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Buena Vista Wedding | Sophie and Zach | Cottonwood Pass and The Barn at Sunset Ranch

Sophie and Zach | The Barn at Sunset Ranch Wedding

Savannah Chandler Photography | Buena Vista Wedding Photographer

Sophie and Zach’s Buena Vista Mountain Wedding

With 14,000 ft Mount Princeton booming in the background, The Barn at Sunset Ranch boasts some of the most fantastic views in Buena Vista, Colorado. This was my first time visiting this amazing wedding venue – and I absolutely loved it. The views were stunning from every area of the grounds, and the barn it’s self was large and beautiful.

Sophie and Zach have spent summers 4×4’ing in the Buena Vista vicinity as well as winters snowmobiling up Cottonwood Pass – so it only made sense for them to invite their family and friends to this beautiful little mountain town to celebrate their wedding.

Intimate Vows at the top of Cottonwood Pass

After getting ready, Sophie and Zach invited their wedding party and immediate family to come up to the top of Cottonwood Pass for a private vow ceremony. This particular spot that overlooks Ice Mountain and the Three Apostles is one that the two of them frequent in the winters on their snowmobiles. It’s a little bit of a hike to get out to the overlook, making it the perfect spot for a truly private ceremony in an area that can be filled with people from time to time. (And on a personal note, I’ve looked at Ice Mountain and the three connecting peaks from many of my hikes on the other side of the range – so I was particularly smitten with the spot they chose).

When we arrived to the top of the pass, it started to snow. I may not be writing this in the summer months, but Sophie and Zach hosted their wedding on June 30 – meaning we were all over the snow and it was a little bit of a shocker to arrive to fresh flakes falling from the sky. Everyone did amazingly well up top despite the wind and snow.

4×4 Adventure off Cottonwood Pass

Once they said their vows and we took family portraits, I joined Sophie and Zach on a 4×4 road off Cottonwood pass in both our Rubicons for some couple’s portraits. This past spring was quite a wet one – meaning that many of the roads were still inaccessible on June 30. We luckily found one road that was open a majority of the way so that the two of them could participate in a little off-road adventure on their wedding day.

We hung out in the alpine field for a little while taking photographs, as well as making sure to get some images of the two of them in the Rubicon. It’s a Jeep Thing ;).

The views facing Jones Mountain were one that were new to me – and so beautiful. All of the forested areas surrounding us were a stunning emerald green.

The Barn at Sunset Ranch Ceremony and Reception

Once we made our way back to the ranch, Sophie and Zach held their larger ceremony for all of their guests. The ceremony space has beautiful doors that outline Mt. Princeton in the field adjacent to the barn.

At their ceremony, they had what was dubbed the “Beer Boy” in lieu of a ring bearer. One of the groomsmen ever-so-gracefully jumped onto the aisle, spraying beer everywhere, and handed out Coors Lights to guests. I’ve been doing this for upwards of 14 years – this was a new one. I’ve seen “Flower Men”, but never a jumping “Beer Boy”. Needless to say, it was a hit and absolutely hilarious.

To cap off the evening, everyone partied in and outside of the barn until the last song played. At one point, the drinks had been flowing long enough that a few of the groomsmen took out a pocket knife and started hacking the legs off their pants (I believe the intent was to cool off and party harder). Everyone at the wedding did indeed Party.

Thanks again for inviting me to celebrate with you, Sophie and Zach!

Congratulations again, and now that the snow is about to start falling once again, enjoy your winter heading up to Buena Vista.


Venue: The Barn at Sunset Ranch
Coordinator: Tarah Avery
Music: Gordon Avenue
Second Photographer: Bonnie

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

Photographing across the Rocky Mountain Region and Beyond
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