Lacey and Shaila tentatively planned multiple versions of their wedding celebration in Colorado. Each iteration got a little closer to what was really important to them, until they landed on a simple elopement with their kids and Shaila’s parents as guests.
After considering Breckenridge and Estes Park as possible spots, they finally honed in on Bayfield, a beautiful area in Southern Colorado that they had spent a lot of time in during the early days of their relationship.
They rented a house on the river in a beautiful neighborhood and planned a super relaxed day to really celebrate their life together.
We started with hair and make up in the house, while they’re two kiddo, B + V, floated around, and they played relaxed music on their bluetooth. Then they separated for getting ready so they could set up a first look.
Shaila got ready first, then her parents joined her and together they shared letters with each other. The letters brought ready emotion to both her mom and dad and it really set the tone for the kind of thoughtful words and feelings that would become the cornerstone of their elopement experience.
After Lacey got ready with her two kids, we headed outside by the river for a first look between her and Shaila. After a few portraits of the two of them, we set up one of my favorite moments, when B + V got to see Shaila for the first time. Just look at their faces!
Then we headed down the road for their ceremony on a nearby property by the river. Lacey and Shaila exchanged emotional vows with their family gathered around them.
After the ceremony, we headed down to a nearby lake with just Shaila, Lacey, B + V. While the kids played on the rocks and the shoreline, we snagged some intimate portraits of just Shaila and Lacey. Then we gathered everyone on the rocks for the most important part of the lake visit: to read their letters to each other.
I love how simple this letter reading exercise is, and yet how much depth and meaning it held for everyone. All of the letters were written individually and they each took turns reading to one another. B + V wrote letters to each Lacey and Shaila and to each other. Then Lacey and Shaila each wrote letters to B + V. And seeing the looks on their faces, along with the tears and the laughs as each expressed their love and joy at the joining of their families was one of the best parts of the day.
After the letters we headed down to the shore where everyone waded in, splashing, playing, and enjoying the gentle lapping water on their legs.
When we got back to the house, everyone gathered around for the wine box ceremony. They chose a bottle of wine to put in, but also invited everyone to place items inside that reminded them of their wedding experience and the celebration of their forever family. Shaila’s parents also ready letters to B + V, officially welcoming them as their grandchildren. Finally, at the end, they placed all of their letters from the day into their wine box and collectively nailed it shut. They plan to open the box on their one year anniversary.
This Bayfield wedding day was so full of meaningful, beautiful moments between a family and I feel so honored to be a part of it.