Winding River Ranch Wedding Grand Lake Colorado Photographer | Mike and Melissa Cannioto

Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding bride and groom couple portraits in barn

Winding River Ranch Wedding Grand Lake Colorado Photographer | Winding River Ranch Wedding | Mike and Melissa Cannioto | Grand Lake Wedding | Ranch Wedding

We are just SO excited to share Mike and Melissa’s stunning Winding River Ranch Wedding with y’all today! I personally can’t imagine planning a wedding, a honeymoon, a big move to a new country, selling all my possessions, and then FINALLY, getting to live and be together with the one I love most. For these two, however, that’s exactly how their story goes.

Grand Lake holds such a special place in our hearts as it’s where we were married four years ago. So needless to say, in spring 2017, when a sweet British gal reached out to tell us about her and fiancé Mike’s country wedding there the following year, we were so excited for the opportunity to be apart of it all! Despite being countries away, Mike and Melissa have spent the last few years successfully maintaining a long distance relationship. While Mike has been stationed in New Mexico serving in the military (THANK YOU, MIKE!), Melissa was beginning to tie up loose ends in England as she planned her big move to the US. We knew their wedding day was going to be an emotional one, but no one was prepared for the amount of tears shed on this special day. Melissa’s family felt bittersweet at their wedding. Their daughter/sister/beloved friend was marrying her best friend, but leaving the life she knew in Europe to start a new one with Mike in the United States. I (Taylor) am comfortable enough to admit that I even cried 3 or 6 times on their wedding day.

Mike and Melissa, thank you so much for sharing your special day with us and for inviting us into your lives! We’re so thankful for your friendship and to have played such an intimate role on your wedding day. We love y’all and can’t wait to see you again soon!

Love,
Mike and Tay

 

How did the two of you meet?

“Through Mike’s sister, Melanie, though he never likes to give her the credit! Mike: “We first met when I went to visit my sister in San Diego over 4th of July. I obviously did not make a memorable impression because Melissa didn’t really remember much of our short first encounter when we met again (let’s call that a practice). The official meeting was when my sister brought Melissa to Colorado over New Year.” Melissa: “Melanie was in my Hospitality program in San Diego. She invited me to stay with her family in Colorado, and I guess I got a souvenir! Mike flirted coyly the whole week, until we finally kissed after a night watching Star Wars and talking until sunrise.”

Mike, how did you propose?

“Well, it ended up being quite the nerve wracking experience – and a little different to how I had planned! I originally wanted to do it at sunset in Stratford-upon-Avon, but we were hanging out with the English Maid of Honour (Anna) and got carried away. So I had to wait until the next day to propose, but it was so worth it. It was a December morning, with everything covered in fog. We went to a beautiful little village in the Cotswolds, called Bourton on the Water. Everything was so quiet and peaceful – it was cold and crisp and magical. We found a secluded spot by a stream, and that’s when I took out a book I’d made of all of our favorite memories in photos, with stories written next to each one. Once she finished reading, I got down on one knee and asked her to help me finish the book. I may have cried… she may have stared in shock a little too long!”

Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa bridal party portraits Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa bridal party portraits Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa bridal party portraits Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa bridal party portraits

How did you guys choose Winding River Ranch Wedding for your venue?

“We looked at a bunch of venues during a whirlwind week and a half with both of our parents, which was such a fun experience! We were a little ambivalent about most of them, until we drove through the arch of Winding River Ranch and fell in love! Everything was just perfect and how we’d imagined our day to look like, and the scenery just stunning. The people there are so welcoming and made us feel at home. Oh, and seeing all the moose definitely helped!”

Tell us about your “blind” first look!

“Before that moment, we both felt so nervous and overwhelmed by the day. But as soon as we heard each other’s words, and held hands, all those nerves disappeared. As Mike says, we realized that all that mattered was that we were about to marry the love of our lives. And of course, there were all the tears. So many tears!”

Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding ceremony

What was the most fun part of wedding planning for you?

“Melissa really enjoyed trying on dresses with her Mum, and adding in personal touches to make the day special. It’s been so fun working with our families to see our ideas come to life, but Mike’s favorite part was definitely the cake tasting!”

Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding ceremony

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day?

“For Mike, it was when he turned around and saw Melissa for the first time walking down the aisle. For Melissa, there are too many to choose from! Walking down the aisle (and seeing her brother Ashley crying), hearing Mike’s vows, the dip at the sword arch, the first dance in the mountains, the very emotional and funny speeches. And the Mac n Cheese.”

Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding couple portraitsWinding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding couple portraits

What are you most looking forward to in marriage?

“Getting to spend more than two weeks together at a time. We’re so happy the long distance is finally over.”

Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding reception barnWinding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding reception barn

If you could pick one word to describe your wedding ceremony, what would it be?

“Emotional!”

Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding groom portraitsWinding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding bridal portraitsWinding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding bridal portraitsWinding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding bride and groom couple portraitsWinding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding bridal portraits

What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding now?

“Start early, and don’t stress about too many things! It will be perfect, no matter what happens. And enjoy every second – take everything in, from people’s faces, to the smells, to all the laughter during reception.”

Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding bride and groom couple portraitsWinding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding bride and groom couple portraitsWinding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding bride and groom couple portraitsWinding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding bride and groom couple portraits

Are you going on a honeymoon?

“We went to Key West in Florida! It was so incredible to have a week of us time in such a beautiful, magical place. The sunsets, the watersports, the amazing food. We really didn’t want to leave our humid paradise!”

Winding River Ranch Wedding of Mike and Melissa wedding bride and groom couple portraits in barn

Winding River Ranch Wedding Vendors

Venue: Winding River Ranch
Caterer: Sagebrush BBQ and Grill
Videographer: Heather Richardson
Cake: Micki Adkins, Sweet Sensations
Flowers: Stalk Market
Hair: Lisa Newland (Melissa’s Auntie)
Makeup: Taylor Edwards
Wedding Dress: Sass and Grace Bridal, UK (Cymbeline dress)
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal
Officiant: Dave Ramthun (Groom’s Stepdad)
Wedding Website: The Knot

2 Comments to “ Winding River Ranch Wedding Grand Lake Colorado Photographer | Mike and Melissa Cannioto”

  1. Jan F says :Reply

    Loving all the beautiful details and emotions you captured at this wedding! There is something special about army weddings.

  2. These are beautiful! I especially love the groomsmen portraits. I’ve never shot at Winding River Ranch, but it looks lovely!

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