He’s from Ohio. She’s from Rhode Island. They both love to travel, but neither had been to the other’s home state.

They had, however, visited many of the same places at the same time, so it was only inevitable that Andy and Sara would eventually meet.

It became even more likely when they both moved to New York City at the same time. And more likely still when their roommates started dating!

Even though Sara and Andy had casually seen each other in passing, they can both thank Andy’s roommate for having the birthday party that finally brought them together. (I’d like to thank him too — without it, I wouldn’t have met these two sweet and amazing humans that I adore!) Sara and Andy talked, and danced, and went out afterwards with friends for late-night Mexican food.

A few weeks later, Sara and Andy met halfway between their two offices for their first date, which included walking around Manhattan together, laughing and talking, and eventually stopping for late night Mexican food.

It didn’t take long for them to realize they both shared a love for many of the same things: Discovering new parts of the city. Going for long walks. And, apparently, late night Mexican food. Once they started dating, taking leisurely walks to explore more of New York City became one of their favorite pastimes.

They had their second date a week later. Andy scored tickets to the luxury box at the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden through work, so they thought they’d be enjoying themselves with a small crowd. However, when they arrived, they discovered that no one else had shown up. They literally had the whole suite to themselves — complete with a full buffet, an open bar, and a primo view of the game!

Sara and Andy had a blast and have been pretty much inseparable ever since.

Andy’s proposal to Sara at Zion National Park last Memorial Day is one for the books. Not only did Andy have to keep his cool while revising his plans because of unexpected crowds, but he managed to nonchalantly carry the engagement ring around in his backpack all weekend — all while keeping Sara in the dark about his intentions.

Sara and Andy had already been to Utah once before to to skydive and to visit the national parks, but this trip to Zion to camp and hike was one that had been on their bucket list for a long time. Andy even knew exactly when and where he planned to ask Sara to marry him. On an amazing hike. With spectacular views. Because who doesn’t envision that kind of proposal, right? But (unlike their date in the luxury suite) the holiday crowds made it difficult to find even moment alone.

Andy was, finally, able to surprise Sara at an unexpected time. The one place they were alone happened to be at their campsite, after dinner. They’d made a campfire and were playing cards. The sun was just starting to set, so Sara got up to poke the fire back to life. And when she turned around, there was Andy, on one knee!
Andy and Sara recently made the move to Colorado — another grand adventure! — and they couldn’t be happier about their decision. Although NYC was special to them because that’s where they met, Colorado is new to both of them. It’s also the first place they’ve both called home together.

These two are so excited for their Colorado wedding this summer! They are especially happy that their friends and family from the east coast will get to vacation in their beautiful state … which, I dare say, is absolutely perfect for long walks, exploring beautiful cities and mountains, and, perhaps, enjoying a little late-night Mexican food.

Sara and Andy are truly one of the sweetest, most joyful, and most down-to-earth couples you will ever meet. It doesn’t matter to them whether they are walking the streets of New York City or skydiving in Utah, whether they are driving across the country together or getting lost on a hike in the mountains of Colorado — they simply enjoy being with each other every day, exploring and experiencing new things together!

But you don’t need me to tell you that — you can tell just by looking at their pictures how happy they are together.

  • Taylor Fisher - January 12, 2017 - 11:18 am

    These are SO sweet! I LOVE her dress and how perfectly you captured them in this beautiful scenery. Amazing shots, Michele!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 12, 2017 - 11:36 am

      Isn’t her dress amazing?!? Thank you so much for your sweet words, Taylor! :)ReplyCancel

  • Julie - January 12, 2017 - 11:20 am

    What a story…and it’s only just begun! Lovely images!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 12, 2017 - 11:37 am

      Thank you, Julie! And I was thinking the exact same thing. I can’t wait to see all the new adventures life has for them!ReplyCancel

  • Emilyanne - January 12, 2017 - 11:37 am

    I love each of their outfits but the last one wins out for me! So beautiful! And I am slightly envious of their private suite for the Big East tournament! :)ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 12, 2017 - 11:40 am

      Private suites at games ARE the best, but I am jealous too — I’ve never had one to myself! And yes — the last outfit for the win!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashleigh Burchett - January 12, 2017 - 11:41 am


