mountain adventure wedding

Kelly and Alec’s Mountain Wedding at Wedgewood Boulder Creek

Apollo Fields | Wedgewood Weddings at Boulder Creek | Intimate Wedding Photos | Candid Wedding Photography

The modernization of traditions keeps our jobs as wedding photographers fresh and inventive. From DIY ceremonies and weddings in the woods to more conventional rituals in churches; each wedding reveals each couple’s unique relationship to their respective belief systems. Kelly and Alec’s catholic wedding at Sacred Heart of Mary and reception at Wedgewood-Boulder Creek in Boulder, Colorado, showed us that you can both honor your past and embrace the new.

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Before Kelly and Alec’s wedding, I never knew the significance of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. But when we went to photograph Kelly and Alec’s first touch (a version of a “first look” where a couple doesn’t see each other) right near a fountain with a golden statue of St. Francis, Alec filled me in after they shared a few moments of beautiful tension. Alec spoke about St. Francis the same way that an environmentalist speaks about Jane Goodall, worshipping the person for what they mean to the natural world rather than elevating them as an idol outside the realm of natural phenomena. It was incredibly refreshing to see someone who holds a monotheistic belief system so close to their heart also share a deep love for Mother Nature. 

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Following the ceremony inside the church, the caravan climbed Boulder Creek Canyon Road to the reception hall a few minutes into the foothills of the Rockies. Wedgewood-Boulder Creek is an immaculately designed, accessible, and romantic setting to host one of life’s most precious gatherings. Upon entering the space you can hear the trickle of Boulder Creek, just as the friendly staff of the venue greet you with your favorite refreshments and libations. The flow of the property mimics the way the creek carves its way through the mountains, allowing for family and friends to naturally convene on patios and berms of fresh green grass. There is no doubt in my mind that St. Francis helped Kelly and Alec choose this venue to celebrate their love.

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On a day where clouds were kept at bay, golden hour floated in the early evening air like lightning bugs on a summer night. We borrowed Kelly and Alec from their celebration for a few romantics down by the creek and thanks to their genuine chemistry we didn’t keep them for long. They spun and smiled and danced and frolicked. They kissed. They unabashedly enjoyed themselves, wrapping their arms around one another like vines around a tree. Undeniably in love, we laughed, snapped pictures, and danced with them. When love is as natural as the trees, the breeze, or the trickle of the creek, you better believe that you’re doing something right. If Kelly and Alec wouldn’t take credit themselves, I’m sure they’ll be thanking St. Francis for a long time to come.

Vendors:

Venue | Wedgewood - Boulder Creek

Dress | Madison James

Floral | Painted Primrose, Sabia Magrun

DJ/Band | Diamond Empire Band

Suit | Generation Tux

Rings | Shane Co.

Hair & Makeup | Serenity Salon- Arvada

Cake | Kelly Leigh Cakes

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Oh Hey!

It’s us at the end of the night having the best time with Kelly & Alec.

Mercie & Dan’s Rollins Pass Engagement Shoot in Nederland, CO

Mercie & Dan’s Engagement Session | Rollins Pass Nederland, Colorado | Mountain Engagements | Apollo Fields

As night gave way to day, rays of sunshine swept away the shadows on the trees, lifting golden purples and greens to contrast with the muted blue sky. The morning chill still lingering in the air brought our breaths and bodies closer together as our reflections shivered upon the reservoir’s still surface. Movements warm our bodies just as emotions stir our souls; and there’s always that one look during these engagement sessions that reveals this inward dance in the eyes of our couples—a sort of intimate revelation—that leaps from their irises like the first light over a dark horizon. 

Mercie and Dan were first set up in high school and their relationship still shines with an optimistic and exuberant young energy. Bolstered by their strong and confident characters, it’s hard not to be enamored by the story of how Mercie asked Dan to prom by spelling it out in sushi at Dan’s first experience with the Japanese culinary tradition. Cuter still is how Mercie doubled down on this romantic gesture when asking Dan to marry her! (If that doesn’t immediately make you think of a scene in a romantic comedy I don’t know what does.) Their happiness during their engagement shoot in Nederland was as palpable as the smiles on their faces. Kind of like what Dan said about the first time she told Mercie she loved her (at prom), “[the words] just sort of fell out of my face.”

