Memorable Moments from Kara & Jordan's Day
On the most perfect October fall day at the Midnight Ranch in Steamboat Springs Colorado, Kara and Jordan shared their intimate wedding day. Kara first emailed me four before their wedding to ask if I might be available to shoot their wedding. She didn't have a wedding date yet, but she said she would do anything it took to have me there.
We Facetimed and I immediately adored her. She was so bubbly, funny, and kind. Kara told me she and Jordan were very awkward and had no experience in front of the camera together. I laughed and promised her that I was also extremely awkward. I tell ya, awkward people are my people. Nothing about our conversation was awkward and that's how I knew they'd be the perfect couple to work with. Fast forward several months later, I drove to Colorado for their intimate fall Colorado wedding day.
There are some weddings that just steal my whole heart. Kara and Jordan's was one of them. From the moment I arrived, I felt like family. Kara and Jordan gave me a room in their own cabin to stay for the weekend. I joined their rehearsal dinner, met their 20 family members in attendance, and hung around the campfire. This was my first trip to Colorado in the fall and it was like a fairytale. The orange and yellow aspens set the perfect stage for their intimate fall Colorado wedding. I was jittery the night before.
On the morning of their wedding day, I woke up to the smell of bacon and pancakes wafting through the cabin. I was lucky enough to have breakfast made for me by Kara and Jordan's family. We drank coffee together around the fireplace and were surprised to see snow falling outside. I knew Kara was probably freaking out, but the forecast showed sun all afternoon. In the meantime, we stayed warm while it snowed and began to get ready for the day.
Kara and Jordan's first look among the fall aspen trees will always be the most memorable wedding moment to me from their wedding. The snow gave way to perfect blue skies. Kara walked across the most gorgeous meadow lined with aspens where Jordan was waiting for her. They both had the biggest smiles on their faces when they saw one another. I absolutely loved Kara's classic long sleeved wedding dress with a super flowy long train. The lace detailing on her shoulder added the perfect touch of felinity. Jordan rocked a bolo tie and cowboy hat and a gorgeous fall autumn colored suit.
Intimate Fall Colorado Weddings have my whole heart. Read Kara and Jordan's story about their day below!
From Kara & Jordan
How did you and your partner meet & fall in love?
Jordan worked for a contractor as an estimator. I was a landscape designer for a Landscape Architecture firm. We got assigned to design and build a trailhead project that lasted for about a year. After exchanging friendly yet professional emails about pavement color, electric gates, vault toilets, and site photographs, we became friends (I saved all these emails LOL). We followed each other on Instagram and remained casual friends after the project was over. He proceeded to ask me to get a drink every 2-3 weeks for 2 years from first starting on that project together. I politely turned him down every time and it became a little joke. He was frustrated. One weekend in February of 2020, he asked me out for the last time. To his surprise I finally decided to give him a chance and said yes!
Then covid hit We had to wait an entire month and a half to figure out how to hang out. On April 4th, I went on a *forbidden* Covid date up at the farm he worked on about an hour and a half away. I was so nervous I drove into the wrong driveway! He poured me a beer right away. Our date was a unique first date. It included fixing the horse waterer together, drinking a whole bottle of whiskey in the bull run in camping chairs set up in the back of his truck, and climbing a large cottonwood. He promptly fell out of the tree which turned into a joke. To be honest, I knew I loved him and was going to marry him the moment he opened the gate for me. 8 months later of a semi long-distance relationship he popped the question!
What was the first decision when planning your wedding?
Our first decision was deciding we wanted an intimate wedding with only immediate family. Jordan and I are both somewhat private and reserved people and felt it would be too overwhelming to have lots of people present. We wanted it to feel slow, intimate, and special and have everyone present still be in our lives 20 years from now. An intimate fall Colorado wedding was perfect for us!
What were your priorities when planning your wedding day? What was most important to you about your wedding?
Our main priority was investing in an amazing photographer and videographer. We wanted the day to be well documented for all of our extended family and friends who weren't invited. It was also important to me to make sure it had a cozy, warm feeling for all our guests. I wanted special, older things that felt like home and loved ones. Details like my mom’s sunroom curtains decorating the arch, my grandma’s golden candlesticks on the table and around the scene, homemade dried flower confetti made by my sister, my other grandma’s handmade crocheted doilies, homemade comfort food like my mom’s granola in all the cabins – we wanted the day to feel like coming home.
Why did you choose to get married at your location?
