nighttime portrait of bride and groom at Della Terra wedding
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Fall Wedding at Della Terra

My photography journey started way back in 2003 when I decided to attend Central Michigan University to study journalism with a concentration in photojournalism. I had a blast during my four years in Mount Pleasant (which isn’t anywhere near a mountain) and made a ton of lifelong friendships along the way. One of those friends is Patrick, who was in the same program as me at CMU. Little did I know that nearly two decades later and 1,200 miles away, I’d be photographing his fall wedding at Della Terra.

Moira and I met with Patrick and his wonderful bride-to-be, Ayla, at the Denver Beer Company in Olde Town Arvada nearly a year before the big day. We all clicked immediately and ended up drinking a bunch of beer over a two-hour period that was more of a reunion of old friends than a business meeting. We discussed how what they envisioned for their wedding day, learned about their wedding photography priorities and made a preliminary plan of attack for the day of the wedding.

Fast forward 12 months, that plan had now completely changed due to, you guessed it, the pandemic. But we’re used to plans changing because that’s just the nature of weddings in general. So, with our N95 masks locked and loaded, we headed up to Estes Park for Ayla and Patrick’s wedding.

We decided to do their first look inside Rocky Mountain National Park and since we only had one vehicle, we did something we’ve never done in 14 years of shooting weddings. We blindfolded the couple and loaded them into the back of our CR-V so that they wouldn’t catch a glimpse of one another before they were surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountain wilderness. We spent the next hour or so driving around the park taking portraits and then delivered the couple back to Della Terra in time for their outdoor wedding ceremony amongst the bright yellow aspen groves.

The evening culminated with an outdoor dance party in the brisk Rocky Mountain air and a few nighttime portraits incorporating the lighting design stylings from the talented Lighting and Design by Scott.

Patrick and Ayla, thank you so much for entrusting us to capture your amazing fall wedding at Della Terra. Once the pandemic is in our rearview, you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll be coming down to visit you in Florida!

Venue: Della Terra Mountain Chateau
Rehearsal Dinner: The Stanley Hotel
Lighting: Lighting and Design by Scott

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