When I spoke to Michèle and Matt about a photo session to celebrate their marriage at the Highlands Ranch Mansion I was thrilled! The whole thing came together like something out of Cinderella! Congratulations, you two!
Matt shares, “Twelve years ago on a Sunday afternoon I walked into John Holly’s Asian Bistro ready for a closing shift and a long night. Never would I have imagined that I would be meeting my future wife, manning the host stand, with those captivating eyes and freckles that just melt me. Fate slated us to wait many more years for our relationship to begin, but a seed was planted in the form of a serious crush that (I have on good authority) we both shared.
Fast forward seven years and we’re out for drinks, watering that seed and discovering how life had changed us through college and beyond. Months later, after growing a beard and as some would say, “a pair,” I finally asked Michèle on our first date. Our relationship began at a sushi restaurant, so Sushi Den seemed the most fitting destination for our romantic journey to begin. Good wine, good food, and the best company sped up the hours until we were standing on the deck of her apartment locked in conversation as we watched the night sky go by. Motivated by the waning hours and my lack of suave, Michèle moved in for the kiss. I was smitten… and the evidence suggests that so was she. I’ll go to my grave testifying that the last first kiss is the by far the best first kiss. We haven’t left each other’s side ever since.”
Michèle shares, “Ever the planner, I am sure Matt was certain he would never be able to surprise me. Lo and behold, he did!
About a month prior to our engagement, Matt asked if I was available for an end of summer lobster dinner at his Uncle David and Aunt Stephanie’s home. Admittedly, so excited for a seafood feast, I asked Matt if I could wear sweatpants. His response was a gentle but adamant, “You may want to dress nicer than that… It’s a really nice house.” Fair point.
A month later, on September 22, 2018, we approached the house and were greeted by a sign, “Party in back.” As we turned the corner of the garden, we were greeted not by sounds of merriment but by strings of twinkling lights. The backyard had been decorated with string lights and gold and white balloons. A table was set with candles, Lamarca Prosecco (our favorite), sushi and wine. The same wine we had on our first date- which was at Sushi Den! He had recreated our first date!
My favorite part of the whole set up was the Polaroid pictures Matt strung up on a line. From the first picture we took together, our first 1:1 trip to Mexico, and Disney World, to the “fake” wedding shoot we did with Rocky Mountain Bride, he had captured so many of our most treasured moments.
Imagine my surprise when Matt said, “I’ll be right back” and left me standing there! When he returned, he had a present for me to open. The first thing I took out was a homemade coupon that I had made for HIM and given him our first Christmas together in 2014. Gee, thanks. The coupon was for “Any activity, anytime, anywhere.” However, when I turned the homemade coupon over, there was the world’s sweetest note. “From the moment you gave me this, I knew what I wanted to use it for.” That’s when the waterworks started. I barely noticed the photographer, our friend Lia, in the corner snapping away.
Matt got down on one knee and asked me to spend my life with him, which I very enthusiastically accepted!
Amore Fiori created a beautiful winter bouquet featuring roses and greenery.
Michèle shares trying to plan a wedding during the pandemic, “What a wild experience! I have always loved the idea of fairy tales, princesses and dreamy wedding days. I even worked in the wedding dress industry for a few years. However, the pandemic quickly turned what was 2 years of planning our wedding into a pipe dream and a prayer. With our original wedding date in September 2020, we decided to keep friends and family safe and postpone for 2021. We quickly realized that, as sad as we were to not share this special day with our loved ones, the real important part of a wedding is the marriage!
We decided to elope on the two-year anniversary of our engagement, just us two and our photographer. It was intimate and filled with laughter and a few happy tears. We know that the “makeup” wedding in 2021 will be just as special, surrounded by those we cherish most. We are so thankful and fortunate that we were still able to be married this year, just on different terms.”
I met Anna and Jim at Brainard Lake for their engagement session. We walked along the lake, played with their sweet pup, Abe, saw an eagle and moose and celebrated their relationship.
Anna shares, “I used to work at a local brewery as an events planner, marketing manager and occasional bartender. During my shifts behind the bar, I noticed a tall man with a charming southern accent who came in often. Most Boulderites who frequent breweries wear flat brim hats and Grateful Dead T-shirts, so I was intrigued by this very well-dressed unicorn of a man who worked in finance. It helped that this man, whose name I came to learn was Jim, was best friends with my friend Kris–a manager of mine from my first job in Boulder.
Jim and Kris came in regularly and sat at the bar. Despite many months of what I thought was extremely overt flirting, Jim somehow never got it. Eventually I just asked him out and he said yes.”
Anna continues, “Two weeks into us seeing each other, I had massive knee surgery and my parents came into town to help take care of me. Jim sweetly brought over a puzzle and was brave enough to come inside and meet my parents even though WE hardly knew each other. (Jim is unlikely to turn down a Gin & Tonic.) A few weeks later, we took an impromptu trip to San Francisco while I was still in an ankle to thigh leg brace. We had a blast eating, drinking and exploring California. From there, things progressed fairly quickly. Admittedly, I was ready to dive in headfirst. I was confident this was the guy I was going to end up with.
We got engaged May 1st of this year. PEAK quarantine. Earlier in the week, Jim suggested that we do something together “just us.” After weeks of being locked inside the house just us, I thought it was a hilarious suggestion. I enjoyed his company nonetheless and was up for more isolated plans.
That day, I got home from a Target run in what I later learned was Jim’s least favorite item of clothing I owned. Jim suggested I “changed for our walk,” because there “might be a photo op.” I was slightly offended and mildly suspicious. We ventured out with our dog for a stroll. I was irritated because Jim wasn’t listening to me and texting on his phone the entire walk. Once we emerged from the woods into the open space in our neighborhood, Jim bent his knee, said a bunch of sweet things I can’t remember because I was blubbering, and asked me to make an honest man out of him. We hugged and cried and then had a champagne picnic in the park. Every time we take that walk, we have an even more special connection to our home, neighborhood and the love that will continue to grow there.”
The happy couple is getting married next summer. Happy engagement Anna and Jim!
Finding a creative outlet has been so important to me this year.
Carley and Kristi are beautiful, professional dancers who have not been able to perform since the pandemic outbrake in March. Also, I have not been working in the same way I have in past years, as large events and gatherings have been postponed or greatly downsized. It was such a gift to collaborate with them on this photo session. The juxtaposition of their strength and grace against the massive rock formations feels like a metaphor for the year.
I love dance. I am primarily a wedding photographer, but when I have the chance to photograph some gorgeous dancers I get so excited! I took ballet, tap, jazz and musical theater classes growing up and theater is one of my great loves. During the pandemic, it has been heartbreaking (but so necessary) to see theaters close and so many performers feel uncertain about what comes next. If you are able, please consider donating to Dance NYC or helping to support the arts in any way you can.
I met the Wise Family at City Park in Denver to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage and capture some family photos. We had so much fun! Their young boys loved running through the tall grass and searching for the brightest yellow leaves.
Their mom shares, “Fall is one of the reasons why our family loves Colorado so much. Our boys are just old enough now where we can pile them in the car and go on a family adventure. We drive until we find a new place we want to explore. And we always bring our dog Louie who I think is always the most excited to go!”
The hugs between these brothers were just soooo sweet!
This year we are indoor trick-or-treating at decorated doors throughout Grammy and Gramp’s house, carving a pumpkin and eating way too much candy!
Happy halloween from my family to yours!