We tried for a long time to find a location in our budget that didn’t host a ton of weddings. We did not want a “traditional” wedding venue. I wanted something more unique that wasn't over-photographed. It was also important to us that everyone was able to stay on site. Midnight Ranch was so perfect. Midnight Ranch is primarily rented for hunting trips and family reunions. From their website, it did not seem like many people have had weddings there.
Once we visited, we knew it was perfect. It was like stepping back in time. There wasn't any cell service. The beautiful wood cabins were historic and had antique décor. It gave a rustic, cozy feeling. The property was also gorgeous and surrounded by aspens. We knew the orange and yellow aspens would be amazing for our intimate fall Colorado wedding. The owner was a wonderful host. He let us build us a custom arch for the ceremony with wood my dad cut down and hauled up from one of our favorite camping areas growing up. Another perk was being able to stay up there for 3 days and explore/unplug from the world. We got to hang out as one whole family before the big day. It was the perfect intimate fall Colorado wedding.
What feeling or moment sticks out the MOST from your wedding day? What part of the day had the most effect on you or your relationship?
The very best part of the day being able to focus on each other. Every little piece of the day felt like it was in slow motion. Since we had such a small intimate setting, the day seemed to float by instead of being a whirlwind. I can see the snow falling slowly in the morning, smell the rain before our first look, feel the butterflies of driving to our first look spot while belting out Taylor Swift and living my dream fairly tale.
I still hear the fire and the wood floors in the cabins creak. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much from my sister’s speech. The rain ruined my hair when my dad and I danced on the back deck. Walking to the side for a separate private moment after the ceremony thinking WE DID IT! It was the most beautiful and magical day of my life. Jordan and I both think our vows to each other set the tone for our relationship to blossom. I know that is what effects us the most about that day.
What was the funniest moment of the day?
Jordan locking himself out of the truck before the first look. I think he was nervous! It reminded me of him falling out of the tree on our first date 😊
How did you pick your wedding vendors? What were your priorities when choosing your vendors?
Our most important vendor was the photographer! I booked Maggie Grace Photography before anything else! I wanted to find someone I felt I could connect with and someone that gave off big sister vibes. Finding an intimate wedding photographer with vibrant energy who would make us feel at ease behind a camera was so important. I prioritized finding a photographer who had AMAZING experience shooting small and intimate weddings. Finding a photographer comfortable working in all types of weather was crucial as well. It made finding a venue a little more difficult since we picked a photographer first, but we knew if we had a good photographer, then our entire day would feel better.
Finding Naba per your recommendation was also a GODSEND. I really wanted a video, but Jordan was on the fence about it. I am SO glad we hired Naba. Our video is so special and beautiful.
Steamboat Meat and Seafood: Our food was the other very important vendor, and once we found the venue had to find someone that made the journey up to Craig to cater. Steamboat Meat and Seafood did a phenomenal job at making our wedding food dreams come true and the staff was so kind and helpful.
The list of other vendors in order of importance included:
Venue: Midnight Ranch – I already said how amazing they were, but I will say it again, Steve is the best!
Dried florals: Idlewild Floral Company. I took a shot on these guys as they are located in California, but they ship there gorgeous dried arrangements anywhere in the US! Their team did an amazing job from all the way across the country based on a few Pinterest images and my descriptions over the phone. I am so giddy that I get to look at my flowers for years to come.
Furniture Rentals – Colorado Event Rentals- Renee was so helpful and I think I called her like 40 times during the final 2 months before our wedding updating and changing things.
Cake: Kary Guthrie at Steamboat Baker.
Hair and Makeup: Golden Roots Salon, These ladies also did an amazing job and were very instrumental in calming my nerves – I forget her name but the owner is an esthetician and she is AMAZING and hilarious.
Dress: bought at Emma & Grace Bridal, altered by Donna Beth Creations
Suites: Groom’s came from Studio Suites, groomsman rented from Al’s Formal Wear
All signs, invites, décor, wedding arch, schedule, additional planning, alcohol, and food was DIY (Thank you Etsy and family!) 😊
Any future advice for future couples, please share here!
Do your wedding how you want to – family and the opinions of others are important, but this day is ultimately about you and your person. You get to choose how you want it to be and feel. IT'S YOUR WEDDING DAY! And at the end of the day if something does go not exactly the way you want it, it is only the starting line of your life together – you will have many more beautiful moments in life to come and you have the power to set your marriage up to be even more beautiful than your wedding day.
Do you love Kara and Jordan's intimate fall Colorado wedding day? Here are a few links to intimate weddings you may also love!
Erik & Kayla's Wallowa Lake Intimate Wedding
Tess & Mathias' Santa Cruz Wedding
Stacie & James Sawtooths Wedding
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