You know it’s going to be a good day when you are awake before the sun comes up for a morning wedding at the gorgeous Sanctuary Golf Club. Add a sweet, faith-filled bride and groom, their beautiful families, and the most joyful bridal party, and you have a day that even this wedding photographer will never forget.

Speaking of morning weddings, is there a better way to treat your guests? Seriously, who doesn’t want breakfast for every meal? Omelettes cooked to order, coffee, and a mimosa bar, and … did someone say WAFFLES for a wedding!?? Oh my word — I think breakfast receptions need to be a new thing!

Plus, dancing in the afternoon is always a good idea. Especially when the light at the Sanctuary is absolutely glorious … and when the couple chooses Ed Sheeran for their first dance. Wedding days truly don’t get much more joyful — or beautiful — than this!

Oh, and in case you are expecting to see the usual wedding photos here, get ready for a little change of pace. I second shot this wedding for the lovely Genevieve of Genevieve Hanson Photography, so as a second shooter, my focus was on capturing the quiet details of the day and the emotions during those in-between moments.

If you enjoy these photos, be sure to check out Genevieve’s full blog post here. Thank you, Genevieve, for having me along for this beautiful day! I absolutely adore you and it was such a joy to serve this couple on their wedding day!


            
                  

Alec and Heather met freshman year at CSU in the dorms. Their roommates and best friends were friends, so they kept running into each other. Eventually they started dating, which, if you remember college at all, actually means visiting the dining hall together.

After a few months of dining hall dating, Heather told Alec that wasn’t quite working for her anymore. Alec took the not-so-subtle hint and planned a special night out — dinner and a movie.

On the day of their first “real” date, his car quit working, so, being the chivalrous type, Alec borrowed a friend’s car rather than cancel their date. They had a wonderful time, and dinner off campus and a movie beat out the dining hall, at least as far as dates go.

Alec walked Heather to class every single morning, and they stopped almost daily for blueberry muffins and smoothies. It was one of those mornings over blueberry muffins that Alec knew he was going to marry Heather. When he told her, she was skeptical. But of course he was absolutely right.

       Heather visited Alec’s house in Montrose for Thanksgiving last year, and that’s when the two of them decided to go “just look” at rings. Heather tried on 20 or so, and narrowed those down to a couple she really liked. Later that day, Alec went back to the store to pick out the one.

Then he flew to Heather’s hometown in Illinois to ask permission from her dad to marry her!

The very next weekend, Heather and Alec went to Estes Park, and he proposed at Sprague Lake. It wasn’t exactly a surprise, Heather told me. She knew Alec would ask that weekend because he can’t keep a secret — especially not one as big as that!

Not being able to keep secrets is only part of what makes Alec so endearing to Heather. She also adores how goofy he is when sings and dances around the house. Which is all. the. time. And Alec adores when Heather gets her crooked smile and how she has not one but two dimples on the side of one cheek.

                 Heather has loved everything about wedding planning, and the two of them are looking forward to spending the most special day of their lives in Estes Park, surrounded by all of their closest family and friends.

 

  • Sarah G. - February 16, 2017 - 3:28 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! RMNP is my fav. These are so pretty!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 3:41 pm

      Thank you, Sarah! I love Rocky Mountain National Park so much!! I wish I could shoot there every day. (Or live there — how about that?!) :)ReplyCancel

  • Emilyanne - February 16, 2017 - 3:33 pm

    Well aren’t they just too cute! I love this whole session – the location is beautiful and their connections are picture perfect! :)ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 3:41 pm

      Thank you, sweet Emilyanne! Your comments mean the world! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Busch - February 16, 2017 - 3:37 pm

    Love the light, airy, warm feel of this Winter engagement. Lovely Michele!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 3:42 pm

      Thank you, sweet Ashley!! :) Your comments made my day.ReplyCancel

  • ginny haupert - February 16, 2017 - 7:15 pm

    Such a sweet little couple. Beautiful images and scenery! I miss getting out to the mtns!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 8:07 pm

      Thank you, Ginny! :)ReplyCancel

  • Bianca - February 16, 2017 - 9:40 pm

    Such beautiful pictures of this cute couple…and loooove the scenery. RMNP is just the best!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 9:44 pm

      Bianca, I agree! Wish I lived closer so I could make shooting there a daily thing!! :)ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 9:45 pm

