Amanda and Keith wanted a small wedding on their own terms, so they headed up to Juniper Hotel & Bistro in Banff National Park for an intimate ceremony followed by a great meal with their small number of guests.
“Our wedding was inspired by our flare for tattoos and being our crazy selves”, said the bride. “We wanted something small that reflected our love of being outside and of being different to other people.”
“We loved doing a first look. Cassie, our photographer, had us hide out in the woods behind the Juniper. She instructed Keith to stand facing the tress and not turn around. I could tell he was nervous. I was giggling the whole time I was walking up to him, excited and nervous. Then he opened his eyes and all of a sudden my nerves went away. We were both laughing hysterically. We were finally getting married!”
Full disclosure: this isn’t a real wedding… BUT I had to feature it anyway because I love the idea of running away to a mountain and having an adorable and completely understated elopement ceremony!
“I have always wanted to photograph a real, true elopement and have never gotten the chance!” wrote wedding photographer Brittni Willie. “I think being from Utah, most brides think they must have elaborate weddings with everyone they know (and don’t know) in attendance and I wanted to challenge that and show people how beautiful and yet simple an elopement can really be.”
“I suggested the idea to one of my previous wedding couples two days before we actually shot the elopement. We planned the whole thing in two days which I also thing really adds to authenticity I wanted to capture in the shoot. There were multiple parts of this session that I didn’t want to feel forced, or include too many vendors (if any) and spend hours of shooting to get 5 ‘perfect’ shots. We spent $80 in total. I wanted it to feel REAL.”
Vanessa and Bret were married at Whispering Pines Mountain Hideaway in the Rocky Mountains.
“Both Bret and I actually cared very little about the wedding”, explained the bride. “We just wanted to spend five days at the mountain with our friends and family. We focused on offering everyone an experience. All our guests were flying in from NYC or Brazil, so we wanted them to get to know a bit of the place we call home, Colorado. It was fantastic, the leaves were changing color for the fall (something the Brazilians had never seen before!) and everyone took their time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, walk around Downtown Estes and just really enjoy time together! We were going for a laid-back, woodsy vibe.”
The bride’s amazing dress was from BHLDN, which she wore with a flower crown and veil made by her mother. “Everything for the wedding was DIY”, she continued. “My mother ordered fabric that matched our invitations and made every single napkin for the tables. Bret’s parents cleaned the entire yard and put together all the furniture and rentals. I shopped for vintage brass candle holders, brass apple bells for our flower girls, and created a botanical backdrop for our guest book. I went to thrift stores both in Denver and NYC looking for vintage trunks, luggage, and other props to decorate the reception. The rug that we stood on during our ceremony was a handmade crocheted rug by my aunt Neide.”
Devin and Nina were married at the Solitude Mountain Ski Resort in Utah, in May. Her completely stunning dress was ‘Josee’ by Grace Loves Lace. “For our wedding day I wanted simple, and unique”, she wrote. “We were exhausted of going to the same wedding over and over and wanted to do something a little different.”
“Our ceremony was simple, intimate and held at the snowy Solitude Ski Resort and the reception was at Frida Bistro. The two atmospheres combined made for a very memorable special day that was perfect for us. Not too formal, and a little out of the ordinary.”
Elia and Joey didn’t want a big wedding, instead they wanted something small and meaningful. The day was held at Little Valley Mountain Resort with the ceremony in the chapel there and the reception in one of the cabins!
“We wanted to do something very special to us, without spending a whole bunch of money”, Elia wrote. “We wanted it to be small, which was a necessity just because the chapel sat 24 people. We were hoping to make this a weekend vacation for everybody there, instead of just another wedding. I think we may be the only couple ever introduced as husband and wife at the reception with ‘Spheres of Madness’ by Decapitated. I think we did things different from the norm by not stressing on ANYTHING. We just took every bump as a part of the story.”
“I’m not particularly crafty, but those on Etsy are. I basically took their DIY and made it my own”, she continued. “Etsy was key to our wedding. Also, even if you are planning on doing your own hair, have somebody there to help when your arms get tired. It took two hours to do my hair, and it was exhausting and sweaty.”
“The best thing about the day was that everybody at the wedding was either in it, or family. It was a weekend spent with the people absolutely closest to us, and would have been a blast even without a wedding! We managed to save a lot of money on the food as we had the reception in the cabin the wedding party was staying in, and it had it’s own kitchen. Our moms cooked us our favorite meals! Comfort food! They were happy to help, especially since we paid for the entire wedding ourselves.”
Ashley and Scott are Australians who love to travel. So they wanted to celebrate their wedding with a true Canadian photo session adventure in the Rockies. The day took place at Emerald Lake, Alberta. Their was no planning, no script and no posed photographs.
“We walked past sleepy cabins, and huge resting trees”, wrote photographer Micheal Beaulieu. “Even before the first light could be seen, we were waiting by the shore of a quiet, and still, emerald lake. We were surrounded by mountains in every direction, and Ashley and Scott were nearly giddy with nervous excitement.”
“For just a few hours, the three of us explored mountains, walked along the most gorgeous emerald, and blue river banks, slowly adventured up rugged trails to overlook miles of wooded valleys and snowcapped mountains. During all of this, we shared our personal stories, our inspiration, and it really was amazing, and without a doubt, my most rewarding photo session of the year.”