Mr + Mrs Likes | Intimate | Viking Inspired | Colorado | Destination Wedding Photographer

“OUR COMBINED LOVE FOR GAME OF THRONES, NEIL GAIMAN'S WRITING, AND GENERAL INTEREST IN HISTORY AND OUR OWN ANCESTRY, BROUGHT TOGETHER THE FANTASY/VIKING FEEL TO OUR BEAUTIFUL, INTIMATE DAY"

Stephanie and Jordan got married in fall at the gorgeous AA Barn in Grand Lake, Colorado. It was one of the most fun, non traditional weddings I’ve shot and the sun shone all day long for them!

Getting ready

Stephanie got ready at Cabin #4 in Lupine Village with her closest girls, and the atmosphere was so relaxed. All the girls were helping each other get ready. They all wore their own unique dresses that went together beautifully. I really loved that Stephanie wore a vintage kimono that was held together in the front by a simple little belt while she got her hair and makeup done. We all agreed that she could have totally pulled off just getting married in that because she looked stunning. The girls then took the short trip to get to the ceremony. Laughter, excitement, and the sounds of "Going To The Chapel" filled the truck. As I sat in the back I peeped through the side mirror at Stephanie, I could see the emotions sitting behind her eyes. As her hand moved up and down with the wind outside the window - she looked calm and ready to marry the love of her life. Jordan got ready in cabin # 1 with his guys. They joked with each other as they all got ready, like ya know, Jordan’s brother lent rolling his beard haha. You will notice a fox making it’s appearance through Jordan’s details to his outfit. The fox is Stephanie’s totem animal. An animal that has similar characteristics to her and tends to show up at significant ( positive) moments. So, on the way to the ceremony the guys saw a fox and Earl was lucky enough to snap a quick photo of it. Meant to be, ya think?

The outdoor ceremony

The ceremony was an intimate affair next to the AA Barn with a beautiful river and the stunning mountains in view. Bursting colors of yellow were peaking through everywhere. The ceremony location was set up with tree logs creating an aisle and a larger stump sat toward the front with her grandmother's ring, a sword, crystals, and drinking horns. During the ceremony they read their own vows. It was so emotional and so beautiful. From their friend playing the ukulele as they walked down the aisle together, Stephanie's dad reading a beautiful intro by Neil Gaiman titled, "All I Know About Love", and them not only sealing the deal with a kiss, but with a "skull" to their guests - this wedding was full-filling my dreams. After going around hugging their loved ones they headed out to a spot in the forest. They picked a spot with an old wagon that must have been there for years to sign their marriage license. Just them + us. Fun fact: Colorado is one of the few states that doesn't require you to have a third party to marry your. YOU CAN MARRY YOURSELVES. How freaking awesome is that?! All the more reason to get married in the beautiful mountains! - and take me with!

The party

The reception was outside the barn as well with drinks and food inside. They chose the AA Barn because Grand Lake is a place they were both familiar with as kids. They had fond memories of camping trips, and enjoying the little local shops. They also loved how it provided a back country setting, while being close enough to town for easy access to everything they needed. Not to mention because it is owned by the forest reserve they were able to bring their pup along ( same with their wedding guests) + provide any sort of food they wanted. It was a bohemian, viking, fantasy inspired wedding; which I AM SERIOUSLY OBSESSING ABOUT. I love shooting intimate weddings because they’re always nontraditional. The AA barn was perfect for holding their food + drinks while even a few tables for those that wanted to sit inside. I loved that both sides of the barn opened to allow light in but everyone mostly sat outside at the tables. The venue is tucked way back surrounded by forest with a cute little bridge that passes over the river. You can't miss those gorgeous mountains in view either.

