Sky View at Fall River Village Wedding Photographer | Cecily and Jimmy | Estes Park

Cecily and Jimmy | Sky View at Fall River Village | Estes Park
Love at 8200 Feet

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Savannah Chandler Photography | Estes Park Wedding Photographer

Estes Park has always had a special spot in my heart.  I can remember going “down” for family vacations growing up, and watching the taffy being pulled in a local taffy shop along mainstreet.  Estes is a quaint mountain town, sitting at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park, and boasts a busy main street with small shops, restaurants, and bars.  My very favorite coffee house – Kind Coffee – is along the main drag. <3

I’ve been to Fall River Village before, and was incredibly excited to see the new Sky View wedding venue that opened this past August.  I met Cecily and Jimmy at Sky View to get ready, where Cecily was in the bridal suite and Jimmy was in their rental property just across the way.  Coming out from Virginia for their Colorado destination wedding, the bride and groom decided to have their first look in the stunning Rocky Mountain National Park at Sheep’s Lakes.  Cecily headed up with myself and we met Jimmy (along with my secondary photographer, Melissa) right along the roadside.  Mountains and fall color were what we were in search for all afternoon – and we were able to get both despite the cold snap and fog descending over Estes Park the day of the wedding.

If you’re planning on having a first look and heading up into the mountains for couple’s portraits, I highly recommend leaving plenty of time and allowing for spontaneous decisions.  We originally thought about heading up Trail Ridge Road, but the weather had other plans for us.  The road closed for the day due to snow and wind – Colorado can have crazy weather and snow in Estes (even in September!).  We snaked our way up towards Bear Lake, but decided against any of the upper lakes due to low visibility and fog.  As we were heading back down the road, I found a small pull off with a dirt ledge and a stunning Aspen field behind that was in prime color.  I may have made the 😬 face and asked how up for adventuring up the side of a muddy/slick sidewall they were.  #BadAssBride

We snaked our way back down hwy 34 towards Sky View, and met all the family, friends, and most importantly THE DOGS(!!) for portraits.  I knew from our first conversation (where I skyped and “met” their older pup) that the doggies would be a very important part of Cecily and Jimmy’s Estes Park wedding day.  The “Ring Pups” were such good troopers, and really listened (for the most part) to their bridal party duties.

After their vows amongst the fog wall, we headed in to the venue for some dancing and reception fun.  There was even Cornhole in the reception area!!

Thank you again, Cecily and Jimmy, for inviting me to celebrate your Estes Park wedding with you.  I wish you (and the “kiddos”) all the love and happiness.

Vendors:
Venue: Sky View at Fall River Village
Florist: Previe Events
Hair and Makeup: Megan Kerry Events
Caterer: Comida 
Secondary Photographer: Melissa Miniker

 

Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Wedding Photographer | Estes Park Wedding
Based in Denver, Colorado | Available for travel worldwide

Servicing the Rocky Mountain Region and Beyond
Telluride | Dillon | Keystone | Vail | Breckenridge | Winter Park | Granby | Grand Lake | Estes | Buena Vista | Ouray

Spruce Mountain Ranch Wedding Photographer | Danielle and Sam | Trey’s Vista Wedding

Danielle and Sam | Spruce Mountain Ranch Wedding | Trey’s Vista

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Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Mountain Wedding Photographer

 

I love photographing at Spruce Mountain Ranch – it’s always been one of my very favorite Colorado wedding venues.  They have a multitude of ceremony sites (all of which are gorgeous), including Trey’s Vista.  I love the field view behind the vista, facing the mountains near Monument, Colorado.  The lighting is always pretty killer for couple’s portraits as well out in the field ;).

When Danielle and Sam contacted me about their September 28 wedding at Spruce Mountain Ranch, I was so excited to visit Larkspur for the third time in my 2018 wedding season.  September is the start of Colorado’s beautiful fall wedding season, with the fields turning to an Autumn Gold and the sun setting slightly to the south from the summer months.  This year, Colorado decided to go all “Colorado Crazy” with a cold snap the weekend of Danielle and Sam’s wedding.  Although it may not look like it in the photos, the temperature was dipping down into the 40’s and the wind was bringing in quite the chill.  All of the attending guests were troopers – any many of them came here from balmy Florida.

Danielle and Sam met when they were attending Perdue University (which I’ve since found out has an intense fight song, and that they’ve modified the lyrics to “Sweet Caroline” in favor of Perdue and NOT in favor of IU 😉 ).  Many of their bridal party, friends, and family also attended Perdue University.

After spending some time getting the bride and groom ready to take pre-ceremony portraits – we began our family and bridal party portraits.  Danielle is one of 6 children, and the first of those 6 to be getting married.  It was so fun to watch the whole family be so excited and happy to celebrate Danielle.  Sam and his group of groomsmen were so fun – I don’t know if I’ve ever had more guys in stitches during our formal groomsmen portraits.  I may have said something along the lines that they needed to stand closer together to avoid “beaming crotch light’… #HarshYetTruePhotographySayings.

