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Elopement Wedding Tips by Photographers in Durango CO

This is Part 1 of 2

My husband, Ken, and I are photographers in Durango CO and we love to photograph elopements. It’s usually just the couple and us at the location of the ceremony. Sometimes there’s an officiant, but it’s not required in Colorado. You can marry yourself and just sign the Marriage License and you’re all set. We’ve acted as the witnesses many many times.

Elopements are great for both the couple and the photographers. There’s less stress and more time to capture all those great couples portraits that we sometimes don’t have time for during a full day wedding. We photograph a lot of elopements in Durango CO because it’s a beautiful destination wedding location.

Here are some tips that you can apply (or not):

  1. Should you keep it a secret? Well, this is up to you, but make sure you have a good reason ready to tell your loved ones and friends who might feel hurt that they didn’t get to attend your special day. There are also some elopements where the parents and siblings are at the ceremony, and that works out well for some couples. You can always have a reception back home once you’re married. Most of your family and friends will be happy with this. If you’re doing this, let us know because we will definitely have the photos ready for your reception date so you can show everyone a slideshow.

    Bride and Groom with sign, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango photography, durango wedding photographers

    We Eloped!

  2.  I know I’m a bit biased, but the photographer should be the first vendor you contact. I always help my clients who are coming to Durango from somewhere else. They usually need a florist, a hair and makeup artist, and maybe an officiant. I know all the best ones, and will email their contact information so they can get a bouquet, special pampering with hair and makeup, and someone to marry them. If the couple decides to have us at their elopement, we have an on-line Wedding Photography Agreement and a Wedding Information form that we send to them so everything is super easy and stress free. We also know some beautiful spots to have your elopement and can send you photos so you can choose the one you love. This one was during the winter, but it’s also lovely in the summer and fall.

    Bride and Groom having a snowball fight, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango wedding photographers, durango photography, wedding photographers in durango co

    Bride and Groom having a snowball fight

  1. You can go on the tourism site for the city where you are going to elope. The Durango Tourism website (Durango.org) has a wealth of information, including things you can do while you’re visiting here, because obviously you will want to make a vacation out of the elopement. It’s a great place for a destination wedding because there are so many fun things to do while you’re here.

    Married on the Colorado Trail, by Durango CO Photographers, photographers in durango co, durango photography, durango wedding photographers

    Married on the Colorado Trail and then hiked the entire 500 miles

  2. Your budget is totally up to you, of course, but contact different vendors to get an idea of how much everything will cost and then you can make better plans. If you want to get fancy, we know of a company who provides small tables with elegant dishware, glasses, pillows to sit on, candles, and other gorgeous decorations that you can use to serve up some champagne and a couple of cupcakes. These will make for some excellent photographs.
Bride and Groom sitting at table, photographers in durango co, durango photography, durango co photographers, durango wedding photographers

Bride and Groom sitting at beautifully set table

I’ll continue Part 2 soon, so stay tuned, and thank you for reading this post.

Long Live Love

Karen Skelly Photography

Photographers in Durango CO

www.karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

 

 

 

How Photographers in Durango CO Work With Couples Planning a Wedding – 2

This is Part 2 of my post about how my husband and I work with couples to photograph their weddings in Durango CO. You can view Part 1 here .

One of the things I missed in Part 1 concerns engagement sessions. As Photographers in Durango CO we love to do engagement sessions because then we are able to get to know our clients so much better and they get to know us as well. We have lots of fun and they have another special day to remember. Many of our clients have us put together a guest signing album using their engagement images. We have hard paged albums where we put the engagement photo on one side of the page and leave the other side blank for guests to sign at their wedding reception. Of course, if you live out of state or are eloping, an engagement session probably won’t work for you.

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What is on my nose?

Now to continue where I left off in the last post. If the girls are getting their hair and makeup done, I try to keep everything on schedule by letting them know how much time they have left because it’s so easy to lose track of time and get behind. Sometimes we do a First Look with the bride and groom, which I find to be super special because we’ll have the bride walk up behind the groom and maybe put her hands over his eyes or tap him on the shoulder. He then turns around and gets to see his soon to be wife in all her beauty. After we take some photographs, which adds more to the couple’s collection, we let them be alone for a few minutes. This definitely does not take away from the way the groom reacts when he sees his bride coming down the aisle. If the bride and groom don’t want to do a First Look, sometimes we’ll do it with the bride and her dad.