      And thank you for your sweet words! :)ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Jakes - February 16, 2017 - 10:35 pm

    Such a cute couple beautifully captured! I love their story! You really captured their sweetness and love for each other. Beautiful work!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 18, 2017 - 10:16 pm

      Aw, thank you so much, Suzanne! Such sweet words. Made my day!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - February 17, 2017 - 7:56 am

    What a stunning location! Such a perfect backdrop for their beautiful engagement photos.ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 18, 2017 - 10:17 pm

      Thank you, sweet Shannon! I could shoot there every day!ReplyCancel

  • Tegan - February 17, 2017 - 1:02 pm

    These guys are so cute together! I love wintery engagements sessions.ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 18, 2017 - 10:18 pm

      Thank you, Tegan! I do too — and sadly we haven’t had nearly enough snow this year. Hope I can get more snowy session in in March!ReplyCancel

Catherine and Dylan met in high school. Dylan really started noticing Catherine when she asked him to junior prom, to which his initial reply was, “That sounds expensive.”

On their first date, Dylan took Catherine to a pottery-painting studio, which started out a little awkward. Afterwards, though, they went to eat at Chili’s and ended up talking for hours.

Dylan graduated from high school a year ahead of Catherine and started attending Oklahoma Christian University. Being long distance really confirmed their feelings for each other and made them want to marry each other even more. Catherine started at OC a year later and these two are pretty much inseparable.   

Before they left for college last fall, Dylan took Catherine back to the pottery painting studio where they had their first date. They were painting mountains on a soap dispenser together, and Dylan told Catherine he wanted to write “I love you” on the soap dispenser, but he wouldn’t let her watch him write it. When he sat back down with the soap dispenser, it said, “Will you marry me?” Catherine had no idea it was coming and was so surprised when he got down on one knee with a ring. I still can’t get over Dylan’s sweet proposal and the fact they’ll have that soap dispenser in their house always!

   

I asked Catherine and Dylan what was one special and unique thing they loved about each other. Dylan told me he loved Catherine’s ability to connect with people one on one — in fact, it was one of the first things he noticed about her.

Catherine says she loves Dylan’s enthusiasm for Bigfoot. “I’m pretty sure he’s watched every podcast, TV show, and move that there is about Bigfoot!”

Catherine’s most favorite part of wedding planning has been dress shopping. It’s the one thing she has been most sure of from the start. In fact, she saw her dress at the first store she went to and knew immediately that was the one.

When I asked them what they were looking most forward to on their wedding day, Catherine didn’t skip a beat: “Being able to start my life with my best friend and be surrounded by family and friends. And cake.”

Yep, you know it’s going to be a good day with family, friends, and cake. :)

 

  • Linda & Doug Strahm - February 14, 2017 - 12:41 pm

    So so excited for both Cat & Dylan. Loved their engagement story! Thanks for sharing. May God keep you both strong & committed to each other.ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 15, 2017 - 1:48 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words!! :) They are perfect together and I can’t wait to see what God has in store!ReplyCancel

  • Emilyanne - February 16, 2017 - 10:24 am

    How cute are they? Their style is amazing, and I love that pom-pom blanket. Excellent use of light Michele! (Oh, and I love their proposal story!!)ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 10:33 am

      Thank you, sweet Emilyanne! I know — isn’t their proposal the best? And that blanket was the softest. I love the pom-poms too!!ReplyCancel

  • Rosie - February 16, 2017 - 10:54 am

    Gah! There’s so much to love about these images! Congratulations to the couple. :)ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 11:21 am

      Thank you, Rosie! They really are perfect together!!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - February 16, 2017 - 11:05 am

    What a beautiful session and such a sweet story.ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 11:21 am

      Thank you, Jennifer!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Bridget Dvorak - February 16, 2017 - 11:29 am

    I love engagement session in the snow! Yay for adventurous couples!! Congrats on your engagement!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 11:43 am

      Thank you, Bridget!! So many of my couples love the snow and don’t mind the cold at all!! I am happy to oblige. :)ReplyCancel

  • Melanie Graham - February 16, 2017 - 11:56 am

    What a beautiful set! That light is gorgeous and the couple are just too cute!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 3:17 pm

      Thank you, Melanie! :) The light was definitely gorgeous and they are so adorable together. :)ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - February 16, 2017 - 12:46 pm

