Annaka the pro clarinet player & Thomas the outdoorsman are special people in so many ways, but their kind of special is further than many will go. We'll never forget driving up to Estes Park the night before, right after Ashleigh & Kurt's elopement, trying to beat the blizzard threatening above us. We didn't beat it, but we stopped for dinner in Estes to watch the sky fall for a little while (don't worry, every wedding we shoot comes with snow tires and Josh's crazy driving skills). We made it up to our lodge at YMCA of the Rockies after surfing a few snowdrifts, nothing crazy.
We woke up to feet of fresh snow and -12 degree temps, almost certain that Annaka & Thomas's plans would have to change. Their day involved a 7am pre-wedding session at Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, which, covered in a few feet of snow, would be daunting to most people wearing a wedding dress.
Not Annaka. "Plans are on," she said, and away we drove to Sprague Lake, which was definitely not plowed.
Her insulated wedding dress and snow boots got her down the path we cut for her and Thomas in the knee-deep powder around Sprague Lake. The unholy temperatures caused Annaka's breath to freeze her hair. I wore three pairs of leggings and three pairs of wool socks with my boots; Josh ended up with snow in his boots. All four of us had our eyes on the prize though, and judging from the energy in their photos, they don't need a single degree to warm things up between them (which is good, because there were none to spare). Annaka even took off her jacket for a few. Our tires froze to the ground and stuck as we were trying to leave; definitely the coldest weather we've ever shot in.
While their ceremony at the Historic Crags Lodge in Estes Park was a little warmer indoors, they insisted on exchanging vows and rings on the balcony, doors wide open. They were willing to not only endure what nature threw at them, but to enjoy it, just to see if they could. Just to push further into the wild. These two have a lot of adventures ahead of them, to say the least.
Vendors for Annaka & Thomas's Historic Crags Lodge wedding in Estes Park:
Nothing Bundt Cakes (Boulder)
JJ's House (dress)