Bride and Groom First Look, Photographers in Durango CO, Durango CO Photographers, Durango Photography, Durango Wedding Photographers

Bride and Groom First Look

Sometimes we also do some of the family or wedding party portraits before the ceremony, depending on how much time we have and the time of the day. If the sun is high in the sky, we need to find a shady spot to put everybody in so they don’t have raccoon eyes and they’re not squinting. Both of those are not acceptable. During the family/wedding party/couple’s photos, my husband holds our umbrella with a flash so we can light everybody’s faces so they all look great. Ken, my husband, calls himself my lighting technician:)

Photographer's umbrella with flash, Photographers in Durango CO, Durango CO Photographers, Durango Photography, Durango Wedding Photographers

Ken holding the umbrella with flash during a family portrait session

During the ceremony, both Ken and I take photographs of everything going on. We love to capture all of the smiles, the tears, the emotions, and any other moments that happen. Some couples have a special thing such as a sand ceremony, an exchange of roses, or something else special to them. This is one of the things we ask about in our Wedding Information form so that we’re prepared when it happens. We make sure to capture the vows, the ring exchanges, and the first kiss. Sometimes we have to yell out “slow down the kiss” so we can capture the moment – haha. Then as the couple is walking back down the aisle, I have them stop at the end of the chairs and do another kiss. This usually gets an applause from their guests.

Wedding Ceremony at Dalton Ranch, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango photography, durango wedding photographers

Wedding Ceremony at Dalton Ranch

Stay tuned for Part 3 where I’ll talk about the portraits of the family, wedding party, and the couple.

Long Live Love

Karen Skelly Photography

Photographers in Durango CO

https://www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

Get in touch for more information about having us photograph your wedding or family portraits

 

 

How Photographers in Durango CO work with couples planning a wedding -1

You’ve just become engaged? So Happy For You – Congratulations!

This is part one of how we work with and photograph couples who are planning a wedding.

We are photographers in Durango CO and have photographed lots of weddings and spoken to lots of couples, and we realize that planning a wedding is a daunting task. Of course, if you’re planning a small wedding or an elopement, it’s much easier, but a large wedding with all your family and friends can cause some couples to throw their hands up in the air and say “Help Me”. We also realize that most couples have never done this before, so we love to help out any way we can.

You can hire a wedding planner or even a “day of” wedding planner and a lot of that WILL be taken care of for you. If you’re not hiring one of those, we will help out as much as you need by sending you a list of our recommended vendors and also helping steer the day of the wedding in the right direction so that nothing is missed. Many times we work with the DJ, who also has a vested interest in keeping the day on track.

When we first meet up with a couple or chat on the phone, we find out where they’re getting married and the time of the ceremony. I realize many couples want to get married early in the day so they can have their reception and everybody can enjoy themselves. I totally get that, but having your ceremony outdoors (most weddings in Durango CO are outdoors) at high noon makes the lighting extremely difficult. If you’re having an outdoor wedding and you can move the ceremony time, it will make the photographs much better – the time depends on the month you’re getting married. We do use an off camera flash with an umbrella during the family and couple’s photos to offset the sun, so it’s not impossible.

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This was a wedding photographed outdoors in bright sun.

If you decide you would like to work with us, we have a Wedding Photography Agreement and a Wedding Information Form to be filled out. I have these on line so it makes it easy for couples to fill these forms out. Usually one half of the investment amount is paid at the time of signing and the other half is paid two weeks before the wedding. I do have payment plans if you’re unable to make just two payments. We are really easy to work with.

Groom carrying bride over shoulder, Photographers in Durango CO, Durango Photography, Durango CO Photographer

Groom carries bride off over his shoulder – Fun couples are the best!

If the wedding is at a venue where we haven’t been before, we will arrive a little early to scope out good locations for the family/wedding party/couples portraits. If we’re doing “getting ready” photos, we’ll also find a nice spot to photograph the dress, shoes, bouquet, jewelry, and other items that the bride will want to remember. Then we will photograph her and her girls getting their hair and makeup done. If the groom is getting ready at the same location, I’ll go back and forth between them so I capture all those moments that they won’t have seen of each other. If the client is getting a Wedding Album, we like to tell the story of their day from beginning to end.

Couple kissing on a ski lift, Photographers in Durango CO, Durango Photography, Durango CO Photographers

Wedding at Purgatory Resort

Be on the lookout for Part 2 coming soon.

Long Live Love

Karen Skelly Photography

Durango CO Photographers

www.karenskelyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

We are always here to help. Let us know if you are getting married and would like more information.

 

 

Snowy Elopement by Photographers in Durango Co

Stephanie and Rick chose Ken and I, as photographers in Durango CO, to capture some wonderful memories during their elopement. They came from Texas and wanted to get married in the snow. At the time of their elopement, there wasn’t as much snow in Durango as there is now, so we traveled up the mountain because I knew an area that would definitely have snow and they weren’t disappointed. They were very happy indeed.

They actually met on Match.com and met at a restaurant for their first date in January of 2015. They were engaged in March of 2017, and are now a happily married couple and Stephanie tells me they are also best friends. They both have two adult children each who are all in the same age range. Stephanie’s daughter attended the ceremony.

Stephanie is a real estate broker, and Rick is an engineer. He loves photography and videography. Stephanie’s daughter, Alex, ran the video during the ceremony, and Rick used our photographs along with the video and made an awesome slideshow.

