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Archive for the ‘Destination Wedding Photography’ Category

Cheyenne Wyoming weddings

October 3, 2014

Bride groom little america Cheyenne WyomingLittle America in Cheyenne Wyoming turns out to be quite the wedding venue. We have had several weddings at Little America this summer www.Cheyenne.LittleAmerica.com .The hotel its self is very large and can host many overnight wedding guests. They have 188 rooms in total and last time I was there they were in a huge room renovation remodel. All the old furniture was being replaced with new, and the rooms were being painted and redecorated.

I counted three weddings, one 18th birthday celebration and a beauty pageant happening simultaneously in their convention center. The grand ballroom has the option of being partitioned into three smaller ballrooms. The wedding I was photographing had at least 170 wedding guests. There was plenty of room for the guests to move comfortably around the tables. The room also included cake table, candy table, DJ and dance floor. Each ballroom has a private bar/ reception area that the hotel staffs. One of my weddings even had an ice sculpture with the bride and grooms initial frozen into it. At the top of the sculpture, alcohol could be poured through an opening chilling on the way down before exiting out the other side. It was like a mini water slide for booze. This was a fun thing for wedding guest to enjoy, and the kids got a kick out of watching it.

The ballrooms can be decorated in the brides and grooms taste from tall vases with very large flower arrangements to something a little more simple like candles and mirrors. I peeked in the sweet 18th birthday ballroom before the guest arrived, and it was full of pink balloons. Very cute.

The wedding couples have a choice of a sit down plated dinner or a buffet. The catering staff runs both efficiently, so the food is not cold by the time it gets to the wedding guests. The food also tasted good. Sometimes with big events the food can look good and taste terrible. The dinner rolls were my favorite cover in butter YUM.

The weddings I have photographed were at a churches in Cheyenne Wyoming and Little America hosted the receptions. The ballrooms are big enough to host a wedding ceremony and then flip into the reception or the party could be moved to a different ballroom.

This facility also has a nine hole golf course on property so the groom and his guys can spend the morning on the course before the wedding ceremony doing the guy thing. The best thing about the golf course is it makes a great place to take wedding photographs. There is a pretty big pond near the hotel, and it is easily accessible to walk to for the bride and groom. I try not to make the bride hike miles in her high heel shoes which we all know as girls can be very painful. Mature trees line the pond, and small clumps of cute cattails are near the edge. We got lucky in one of our sunset photographs as a flock of geese flew over.

Thanks, Little America I will totally recommend you to my future Cheyenne Wyoming wedding couples.

Airplane themed wedding day

September 19, 2014

Caitlin and Joseph had an airplane themed wedding the first weekend in September at the Tapestry House www.tapestryhouse.com. It was a lot of fun. The groom is a pilot and graduated from the Air Force Academy, you know your basic “fly boy.” This celebration started with engagement session where I photographed the couple with a Stearman Biplane. It was very vintage looking as if it just arrived from WWII. I was thrilled to photograph them with it, bright yellow, big, fun, very photogenic.

The couple worked very hard on the details of their wedding day using the airplane theme throughout. The day began with the bride wearing a shirt with the words proudly scrolled across the front “co-pilot” before changing into her wedding gown. Wedding Programs were passed out to the arriving guests folded into paper airplanes.  The flower girl sprinkled the sidewalk with rose peddles and paper airplanes. The card box where the guests could place their envelopes in was a suit case ready to travel.

The dinner seating chart for the wedding guests were written on paper airplanes. Once the guests found their seats for the reception and dinner part of the day, a luggage tag with their names was waiting for them confirming they were at the right place. The tables were easily identified with a numbered airplane and map. The napkins had the bride and groom’s last name on them and they also had an airplane. If I remember right the bride and groom’s first dance was to “Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra. Everything was tastefully done and very classy.

The big surprise of the day came from the groom to his bride. She had wanted a fly over but he said it was not possible. Something about he could not be in two places at once. Little did she know he had already arrange this with his pilot buddy to grant his bride’s wish.

It rained that afternoon (of course) and the wedding ceremony was delayed by about 30 minutes. There were a few technical problems between the communications person on the ground at the wedding and the airplane pilot sitting at the Loveland Airport waiting for a break in the weather. The plan was to fly over (at the correct FAA regulation altitude) right after the kiss. What really happened was the beautiful yellow Stearman Biplane made its appearance somewhere during the family formal photographs. It did not matter the guests were thrilled, the bride was ecstatic and everyone waved and cheered to the pilot.