Once Danielle and Sam said their vows, smashed some glass in honor of Sam’s Jewish heritage, and hugged many a loved ones following their ceremony – we finally headed out from the cold and into the lodge for their reception.  I absolutely fell in love with the hanging lights from the ceiling – I think that they added an amazing ambiance to the already stunning Ponderosa Room at Spruce.

To cap off the night, we danced the night away – including a Hora – and then Danielle and Sam made their epic exit into massive streamers.

Thank you again for inviting me to celebrate your Spruce Mountain Ranch Wedding with you, Danielle and Sam. <3 .  I wish you all the love and happiness in your marriage.

Vendors:
Venue: Spruce Mountain Ranch
Coordinator: Cloud 9 Denver
Hair and Makeup: Soluxe Salon
Florals: Southern Charm
Catering: Buffalo Gals
Secondary Photographer: Melissa Miniker

Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Wedding Photographer | Based in Denver, Colorado | Available for Travel Worldwide

Servicing the Rocky Mountain Region and Beyond.
Telluride | Keystone | Dillon | Aspen | Buena Vista | Breckenridge | Arapahoe Basin | Granby | Winter Park | Silverton | Ouray | Vail

Colorado Engagement Photographer | Pooneh and John | Shrine Pass Engagement

Pooneh and John | Shrine Pass Engagement
Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Engagement Photographer

 

 

Some may call me crazy, but I really do love sunrise engagement sessions.  There’s something so magical about a Colorado sunrise, especially in the mountains.  Pooneh and John live in Texas, and are coming out to Colorado for their Keystone wedding next July at one of my favorite venues: Timber Ridge Lodge at the top of Keystone Mountain.

Last month, exactly a month ago today a matter of fact, Pooneh and John flew out to Colorado to hang out in Keystone and to photograph their engagement portraits.  Our original plan to photograph for sunset was quickly changed, when (as it does often) the weather for the afternoon began to show a decent chance of thunderstorms and generally yucky weather.  Knowing we’d have to meet earlier in the morning, I suggested Shrine Pass as our location – it’s in close relation to Keystone, easy to access, and is simply stunning in the mornings.

I, along with my father who came along for the drive, headed out of the Denver area roughly at 4:15 in the morning to hit the summit of Vail pass and turn towards shrine.  This fall in Colorado came FAST – I was shocked at how much of the ground foliage had begin to change already in early September.

We set out onto the trail for a walk towards the fields of yellow willows just as the sun began to break the horizon.  The morning had beautiful whispy clouds, making for a stunning sky display above the Gore mountain range in the background.

Just as we were heading out from the pass, we stopped alongside the campgrounds to take a few images.  My father pointed off to the left to some interesting red rock formations – when we saw them I knew we had to take a walk over there to check them out.  They were STUNNING, and I loved that we were able to capture some different mountains for Pooneh and John during their time here in Colorado.

Thank you for trusting my (sometimes crazy) idea to head “up the hill” at 6:30 in the morning, Pooneh and John.  I can’t wait to celebrate with you next year!

 

 

 

Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Wedding Photographer | Based in Denver, CO | Available for Travel Worldwide
Servicing all of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains | Vail Engagement Photographer | Shrine Pass, Vail, Colorado

Strawberry Creek Ranch Wedding Photographer | Jessi and Jake | Granby, Colorado

Jessi and Jake | Strawberry Creek Ranch Wedding
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Savannah Chandler Photography | Granby Wedding Photographer

 

Strawberry Creek Ranch is one of my favorite locations in all of Colorado to host a wedding.  I love the laid back vibe mixed with the stunning views looking back over the Tabernash hills and Winter Park mountains.  If they had been open when I got married, I sincerely think that I would have opted to get married here.  Back in 2016, my brother Alex did get married at Strawberry Creek Ranch… so it must be a family affair.  I *may* have suggested he take a look at it.

Jessi and Jake have an amazing story.  They’ve been together the past seven years and are high school sweethearts.  At a party they both attended when they first met, someone thought they were such a cute couple that they “married” them back in 2011.  One would think that this was an obvious joke, however, they had to explain to friends who saw their facebook status (and eventually change said status) so people knew they weren’t actually married.  On July 28th, 2018 – they were ACTUALLY married.  You know – the legally binding, saying vows, throwing one massive party kind.  In the past seven years, before saying “I Do – Again”, Jake has gone to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Jessi studied abroad in France and modeled in New York City.  They’ve already endured hardships, long distance struggles, and have remained strong throughout.

The morning of the wedding, I continually looked up the weather report.  We were in a streak of weather that entire week – as often happens on July afternoons in the mountains.  Nearly the entire state of Colorado was showing thunderstorms.  As we pulled in to Granby, you could see dark clouds yet there seemed to be a decent break floating above us.  As the ceremony started, we watched all of the dark skies swirl and twirl above the distant mountains, but they never came our way.  The coordinator – Rami with PickMe! Weddings (check her out- she’s AH MAZ ING) let me know that all the other mountain towns were getting pounded with rain.

