Leenae and Chad were married at a beautiful mountain getaway in Evergreen, Colorado. The Juniper Mountain House is a unique modern lodge with spacious grounds and a meadow for ceremonies, tucked away in the forest.
I met the couple in the main parking lot of the Garden of the Gods loop while raindrops poured down on our windshields. There was a chance of rain in the forecast, but it was a small chance and we decided to go for it. I’m so glad we did! Even though it was looking bleak for a little while, we could see some blue sky in the distance, which eventually opened up to a beautiful evening.
When the rain stopped it had made all the colors more vibrant, greens looked super lush and the sky became so dramatic.
The bride-to-be shares, “We’re traveling and visiting friends in Colorado and decided to take some engagement photos to capture the scenery we can’t get on the East Coast. So far on the trip our favorites have been Pikes Peak, Paint Mines Interpretive Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and all the good food in the Denver area.”
Congratulations, you two!
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Anna and Jim were married on a beautiful September day at Shupe Homestead in Longmont, Colorado.
Anna shares, “Jim and I got engaged in May of 2021 and we picked our venue almost immediately after. I knew with covid and everyone postponing their wedding we were in serious competition. Shupe was the first place I looked. I found it so charming immediately, but looked at about six other places before taking Jim back with me for a second visit and pulling the trigger. The property is naturally beautiful, wedged between farmlands with the mountains in the distance. They have all these quirky and unique touches like chandeliers and sofas around the property. We loved how much flexibility the venue provided, but also how much was included. Shupe came with all the tables, chairs, linens, flatware, barware, plus its own service staff. It felt like a fair deal for the price, plus we had so much flexibility with choosing our own vendors.
Neither Jim nor I consider ourselves to be “fancy,” so we loved the mom and pop vibe of Shupe and its natural beauty and charm.
Weddings are so weird because you put all this time and energy into this one day and I was pretty anxious leading up to it. Everyone told me that the day of it will all just melt away and I didn’t believe anybody. But it was weirdly true. When the weekend finally showed up and there was little I could do to control it anymore, you kind of just let go and let the adrenaline carry you through.
My favorite part of the whole wedding was the ceremony. I was kind of freaking out because, as my bridal party was walking, it was drizzling! I kept saying “wait, it’s raining!” and the planner just told everyone to keep going. As I turned the corner, holding my brother’s arm, I saw everyone standing up for me and immediately went into emotional shock and sobbed the entire way down the aisle. I was basically ugly crying out of pure happiness. It was so intense, and so magical. Everyone clapped for me once I made it down the aisle because I was such a hot, happy mess.
We had two llamas at the wedding, Liberty and Bandit, who were probably my second favorite part, next to marrying my man!”
Anna and Jim danced their first dance to Friendship by Chris Stapleton, “We got friendship, the kind that lasts a lifetime.”
Ellen and Mitch met at CU Boulder and knew they wanted to plan their engagement session in Chautauqua, surrounded by the Boulder Flatirons.
The couple met when Ellen and her roommate Leah (who will be their officiant) were looking for a roommate at CU Boulder. Mitch ended up moving in and their friendship turned into a lot more.
Ellen shares, “One of our first dates was at the Denver Aquarium as I love sharks and I’m definitely a beach girl. One of my favorite things about Mitch is how kind and fun he is. He is always willing to go do something around town or with friends. Mitch says his favorite things about me are how caring, funny, and goofy I am.
Our engagement happened on a COVID birthday trip. We decided to go camping as something fun to do over my birthday. I am very big into celebrating my birthday. There were a couple of iconic Colorado hikes we were interested in doing. We got day passes to Maroon Bells and went super early to be the first couple of people to hike the trails. Getting up this early came at the insistence of Mitch. I didn’t realize at the time why he was pushing to get up so early, but he was able to propose at the top of the hike with no one else around. I was definitely not someone who wanted a big, public proposal so it was the perfect intimate setting for us.
We are not people who go over the top on a lot of things. We knew we wanted a smaller wedding in a cool place. We decided against a destination wedding as that seemed too much to coordinate. We choose the Milk Market/Dairy Block since that is one of our very favorite spots in Denver. The food, atmosphere and shopping all in that one block are just so fun and we definitely love the city.”
We also drove up Flagstaff Mountain to get some beautiful photos at Lost Gulch Overlook. The panoramic view is incredible!
Happy engagement Ellen and Mitch!
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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!