Rocky Mountains

Why We Love Mountain Weddings: A Return to Our Roots

Mountain Weddings | A Return To Our Roots | Adventure Couples | Rocky Mountains | Colorado Elopement Photographers | Apollo Fields Weddings

Adventures in the mountains are tiring, dirty, and dangerous. One slip can devastate even the most experienced hiker. Yet us adventurers continue to voluntarily thrust our bodies and minds into the wilderness at the mercy of unpredictable winds and crumbling rock faces. Some people think we’re crazy – but fellow adventurers know that there is no peace like the solitude of the woods. We at Apollo Fields say bring on the perilous terrain because there’s nothing we love more than a photo session in the wild or a rustic mountain wedding!

That’s because mountain weddings celebrate people and nature alike, intertwining the roots of our lives with the organic networks that thrive beneath the soil. We walk between the trees on trodden paths, sometimes blazing trails of our own. The smoke from our campfires pierce the dark mountain sky, signaling to those in the area that warmth and laughter is but a few paces away. Darkness falls upon the screens of our devices. Far removed from cities forged in steel and concrete, the stars in the open sky ignite our imaginations. There is no need for anything or anyone other than what is here.

That is really what nature provides us. A home. A place for our minds to rest and dream with sights and smells rather than artificial mental stimuli. Dopamine kicks and oxytocin spikes are the results of biochemical technological deception. Immersing ourselves in nature resets our minds, syncing our systems with the gentle trickle of a mountain creek. Why else do you think listening to the sounds of nature on our iPods puts us to sleep?

Us adventurers risk our bodies for the sake of our minds. We realize that we are part of our natural world, not separate from it. Yes, we’ve broken free from the food chain but our minds still live in the woods. They still long for the unknown despite our 21st century tendency to cling to mindless chatter rather than embrace the infinitude of silence. The darkness that engulfs the night is terrifying, but the brightness of our screens blinds us into stagnation. Thus we must venture into the mountains to find that which technology cannot provide.

The mountains present the perfect landscape to celebrate a wedding. Safely tucked into a mountainside, loved ones find comfort in the company of friends and family. With nowhere to turn for entertainment than stories around a campfire, memories whirl about the floating embers like little flakes of nostalgia. All of life’s troubles melt from the end of a stick holding a smoldering marshmallow. But back in the banquet halls and beneath the vaulted church ceilings, we remain confined in the artifice of our human existence. We say break the walls down and run for the hills. That’s where love really learns to take root.

Adventures are risky but they present opportunities for growth. By staying safely in our homes and living rooms we forget that we were once at home in the mountains. When considering where to get married think not for where is most lavish, but where you feel the most connection. You might be surprised that you feel most comfortable in the darkness of the woods.

Photography: Heather Huie for Apollo Fields
Writing: Terrence Huie for Apollo Fields
Locations: Guanella Pass | Chautauqua Dining Hall | RMNP | Estes Park Resort | Lookout Mountain | Garden of The Gods | Pikes Peak | Grand Lake Western Riviera | Shrine Pass

"Did you guys miss New York?"

New York City Wedding Photographers | Colorado Weddings | Apollo Fields Photojournalism | NYC Photography


“Did you guys miss New York?”

This is one of those questions we have been asked by everyone since moving back East.  And it’s a good question, but the answer is complicated… When we moved to Colorado in 2016, we were veryready to move.  But it wasn’t because we hated NYC, it was just time.  It was time to be in nature and time to be in an unknown place together.  Big moves like that can make or break a relationship, and for us I guess we got lucky. 

When I first moved to New York City a few years before that, I barely knew anyone and the people that I did know were in different boroughs.  Despite always having the city close by, the UWS was as much of a mystery to me as if I had moved to Los Angeles by myself.  I learned a lot about myself in that first year while I was getting my MA and living in a tiny studio apartment on 105thStreet.  It was just me and Riddle, a mini fridge, an oven that leaked Carbon Monoxide, and a sort-of-view of the Hudson River if you hung your head out of the prison-sized window.  

I was still living in that death trap of an apartment when I met Terrence.  I was riding out my lease before moving farther uptown, but I can still remember one of our first dinners together there. We were eating on the couch because I only had one dining room chair and Terrence was cautioning me about how he didn’t eat onions, fish, tomatoes, etc.  I had no idea how to feed such a picky eater, so I just went ahead cooking like I normally did anyway.  How far we’ve come since those days.  
 

