Cowboy boots and red lace dresses ... Marianne and Matt stole my heart with their sweetness and style. It was such a treat to capture an engagement session with these two. We got a gorgeous Colorado day with blue skies and puffy clouds ~ what a gift!
I can't wait to capture their wedding this September at Purgatory Resort! It's no secret that I absolutely LOVE fall weddings in Colorado and Purgatory is one of my favorite local Durango wedding venues.
Enjoy a few photos from their sweet engagement session!
Like a typical spring day in Colorado, the weather surprised us with a little snow and made Juan & Elyse's day even more magical. With Juan set to deploy in a few weeks, these two sweethearts took advantage of the time they had together before he left by sealing their vows. There is nothing quite as emotional as two young people in love ~ then add in an upcoming deployment, and you have me set up for some tears. I was so thankful to capture such an intimate day as these two began their married lives together.
It was also a special day because Marie, the bride's mom, is opening a new wedding venue here in Durango called the Reising Stage! If you're searching for a venue that combines a rustic, farm feel with elegance, hospitality, and open space ~ this is your spot! Marie was such a generous host for the event and I was so thrilled to see her vision come to reality as she hosted her first event at the barn... which was none other than her daughter's wedding. What a way to start! Check out the pictures of her beautiful event space below and go visit her website here to book your next event.
And last but definitely not least, we had GORGEOUS florals by the amazing Adela Floral. Natalie knows how to create stunning arrangements with color, texture, warmth, and glow. Her flowers add so much to any event. Brides, if you are on the hunt for a good florist, go visit Adela Floral's website here. She's not only talented, but incredibly sweet and kind. Check out her beautiful arrangements for this wedding:
Springtime in the desert ... an amazing couple full of laughter and love for each other ... and blue skies = one amazing engagement session!
Sam & Tristan are getting married in a couple of months and I cannot wait to capture their wedding at one of my favorite Durango wedding venues, Ridgewood Event Center! Brides, if you are looking for an amazing place to get married in southwest Colorado ... check them out. Beautiful outdoor ceremony location, gorgeous warm wood indoor venue for the meal and dance, and a great staff. Take a peek at Grant & Kaylee's gorgeous summer wedding that I photographed there a couple of years ago to see more.
As for this dreamy desert engagement session ~ Sam & Tristan were incredible. They were happy to hike, explore, and Tristan was happy to scramble up rocks in order to get to some fun spots. I love an adventurous, outdoorsy girl who is willing to explore and hike to out of the way spots, all while dunning an adorable floral dress and wedge boots. You're amazing, Tristan!
Check out some of Sam and Tristan's romantic and fun engagement session here.
I had so much fun with Sam & Tristan! They kept us laughing through the whole session ... right down to the last moment when they pulled out about a dozen "props" from their car that Tristan's mom had sent along for the session.
Sam & Tristan are my kind of people! They don't take themselves too seriously ... and feel so comfortable with each other. I can't wait to capture more of their joy, laughter, and amazing family and friends in a couple of months when they get married!
Sam & Tristan ~ You two are amazing. You are incredibly gifted people ... and yet so down to earth, kind to others and each other, and fill others around you with joy and laughter. The way you enjoy one another, your depth of friendship, and your connection will be such a gift for all the years to come. I can't wait for your wedding!
These two were amazing troopers on what turned out to be a snowy, adventurous day in Telluride! Sean reached out to me a few weeks before they traveled from Houston with an idea ... proposing against the stunning mountain backdrop of Telluride, Colorado, which he had seen years earlier in a romantic movie and thought would be the idyllic location to pop the question.
And it was! With flurries swirling around them, Sean got down on one knee and proposed to the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. And she said yes!
From there we got caught in the snowstorm of the century ... well, not exactly, but it sure felt like it at the time! Sean and Tammy were such good sports! They just rolled with the wind, the crazy snow, and the chilly temperatures.
It was an amazing day that I will never forget ... and I hope these images they have will remind them of their love for one another. And when the next storm hits in life, they'll know they have what it takes to cling to each other, laugh, and ride it out until the calm.
Sean & Tammy ~ Thank you for entrusting me to capture such a memorable, important day in your love story! You two are thoughtful, kind, creative, fun, and full of life. I wish you all the best in both the sunny days and snowy days to come! You two are a presence of light and good in this world ~ let your love shine brightly.
