Ashley & Eric's Self Affirmation Ceremony On Lake Dillon & Tenderfoot Mountain

When Ashley first contacted me to shoot photos of her and Eric’s self affirmation ceremony I was super excited. Self affirmation ceremonies are a little like unicorns in the wedding industry. It’s this fantastic idea that’s wholly romantic yet very elusive and rarely seen. I love the idea of two people coming together with literally nothing else mattering but their vows to eachother. No fuss. No huge expense. Just very personal and meaningful.

Given the levity of self affirmation ceremonies, the honor of photographing them isn’t lost on me. As the singular witness to this beautiful moment, the task to capture it faithfullly and beautifully falls soley on me. There’s no guest stories and memories of the day, just Ashley & Eric’s experience and my photos. I had an awesome time with these two hiking Tenderfoot Mountain in Dillon, Colorado to the spot they chose for this occasion. We journeyed through aspen groves and under towering lodgepole pines to get to the overlook with breathtaking 180 degree views from Keystone mountain, to the Tenmile Range, to Buffalo Mountain in Silverthorne.

Check out their photos below and leave them some love in the comments!

Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

Last year I had the opportunity to write about a company called Groovy Guy Gifts and how they have some really nice ideas for groomsmen gifts. (You can check out the post here!) Well, recently, I found out that they now have another division, Bridesmaid Gift Boutique, ALSO with some really sweet options and they sent me some to try out and share with you!

One thing I’ve seen a lot of in the last few years is the trend of a bride and her maids all getting ready in cute little matching robes. Although it’s been a trend, I see it as a new tradition forming. I truly don’t think it’s going anywhere. Not only does it make for great photos to have everyone “put together” in a pretty robe vs. in running shorts and tank tops, it’s a practical memento that can be used long after the wedding.

Bridesmaid Gift Boutique has an adorable box set (Yay! No having to go buy more giftwrap!) of a robe and tumbler called The Dazzling Duo. The set is customizable with different glitter/metallics and appliques, so you can match to your wedding theme or customize for each girl. I chose a classic navy and silver because as pretty as I think gold is…I’m just not a gold girl. The robe arrived and was super silky soft. They say one size fits most and as a NON petit person (I’m 5’ 8”) it fit well (with room to spare) and landed about 3ish inches below my fingertips. While I won’t be doing any cartwheels at that length, it was still long enough for me to feel that modesty was still in tact! I love the tumbler that came with it, too! (We all know how important it is to stay hydrated on wedding day!) BPA free and insulated it also comes with a reusable straw so I can feel good that I’m not contributing to some poor sea turtle getting a straw stuck up it’s nose (or worse) when a standard disposable straw gets thrown out. I also love that it fits a standard size cup holder so it’s easy to take with me in the car. The only thing to make the tumbler better would be if it were able to be thrown in the dishwasher. It’s not the end of the world, I already have several other tumblers that are hand wash only, but it would be a nice upgrade potentially in the future.

The gift box was beautiful and sturdy.

You can arrange the gifts how you like inside. They even gave me a tube of crinkle paper for some extra gift pizzaz. 

 The robe was quite pretty and soft. Win and win in my book!

The silver monogram applique felt of good quality and not in danger of peeling off in the first wash. It looked subtle but pretty in the silver.

If you think this gift would be perfect for your bridesmaids, go ahead and check out Bridesmaids Gift Boutique for this gift and many more!

Susanne & Wes: Adventure Time!

Words can’t express to you how happy I was that these two won my free adventure session giveaway from a local bridal show in Boulder, Colorado recently. In the hundreds of people you meet in a day at these shows, Susanne & Wes stood out in my memory because they had such a great energy when we spoke. They were fun and chill, and best of all they spoke to me about how they didn’t want a large wedding and they really wanted to focus on giving back to the community they love in Colorado. Which is why after their small wedding ceremony they’re planning on spending the rest of their wedding day volunteering and helping out! SO awesome!

So when it came time for me to draw names out of the hat, I couldn’t have been more excited that their names popped out. It was even more adorable after I emailed to let them know the response I got from Susanne was: YYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!! I’m so excited that I had to run a few buildings over and just about tackle Wes out of his chair.” Totally made my day.

