A year ago this weekend, I photographed a sweet wedding at the Celebration Farm in Eastern Iowa for Katie and Jackson. At the wedding, during family photos, they told me Jackson's sister (Mariah) and her fiancé (Will) were getting married the next year. I ran up to them at the end of the day, handed them my business card, and the spent about a week in bed recovering from the worst cold I'd ever had. Possibly because I'd been sick, I didn't remember that interaction until I received an email in the winter from Mariah-- asking if I'd be interested in photographing their destination wedding in Colorado!!!!

The answer to Colorado (or any destination wedding photography) is always yes in my book. ;)

Fast forward a year, and here we were! I hadn't been to Vail, Colorado since my childhood. It was a treat to be deep in the mountains for an outdoor wedding (on a wedding island!) during the summer months. The venue was fantastic-- if you're looking for a Colorado wedding venue that does it all, and does it well, look into the The Vail Golf & Nordic Clubhouse! Plus, the mountain views are incredible.

yellow and green and white wedding flower bouquet
gold wedding rings in succulent 

The entire crew started out the day in a rented home on the property (air bnb is so great!). It had a POOL. And like 14 bedrooms or something. ;) Perfect for the families and bridal party to get ready for the big day.

wedding getting ready in Air BNB in Vail, Colorado // wedding venues in the mountains
Bridesmaids in forest green dresses helping Colorado bride with her wedding dress train

CAN YOU HANDLE MARIAH!? She was seriously the most stunning bride! That dress was perfect on her--and Will was totally surprised. Their first look was everything. Tears and tender moments. Yes pleeease.

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First look photos in front of a forest of real Colorado birch trees? Ok, sign me up!

first look in the mountains of Vail, Colorado // bride and groom // wedding venues in Colorado
romantic and emotional first look between bride and groom in Colorado Mountain Wedding
Cheap destination wedding photographers under $3000 // Colorado Elopement photography 
Destination Colorado Wedding photographers
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The following photo is one of my favorite photos from the entire day! I just can't get over the blue Colorado sky, those mountains covered in evergreen trees, and of course, the most amazing wedding couple!

bride and groom kissing in front of mountains in Vail, Colorado during summer wedding
wedding by a mountain lake in colorado wedding photos
groom kissing bride in tall weeds with mountains in Vail Colorado
outdoor  wedding photography  for sun-loving, active couples planning their outdoor wedding in the  Colorado  Mountains.
wine and mountains for outdoor wedding ceremony in vail colorado
outdoor wedding photography for sun-loving, active couples planning their outdoor wedding in the Colorado Mountains.
usher handing out bubbles at outdoor Vail mountain wedding
groom watching his bride walk down the outdoor isle at their wedding
Colorado Mountain wedding photographer. Photographing in Keystone,  Arapahoe Basin , Granby,  Estes Park , Winter Park, Aspen, Leadville,  Telluride , Silverton, Crested Butte, Breckenridge,  Vail ,  Steamboat , and Durango.
Amelia Sutton is an adventurous mountain wedding photographer, specializing in capturing love in the outdoor landscapes 
bride and groom saying vows outdoor Colorado Mountain wedding ceremony
Amelia Sutton is an outdoor Colorado mountain wedding photographer, specializing in mountain town weddings
affordable Colorado Mountain wedding pictures
outdoor weddings in Colorado mounatin towns

The clouds started rolling in as soon as the ceremony finished up, but thankfully, no rain! Just some simple cloud cover. The guests headed up to the Nordic Lodge for wine, cheese, and lawn games... and I got a little more time with the bridal couple & party for photos!

bridal party walking in green dresses and tuxedos outside in Vail for a Mountain wedding photography
bridal party jumping on groom and bride, wearing green dresses and tuxedos outside in Vail for a Mountain wedding photography
Amelia Sutton a fine art  wedding photographer  specializing in  Colorado  mountaintop weddings and destination weddings around the globe
bride and groom making funny faces 
romantic wedding pictures at the base of a mountain lake in Vail, Colorado
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River Bend Ranch Durango wedding pictures

On to the reception! After a little more mingling with guests (and some photos with cousins and friends, of course) everyone transitioned indoors to the lovely lodge at the Vail Nordic Center. The windows display the gorgeous Bald & Keller Mountains, the perfect view as the sun sets over the western mountains!  

After some amazing dinner food, the reception games started off with the classic shoe game. The DJ did a fantastic job with it, and had everyone laughing.


Although we didn't get much of a sunset, the couple and I snuck out for a few "golden hour" photos with a view of the mountains that's hard to beat! 

Vail Colorado wedding photographers Amelia Renee
bride wearing golden knot bracelet
bride and groom sitting in the grass in the mountains during wedding reception
tall groom and short bride kissing
sunset over the mountains in vAil

The guests and bride and groom then proceeded to have one of the best dance parties I have ever witnessed! If I hadn't been so tired from walking, I would have totally joined in. ;) Every wedding needs a group of friends who will get down on the dance floor with them, and Mariah & Will have that, no doubt!

Nordic Lodge Golf Clubhouse wedding reception pictures
River Bend Ranch Durango wedding.jpg

Vail, Colorado Wedding Vendors
Venue: Vail Nordic Golf Clubhouse
Wedding Dress: Pure Bridal in Ames
Flower Crown: Ruffly Rose in Denver
Rentals: Colorado Tents & Events

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