For as much as I learned about myself being single in NYC, I think we learned as much about each other when we made the move to the mountains together.  We had very few connections in CO when we first moved and had to learn how to lean on one another in ways that we hadn’t before. Even though we had lived together in New York, we always had additional roommates (such is life in Manhattan). We had a very familiar neighborhood in New York filled to the brim with drinking buddies, walk-able pubs, and enough libations to stay busy until 4am any time we felt like it.  

We landed in Colorado and everything quieted down.  We only had each other and our little cottage.  We found ourselves less intrigued by urban life and much more content hanging at a local brewery in town with a couple beers and a board game.  We got bikes and went hiking, we spent afternoons at the dog park and evenings cuddled up on our couch.  Life was good and it was hard to miss NYC at that time. 
 

We were still flying back East multiple times a year for weddings and holidays.  We were always happy to come back to familiar faces and good ethnic food.  Distance helps you weed out the drinking buddies and bring family to the surface, or at least that was the case for us.  Don’t get me wrong, we can still throw back a few shots at a dive bar, but suddenly, we were more interested in making a push for spending time with our siblings instead.     
 

Our decision to move back was multidimensional.  We are looking to buy a farm to turn into a wedding venue and the numbers just weren’t adding up in Colorado.  The real estate market there was pretty volatile: we were part of a huge boom of fellow transplants making the Rocky Mountain move and we got in too late.  By the time we were ready to look at properties, everything was selling above already-high asking prices.  Zoning was a nightmare, and anything with a mountain view was just plain cost prohibitive.  With the average all-in price of a CO wedding coming in at $26k and NY suburbs at roughly $65k+, we weren’t about to take that kind of business risk just to keep our beloved mountains in our backyard.  
 

So as you all know, at the end of September we packed up our little cottage into our Highlander and drove back East.  Animals and cameras in tow, we hit the ground running—getting married, wrapping up busy season, and honeymooning in Jamaica while settling into a new house.  We are finally slowing down (but not for long). 

We’ve moved into a cute yellow house in East Northport, five minutes from Terrence’s dad and stepmom. We went from a 550sq foot cottage to a real house, which after a few Salvation Army raids is beginning to feel like a home.  We are living well by Long Island standards:  fenced-in backyard, walking distance to the LIRR, and a ten-minute drive to the North Shore.  

Despite being an hour train or car ride from the city, this is a very different lifestyle than when we were actually living in NYC.  We are very much in a commuter / family town.  The delis and pizzerias are good, but that’s about it in the way of local flavor and small town charm.  It is nice to be closer to family again.  We have been into the city a few times and it’s been great.  We hit The Whitney for the Andy Warhol exhibit and gorged ourselves on international food.  We ride the subways like nothing has changed, and traversed up and down the blocks with the sharp cold air lingering on our cheeks.  

New York will always be our city, even though if we’re being honest I don’t think I’ll ever live in it again.  It doesn’t fit our lifestyle, business trajectory, or relationship anymore. In a perfect world, we won’t be on Long Island for very long, either.  We would love to end up on a farm in Bucks County PA or upstate NY. We have big dreams of hosting weddings, homesteading, and photographing more and more amazing couples.  We envision an old barn, a big fireplace, chickens and kiddos running through the fields, and a labor-of-love property that gives us as much as we give it.  

So the short answer is, yes we missed New York but we also miss Colorado.  We like walking through museums as well as walking up mountains.  We love our family here and love our friends in CO.  We miss the big western skies and the “300 days of sunshine” that we got so used to.  But we’re glad to get a decent bagel again.  We are lucky because we get to experience such a range of landscapes, and because of our business, we don’t have to choose one or the other.  We get to go back to the Rockies for work and play, and in the meantime we are stoked to start to look to the future to find the quirky farm venue that will turn into the biggest passion project we’ve taken on so far.  

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Don & Aliyah's Fun Danish Wedding in Denver, Colorado

Don & Aliyah | Danish Wedding Traditions | Denver, Colorado Wedding Photographer | Wedgewood Brittany Hill | Apollo Fields Wedding Photographers

Don and Aliyah have such a great vibe with one another and their wedding day was such a perfect representation of them! I met Don a few years ago at School House in Arvada and when they got engaged, we immediately began chatting about doing engagement and wedding photos. I’m so glad that I got to work with these guys because we just had the best time shooting their wedding.