These two captured my heart with their sweet, tender love. They were so at ease with one another ... their love was like coming home.
And can we just talk about this arch?! And that light?! Wowzers. This was pretty much an engagement session dream and we had so much fun hiking around and capturing such a beautiful evening.
Dylan & Abigail ~ I cannot wait to capture your wedding this summer! You two are gracious and kind to the core. I appreciate your sweet love, full of laughter, and light. Cheers to an adventurous year ahead for you both!
I had so much fun meeting up with Austen & Nicole in the mountains a couple of weekends ago to capture their engagement session! Huge props to Nicole for adventuring through the snow in adorable wedge boots and a skirt! Now that is my kind of girl.
We hiked through the snow, bumped along some four wheel drive roads, and related over our love of good music and playing the acoustic guitar. These two are fun-loving and kind to the very core. I can't wait to capture their wedding day this coming summer at one of my favorite venues, Blue Lake Ranch. If you are looking for an amazing Colorado wedding venue, check them out!
A little shout out to all you future brides out there debating whether or not you should do an engagement session! Here are a few reasons why I LOVE capturing my bride and groom before their big day:
- It puts you at ease with the photographer.
Instead of meeting your photographer briefly over coffee, or for the first time on your wedding day when nerves can be running high, its so nice to get to spend some time with your photographer at an engagement session. Engagement sessions are laid back, don't have a timeline, and allow for great conversation and interaction with your photographer. This will allow you to feel totally at ease with your photographer when your wedding day approaches, which is worth the money in my books. I LOVE the time I get with a bride and groom during an engagement session ... because by the wedding day we have built such a friendship and trust ~ which makes the wedding day even more special.
- It allows you to express your personality and interests!
I love the chance to get to know my wedding couples in a space and environment that they love! I talk with the couple before their photos and ask them more about what is meaningful to them, and then find ways to incorporate that into their engagement session. This session is a great time to show of unique interests, places you love, or meaningful things that brought you both together in your dating relationship.
- It gives you photos to use for your wedding experience.
There are so many ways to incorporate your engagement photos leading up to and into your wedding day! From Save-the-Dates, to guest book, to photos on your wedding website, to centerpieces on tables, to photos at the gift table ... the options go on and on! Its also a sweet way for your guests to see you both in a fun, natural setting ~ and often times guests may only know one of you, so this gives them a chance to get to know you both as a couple.
So, if you are engaged, I would highly recommend including an engagement session with your wedding photographer! They are photos you will treasure for years and years to come.
Cheers, y'all! And happy Friday!
There's something so sweet about engagement sessions. It's such a unique and special time in a couple's life ... full of hope, possibility, and tenderness. That's why I was honored to go adventure in the mountains with these two lovebirds last week and capture some of these special moments.
Alan & Alex ~ I'm so excited for all that's ahead for you both! Let your love be a safe place to always come home to. I hope that these photos are a treasure for years to come.
On Mother's Day I woke up with a resolve to be fully present. Instead of rushing around and trying to check things off my list, obsessing over getting the laundry done, or trying to be productive ... I opened my eyes to the moment. Put the full weight of my attention into the moment ~ engaged. Grateful. Because when you are present to the moment, it almost demands gratefulness.
And as I was present, I saw my children. Not like I see them every day, I truly saw them.
I smelled the warm sunshine in their hair.
I noticed the slight pudge in Lucy's sweet four year old hands, which will sadly soon disappear.
I saw Ingrid's excitement and nervousness equal as she put on her brand new pair of blue glasses.
I watched the last nine minutes of the Warriors beating the Spurs. I cheered like a schoolgirl while cuddling with DJ on the couch.
I held Lucy in my lap ... because any time I am sitting down, she crawls up into my lap. And on days that I am busy, sometimes I find myself telling her to sit on her own ... because I need to get something done, or because I think she should learn to sit by herself. And yesterday I delighted in the fact that she wanted me.
I ate chocolate donuts with the girls at the donut shop, and ignored how bad they are for me.
I weeded dandelions in the front lawn and felt the warmth on my shoulders.
I baked a flourless chocolate cake and licked the bowl clean. And ate a slice before dinner.
I watched the afternoon sunlight stream through my window and thanked God for this little slice of heaven I get to live in.
