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Tips From Couples Planning a Destination Wedding by Durango Photographers

Destination weddings to Durango CO are a big part of my business (as well as other photographers in town).  Most of us also do a lot of elopements here, but those aren’t included in this article. This is more about couples who have arranged weddings with guests and wedding parties.  I’ll talk about elopements that couples have arranged in Durango in another post. These are the tips from brides and grooms in their own words:

Lizzy and Richard Moore – They had just recently moved to Durango when they called us about photographing their upcoming wedding. We were extremely delighted that they chose us and have since become friends – they actually moved to a house last spring that is right up the road from us.  Their wedding was held at Antlers on the Creek Bed and Breakfast in Durango.  Susan is the owner and proprietor and does a fabulous job of taking care of her guests.  It was a small wedding with around 25 guests, with a maid of honor and a best man.

Lizzy’s tips are to delegate, delegate, delegate (at least as much as you’re comfortable with), so you can focus on enjoying the experience. The day of, keep it low key with the only priority being getting ready and saying “I Do”.  Don’t try to do too much.  Eat!  Don’t forget to eat breakfast and make time at the reception to eat.  It will help with nerves and absorb alcohol.  I (Karen) would add that you should also drink water all day long.

Have a plan for the day after:  If you need to return rentals or drop off the marriage license, make sure those things are planned for.  Let things roll off your back. If someone cancels at the last minute, or family is being family, don’t get caught up in the drama that will take away from having a perfect day.

Lizzy’s dress came from Occasions Bridal in Durango (I love Donna, the owner – she has the most amazingly beautiful dresses), and her officiant was Chessa Gill.

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Bride and Groom arm in arm walking away

 

Maggie and Nick Kusmit –  They came to Colorado from Georgia where they were living at the time.  Nick was in the military and stationed in South Carolina, just across the border from Georgia. He wore his gorgeous military blues for the wedding.

Maggie says that arranging a destination wedding has its challenges.  Finding a local caterer and baker who can understand your vision took some work, and then there are the climate differences (they were married on New Years Eve, so it was cold and they weren’t used to that). But, with patience and perseverance, it can be the most wonderful outcome and truly amazing day. Photographers can be hard as well. It took me 3-4 calls to other photographers in Durango before I found Karen Skelly Photography.

Near the end of their wedding, we went outside with their bottle of champagne.  I had Nick shake the bottle just a little, and when he opened it, champagne spray went everywhere. I just love that shot.

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Groom pops champagne and spray goes everywhere 

 

 

Lisa and Jon Peterson – They came from California to get married at Silverpick Lodge in Durango CO.  Lisa is a special needs teacher, so it’s a given that the has lots of patience. Jon works in IT and is an army reservist. They’re both funny and fun to be around.

They had around 100 guests at their wedding, as well as 3 bridesmaids, 3 groomsmen, 3 flower girls, and 3 ring bearers (including their dog, Siren). I designed a 10×10 hard paged wedding album for them that they absolutely love and will cherish forever, and pass down to their children and grand children. Since the wedding, they’ve had a baby and adopted another fur baby.

Lisa’s tip is to stay on top of the wedding day timeline (so all of the vendors are in sync), and keep open lines of communications. It helps to take suggestions from vendors you are working with to find other vendors you need for the wedding. Take trips to visit the location, twice if you can. Keep an open mind and try not to get worried about small stuff.

Her flowers were designed by Cindy at Wildwoods Fine Flowers, the DJ was Steve from Mr Soul Entertainment, and the cake was made by Jocelyn at Skillfully Decadent.

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Bride and Groom dancing in the dark

Christine and Rosie – They came from Texas and knew they wanted to get married and share their love with family and friends in Durango CO. After searching for wedding venues, they found Silverpick Lodge in Durango CO.  Chris at Silverpick Lodge is a friend and colleague, so we trust and refer each other to clients.  That’s how Christine and Rosie found Karen Skelly Photography. Both Chris and I helped them find other vendors like Steve at Mr Soul Entertainment for their DJ, Cindy at Wildwoods Fine Flowers, and Luda who is a cake artist.

Christine said she had been looking for a photographer in Durango and after chatting with me, she knew they were in good hands.  Her tip is to talk to people and you’ll find what you’re looking for.  Also, go with the flow because if you worry about every little thing, you’ll miss your perfect day.

There was a blizzard the morning of their wedding day, so the ceremony was moved in doors – you never know what might happen around here.