After much thinking on what would be a great adventure that would represent something the two of them love doing together, we finally settled on skiing. The two actually met on a group ski outing so it couldn’t have been more perfect of an activity to celebrate their engagement. Thankfully, Mother Nature gave us a jaw dropping gorgeous blue bird day to help in the celebration and I think you’ll be able to tell from the photos below, we had an aweome time. Check out their photos below and don’t forget to leave some love in the comments below for Susanne and Wes!

PS: I’m available for adventure sessions anywhere, anytime! Reach out today to start planning yours!

Groomsmen Gift Idea

I’ve been photographing weddings since 2004. To date, I’ve had the honor of photographing more than 400 weddings. Which means, I’ve seen a LOT of stuff. Good stuff. Bad stuff. Awesome stuff. Sweet stuff. Cool stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. One of the things which I see a lot of are bridal party gifts. I feel like girls have the gift thing down pretty pat. There are tons of cute options that are all ending up being useful, but guys? Well…sometimes the guys need a little help. I mean, really…tie clips? No offense to anyone out there, but everytime I see a guy get a tie clip, I just envision collections of them ending up in the bottom of a drawer somewhere never to be looked at or used again. Maaaaybe that’s just me and my experience having recently found my husband’s stash of tie clips, but I digress.

My point is, why not get your groomsmen something that is not just cool, but useful? Something that won’t end up held captive in a junk drawer. You love these awesome dudes in your life so much you want them standing with you at this very important moment (annnnd you’re spending hard earned moolah on them as well), it’s time to make it worth it! Enter: Groovy Guy Gifts

I have to admit I didn’t know anything about them when we met and they asked me what I thought of their products. Of course, I can’t give feedback without trying out some stuff, so I took a look at the stuff they have. Wow! So much more cool stuff that was waaaay better than what was available in 2007 when I was looking for my own wedding! Most of their stuff has a refined, rustic feel which works for “man” gifts, but the big bonus is that they’re pretty much all things you can envision guys actually enjoying and using again.

I decided to try the whiskey rocks (not so secret, secret: I LOVE whiskey). Truthfully, I’ve been wondering what the hype is about as I know they hit the market hard a few years ago. I couldn’t get past thinking they must give off some kind of taste or something and I just muddled along with my ice. So I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give it a go. When the rocks arrived, the etching they had done on them was beautiful. The stones were nicely uniform (about a cubic inch big or so) and just plain looked cool. After giving them a quick wash and dry with some dish soap I tossed them in the freezer. I ended up pouring one of my favoite whiskeys over them. Since I know the flavor profile so well, I figured I’d be better able to tell if the rocks altered anything taste wise…

Well…I was kinda right. They did change the taste, but for the better! I didn’t realize how much the ice was OVER chilling the whiskey and masking some of the more subtle flavors and characteristics. The rocks didn’t chill it…more like cooled it. Probably what I imagine to be more of a “proper” tasting level. (Full disclosure: I’m NOT a whiskey expert and don’t claim to be, I just am a big fan who likes all kinds of it!) The stones were not awkward at all in the cup (I worried about them clanking around or smashing my teeth but there were no such issues). They also kept their chill for quite a while. I love how start to finish, the glass was “pure” and as it should be.

So, if you’re in the market for a cool groomsman gift (or really any “man” gift) and that guy happens to enjoy some whiskey from time to time, you might want to check out these rocks from Groovy Guy Gifts. They were great and also, more affordable than many that I’ve seen sold in stores, even with the personalization! Winning all around!

Sarah & Eric's Wedding: Rust Manor

Sarah and Eric’s wedding day was gorgeous! Sunshine and blue skies (and of course a healthy dose of happy friends and family scattered all about). Rust Manor in Leesburg, VA was the perfect setting for these two love birds to share their vows to eachother. I was swooning over Sarah’s ridiculously gorgeous lace dress (that she totally rocked) and I had loved Eric’s two tone navy/black tux…both of which were classic with a twist of modern! Eric happens to be a super talented professional opera singer (as are several of their friends) so you could imagine how awesome it was when Eric and his friends spontaneously serenaded Sarah in the reception…so awesome! (Not to mention, this crowd could DANCE!)

Check out their photos below and leave them some love in the comments!