Courtney and Erik just recently moved to Colorado. We had a wonderful time walking around Mt Falcon and celebrating their engagement.
Courtney shares, “Erik and I first met while we were attending college at West Virginia University. Erik and my older brother Ryan were fast friends, and luckily that led to Erik and I having a great friendship as well. The three of us all shared a love for online computer games and spent countless hours together online during our college years. Even after college when we all went our separate directions to start our post-college lives, we stayed connected.
Erik and I both admit to having short lived crushes on each other during our college years together, but timing was never in our favor. It wasn’t until nearly 10 years after we first met that Erik made a move, and our time had finally come. One of Erik’s favorite bands, Brand New, was having a concert in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I happened to be living in Milwaukee at the time, so he took the opportunity for us to meet up. That concert ended up being our first date of many more to come, and when my career led me to Charlotte, North Carolina, Erik moved with me so that we could end our long-distance dating and be together again.
Erik proposed to me over Memorial Day weekend in 2019. He planned an amazing trip to Sausalito, California just outside of San Francisco. The morning after we arrived, Erik was up bright and early at 6am ready to start the day. This should have been my first clue something was going on because neither of us would ever choose to wake up that early on a weekend. Turns out his phone didn’t update from EST to PST, so he thought it was already 9am and he had big plans for the day. Erik and I got breakfast at a local diner overlooking the bay and then headed up to the Redwood Forest for a mid-morning hike. On our hike, Erik found a quiet area overlooking the park and after getting down on one knee, he asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes. We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating. I still can’t help but smile thinking back on that day one year ago.”
Courtney continues, “We were all set to be married at a neighborhood yacht club on Lake Norman in North Carolina on March 21, 2020 when covid-19 changed the world around us in a matter of 24 hours. It was the Friday before our wedding weekend when the U.S. officially closed the borders to tourists, and governors leapt into action implementing various restrictions on public gatherings. That weekend, with the health and safety of our family and friends in mind, we made the decision to post-pone our wedding to September of this year. We truly hope our friends and family will be able to gather and celebrate our marriage in September, but even if it ends up being a bit smaller than we had planned, it will be perfect.
My career brought us to Colorado at the very beginning of March 2020, and even though we couldn’t get married at the end of March as originally planned, I wanted to do something special to celebrate us and our new life in Colorado. I am so glad I found Jessica to shoot our engagement session re-take! Being new to the area, trying to pick a location for a photo shoot was a bit overwhelming, but Jessica suggested so many beautiful locations to choose from. I was drawn towards Mt. Falcon Park because it reminded me of our proposal weekend and the hike where it all began. With our one-year engagement anniversary right around the corner, it was the perfect setting to bring back all those memories of a truly joyous time in our lives.
Courtney and Erik were so natural in front of the camera and you could tell they were so happy together.
Courtney adds, “My favorite moments from our photo session were when our poses left us laughing until we cried. Jessica assured us our laughing fits would make for the best pictures, and from our sneak peak I’d say she was right. Erik and I left the session feeling so light hearted and excited for wedding day to finally come.”
Happy engagement Courtney and Erik!
Julie and Justin planed a special elopement in the Colorado foothills after their travel plans changed due to COVID. They found a wonderful way to celebrate their marriage by reading their vows to each other, popping champagne and watching the sunset over the mountains.
Julie shares, “We went back and forth for awhile over whether to have a wedding or elope in Italy. Our families supported both options, but encouraged us to make sure we were doing this for us. So we settled on both – we had a trip booked to Italy leaving May 7th. We were planning to elope at a castle winery in Tuscany, where we would stay for two days and have the ceremony, photos, wine tasting, cooking class, fancy dinner, etc. We were also planning to hit Rome, Florence, and Venice as part of our honeymoon.
We were so bummed to cancel, but plan to still do our honeymoon in Italy at some point later this year (hopefully!). We were equally looking forward to the 50-person park party we had planned for family and close friends in June to celebrate our marriage.
When we realized that COVID was likely going to create issues for our plans, we went to the courthouse on March 10th and got legally married. This was right before the world basically shut down and days before quarantine started.
We are so happy we made things official before everything closed down. After our events subsequently got cancelled, we wanted to do something to celebrate our marriage and read our vows. One of our friends suggested we get a photographer to document the occasion, and the rest is history! We ended up having such a special day and even though it was low key, it ended up being much more special and meaningful than we could’ve imagined.”
Julie continues, “Our highlights from the day included reading our vows to each other, making funny faces and whispering funny things to make each other laugh during the photos (can’t wait to see these!), and then having a picnic and watching the sunset in such a beautiful location.