There were only the couple, her daughter, Ken, and me present so it was a beautiful, stress-free time and we laughed a lot. After the ceremony and photos, they took off to go skiing in Telluride.

I hope you enjoy their images. Thanks for taking the time to read their story.

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Bride reading bows to Groom

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Groom reading vows to his Bride

Bride and Groom's first kiss, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango wedding photographers, durango photography, wedding photographers in durango co

Bride and Groom’s first kiss

Bride and Groom dancing in the snow, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango wedding photographers, durango photography, wedding photographers in durango co

Bride and Groom’s first dance in the snow

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Groom dips the bride

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Bride with her wedding bouquet

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Groom carrying the bride in the snow

Bride and Groom walking down a snowy road, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango wedding photographers, durango photography, wedding photographers in durango co

Bride and Groom walking down a snowy road

Blooper - Groom slips in the snow, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango photography, durango wedding photographers, wedding photographers in durango co

Blooper – Groom slips in the snow

Bride and Groom kiss after wedding ceremony, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango wedding photographers, durango photography, wedding photographers in durango co

After wedding ceremony kiss

hand imprints with wedding rings in the snow, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango photography, durango wedding photographers, wedding photographers in durango co

Hands and wedding rings in the snow

Bride and Groom having a snowball fight, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango wedding photographers, durango photography, wedding photographers in durango co

Bride and Groom having a snowball fight

Long Live Love

Cheers, Karen

Karen Skelly Photography

Photographers in Durango CO

www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

Wedding in the Snow by Photographers in Durango CO

Dawn and Bill are from Texas where it doesn’t snow too much and there aren’t any mountains or beautiful scenery.  They chose the gorgeous Antler’s on the Creek Bed and Breakfast in Durango CO for their elopement rendezvous.  The beautiful rose bouquet was created by April’s Garden also in Durango, and Chessa Gill was the amazing officiant.

Bill works for Budweiser, and you’ll notice the bud in his hand in a couple photos, and Dawn is the owner of a large athletics gym in TX that teaches young people gymnastics, cheer leading, dancing, and how to grow up to be strong adults.  They are amazing people and I hope they can retire to Durango some day.

They are also crazy and lots of fun. They wanted to get in that snow and play!  You’ll see where they tried to make snow angels, but the snow was a little too crusty so it  just turned into a laugh fest. And those chairs they’re sitting in, yes, they’re covered in hard snow. They were pretty wet by the time we were finished and so they hopped into the hot tub to warm up.

Enjoy!

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Wedding Ceremony at Antlers

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Sitting on a snowy rock in a winter portrait

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Bridal Portrait

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Beautiful Rose Bouquet

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Sitting on a saw horse in front of an old barn

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Toasting in the Snow

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Making Snow Angels

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Warming up in the hot tub

Thanks for Taking a Look,

Luv, Karen

Durango Photographers

http://www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

They Came, They Eloped, They Left (by Durango Photographers)

It was just the two of them , they came from Oklahoma, and were married in the quaint little church in Pagosa Springs CO called Immaculate Church of Mary.  The church was built around 1948 and it’s just beautiful.

Kori and Brian met at the University of Oklahoma and at the time they were married they had been together for around 18 months.  Ken and I had a lot of fun photographing their elopement and after the service we went to a few different places around town to capture some magical moments.

They loved their images and will remember their wedding day through those images forever.

Enjoy!

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The First Look

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Walking Down the Aisle

The Wedding Ceremony

The Wedding Ceremony

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Bride smiling at Groom

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The Wedding Ring

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Laughing at the minister’s joke

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Kissing in the doorway of the old school house

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In Front of an Old Building

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The Old Pagosa Springs Wagon

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Bride and Groom snuggle

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Here’s Lookin At You

Thanks for Looking!

Luv, Karen

Karen Skelly Photography

http://www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

Wedding in the Cool of Fall by Durango Photographers

Katie and Steven both work in the restaurant business in Denver CO.  They met several years ago through that connection and have a 2 yr old son who never stopped moving.  There were around 15 guests consisting of friends and family who all came to Durango CO to enjoy the wedding and the beautiful scenery.

The setting at Antler’s On The Creek B&B is just gorgeous and they do a hopping wedding business as well as having guests who come just to spend a few days or a week in Durango.  The food is yummy yummy and the service is amazing.

The bouquet was by April’s Garden and Flower Shop,  Lemon Head Salon did the bride’s hair and makeup, and Chessa Gill was the minister.

These are some of their wedding images.  Enjoy!

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Bridal Bouquet

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Bride and Dad walking down the aisle

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The Wedding Ceremony with their little boy

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Huggin and a Kissin

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Cuddling on a Rock

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Walking Hand in Hand

Thank you for taking a look, Luv Karen

Durango Photographers

http://www.karenskellyphoto.com/contact-us

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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