They both are very outdoorsy and have degrees in wildlife biology, hence another reason for choosing an outdoor setting. They decorated the venue with legally and humanely-collected antlers, skulls and pelts. They share an appreciation for beer and fermentation, having brewed several batches of beer themselves; so they used beer and whiskey bottles from special occasions as vases, placing dehydrated wheat grass in them instead of flowers.  Their combined love for Game of Thrones, Neil Gaiman's writing, and general interest in history and their own ancestry, brought together the fantasy/viking feel to the theme. They provided drinking horns for their wedding party and the wedding party gifted them with a battle-ready viking sword for the ceremony! 

For dinner they had home-made pizza made freshly by Jordan's brother and parents, which was absolutely delicious. You could order your pizza just the way you liked it or take from some that were already made. Of course they also had cheese, honey, jams, and crackers. What’s a viking wedding without a charcuterie board?! Once the dinner was over, they served homemade pies as a dessert. The sword that was gifted to Stephanie and Jordan was used to cut their pie! They replaced champagne with mead for a round of toasts. All their friends and family stood close as they shared memorable stories and good wishes. Because they had to leave the venue earlier than most places ( wildlife in the area) - they headed back to their little village of cabins to continue the celebration.

The most memorable part of the day was the ceremony, because it was so romantic and personal. Non traditional at it's finest. I love how they kept everything truly about what they wanted. They also had fun during the first look – it was hilarious! Stephanie had the best idea getting a skull mask unicorn as she walked down the bridge to see Jordan for the first time.

The couple

Stephanie and Jordan were together 5 years and engaged for two before they decided to get married. They met working at Boyd Lake State Park in Loveland, Colorado working as part of the Aquatic Nuisance Species program. Thanks to a friend helping push the relationship along they had their first date. I’m sure you could probably guess by now that it involved nature. A six hour drive to Moab to be exact. They hiked through the forest and the desert, rappelled down a few waterfalls, and drank mead until the wee hours of the morning. Through all that, they still couldn’t get enough of each other.

The couple each have some words of advice when planning your own wedding:

Stephanie: “My best advice is to listen to your needs and your partners needs, and create your special day based upon what would make the two of you comfortable and happy. It can be easy to get lost in the details, or trying to make sure that everyone is happy... the only thing that matters on your wedding day is that the two people getting married are happy! One of the best decisions I made was expressing any concerns I had to the people in my wedding party, because our friends are rock stars. Our wedding party took care of us so well and made sure we didn't have to stress about anything necessarily. Give your phones to your best friends, treat yourself gently and don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to. I will also pass along advice that my married friends passed along to us, take some time with your significant other after the ceremony to enjoy the ultimate profession of love you just expressed to one another. Seriously. Don't get too wrapped up in paying attention to everyone else and soak in the moment to yourselves.”

Jordan: “When putting on a wedding, you may be pressured into conforming or adhering to other peoples' expectations as to what should be included: inviting certain family members, dressing a certain way, having certain foods or drinks, having a minister or priest ordain the ceremony, the makeup of the wedding party, etc.  Some people will try to make your wedding about themselves when in actuality it is all about you and your partner.  If you want to elope, elope.  Don't want to invite that weird uncle or creepy aunt? Don't.  You want to have a pie instead of wedding cake?  Do it.  The wedding is about you and your partner.  So talk to your partner and figure out what is going to work best for the both of you.  And if there are ideas that being thrown out by your partner that you're not 100% thrilled about, express those concerns and see if a compromise can be reached.  Take care of yourselves during your wedding (eating food, staying hydrated) and don't forget to spend some time with everyone.  Theoretically, they all want to be there because they love and care about the two of you.  Express that appreciation towards those folks. Enjoy the moment, feel the love, and return the love.”

Stephanie and Jordan’s wedding was unique and completely true to themselves. Here’s their non traditional wedding day!

Getting Ready : Lupine Village//Grand Lake, CO

Ceremony/ Reception : Double A Barn

Dress : Claire La Faye

Suit: J.Crew

Groom Tie : Knotty Tie Company

Boots : Danner

Wallet : Joe V. Leather

Cufflinks : Game Keepers Gifts

Drinking Mugs : Alehorn

Wedding Rings : Staghead Designs

Engagement Ring : Omina Studios