Ruth & Will planned their life commitment ceremony and weekend events to be, above all else, authentically THEM. On a bright September Thursday they gathered their besties in a colorful hostel and had a pillow fight while they beautified themselves. Sweet tears were shared as they saw each other dressed for the first time- Will kept his look a secret from Ruth, so he tapped her on the shoulder for the big reveal. It was an incredible moment in the garden atrium. Then we grabbed their pup, hopped in our cars and headed up into the mountains outside of Fort Collins for their intimate elopement. We planned to stop along the mountain road on the way up for their romantic portraits- they told me to just yell “STOP!!” when I saw a scene I wanted to shoot – and stop we did! I’m so glad they put their trust in me, as we shot with cliffs and peaks, red rocks and golden streaks of late afternoon light making the shoot that much more magical – more on that below! They picked out a circular meadow in between a grove of aspens for their intimate wedding ceremony. It was quiet and still and everyone came with their hearts wide open, as they one by one made speeches of encouragement, support, and love in the growing darkness. Everyone cried during the couple’s private vows, and when they were finished we realized it was pitch dark, and all ten friends witnessed and signed the marriage license on each other’s backs lit by cell phone flashlights. That Saturday, they hosted a second ceremony and gathering to celebrate and dance with all their friends and family, so this is blog post #1 of 2 from their queer multi day wedding celebration.
While driving up the mountain to this spot, I pitched the idea to them of kicking up dust from the dirt road behind them so that the sunset light would filter through the dust particles – I’m not sure I did a good job of explaining the shot I saw in my head, but being the best couple ever, they obliged. Or should I say Carl obliged, as our daredevil chauffer, lighting assistant and bridesman Carl took their subaru for a wild ride.. up and down a 20 foot stretch of road behind them, repeatedly, at god-knows-how-many-mph with a lot of screeching and braking and luckily, lots of dust. It was also a surefire way to make the couple laugh, as every time Carl flew by they just roared with laughter at the ridiculousness of the whole situation. SO GOOD.