Secret Garden Wedding / Ouray Wedding Photographer

Recommendations from previous clients have become the way that some of my best-matched clients find me. After all, if I find my work in sync with one wedding couple/party, I am likely to vibe with their friends. So when it comes to working with acquaintances of previous clients, I will fight hard to work with someone who is sent to me in this way.

This was the case with Melissa and Trevor, who met my friends and previous clients, Jill and Sam, while attending (you can guess it) another wedding in Mexico. Jill and Sam are one of the easiest-going, fun-loving couples I know, so it was natural to assume Melissa and Trevor would also be an adventurous and easy couple.

Fast-forward almost a year to the moment when Melissa and Trevor are right about the make their vows. The sky has just broken open and a deluge of rain is coming down upon their guests who sit in the wide open of a beautiful, blooming garden in Ouray, Colorado. This is one of the moments when, as a photographer and onlooker, I recognize that how the couple reacts in the next ten minutes is going to set the tone for the rest of the celebration. As the entire group huddles under one of the small tents set up for the dinner, it’s all smiles from the bride, groom and officiant. Even when a guest exclaims, “well, you guys gave it try,” the couple is undeterred and their expressions read “oh heck no, we are still getting married right now.”

Sure it rained, then it hailed, and the wedding huddled together and clinked drinks in whatever space could be found. But this is also what created some of the most magical moments, such as when the bride’s stepdad stood protectively next to Melissa with a purple umbrella to block the rain in one hand and her bouquet in the other. Or another moment when the bride (herself early in a pregnancy) scooped up and snuggled a baby while the rest of the party continued to rotate around her.

After an hour or so, the storm broke, I stole the bride and groom away for some awesome adventure shots outside of town, and the group line-danced into the night. Nevertheless, those early moments when the couple was faced, for the first time as husband and wife, with adversity and dashed hopes, are for me the best indication of the strength of their bond. Leaning into (at times literally) the support of family, friends, and each other, and even finding quiet moments to take in their wedding day are testaments to their enduring love and the family that surrounds them.