Timber Ridge at Keystone:
Stephanie & Andy
Rainy but stunning wedding photography at Timber Ridge at Keystone
We felt so bad for Steph and Andy. They’d planned a gorgeous outdoor wedding ceremony just outside Timber Ridge on Anticipation ski run. The views were spectacular. We’d only captured weddings on the balcony at Timber Ridge in the past, so we were super stoked about Steph and Andy’s wedding.
However, Mother Nature had other plans, and shortly before all the guests were to arrive on the gondola, one of the worst summer storms we’ve ever seen swept over the mountain and drenched me (Trig), the DJ, all of the ceremony site, the officiant’s gear, and all of our gear in freezing cold driving rain/sleet. After the fury of the storm was over everything was soaked and muddy and I was frozen. The gondola couldn’t be opened for a another hour because of lightning in the area. Everything was on hold.
Char had managed to be inside Timber Ridge getting detail shots when the squall swept over the mountain, so she was nice and dry and toasty.
Our illustrious wedding coordinator, Johnna Patton at Distinctive Mountain Events made the call to move the ceremony inside. What had once been the perfect ceremony spot was now a sloppy mud-field.
However, if we’ve learned anything in over a decade of capturing amazing weddings, it’s this: weddings almost never go exactly according to plan, and they always end perfectly. There are so many moving parts to a wedding, weather probably being the most disruptive, and the more flexible a couple can be about the “best laid plans” they better their day will go. Stephanie and Andy were exactly that kind of couple.
The Single Greatest Wedding Officiant We’ve Ever Seen
Now we have to give props to one of the heroes of the day, Leon Joseph Littlebird, their wedding officiant. Not only was he already super-friendly and just a warm soul to everyone before the ceremony, once that weather hit, he really started to shine. Bear in mind that the storm destroyed his sage smudge bowl, his ceremonial feather fan, and his other beautiful ritual items. In short, he had every reason to be a little off that day, but Leon was the exact opposite: he was a master of his craft.
Somehow, Leon managed to take a ceremony which is meant for the outdoors (it even has a section called “The Four Directions” when they turn to face the four directions as he plays his flute and teaches the symbolic meaning of the directions), and make it work inside a dark building as it rained outside. Leon took the fact it was raining and made it a meaningful lesson to the couple about real life, and how the best laid plans are often laid to waste and that doesn’t mean that everything can’t still be beautiful and perfect.
It was the most powerful, funny, loving ceremony we have ever witnessed and we cannot recommend Leon Littlebird enough for couples wanting a unique ceremony.
Radar Apps are Indispensable
After 13 years of weddings in Colorado, Char and I have gotten pretty good at gauging the weather, and one of our most important tools is a live radar app on our phones. We were consulting the weather report and the radar all day, and Char made the call that we needed to do couple photos before the ceremony. Thank God she did, because once that mountain squall hit and destroyed the outdoor spots, it continued to rain all night. I don’t think we could have done couple photos outside later except for the few we got at sunset.
The day didn’t go at all to plan, but it ended up perfect as all the vendors involved worked great together, everyone stayed later than we were contracted for to get everything done (we don’t invoice additional time for Acts of God) and Stephanie and Andy had a perfectly beautiful wedding after all.
Thank you both for giving us the honor of capturing your amazing day.
Be sure to check out our other photography from weddings at Keystone Resort.