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Wedding Photography in Downtown Denver

August 1, 2014

Last Saturday we photographed our first wedding at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts www.denvercenter.org The Complex is located in the heart of the Denver Theatre District in Downtown Denver, Colorado.

The wedding day began with everyone getting dressed at the Magnolia Hotels www.magnoliahotels.com . The hotel website had this information about the property. In 1993, the company purchases its first building, a vacant 85-year-old former bank building in the core of downtown Denver’s business district. The property underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and was restored to reflect its original appearance. The hotel opened in 1995 under the name Holtze Executive Place, later changed to the Magnolia Hotel.

In a big city moving a wedding party and family from the hotel to the actual wedding venue can resemble a Chinese fire drill. Coordinating the rides and times for the bride, bridesmaids, groom and groomsmen can be very stressful. It always takes more time then expected. Thank goodness they took my advice and planned for the needed extra time.

Megan and Tim had their “first look” under the marquee in front of the Seawell Grand Ballroom with the wedding party peeking from the upper floors of the parking structure. They chose to see each other in advance of the wedding so we would have more time to make formal wedding photographs. We spent the next hour making wedding photographs in this dynamic architecturally rich environment bursting with angles, layers and light. The atrium roof provided welcome relief from the sun and later the sprinkling rain.  We were thrilled to have a new visual playground and a wedding couple willing to schedule additional time for us to create wedding day imagery for them.

The Seawell Grand Ballroom http://denvercenterevents.org/ is large enough to host both the wedding ceremony and the reception. This wedding they draped the room into two parts, both were dramatically lit.

The Ballroom website says they deliver memorable, inspiring and unique events. “Your guests will marvel at the panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains and iconic elements of Denver’s Lower Downtown Skyline — offering an incredible view of urban architecture and mountain peaks.  As the sun goes down, the ceiling transforms into a star-filled canopy above this 10,000 square-foot dream space, lined with mirrors to reflect your theatrical event.”

After seeing what they were able to do to the ballroom I would agree. The ceremony side of the room was beautiful and the reception area was breath taking.

The caterer was Epicurean Group – Denver Catering www.epicueangroupco.com . They are rated in the top 25 caterers in the world by Special Event Magazine. The food was served buffet style and was delicious. The main course was stuffed pork tenderloin with roasted tomatoes and asparagus. My favorite part of the meal was the mashed sweet potatoes.

After the traditional toasts, cake cutting and ceremonial first dances the party really started and the place got bumping very quickly. The wedding guests danced up a storm underneath a 4-foot disco ball that hung from the ceiling. We were exhausted by the end of the night but Megan and Tim’s wedding was truly a beautiful event. Certainly a highlight on our summer Colorado wedding photography calendar. Thanks guys!

Bride groom Denver Center for the Performing Arts

brides maids watch bride and groom

bride groom Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Ninja kiss bride groom

Bride groom Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Seawell Grand Ballroom

Dancing Seawell Grand Ballroom

Dancing Seawell Grand Ballroom Denver

 

 

 

Beautiful views from Willow Ridge Manor

July 10, 2014

New Years Eve is my favorite day for a wedding and 4th of July is my second favorite. Carrie and Brandon just so happened to get married this year on the 4th of July and Sherri Barber Photography was lucky enough to provide their wedding photography.  My friends and family members are curious about why those are my favorite days for weddings. Here is what I tell them. If this is your wedding date there will always be a party on your anniversary celebrated with food, fireworks, friends and family. It is like the whole world is celebrating your special day with you and how could that not be a recipe for a great day.  A little corny I have to admit, but that’s the way I see it.

Carrie and Brandon held their wedding at Willow Ridge Manor www.willowridgemanor.com in Morrison, Colorado. Years ago when I lived in Denver, I photographed a lot of weddings at this venue. The Manor sits high in the foothills overlooking spectacular red rock formations and the lights of Denver can be seen off to the east. The house was built at turn of the century and was the former home of two U.S. Senators. It has all the grandeur expected of mansions from that era. The outside is painted white so it stands out against it’s backdrop of red rocks. It also has a carport with wonderful arches and on the front of the mansion their are two story columns leading up to a balcony porch.

The ceremony site has been expanded since I was there last, it really is an improvement. They have done a wonderful job in creating a gazebo made from wood and red sand stone to fit in with the natural surroundings. The view looking east towards Denver from the Willow Ridge Manor ceremony site is breathtaking.

