s worth taking the time to find a photographer who lives for their career and for the happiness of others. A photographer with a servant heart is just as interested in the relationship as they are about delivering the highest standard of images. They will live and capture your entire wedding day with you, often spending more time with you than your own family or bridal party. And on the most exciting day of your life, you’ll want your photographer to be your friend in addition to being a professional.
On an ending note, don’t forget to pay attention to reviews from other brides and grooms. Website testimonials may only showcase the best reviews, but Facebook and Google reviews can shed light on the good as well as the bad. They also can’t be edited or deleted to the photographer’s liking, so the words are honest and valuable. Rest assured, if a photographer has thirty 5-star reviews, it’s not because they went through and deleted all the bad ones. It’s because thirty couples were thrilled with their experience and the quality of their photos—and that’s worth more than any words said by the photographer themselves.
We are so thrilled to announce that one of our biggest and most exciting changes in 2015 is our newest addition to our business, album design! For those of you who don’t think this is huge, guess again! More and more, we are realizing the nostalgia that prints provide and the importance of making sure your images don’t just sit on a computer desktop and social media. Initially, before our own wedding, Mike and I thought we didn’t need prints, the computer would do just fine. However, once our images were delivered to us, our first statement was, “How are we going to pick which ones to print?!” Our mindset immediately went to albums and having something tangible for our children and grandchildren to look through in thirty, fifty, maybe even seventy years! Our computers won’t be around much longer than the end of this decade, much less in fifty years. However, our albums will.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be mailing out information to all of our 2015 couples about these beautiful albums. We’ll also be doing a promotion for a FREE album as well as a FREE parent album later this year! In the meantime, feel free to let us know if you have any questions or would like to meet up for a drink and look through our samples.
Mike & Tay
THE GENUINE LEATHER BOOK
THE PERFECT WEDDING BOOK
When a couple plans their wedding for a wintery Rocky Mountain January, it’s pretty safe to assume that they’re snow bunnies. For Brittany and Dan, that was definitely the case and more! They met through friends and their avid love of skiing. Trips to the mountains turned into car-pooling to the mountains, which turned into (*GASP*) skipping a trip to the mountains just to spend some time together. Eventually, all these ski trips and adventures turned into Dan surprising Brittany with a beautiful proposal while she was on Ski Patrol in Loveland (ironic, I think not…)
Their sweet attention to every single detail of their wedding brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. Brittany wore her mama’s wedding dress, and even her veil for a few photos! Dan made his boutonnieres and they got married at Terrace Gardens at Dove Valley, where Brittany’s father is the owner. Every moment, detail, and element of their wedding was full of emotion and true bliss. Mr. & Mrs. Hallau, thank you so much for having us be a part of your absolutely wonderful wedding and congratulations!
Mike & Taylor
Dan + Brittany’s First Look Interview
What are your thoughts about your experience with the first look?
We both are really happy we did the first look! It was really nice to have our special first look moment be more low-key than if it had been during the ceremony, and it was so nice to be able to just feel natural and have a little time together enjoying the moment without having everyone watching us or feeling like we had to do anything at all in particular at that moment. We could just be together and enjoy the moment and all the excitement and emotion of our special day.
How do you feel it changed, if at all, your walk down the aisle?
I think it made me more relaxed walking down the aisle. There was already so much emotion going on during both moments (the first look and the walk down the aisle) I think it would have been overwhelming to put the two together. It didn’t make the walk down the aisle any less special at all for me. I think I would have cried too much if it had all been together, and then I might have not enjoyed the moment as much since I would have been trying to not cry so much with everyone watching.
Did your family conflict with your decision to do a first look?
They didn’t really object to it much–honestly I can’t remember too much about that. I think they liked the idea of being able to do most of the photos before the ceremony, and they agreed that it was a great way to be able to enjoy more of the wedding with our guests.
What made it special?
Do you feel it made a difference in your photos?
Yes I think it made the photos more fun and relaxed. If we would have waited until after the ceremony to get all the shots of us together, I think we would have felt rushed, since we also would have wanted to go spend time with our guests. The photos turned out wonderful, and I think it definitely helped that we didn’t feel like we had to rush. It made the photo-taking experience a really fun part of the wedding day, instead of feeling like it was something we knew we wanted to do but didn’t have time to fit everything in. I think we probably got more wonderful shots of the two of us and us with our families and bridal party because we were able to do them before the ceremony.
If you had to do it all over again, would you?
YES! Definitely. From the relaxed and romantic feel, to the logistical bonus of being able to do lots of photos before the ceremony, it was great idea and great experience!
What was the single most memorable moment of your first look?
I really remember reaching up to tap Dan on the shoulder, and then being so excited when he turned around and smiled and then we were both crying and hugging and kissing. And I remember twirling around to show him my dress!
Aside from the first look, do you feel like you had much time to yourselves on your wedding day?
We did have some time just to ourselves, but not a ton. We did go with the “sweetheart” table at dinner, which gave us some time just the two of us during dinner, and of course we spent time dancing together 🙂 , but it all went so fast and there was not a ton of time just the two of us. The first look and the nice time spent doing our couples photos were a really great part of our wedding day time together!
Once in a while, you not only meet a couple that was meant to be together, but entire families that were meant to be. Courtnee and Cody met in high school Spanish class when their relationship began. From there, the courting continued for years and on Saturday, these two love birds finally said, “We do!” After spending the day with their families, it was clear that they were surrounded by the utmost love, support, and encouragement from parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends. Mr. & Mrs. Crispe, thank you so much for having us be a part of your beautiful wedding day. We are absolutely floored by the amount of love that was displayed at your wedding and wish you two the best on your journey of marriage! Enjoy your memories!
After they moved to Seattle earlier this year, we and every other guest at their big day, couldn’t wait to see Matt and Kate! After meeting at work during their time in Denver, the bride and groom headed out to take jobs together at Amazon. Needless to say, their guest list had family and friends from all over the country, making their wedding day one of the best! As Matt said, “They say it takes a village to raise a family. Evidently, it takes an entire country to raise me and Kate!” We’re so happy for these two and can’t wait to hear what beautiful journey’s they embark on during their marriage! Colorado misses you two! Thank you for letting us be a part of your awesome day.
Taylor and Mike