Salida Colorado wedding photographer at Hutchinson Ranch wedding

“I had Tinder for 20 minutes and married the only girl I matched with. I wish everyone looking for their “one” could be so lucky.” ~ Henry, the groom


With a gorgeous mountain backdrop, battling unpredictable weather, on an amazing ranch, and in front of their closest friends and family, Henry and Meredith excitedly started their married life together with a micro wedding in Salida, Colorado. The day was spent with lots of laughter, love, and unexpected twists. 


Henry and Meredith met on Tinder and got engaged and married pretty quickly because it was a perfect match (pun intended… oh wait, that’s a different app). When you know, you know! I really loved their decisiveness and eagerness to be together and get married. 


They booked with me the month before their wedding and had to find a new venue one week before their big day (due to the original venue canceling). All that mixed with COVID challenges, and it was a whirlwind of a wedding planning process. But, like I tell all my couples, the most important thing is that you both show up, and at the end of the day you’re married. Everything else, all the other details, are just the icing on the cake. So, if things don’t go exactly like you envisioned, it’ll still be great! 


Henry and Meredith both have fond childhood ties to Colorado, so it felt like the best location for their micro wedding even though they both live in Nebraska. With a week before the wedding and no venue, Meredith turned to some family friends for any referrals they knew about. Thankfully, they found Abby at Hutchinson Ranch and she saved the day! There had been a wedding postponement and their wedding date had just opened up at The Ranch! 


The couple only invited just over 20 people to their wedding, and it was perfect. It was really awesome to capture just them without the stress of a huge wedding. The day was really focused on them and what really mattered — their story and their friends & family. 


One of the most important things to the couple was the photos. I spent four hours with them on their wedding day and two of the hours were dedicated to just capturing the two of them. It was amazing! This type of time with a bride and groom really gives me a clear picture of who they are and how to storytell for them. Henry and Meredith both have a very calming presence about them. Meredith is a beam of sunshine and totally reminds me of Taylor Swift! Mike tells me it’s really rude to tell people who they look like, but I can’t help it. Plus T-Swift is awesome! So it’s a total compliment.


Despite wedding planning challenges, once the day came, Henry and Meredith both just let go, relaxed, and went with the flow for whatever happened. For instance, we encountered wind during their ceremony that kept whipping Meredith’s veil into her face, into Henry’s face, and also her dad’s face. It happened so many times that they just started laughing. For some couples, this would have been frustrating and maybe even ruined their big day. But not Meredith and Henry. They just kept cracking up and eventually had a friend remove the veil altogether. 


We went to S Mountain for portraits at sunset, and we had amazing dramatic skies. We returned to The Ranch to enjoy the fire and the winds really picked up in the valley. I was getting ready to leave but the wind got so intense it started to knock over glasses, tables, and chairs. It became all hands on deck! Everyone grabbed anything within reach — kids, glasses, the cake, flowers, heat lamps. Within 10 minutes everything had been moved into the barn. Meredith and Henry just laughed and said “It is what it is. It’s just part of our story!” 


I hope you’ll enjoy reading about and seeing a little snippet of the start of Henry and Meredith’s love story. 




Venue | The Hutchinson Ranch @hutchranchweddings

Catering & Cake | Sonny’s Food Truck and Catering

Pies | The Drunken Muffin Bakery @the_drunken_muffin_bakery

Flowers | Petals & Pictures in Ravenna, NE @petalsandpics

Rentals | Settings Event Rental @settingseventrental



How did the two of you meet?


Meredith – “We met on Tinder of all places!! I was at work and it was a super slow night and my coworker suggested I download Tinder (they’d been bugging me about it for weeks!) and since I was bored I was like, “what the heck?!” So I did. Twenty minutes later I matched with this kid named Henry and then the next morning I woke up to a message from him and we haven’t stopped talking since!! ps – Henry says I was his only match ;).”


Henry – “That is entirely true. I had Tinder for 20 minutes and married the only girl I matched with. I’ve had guys tell me I did Tinder wrong, I should have met more people blah blah blah. Realistically, I wish everyone looking for their “one” could be so lucky. Meredith doesn’t know I added this, but I felt like it was worth confirming lol.”


Tell us about your first date! What did you do? Where did you go? Any memorable moments?


“We went to a restaurant in Kearney, NE called Cunningham’s on the Lake for supper! I was late, he was definitely on time (normal for us now). I didn’t know this at the time, but my mom had followed me and parked in the back of the lot, waited until we went in and then drove around the parking lot taking photos of cars with Kansas license plates in case I went missing haha. She sent them to me as I was sitting there at dinner and then made sure I knew her and my dad were close if I needed out since Henry and I had met online and didn’t have any mutual friends. Also, Henry choked on our first date. It’s now a running joke. He was so nervous and I ate my food so fast and he was trying to catch up but was also trying to talk and choked. I didn’t even notice until he was beet red hahaha. Still makes me giggle. Poor guy was SO embarrassed.”


Henry, how did you propose?


