Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch weddings are my new favorite. Alex and Matt had a beautiful outdoor wedding, with all of their friends and family together celebrating in the mountains of Colorado. Alex was the maid of honor in a wedding I photographed several summers ago, and I was so excited that she and Matt chose us to be the photographers for their wedding! They have been together about 5 years, and got engaged in 2015 at Loveland Ski Area. The day didn't go exactly as planned, with Alex's best friend spraining her knee before the proposal, but Matt still pulled it off, popping the question in front of the ski patrol hut. Clearly she said yes, despite the injury mishap, and we were honored to photograph their wedding day!
We began the day by driving up to the iconic dude ranch through the foothills above Fort Collins, surrounded by horses and sagebrush, with the wedding party getting ready in the charming cabins down by the river. If you haven't been there before, you should plan a trip - the landscape at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is absolutely gorgeous - they suffered some serious damage in the 2013 flooding, but have recovered with the help of our generous mountain community, and now their property is just as beautiful as ever. All I can say is that I'm going back again sometime soon to snuggle some horses.
Alex and her bridesmaids shared champagne and pampered themselves while overlooking the Big Thompson River, and Matt and his groomsmen played cards and sipped whiskey before gathering at the outdoor wedding site. Alex had a custom designed dress from a talented local dressmaker in Denver, Anne Thomas Couture, and all the girls were in navy blue dresses with gold accents. The guys had sharp gray vests and matching pants, and most of them were rocking mountain-y beards. Have I mentioned how much I love Colorado weddings?
The wedding was moving, and the outdoor location was perfect for photos, with a gorgeous floral backdrop by Helen with Farmette Flowers at the Lyons Farmette. She did such an amazing job with the personalized bouquets, the sweet boutonnières and the dreamy garland that draped over the arbor, creating a simple yet beautiful frame for their vows. The day was seriously Colorado perfection- a bit of sun, a touch of clouds, an epic sunset leading into a bright night sky that blanketed the festivities. The reception in the main house was set up beautifully, too, complete with hot sauce favors for each guest to take home.
The staff at Sylvan Dale are some of the best wedding professionals in the industry. They served a delicious dinner, complete with an extravagant ice cream bar, and made way for a full night of dancing and fun. Party busses arrived at the end of the night to take everyone to their cabins and hotels, which is always such a smart idea for guests who have been partaking of the beverage *wink wink*
As much as everything was picture perfect for this wedding, the best part of every wedding for me is still the look on the faces of the couple when they see each other for the first time - at their first look, or coming down the aisle, or walking up to their ceremony together - the anticipation of a lifetime of love to give. I love love, and to celebrate the journey that each couple gets to create together is such an honor - such a unique and rewarding job. Thank you for letting us share this with you, and for letting us tell your story.