Beautiful Boulder — wait, make that Black Forest — Colorado Outdoor Wedding

I’ve been dying to share this post ever since this wedding took place, not only because it was beautiful and so much fun — truly one of my favorite weddings of the year — but also because this couple is a perfect example of what to do when the unexpected happens on a wedding day.

And by unexpected I don’t mean a ripped dress or a late groomsman, I mean holy-moly-what-just-happened and some-day-we’re-going-to-be-telling-our-grandkids-about-this unexpected!

This wedding was definitely one for the books.

I had been looking forward to this wedding ever since this couple’s snowy engagement session on Lookout Mountain. We had so much fun that day — I just knew their wedding would be amazing.

And if I was excited about this wedding, you can only imagine how these two were looking forward to it!

Friends and family came in from out-of-state and across the country — only the bride and groom and one groomsman live here, and they were looking forward to sharing a little bit of the beauty that is Colorado to everyone who was visiting. What they didn’t know was that they’d showcase a lot more of Colorado than anyone expected….

This wedding day started out just like an ordinary wedding day. Lots of pretty details. So much laughter in the girls’ getting-ready rental house in Boulder Canyon as bridesmaids, sisters, moms, and best friends had hair and makeup done.

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2689MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2633MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2632This BHLDN dress — gorgeous! And rose gold jewelry?? Yes, please!MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2322 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2321 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2630MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2587And champagne…. always champagne.MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2656MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2327MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2681MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2680MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2343MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2679MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2675         MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2682MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2337 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2339Over at the guys’ getting-ready house, they were having the usual pre-celebration celebration. These guys were some of the kindest and funniest groomsmen ever. They made it so much fun and easy for me to grab a couple of quick snaps before heading out the door for the first look.

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2589 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2588MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2638MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2636MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2655  MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2635MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2324MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2329MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2637The Boulder Flatirons and Chautauqua Park made a perfect backdrop for this groom to see his bride for the first time.

I usually suggest a first look to couples because it can sometimes be the only alone-time a bride and groom have during their wedding day, and it also gives us more time to capture couple portraits rather than waiting until after the ceremony.

In the case of this wedding, though, the first look truly ended up being the saving grace — it meant lots of special time together and with their wedding party in Boulder before things started changing course.

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2456 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2639MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2455And this first look was everything a first look should be — sweet, sincere, and so, so special. Can you get over the look on his face when he sees his bride for the first time? And so many happy tears.MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2583MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2640MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2641MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2642MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2453MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2643MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2644MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2645

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2646MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2554MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2652MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2386MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2653MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2674MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2581MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2651These two and their bridal party were so relaxed and so much fun at every turn. Looking back, I am so grateful we had this time before the wedding for so many photographs.

Things were about to change abruptly, but at this point we were all oblivious to what was about to happen.MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2650MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2648MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2634MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2580MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2578MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2684MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2374MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2685

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2379MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2579MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2649MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2670MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2647MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2317MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2381Uh-oh. First sign of trouble. Groomsman on his cell phone.

It was only a matter of time before we all found out the news: Fire in Boulder Canyon.

Wedding venue? Evacuated.

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2318MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2316MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2577Two options: Cancel the wedding, or move it to a new location, nearly 100 miles away in Black Forest.

With almost all of the guests in from out of state (some even out of the country), the only option was the second one.

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2669MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2314MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2683That’s when the groom, the groomsmen, and the bridesmaids all got on their laptops and cell phones and started alerting wedding guests. It’s one thing to plan a wedding — but moving the location one hour before the ceremony start time takes wedding planning to a whole new level!

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2666MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2315MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2663 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2319MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2311  MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2667MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2688What happened next is nothing short of miraculous. All of the guests hopped on shuttles and traveled 94 miles to the new wedding location. (Even though this didn’t count as a destination wedding, how many wedding guests are treated to such a whirlwind tour of the state!?)

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2307MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2664MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2676MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2370Wedgewood Boulder Creek loaded up food, drinks, cake, s’mores, flowers, table centerpieces, and decor and carried it all down to their new Black Forest venue, where they set everything up all over again.

We even had time to grab all of the family photos in the waning light before the ceremony thanks to how proactive Wedgewood’s event planners were in keeping us posted on the new timeline! (Xoxoxo a million times to these wonderful ladies!)

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2677 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2369Maybe the floral arrangement didn’t fit the new location’s trellis. Maybe the wedding started two and a half hours late and went into the wee hours. Maybe this wedding wasn’t when and where it was expected to be … but it was just how it was supposed to be.

These two shared the most personal and unique ceremony, honored their parents with tea service, and made their guests laugh and cry through the sweetest, most heart-felt vows. When they headed back down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs., we all knew their wedding happened exactly as it should.