    • admin - January 12, 2017 - 11:50 am

      Thank you, Ashleigh! (Love how you spell your name!)ReplyCancel

  • Rosie - January 12, 2017 - 1:19 pm

    This bride has SUCH a pretty smile! Gorgeous work, couple, and location!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 12, 2017 - 2:13 pm

      Doesn’t she, though?? They should be models. :)ReplyCancel

  • Erin Knabenbauer - January 12, 2017 - 1:48 pm

    Beautiful images! Love the location!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 12, 2017 - 2:13 pm

      Thank you, Erin! One of my favorite locations for sure! :)ReplyCancel

  • cara - January 12, 2017 - 7:32 pm

    Wow. These are stunning. You have a beautiful style, and her dress was SO perfect.ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 12, 2017 - 8:28 pm

      Thank you, Cara! You are too sweet!! And I agree — that dress is everything!!!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Slaughter - January 13, 2017 - 8:58 am

    this is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! what a lovely couple!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 13, 2017 - 7:46 pm

      Aw, thank you, Brittany! :) I adore them!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Trout - January 19, 2017 - 12:48 pm

    These are absolutely gorgeous! And their wardrobe is spot on!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 19, 2017 - 1:23 pm

      Thank you so much, Melissa! And I agree — love engagement sessions with wardrobes like this! :)ReplyCancel

One of my favorite things about photography is that it’s an instant point of connection with other photographers. It’s always fun to talk about camera brands and golden hour, about aperture and bokeh, and then I am sometimes surprised at how easily we slip into conversations about things that matter most — family, faith, friendship.

Sarah and I met last summer and immediately bonded over photography, but we became fast friends over Chick-Fil-A. As a former marketing director for a local Chick-Fil-A, she faithfully introduced me to Cow Appreciation Day, meticalulously crafted the most fashionable spotted cow ears for my outfit, and in a single instant made me a lifelong fan of Frosted Lemonade. (How had I never heard of this awesome amazingness all the years of my adult life?!)

I was so grateful to spend time with sweet Sarah in December, when she graciously allowed me to snap a few shots of her with camera in hand, and then she did what any good friend would do — treated me to Chick-Fil-A and great conversation, of course!

What Sarah loves most about photography is how it blesses other people. If you ask people what is their most valuable possession, many people will say photographs. That’s the reason Sarah loves to see the joy when clients receive their photos, knowing they’ll be treasured for years to come.

When she doesn’t have a camera in hand, Sarah enjoys snowboarding, horseback riding, knitting, painting, and restoring old furniture. Oh, and travel — Sarah loves to travel!

Of all the places Sarah has traveled, London is by far her favorite. She loves the sprawl of the city with its countless activities, the history of its architecture, the diversity of cultures, and the rich traditions.

“I really enjoyed riding the tube to each and every corner of London exploring the street markets, visiting museums and places of interest, watching the buskers preform, and meeting new friends.”  (I don’t think anyone who meets Sarah could NOT be her friend — she is the one of the most charmingly friendly people I know!)

Next up on Sarah’s travel itinerary? “One place that I can’t wait to visit is Italy. My family heritage is Italian, and my great grandparents traveled to the United States to make a better life for themselves and their family. I of course want to visit Italy to soak in the beauty, culture, and cuisine, but more than anything, I want to experience a day in the cities where my great grandparents lived and worked.”

If you have the opportunity to meet Sarah, you might be surprised how quickly she becomes your best friend, but I’ll give you a hint: You’ll be friends faster if you start your friendship with waffle fries.

  • Lindsay Hiatt - January 5, 2017 - 10:31 am

    What a fabulous post! The photos are beautiful and I’m all about our incredible photography community :-)ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 5, 2017 - 10:49 am

      Thank you, Lindsay! And I agree — community is one of the best things about photography!ReplyCancel

  • Emilyanne Hardy - January 5, 2017 - 10:42 am

    Just lovely! I love every single one of these portraits. And I also really love your connection with her – her comfort and confidence with you really shines through!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 5, 2017 - 10:48 am

      Aw, thanks, Emilyanne! I just love portrait sessions and want that connection to show every time, so thank you for noticing that!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Dylan - January 5, 2017 - 11:12 am