    Love that you shared the story of how they met. You can tell they are in love with each other. Beautiful session, great variety!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 3:17 pm

      Aw, thank you so much, Carrie! The way they look at each other says it all. :)ReplyCancel

  • Deziree Dufresne - February 16, 2017 - 2:12 pm

    1. These are adorable and beautiful and amazing photos!
    2. Are they the cutest or what?
    3. I love how you shared their story, it’s so sweet!
    4. OMG, she’s like a even prettier Billy Piper!!!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 3:18 pm

      Deziree, your sweet words absolutely made my day! Thank you so much!! Xoxo.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - February 16, 2017 - 2:25 pm

    Ok, they are precious and I loved reading their story! Beautiful job capturing them, I feel their personalities really showed through.ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 3:18 pm

      Kathryn, thank you so much for your sweet comments! :)ReplyCancel

  • Allie Moore - February 16, 2017 - 6:52 pm

    Absolutely love the mix of indoor and outdoor images here! Excellent lighting in all of them. Such a lovely couple and beautiful pictures.ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 16, 2017 - 8:07 pm

      Thank you, sweet Allie! :) I appreciate your kind words!ReplyCancel

  • Justyna E Butler - February 17, 2017 - 8:54 am

    Gorgeous couple and beautiful location. Love the light!!!!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 18, 2017 - 10:17 pm

      Thank you so much, Justyna! :)ReplyCancel

  • Jenae - February 17, 2017 - 9:18 am

    Love their story! awesome! These are such a great variety of photos and wonderful posing and editing! Bright and clean- wonderful!ReplyCancel

    • admin - February 18, 2017 - 10:17 pm

      Jenae, you are so sweet. Thank you so much for your kind words!ReplyCancel

I met Caitlin when she was a bridesmaid in Marie and Levi’s wedding this past fall, and it took exactly two seconds to know she is one of the sweetest people I’d ever meet. I was so excited to receive her email a few months later telling me she was engaged and planning an intimate Colorado mountain wedding this spring … and would I please be her photographer.


We met for hot chocolate (her) and coffee (me) so I could hear about her fiancé and how he proposed. Just by the way Caitlin talked about Ross, I knew there was something special about him. Of course, if he was the one Caitlin was marrying, he had to be amazing — but when I saw these two together, just WOW!! There are no words to describe how perfectly matched they are for each other. The joy they exude just being next to each other is contagious! It truly is something only God could orchestrate.

And orchestrate he did, complete with a sense of humor! Ross and Caitlin will be the first to tell you they are the kind of people who would never — as in never, ever — find a date on social media. Well, almost never. Except maybe just once. Sure enough, that’s all it took. They both tried out social media dating for a handful of days — which was exactly the amount of time it took for them to meet each other.

 


By their second date, both Caitlin and Ross knew there was something special between them, but neither guessed the journey God had in store!

Shortly after they met, Ross moved to Kansas to continue his apprenticeship as a lineman. “Rossy steps hot this year,” Caitlin told me, which means he’ll be a level 4 lineman apprentice and starts “hot” work. He also loves the thrill of working at heights, being outdoors, and the excitement (read: danger) of this line of work (which has led Caitlin to trust God in ways she never expected).


They’ve been dating long distance for over 8 months, which has taught them not to take for granted a single moment they have together, whether it’s running errands or visiting with family. “The goodbyes are always hard,” says Caitlin, “but they do make the hellos absolutely wonderful.”

Ross and Caitlin also learned quickly the value of meaningful and compelling conversation, which has helped them grow in their faith and grow closer to each other.

Their most joyful times together are when they are enjoying the outdoors — skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, running, hiking. “We both find God and his blessings and glory in the beauty of nature. I think this is part of the reason we want to get married outside — even in the possible cold and snow of springtime in Colorado.”


Caitlin’s been skiing and snowboarding since she was 4 years old, so last year Ross, who had never done either, took up both. He learned really quickly and he’s already — Caitlin says — a better snowboarder than she is!

Ross actually planned to propose at the top of the ski slope the day after Thanksgiving, but Colorado’s lack of snow earlier this winter made that idea impossible.