In the end what I witnessed was two people in love, going out of their way to make their wedding day a little more special for each other and their guests.

engagement Streaman Biplane

Airplane 2 wedding program airplane theme wedding programs airplane theme flower pedals and paper airplanes

Airplane themed wedding with wedding rings lugage tags dinner seating chart paper airplane with dinner guests name Stearman Biplane bride groom cheer

Wedding day air guitar

August 8, 2014

My favorite air guitarist

Amy and Jeff were married last weekend at the Tapestry House www.Tapestryhouse.com . Their 8-year-old son, Eli, has moved into the top position as my all time favorite air guitarist. I have photographed air guitar performances many times as a Fort Collins wedding photographer so I speak from experience.

The styles range from impromptu to exacting duplications of famous guitarists like; Stevie Ray Vaughan the blues man, Jimi Hendrix the Blues rocker, Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones and notorious Eddie Van Halen. You know the type they grab the guitar, drop their hips and become the music. Then you have your more energetic air guitarists like Slash from Guns ‘n Roses, Rhandy Roads from Ozzie Osbourne or Metallica’s Kirk Hammet hard core metal rockers. These guys are body and soul performers with everything in motion from their heads to their toes. Whatever the style of the “Air Guitarist” they make great wedding photography subjects.

Neil and Beth Carlberg who own Too Much Fun DJ http://www.toomuchfundj.com/ bring a unique service to the wedding reception. They are great DJ’s keeping the wedding on time and fun for the guests. When the dancing starts at the reception they pull out all the stops. They come prepared with a line up of custom made wooden guitars and encourage the weddings guests to get involved. The guitars are painted in a wide variety of designs to suit every air guitarist’s “inner rocker”.

They ease into it with songs very user friendly well known guitar riffs. Fun but not over the top. The momentum builds from there as they move the crowd into the competition part of the evening; boys vs girls, bride vs groom, bridesmaids vs groomsmen. All craziness breaks out at that point until everyone’s inner Judas Priest has them sliding across the floor on their knees pounding a riff on the wooden guitar. Photographing all of this really is really “too much fun”.

Back to my new favorite ax man, Eli. His own distinct style was somewhere between John Belushi and Jimi Hendrix with aspirations of giving Dimebag Darrel a run for his money. He is a guitarist at heart no doubt. Eli was working it at every opportunity; while getting dressed before the wedding, during family formal photographs and throughout the cocktail hour. I’m sure he would have played while he escorted his mother down the aisle if she would have allowed it. My personal favorite presentation from this up and come rock star was during his parents first dance. Eli quietly stood in background strumming a romantic ballad with a smile on his face as he watched his parents seal the deal.

wedding guest air guitar

wedding guest air guitar

wedding air guitar

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

 

 

 

Club Tico wedding

July 25, 2014

Happy Anniversary to Stephanie and Shawn.

Stephanie and Shawn were married at Fort Collins City Park last July and had their reception at the newly remodeled Club Tico. We weres fortunate enough to be their wedding photographers.

Stephanie and her bridesmaids got ready at the Inn at City Park www.innatcitypark.com . It is located a couple blocks from City Park and was the perfect location for the wedding party to start at.

The Inn at City Park is a Bed and Breakfast and was one of the original two bedroom bungalows in the City Park District of Old Town Fort Collins dating back to around 1949. The property used to be a greenhouse & nursery, which explains the beautiful lush landscaping that surrounds the house. The home has been updated into a quant and charming Country French cottage style Bed & Breakfast. The five guest room Inn can also host smaller weddings on the property.

The location was absolutely perfect for Stephanie’s wedding. I was able to make a few formal wedding photographs before the horse-drawn carriage arrived to take Stephanie to the outdoor wedding ceremony.

The Fort Collins based Colorado Carriage and Wagon www.coloradocarriage.com provided the horse drawn carriage. They also service Southern Wyoming, Northern Colorado including Estes Park. You are probably already familiar with them as they provide carriage rides in Old Town Fort Collins.

Their horses are beautiful giants. I do not know anything about horses other than what would be considered completely obvious, size and color. The only other thing I can add is they were tan in color.

