Bride: Amy Blythe, 25 – Landscape Designer | Groom: Ernest, 28 – US Marine Corps
Date: October 10, 2014 | Location: Hyde Chapel (Ceremony) and Della Terra (Reception) in Estes Park
I defy you to read Amy and Ernie’s love story and not shed a tear. If you do, you’re hard as stone I tells ya! I admit that I typically choose my weddings to publish based on the album and all but ignore any background given to me by the photographer. There is so much story told through the images and that is where my eye goes. Before I know it, I’m accepting the submission and I still don’t know the couple’s first names. Such is the power of the photograph! In this case, I was immediately taken with the handsome, uniformed groom and the eternally giggling bride. They are just so stinkin’ happy! And then I get back the couple’s questionnaire from Amy and my heart goes on a roller coaster ride. Their military wedding at Della Terra is rooted in a very touching and sorrowful story, yet they are nothing but joyful at every turn in these photos. I see a lot of serious couples. This is not one of them. Perhaps it is they who have felt loss and seen heartache that truly understand how precious each day is and can live in a lighthearted manner. So you can imagine how happy they are on such an extra special occasion as their wedding day!
Their Love Story:
It’s extremely rare that some people are lucky enough, or should I say blessed enough, to have an Angel play matchmaker in their meeting one another. However, in our love story, this is exactly what happened, making it an extremely special and heart wrenching love story.
Ernie is currently a Staff Sergeant in the US Marine Corps, and we met through our friends via webcam while he was on a deployment in Japan. Larry Harris, one of Ernie’s best friends, who was also in the Marine Corps, was dating my friend in Colorado. Larry encouraged my friend to introduce me to his friend, who he claimed was “just my type”. After some phone number exchanges, the matchmaking kicked off with great success, and I knew from the first time we spoke I could marry this funny, charming man one day.
We communicated over the months before meeting in person when he returned from deployment, and we starting dating long distance in 2009.
After we’d been dating for a little over a year, Ernie and Larry were deployed to the Helmand Province of Afghanistan in support of operation Enduring Freedom. On the dreadful day of July 1, 2010 Larry exemplified what it takes to truly be someone’s Angel when he saved a wounded marine, only to have struck an improvised explosive device in the heroic process. Larry’s injuries proved to be fatal, but he saved the life of his junior marine.
We are extremely honored to have known someone as brave and heroic as Larry, and feel so blessed that he brought the two of us together. We feel he brought us together for a reason before being sent to heaven, and now he is our Angel that watches over us in all that we do. – Amy and Ernie’s Questionnaire
I moved to California to live with Ernie in August of 2012 and he surprised me with an engagement the following December. I came home to California from a trip to Colorado and he had a huge flower bouquet waiting for me with a card attached. I thought, “How sweet he must have really missed me!” I proceeded to read the card and at the end of it, it stated, “Will you spend the rest of your life with me and marry me?” What I hadn’t noticed while I was reading the card, was him getting down on one knee. So when I looked up from reading the card, I saw him with ring in hand and I couldn’t help but scream with emotion! He did a great job picking out the BEAUTIFUL engagement ring without any hints from me! – Amy
- The couple had pizza for their wedding meal.
- Amy and her mother arranged the bouquets.
- Custom table number luminaries from Etsy had dates on them that signified important milestones in their relationship.
- A memory table commemorated their late friend, Larry, and others from their families.
- Ernie’s cousins wore mini versions of the Marine Corps Dress Blues.
- They toasted with champagne flutes hand painted to look like the bride and groom’s attire.
- The couple’s first dance was to “Stealing Cinderella” by Chuck Wicks.
- Something Old: Great Grandmother’s broach on her bouquet | Something New: Shoes | Something Borrowed: Sister’s Corset | Something Blue: The “I Do” lettering on the bottom of her shoes
Venue: YMCA of the Rockies Hyde Chapel (Ceremony) and Della Terra Mountain Chateaux (Reception) | Photographer: Katie Keighin Photography | Event Planner: At Your Service Event Management | Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero (Marianne) via Amanda’s Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Inspiring Beauty | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Marine Corps Dress Blues | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse and uniforms | Rings: Neil Lane | Cake: Das Meyer | Caterer: Nicolo’s Pizza | Floral Design: Enchanted Florist | Officiant: Greg Bunton | Photo Booth: The Picture Booth