Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement | Jenna and Ben | Dream Lake and 3m Curve

Jenna and Ben | Estes Park Elopement | Dream Lake and 3M Curve

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Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Elopement Photographer

Estes Park is one of my favorite location in the state. It’s tucked back in some of the most stunning mountains across Colorado. One of the biggest perks of Estes is Rocky Mountain National Park. The park provides easy access to trailheads with roads that approach 12,000 feet in elevation.

One of my favorite, and easiest, hikes in the park is Dream Lake. It’s only 2.2 miles round trip, and the payoff is AH-MAZING. Once you turn the corner on the last stretch up to the lake, Hallet peak begins to boom behind the lush greens of the trees and the dark teals of the lake. One might akin Dream Lake to a Bob Ross painting.

Jenna and Ben decided to have their pre-wedding portraits up at Dream Lake for just that reason – that the scenery looks like that of a Bob Ross painting. They have a personal connection to the thought of “Happy little trees”, and watched a Bob Ross marathon together when they first began dating.

On the day of their elopement, Jenna and Ben headed up the trail with their closest family members in tow. Even the baby joined us on the hike up to Dream Lake. We spent a little time getting ready and taking photos with Hallet peak in the background. The weather was amazing, and we were graced with some clouds that made for an incredibly epic background.

For their ceremony, Jenna and Ben had reserved 3M curve. *Side note – you must elope and say your vows at a designated site within Rocky Mountain National Park. The park only reserves a certain amount of permits per day – I highly recommend reserving your permit earlier rather than later. We can always travel within the park to other locations for portraits, as we did here for Jenna and Ben’s Rocky Mountain National Park elopement. You can find a list of the designated elopement sites HERE*.

As the sun was setting and casting a lovely pink glow on Longs Peak in the background, Jenna and Ben said their vows to one another. During their ceremony, they turned to their loved ones and said something personal and special to each family member that was in attendance for their elopement.

In true elopement fashion, Jenna and Ben signed their marriage license in the dark, lit by cell phone lights, against their car.

Thank you for inviting us to be a part of your amazing celebration, Jenna and Ben. It was an amazing day!!

Cheers!

Second Photographer: Amanda Maughmer

Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Elopement Photographer | Based in Denver, Colorado

Photographing across the Rocky Mountain Region: Telluride | Dillon | Keystone | Vail | Breckenridge | Winter Park | Granby | Grand Lake | Estes | Buena Vista | Ouray | Arapahoe Basin | Silverton | Silverthorne | Spanish Peaks

Iceland Elopement Photographer | Candice and Robert | Bu∂ir and Snaefellsness Peninsula Elopement

Candice and Robert | Budir Black Church Elopement

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Savannah Chandler Photography |Iceland Elopement Photographer

Oh Iceland, how I love thee.

Ever since my first visit to Iceland in 2015, I’m forever pining to get back to the land of Fire and Ice. There’s something incredible about this small island. There’s a feeling just touching down into Keflavik that I can’t put into words.

When Candice and Robert asked me to join them in their Icelandic celebration in February 2020, needless to say, I was beyond excited. I had been to Iceland during the fall and spring, but never in the dead of winter.

On February 26, my good friend (and also an awesome photographer) Veronica and I headed out to Reykjavik. We certainly touched down in the Land of Ice this go-round. The weather was pretty crummy, as was traffic getting into town. We had been checking the weather daily, and it looked as though we were in for a bit of a rough patch. Even the day of the elopement looked fairly iffy according to reports.

On the morning of February 29 – Leap Year – we headed over to Candice and Robert’s AirBnB just outside of Olafsvik on the Snaefellsness Peninsula. We got there around 7 am, right as the sky was turning a beautiful deep blue. Much to our delight, the weather seemed to be holding out! It was a lovely 30* F outside, with NO WIND!

Once Candice and Robert were all dressed and ready, we headed out on the road, around the peninsula towards the tiny, coastal Black Church of Budir. The mountains were blanketed in white, as was all of the lava rock and moss. Untouched powder. Looking out at the white covered landscape was quite magical. As we drove, we all made several comments on how stunning and pristine Iceland during winter is. One of my very favorite sightings was to see Snaefellsjokull (the glacier on the peninsula) booming above the surrounding mountains – completely covered in snow and pure white.

