Real Colorado Wedding: Ashley and Nathan | Butterfly Wedding at The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera

By Season Hurd | | Comment

The look of love, Elevate Photography

All photos by Elevate Photography

Bride: Ashley | Groom: Nathan
Date: July 30, 2016 | Location: The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, Edwards

Back in the day, Elevate Photography was one of the first to take a chance on A Colorado Courtship Blog. I have always admired the various talents in this group of artists and their willingness to share incredible content. And it is again with great honor that I share one of the prettiest, most cheerful weddings on the planet. A butterfly wedding. A flower intensive wedding. A wedding where the bride sneaks looks at her groom that are so filled with adoration that I am forced to audibly “awww”. In my haste to publish lately (more on that later), I have not always been contacting the couples like I usually do. So I can only imagine the incredible access to flowers that this couple seems to have. Do they live on a flower farm? Is their wedding planner Crysta from “Ferngully”? (Am I showing my age there?) Did they save the life of their florist at some point and now she owes them in a major way? I kid, I kid! But for real they must have bogarted half the state’s supply of blooms on that weekend. Even the shepherd’s hooks that hold flower arrangements have foliage climbing up them. It’s simply incredible! If you could do a word cloud of my brain while reviewing this submission it would look like this:


I’m in love here and clearly giddy about it. But let’s hear from someone who actually does know legitimate background information on this insanely adorable couple:
Ashley and Nathan’s seven year relationship through high school and college culminated in one of the most epic weddings that I have had the honor to photograph. The idyllic setting in the mountains west of Vail at The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera was the perfect backdrop for their beautiful day. Ashley and Nathan both had plenty of smiles and laughs as they prepared with their family and friends. Ashley’s wedding dress was perfect and after her mom, sisters and bridesmaids helped her get it on and laced up. She looked absolutely stunning. Ashley’s first look with her dad and her mom and sisters looking on was a very touching moment that they’ll both treasure forever. Her first look with Nathan was no less special and there were plenty of happy tears.Their guests arrived to the mountain top location to an amazing display of colorful flowers with the surrounding mountains as their backdrop. The touching ceremony concluded with a butterfly release that left everyone with a smile on their face.The celebration continued with hor d’oeuvres and cocktails served on the lodge’s patio and pool deck. The floral explosion continued at the amazingly decorated tent reception. It was one of the most beautifully decorated receptions I have photographed over the years with sunflowers as the core design element. After dinner and a touching video of their love story, the guys got the place bouncing, literally, as they danced to every song with a ton of energy. After Ashley made a wardrobe change into something more comfortable, the girls joined everyone else on the dance floor for the party. Ashley & Nathan were obviously having a blast as they danced the night away.The whole day is one that everyone that attended is sure to never forget! – Photographer McCory James of Elevate Photography

Venue: The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera | Photographer: Elevate Photography | Event Planner: Soiree Studio | Floral Designer: Design Works | Hair and Makeup Artistry: Posh! Salon | DJ: Greatime DJ

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Real Colorado Wedding: Moriah and Matthew | Air Force Academy Wedding

By Season Hurd | | Comment

Air Force Academy wedding, bride and groom with airplane statue

All photos by A Brilliant Photo

Bride: Moriah – Wedding Photographer and Graphic Designer | Groom: Matthew – Captain, US Air Force
Date: October 3, 2015 | Location: United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs

Full disclosure here – I stalked this wedding. Therefore it is a major victory to have the beautiful Air Force Academy wedding on the blog. When photographers get married, they know what details look great in pictures and what things are overdone. Knowing of the bride, Moriah, from her previous submissions on the blog, I happened upon her wedding photos on social media and fell in love with all of those beautifully orchestrated choices. If I thought she was red-headed perfection before (which I did), I was extra blown away with her in full wedding garb! Her gown fit her like a glove and flattered her shape like crazy. She for real has bling embedded pearl buttons all the way down her back! Placing such a vision with a man in military regalia makes the 6 year old girl in me swoon over the Little Mermaid parallels. (Side note: It was my first movie in a theater and still one of my favorites ever so that is a real compliment.) The Cadet Chapel in all is quirky, colorful glory struck me with awe as a middle schooler when I first attended a service there and still captures my breath today. The artistic touches and Chanel inspired choices of Moriah and Matthew’s wedding make the 16 year old in me reminisce about spending a week in Northern France the summer before. And the fun-loving couple enjoying a well earned entrance into married life speaks to my grown up love of all things wedding. I’m sure for every reader this incredible wedding will evoke all sorts of emotions, memories, and inspirations unique to them. And that, folks, is why weddings are so great for sharing! Congratulations to the happy couple!

The Details:

Being a graphic designer and wedding photographer myself I knew that the details were so important. So I poured a lot of energy into creating a unique look for our wedding. I approached the design like I would any other project and decided to “brand” our wedding complete with “logo” (which I refer to as our monogram) and color palette. (You can view my wedding branding design hereI wanted a very classic glam feel to my wedding and used Coco Chanel as my inspiration. This can be seen in the blush/rose gold with bold black typography. I added oxblood and gold as colors which I felt created a rich and moody palette without being obviously “fall” colors. I love how it all came together.

Because the wedding had so much of my husband in it (being a military wedding at the Air Force Academy) I wanted to incorporate an artistic feel so it would also represent me. I hand painted a design that I then scanned and manipulated on my computer to include our wedding colors. It became a motif that was used through out our wedding day and I thought it nicely complimented our venue. After I designed our wedding brand – which was the look and feel of our wedding – I used that design to create all of the printed pieces, including our save the date, invitation suite, a guest signature poster (instead of a guest book), table numbers, etc. – Moriah

  • As for the soundtrack, the bride elaborates, “We had an organist for our ceremony who played the massive pipe organ in the chapel. For the bridesmaids processional he played Somebody To Love by Queen (Queen is my husband’s favorite band) and for my processional he played Wonderwall by Oasis — they sounded amazing on the organ.”
  • Something Old: Grandmother’s Ring | Something New: Wedding Gown | Something Borrowed: Grandmother’s Ring | Something Blue: Aquamarine Engagement Ring

The Best Part:

My favorite part of the wedding was being surrounded and supported by all of our wonderful friends and family. We felt so loved. My second favorite part was our band. We hired That Eighties Band, an 80s cover band, who I had seen perform before in Denver. They were incredible and added so much energy to our reception. Everyone was dancing — including guests I’d never seen dance before! – Moriah

Venue: US Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel and Falcon Club | Photographer: A Brilliant Photo | Bridal Gown: Matthew Christopher “Vivian” via Little White Dress | Veil: Love Veils & Accessories via Little White Dress | Hair and Makeup: Orchidee Salon and Spa | Rings: Custom via Old Town Goldworks | Cake: Sugarplum Cake Shoppe | Catering: Falcon Club | Floral Design: Avenue Blooms | Stationery: Moriah Riona | Band: That Eighties Band

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