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Intimate SkyView Wedding | Michelle and Zach | Estes Park Colorado

Michelle and Zach | Intimate Wedding at SkyView in Estes Park

a bride and groom at sunset on a rocky outcropping for wedding photos.  The sun is setting behind large mountains behind them.

Savannah Chandler Photography | Estes Park Wedding Photographer

Knowing they wanted a mountain wedding, Michelle and Zach invited their closest family members to celebrate with them at the stunning SkyView in Estes Park for an intimate wedding ceremony. Zach had mentioned wanting a winter wedding – and in mid-November, they had all the amazing weather patterns that come with Colrado’s mountain towns as winter approaches.

Intimate Wedding Coverage | Choosing a Timeline

One thing that differs when having an intimate wedding is the coverage that makes the most sense for your specific wedding vision. It’s not quite an elopement with just the two of you; yet it’s not a full wedding where numerous hours are spent photographing the traditional wedding events. Michelle and Zach knew that they wanted photographs of:

First Look
The Ceremony
Photos of all guests in attendance (very possible with intimate weddings)
Family Formals
Time to head into Rocky Mountain National Park for Mountain Portraits
The start of their reception gathering

After looking at the logistics of sunset and heading into Rocky Mountain National Park during their informal cocktail hour, we settled on a 5 hour time block, ensuring that all the events they wanted photographed during their reception gathering happened BEFORE dinner. Pro tip – in instances where things such as your first dance and/or toasts are important to your vision – doing so before dinner makes for the most efficient use of photographic time and creates a natural ending point for coverage.

Logistics | How does an Intimate Wedding Work

One of my favorite things about this amazing state is the “it’s your day, you do what YOU want” attitude. Colorado’s known for being very laid back – and I would argue that hosting your wedding here means that the team supporting you on the backend are all going to be on your side when it comes to how you’d like to structure your day. Want your dog as your witness? Done. No bridal party? Easy peasy. We’re here to help you create the wedding day experience that makes the most sense for you as a couple.

Michelle and Zach had their parents get ready with them just before their private first look out on the stunning wedding deck overlooking Long’s Peak. Just before the ceremony began, the two of them headed back into the bridal suite to have a few moments to be truly alone (without a photographer being all up in their faces). We took this time to make sure and get photos of all the guests in attendance outside on the deck, which always has amazing lighting and multiple places to take stunning photos.

For their ceremony, Michelle had her dad walk her down the aisle to meet Zach. Just as they approached the walkway, she realized that she had forgotten her bouquet just inside the doors – which made for a quick chuckle from everyone (and one of those cute wedding moments that always stick in my wedding-photographer brain). Flowers now procured – Michelle walked to meet her Groom as small pebbles of snow fell from the sky. The vows were incredibly emotional, as there were many personal reasons for tears of joy and emotion. I can say – these two are surrounded by some of the most caring and loving people. Their families love them so much and were so happy to be celebrating this marriage.

While their family enjoyed some appetizers, the three of us (along with Michelle’s brother as my human light stand) headed to a few of my favorite locations in Rocky Mountain National Park. Knowing that November evening typically mean lots of deep blues in the sky, I made sure to bring my lighting equipment and that handy-dandy willing brother to get those deep and dramatic skies Colorado is known for.

To cap off their evening, a few dances were had back at SkyView followed by Michelle’s father giving a toast. Behind everyone, a slideshow was playing with some pretty hilarious photos – making for some great laughing moments.

Thanks again for inviting me to be a part of your stunning celebration, Michelle and Zach.