Turning the corner towards Budir, we gazed at the Black church that stood out ever so beautifully against the white snow. I wonder if part of the intentions behind building black churches in Iceland was the black and white contrast.

At 10:00 on Leap Year day, Candice walked into Budakirkja to marry Robert.

Being an only witness to a celebration of marriage is a feeling that will always choke me up. I am forever grateful to be invited to celebrate with my amazing couples as the only other human present. Know that I’m likely tearing up along with you, and my heart is also pounding with adrenaline.

Candice and Robert recited vows that they had written to one another. I try my damndest to be present and listen to the words spoken as I’m running around like a little goat photographing. Candice and Robert enjoy spending time together watching movies and are avid concert goers. Candice’s vows referenced lines from their favorite shows/movies, and Robert’s vows referenced song lyrics. It was incredibly moving, fun, and joyful to witness.

One the “know was tied” (quite literally as well, as you’ll see in the photos below), we headed out to adventure around the Snaefellsness peninsula. IN AMAZING WEATHER. It was such a lovely day to be out and about walking around. The sun even decided to grace us with its presence.

All four times I’ve been to Iceland, I’ve looked for the land bridge near Arnastapi, the first three to no avail. I am so crazily happy to say… WE FOUND IT! And it is just as stunning as I imagined. Probably even more so being blanketed in snow.

If you’re going to visit one area while you’re in Iceland, I personally believe that Snaefellsness is the place to check out. It is essentially a microcosm of all the natural wonders of Iceland. Volcanic features and rock, a glacier, amazing coastal lines, mountains, black sand beaches, and of course waterfalls.

My favorite of all the natural features on Snaefellsness is definitely the coastal line. The dramatic teal waters, crashing upon the black rocks with booming mountains jetting up in the background. It’s a photographer’s dream, really. Maybe that’s why I’m so emotionally drawn to the island – the endless photographic possibilities.

Another amazing thing about Iceland is that it has a draw to the adventurous souls. Candice and Robert are certainly in that category. We found an AMAZING cove along the coast, but the descent down towards the water was, well, not for the faint of heart. Candice and Robert, with microspikes in tow, headed down the steep hill in the name of adventure and photos. As I’m sure you’ll agree, it was WORTH IT!

After our fish and chips break, we headed back toward Olafsvik and towards the famous Kirkjufell. When I saw “Church Mountain” in the spring and fall, it was pretty, but nothing compared to the frozen tundra during wintertime. The waterfalls are half frozen, somewhat teal, and beyond stunning.

Once we pulled up to the parking lot, we noticed a helicopter circling Kirkjufell. We were witnessing a Search and Rescue off the mountain. To this day, I still can not find any information as to what happened. We all stood and watched until the team descended the mountain. I hope that everyone involved is okay!!

Being the landmark that it is, Kirkjufell was certainly the most crowded place that we encountered. There were tourists slipping everywhere, and lots of people trying to get photos. We waited ever so patiently for a turn by the falls, only to be overtaken by multiple tourists – which we nicknamed Denim Bob and Yellowjacket Steve. They both kept standing DIRECTLY behind Candice and Robert – even though we clearly had been waiting. Please enjoy a photobomb by Denim Bob in the gallery.

To cap off our day together, we all stopped for dinner and drinks. It was DELICIOUS. The food this entire trip was way beyond what I was expecting. We had an amazing dinner where Candice and Robert exchanged their gifts to one another and waited out the Northern Lights. We did get a small lights show… at about 1 am. Needless to say, we were all exhausted and hung out for a bit, but decided that sleep was also important.

Candice and Robert, thank you for inviting us to celebrate your AMAZING elopement with you. We had an amazing time, and I hope that you look back at your wedding day as fondly as I will.

