A mutual friend had a few people over. Danielle was in town from Seattle to surprise her mom for Mother’s Day. Erin lived in the area and decided to stop by for one drink. That one drink turned into a few more. We exchanged numbers and kept in touch while Danielle was in Seattle. Started dating long distance for the first few months until Danielle moved back to Iowa.
It was a Sunday, and we had gone to look at a house. While eating breakfast Danielle surprised Erin with a gift. It was the latest book by Erin’s favorite author along with a personalized, engraved bookmark that said “I can’t wait to start the next chapter of our lives together. Erin, will you marry me?” Danielle got down on one knee and proposed.
Danielle was living in Seattle when we first met, and she had flown back for Mother’s Day weekend in 2019 to surprise her mom. Saturday night before Mother’s Day, Danielle was meeting up with old friends for a girls’ night out. We had a mutual friend, Rachel, who asked if one more person (Erin) could join us for the night even though no one else there had ever met her. Naturally everyone said, The more the merrier!” After Erin arrived, we got to talking and the conversation flowed effortlessly. After that night we kept in touch and started talking every day over the phone (super old school) usually while Danielle was on her way to or heading home from work.
Two weeks later on a dare, Danielle booked a spontaneous flight back to Iowa to visit Erin for the weekend. Erin also made a few trips to Seattle that summer until Danielle’s travel nurse contract ended. Danielle decided to move back to Iowa to be closer to Erin and her family. We ended up moving in together pretty soon after that. On March 21, 2021, while cooking breakfast, Danielle asked if she could give Erin a gift. Erin thought it was a strange time to ask as she was mid-cooking, so Danielle said it could wait. After breakfast, Erin brought up the gift and asked if she could open it, not knowing that Danielle had purchased a ring three months earlier. The box contained a book from Erin’s favorite author and also had a customized engraved bookmark in the book saying, “I can’t wait to start the next chapter of our lives together. Erin, Will you marry me?”. Erin was completely shocked, which is extremely hard to do, and said YES!! A few weeks later on April 3, 2021, Erin surprised Danielle with a proposal of her own knowing Danielle is a nerd for special dates/number (4/3/21). Danielle of course said yes as well!
Since then, we’ve purchased a home and continue to travel and explore the world together.
When Danielle and Erin reached out to me to photograph their intimate wedding, I immediately knew it was a day I had to be a part of. They both wanted to make their day completely about themselves and remove any unnecessary traditions or stressful events. After a bit of back and forth communication we crafted a beautiful and truly unique wedding day.
The day began with the two of them having a casual breakfast at their Airbnb. Together they helped each other into their wedding attire. They didn’t want a First Look or to be separate in any way– everything about the morning felt laid back and intimate.
Once the two brides to be were dressed we got in the car and headed the short distance to Twin Lakes. Danielle and Erin chose to say their vows lakeside with the beautiful mountains in the background. Their vows were simple, emotional and true to them. After vows and rings were exchanged and the mountain scenery taken in, we traveled to a private meadow where they shared a private dance to Falling Like the Stars by James Arthur. This was such a magical moment– there was no one around except two blue jays. Blue Jays are loyal birds that are loving and protective of their mates, we couldn’t think of a better or more symbolic wedding guest!
After their dance in the meadow we headed up the mountain pass where Danielle and Erin had a champagne toast and shared a cake picnic. We recreated one of their first photos together, them sitting together on a park bench. On our way back to the car we were treated to the most epic of sunset cresting over the Colorado mountains. From there I parted ways with the couple, not just as a vendor but as a friend. The next day the couple ended their Colorado wedding weekend by seeing their favorite musician, Brandi Carlisle at the iconic Red Rocks concert venue.
These two were such a pleasure to photograph and their day was such a wonderful reminder that your wedding day should be all about you and your partner. Forget the stress and overwhelm and seize the non-traditional!
Hey there! I’m so glad you found this blog post about Danielle and Erin’s fall elopement! My name’s Leah and I’m a wedding photographer based out of Broomfield and serving Denver, Boulder and everywhere in between. I love photographing unique and non-traditional weddings, so this elopement at was right up my alley! If you’re looking for a wedding photographer for your upcoming wedding, fill out my contact form below. I can’t wait to hear from you!
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