    The photographs here are so lively and inviting! Great work!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 5, 2017 - 11:21 am

      Thanks, Dylan!! Our whole session felt that way because that’s just how Sarah is. :)ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Slaughter - January 5, 2017 - 11:29 am

    this is such a beautiful session! and the connections we make is definitely a huge perk of the job :)ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 5, 2017 - 1:24 pm

      I agree, Brittany! And thank you so much for your kind words! They mean so much.ReplyCancel

  • Kayla Feldman Scott - January 5, 2017 - 11:33 am

    Oh these are soooo beautiful! I love how candid and fun your photos are ❤ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 5, 2017 - 1:23 pm

      Thank you for your sweet words, Kayla! You made my day. :)ReplyCancel

  • Larissa - January 5, 2017 - 11:41 am

    These are so great! You really captured her joyful spirit and I am loving that Colorado beanie!!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 5, 2017 - 1:22 pm

      Aw, thank you so much, Larissa! And I agree — I adore the beanie too! It looks great on her!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Mullins - January 5, 2017 - 11:49 am

    So gorgeous! Love her different head accessories. :)ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 5, 2017 - 1:21 pm

      Thanks, Melissa! Aren’t the so cute?ReplyCancel

  • Haley Allen - January 5, 2017 - 4:21 pm

    ChickFilA friends are the best!!!! These are beautiful and I love her arrow headband! Lovely Michele!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 5, 2017 - 4:30 pm

      Thank you so much, Haley! ChickFilA friends are the best!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Deziree Dufresne - January 6, 2017 - 4:14 pm

    I love how joyful and relaxed these are, clearly she was having a good time. Beautiful work!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 6, 2017 - 7:08 pm

      Ah, thank you so much, Deziree!! So sweet of you and I love that her joyfulness shined through in every shot!! We had so much fun!ReplyCancel

One of my favorite things about weddings is the love and care that go into planning them. When a bride takes the time to select meaningful details that reflect the a couple’s unique personalities and interests, the day itself tells a story.

This romantic, blush wedding at Della Terra Mountain Chateau in Estes Park, Colorado, couldn’t have been more breathtaking. Take an already-stunning mountain venue at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, then add floral crowns, mismatched bridesmaids dresses, vintage furniture, and cascading greenery, and you have the recipe for a perfect day!

You’ll also notice the meaning that went into every detail: Air Force Academy graduate and hockey player groom and groomsmen mean a saber arch exit — with hockey sticks. A bride who loves reading, literature, and all things word-related means Scrabble letters on the tables, ribbon-wrapped books, and an old typewriter (the same one I used growing up!).

And even with so much pretty, what you’ll notice most about this wedding is the joyful celebration of friends and family, including the bride’s mom and her birth mother. Oh, and make sure you have tissues handy before you scroll down past the details and see the way this groom looks at his bride when she walks down the aisle.

This is one of those weddings where the pictures truly tell the story — no words necessary — so I’ll just leave you with all the pretty images. (And if you can’t get enough of these two lovely people, feel free to relive their engagement session too.)

michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3922michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3942michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3914michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3916michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3936michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3934michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3885michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3884michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3830michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3947michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3944michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3835michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3833michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3910michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3838michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3949michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4078   michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4023 michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4024michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4036michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3950michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4010michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3886michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4012michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3850michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3848michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4080michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4076michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3938michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3929michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3852michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3887michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3882michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3883michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3854michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3880michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3858michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3888michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3864michelewithonel-colorado-della-terra-mountain-wedding-photographer_3162michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4004michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4002michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4003michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4022michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4017michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4007michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4015michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3872michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3831michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3901michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3906michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_3908michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4030michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4028michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4026michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4027michelewithonel-della-terra-estes-park-colorado-wedding-photographer_4033michelewithonel-colorado-della-terra-estes-park-wedding-portrait-photographer_4098

  • Justyna - December 15, 2016 - 11:13 am

    Swoon over the details…and this stunning couple. Your attention to details is breathtaking…that’s where the story is! Beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 15, 2016 - 11:24 am