Cheers –

denver-wedding-photographer

Shoutout to my Friend Veronica – you can check out her awesome work (weddings, elopements, and STUNNING dog portraits: Check her out HERE

Black Church at Budir

Savannah Chandler Photography | Iceland Elopement Photographer

Photographing bold, adventurous couples throughout Iceland.
Reykjavik | Snaefellsness | Akureyri | Hofn | Vik | The Highlands | West Fjords | Mytavn

Colorado Proposal Photographer | Larke and Taylor | Estes Park Engagement

Larke and Taylor | Rocky Mountain National Park Proposal and Engagement

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Savannah Chandler Photography | Estes Park Engagement Photographer

Larke contacted me about photographing her and her boyfriend in Estes Park on their vacation to Colorado. They travel often, getting photographs taken during all of their travels. This trip was with her boyfriend, Taylor’s, grandfather to Rocky Mountain National Park. The park is a place where he grew up coming to, and continued to bring his family to because he loved the surrounding beauty. I was incredibly excited to spend time with Larke, Taylor, and his Grandfather.

About two days after I spoke with Larke, I received and email from Taylor. He was planning on proposing during our time together!! We talked about logistics, and how to make sure that Larke had no clue what was going to happen.

On August 20, right before the sun started to come up over the horizon, I met Larke and Taylor at the Ute Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a fabulous location, and is easily accessible for nearly all physical levels. There’s a specific rock that I love, that overlooks the Forest Canyon and the Never Summer mountain range. I told Larke and Taylor for the alpenglow of sunrise, that would be the best spot.

I knew Taylor was going to take a knee shortly. He had also arranged for Larke’s parents to fly out to Colorado, and walk out to the spot where we were about 10 minutes after we got there. I knew that they were coming, and as soon as he saw them in the background he was going to propose.

We heard a car pull up, and I knew that it was “Go Time”. I told Larke and Taylor to look at me for a photo, and then to “Look Behind Me”. At that point, Taylor dropped to his knee and totally surprised Larke. I think that she was so in shock at that exact moment, she didn’t notice that her parents were there until after he stood up and pointed them out. It was truly a great moment to be a part of, and I’m so happy that all of their family was there as well to celebrate.

As the sun started coming up, we spent some time photographing the now engaged couple 😃. We got quite the amazing Colorado sky that morning. The oranges and pinks really were out all morning for sunrise. And for being at nearly 12,000 feet, it really was fairly warm. You know, around 45-50•.

We concluded our time at Sprague Lake, up on the other side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Another fantastic location for portraits, I love how majestic Hallett Peak looks in the background booming up behind the lake.

Thank you for inviting me to celebrate what became your engagement. It was a great morning and one that I know I’ll always have fond memories of. I hope that Louisiana is fantastic, and that the two of you are much warmer than we are here in Colorado today 😜

Cheers –

Locations are all within Rocky Mountain National Park
Second Shooter: Amanda M.

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

Photographing across the Rocky Mountain Region: Telluride | Dillon | Keystone | Vail | Breckenridge | Winter Park | Granby | Grand Lake | Estes | Buena Vista | Ouray | Arapahoe Basin | Silverton | Silverthorne | Spanish Peaks

Colorado Snowboarding Elopement | Audrey and Ted | Arapahoe Basin Wedding Photographer

Audrey and Ted | Arapahoe Basin and Black Mountain Lodge Wedding

Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Snowboarding wedding photographer

Two things that I love in this world: photographing weddings and snowboarding. I’ve been snowboarding since the mid 90’s, and still love to get up and shred down some “pow-pow”. Being a Colorado native, I grew up hitting the slopes as often as I could. I still try to do so, but life has a crazy way of “getting in the way” from time to time.

When I talked to Audrey about her and Ted’s elopement, I was so excited to hear that they wanted to spend the day up on the mountain on their boards. They got engaged up on the Zuma bowls, and even named their doggo Zuma after the famous runs. Getting married up at Arapahoe Basin made perfect sense for the pair.

We met near the base, and headed up the Black Mountain Express towards the top of the mountain. One thing that was important to Audrey and Ted was to spend a few minutes near the Montezuma Bowl and take some photos of the two of them with and without their boards.

We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather on a December day!! It was lovely out, and in the sun it felt rather warm. The snow was still that of early season – but it was much better than I expected! We headed down the slopes, taking our time getting angles on the way to the Black Mountain Lodge for their ceremony.