As we set out to take their couple’s portraits, the skies were absolutely fantastic.  We spent some time walking through the fields (and of course by the amazing reflection pond) before we headed back to what would turn out to be one hell of a party.  Jessi had family fly in from Helsinki, Finland (where her dad is from) to celebrate, and even play a lovely song for the father/daughter dance.  Being high school sweethearts meant that they had a ton of friends in common, and a large group of Air Forcemen provided tons of dancing, chair lifting, and near the end of the night – whiskey throwing.  I think I can honestly say that this was the first wedding that I came home smelling like whiskey.  The entire night made for a ton of fun, and some really epic photo taking.  I always tell my couples, I love it when there’s lots of events happening or a the party gets really cray cray – it’s an awesome opportunity for us to photograph a bunch of different things going on.

Thank you, Jessi and Jake, for inviting us to celebrate with you.  And thank you for your kindness and patience.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the next seven(ty) years for you two.

 

 

Vendors:
Venue: Strawberry Creak Ranch Wedding
Wedding Coordinator: Rami with PickMe! Weddings
Florals: The Stalk Market
Catering: Smokin Moes BBQ
Bar: Peak Beverage
DJ: Encore Events

 

Colorado Elopement Photographer | Esslie and Nathan | Loveland Pass Elopement

Esslie and Nathan | Loveland Pass Elopement
Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Elopement Photographer

 

 

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I love elopements.  There’s something so wonderful about two people heading somewhere together just the two of them to start their journey of marriage together.  Another thing I love – Colorado Mountains.  🙃

When Lilli of Sweetly Paired, Colorado Wedding Planner connected me with Esslie and Nathan, I knew right off the bat that they were my kind of amazing people.  They were so excited to start a life together, and would also be welcoming a new little one into their lives in 2018.  To celebrate their union, they were heading West from Missouri and eloping up on Loveland Pass.  Loveland Pass sits at 11,990 feet elevation and has 360* mountain views.  The Continental Divide sits alongside the pass, and you can see views of Greys and Torreys (some of Colorado’s most famous and most widely climbed 14er’s).

I met Esslie, Kendra (the amazing planner who worked with us on the day of), and Scott (the officiant) up at the Pass to prepare for the couple’s first look.  We decided to ascent up the ridge a little bit to get a better view of the East wall of Arapahoe Basin – where Nathan would see his bride for the first time.  We had a super special guest with us for their first look – Tyson the doggie, adorned with the cutest flower collar ever.

To say their Vows to one another, Scott led a beautifully touching ceremony that included knot tying to signify Esslie and Nathan’s promises to one another.  Trying to portray the feeling watching a couple get married mountainside just the two of them is incredibly difficult – the words never seem to fully describe how magical (and honoring) it truly is to be a part of.  I certainly caught myself choking up listening to Esslie and Nathan recite their handwritten promises to one another.  Or there was an onion up in the alpine.  Yeah, that must be what it was. 😃

Once the emotional portion of the day concluded – we began our time together for their couple’s portraits.  To say that Esslie was a trooper would be a severe understatement – she was pregnant, from sea level and hiking as fast as I was up and down the ridges at nearly 12,000 feet of elevation.  I’ve seen burly men hike slower and complain more than she did in that altitude.  She was definitely one Badass Bride.

We began on the Southfacing ridge, and made our way across to the Northwest side of the ridge as the sun began to crest over Hagar Mountain.  The look of light falling behind a mountain and giving off a glow as it crests is one of my absolutely favorite things to photograph.  I think the light is so dramatic and beautifully bold.  On the night of Esslie and Nathan’s Colorado elopement, we sure caught a light show.  The sun would hit behind the ridge, and we’d slightly ascend up the trail to catch the light from a slightly higher angle until daylight faded.  Throughout our phone conversations, I had told Esslie and Nathan about Alpenglow, and that Loveland Pass is unique in the fact that you can catch the pink colors at sunset due to the Eastern facing mountainsides.  Colorado did not disappoint – the entire East Humboldt Mountain Range turned amazing colors of pink and red.

Thank you again, Esslie and Nathan, for inviting me to be a part of your Colorado elopement up on Loveland Pass.  It was such a lovely evening and I wish the two of you all the love as you venture into marriage (and parenthood!)

Vendors:
Planner and Coordinator: Sweetly Paired
Officiant: Scott with WedLock Officiants
Florist: The Olive and Poppy

Photographs on Loveland Pass by Colorado Elopement Photographer Savannah Chandler

Esslie brought out a family Heirloom necklace to attach to her bouquet <3

If you’re looking for a Vendor team that will help with any/all the things you need for a Colorado Elopement – Sweetly Paired was awesome.  Kendra helped watch sweet Tyson, ran back to the car to grab things as needed, and was there the entire evening to help in any way she could.

Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Elopement Photographer
Based in Denver, Colorado | Available for Travel Worldwide
Photographing all along the Rocky Mountain Region

 

 

Some of my favorite locations in Colorado to Elope:
Loveland Pass, Buena Vista, Crested Butte (Gothic Road) Winfield, Estes Park, Breckenridge, Telluride, Ouray, Durango, Keystone, Twin Lakes, Aspen

Want to see more Colorado Elopement Photographer images?  Check out the blog posts HERE

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