I first met Jamie when she was a bridesmaid in her brother’s wedding a few years ago, which I photographed. I heard from her again at the end of 2016 when she messaged me to see if I happened to have hers and Frank’s wedding date available, and if so, if I’d be interested in and able to come out to Denver to shoot her wedding. She mentioned it being a long shot since they were having a June wedding; and with June being one of the months that books up most quickly each year, I tapered my excitement until I was able to check my calendar. When I finally did so and saw that her wedding date was my only remaining June weekend, I (probably) squealed at my desk – not only was I beyond excited to shoot a wedding in Denver, but getting to work with and spend the day with this crew made me feel pretty fortunate. Here’s the part where I tell you why.
Jamie and Frank booked two of the coolest venues I’ve ever shot at for their wedding day – they reserved an outdoor garden at Denver Botanic Gardens for the ceremony, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for their reception. What began as a sunny day in Denver quickly changed – as we drove from Jamie and Frank’s home where the girls had their hair and makeup done to the botanic gardens, the skies darkened and the air suddenly felt thick. I unloaded my gear, crossed my fingers, and made my way to the garden the ceremony was expected to take place in. As it began to rain ten minutes prior to the scheduled ceremony start time, Frank and Jamie’s wedding guests huddled together inside the two covered pavilions nearby – I watched nervously as water pooled up on the chairs, and as everyone’s eyes looked toward to sky for lighting. Once the bolts began, a coordinator from the Gardens began ushering everyone into a building nearby – people threw jackets over their heads and made a run for it as the rain came down harder, and phrases like ‘rain delay’ and ‘backup location’ were being uttered between nervous laughs of disbelief. The garden employees quickly gathered and assembled chairs in a room within the building, and after about thirty minutes, they’d put together a makeshift room for Jamie and Frank’s ceremony. Many couples would be disappointed by this – by having previously booked a dream location and suddenly not being able to use it – but not these two. Frank and Jamie shrugged and laughed it off, and embraced the spontaneity and joked to their loved ones about what good luck the rain would be for them. And moments like this – when a couple fully embraces everything happening to them and for them and rolls with it, despite the situation’s imperfections – times like these are the ones I remember most as a wedding photographer. Because it’s people like these two who subtly teach me about things that have a lot less to do with weddings or photography, and a lot more to do with being a kind, loving, adaptable human, and about being fully present in whatever moment you’re in, wherever you are.
The rain let up after the ceremony, and we roamed the gardens and then the city as the storm made one more appearance that afternoon before finally halting and giving them a sunshine-filled cocktail hour to spend time with their family and friends, many of whom had traveled from out-of-state to cheer them on. Jamie and Frank + their loved ones checked out the city, and danced, and drank, and threw their heads back in laughter, and these moments made this day far more perfect than a ceremony in a pretty garden could have.
Ceremony Venue: Denver Botanic Gardens
Reception Venue: Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Hair + Makeup: Sonia Poxson
Dress Shop: The Wedding Seamstress [The top part of Jamie’s dress was from her mother’s wedding gown!]
DJ: DJ Guy
Day of Coordinator: Molly Fortune