DIY Wedding Photography

Mary & Brad's Hudson Gardens Winter Wedding in Colorado

Mary & Brad's Winter Mountain Colorado Wedding | Hudson Gardens | Apollo Fields Photojournalism 

Springtime weddings in Colorado can mean flower blossoms, cherry trees blooming, tulips sprouting, or blizzards.  Mary and Brad got a little bit of everything on their wedding day in March at Hudson Gardens.  The day began with full blazing Colorado sun, and by the afternoon had grown ominous and cloudy, then the skies broke into rain, which became hail, which became snow.  It was crazy, but sort of perfect for them because they got SO many different looks for their photographs.  And Mary, especially, wanted snow.  So when the sun went down and we finally got these big huge snowflakes, we couldn't help but to run outside and snap some dreamy romantic snow pictures. 

I loved the modern and simple touches of Mary's lace wedding dress.  Personally, I've always loved lace sleeves, I think they are so classic and surprisingly sexy.  Less isn't always more, and I just love the way that a delicate sleeve can flatter our brides.  Her veil was also simple and classic, it was so fun to photograph through because of the shapes and textures that it creates, and her updo looked great with it on and off.  Modern boho braids showed off her blonde highlights and beautiful cheekbones. 

Their friends and family gathered for a sweet and heartfelt ceremony.  We got to snap fun photos of their friends all gathering together to celebrate and toast their new journey, while kids got to run around and play, and a big fireplace kept everyone toasty as the weather began to turn.  A cozy dinner and then dancing wrapped up their perfect night together, and everyone had such a great time coming together to celebrate their love. 

Hudson Gardens is a great venue for weddings year round because they have acres of countryside gardens with awesome mountain views.  There is a quaint red barn in the back of the property, which is one of my favorite rustic looks.  The farmhouse feeling on one side of the property is perfect for country brides and the cabin in the front of the property is a warm and rustic mountain look.  When the weather is nice, they have plenty of space to celebrate outside, among the trees and flowers and gardens.  With manicured paths and woodsy retreats, there are so many different looks that can be photographed at this venue!

Hudson Gardens Winter Wedding

The day started out as many Colorado days do in March:  A strong sun brought the daytime temperature well into the 60s and I got to ride my horse outside before heading out to shoot Mary and Brad's wedding.  

By the time the afternoon rolled in, so had ominous rain clouds that lingered, but stayed at bay while Mary and Brad arrived at Hudson Gardens with their family and bridal parties.  They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck, but Mary had her heart set on snow instead.  

Here's what I love about shooting in Colorado though.  By the time the night ended, we seemingly had all of the seasons in one day.  Soon after the ceremony, the skies opened up into a hard rain that felt like every element of spring, which was right around the corner, as the little flowers that have recently popped up through the mulch have suggested.  Then, for just a moment it seemed, the rain turned to hail, and then as soon as it started, morphed into big beautiful snowflakes.  Mary got her wish. 

Her elegant and timeless dress was so flattering, and classically beautiful.  I am a sucker for lace dresses with sleeves because I just think they photograph so well, especially when they flow on the bottom without being this big cumbersome and heavy dress.  Mary was able to dance and move effortlessly in her wedding gown.  And her veil was light, simple, and classy.  

The cabin at Hudson Gardens is cozy, with big fireplaces that were adorned with eucalyptus and other woodland greenery.  The floral design was modern, with little roses peeking out around the bolder flowers.  The gardens are beautiful, even in the off-season.  It seems rare to find cactus growing around the evergreens, but feels natural there.  

The big red barn in the back of the property rounds out the property to remind us of the working landscape and rural nature of a garden.  With big open fields and manicured tree lines, we just loved this space for bride and groom portraits.  Rustic details weren't forced in this setting, and the wedding guests had an amazing time celebrating and dancing the night away with their friends.  

Photography:   Apollo Photojournalism shot for Laura Anderson
Venue:  Hudson Gardens 

Bethany & Jono's DIY Wedding in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Bethany and Jono - Intimate DIY Wedding in Colorado Springs, Colorado | Union Printers Home | DIY Wedding Photographer

            When Heather needed me to second-shoot a wedding down in Colorado Springs I wasn’t particularly excited to spend a day in a predominantly conservative town, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Bethany and Jono’s DIY wedding in the Springs reminded me of several unexpected benefits of working in the wedding industry: exposure to different belief systems, the immersion of oneself into the intimate moments of another person’s life, and the power of a family to come together to get things done.

            The morning of Bethany and Jono’s wedding I found myself drinking coffee and eating biscuits in a stranger’s (Bethany’s mother) home, talking to a stranger (Jono) about his relationship with God.  While some cower away from polarizing topics like religion, my background in philosophy piques my curiosity into the mindset of believers. I quickly noticed that Jono was intelligent and relatable, making this dense conversation easily navigable as I openly questions and he provided thoughtful, honest answers.  Jono’s relationship with God was not based in fear but rather a means to hold himself accountable to the decisions that shape his life—it was refreshing to hear such clear insight to such a complicated subject.

            There we sat as the sun poured in through the living room windows as Heather snapped Bethany’s first portraits in her wedding dress.  Jono and I continued our conversation where just a few moments before he peered over the sunflowers in Bethany’s mother’s garden in her backyard during their first look.  It’s crazy that Heather and I are welcomed into intimate moments like these and even crazier than we can have substantive, meaningful conversations amidst the stresses and logistics of the day.

            In the garage, Bethany’s family were putting the finishing touches on the wooden benches that would serve as the seating for the ceremony and the reception.  The image of family members carrying the benches from site-to-site still hangs in my memory to this day like a glimpse into an Amish community or something.  It was like everyone was living in a town and each person had a role and did their part because they are part of a community rather than working for a wage.  That day the sun danced between the clouds, casting shadows for moments but never leaving us for too long.

            The day ended when Bethany and Jono hopped into an old, refurbished 1940’s car with their hands raised into the air.  We said goodbye in the parking lot and when Jono embraced me I saw a real sense of gratitude in his eyes as he appreciated the comfort of our exchange hours earlier.  His family stayed in South Africa and our conversation occupied his otherwise running mind and I felt tears welling behind my eyes.

            Open minds lead to connection and connection can alleviate the unceasing operations of our thought processes.  I’m grateful to meet kind people like Bethany and Jono and hope their families can build little towns like the one I watched them create on their special day in Colorado Springs.