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Bearing witness and documenting relationships like Mercie and Dan’s is just one of the many reasons why Heather and I love running Apollo Fields. Whether it’s the privilege of connecting with such loving people, or appreciating a love in an idyllic yin-and-yang, conditional-meeting-unconditional balance that serves as a reminder for Heather and I’s own symbiotic relationship, or perhaps the most practical and paramount point— what these photos mean to them. Around every corner of every moment of these engagement sessions are parts of life to be appreciated. We promise to never to forget that. For our sake—and for Apollo Fields’ sake.

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Mercie and Dan aren’t sure where or when they are going to get married, but we hope to be there. They’re moving to California in a couple months and we’d follow them coast-to-coast, hell maybe even continent-to-continent if they asked us. We’re so excited for them to start this next journey together and know that they have all of the support they will ever need.

Sometimes in life you take leaps and sometimes you take bruises. “You learn to figure things out,” Mercie said, “I am who I am through trial and error.” I believe that the freedom to explore the world inside and outside ourselves is the key to finding enduring happiness and supportive partners. By staying close to home, or refusing to acknowledge the movements of the emotions inside our bodies and minds, our worldviews become myopic and close-minded. Learning to take risks and choosing to be brave opens an entire world of experiences, so if you’re looking for that little push—just remember—that first light is just on the other side of the dark horizon.

Here’s to you Mercie and Dan!

Colorado Engagement Photography:

Colorado Wedding Photography | Apollo Fields

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

David & Sadie's Beautiful Buena Vista Mountain Wedding

David & Sadie’s Wedding | Buena Vista, Colorado | Rocky Mountain Weddings | Destination Photographer | Apollo Fields

It was 6:00am last Saturday and I was driving on the long empty roads through the Colorado countryside. After spending the last few weeks in the cramped and crowded boroughs of New York and New Jersey, I felt the stark contrast of the open plains even more than usual. It was unseasonably cold that morning: a chilling 21 degrees when I first set out, and I watched the dashboard temperature rise with the sun as I cruised along the foothills.

I got to Buena Vista ahead of schedule and was able to pop into a local coffee shop before the wedding kicked off. The sleepy little town was enjoying it’s off-season, but the cafe was busier than ever with locals. I pulled up a seat next to a stranger because there were no empty tables, and got to enjoy a little old-fashioned small talk with a bundled-up hiker who was about to hit the mountains for the day.

Our day began at 9:30am at Spring Canyon, a quiet venue tucked away past the hot springs. Everybody was happily abuzz with last minute wedding prep, and I settled right into shooting details and scouting our first look location. The property boasts epic mountain views, but the sun was already high and with no clouds whatsoever, I had to be a little more creative with our locations.

I consider myself a bit of a light-junkie and I really felt the different between the East Coast light (which had been ultra-diffused from days of nonstop rain and heavy grey clouds) versus the big Colorado skies (at altitude with no atmosphere or humidity to break up the strong rays).

Sometimes you have to work with what you got, so we took advantage of the aspens that were still boasting their gold leaves and leaned into the full sun. I’m so happy we did, because we got those truly epic autumn mountain shots! I hadn’t seen any aspens with their leaves still on the whole trip, so it was the best surprise to find these groves still going strong! Colorado had a big snow storm later that night, and I have a feeling that we captured their last hoorah which makes the shots that much better to me.

David and Sadie had a sweet and tender way about their relationship. Amidst the bustle of the wedding morning, they still found time to have these long quiet hugs as if nobody else was around. I spend a lot of time watching my couple’s body language during their first looks to see how they naturally interact with one another and try to capture that throughout the day. David and Sadie were so fun because they would share these sentimental moments with each other, but then be able to goof around and be silly at the same time. They balanced these lighthearted fun times with the seriousness of a wedding perfectly.

Their families were also gracious and loving. I felt as much like a photographer and vender as I did a guest, and those are the days that make me love my job as much as I do. I was especially excited to photograph this wedding because there were going to be a few familiar faces in the crowd — one of my favorite couples from last year was family and the whole reason that I crossed paths with David and Sadie! In this business, referrals and word-of-mouth are everything, and I am so grateful for my clients who carry the Apollo Fields name from season to season. I’d like to give a big shoutout to the Danielson family for the connection, and also throw in a little vendor love to their awesome companies, Tentrix and Poc-a-Poc Catering who kept me happily in a cheese-coma for the reception.

Venue: Spring Canyon, Buena Vista CO
Photography: Apollo Fields

Published on Wedding Wire: Sadie & David’s Wedding

Heather loves to travel – especially to the mountains – for weddings! Get in touch for your photography needs: CONTACT

Erica & Matt's Romantic Engagement Session at Standley Lake

Erica & Matt's Romantic Engagement Session | Standley Lake, Arvada | Colorado Engagement Photography | Adventure Wedding Photographer | Rocky Mountain Photos | Apollo Photojournalism

Erica and Matt had an epic engagement session showered with beautiful golden light.  It was a photographer's dream!  As I was driving to Standley Lake, I could see the sun getting closer to the horizon and I knew we had timed the session perfectly.  We snagged some fun family shots of them with their two children dirt biking, which is one of their favorite things to do together.  The kids had a blast and hammed up the camera, making my job easy as we just hung out together snapping pics.  

I love when my couples bring their kiddos along to engagement sessions!  It makes the kids feel like they are a part of the wedding and they feel like an important part of the family.  Plus, the pics are so cute!  After we did their lifestyle shots, the kids ran around the lake and Erica and Matt changed into their formalwear.  Her red dress was the perfect pop to the dramatic landscape.  

I just adore the emotion and movement in these photos!  I look at their gallery and I feel like I really know who Erica and Matt are just by the love they have for each other, and the sweet way that they play with one another and how happy their kids are.  

We had such a great time enjoying the beautiful views while the sun set, and I got to snap away while Erica and Matt loved up on each other.  I always encourage my couples to take advantage of an engagement session, even if they don't feel like they "need" it, it's a great chance to get in front of my camera and gives them a chance to feel comfortable working with me.  Plus, I think it's actually really fun.  My couples will often tell me before our session how they don't like having their photos taken, or that they feel awkward in front of the camera, or they promise me that they are un-photogenic.  

One of my brides for this season gave me a half-smile and just said, "good luck" to me when she got in front of my camera for her engagement photos.  I love a challenge, so I secretly got really excited when she thought she wouldn't look good in any of her pictures.  My favorite part is delivering the galleries and then getting their feedback.  "Oh my god, I don't know how you did it", she exclaimed!  "I'm speechless".  

Hearing that kind of excitement from clients who don't think they photograph well is what I love so much about my job.  Everyone deserves to have photos that they love and are proud of!  

Colorado Adventure Photography:  Erny Photo CO | Apollo Photo

Location:  Standley Lake | Arvada, CO

Jenny & Tara's Epic Mountain Engagement Session at Pikes Peak

Jenny & Tara's Epic Mountain Engagement Session | Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs | Denver Engagement Photographer | LGBQ Weddings 

I was so excited when I first heard from Jenny.  She is friends with Lindsey, one of my beautiful brides from 2017 and happened to be looking for a wedding photographer when I delivered Lindsey's photos.  She loved them and immediately reached out to have me photographer her own wedding!  So much of my business is word-of-mouth and I am so grateful for my awesome couples who refer me and connect me to their other awesome-couple-friends.  

I met up with Jenny and Tara and immediately clicked with their fun personalities, and the sweet way in which they interact with each other.  They have a great energy, and I knew right away that I wanted to be their photographer.  They must have felt the same way, because I asked them at our meeting, "Do you ladies have any questions?" and they seamlessly responded with, "How do we book you now?"  Love it!

They initially weren't looking for an engagement session, but I'm so glad that they decided to do one because look at how epic these mountain backdrops were!  A photographer's dream.  I had never been to Pikes Peak before, so I was just in awe of the landscape the whole time.  We caught golden hour (my favorite!) just in time before the park closed.  Literally, they were closing the whole roadway up for sunset and we were being swiftly shuffled out of the park by the time we had captured every last golden ray that we could!  

They also brought their three children and new puppy along for the shoot.  I have quite a few couples that have children and while it might not seem obvious at first to have them present for engagement photos, I feel contrary to that old-fashioned traditional expectation of what it means to be an engaged couple.  Marriage is about partnership and family, and if kids are already part of that equation, I feel like they should be included in some of the pictures.  Oh, and if you have a cute puppy too... that doesn't take any convincing!  We are animal lovers to the core, and have an impossible time keeping our composure around tiny pups.  

Colorado Adventure Photographer:  Erny Photo CO | Apollo Photo

Location:  Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs 

Emily & Ole – A Wedding In The Woods | Guanella Pass Campground | Colorado Mountain Wedding

Emily & Ole – A Wedding In The Woods | Guanella Pass Campground | Colorado Mountain Wedding

Emily & Ole's Wedding In The Woods | Colorado Campground | Apollo Fields Photojournalism