The Willow Ridge Manor has beautiful large rooms for the bride and her attendants to dress in. These rooms are wonderfully furnished with large mirrors and furniture for posing group photos. This is a huge benefit for me when I’m making formal bridal portraits. There is a separate suite for the groom and his guys to get ready in and it’s plenty large enough to make candid wedding photographs. The dinning room is connected to a second very large balcony porch and is complete with dance floor and full freestanding bar.

Of course it had to rain that evening, what is a wedding without a little rain, but the storm blew through quickly just before the ceremony started and the day turned out beautiful. We were able to incorporate a little 4th of July spirit using the American flags hanging from the carport in our wedding photography. The last rays of sunlight made for some stunning photographs on the red rocks and the 2nd floor balcony as well.

We ended the evening with a time exposure photograph of the wedding couple using sparklers and capturing the lights of Denver in the distance.

Happy 4th of July wedding everyone.

 

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E WillowRidge 7

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E WillowRidge 5

 

 

Zipper problems on wedding day

June 27, 2014

After many years of experience in the wedding business I thought I had seen it all. But something happened last Saturday that was as crazy as anything. I’m not sure if there was a full moon or what but I am not going to forget that wedding anytime soon.

Our Saturday wedding was with Carli and Adam starting at The Highland Haven Creekside Inn http://www.highlandhaven.com/ in Evergreen Colorado. The inn is located 30 minutes west of Denver and sits beside Bear Creek. It offers many opportunities to make beautiful wedding photographs and is a perfect place to prepare for a Evergreen or Genesee wedding.

We met Carli & Adam a year and a half a go when we photographed their friend’s wedding at Beaver Meadows http://www.beavermeadows.com near Red Feather Lakes. They liked what we did for their friends and booked us soon after. I was happy for them that their day had finally arrived.

They had rented cottages for the girls and guys to get ready and limos to take everyone to the actual wedding. Everything was going according to plan when I arrived, they were just finishing their hair and make up and everyone looked great. At that point there was some debate about whether  Carli should put her wedding gown on at the cottage or at the wedding venue. I lobbied for her to dress at the cottage because the grounds of Highland Haven is so pretty we could make some classic bridal portraits down by the creek. Don’t get ahead of this story, Carli did not fall into the creek.

She decided to go ahead and put her dress on at the cottage because her room there was more spacious. She stepped into the gown and all that was left was zipping it up. Sounds simple enough right? This is where the story take a turn, the zipper was broken. The two track zipper was only on one track of the teeth. Having tried the dress on just two days before, how could this have happened? Now panic sets in and many different ideas were getting thrown around. Her dad show up with the tool kit borrowed from the limo driver containing needle nose pliers, something was said about sewing her into the gown etc….

sherri barber photography

sherri barber photography

I had never faced this problem before so I was absolutely no help. My solution was hide behind my camera and take lots of photos. Everyone was walking in circles around the dress wringing their hands and shaking their heads. I always believed in a time of crisis if you can’t help, stay out of the way, or bring food and liquor.

sherri barber photography

The mother of the bride and the mother of the groom saved the day. They tore the bottom of the zipper out, realigned it, got it back on track and sewed the zipper bottom back into the dress. That sentence makes it sound so very easy but it was not. They spent almost an hour taking it apart and putting it back together.

sherri barber photography

sherri barber photography

Carli finally got her gown on and zipped it up. We ran out of the cottage and made one quick group photo of the girls by the creek before diving into the limo for the ride to the ceremony site at Christie’s of Geneseehttp://christiesofgenesee.com/

 

 

 

Fort Collins Country Club Wedding

June 6, 2014

One of our weddings last week was with Liz & Landon at the Fort Collins Country Club http://www.fortcollinscc.com/. The Fort Collins Country Club has recently remodeled, and it looks great. They have removed the out dated carpet and curtains in the main ballroom and given it a fresh new look. The greatest change I saw was in the bride’s dressing room. It looked like a preschool nursery before, painted a sunshine yellow (not in a good way either). They have completely repainted it and added new curtains.  Adding to the refreshing change was the removal of a giant couch that took up too much space and was always in my way. It’s a really classy dressing room now that looked much better in my bridal portraits.  I’m sure they have made other changes to the facility but I was so busy making wedding photographs to stop and study everything.