Something about a bride arriving to the wedding ceremony in a carriage drawn by beautiful giant horses is magical. I’m sure it has to do with those fairytales we read as little girls. If you can’t have a little fairytale on your wedding day when can you have it?

The wedding ceremony was held under a canopy of huge Cottonwood Trees in City Park. All of Fort Collins Parks are very well taken care of and City Park certainly benefits from the great care it receives. The ceremony turned out fabulous. A gentle breeze kept the guests cool on this hot July day as a variety of birds serenaded them in the background.

After the wedding the party strolled around the lake and over to Club Tico. http://www.fcgov.com/recreation/clubtico.php Club Tico is located right on Sheldon Lake in City Park near downtown Ft. Collins. It was established in the 1920’s and has an 80 year history in the community of being a place that people gather to celebrate. This unique and beautiful building is tagged as the best ballroom in Northern Colorado and some beautiful wedding photographs can be made there.

The building was renovated in 2013 to update it’s decor, refinish the wood floors and various other improvements including efficient air conditioning. The Club Tico stage area is perfect for a band and the New Air conditioning was tested as the guests and wedding party danced and engaged in fun wedding toasts. Club Tico is large enough for weddings with up to 299 guests. The rounded archways and unique round hanging light fixtures help to make it a unique location for a wedding reception.

Thanks Stephanie and Shawn for trusting www.SherriBarber.com for their wedding photography.

brdie getting ready for wedding

bride horse-drawn carriage wedding ceremony

bride groom class wedding pose outside

Groom taking off brides garter

Wedding is interrupted by fire alarm

July 18, 2014

Last Saturday we traveled up the road to provide wedding photography in Cheyenne Wyoming. Gayle & Chris were married at the Methodist Church www.fumccheyenne.org Their wedding ceremony was beautiful in the historic structure and everything turned out great. The reception was held at the Cheyenne Depot Museum www.cheyennedepotmuseum.org

The history of the museum is interesting because The Union Pacific Depot in Cheyenne, Wyoming is a nationally prominent landmark that derives its significance from two principal areas:  transportation and architecture. The Depot formed a strategic point along the Union Pacific Railroad, America’s first transcontinental rail line, and was easily the Union Pacific’s most grandiose facility west of its starting point at Council Bluffs.

The Depot was completed in 1887 and is the last of the grand 19th century depots remaining on the transcontinental railroad. This is one of the most significant passenger depots in the American West and acclaimed one of the most architecturally distinguished buildings among Henry Van Brunt’s commissions. In 2006 the Cheyenne Union Pacific Depot was recognized as a National Historic Landmark.

In 1993 the Union Pacific donated the building to the City of Cheyenne and Laramie County, and now is available to rent for weddings and other parties.

At the reception Gayle & Chris were announced along with their wedding party. A buffet style dinner had been served to the wedding guests and the father of the bride along with the best man and maid of honor all made congratulatory toasts to the happy couple. The party was going along great.

The bride and groom had finished their first dance as a married wedding couple. The bride and her dad just started the father daughter dance and then… THE FIRE ALARM WENT OFF! The very veRY, VERY loud fire alarm persisted to serenade an ear piercing screech as the poor father danced with his daughter. Someone in charge and I have no idea who that was or why they were the expert, decided there was no visible smoke so the party must go on. As long as we did not mind losing a little hearing over the deal.

The DJ, George, from Rock on Wheels www.rockonwheels.com with his wicked sense of humor didn’t miss a beat.  As the fire fighters calmly arrived and entered the building he starts a playlist of anything with fire or burning in the title. To name a few of the songs the wedding guests danced to:

Alicia Keys Girl on Fire, Billy Joel We Didn’t Start the fire, Katy Perry Firework, Elvis Presley Burning Love

Nobody slowed down. The party continued, the wedding guests danced, the fire fighters looked for a fire and the DJ played on. Eventually it was determined that there was a faulty switch causing the alarm. It was silenced, the fire fighters gave the bride a thumbs up and left. All in all Gayle & Chris have a rather unique wedding day story to tell, and so do I.

E Fire 4

E Fire 3

E fire 2

E fire 1

 

 

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.