Instead, Ross got Caitlin’s whole family in on the act. They all told Caitlin they were heading up the family condo in Fraser, but on the way, they stopped instead for a “bathroom break” at the top of Berthoud Pass. “Ross and I took a couple of pictures together, and then he said we should go to a different area to take some more. I began to walk away, and when he didn’t follow, I turned around to find him on one knee!!”

Caitlin and Ross cannot wait for their spring wedding, so they can start living in one place together and sharing the little moments of everyday life. They are excited for their families to finally meet and share this moment in time with them. Their wedding is going to be small and intimate to give their families some special time together. I can’t wait to share their wedding day photos with you!

 

 

I have this thing for blue.

I also have a thing for the Highlands Ranch Mansion.

Partly because of the history of this gorgeous venue. And partly — or maybe mostly — because my husband and I have shared some very sweet and special celebrations here.

It would be an understatement to say the Highlands Ranch Mansion is near to my heart.

Before the mansion was open to the public, we hosted our wedding rehearsal dinner inside (where Bill and Kathy from the Grizzly Rose taught all my friends to line dance — an historic moment, indeed). That night remains one of my favorite wedding memories to this day.

And when my husband’s grandfather turned 100, we celebrated his birthday here too, with cocktails on the front porch and dinner and toasts — lots of toasts — in the living room.

Every time I have the opportunity to return to the Mansion, whether it’s for a wedding or a couples session, it brings back such great memories of so many happy occasions!

If you are a bride considering the Highlands Ranch Mansion for your wedding, this is definitely one venue you want to keep near the top of your list.

I loved everything about this dusty blue wedding inspiration session at this historic estate, and I hope you do too!

      Extra special thanks to our bride and groom models, Krystie and Joey, and to the amazing vendors who made this day so beautiful:
Colorado wedding photographer: Michele with one L Photography
Venue: Highlands Ranch Mansion
Flowers: Inspired Designs
Planner & stylist: Samantha Turman
Invitations & calligraphy: Kelsie Brown
Cakes & desserts: ad Astra Baking Co.
Makeup & hair: Simple Beauty Makeup
Jewelry: Geri’s Gem Candy
Gown: BHLDN
Published on: Borrowed and Blue

  • Taylor Fisher - January 26, 2017 - 10:20 am

    Oh my goodness, Michele! These are STUNNING! Her dress is amazing and the way you used that light is incredible! Love, love, LOVE this!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 26, 2017 - 10:49 am

      Taylor, you are the sweetest! Your comment absolutely made my day!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Julie - January 26, 2017 - 10:25 am

    Fairytale wedding, I love your soft sun-soaked romantic captures!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 26, 2017 - 10:49 am

      Julie, thank you so much!! Fairytale, indeed!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Lee Welch - January 26, 2017 - 10:36 am

    Michele these are gorgeous!!! Love your stationary detail/shoe shots with the ribbon so pretty!! :)ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 26, 2017 - 10:48 am

      Thanks, Sarah!! I love detail shots!! They really help tell the story of the day!ReplyCancel

  • Emilyanne - January 26, 2017 - 10:43 am

    I love this color blue, and I love the tulle skirt and the way the sun really lit it up there at the end! Beautiful work Michele!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 26, 2017 - 10:48 am

      Thank you, Emilyanne! I think the light is always gorgeous at the Mansion, but that golden hour was really perfect!!ReplyCancel

  • Deziree Dufresne - January 26, 2017 - 11:21 am

    That color blue is perfection and I just love all of these details! The backlit shots are so beautiful, especially the way the light shines through her dress, love all of this!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 26, 2017 - 11:48 am

      Aw, thank you so much, Deziree!! I love the blue too, and the light was magical that day!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie Graham - January 26, 2017 - 11:53 am

    Wow what a stunning wedding! I love your style!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 26, 2017 - 11:58 am

      Thank you, sweet Melanie! :)ReplyCancel

  • Jennie - January 26, 2017 - 3:53 pm

    Styling to perfection! And that sun in the last few photos–eeek!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 26, 2017 - 11:29 pm

      Thank you, Jennie!! I could shoot in that light every day!!ReplyCancel

  • Tegan - January 26, 2017 - 6:52 pm

    Michele, these are beyond stunning! And your top down shots are out of this world. Love your work!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 26, 2017 - 11:30 pm

      Tegan, you are the sweetest. Your comments made my day!! :)ReplyCancel