We love seeing these moments during this Rocky Mountain wedding, such as the immense faith the bride and groom shared with their family and friends, the first touch as the bride and groom prayed back to back, and when Sarah walked down the aisle crying.
According to Shelby Robinson, the photographer, thunder roared through the mountains during the start of the wedding day. Despite the weather, the bridal party didn’t break a sweat, and it rained only once in the end.
“After they said their vows, Sarah and Josiah came in for a final prayer. Forehead to forehead as they embraced, and they prayed together. Then it began to rain. Not hard, but enough to look up and praise God for how he blessed us. ” [Shelby]
Photography by Shelby Robinson
A Wedding Vision Based on Adventure
For Shelby, documenting Sarah and Josiah’s wedding was a blessing. She has been friends with the bride and groom for a long time, “Josiah is my roommate’s brother, who I have known since he was a little boy, and Sarah is my go-to second shooter for weddings. So, you could only imagine how excited I was when they asked me to photograph their wedding in one of my favorite places!”
Sarah and Josiah dated for over 5 years before getting engaged. They have also filmed and photographed weddings for over 3 years. When asked why they decided to have an intimate wedding, Sarah confessed the non-traditional route was always their initial vision.
She fell in love with Colorado after working with Shelby a couple of months before her wedding. When she took a peek at the Rocky Mountains National Park, she was hooked.
“The idea of going on an intimate adventure with our loved ones to a new place that we would never forget was what led us to choose the wedding we did.” [Sarah]
Challenges During the Wedding
Sarah admits that the most challenging part of this intimate wedding in the Rocky Mountains was planning a trip with 20 people in 3 months. Despite that small stress, the other little things didn’t matter much to them. “All that mattered at the end of the day was that Josiah and I got married, and all of our loved ones were there to support us.”
Since the couple is familiar with the photography industry, they both went into planning their wedding day with the understanding of making their special day about them instead of their guests. According to Shelby, they made God and their union a priority for the day.
The day of the wedding at Rocky Mountain National Park was filled with emotion, beauty, God, and love. “I am in awe over how much God poured and shined through in every detail and every moment of this day,” recalls Shelby.
Shelby admits that upon their initial arrival to Colorado, the weather was gloomy and miserable. However, they trusted everything would be wonderful and woke up to clear and sunny skies the next day.
“The whole experience was filled with beauty and overwhelming love. Getting married is one of the most wonderful experiences in the world, and doing that in a place like the rocky mountain was humbling, to say the least. Being in a place that big, doing something that big was breathtaking.” [Sarah]
Advice for Photographers
Shelby comments on the importance of getting to know couples to aid in her creative process. By building a relationship with the couple, she can get a feel for their personalities, which then helps her to come up with creative elements they would enjoy.
“Some couples are more serious, while others like to be goofy. So by knowing the couple, I can bring creativity that matches their vibe. My goal is to document an intimate wedding in such a way that it helps define the couple by not taking away who they are.” [Shelby]
Being a photographer for intimate weddings and elopements means that you have to hang back to document moments in their raw form, but be ready to jump in when people are looking for direction, according to Shelby. She comments that knowing the balance of these two aspects will help other photographers.
“I’ve seen so many photographers force or rush moments, so they can get images. But they have to remember, it’s not about us. Thus, I love telling couples to take all the time they need for moments like first looks, ceremony, or time with loved ones because this is their day.” [Shelby]
Advice for Brides
Sarah’s advice for brides is straight to the point, and we couldn’t agree more with it.
“Brides, get married. That’s the only thing on the to-do list. Everything else is part of the production weddings have now become. Love your husband well, and let him know often. Lastly, have fun because your wedding should be fun and not stressful.” [Sarah]
Becoming Inspired from Emotions during the Wedding
While shooting intimate moments like this wedding, it’s easy for photographers to become emotional from the raw emotion they are documenting. Shelby admits that she was a mess on the day of the wedding at Rocky Mountain National Park.
“I think it was truly because of how much heart Sarah and Josiah put into their day. Every second was a reflection of who they are, and how that would all be joined together under the sun and rain. At one point, I was quietly sobbing behind my camera during the ceremony. The intentionality and authenticity were so evident, and my heart was so full.” [Shelby]
However, she does admit that emotion like this inspires her to focus. “It is a gift to be able to do what I do – to bring to life memories of moments. So the emotion I feel at weddings is a little reminder of that gift. I am so thankful for what I do,” she says.
It’s gorgeous to be a part of moments like these, and it’s even more gratifying when couples are just as excited.
Excerpt from Thistle + Wood Photo Blog
“Sarah said, ‘Shelby I am so excited to see these images,’ which I hear so often from my couples, so I smiled and opened my mouth to speak before she continued, ‘because all I’ve seen today is Josiah’s face. I don’t remember anything besides his face, and I can’t wait to relive this day through these images.’
Tears pooled in my eyes because this is what a wedding day should be about. Not the details, the endless people you invite, timelines, or the material stuff. But it should be a coming together of the couple, where everything else fades. Because that’s where your heart is.” [Shelby]
This is exactly why Shelby loves intimate weddings. With that said, if you are planning on getting married soon, focus on each other. No matter how you decide to celebrate your day, remember that it is your day to celebrate together.
Are you considering eloping? Check out How to Choose the Perfect Elopement Location.