From the moment I first spoke with Stephanie about photographing her August wedding just outside Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado, I knew this was going to be a favorite wedding of mine. She was so easygoing and genuine over the phone, I couldn’t wait to meet her and Eric in person to celebrate the beginning of the marriage!

Eric and Stephanie met through their dear friend Harchie, and spent their first date watching a Wild game at a local sports bar. They bonded over their love of sports, but Stephanie really fell for Eric as she watched him interact with his son, Ethan. It wasn’t too long before Eric proposed at the end of the dock over the Fourth of July in 2017.

When I arrived for this Rocky Mountain Wedding, Stephanie was completely ready to get the show on the road and would’ve gotten married right at that moment had the groom been present. Her excitement emanated from her, and it was such a joy to spend a few quiet moments with her before the wedding. Being as the ceremony was to take place on a cliff a little way up the mountain, I snuck away to catch a few photos of the groom and all the family and friends that came to celebrate. I found the perfect spot to wait for Stephanie and her father as they hiked up the mountain and waited anxiously.

Rocky Mountain Wedding

Rain was forecasted for the afternoon (Welcome to the Rocky Mountains!), but that mountain sun graced us all afternoon with perfect puffy clouds and crisp blue skies. It was so hot, but it was so good. As the ceremony began, I looked around those gathered with a deep sense of contentment. It was so clear that each person there was deeply committed to supporting Stephanie and Eric, had been waiting for this day to arrive for a long time, and was overjoyed to be part of it. Exactly the kind of cheerleaders and friends you want in your life.

The bride and groom wrote their own vows – Stephanie’s were beautifully written on a scroll, Eric’s were written on a notepad on the drive to Estes Park from Minnesota. ūü§£Regardless of when they were composed, or what they were written on, it was a privilege to witness them exchange vows and rings. The biggest privilege was witnessing Stephanie’s vows to Eric’s son, Ethan. Oh. My.¬†Eric and Ethan teared up, Stephanie teared up, everyone cried, I cried.

Stephanie said she fell in love while watching Eric interact with Ethan. Eric is genuine, his speech calm, caring, inviting, and his interactions with his son show a deep bond between them. As Stephanie spoke to Ethan during the ceremony, this same deep love was illuminated through her words and tone, and Ethan’s dear expression said the same.

Rocky Mountain Wedding - Colorado Wedding Photographer - Estes Park Elopement_2476

Eric + Stephanie,

I mean it sincerely when I say thank you for reminding why I love photographing weddings. Spending time with each of your families, witnessing you exchange vows, and seeing your love for your son was an immense honor. You have an incredible community standing with you, and this photographer will always be cheering you on. May God richly bless your marriage.



Rocky Mountain Wedding - Colorado Wedding Photographer - Estes Park Elopement_2476


Venue: Romantic Riversong Inn

Officiant: Harchie

Reception: Twin Owls Steakhouse

Mr. + Mrs. Heiden | Rocky Mountain Wedding