Stephanie and Zach first met when Stephanie was working for a cable company in New York. Zach owns his own business and came to New York for a project which lead to their meeting.
“We met through work, became friends and over time our friendship grew.”
After Zach’s project in New York he moved on to a project in Texas and then to Manhattan, so for much of their relationship distance was the name of the game.
“While he was living in Manhattan I would travel by train and air to see him as often as I could”
One of those regular trips to Manhattan became more special than the rest.
“I had gone to Manhattan on a Thursday because we were heading to Charlotte, North Carolina the following day for a retirement party.”
Zach had a plan in place for how he would ask Stephanie’s hand in marriage but plans changed.
“Zach was planning on asking me to marry him in the Blue Ridge Mountains however he couldn’t wait!”
A gorgeous evening in August became the backdrop for a beautiful proposal.
“We decided to go to the rooftop of Zach’s apartment building in New York City to have a glass of wine and enjoy the evening. Overlooking the Empire State Building and the Chrysler building, he got down on one knee, said the most beautiful things to me and asked me to marry him.”
Stephanie and Zach chose to plan a wedding that was unique to them and their relationship. Rather than a traditional large wedding ceremony and reception, the pair chose to plan an elopement in Colorado complete with a self-solemnization ceremony.
A self-solemnization ceremony, sometimes referred to as a self-uniting ceremony is when the couple performs the ceremony themselves without an officiant. This type of ceremony is legal in few states, Colorado being one of the most notable.
The ceremony took place at Sprague Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park and photos were taken there immediately following.
“I loved everything about my wedding day, but if I had to choose a favorite it would probably be right after we said our vows: picture taking time! We had the most BEAUTIFUL backdrop for our photos and the perfect sunset. We had so much fun taking photos and our photographer was fantastic.”
After the ceremony ended and photos were complete the newly married, husband and wife returned to their hotel: the Stanley Hotel for a private dinner “reception” for two.
“Planning our wedding was so fun! Since we had decided on an elopement there was not any stress involved in our wedding planning.”
“My favorite part of wedding planning was looking on Pinterest for ideas and saving tons of pins to my board, then watching all of our research and ideas become our fairytale wedding!”
When Stephanie came into Charlotte’s to find her dream dress she had already done some shopping and thought she had ideas about how she wanted to look on her wedding day.
“We had been to a few shops before going to Charlotte’s and as soon as we walked in we were greeted and the girl was very friendly. Then when it came to try on dresses we met our consultant Marj who was awesome and so friendly!”
Marj helped Stephanie into a few gowns and started to get a feel for what she thought would be the perfect dress for Stephanie.
“Marj didn’t rush us at all and she listened to everything I thought I wanted in a dress. After trying on a few dresses I realized I wasn’t as sure as I thought on what style I wanted, then Marj brought in ‘The One’.”
“The One” was a lace fit and flare wedding dress from boho designer Lillian West. Beautiful bell sleeves adorn the dress giving it a seventies vibe while a keyhole on the back of the dress provides a touch of sex appeal to the gown. This would become the perfect, unique dress for Zach and Stephanie’s Colorado elopement.
“It is true what they say! You do know it’s the perfect dress as soon as you turn around and look in the mirror!”
What stands out most about this wedding day is how true to themselves Stephanie and Zach planned their day. Planning a non-traditional, Colorado elopement was what made the couple happy and through their steadfast determination they were able to curate a wedding day unlike anyone else’s.
“Your wedding day is the one day that you and your future husband can completely be selfish. Plan your wedding with the detail that you want not worrying about what everybody else expects.”
At the end of the day, Stephanie and Zach became husband and wife in a special way that they will cherish for years to come.
“Most importantly have fun planning your wedding because it goes by too fast!”
Photographer: Becky Young Photography
Hair & Makeup: Riverpointe Spa & Salon – Estes Park, Colorado
Dress: Lillian West