In addition to the remodeling there has been some staff changes. Sunie who had been their wedding planner as long as I can remember retired over the winter. Sunie was fabulous to work with and was always on top of everything. She anticipated the bride and groom’s needs down to the last detail. One time she even loaned the bride her shoes so we could go outside and walk in the snow. I was very sad and a touch worried when she moved on, but Heidi the new planner was really great to work too. She has confidently picked up where Sunie left off.  She didn’t have to volunteer her shoes at Saturday’s wedding but I’m sure she can handle any wedding day problems that arise.

The only hitch to the Liz & Landon’s wedding day was the rain during their ceremony. However raining while the ceremony was taking place under the gazebo was the perfect time. The Gazebo at the country club has saved many wedding day plans. All the guests sat comfortably inside and the rain fell outside. By the time the ceremony was over the rain had stopped, and we were able to make wedding photographs outside once again.

 

Fort Collins Country wedding

Fort Collins Country wedding

Fort Collins Country wedding

Father of the bride walking bride down aisle

gazebo wedding ceremony

gazebo wedding ceremony

Bride and groom classic bridal portrait sunset clouds

wedding reception

First dance wedding reception

wedding dancing fort collins country club

 

Wedding photographs in reflections

May 31, 2014

One element of a wedding photograph that never fails to catch the eye is reflections: there is something magical about a reflection, transforming an ordinary scene into something special. Using windows, water, mirrors or any sort of reflective surface can change an image into a work of art. I like to incorporate reflections into my wedding photography it can lead to some amazing effects and beautiful images.

By including the reflection into the photograph or viewing the scene through the reflection it adds an extra dimension to the photograph. The viewer may need to take a little extra time to study the photograph and actually see what is going on in the scene.

The wonderful thing about using reflections when taking photos is that they can completely alter the image from something fairly straight forward to something richer, abstract or otherwise more artistic. Sometimes reflections can be annoying and certainly not artistic. But creativity and good-quality wedding photography depend on the photographer being able to see things differently, rather than seeing only one part of a larger whole.

Reflection of bride in mirror

I like when I am able to show both sides of the bride in her gown at the same time. The front of the gown is beautiful and so is the back of the wedding gown a mirror placed just right will show this off. www.tapestryhouse.com/

Arrow Head golf course classical bride groom portrait reflection water

A classical bride and groom portrait on Arrowhead Golf Course Denver Colorado.
http://www.arrowheadcolorado.com/

Bride and groom Unique wedding reflection portrait

Bride and groom laugh in the light cover of an old Royal Royce near Red Rocks Amphitheatre after the wedding ceremony. www.RedRocksonline.com

Groom groomsmen reflection portrait

The Groom and his groomsmen pose near the edge of a pond at Beaver Meadow in Red Feathers Lake Colorado. www.BeaverMeadows.com

Bride and groom classic bridal portrait

The bride and groom pose for a classical portrait on the staircase at The Tapestry House. www.TapestryHouse.com

Bride and groom classic bridal portrait reflection in pond

A bride and groom walk around one of the lakes at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland Colorado. www.SylvanDale.com

bride bridesmaids mirror reflection

The bridesmaids say a pray for the bride before her wedding ceremony at Church Ranch Event Center in Broomfield Colorado. www.ChurchRanchEventCenter.com

Bride and groom classic bridal portrait reflection water

The bride and Groom pose with their wedding party at Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra in Loveland Colorado. www.CenterraColorado.com

Bride getting ready mirror reflection

The bride smiles at her reflection in the mirror as she gets ready for her wedding day.

Bride groom classic bridal portrait reflection water

Bride and Groom pose in front of Mary’s Lake near Estes Park Colorado.

Reflection of bride in mirror

The bride looks at her reflection in the mirror at Della Terra Mountain Chateau Estes Park Colorado. www.DellaTerraMountainChateau.com

Sunset magic time for wedding photography

May 23, 2014

Sunset is a the magical time of day. We refer to it as the golden hour. A perfect sunset can make for gorgeous photographs. As much as possible when making wedding photographs I try to take advantage of what Mother Nature has to offer. The last hours of the day when the sun is low near the horizon and less intense or even after the sun has gone down and is starting to make the clouds glow is “Magic Time”.

I really like how the sunset can light up a veil and make it pop out. Veils can be hard to photograph because of the material they are made out of and tend to blend in with the background of the dress. Veils take on a completely different look when the sunlight illuminates them from behind.