      Thank you, Justyna! I love it when couples have so many pretty and meaningful details! It does so much to tell the story of their day!ReplyCancel

  • Sunshine Lump - December 15, 2016 - 11:31 am

    Gorgeous!! I LOVE the scenery, her dress and the style of the entire wedding!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 15, 2016 - 11:34 am

      Thank you so much!! :) Della Terra has to be one of my favorites.ReplyCancel

  • Julie - December 15, 2016 - 2:00 pm

    The personalized details of this wedding are amazing! You captured them well and even more the emotions that were running deep hat day!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 15, 2016 - 3:59 pm

      Thank you, Julie! I agree — they did the most wonderful job with personalized details. Thank you so much for your kind words!ReplyCancel

  • Sharee Davenport - December 15, 2016 - 3:11 pm

    I’m totally obsessed with their romantic and soft wedding colors and those flowers and flower crowns are to die for! how lucky are they that they had you as their photographer to capture it all!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 15, 2016 - 3:58 pm

      Aw, thanks, Sharee! Your sweet words just made my day. :)ReplyCancel

  • Willy Wilson - December 15, 2016 - 9:27 pm

    You did such a beautiful job photographing this mountain wedding. I love all the details and the gorgeous posing of the couple. And it is a total tear-jerker when you see the groom’s expression. Wow.ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 15, 2016 - 10:49 pm

      Thank you so much, Willy! :)ReplyCancel

  • Shebli Nikkole - December 16, 2016 - 7:00 am

    This wedding is stunning! I can’t get over it and you did an amazing job capturing it!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 16, 2016 - 12:43 pm

      Aw, thanks, Shebli. You made my day. :)ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Mullins - December 16, 2016 - 12:03 pm

    Wow, what a gorgeous wedding! Amazing job capturing all the personal details. The hockey sticks are too cool!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 16, 2016 - 12:44 pm

      Thanks so much, Melissa! I love the hockey sticks too. The groom actually played on the U.S. Olympic hockey team!ReplyCancel

  • Candice Benjamin - December 16, 2016 - 12:18 pm

    This is the most beautiful Della Terra wedding I’ve ever seen! Stunning!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 16, 2016 - 12:43 pm

      Thank you for your sweet words, Candice! They did such a beautiful job! I am so humbled to have been able to photograph it.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - December 16, 2016 - 11:04 pm

    Oh wow! This is just perfection!!! Breathtaking!! [I’m also wondering if you, Michele with one L, bonded with Nichole with an H over names ;-) (Nicole is my middle name so I noticed this random detail!)]ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 16, 2016 - 11:21 pm

      Tammy, thank you for your sweet words. And that is funny about the name! I didn’t this time but I almost always make a point of telling people with unique name spellings that they should do what I did and trademark it. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Karen Crosby - December 17, 2016 - 11:44 pm

    Breathtakingly perfect! The beauty, the details, the emotions, the soft summer colors…you have captured them all for a lifetime. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed looking at these pictures on this frigid winter night. You are an amazing photographer! What a blessing for that sweet couple.ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 20, 2016 - 9:29 pm

      Karen, you area the sweetest. Thank you so much for your kind words! They truly enjoyed everything about their day and it was a joy to share it with them!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Johnson - December 30, 2016 - 10:44 am

    WOW was this a gorgeous wedding! Those bouquets are to die for!! You captured this day so well! And your detail shots are amazing!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 30, 2016 - 5:16 pm

      Aren’t those bouquets amazing? Yes, it was a gorgeous wedding, and I so appreciate your sweet comments!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Laura Smith - December 30, 2016 - 11:02 am

    I can’t pick a favorite part–everything about this wedding was STUNNING!! Wow! :-DReplyCancel

    • admin - December 30, 2016 - 5:17 pm

      Thank you so much, Laura! Your sweet words mean the world!ReplyCancel

  • Alysha - December 30, 2016 - 11:24 am

    Simply stunning! You captured all the romance, love it!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 30, 2016 - 5:16 pm

      Alysha, thank you so much for you kind words! :)ReplyCancel

  • Corrie B - January 1, 2017 - 2:15 pm

    So pretty! One of my favorite venues!!! The hockey sticks were a darling idea :) You captured it beautifully!!ReplyCancel

    • admin - January 1, 2017 - 7:27 pm

      Aw, thank you so much, Corrie! Happiest new year to you!! :)ReplyCancel

I knew when I shot Levi and Marie’s engagement session that their autumn wedding at Skyview Presbyterian Church in Littleton, Colorado, would be one of my favorites.