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Newly married Christine and Rosie

I hope these tips and ideas help other couples who are planning a wedding here in Durango. If you need help or other information, please let me know.

 

Thanks, Karen

Karen Skelly Photography

http://www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bagpipe Playing Engagement Session by Photographers in Durango CO

My husband and I photographed Laurie and Chris’s engagement session along with their fur baby, Rico.  Rico is a little young and very active – it was not easy to get him to sit still. It’s like trying to get a toddler to stop moving for a few seconds – haha. I had made a sign for them so Rico could announce their engagement and wedding date. We propped it in front of him and he leaned over to read it. While reading it, he drooled right down the chalk board. Luckily, it ran between the words.

Both of them work for the US Forest Service in the Bayfield CO office. Laurie is an administrator in the office, and Chris is a wildlife biologist. They are both great, loving, and fun people.  Chris put his biology skills to work by naming the type of squirrel that had left a pile of poo on the rock they were going to sit on, then he promptly brushed it off.

Laurie plays the bagpipes in a Celtic group and Chris loves to bird watch. They both love to hike, have 3 dogs, and one cat. The cat is the boss of the household. I understand that perfectly because we have a cat as well.

They were married at Ridgewood Event Center in Durango on 6/21 and I’ll be posting their wedding photos soon.

Enjoy! and thanks for looking

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Feel the Love

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Cuddling by the river

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Laurie, Chris, and Rico

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The three of them are officially engaged

Rico drooled on the sign

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He’s the ring bearer

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Chris has his binoculars and Laurie is playing the bagpipes

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The three of them hanging out on the rocks

Luv, Karen

Durango CO Photographers

http://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

A Wedding at Vallecito by Durango Wedding Photographers

Lauren and Brenden live in the state of Kansas.  Brenden grew up in Bayfield CO (which is near Vallecito), but Lauren had never been here.  Naturally she wants to move here some day because as we all know, CO is much prettier than KS (sorry Kansas).

Their wedding took place at the Vallecito Recreation Center, which is just outside of Durango CO.  It was a little windy that day and the wooden arch behind them blew over.  We had to find some big rocks to hold it down, which worked.  We sure didn’t want that falling over on them during the ceremony.  Tedda Bachman was the wonderful minister who presided over the wedding ceremony.

As you can see from the images, Lauren is expecting her 3rd child.  The tiniest flower girl and the young bridesmaid belong to them – I don’t know if she’s having another girl or a boy this time.  I doubt they care either way.

We did a First Look session with Lauren and her dad.  While I was standing outside with her dad waiting for Lauren, he got a little teary and was telling me that he is just so happy to be able to see his daughter get married.  He had recently had a heart attack and they didn’t expect him to make it.  Then I got teary and am doing it again while I write this story.  It’s hard to take photographs when your eyes are watery.

I designed a beautiful album that contained all of their wedding images and Lauren wrote to me that she had received the album and was beyond happy.  They now have a gorgeous Wedding Story Album to relive their time here in Colorado and it’s also a family heirloom.

Enjoy!

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Bride and her daughter’s boots

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Bridesmaids helping Bride with dress

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Bride and Dad’s First Look

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Three little flower girls

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Ring Bearer with Bride Sign

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Wedding Ceremony at Vallecito

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The whole family

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Bride with Parents

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Bridesmaids loving on baby bump

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Groom and Groomsmen

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Bride and Groom Portrait

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First Dance

Thank you for Looking

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

Winter Wedding in Durango CO by Photographers in Durango

Mandy and Jason, who live in Dallas TX, met while working together at the same company.  Jason worked at the company for 14 yrs, and then Mandy joined around 3 yrs ago, which is when they started dating.  They picked out Durango CO as the place to have their elopement, and had their ceremony at Blue Lake Ranch.

She loves to ride horses, he loves to work on his jeep, and they both like to take long drives down country roads.

Mandy has a son from a previous marriage but I would have never guessed that he wasn’t Jason’s son as they get along so well.  There’s a lot of love in this little family and I do believe there will be a new addition soon.  Yes, Mandy is expecting – she even had to purchase a new dress because the one she was originally going to wear for the wedding no longer fit.

Enjoy their wedding images.

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Bride getting hair and makeup done

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The Wedding Ceremony on the balcony

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Superman!

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Wedding Sign held by the boy

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Red Lips on the Forehead

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Kissing in the tall grass

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Bride and Groom Silhouette

Thank you for looking

Luv, Karen

Durango Photographers

http://www.karenskellyphoto.com

karen@karenskellyphoto.com

970.884.5292

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