Travis arrived early and lit a fire in the wood stove – the small chapel’s only source of heat. As he waited in the chapel the wind whipped around the outside of the wooden structure and the sun beat down on the slowly shrinking snow drifts that dotted the hillside. He removed his ball-cap and with one shot of whiskey he was ready.
It wasn’t the day they met, floating down a river through the mountains of North Carolina, but shortly after. One day Jackie noticed his smile, and Ethan got lost in her eyes. They found each other and fell in love amongst rapids and tree-lined riverbanks. Ever since they’ve been together, exploring, and learning that home isn’t a place as much as a person to belong to.
-Happy years, and many miles later-
Late nights studying and reading side by side (with Mumford’s antics stealing their attention) they chatted about their wedding and dreamed of a winter elopement. They dreamed of France, and their careers, and the life they would build together… and then they did it.
What better thing is there in this world?
To love as freely as the Wyoming wind.
To laugh under sun kissed pines.
To create beauty side by side with the best in the west.
The forecast called for snow.
All week, flake after flake coated the mountains, the trees, the cabins, and the people. The snow fell with no end in sight. Soft white flurries and ice cold winds made roads slick, nights silent, and wood stoves oh-so-cozy.
Until one afternoon…
They met online. Their schedules, full time work, school, and travel kept them from going out much. They dreamt of big futures, and set their social lives aside. Then by chance, they found each other and learned that there was room in their hearts, and schedules, for something big.
Together they’ve built a life and a home in Laramie, under big Wyoming skies, fixing cars, adventuring, and uplifting each other. They knew they were meant to be together and settled on a date before making their engagement official.
A year ago I had the opportunity to shoot this beautiful styled fall wedding inspirational shoot. The weather was perfect and the mountains were absolutely bursting with fall colors. I completed this last year just in the peak of busy season and got caught up in a whirlwind of weddings, engagements and photo shoots… and didn’t get a chance to post these!
So, considering its a beautiful fall wonderland out there, I figured now was the perfect time to share.
In a cabin near a river she sat bathed in window light and gazed into the mirror. She fidgeted with her hands as the stylist worked on her hair, perfectly curling each strand. As all of the well-planned details fell into place, it was impossible not to worry. They had created a day full of meaning, meant to ensure that their loved guests, family, and bridal party would enjoy every minute. With that came all of the expected pre-wedding stress and jitters.
It wasn’t until later. When she saw Nelson standing in a pine grove on the banks of the river that brought them together, that she could breathe deeply. This was their place, his arms her home.
In La Grange, Wyoming, High atop a bluff overlooking his family home, a place rich with beauty and meaning, they joined hands and promised their lives to each other as family and friends looked on. Then together, under big Wyoming skies surrounded by rustling prairie grasses, Charla and Dalton burned the evidence of their love and legacy in their family brand with woodsmoke and a kiss.
For being pretty, smart, and inordinately organized, Charla is easy going. She’s the kind of girl who’ll plan a perfect wedding day and then let the day take its natural course, enjoying in every moment. She was gorgeous in her custom Casablanca gown paired with her turquoise jewelry and tasseled teal boots… and her bridesmaids were the very best sort to be around, kind, fun, and truly lovely to the core. Check out how beautiful they looked in the images below, I’m still swooning….