I drank a Kentucky Mule and reveled in the taste of the nutty brown bourbon.
I snuggled with my kids as they watched a show on Netflix in the early evening, noting how they giggled at the simplest of things. Drinking it in. Knowing it was fleeting. They won't always be so easy to get a giggle out of.
I laughed at Ingrid's made up jokes ... even though they didn't make sense. But her eyes sparkle when she tells jokes, and I can't help but encourage her childlike wonder.
I broke from my normal "Castle on a Cloud'" bedtime song, which is a nightly ritual to the girls, to sing them "You'll Always Be" by the Drew Holcomb band. It makes me feel warm, fuzzy, and nostalgic because I sang it to DJ on our ten year anniversary last year.
I still felt the struggle of the day. I still felt the tension of kids fighting, dishes piling up, and worries on the edge of my mind. But I tried to engage in the tension of the current moment. Whatever it was.
And as I laid in bed at night, I was grateful. I wondered how could I wake up Monday morning and keep it going. Stay present. Be grateful. Not get washed away in the normal Monday grind - rush to get the girls up, get Ingrid out to the bus, load Lucy in the car, drop her off at a friends' house, rush off to my Monday morning church staff meeting ~ while simultaneously thinking about my grocery list, undone laundry, photography sessions that needed editing, when I was going to squeeze in a workout, checking email ... doesn't this all seem familiar? Please tell me I'm not the only one rushed into the torrent of to-do's that hits you hard on Monday morning!
So I don't have the answer. I don't have any "quick tips" or "three easy steps to being more grateful", but I do know that yesterday I somehow did it. And it was almost magical. So real it was almost surreal. I turned of the overactive, practical Mama and business owner brain for a day. I shut off social media and email. And I engaged fully. And I found it so deeply refreshing.
So, for now, I will do my best to keep coming back to the present. To engaging in the moment. At the very least, I will take one day a week to shut it down. To rest. To take a family day. A sabbath. Where I shut off all distractions. And live present. Grateful.
What a gift. Life is such a gift. And I spent so many of my growing years dreaming of the moment when I would have a husband, and children, and a house. And here I am. And I don't want to miss it. I don't want to miss a darn minute. It's too precious.
Life is beautiful. I hope I can see that. Even today. Even on Monday.
It was summed up well in the last lines of the novel I finished last night in bed, "...she was actually savoring the whole morning, trying to catch it, pin it down, keep it safe before all those precious moments became yet another memory."
*** I highly recommend the novel! One of the best I've read in a long, long time. "What Alice Forgot", by Liane Moriarty.
I'm delighted to announce that Erin & Elias' stunning Telluride wedding is featured today on Rocky Mountain Bride! Not only was their day well-planned, thoughtful, and gorgeous down to every detail, but at the center of it, were two people so filled with love, generosity, and joy that it radiated through every person who had the privilege of being a part of it.
I'm so honored to be featured today on Rocky Mountain Bride's blog here, or you can take a little peek below.
Elias & Erin ~
Marriage is an adventure. One filled with mountain top joys and low valley challenges. And you two have what it takes for the journey. You are building your love on a deep heritage of love, passed down from your parents. May your roots go even deeper and stronger. May your love be a beacon that always guides you home.
Having kids totally changed my life. You are no longer responsible for just yourself and suddenly have another person who is totally and utterly dependent on you ~ which is the most exhilarating and terrifying thing in the world.
My kids have changed me in ways I never imagined ~ and looking back over the last several years, I'm so grateful for the ways that they have. They have taught me to see the world through their eyes, forced me to become more selfless and generous, showed me how to slow down, revealed my shortcomings and the way I desperately need Jesus, demonstrated faith in ways only a child can, shown me how to give and receive unconditional love, and taught me how to live in the moment. It's more challenging than anything I've ever done, but also more rewarding than anything I've ever known.
So when my friends Adam & Lexis told me they were pregnant and asked me to capture their maternity and newborn photos, I was so excited. Excited to capture this important milestone and transition in life ... a change that is so big that it goes much beyond photos. But I hope these pictures serve as a reminder to them of a beautiful season - a season of change, growth, dependence, exhaustion, delight, and beyond all else - a season where their hearts grew bigger than they could have ever imagined.