A twilight elopement ceremony in the woods.
Ruth & Will planned their commitment ceremony to be, above all else, authentically THEM. On a bright September Thursday, they gathered their ten besties in a colorful hostel and had a pillow fight while they beautified themselves.
Then we grabbed their pup, hopped in our cars together and headed up into the mountains outside of Fort Collins for their intimate elopement. We planned to stop along the mountain road on the way up for their romantic portraits- they told me to just yell “STOP!!” when I saw a scene I wanted to shoot – and stop we did! On the way up, I pitched the idea to them of kicking up dust from the dirt road so that the afternoon light would filter through the dust particles – I’m not sure I did a good job of explaining the shot I saw in my head, but we pulled over and they obliged. Their bridesman-turned-daredevil-chauffer Carl took their Subaru for a ride up and down a 20 foot stretch of road behind them at who-knows-how-many-mph, reversing and braking wildly and luckily producing lots of dust. It was also a surefire way to make the couple laugh, as every time Carl flew by in reverse they roared with laughter at the ridiculousness of the whole situation. I’m so glad they put their trust in me.
Near the top of the dirt road, they picked out a circular meadow in between a grove of aspens for their intimate wedding ceremony. It was quiet and still and everyone came with their hearts wide open, as they one by one made speeches of encouragement, support, and love in the growing darkness. Everyone cried during the couple’s private vows, and when they were finished we realized it was pitch dark. Just after their first kiss, they were absolutely mobbed by their ten friends holding circular lanterns that mirrored the shape of the circle ceremony.
The groom gets his hair curled and sprayed surrounded by his colorful friends.
The bridesmaids and bridesman show their emotions as they read letters of love and appreciation from the bride before the ceremony.
The bride's jaw drops as she reacts to seeing her groom in his custom corset and purple suit. He chose not to wear shoes, further embracing their own preferences instead of anyone else's.
The wedding couple and their intimate group of friends react to a joke during their circle ceremony.
The couple's dog Aurora followed was more curious about that clicking sound I was making, than her owner's ceremony in the background.
A dramatic 360 degree portrait of the couple surrounded by mountains in their home state of Colorado. This view gives the viewer the unique opportunity to see the entire scene as if you were standing there with them.
The couple roars with laughter as a car drives back and forth behind them to kick up the dust from the dirt road.
It had become pitch dark by the end of their ceremony, so their ten guests mobbed them with their handheld light up hoops so the couple could find each other in the dark for their first kiss.