Stef & Alex celebrated their wedding in July at Surf Hotel in Buena Vista. Despite having a rainier than usual summer in Colorado, the weather was just as perfect as the whole day. These two are such a light and joy to photograph and be around. There were so many happy tears, little glances and full bodied laughs throughout the day– this was such an incredible wedding to be a part of.
Some highlights of the day:
To Stef & Alex
Congrats you two!!!!!! So honored to have been a part of y’alls day! It was such a joy documenting y’alls love story, you both are some of the kindest, sweetest people I’ve ever had the privilege of photographing. Hope you both had such a great time and a relaxing and well deserved honeymoon!
“We met in 2018 at work! Alex was visiting his family in Chicago and Stef was planning on moving to Denver. We got to know each other as friends for a few months before finally hanging out 1:1 outside of work. Dated for a few months long distance and then made it official when Stef moved out to Denver Summer of 2019.”
“Alex planned a hike out to Brainard Lake in early June 2022. Stef knew something was up as Alex was really nervous and quiet (unlike him), and had also packed a picnic in the car haha. We brought our dog and foster dog (now adopted) and he threw up in the car on the way there. The trail was closed to the hike we wanted to do and we hiked a few miles through DEEP snow banks. While things got off to a rocky start that morning, when we got to the lake, Alex pulled Stef aside and asked her to marry him. Easiest yes!”
“Yes! Leaving ~5 days after the wedding and going for a week to Indonesia (Nusa Lembongan – island near Bali) and a week in Thailand (Koh Samui)”
“Making it official. Feels like we are already married in a lot of ways but will be nice to call each other husband and wife and keep building our lives together.”
This beautiful, sunny July morning started off on location at Surf Hotel. Stef had a super cool suite that she was getting makeup done in and then upstairs we had a pristinely clean room for her to put on her dress. The highlight of the suite was this gorgeous bathtub that we had to take pictures in.
After a first look with her bridesmaids we got ready for her first look with Alex. Meanwhile Alex was hanging out in the lounge area of the hotel. He opened a few gifts and shared some drinks with his groomsmen and family.
Stef and Alex chose to do a first look and afterwards they both commented on how glad they were to have done one! Alex had the absolute sweetest reaction to seeing Stef for the first time. There were lots of happy tears, “I’m so lucky”‘s and “you look beautiful”s. I think that sort of reaction is the dream reaction from every bride. If Stef had any doubts about her looking like a complete goddess, I think they were all quashed after that first look.
After first look we walked around the venue and took a few portraits. My favorite spot was right on the river where everyone there graciously let us kick them out for a few photos.
Before ceremony we were able to knock out all our wedding party portraits, which meant the couple and their friends could go straight to cocktail hour! This group was super fun and listened to direction perfectly. We were able to do all our portraits in 20 minutes!
Ceremony time!!! This was such a good ceremony. Stef’s brother officiated, which meant he could really speak on the couple and their relationship. It felt intimate and personal the whole way through. And let me tell you, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place during their vows. Those vows were amazing, sentimental with a bit of humor, 10/10 guys.
Because these two chose do a first look we were able to get couples portraits, wedding party (and even the majority of family photos!) done before the ceremony, which meant these two could enjoy their cocktail hour! Surf has a great cocktail hour space, with couches, two bars and cornhole. It’s the perfect space for mingling.
The second these two entered their reception I knew the evening was going to be a good time. Their was reception had a few special dances and some incredible speeches. Music was super important to the couple so they opted for a live band who absolutely crushed it. I loved their simple, yet beautiful decor. It felt like them and showed off their love of Colorado and the mountains.
I was only there for about 15 minutes of open dancing but could tell this was going to be a great party lasting well into the night. The dance floor was packed, people were showing off their best moves and the live band was killin it.
We ended the night with 10 minutes of sunset portraits. I love the pictures from the front of the hotel, it just shows off what a cool wedding venue Surf Hotel is. And then that was a wrap!!! An incredible day for an incredible couple.
Some favorite behind the scenes photos of working this excellent day!
Venue: Surf Hotel
Florals: Phytology Flowers
Band: Diamond Empire
Dress: Blue Bridal
HMUA: Face of Makeup
Cake: Joyful Bakery
Day of Coordinator: Graceful Weddings
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