 

E WillowRidge1

E WillowRidge 7

E WillowRidge 6

E WillowRidge 3

E WillowRide 4

E WillowRidge 5

 

 

Rain changes the plans on wedding day

July 3, 2014

The second part of my crazy photography last weekend happened on the following Sunday. This wedding was held at the Tapestry House http://www.tapestryhouse.com/ in Laporte Colorado. I know I have said this before it is one of my favorite venues to photograph a wedding at because they are very organized and the staff is incredible.

The bride, Megan and the groom, Elliot decided to see each other before the ceremony so we could do formal wedding photographs of them. This was probably one of the best decisions they made. Everything went according to schedule I photographed the bride getting ready and putting on her wedding gown. I photographed the groom tying his tie and putting on his hoes and socks, normal stuff.

After the bride and groom had an quiet moment together we made some great portrait wedding photographs. Megan and Elliot were naturals. They were very comfortable with each other, great sports and easily coaxed.

We finished the photographs and it was time for the ceremony. Jenn from the Tapestry House checked on the bride. I got into place and the music started. The guest were in their seats, down the aisle come the grandparents, the officiant, the groom walking the mother of the bride down the aisle and then returning to walk his parents in. Everything and everyone was in place and ready for the bride.

In comes mother nature. The sky had turned extremely dark in minutes and was threatening to rain. Some rain at the Tapestry House is not really a big deal. They always plan ahead and had already passed out umbrellas to the guests as they were being  seated. The giant trees on the property offer a canopy to the bride and groom shielding off the rain. I wasn’t worried until a searing flash of lightning exploded through the sky followed immediately by a thunderous boom. Really Close! The rain drops that had threatened now started. The officiant welcomed everyone and then promptly told the guests they must leave. The lightening was too dangerous to continue with the wedding ceremony outside.

About 20 seconds later the rain started coming down like we were standing in a carwash. The guests headed for shelter but a crowd of 100 takes a little time to move. The rain which was annoying then turned into hail. The groom, friends and a few family member grabbed the flowers arrangements lining the aisle saving them from the pounding rain and hail. All the while the bride watch helplessly from the window as the events of the day unfolded and six months of planning her perfect wedding quickly morphed into plan B.

Megan eventually did walked down the aisle on her father’s arm but inside not outside. Everything was moved to the reception pavilion where the bride and groom said their vows and were married in a more intimate dry setting. The sun came back out shortly after the ceremony like nothing had happened. We were able to make family group wedding photos on a damp lawn and driveway with the wet trees and flowers as colorful as ever.

rain

saving flower arraignments from rain,

wedding guests umbrellas

groom save flower from rain

bride groom kiss reflection puddle

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/

 

 

 

Colorado destination wedding

June 14, 2014

Sylvan Dale Wedding horses

Last Wednesday we photographed a small wedding ceremony on a ridge overlooking the Rocky Mountains in Northern Colorado. And I mean small, just the wedding couple, Art the officiant, a horse wrangler, Bill & me. Anja and Joe came from Germany for a Colorado destination wedding at Sylvan Dale Ranch http://www.sylvandale.com/  Sylvan Dale Ranch is nestled in the scenic Colorado foothills just west of Loveland. Even though the Ranch endured substantial damage from the floods last fall, they remain a beautiful location for a Northern Colorado wedding.

Sylvan Dale’s head wrangler Art, wore many hats that day. He was their tour guide, officiant, composer and musician. He guided the wedding couple on horse back onto the mountain ridge above Sylvan Dale Ranch. This high plateau over looked the Big Thompson Canyon, Loveland and Fort Collins. Needless to say the view was absolutely stunning.  We got lucky with the weather too. The rain clouds had been building all day and I was extremely worried it was going to open up on and pour but the rain held off.  The clouds softened the harsh sun light and made the temperature perfect, not too hot for a June summer day wedding. The rain had been very helpful early this month by making everything green and lush looking. The horses munched away on the tall grass and the meadow was covered with wild flowers as well.

The bride and groom arrived on horseback walking up through the meadow and stopping on the ridge over looking Glen Haven Valley. Art got off his horse and sang them a love song he composed as he played the guitar. A simple prayer was said and then Art lead them through their wedding vows. A bird serenaded the wedding couple as it flew over head and the wind blew gently through the tall grass creating a soft whispering rustle like the string section of an orchestra.

This was a truly wonderful Colorado destination wedding and we were honored to be chosen to provide their wedding photography.  www.SherriBarber.com.

 

Sylvan Dale Wedding horses

Wild Flower Colorado

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