Some touches that made it feel more like an actual wedding were having a bouquet, flower crown, and boutonniere from Amore Fiori and getting a mini cake and champagne glasses to toast with.
To celebrate with some of our friends, we ended up decorating our bikes with “just married” decorations and streamers, and doing a bike crawl visiting all of our friends in Denver and sharing a beverage with them outside at a social distance.”
Julie shares the story of their proposal, “It was December 8th, one of the last nice, sunny days of the year. We had just had our holiday party the night before so we were a bit groggy in the morning. Justin suggested we go for a walk to get some fresh air (luckily my hair and nails were done because of the party, as I definitely was not expecting a proposal that day).
We ended up at the botanic gardens and did an impromptu visit since we hadn’t been all year. While I was in the restroom, Justin told a stranger what he was about to do and asked if she could film it. We started walking into the gardens and before I knew it, he was down on one knee, reading the most beautiful letter he wrote and we got the whole thing on video! Afterwards we FaceTimed all of our family and friends and then went to dinner at Acorn.”
Safety is, of course, the number one priority, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a way to celebrate your marriage, engagement, or new wedding date.
Many plans are changing as we work to flatten the curve. My heart breaks for all the couples who have had to reconsider their wedding plans. Hopefully couples can reschedule their weddings, but some people either do not want to postpone or cannot.
So, how can you celebrate? I have some ideas!
Vow Session: Plan a special celebration for just the two of you. Read your wedding vows to each other and take some beautiful photographs to mark the occasion in a favorite outdoor location.
Intimate Ceremony: Choose a favorite outdoor location for a gathering with just a few loved ones. You can also have a virtual presence for some people with tablets or video phones. Plan a short ceremony followed by a mini-cake or champagne toast. It may not have been what you planned, but it is still a nice way to mark the occasion and can be accompanied with some beautiful photographs. You could also include a bouquet, plan some music for when you walk down the aisle, or end the ceremony with a first dance.
Save the New Date: A session to celebrate your engagement and NEW wedding date. This session can also have the the goal in mind of printing save the date announcements to send guests your new, updated wedding date.
As your photographer, I can guide you to some great photo spots and give minimal direction for portraits as I maintain a minimum of 6 feet social distance and wear a mask. Please contact me for location ideas around Colorado.
I recommend planning a session for 1-2 hours on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday just before sunset (around 6-7:00pm in early spring). I have dates available starting in May. Pricing begins at $400 and includes professionally edited digital files delivered through an online gallery for you to print and share. Custom designed photo albums are also available.
Contact me today for more info and to check availability.
Let’s find a way to celebrate your marriage!
Natalie and William were married on a beautiful November day at Lionscrest Manor in Colorado.
Natalie and William shared a first look before the ceremony.
Their adorable son, Theo, looked so sweet and handsome in his bowtie.
The outdoor ceremony overlooked the mountains and was visited by a mule deer just before the ceremony began.
Natalie shares, “Will and I had always envisioned a very casual wedding day, so the details weren’t important to us, but our day ended up being perfectly wonderful in every way!
We both agree our favorite moment of the day was the ceremony. The weather was unseasonably beautiful–75 and sunny in November–and the details of the ceremony fit our personalities perfectly. We had all of our lovely family and friends there, including our pups, and the sentiment was exactly what we hoped it would be–fun, casual and full of love and joy.”
Congratulations Natalie and William!
Check out their Evergreen engagement with aspens here.
Special thanks to the team:
Venue: Lionscrest Manor
Caterer: Greens Point Catering
Florist: Crab Apple Creek
Cake: The Huckleberry, Nothing Bundt Cakes
Dress: David’s Bridal
DJ: A Music Plus
Stationery: Jennie Vandegrift
Photography: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz
I wasn’t sure I’d win this year. I’ve been so honored to win for many years, but this year–with my big move from NYC to Denver and starting my business in a new city, along with being pregnant and having my son in June–it has been a whirlwind!
Thank you so much to all the amazingly wonderful couples who wrote me such nice reviews this year and to all my new couples in Colorado for welcoming me.
This year I photographed my 200TH WEDDING! And I celebrated the 10th anniversary of starting my business. Very exciting!
I want to say a huge thank you to my husband, Eric, who has been so supportive and has helped me grow my business. I couldn’t do it without him!
Thank you also, so much, to all my instagram, facebook and blog fans! I’m so happy when I see family, friends, past couples, or past wedding guests I’ve met like or comment on my photos. It is so nice to keep sharing with you and to see that you are enjoying my photos.
I love my job so much and feel so lucky every day.