These two have the most loving, supportive families and friends — in fact, their families are their friends. So it was really no surprise when Marie told me they were expecting to celebrate with 250 of their closest family and friends.

And if you can have an intimate wedding with 250 guests, Marie and Levi most certainly had one!

michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3721michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3706michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3824michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3708michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3760michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3757Every detail of the day was sentimental and meaningful, from the box of letters Marie gave to Levi, written by dozens of people who know and love him, to the ring bearer carrying Levi’s Bible to the front of the church; from the hydrangea Marie’s Aunt Lois picked from her own yard and lovingly made into bouquets, to the best baklava I’ve ever tasted, handmade by Marie’s mom in the weeks leading up to the wedding.

Friends and family decorated the sanctuary and worked tirelessly to transform the church’s largest room into a reception area for dinner, toasts, and dancing. Ruth, a dear friend of the family, flew in from Oregon to help with the elaborate setup, and another friend, Kathleen, made gourmet food to feed 250 — and on top of that baked a naked spiced pumpkin cake with a caramel pecan filling, decorated with sugared wintered fruits. michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3788michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3710michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3734michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3730michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3715michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3716michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3717michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3750michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3762michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3753michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3764michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_4048michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3770michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3769michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3744michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3742michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3749 michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3798michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3797michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3793Groomsmen and bridesmaids gathered around Levi and Marie before the ceremony to pray fervently for their marriage. Marie’s father read Psalm 121, a Song of degrees, during the ceremony. And Marie’s sister, Anna, sang Tenth Avenue North’s Beloved with the sweetest voice to her sister and new brother.

I asked Marie and Levi what was most special to them about their wedding day (since there were so many sweet moments to choose from!).

michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3800michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3801Marie talked about what it felt like to walk into the ceremony with her dad, seeing all 250 people stand up for her, and knowing they were there because of how much they loved and wanted to support Marie and Levi in their marriage.

Levi said standing at the front of the sanctuary and watching all of his closest friends walk in to stand by and support him and his new wife was a surreal moment for him.michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3803michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3806michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3807And the two of them together couldn’t stop marveling at how all of their closest friends and family were together in one place to rejoice with them, something that likely will not ever happen again. There is something so amazing and special about a wedding at bringing people together who otherwise might never be in the same place at the same time, to celebrate the covenant of two people for a lifetime.

Finally, both Marie and Levi couldn’t get over the toasts — the most amazing toasts they’d ever heard! Every wedding has toasts, of course, but in the history of toasts, there were never toasts like these toasts!

Marie’s and Levi’s brothers and sisters took the time to write from their hearts, evident by both the laughter and the tears that accompanied so many of their sentiments.michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3785michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3751michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3791Josh, Levi’s older brother, spoke first, and this was his bit of advice for his brother: “Be courageous in your pursuit of our Lord, be kind to your wife, and look out for the needs of your growing family.”

Anna, Marie’s little sister, said this about Marie: “I’ve never thought of my sister as a hopeless romantic before, and yet in the past few months she’s told me countless times she gets butterflies every time he kisses her, and that she misses him even when she knows she’ll see him the next morning….”

And then sweet Anna added this bit of 19-year-old marriage advice: “The best example that I have of a godly marriage are my parents, John and Debbie Melkonian. Growing up, I had parents who prayed over us, made time for one another, and put Christ above all else. So I advise you, above everything else, whenever you have questions … just call them.”

David, Marie’s brother, talked about how in his first two years at college, Marie became his best friend. “She is absolutely the most selfless person I know…. She loves absolutely unconditionally, and if anyone ever wrongs her, she is quick to forgive and to love. She is one of the few people I know who genuinely loves other people more than herself. So, Levi, take care of my best friend for me, because she deserves the absolute world.”michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3812michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3815michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3813Shiloh, Levi’s sister, said this about Levi: “He is the man he is today because of his devotion to the Lord’s service and because of his passion to pursue the truth forever and always. You have always been a knight … you are a knight in the Lord’s army and you have proven that over and over again and that is beautiful. I am so proud of you, and so proud to see you up here today, beside your beautiful bride….”