It was our last wedding before hitting the road (the next day!) for the east coast and our own wedding so we were both giddy with excitement already! We arrived at Wedgwood Brittany Hill and the guys and gals were already halfway ready for the big day. The energy was so good that I immediately fell into my routine. Don and Aliyah wanted to do a first look (which I love) so we had picked out a great outdoor spot where they would be out of sight of arriving guests. Their first look was so sweet that I rolled with their energy and got lots of great shots out back.

They decided to do the ceremony on the patio out back which boasts great views of both the rocky mountains as well as the Denver city skylines. It’s the best of both worlds! One fun thing that they did in their ceremony was the officiant told them to turn their backs together as a representation of the last time that they would turn their backs on one another. It was such a sentimental ceremony against the setting sun. I knew we wouldn’t have too much more sunlight left so we immediately jumped into cocktail hour and when golden hour hit, I brought them back out behind the venue to do some awesome romantics.

I just loved the energy that they brought to the whole day! They both have Danish backgrounds and it was really fun to see how their traditions were incorporated into their wedding reception. They had a little song/poem that Don’s mother did with a fun little paper mâché home and everyone sang it out together and clapped and laughed! Another fun tradition that they have is when they clink their glass, not only does the couple have to kiss, they have to stand on top of their chairs to do it! If the guests stop their feet, the bride and groom have to climb underneath the table to kiss. Such a fun and quirky tradition!

Another great Danish tradition is during the dancing, the groomsmen surprise-attack the groom, rip his shoe off and cut the tip off of his sock! I was happy that someone tipped me off on this one because I would have had NO idea otherwise what was going on. It is a fun old tradition that represents how now the groom can’t run away anymore ;)

The whole day was full of sentimental touches and fun traditions! I loved being a part of this day and just think the world of this great couple.

Photography: Apollo Fields

Wedding Venue: Wedgewood Brittany Hill, Thornton Colorado

Flowers: Flintwood Floral & Design

John and Yahaira's Wedding at the Vail Chapel and Silverthorne Pavilion

John & Yahaira’s Wedding | Vail Chapel, Vail CO | Silverthorne Pavilion, Silverthorne Colorado | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography

Mountain weddings are always epic and John and Yahaira’s beautiful Rocky Mountain wedding was no exception! There’s just something magical about the energy that the mountains bring, or maybe it’s just the altitude ;)

The day started calm, with the guys and girls getting ready in their AirBnb’s with their friends and family. Then everyone made their way over to the Vail Interfaith Chapel which is an adorable and iconic little church in the heart of Vail Village. I love this little ski town and have shots tons of weddings here so it’s a great excuse for a non-skier to hang in such a rad area. The village has tons of little shops, coffee spots, tasty food, and of course good beer! The chapel is a quaint little white church that sits right in the heart of town which makes it super easy to do pictures in the village itself.

The ceremony was sweet and sentimental, and afterwards we decided to do some romantics down by the river. The weather was starting to look like it was going to rain, so we were moving pretty quickly and then suddenly the skies broke and it began to downpour. Colorado weather can be erratic and unforgiving at times, so I wasn’t surprised at all about how it could be totally sunny and cloudless one minute and pouring the next. We sought shelter under the covered bridge which was a pretty cute photo-op. We’re all about making lemonade here!

Afterwards, we ran into our cars and made our way to the Silverthorne Pavilon which is a great wedding venue in Silverthorne, CO. It sits along the river there and has a great outdoor spot for cocktail hour. Everyone was enjoying the sun which came out shortly after the crazy rain (go figure) and having a few drinks along the patio. Then the reception began with grand entrances, speeches, special dances, and of course tons of dancing!

I loved working with this sweet couple because they had such a gentle and fun way of interacting. They loved being outdoors so I was so happy that they chose to celebrate their wedding in such a beautiful place!

Colorado Wedding Photography: Apollo Fields

Ceremony Venue: The Vail Interfaith Chapel, Vail CO

Reception Venue: Silverthorn Pavilion, Silverthorne CO

Chandelle and Fabrice's Rocky Mountain Wedding

ESTES PARK RESORT | ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK | INTIMATE ADVENTURE WEDDING | ERNY PHOTO CO

Chandelle and Fabrice are a sweet couple who love the outdoors.  

