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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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/

 

 

 

The Gardens on Spring Creek is a beautiful place to get married

June 20, 2014

June is definitely wedding season and it is going strong in Fort Collins. I had the pleasure of photographing Amber and Scott’s wedding at The Gardens on Spring Creek http://www.fcgov.com/gardens/ in Fort Collins, Colorado. They were my first June wedding couple and the first wedding I have photographed at this venue. I had not been to The Gardens since the city first established it in 2004. These gardens are truly beautiful. A stroll through them leaves you feeling very peaceful and at one with the splendors of nature. The colors are so beautiful  with the different shades of greens. Flowers are sprinkled throughout the scene adding pops of pink, reds, purple, yellow like a little colorful surprise. I also enjoy how they have used different types of plants in the landscaping that can add texture and dimension to a wedding photograph.

My over all reaction was “Wow” these gardens have matured and expanded into something that is truly a Fort Collins treasure. A wonderful venue for wedding photography and as a wedding photographer there were so many choices to pose the bride and groom. The only problem I had was that we ran out to time. Honestly I could have spent hours there making wedding pictures of the Amber & Scott.

The staff was extremely nice and stayed late for us. The weather had caused things to run late, rain storms  blew through all afternoon that day. The clouds helped out with the blistering hot sun and softened the light for the wedding photos but I am getting a little tired of  the wind and rain. I’m sure I will be praying for a rain clouds to come and cool me off in July when I am photographing weddings in the scorching heat.

The city of Fort Collins owns the Gardens on Spring Creek so arranging a wedding or other event is done through the city. The rental agreement is on their website and explains all the details. The Gardens not only host weddings but other events such as receptions, wedding reception, award ceremonies, reunions, and meetings. Availability of space is limited and determined by The Gardens program schedule. Outdoor spaces available for rental include the Children’s Garden, Garden of Eatin’, Outdoor Classroom, Rock Garden and the Entire Site. These sites are only available before or after hours. If your are thinking of hosting a wedding at The Gardens I would reserve it as soon a possible to insure the date.

Amber and Scott had an intimate wedding ceremony with only a few friends and family members. Their good friend officiated the ceremony, to the surprise of all their guests. Once the vows were said, rings exchanged and the wedding photographs were taken we were off to Jay’s Bistro http://www.jaysbistro.net/ . Jay’s is one of my favorite restaurant in Fort   Collins. They are a locally owned family business with an entrepreneurial spirit and have been in Fort Collins since the 1980’s.  Jacki and Jay run a first class restaurant. The food is always excellent and the staff is very attentive.  My family has celebrated many occasions at Jay’s from birthdays to college gradations. It is a place I highly recommend and I am always delighted to eat there.

Thanks to Amber and Scott for letting me be your Fort Collins wedding photographer.

 

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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

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

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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/

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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

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

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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.

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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

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bride groom dip kiss sunset

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bride groom unique sunset portrait

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Beautiful black and white wedding at the Tapestry House

May 16, 2014

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Guest gift wedding

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Ring bear wedding ceremony

Father of the bride Bride

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Mother of bride crying wedding ceremony

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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.

 

 

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