And Marie’s dad, John, gave 17 toasts. Why 17? Because, he said, the record number of toasts was 16, so for his daughter’s wedding, of course it had to be more than that.

And in honor of their families’ Armenian and Danish heritage, 250 voices responded after all 17 toasts with shouts of “Genatzt!” and “Skoal!”

“Tonight is a celebration of God’s faithfulness,” John began, “a night to celebrate God’s faithfulness to our families…. And Levi, we are really thankful for you and the providence of God that has brought you and Marie together here.

“I know that you will love and support and care for our daughter over your life, and I also know that you will continue to seek God for his wisdom and his direction in your life as a couple. And really, what more could a father want for his daughter than a man who loves God and loves his daughter?”michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3814John went on to quote from a host of wise souls, from Ben Franklin to Homer Simpson, with bits of wit and wisdom the newly married couple (and all of us who are married, or plan to be one day) could put to good use:

“God, the best maker of all marriages, combine your heart into one.”
—William Shakespeare

“Be the president of each other’s fan clubs.”
—Tony Heathmichelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_4054“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
— Ruth Bell Graham

“Being in love is not merely a feeling, it is a deep unity maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God.”
—C.S. Lewis

“In sharp contrast with our culture, the Bible teaches that the essence of marriage is a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other, and that means love is more fundamentally action than emotion.”
—Tim Keller michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3817michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3818michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3802michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_4059michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_4056michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_4058michelewithonel-colorado-wedding-photographer_3822Most of all, Levi and Marie’s wedding was a reminder to all of us to pray for each other’s marriages, to be there to stand by each other and encourage one another, and most of all to celebrate marriage, never forgetting that it represents the everlasting relationship we have with God through Jesus Christ.

To which I say, in my best Armenian and Danish accents, “Genatzt!” and “Skoal!”



  • Kim M - December 8, 2016 - 10:02 am

    Your detailed shots are exquisite! Beautiful posing.ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 8, 2016 - 10:13 am

      Thank you so much, Kim! Such a beautiful couple and such a beautiful day.ReplyCancel

  • Monet - December 8, 2016 - 10:06 am

    If I was to do my wedding over again…I would definitely get married in the fall. What a gorgeous collection of images!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 8, 2016 - 10:14 am

      Thank you, Monet! I agree — fall is so beautiful, and when your wedding coincides with the day the leaves look prettiest, this is what you get! :)ReplyCancel

  • Jackie Parr - December 8, 2016 - 10:07 am

    I had chicken skin reading this blog post, loved the detail in the shots. What a gorgeous wedding. You did an amazing job capturing this couple!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 8, 2016 - 10:15 am

      Aw, thank you so much, Jackie. It was such a lovely day!ReplyCancel

  • Emilyanne - December 8, 2016 - 10:13 am

    This is beautiful! I love the bridal party style and her gown is stunning! Looks like it was quite the fun party too. :) Great work!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 8, 2016 - 10:17 am

      Emilyanne, thank you for your sweet words! Marie’s wedding gown and the bridesmaids’ dresses were stunning — and yes, the party was great fun!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Duclos - December 8, 2016 - 10:49 am

    I agree with Kim, the detail images are perfection, and I love her color palette and that cake!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 8, 2016 - 10:54 am

      Aw, thank you, Michelle (with two L’s). ;) The color palette was so gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Shebli Nikkole - December 8, 2016 - 1:00 pm

    Gorgeous! You captured their day amazingly and her color palette is perfection.ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 8, 2016 - 1:01 pm

      Shebli! Thank you so much for your kind words!! :)ReplyCancel

  • D Roldan - December 8, 2016 - 1:10 pm

    Beautiful! You captured some pretty amazing intimate moments, also the color scheme are beautiful! Loving the mismatch dresses. XOReplyCancel