At first glance, they seem to be polar opposites, as Chandelle is outgoing and Fabrice is more soft spoken. But together, they mesh perfectly, finishing each others sentences and thoughts.  

Who Popped The Question?

Fabrice planned to take Chandelle to her favorite location and pop the question. She had noticed the ring box in his pocket and figured out what he was up to. When they arrived, there were a ton of people around so Fabrice decided to wait. Chandelle, on the other hand, was wondering if he was having second thoughts since he didn’t ask. But instead, he took her out to South Point Park in Miamia for a picnic and found a beautiful spot that overlooked the ocean at sunset. It was perfect!

About The Wedding:

Chandelle and Fabrice had an intimate ceremony at the Estes Park Resort with friends and family. They had a purple, white and gold color palette that complimented the rocky mountains perfectly!

What The Future Holds:

Chandelle and Fabrice plan to buy a cozy mountain home near Estes Park and open up a business that caters to people visiting Rocky Mountain National Park!

Chandelle and Fabrice's Rocky Mountain Wedding

Chandell eand Fabrice’s Vendor Team:

Ceremony Location: Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado Wedding Venue: Estes Park Resort

Rocky Mountain Wedding Photographer:  Apollo Fields

Heather is a NYC based Wedding Photographer specializing in outdoor natural light timeless photos that capture the emotion of a wedding day. If you’re interested in having her document yours, contact her today!

Kelsie & Jeremy's Country Club Wedding at Perry Park in Larkspur Colorado

Kelsie & Jeremy’s Wedding | Perry Park Country Club | Larkspur, CO | Colorado Wedding Photographer | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography

Kelsie & Jeremy’s wedding was fun and packed with personality! I loved working with this animated couple because they kept things so fresh and lively. The morning was abuzz with everyone getting ready, hair and makeup and mimosas (of course) in the gals room while the guys hung out by the putting range. It was a fun way to get the day started while the venue finished setting up the ceremony and reception locations.

They decided not to do a first look so we jumped straight into the ceremony. Perry Park has a beautiful ceremony site, with epic mountain views and the beautiful pond behind the setup. The weather was beginning to turn and so everyone hustled to get started on time that way we could continue with the beautiful outdoor location. It ended up being a photographer’s dream because the light was so diffused and sparkly as it peeked out from behind the ominous clouds! I think one of my favorite parts of the day was during the ceremony when Kelsie’s maid of honor pulled the umbrella out when it started drizzling and held it over Kelsie!

I loved working with this couple because we immediately connected over the laidback and adventurous CO lifestyle. They love hiking together and exploring with their two dogs, and we even did their engagement session in Golden Gate State Park with their pups! I love “dog people” so that’s always a great start for me :) The rest of the wedding day was filled with upbeat celebrating, lots of dancing, and plenty of antics (including the groom getting iced by his bride) which was a real crowd pleaser.

Big congrats to this awesome couple and a lifetime of happiness to them!

Larkspur CO Venue: Perry Park Country Club

Colorado Wedding Photography: Apollo Fields

Monica & Kevin's Arrowhead Golf Course Wedding in Littleton, CO

Monica & Kevin’s Wedding | Arrowhead Golf Course | Littleton, CO Weddings | Apollo Fields Wedding Photographer

This wedding had it all – beautiful Colorado mountainscapes, big western blue skies, red rocks, traditions, and celebrations! With 300 days of sunshine (one of CO’s favorite boasts), outdoor weddings are a must in my opinion. Arrowhead is a beautiful golf course and country club located in Littleton and is right in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Mountains make some of the best backdrops for weddings, especially the rockies! The light hits the rocks in beautiful ways and I just love wedding venues that have amazing views like Arrowhead. Especially when the landscape is so beautifully manicured and the grounds are filled with flowers are grass (grass can be tricky to get to grow in CO because of the hot sun and dry conditions).

Monica and Kevin celebrated in style with their closest friends and family. They had a beautiful wedding party who was ready to dance and have a blast together. It is always so fun when wedding parties are good friends because it brings such great energy to the wedding. Monica and Kevin had a beautiful ceremony with the epic red rocks in the background and the sun shining.