Once we boarded into the lodge, we were greeted by all of Audrey and Ted’s family and friends – including their adorable daughter. The couple kept their snow attire on for the ceremony – which I absolutely LOVE. I think that bringing pieces of who you truly are into your wedding is absolutely amazing. As I told a few guests – this was the MOST Colorado wedding ever. And with how much I LOVE my home state of Colorado, I’m honored to have been invited to photograph such an occasion.

Thank you, Audrey and Ted, for inviting us to celebrate your awesome, ever so Colorado wedding, with you and your loved ones. I wish you all the best, and I hope to get up on the slopes and shred some powdey with the two of you in the future!!

Cheers –

Audrey and Ted | Arapahoe Basin Snowboarding Wedding | Black Mountain Lodge Ceremony

Second shooter: Natalie M.

Photographing across the Rocky Mountain Region: Telluride | Dillon | Keystone | Vail | Breckenridge | Winter Park | Granby | Grand Lake | Estes | Buena Vista | Ouray | Arapahoe Basin | Silverton | Silverthorne | Spanish Peaks

Interested in Booking for a Snowboarding Elopement or Wedding? Fill out a contact form below and let’s chat about your epic vision!

Wild Basin Lodge Wedding | Abby and Ilan | Traditional Jewish Celebration

Abby and Ilan | Wild Basin Lodge Wedding

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Savannah Chandler Photography | Estes Park Wedding Photographer

Some weddings leave a big, soppy spot on your heart. That is exactly how I feel about Abby and Ilan’s Wild Basin Lodge wedding.

I very first spoke to Abby and Ilan from a hospital floor “patient dining room” via. FaceTime. It was the period in time where my son was undergoing chemotherapy – and that was my option. Abby and Ilan were more than understanding, and totally supportive of what was happening in MY LIFE, during a chat about THEIR wedding. These two are truly the best kind of humans – ones who genuinely care. It makes TOTAL sense to me that they both are going into the medical field, and I can’t wait to hear about all the amazing things these two kind humans do in the future.

Abby and Ilan are both of the Jewish faith. They invited me to celebrate Havdalah on Saturday night with them and their closest family and friends. There was food, followed by some very heartfelt toasts, and then one of my favorite experiences (as a human and a photographer) – a candle light ceremony to signal the end of the Sabbath and campfire songs under the stars. The moon was just making it’s way over the horizon right as the celebration began – making for an amazing moonglow over the adjacent Chapin, Chiquita, and Ypslion mountains. This is also one of my favorite images to date – as pushing to get angles, exposures, and moments can be very difficult. I am SO glad that I decided to step outside of my normal shooting boundries and went for that one shot (it literally was one shot, that I had one shot to get 😬).

The next morning, the wedding day was no less amazing. As with many wedding, Abby and Ilan gave each other gifts. However, these gifts were like this couple: truly thoughtful and lovely. Abby sang Ilan’s favorite song in Hebrew and recorded it alongside a track by one of their friend’s band. I don’t think there was a dry eye on the balcony during the whole song. Ilan had a stunning wooden box made, and inside it were photos, tickets, and even the original Email where they were introduced. So many fun and sweet memories to hear about.

As the day went on, so did the happy tears and my favorite – Lots of singing and dancing. I had SO MUCH FUN dancing along with everyone, from pre-ceremony all the way through the traditional Jewish dancing and Hora. I even found myself up on a ledge (getting those angles, of course 🤓) dancing along. The day was SO full of love, laughter, and EVERYONE felt included – even us crazy photographers.

I hope that you all enjoy Abby and Ilan’s photos as much as I did producing them. As the saying goes – you’ll always remember how people made you feel. I’ll always remember Abby and Ilan’s wedding – not only for the awesome photos, but sheerly for the way I was made to feel.

The most sincerest of Thank You’s and Well Wishes to the two of you as you begin your life as a married couple.

Cheers, and Mazel Tov.

Vendors:

Venue: Wild Basin Lodge
Florals:
Traditional Jewish Band:
Reception Band:
Secondary Photographer: The ever-amazing Amanda M.

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

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