    • admin - December 8, 2016 - 1:22 pm

      Ah, thank you so much, Devorah! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kate Hejde - December 8, 2016 - 1:25 pm

    Beautiful bride and a beautiful wedding! What gorgeous colors all together!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 8, 2016 - 1:33 pm

      Thank you, sweet Kate!ReplyCancel

  • ginny - December 8, 2016 - 1:56 pm

    Love the tones you edit with! So ethereal!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 8, 2016 - 2:16 pm

      Aw, thanks, Ginny!! You made my day.ReplyCancel

  • Christie Matherne - December 8, 2016 - 3:18 pm

    Gorgeous photos, so clear and romantic. Nice choreography, I bet that was funny to watch ;)ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 8, 2016 - 3:46 pm

      Thank you, Christie! And yes, it was pretty fun to watch — I don’t even think it was choreographed! They are just amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney Ross - December 8, 2016 - 11:55 pm

    This wedding looked and sounded absolutely amazing and beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 9, 2016 - 8:19 am

      Thank you, Courtney! :) It was!!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Trout - December 9, 2016 - 11:33 am

    So many gorgeous details! This wedding was so gorgeous and you did a lovely job of capturing it!ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 9, 2016 - 11:58 am

      Aw, thank you so much, Melissa! Your sweet words mean the world!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Tipton - December 9, 2016 - 3:29 pm

    Such beautiful colors! I love the prayer images- I’m sure those will mean a lot to this couple.ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 9, 2016 - 9:33 pm

      Thanks, Amanda! Yes, that was such a special and important part of their day! Thank you for your sweet words! :)ReplyCancel

  • Karen Crosby - December 18, 2016 - 1:26 pm

    Such beautiful autumn imagery and heartfelt photographs. I love the skin tones, and your amazing attention to detail, enhanced by your documentation and quotes.ReplyCancel

    • admin - December 20, 2016 - 9:30 pm

      Karen, thank you so much for leaving a comment! These two truly love the Lord and I was so humbled to be part of their day.ReplyCancel

  • […] 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 […]ReplyCancel

Nikl and Allison first met when we were in the same kindergarten class at Normandy Elementary School in Littleton. They didn’t know each other very well then, or have the same friends, so when Nikl’s family moved to Phoenix in 7th grade, they lost touch.

Fast forward ten years to the age of social media. Nikl finds Allison on Facebook and they start talking on FB message. Messages turn into phone calls, and when Nikl comes back to Colorado a couple of months later to visit his brother, Allison and Nikl decide to hang out and “see what happens.”

Nikl’s flight gets in really late that night and Allison has to open at Starbucks the next morning, so she picks him up at the airport and drops him off at his brother’s house (after a goodbye kiss). The next day, they spend the day together and have their first date at Angie’s, a little Italian restaurant in Littleton where they’d both been going with their families since they were kids. And, as Allison says, “that was pretty much that.”
michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3553michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3542michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3572michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3555michelewithonel_colorado-engagement-photographer_3123One of the first things you’ll notice when you meet Allison and Nikl is they are not two but three. Adida is their sweet Norwegian Bohund, adopted from the Prison Trained K-9 Companion Program.

I’ll let Allison tell the story of how they found Adida: “My dad and stepmom adopted their pug a few years ago from the Prison Trained K-9 Companion Program, where puppies and older dogs are rescued and raised/trained by prison inmates for a few months until they’re ready for adoption. They have a great website that lists all of the dogs available for adoption, and when we were looking there happened to be a bunch of this certain breed of dog we had never heard of —the Norwegian Buhund. And there was something about them that was just so cute! So we put our names on the waiting list to meet one of the Buhund pups and another mixed-breed dog.