Cocktail hour was out on the greens and was filled with lawn games, signature drinks, and a golf range setup. Everyone was mingling and chatting with each other, playing corn hole and hitting golf balls. As they sun began to set, the party started with special dances, toasts, and lots of dancing! It was a beautiful night and it was great getting to capture this special day.

Heather loves shooting Colorado weddings so please contact her to get in touch!

Littleton Wedding Venue: Arrowhead Golf Course
Adventure Wedding Photography: Apollo Fields, shot for Trevor Gass

Selina & Evan's Wedding at The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park in Colorado

Selina & Evan’s Wedding at The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park | Colorado Barn Venues | Rustic Weddings | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography

We just love a good barn wedding– for us it’s not a trend, it’s a way of life. I grew up as a “barn rat”, an affectionate name for the scrappy barn kids who just never seem to leave. I mucked stalls, I scrubbed buckets, I dragged hay bales that were my size up and down the stairs to work off my riding lessons. I loved every minute of it. In the summers, I got dropped off at the barn in the morning. We had to do all of the barn chores before we were allowed to even look at a saddle. Then in the afternoons, we rode. I took group lessons and plotted around x-rails until I was told to stop. On the weekends, we would trail ride, flying through the woods on the ponies, running through the trails and dragging our horses through the streams. By the time the sun had gone down, someone would pick me back up from the barn and take me home.

Then I went off to a boarding school for riding horses and continued spending most of my time in barns. When I graduated, I got an apartment over a barn and began training horses to pay off my tuition. I love it, it’s where I stay active, I work out my frustrations on horseback, I find my sense of peace when I’m all alone at night with the horses feeding them treats. This is all to say that as a wedding photographer now, barn venues are MY JAM. For me, rustic wasn’t a hashtag, it was a reality.

The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park

This Colorado venue is situated in a beautiful little town along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The landscape is amazing and the little barn is nestled off of the road. It has these amazing stained glass windows adorning the front and an open concept inside that is perfect for weddings. We were lucky to have a great golden hour where we went behind the barn for some romantic couple’s portraits.

I loved all of the personal touches that Selina and Evan had at their wedding. They are such a sweet couple and I just loved working with them and capturing their special day!

The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park in Colorado

Selina and Evan are a fun loving and caring couple.

They're very sentimental and family oriented, so they opted for a more traditional wedding ceremony at the Cherry Hills Community Center in Denver, Colorado. 

After the wedding ceremony, they moved their guests over to their Barn at Evergreen Memorial wedding reception. And it was everything a wedding reception should be! They laughed and danced with their guests all night long. It was a blast to be a part of!

One of my favorite parts of their wedding day was their "blind look". They really wanted the first time they saw each other to be when Selina was walking down the aisle, but they also wanted a private moment for themselves before the ceremony. So instead of a first look, where a couple sees each other privately before the wedding ceremony, they held hands through a curtain and prayed together. It was so intimate, and personal. The perfect choice for Selina and Evan.

FARM WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY | AUTHENTIC WORKING BARNS | FARM TO TABLE

Heather Erny is a Colorado Wedding Photographer who specializes in telling your unique story in a timeless, photo journalistic way. If you're interested in having her photograph your wedding, get in touch!


Denver Ceremony: Cherry Hills Community Church

Farm Reception: The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park

Wedding Photography: Apollo Fields

The Best of 2016 Wedding Photography

THE BEST OF 2016 | WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY AND ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER IN NEW YORK AND COLORADO | Apollo Fields

As 2016 comes to a close, it's hard not to get nostalgic about all of the great celebrations of love, fun people, and spectacular places that my business has introduced me to.  I always say – even though it's cheesy – that the best part of my job is being surrounded by people during what is oftentimes some of the happiest moments of their lives.  How much better does it get??  

We got to travel to a lot of different places for weddings this year which was great, including our big move to Colorado from NYC. Some of our favorite places included getting to shoot upstate at The Roxbury Barn and Estate, heading up to Canada for Jen and Jon’s wedding in Quebec, and finding some awesome mountain locations in the Rockies for engagements and weddings. We love traveling and it’s been such a great part of our lives and the business. We’re excited to book more destinations and get the chance to find new places and couples and everything in between!

So, to commemorate an epic year, here is a compilation of some of my personal faves... 

SOME OF OUR FAVORITE VENUES OF THE YEAR: