One thing to know about me is that I LOVE Estes Park. I know, not that unique, who doesn’t? I’ve been to many different parks in Colorado, and while they are all gorgeous, this one holds a special place in my heart. Johnny and I had our first date here! I was going to college at CSU in Fort Collins, at the time, and he was living in New Castle, a town just seven miles west of Glenwood Springs. That’s right – a whopping FOUR HOURS AWAY.
So, we packed up my dog, who gets carsick, and the two of us and drove to Estes from Fort Collins one night. Only problem? That carsick dog proceeded to throw up all over his nice, souped up Jeep. So we made a romantic stroll into the Safeway in Estes Park so I could clean the seats, and then drove home. After 2 hours of driving (and technically 6 for him since he came from Glenwood the night before). Yeah, not the best first date but a hilarious memory now! And I think of this every time I get to go to Estes. I love walking the streets there and perusing the locally owned shops and stopping in the park to see some elk, while laughing to myself about it.
Although that experience was special to me, I’m not sure that anything could take the cake of watching Maggie + Cody marry one another there. At the gorgeous Della Terra Mountain Chateau in Estes Park, the two were wed on August the 1st, 2019. This couple is special to me because I have known them since I was a freshman in college, SIX years ago (where the heck does time go?!) They were always the “It Couple”. The one everyone aspired to be because they were just so EASY together. They just clicked. It was a relationship free of jealousy or control and all about trust and empathy. This is just how they each operate, so the two of them together is just an unfair advantage to the rest of the world… It’s the kind of love so many people spend their entire lives looking for, and they found it in high school (and actually, listening to Maggie’s bridesmaid Ellie tell the story, the pair first dated in 5th grade, only to break up a week later and reconnect in high school.) A love story for the ages.
Let me tell you – this wedding was stunning, but I expected nothing less from Mags and Cody, and the Della Terra Chateau. Bohemian elements mixed with modern copper tones and florals, a moody sky and the perfect amount of sunshine that wasn’t overbearing… It was perfect all around. The weather for a wedding in Estes Park is always perfect because you get that refreshing mountain air from all around, and it just added to the romance of the day.
The bridal party spent the morning getting ready. The bridesmaids were curling their hair and carefully putting on makeup, (I actually did eyelashes for some because ya girl is good at it), while Nick, Maggie’s bridesMAN put on his best tux and did his hair perfectly. I love that she included her best guy friend in on her big day and didn’t adhere to some weird societal norms! I took a few photos of the guys getting ready, but this really never involves a lot because let’s be honest, it’s much easier for the groomsmen than us. They normally spend the day watching The Office or another tv show, drinking, and/or watching football. Although look at Cody’s shoes, because he insisted I take a picture of them and honestly, I agree. They’re show stoppers.
During all that, Riley, one of Maggie’s bridesmaids and one of the other three college roommates of mine that were in the bridal party, put the final touches on the cake she made, and HOW STUNNING IS THIS?! Hit her up, she can makes yours too!
As soon as the bride tribe was finished getting ready, we headed outside to do some portraits before the ceremony. Here, Maggie had a run-in with her dad, and of course I had to capture the emotional first look moment!
The ceremony was stunning. Simple, and full of love. Everyone was tearing up (including me, but that’s not a surprise). We all laughed and hollered as the couple came out hand in hand, for the first time, as Mr. and Mrs. McCoy!
I typically do the family sessions and bridal party immediately following the ceremony for a couple of reasons. 1) Everyone is right there, already. I’m trying to catch you before your Uncle Joe gets drunk and I have to herd cats for the photos. Trust me, it’s a time saver. 2) let’s get them outta the way so you can all go PARTY! I want to get the photos you want all day, but I want to make sure that you get to ENJOY the day too!
Next was the reception, and I had almost forgotten how well this crowd could throw down! Cody’s dad is in a professional band and they killed the night! From Adele, to Journey, to Maroon 5, everything they sang blew me away and got the crowd on their feet. Towards the end of the night, Cody got up there and played guitar with them and Maggie had the biggest smile. Pretty sure she was starstruck and fell in love with him over and over again that night. Could you blame her? I mean, have you ever seen a happier or more proud bride? C’mon!
They’re literally a dream couple and both gorgeous people inside and out. Maggie + Cody, here’s to you and your new beginning! Thank you for allowing me to be there with you and reunite with the roomies. It was a perfect day and I’m reliving it over and over again with these portraits of you and the people you love!
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Copyright 2020 Breelle hilsenrath
Whenever you hop in front of my lens, I don't just pose you. I guide you, I hype you up and I aim to show the real YOU. I am so excited you are here and would love to chat! Also, sign up for my newsletter for first dibs on discounts, themed sessions and tips for success for your portraits. I promise not to be spammy - ain't nobody got time for that!