“When we arrived at the cafeteria of the women’s correctional facility, we looked through the little window in the door and saw this tiny little black dog with the cutest little curly tail and white paws and I knew right away the other dog didn’t stand a chance (sorry Etnie!). I fell in love with her right away, and so did Nikl, and she has turned out to be the sweetest little dog! The best thing about having Adida in our lives is just the constant love and affection she gives us, and also how much she makes us laugh and smile every day with her goofy, adorable personality. We literally could not love that little dog any more if we tried.”

michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3571michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3609michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3502michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3561michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3504michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3559michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3494michelewithonel-colorado-engagement-destination-wedding-photographer_3524michelewithonel_colorado-engagement-photographer_3124Another thing you can’t help but notice about Allison and Nikl is their love of breweries. Nikl lived in Oregon the first year they dated, so when Allison came to visit, Nikl would take her to his favorite breweries. Allison, however, admit she only recently acquired the taste for craft beer after many visits to their Highlands neighborhood hangout, Hops & Pie. “After we got Adida, breweries were a convenient choice so we could hang out with her while also enjoying some delicious beverages and not have the guilt of being bad parents.”

Allison and Nikl are getting married next year at a brewery in Oregon, and although Adida won’t be flying to Oregon for the wedding, you can be sure she’ll be well acknowledged in other special ways.

I can’t wait for next year’s destination wedding in Portland! And Allison and Nikl are beyond excited. In fact, says Allison, they can’t think of anything they are more looking forward to than having all their family and close friends in the same place — their favorite place — and being able to share everything they love most about Oregon with the people they love most.

Oh, and a huge shoutout to Ratio Beerworks for sharing their amazing location and beer with us. ;)


  • Janessa - November 17, 2016 - 1:32 pm

    So beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 17, 2016 - 1:36 pm

      Thank you, Janessa!ReplyCancel

  • savannah - November 17, 2016 - 1:33 pm

    I love how many different locations/feelings you were able to capture! And their little sweet pup is adorable.ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 17, 2016 - 1:36 pm

      Aw, thanks, Savannah! And I agree — their pup is the sweetest. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - November 17, 2016 - 2:05 pm

    This looks like such a fun session! And you really got to know the couple. I love it.ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 17, 2016 - 3:25 pm

      Thank you so much, Kristin!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Katie - November 17, 2016 - 3:13 pm

    Wow, so many different looks and locations in one session. Looks like it was a blast, and I can tell they had so much fun as well!ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 17, 2016 - 3:26 pm

      Thank you, Katie! And these are only a few favorites — you should have seen all the images they got in their gallery. They are so adorable and so much fun that it was impossible to take a bad photo of them. Can’t wait for their wedding — it’s going to be a blast!ReplyCancel

  • Valeria - November 17, 2016 - 4:14 pm

    The dog! <3 Such a cute couple and beautiful session. Love the locations!ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 17, 2016 - 4:55 pm

      Thank you, Valeria! We had so much fun. And yes to the dog!! Wouldn’t have been the same without her.ReplyCancel

  • Bridget Dvorak - November 17, 2016 - 5:38 pm

    What a fun couple! You captured them beautifully!!ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 17, 2016 - 5:47 pm

      Aw, thank you so much, Bridget! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ginny - November 17, 2016 - 7:17 pm

    These are adorable! Love that they included their pup!ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 17, 2016 - 8:49 pm

      I agree on both counts! :) Thank you for your sweet words, Ginny.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - November 17, 2016 - 9:12 pm

    How fun! Having a beer while loving on your sweetie. What a fun couple!ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 17, 2016 - 9:14 pm

      Right?? That’s my idea of fun too! :) Thanks for your kind words, Amanda!ReplyCancel

  • cara - November 18, 2016 - 1:40 pm

    These are so pretty and totally classy! Love how you just nailed this session perfectly! :)ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 18, 2016 - 2:08 pm

      Aw, thanks, Cara! Your sweet words just made my Friday! Have a great weekend! :)ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Trout - November 18, 2016 - 2:39 pm

    The colors and light in these photos are PERFECT! Lovely work!ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 18, 2016 - 3:24 pm

      Thank you so much, Melissa!! :) Have a great weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Jakes - November 19, 2016 - 1:00 am

    Such an adorable couple! So many great shots, and they all look so natural and are so well done. Beautiful editing style too!ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 19, 2016 - 1:36 pm

      Thank you so much, Suzanne! Your sweet words made my day. :)ReplyCancel

  • Flor - November 25, 2016 - 1:44 pm

    Absolutely beautiful session. OMG and the shots with the dog, In loooveeee!!!ReplyCancel

    • admin - November 25, 2016 - 5:55 pm

      Aw, thank you, Flor! Your sweet comments mean so much!! :)ReplyCancel