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2657MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2573MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2672MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2303MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2368MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2686MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2367 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2673MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2383MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2658MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2659MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2382MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2660MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2366MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2574MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2671MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2306The ceremony finished just as the sun was going down — nearly three hours after the ceremony was originally scheduled to start, but not one person complained.

Everyone — the Wedgewood staff, the DJ, the entire bridal party, all of the guests, and the bride and groom, with the biggest smiles ever — continued on as if nothing had gone wrong at all.

There was so much hospitality, so much joy, and … So. Much. Dancing. Lots of dancing! You would have thought with this much celebrating they had planned it this way all along.

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2300MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2301Oh, and there was one more last-minute change:

When the bride and groom were announced to their cheering guests at the reception, they didn’t waltz in to the music of their originally planned song. Instead, they made their grand entrance to a slightly more appropriate tune — We Didn’t Start the Fire.

Which just goes to show that if something goes wrong on your wedding day, don’t just roll with it — own it!! 

Take whatever happens, embrace it as part of your unique story, and make it the beginning of a new and amazing adventure!

MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2362MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2360 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2361MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2359MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2299     MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2298MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2572  MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2629MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2569MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2568MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2357MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2355 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2353MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2349MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2564MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2563MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2348       MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2351 MicheleWithOneL_Boulder_Colorado_Springs_Wedding_Photographer_2350

  • Erin Knabenbauer - August 25, 2016 - 2:55 pm

    What a beautiful wedding! Your images are lovely and beautiful! Wonderful job!ReplyCancel

    • admin - August 25, 2016 - 3:19 pm

      Thank you, Erin! Could not have asked for a sweeter couple or a more beautiful day!ReplyCancel

  • Sonja - August 25, 2016 - 3:26 pm

    wow! You captured so many fun moments and beautiful details- great work! I love seeing everyone getting DOWN at the reception!ReplyCancel

    • admin - August 25, 2016 - 4:48 pm

      Haha. Oh, thank you so much, Sonja! They did have so much fun — I could have shared many more photos just like these!ReplyCancel

  • Taylor Fisher - August 25, 2016 - 4:21 pm

    Oh my goodness, Michele! What an amazing couple and even more amazing story!! <3 Beautifully captured.ReplyCancel

    • admin - August 25, 2016 - 4:52 pm

      Thank you for your sweet words, Taylor! They were so amazing and gracious!ReplyCancel

  • Jolie - August 25, 2016 - 4:45 pm

    Wow! I can see why you you were anxious to share this…it’s gorgeous. My favorites are the first look. Great job!ReplyCancel

    • admin - August 25, 2016 - 4:48 pm

      Thanks, Jolie! I think that is one of my favorites too!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Pettit - August 25, 2016 - 4:46 pm

    Simply flawless. I adore this story and how they reacted to the circumstances! You captured the essence of their day amazingly!ReplyCancel

    • admin - August 25, 2016 - 4:53 pm

      Aw, thanks for your sweet words, Nicole! They were so gracious and sweet — I was in awe!ReplyCancel

  • Jennie - August 25, 2016 - 9:37 pm

    What beautiful photographs!! I love this post and the story!! Thank you for sharing Michele!ReplyCancel

    • admin - August 26, 2016 - 12:18 pm

      Jennie, thank you for your sweet comment!! It means so much coming from you!! Hope you are doing well and we must catch up soon! Xoxo.ReplyCancel

  • Kate - August 27, 2016 - 4:12 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! Love how you told their story not only with your words but through the photographs you captured. So glad this day had a happy ending for the bride and groom!ReplyCancel

    • admin - August 27, 2016 - 6:35 pm

      Thank you, Kate! And I couldn’t agree more — happy endings are the best. :)ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - August 28, 2016 - 9:47 pm

    Absolutely love the images you captured and you blogged their story perfectly! I know they will love these images! The ones of them on the cell phones and computer are priceless. You can tell in the images that they seemed to handle the unexpected so smoothly!ReplyCancel

    • admin - August 29, 2016 - 2:15 pm

      Haha. Thanks, Carrie! I actually had a lot of those computer/cell phone shots but I decided to narrow it down. :) You are right — they were such an example of how to joyfully handle the most unexpected of situations!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Tipton - August 29, 2016 - 1:34 pm

    What a story- holy crap! I too have nothing but wonderful things to say about the staff at Wedgewood. We nearly lost a spring wedding there to heavy snowfall that knocked out the power, and they were ON IT. Luckily we recovered power 1 hour before the ceremony time! These pictures tell your couple’s dramatic story with love and laughter so well!ReplyCancel

    • admin - August 29, 2016 - 2:14 pm

      That is so cool to hear — glad it worked out for your clients!! :) ! I actually heard the wedding the next day was moved also. The dedication of their staff and the way they take care of their clients is so, so important! Thank you so much for your sweet words — you are so encouraging!! :)ReplyCancel

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