Leah and Nathan were married in September, but jumped at the chance to extend the celebration with some beautiful snowy portraits in Denver.
Hutson Floral Design created a beautiful, wild, winter bouquet featuring roses, greenery, and a pin cushion protea with moss wrapped stems.
Leah shares, “Nathan and I met at a Christian leadership academy in Mijas, Spain, in 2018. I had a huge crush on him and he didn’t know I existed. As we both went on our own journeys, our hearts were formed and transformed by unconditional love and, eventually, our paths converged. In our dating, I was plagued with loads of relationship anxiety, the effects and aftermath of trauma. I’m passionate about that part of our story because it’s more common than the cultural narrative would have us believe and I want everyone to know, relationships are lovely and messy. Both, at the same time.
We got engaged in the midst of COVID and committed to planning a wedding in just 57 days – piece of cake! Our covenant ceremony was the most lovely, magical day complete with a carpet dance floor.”
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 began my wedding photography business in Washington D.C. and N.Y.C. and it was so fun to be back in an urban setting. I love mountain weddings, but there is something special and electric about being in the city.
SPACE Gallery is an art gallery and premiere event venue located in the Santa Fe Arts District of Denver, Colorado–the perfect place for a modern bride and groom.
Alison Amy of A Bride’s Best Mate, Chuck Hutson of Hutson Floral Design and I dreamed up this art gallery wedding inspiration. We were inspired by the space, the artwork and a chic city style with pops of color. Along with the creative talents of Chirp’s and Cricket Paper Design, Sweet Ride Bakeshop, Vow’d Wedding Dress, Skin Works Studio and Allwell Rents, the style came together so beautifully.
Special thanks to SPACE Gallery and the artists currently on exhibit: Rebecca Rutstein, Ramón Bonilla, Frank T. Martinez and Joshua Enck. A big thank you also goes to our couple, recently married Hannah and Taylor. Congratulations on your wedding this past summer!
I have loved visiting art galleries since I was a little girl going to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. with my mom. It was such a joy to shoot in this beautiful gallery filled with interesting pieces.
It was pretty amazing to see how Chuck pulled the colors out of the artwork to create this gorgeous bouquet.
More photos of this couple and a trip to downtown Denver and Union Station coming soon!
Lillie and Zach were married on a beautiful summer day at a lake home they rented in Colorado. Like so many couples this year, their plans changed, but they were able to make the most of it! Their immediate families joined them in their celebration.
After the first look, we went to the nearby Roxborough State Park for portraits. Roxborough State Park is full of incredible rock formations giving it the nickname, “Denver’s Garden of the Gods.”
After walking through the Fountain Valley Overlook area, we headed back to the house for the ceremony.
The family all worked together to decorate the yard with white flowers and eucalyptus, lanterns and special touches.
Lillie’s brother, Brian, performed the ceremony.
A new kind of family portrait.
Lillie shares, “Our original wedding plan was a more traditional weekend at a hotel with many more friends and family, but we ended up having a small backyard ceremony at an Airbnb with just our immediate families and grandparents, which allowed us to have a lot of family time during the week. It was nice to be together after not seeing everyone for so long (#2020).
We chose to DIY all of the flower arrangements and ceremony/reception set-up. Our families helped us with the prep work the day before to turn the Airbnb into a beautiful wedding venue. We are so grateful for all of their help!
The day was filled with lots of love (and good food). One of our favorite moments was when our siblings surprised us with a family game show that they had organized with our extended family. It was a special way to include our whole family on our wedding day, and it was a lot of fun.
Lillie and Zach shared their first dance to Van Morrison’s Moondance.
The couple has ties to Pittsburgh and one of the family favorite’s is Prantl’s Bakery’s burnt almond torte, which they had delivered for the occasion.
I can attest it is delicious!
The bakery boasts, “The torte has been named the Best Cake in America by the Huffington Post, the Best of Weddings Cakes by the Knot in 2018, and the Best Cake In Pennsylvania by the Food Network in 2018 and continues to be a Pittsburgh tradition today.”