I also take advantage of the sunset and make several different types wedding photographs from one vantage point. I can expose for the sky and make a silhouette. I can add a light onto the wedding couple after the sun has set and create a completely new look to the photograph. This is the time of day I have more control over my photographs and can take advantage of the beauty nature has to offer and create unique wedding day memories.

This year the Summer Solstice is June 21 making that the longest day of the year! For the months of June and July Sunset is between 8:30 – 8:40 pm, with the peak colors generally being within 15 minutes before sunset. Scheduling sunset pictures into your timeline can be a challenge as dinner, toasts, or dancing generally falls around the same time as sunset. If the sunset does happen during the dinner I generally try and schedule in a few moments for a sunset shot with the bride and groom right after they have finish eating and before the toasts start. Most guests are still eating, so if we are quick the bride & groom are not missed.

Sherri Barber

Bride Groom Wyoming sunset clouds

bride groom sunset kiss

bride groom sunset walking holding hands

bride groom sunset star unique portrait

bride groom dip kiss sunset

bride groom kiss in tunel

bride groom unique sunset portrait

bride groom classical portrait sunsent

bride groom sunset estes park

 

 

 

Beautiful black and white wedding at the Tapestry House

May 16, 2014

wedding ceremony programs

flower girl arriving

maid of honer help bride

groomsmen getting ready wedding before ceremony black white

brides maids help bride wedding dress

ring bears play wedding day black white

brides maid hep bride veil

groom putting on shoes wedding day black whitegrooms wedding day black white

grooms groomsmen wedding day portrait black whitebride portrait wedding dress stairs black white

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Guest gift wedding

wedding guest guest book wedding ceremony

flowers line wedding aisle black white

wedding party walk down aisle

Ring bear wedding ceremony

Father of the bride Bride

bride smiles groom wedding ceremony

Mother of bride crying wedding ceremony

wedding ceremony

bride groom wedding ceremony laugh

wedding ceremony

sand wedding ceremony

bride groom walking down aisle

bridal portrait bride groom

wedding rings

bride groom first dance smiling

bride groom laugh

toast wedding day

Father of bride dance crying

little girls dancing wedding reception

Spring is a great time for a wedding ceremony and as a wedding photographer I am always happy it has stopped snowing. Spring weddings at the Tapestry House in LaPorte Colorado (Northern Colorado) http://www.tapestryhouse.com/  are beautiful. The Lilac Bushes are in full bloom around the property along with Pansy, Iris, Crocus, Daffodil and my favorite Tulips. There is nothing better to say good bye to winter than a wedding photograph full of spring flowers surrounding the bride and groom.

Nicole and Matt were all smiles on their wedding except for a few times emotions over came the bride and she teared up and cried.  Nicole’s tears were happy ones. Her mom even had a tearful moment during the ceremony as she watched her daughter take the next step in life.

I love to capture those unscripted moments in my wedding photography during the wedding celebration. Not every moment of the day needs a wedding plan and some of the best wedding day pictures comes from true feelings. I like to wait and watch and take the photograph just at that moment.

Bobbie and Mark’s team at the Tapestry House always do a great job and are a pleasure to work with. The team out there keeps the lawns mowed, the big oak trees groomed and the flowers fresh looking fabulous. They really do an exceptional job and I appreciate their hard work. It makes my job easier and my photographs better. They are also very friendly and helpful making the bride and groom’s day run smoothly.

The weddings at the Tapestry House always turn out wonderful , even when the seasons of spring and winter get confused on who’s turn it is. I never have a problem finding a great place to photograph the bride and groom. I end up running out of time before we need to move onto the wedding reception.

Call today so I can capture your special wedding
day.

 

 

Groomsmen gift ideas

May 2, 2014

Groomsmen gift ideas

The groomsmen are the groom’s best buddies. He has relied on them throughout his life to get into trouble with, to get him out of trouble and tell him when he is being stupid. I have heard some pretty funny stories from the groomsmen during the wedding reception toasts, some stories better off left untold. A word to the wise if the story involves a stolen goat, unhappy cops and or random nude women…. it should not be told in front of grandma. Oops.

On the wedding day, the groomsmen usually behave themselves and offer their to support the groom. A thank you from the groom to his guy pals for their support and friendship is the groomsmen gift.  This may lead to a lot of pressure but don’t worry they are just guys after all. Guys tend to keep things pretty simple.

