Steamboat Springs Colorado Wedding in the Elk River Valley

It does a body good to get out there and travel this amazing country of ours and leaving the oppressive Florida heat to photograph Molly and Garrett’s wedding in Steamboat Springs Colorado was just what I needed. The change in latitude meant that I got to enjoy miles of high desert, majestic mountain views and not a palm tree in sight!

I was lucky enough to find a great second photographer through WPJA named Adam Houseman, who was not only a great guy but a top-notch journalistic shooter. I love working with other people who like to see life through the lens as I do, in not just posed moments but found moments.  I learned a lot hanging out with him and photographing this wedding with him. If I had a cowboy hat, I’d tip it to him!

I photographed Molly and Garrett more than a year ago for the first time at their engagement session in Rocky Mountain National Park, and they are two of the most hospitable and kind people out there. The phrase “salt of the earth” comes to mind, and that also includes their entire families.

I think one of my favorite things about destination weddings is that I get immersed into the lives of these families for a few days, and I really enjoy that. Their families were as welcoming as if I was a long-lost cousin who happened to bring a camera. Love that.  When that happens, the trust I am given shows in the photos because the moments are real and authentic.

The weather was the weather of my dreams — Mid 70’s during the day, 60’s at night.  The light was amazing, and the ceremony and reception site was at one of the coolest locations in Steamboat. La Joya Dulce Ranch is nestled in rolling hills with a stunning view of Elk Mountain and barn that has all the amenities of an upscale, 5-star wedding venue. I can’t say enough about this place and the staff, just amazingly well-run.

La Joya Dulce is a working cattle ranch and even sells its grass-fed beef to local restaurants. They’ve come up with some cool ways to utilize things in the barn, like making an old horse trailer into a bar, and putting the cake in one of the stalls. I liked the dance floor out under the stars, the Edison lights strung up above the dance floor gave off some cool looking ambient light that was fun to play around with during the dancing.

I think that getting out of your own town and state is not only good for your soul, but it’s also a great thing to feed your creativity as a photographer.  I love Key West, but I know it as intimately as the back of my own hand. Traveling to new places and seeing different sights actually helps me see things differently in my own back yard when I come home.  I seize every opportunity to travel and photograph weddings anywhere I can, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re having a destination wedding! 

Molly and Garrett, thanks for being so relaxed and laid back, and for adopting me into your families for your wedding weekend. Your love for each other and the people around you shone as bright as a Bluebird Colorado Sky.

VenueLa Joya Dulce Ranch Weddings & Events

Photographer: Michael Freas Photography

2nd PhotographerAdam Houseman

Limo/Transportation: Steamboat Limos
Catering Company: Ricks BBQ
Bakery: Steamboat Baker a division of Mountain Brew
DJ or Band: Liam Grist
Photo Booth: Whoa Pony Trailer
Jeweler: Sathers Jewlers
Invitations or Other Stationery: Little ol’ Print shop
Trailer BarRBAR2U

Make-up Artist(s) & Salon/Company Affiliated With: Brio Salon

Wedding Photography for couples looking for a creative edge. Michael Freas Photography provides Reportage Wedding Photojournalism Photography for couples looking for a creative edge and a natural representation of their day. If you are interested in photography services for your wedding, please contact us HERE