Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of photographing Derae and Dillon’s Bella Sera wedding in Brighton, Colorado. But before we dive into the photos from the wedding, let’s take a few moments to rewind.
A little over two years ago, Dillon was involved in a horrific accident when an explosion at the oil field he was working in left him with burns over approximately 65 percent of his entire body. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but if you’re interested, you can read all about the accident and the recovery process in this New York Times article.
During our Engagement session at Chapungu Sculpture Park with Derae and Dillon (which took place on a chilly day last February), we could only shoot for around 10 minutes at a time before taking a break so Dillon could head back to the car to warm up. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see how much pain he was in. But even so, he persevered and we were rewarded with an incredibly fun shoot that was capped off by Dillon surprising Derae with an engagement ring as the sun set. Derae hadn’t been excepting a ring, and the look of pure joy on her face when she first saw it nearly brought a tear to our eyes. Immediately after, the two celebrated by popping a bottle of champagne before we called it a wrap and parted ways.
Fast-forward 18 months to the day of the Bella Sera wedding. I walked into the guys’ getting ready room and was absolutely blown away by Dillon’s recovery. It was a complete night and day transformation. He seemed completely back to normal and was as excited to marry his fiancé as any groom we’ve ever met (and we’ve photographed more than 200 grooms over the years, so that’s really saying something). Dillon’s groomsmen even threw him into the air during the dance party – a stunt that would’ve have been impossible just one year earlier.
The day went off without a hitch and Derae and Dillon’s guests ushered them out into the night with a sparkler send 0ff to cap off the evening. Moira and I drove home knowing full-well that this was one couple we will never forget.