Willow Vale Events Wedding | Alex and Alissa Arbuckle | Westcliffe Colorado Photographer

Willow Vale Events wedding photographer in Westcliffe Colorado

You know those kids who say things like, “Grandma and Grandpa have been married for 120 years and they flipped a coin to see where they should elope!” Yep, Alex and Alissa are going to be those grandparents! This wonderful couple reconnected this past summer as they were graduating Weapon School. Within days they knew they wanted to marry each other and wasted no time getting to where they wanted to be!

On a road trip from Las Vegas, Nevada to Texas, Alissa and Alex decided to flip a coin to see where they’d elope. Heads=Colorado…tails=Texas. As luck would have it, the coin landed on “tails” and these two headed off to get married in the great state of Texas, before heading to meet Alex’s family for the first time! After everything was finalized, the began planning their Colorado wedding ceremony and reception at Willow Vale Events. The love that surrounded these two on their special day was astounding and so overwhelmingly beautiful! We are so thankful that Mr. and Mrs. Arbuckle chose to share their wedding day with us. Congratulations you two!

Mike and Tay


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• How did the two of you meet? “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.”

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• Tell us about your first date! From Alissa : “Our first date is somewhat debatable. It may have been Alex teaching me to play Black Jack after we’d gone out for sushi with a group of friends. I could never decide if you should always or never hit on a 9, but Alex was adamant that you should always double down. The real first date was technically after a long day at work when we went to Buffalo Wild Wings at 4am.  They were playing crazy mariachi music which was pretty entertaining. We were going to go for a sunrise hike later that morning but realized we’d only get 3 hrs of sleep going into another long work day so we postponed that.”


From Alex : “Our first date is super debatable. Maybe it was the blackjack night, maybe it was Buffalo Wild Wings at 0400…. But I’d say our first real date as a couple was at a café in Flagstaff, Arizona. We had just officially started dating (this was 2 days before our first wedding in Texas)- and we were driving from Vegas to Houston together. We stopped in Flagstaff and chose between a “Subway Café” or a small diner next door. We opted for the diner, and had a great time just enjoying our first one on one time outside of Vegas and the crazy stress of Weapons School. It was awesome.”

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• 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.”

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• Having done a first look, what did you love most about it? Would you do it again? From Alissa : “I loved Alex getting to see me before anybody else. We shared some champagne in our toasting Moscow mule mugs and just got to hang out and enjoy each others company for a while before the festivities. We would absolutely do it again!”



From Alex : “I agree with Alissa on the first look- I thought it was private and awesome and probably one of the most memorable portions of the whole night. Alissa was stunningly gorgeous and it was great to have her all to myself before the ceremony. Not to mention the pictures were amazing.”

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• If you could pick one word to describe your ceremony what would it be? “Our ceremony was perfect!”

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• What was the most memorable moment of your wedding day? From Alissa : “Our nephew Eli was the ring bearer and took off running at a dead sprint across a little bridge and down the aisle – shirt tails and sleeves flapping as he ran with the ring box outstretched in his hand to Alex.”


From Alex : “My favorite part was our vows- reading my vows that I had written, that were very personal to me, in front of our friends and family and then hearing hers for the first time was, in my opinion, the whole purpose of the night, and was exactly how I hoped it would be.”

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• How did you choose Willow Vale for your wedding destination? From the couple : “We were looking for a venue that was beautiful and casual where we could have a great party and have a beautiful outdoor ceremony. We think we nailed it! Willow Vale was close enough to town to be convenient, but set out far enough to give us the rustic wedding we were looking for. It had a really neat historical charm, and we loved that.”

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• What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding now? From Alissa : ”
We would advise other couples to have a good wedding coordinator so that you don’t miss any little details and you can plan your great ideas pretty stress free.”

From Alex : “For wedding planning, I recommend marrying a woman whose sister is a professional wedding planner. That worked great for me.”

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• What are you most looking forward to in marriage? From Alissa : “We’re most looking forward to living out our adventures together. We have so much fun together in everything we do, we know life can be a challenge but we’re excited to go through it together as best friends and partners in crime!”

From Alex : “Not to sound cliché, but the part I’m most looking forward to in our marriage is spending every day with my best friend. I feel like every day is a blessing, getting to come home to her. We’ll have some great adventures together.”


Venue :: Willow Vale Events, Hillside, CO
Planning :: Cari Frink, Fort Collins, CO
Flowers :: Garden Wall Floral, Penrose, CO
Catering and Cakes :: Kalamata Pit, Salida, CO
Rentals :: Settings Event Rental, Salida, CO
Hair and makeup :: Bride’s friend Megan

Comments (8)

Every wedding you guys blog about I end up with a silly smile on my face looking through the images. I can’t help but smile at all the contagious and beautiful emotion you capture. I love the mismatched plates at this reception too. Gorgeous eye for detail. What a stunning wedding!

She has such a sweet smile, and you captured so many beautiful moments on their day!

Gorgeous work! You’ve done these two justice for sure.

They have the cutest story! And you know I love any wedding with horses nearby 🙂 Beautiful work as always, these images are stunning!

Taylor your work always amazes me! Every wedding is so gorgeous and flawless. Well done!

Gorgeous country wedding photography! Love these photos. And the black and white at the end is beautiful.

These are simply stunning. Great wedding photography all around!

This couple is so much fun! I love their first date stories! And, of course, the images are absolutely gorgeous!

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