“My proposal was certainly not the most romantic in history. But, Meredith knew it was coming of course. She even knew the day I was going to do it. So naturally I played it off for the entire day, to the point she began to believe I wasn’t going to do it. Meredith had even done her nails, because obviously you can’t take photos with your sparkly new engagement ring without perfect nails. However, because she is such a wonderful, quirky woman; she managed to break the nail on her ring finger within a couple hours. We came home and she was frantically fixing her nail in the bathroom, while I acted like it wasn’t the end of the world and set to picking up the house. She had left some gift bags on the bay window in our living room, so I yelled across the house asking if she wanted to keep them or if I should throw them away. It was just a ploy though. Knowing all too well the question alone would get her out of the bathroom to see what I was doing. She was completely caught off guard when she rounded the corner to the living room and I was waiting for her on one knee. I could not think of a better place to propose than the house that we have worked so hard on together to make into our home.”


We know you went through a crazy time trying to find your venue! How did you ultimately find Hutchinson Ranch?


“I used to work for a couple, the Soles, in Kearney, NE. I worked for them for years and developed a very close relationship to them, and now I call them my second parents!! Anyway, they have a house in Salida, CO and go there often. They also have family in Salida, and some of those family members are in some way Hutchinson’s! (Not totally sure the connection between the Soles and Hutchinson’s just know there is one :)) So, when our previous venue let us know they were cancelling and after I had a mini breakdown, Kris Sole suggested I reach out to Abby. She’d known Abby for years and thought maybe Abby would work with us or, if not, would have ideas to help us find a new venue. As luck turns out, Abby had a wedding on June 13th that had been postponed and she fit us into their schedule. I cannot say enough good things about her, she was SO helpful, so flexible, so kind. We LOVED our venue so much!!”


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


“Oh man, being a COVID bride there wasn’t much that was “fun.” It was all so stressful, so many roadblocks and detours!! I’m trying to think of something but my mind is actually blank. It was just such a stressful time with restrictions in CO and in our home state of KS, things closing, vendors canceling, mail being delayed, items not arriving on time, even the Chaffee County Courthouse denied our marriage license at first! We had a short engagement, only a few months. But believe me all that stress was TOTALLY worth it to be married to the best guy ever!!!”


What made you decide on an intimate Colorado elopement?


“I am from Colorado! Lake City to be exact, but grew up in Berthoud and my parents really wanted me to get married in Colorado. I thought it would be awesome, as well, as you can’t beat Colorado scenery!! There isn’t much for hotels/venues/vendors in Lake City, but we started looking at Salida after Kris Sole sent me a photo of what was going to be our venue and we fell in love. It just so happens too, that growing up, Henry vacationed in Salida with his late grandfather and grandmother for several years. He has many great memories fishing and exploring in Chaffee County as a kid so he was really invested in the idea. In addition, Henry & I liked the idea of keeping it very small and wanted only our immediate families and close friends there. Turns out that was a blessing as COVID really hit shortly after we got engaged and we couldn’t have many people at all!!”


What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day?


Meredith – “I vividly remember seeing Henry at the bottom of the little hill, by the altar. I seriously felt like time stopped, so it was apt that “Time Stops” was my walk-down-the-aisle song! It was such an amazing moment, I just absolutely remember being so extremely happy and feeling on top of the world. All day, I just felt like my face hurt from smiling so much because I was so happy. I loved our first dance, our first meal as husband & wife, taking photos on top of that mountain was SO much fun – seriously SO MUCH FUN. Everything was amazing!!!”


Henry – “The first time I saw Meredith in her dress at the top of the hill. Truth be told, my mind went blank as she walked down the aisle. I could not tell you a thing about the ceremony after that moment. I was too lost in the thought of everything that brought us to that point, and what our future together would bring. That moment, and sneaking away to take photos with you and Dr. Sole. Being up there on the side of the mountain, soaking in the view, taking photos, it was just absolutely perfect. That was something you gave us, Taylor, that I will certainly never forget.”


What are you most looking forward to in marriage?


Meredith – “Just doing life with Henry. I’ve waited 29 years for someone like Henry to come around and the fact that I get to be with him EVERY DAY FOREVER makes me a happy woman! He’s my best friend, my soul mate, my chill buddy, my biggest supporter, my main man, he’s the best thing I’ve ever found. Oh, and I’m super looking forward to having a baby ;)”


Henry – “Sharing and experiencing life with my best friend. We both work in careers that can be trying and very stressful at times, but the best thing about our marriage is that we are always there for each other. I’ve never met anyone like Meredith before. I’ve lived in a lot of places and been fortunate enough to experience so many incredible things, but the reality is, none of it compares to the life I share with Meredith. Even on our most lazy, relaxing days.”


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


“If something doesn’t go how you planned, take a deep breath, step away from planning for the rest of the day and try to relax. Everything always seems better the next day. I remember people telling me when I was planning that the small details don’t matter on the day of and they truly don’t. Especially when you get married in gorgeous Colorado – everyone was too obsessed with the scenery to notice that my “love is sweet” sign wasn’t in the place I had wanted it or that I didn’t ever get those custom cookies made I had been planning to. Just remember, the only thing that matters is that you and your spouse get married and that you both are happy. The rest? It doesn’t matter and don’t let it get you down or ruin the happy time for you.”