Styled Shoot: Coffee Shop Elopement

By Season Hurd | | Comment

Vintage bicycle wedding decor, coffee themed wedding, Sonja K Photography

All photos by Sonja K Photography

This coffee shop elopement shoot does absolutely everything for me. As the kids say, “It gives me all the feels!” My husband and I owe a lot to places like the one in this shoot. If not for the coffee house in Fort Collins where we first convinced ourselves we liked coffee, the landscape of our formative years would have looked so much different. The smell of coffee takes me back to the excitement of that time in our lives and the taste fills me with warmth and optimism still. Brunch is and always shall be the emblem of my courtship with my husband. Each Sunday we would try to make “Fancy Breakfast” served on a silver tray. While writing this I am getting blissfully nostalgic and thankful to the creators of the shoot for helping me reminisce about the last 13 years of love I’ve found with Jake.

So now I take you to another coffee shop in the same town. Two gentlemen are playing out their love story over a decidedly “Fancy Breakfast”. But they are experiencing a different kind of beginning – their first day of marriage. The men, Ryan and Cale, are a real couple of…wait for it…13 years. The love is real but the wedding shoot was staged – until it wasn’t! These friends of the photographer inspired the overall look of this shoot and even interjected a lot of sentimental items from their own home into the vignettes. (Thus a gilded unicorn making a cameo on the tablescape. Only they know what that is all about but I love it.) Apparently it was all highly inspiring for them because they opted to elope the morning of the shoot! The staged reception ended up being a celebration of their very real marriage that kept going long after the camera was turned off. Sonja K Photography was able to capture the first moments of their new lives together and you can see the meaning of this day so strongly in their connection to each other throughout the images. These guys have the kindest eyes ever when they look into the camera, but it pales in comparison to the magic you feel when they look at one another. It’s always an honor to see couples in those intensely loving moments following their vows. These boys have the afterglow and it adds something exceptionally beautiful to an already awesome shoot. Could they BE any more in love?

This themed shoot was designed around the slogan, “Love is Brewing”. The coffee influence is obvious immediately when you see the invitations. I admittedly don’t give enough credit to stationers on the blog, but I have to gush this time. I think the coffee rings are so brilliant that I’m beside myself! The simple and unpretentious lettering is completely appropriate for the venue. Likewise, the eclectic, vintage, and quirky elements added to the décor really channel the vibe of a coffee house. The floral design takes the funky feel a step further by showcasing elements like cotton that often take a back seat. Craspedia, dark viburnum berries, and grasses are hip and masculine additions to the live flowers of the centerpieces. Even though coffee houses always seem to decorate based off the same model, I love each and every one I’ve been to for their completely unique elements hidden in the greater aesthetic. You can study these places for ages and still find something new and interesting to land your eye on. Their objects have history, whimsy, and a curated feel which definitely makes an appearance here. That is something I can rarely say about weddings so this one really brings me joy. It’s coffee house elevated without feeling contrived. I could live forever in the mood they created. *swoon*

(Final Anecdote: There was a puffin involved in this shoot for reasons I’m not sure about. I just bought an actual stuffed puffin in Iceland a few weeks ago for my husband…the parallels are staggering!)


Venue: Everyday Joe’s | Photographer: Sonja K Photography | Event Planning: Jolly Events | Attire: Dora Grace | Calligrapher: Avo Ink | Baked Goods: ZuZu’s Bakeshop | Floral Design: Finishing Touches


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Real Colorado Wedding: Megan and Andrew | Fall Wedding at Donovan Pavilion

By Season Hurd | | Comment

All photos by TMDexter Photography

All photos by TMDexter Photography


Bride: Megan, 29 – Administrative Events Assistant | Groom: Andrew, 29 – Graduate Student
Date: October 11, 2015 | Location: Donovan Pavilion, Vail


When so many coincidences surround your meeting, it’s obviously fated to be. So it’s no surprise that this whirlwind romance culminated quickly into a magical wedding in the Rockies.

Their Story:

Andrew and I met while both in Los Angeles; he, having formerly pursued the acting life, and I, busy dancing professionally. Our mutual artistic friend thought we should meet because we were both on the way to New York City; Andrew for graduate school, and I for my dreams of dancing on the Great White Way. We met on Andrew’s last day in LA at his going away party and clicked immediately. Not only were we coming from the same place and going to the same place, but we had also been attending the same mega-church for months! We definitely caught each other’s attention, and that was only the beginning.

Our engagement story took place in Washington D.C., where Andrew and I had gone for the weekend after nine months of dating in New York. When we first got out of the car, we came to a fountain where I made a secret wish that we would get engaged. He had planned a romantic day to commemorate our milestone: lunch on the harbor, kayaking on the river, and the fourth of July fireworks! After the fireworks, we arrived back at the hotel where champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries were waiting. I thought the special treatment was in celebration of our nine month occasion, but before I knew it, he was on his knee telling me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. It was a dream—and a wish—come true! – Megan

The Details:

  • On their first date they “met by the pumpkins” and chose to incorporate that into the theme of their autumn wedding. Each table setting had gold painted pumpkins made by the bride.
  • The tables were named after locations from their love story instead of numbers. Each table had an image of the couple at that location and a description of its importance to their journey as a couple.
  • Andrew created a slideshow of their relationship that played at the end of the toasts.
  • Favors included s’mores kits assembled by the couple.
  • Something Old: Great-Grandmother’s wedding ring worn on her thumb | Something New: Necklace gifted by mother | Something Borrowed: Bracelet borrowed from a bridesmaid | Something Blue: “I Do” underwear

The Best Part:

My favorite part of the wedding was standing at the altar between the golden aspens and having the peace that we had finally arrived at our wedding day. As we stood, hand in hand, the pastor delivered his message and the sun streamed through the trees, perfectly shining God’s glory and illuminating the joy in our hearts to be together forever. – Megan

The Soundtrack:

  • Recessional: “Rather Be” – Clean Bandit
  • First Dance: “The Reason I Come Home” – Ron Pope


Venue: Donovan Pavilion | Photographer: TMDexter Photography | Bridal Gown: Stella York via RK Bridal (NY) | Hair and Makeup: Posh! Salon and Boutique | Bridesmaids’ Attire: David’s Bridal | Groom(smen) Attire: Vera Wang via Men’s Wearhouse | Rings: A. Jaffe via J. Rankin Jewelers | Cake: Sugar Breck | Caterer and Day of Coordination: Caterers of Vail | Floral Design: Petals & Pours | Rentals: Colorado Tents and Events | DJ: D’Amico Entertainment | Stationery: Minted | Officiant: Doug Lohrey


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