Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alena and Billy

So I am absolutely thrilled that this is my second guest blog post, and my first wedding one. There is a reason I am a photographer and not a writer. Alena says it so beautifully. Please read this if you are considering a wedding in Crested Butte, or know someone who is. And if you are one of my brides and want to guest blog, let me know. I'd love for you to do it!

Thanks to everyone who made this wedding what it was:
Flowers: Raincrow Farm, Paonia
Ceremony Music: Tyler Hansen
Hair: Rare Bird Salon
Bridal Salon: Anna Be Denver
Dress: Nicole Miller
Shoes: Betsey Johnson


"I’ve never really been that into weddings. I didn’t dream about mine as a little (or big) girl; I told my parents as a teenager that I planned to elope and wear black; and after the excitement of my now-husband’s proposal began to wear off, all I could think was, how can I possibly make this formal, traditional ritual feel like me, feel like us? It seemed impossible.

We found the answer in Crested Butte.

After months of debating our options – elope, international destination, courthouse, hometown, you name it – we decided that we wanted to include close family and friends, and we wanted them to experience our adopted home of Colorado. Denver, where we live, didn’t cut it. Summit County was too touristy. Boulder was too Boulder. We checked off all the places that we’ve been and came down to our favorite: a little mining-turned-ski town that’s pretty darn far off the beaten path.

Yes, CB presented logistical issues. It’s challenging to plan a wedding from 5 hours away. There are only so many vendor options in town. It was a haul for our guests, almost all of whom came from out of state. But it was absolutely, 100% worth it.

Alison White was the first vendor we met. Her style of photography (and her style of life, frankly) immediately appealed to us. We knew that she would do a fabulous job with the pictures. What we didn’t know, at first, was how instrumental she would be in helping us plan our perfect weekend.

It started with that first meeting when she suggested the Mountain Heritage Museum as a location for our rehearsal dinner. We took her advice, and it was a huge hit. Alison’s influence was even more key in planning for the big day itself. We originally hoped to host the wedding and reception at a private ranch outside of town. When quotes for everything from tents to dishes to bus rides started to come in, however, we realized we needed another option. Enter a frantic call to Alison, our only wedding-ish contact in town. She suggested the Woods Walk and Maxwells. Again, a huge hit with the guests, and a significantly lesser hit to our wallets.

So those are the facts: rehearsal dinner at the museum, with pizzas from Secret Stash; ceremony at the Woods Walk meadow followed by a reception at Maxwells Steakhouse. It was wonderful. But lovely as it was, that framework didn’t make it feel like us: we did.

I loved the way I looked and felt. My dress was simple, flowy, elegant, and looked awesome with my old, beat-up cowboy boots. For the reception, I switched to a pair of Betsey Johnson heels that I got for my senior prom, 10 years ago… which I happened to attend with Billy, my now-husband. Our flowers, from a farm in Paonia, were fresh and vibrant and stunning. The literal crowning jewel was the necklace that my grandmother wore at her wedding, then my older sister at hers. For me, the entire look was perfect.

(Speaking of my dress, one of my favorite moments of the day came right before my dad and I walked down the aisle. We’re standing alone down the path, and suddenly I noticed that something was poking me by the zipper of my dress. Turns out the tag was still attached, although I’d had the dress for months. We didn’t have any tools with us, so my dad proceeds to stick his head in my armpit and bite the tag off. It definitely broke some of the pre-ceremony jitters. )

I loved the way that everyone else looked. The different dresses on the bridesmaids, tiny dragonflies on the boys’ bowties, the little girls all in white, my mom’s self-described “flapper dress”, Billy’s whole outfit… all of it contributed to a look that was cohesive but comfortable, very laidback but, if I may say so myself, quite mountain-chic.

I loved our first look moment. It was my favorite part of the day. Billy and I were both in tears at the sheer emotion of it: here we are, we’re about to get married, and god, do we love each other. With so much adrenaline, so many nerves running through my body, a quiet minute with him was life-saving.

I loved our ceremony. All four of our parents served as officiants, and each shared some words that were meaningful to them. There were tears, and laughs, and small children running everywhere, and it embodied everything that we hoped it would be: an affirmation of our love, our family and friends’ support, and the life we’ve chosen to create here in Colorado. There were no “should do” moments; every minute of it was meaningful. Our dog even behaved himself.

I loved our reception. The food was fabulous. The music was spot-on – I couldn’t stop dancing all night. But what made it so special and surreal was being surrounded by everyone we love. We had about 60 guests, and for us, it was perfect; we had time to really talk to everyone, ask about their time in CB, share stories and laugh and hug and dance. My dad almost strangled me with tear-soaked hugs during our father/daughter dance. Billy and his mom tore up the floor to Footloose. My niece and nephew took about 100 photos in the photo booth. Friends and family who had never met were mingling, chatting, bonding. It was an incredibly fun party, and the perfect celebration to cap off our day.

Amazingly, Alison was able to capture each and every moment that I’ve described. I can’t thank her enough for her help with planning everything, and most importantly, documenting it. Her photos aren’t only beautiful pictures, they will forever bring us back to that place, time and feeling. It was a fabulous day, and her work is a fabulous gift that we will appreciate forever."

Wow. Thanks Alena. I am humbled.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Today is the first of I hope many guest blog posts. So here's what Stacia had to say about our photo shoot:

"Working with Alison was such a fun experience! I could not have asked for anything better! During the photo shoot, she made me feel very comfortable and let me do whatever I wanted, so that my personality could shine through in the pictures. I really appreciated that! We went to many different locations, such as in front of a wall covered in license plates, an old prison, and even a broken down barn. I had a blast at each one! When I first saw the pictures, I was amazed at how awesome they turned out. I asked for creative and artistic photos, and Alison did just that! She most definitely exceeded my expectations and went out of her way to make sure I was happy with my ending results, and I know she will do the same for each one of her clients. Most people might like 10 photos out of hundreds that a photographer takes during a shoot; this was not the case shooting with Alison, because I LOVED them all! I am so excited to get my prints and share them with family and friends! I have no regrets shooting with Alison and would do it again and again. I know that anyone that works with her will feel the exact same way! Whether it be senior portraits, family portraits or weddings, Alison is the one to choose! :)

Thanks Stacia!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meredith and JB

I was hoping to shoot Meredith and JB's wedding, but they ended up switching weekends because while she was busy having a baby someone took her date! AGH! So I was lucky enough to spend a Thursday evening with them taking engagement portraits. It is so nice to see a couple so absolutely, madly in love with each other. Congratulations you two, I hope your wedding was as beautiful as you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Laura and Will

Laura and Will had a teeny, tiny intimate wedding...eight people. The day they were married there were wildfires in the state and it made for some hazy skies. Kind of made it look ethereal and romantic. And Will turned out to be quite the jokester. Check out how he makes Laura laugh.

Thank you to those who made this a beautiful day to remember:
Planner: Anthony Perez with Crested Butte Specialty Services
Florist: Keli at Misty Mountain Too
Officiant: Kat Hassebroek
Violin: Lizzy Plotkin

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mikella and Ryan

Mikella and Ryan were the lucky couple who kicked off my 2011 wedding season. Their intimate affair was held slopeslide at Crested Butte Mountain Resort at Uleys cabin, and all of the guests arrived by sleigh ride. They married at sunset. It was beautiful! Click the slideshow to see more images from their evening.

Thanks to all the great vendors who made this a beautiful wedding:
Venue and Catering: Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Cake: Erika White