The most traditional gift is a flask. This can be a very nice gift and engraving the groomsmen’s initials can personalize it. This gift normally confuses me, and I am always left wondering several things. 1. How hard is it to get the booze into the flask and how much is spilled? 2. If you share with a buddy or better yet a cute girl how many sips does it hold? I have never seen a flask big enough. This comment probably says more about me than anything. 3. How much pre-planning will a guy do? If he is running out of the house, stops in his tracks and says wait I forgot to fill my flask. This probably says something about him. 4. If you have a perfectly good container already holding the booze why take it out and put it into another container? Those are just a few things I think of in the middle of the night.

The other classic gifts given to groomsmen are watches and money clips. Both are very nice and neither keeps me awake at night.

The most original groomsmen gift I have seen as a Northern Colorado Wedding Photographer are cuff links made from hand tied flies used in fly fishing. The groom was an avid fly fishing angler and made a unique gift for his friends incorporating one of his passions. Pretty classy!

Groomsmen gift cuff link hand tied fly

Save-The-Date

April 25, 2014

The other day I received in the mail the other day a Save-The-Date postcard from Joseph and Caitlin, who are getting married in September. I will be photographing their wedding. I also photographed their engagement pictures about 6 months ago. Joseph is a pilot, so we incorporated an airplane into their photograph.

bride and groom old plane

Save-The-Date cards are a great idea. This gives friends and family members a heads-up so  hopefully they will keep that date open on their calendar.  Also by sending these out it will generate excitement for the upcoming wedding, showers and bachelorette parties that will soon follow.

The general rule on sending out the Save-the-date cards are to send them six to nine months before the wedding date. If the wedding is going to be a destination wedding or on a major holiday then your guest will need extra time, nine months to a year are more  appropriate.

Send the cards to all the guest you are planning on inviting. If the guest is on the maybe list then hold off. You can’t un-invite a guest once they receive a save-the-date card. You are obligated to invite them to the wedding. Don’t forget you will still need to send wedding invitations to your guests.

The Print Cafe in Fort Collins http://www.theprintcafe.com/ makes some great Save-The-Date cards. They range in all shapes and sizes from postcards to magnets. My personal favorites are the fun flip cards. They have a video on their website which shows the flip cards in action.

The photograph or photographs on the cards can incorporate something special about the bride and groom. I have photographed couples with their dog wearing a sign with the wedding date on it. I have photographed couples where they got engaged, where they had a special date, where the bride and groom met for the first time. The possibilities are endless.

save the date with dog

 

Happy Anniversary Sarah and Lane

April 18, 2014

Sarah and Lane were married one year ago this April in a Colorado destination wedding at Saint Malo Retreat Center Chapel on the Rock. The popular landmark is locate near Allenspark, Colorado about 20 minutes from Estes Park Colorado. It is this tiny little catholic church that sits at the base of Longs Peak, Mount Meeker is nearby and the chapel is situated just outside Rocky Mountain National   Park. The church is best suited for small intimate weddings. I’m not sure 100 people will fit inside the chapel.Bride and groom classic bridal portrait Chapel on the Rock St Malo

The weather was a little bit of everything on this particular day from beautiful blues skies to snow. The wind during the ceremony was howling outside. I’m glad the church is made from stones because it felt solid against the gale force winds rolling off the Rocky Mountains that day. I did say a silent little prayer for the roof hoping it would not end up in Kansas before the end of the wedding ceremony.

I had  all these great ideas for outside wedding photographs after the ceremony with the bride and groom which were immediately changed. Weather is one element is photography you can not change. I usually incorporate the weather conditions into my pictures creating and unexpected element which can be fun. If is snows, Great!, put on snow boots. If it rains No Problem, umbrellas are great props. Wind, however, is the most difficult weather element to incorporate. It can be helpful when it catches the veil and dress just right. I can also use it as a high fashion look when it blows the hair. Here is the catch, it has to be blowing from the right direction and not too forceful. Generally wind causes more trouble than it is worth. It makes your eyes water and if that isn’t bad enough everyone is squinting. Not a great look.

Chapel on the Rock St Malo

Flower girls wedding cereony  Chapel on the Rock St Malo

Father and bride walk down aisle Chapel on the Rock St Malo

wedding ceremony Chapel on the Rock St Malo Estes Park

Chapel on the Rock St Malo

Bride and groom classic bridal portrait Chapel on the Rock St Malo

Bride classic bridal portrait Chapel on the Rock St Malo

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