Favorite moments of 2017 - Colorado Wedding and Elopement Photographer - Destination Wedding Photographer

2017 was such an incredible year of growth for me, both as a photographer and a mother. Luna was born at the end of 2016, so I went into 2017 feeling all kinds of emotions - in awe of this tiny human being I created with my body, and equally terrified of this tiny human who came out of me kicking, screaming and demanding our undivided attention.

The positives: I thought my cup was pretty full before she was born, but when she arrived I was overflowing with love I didn't even know I had. I'm still smitten by her, and she's a snotty, sassy, strong-willed 13 month old. The negatives: long gone are the days when I could send an email and not be interrupted 87 times. Long gone are the days when I could "wing" things like dinner, going to gym, meeting friends for happy hour, basically everything. But, like billions of parents before us, we have waved our white flag and we have adapted. The learning curve was steep, but we have grown because of it, and have experienced that unconditional love you've heard other parents ramble on about. In other words - worth it.

Because of this, I cannot express enough how grateful I am to all of my couples this year, for knowing that I had an infant at home and being so wonderfully understanding about it. I pumped at every single wedding I photographed this year, sometimes 2-3 times, and not one of my brides even batted an eye lash when I mentioned that I had to. Talk about some amazing women. Some even kept me company and chatted with me, which I loved because a goal of mine as a wedding photographer is to try and make people feel comfortable about getting their photo taken, and sometimes that ends up evolving into a friendship. I honestly couldn't have asked for better year to have captured all these beautiful souls.

This year brought so much change, and so much more love to document. I stayed closer to home, mostly because I couldn't bear to be away from Luna overnight (and really for lactating reasons my body couldn't either), and it was actually kind of nice. I captured couples in some amazing new spots right outside Denver that I didn't know existed (including an amazing destination elopement), and even though most weddings I shot this past year were close to home, I did sneak away for a weekend when Luna was a little older (many thanks to my own mama, who babysat!) to photograph a Cancun destination wedding!

I've always known that Colorado is a magical place, but I get now why people come here to have a destination wedding (I mean, there is literally something for EVERYONE, there is even a small gambling town), or to elope, because the beauty is truly unparalleled. There are options for a gorgeous wedding on the top of a mountain, or for an intimate remote elopement in a beautiful valley. And for us Denver photogs, we get the best of both worlds - the most ambitious of us can photograph a city sunrise engagement session and a sunset mountain elopement, all in the same day! 2017 was wonderful, and if you're intrigued, I've included some of my favorite places that I shot at at the end of this post. Cheers!

Evan and Angela flew in from California to have their engagement photos taken at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. Angela wore a beautiful red flowy dress, and a flower crown that she says she made during her lunch break! We hiked around for a while and had some truly beautiful light.
A hiking couples engagement session in Mount Sanitas in Boulder, Colorado. The flowers were blooming and the leaves were so green, as it was the beginning of summer. Betsy jumped up on Connor here and threw her legs around him in a field of flowers.
April and Jordan, snuggling in the snow outside of their wedding venue, the Windsor Estate Event Center in Windsor, Colorado. 
Alexa and Logan shortly after their first look on their wedding day at Kelly Urban Farm in Boulder, Colorado. I love how elegant Alexa's dress is, which is Cotin Sposa, and I love the birdcage she is wearing in her hair!
April and Jordan wanted to take their engagement pictures in Estes Park. We met in town and drove to Mary's Lake in Estes Park for some couples portraits. 
I love when couples bring their pups to their engagement sessions! They're part of the family after all. Look how cute this little lady is, with the black patch over her eye!
Casey and Matthews wedding was a riot! All of Casey's bridesmaids were seriously wonderful friends. They wanted to surprise Casey with an inside joke, so I had them get ready and when Casey turned the corner, they had all pulled the tops of their dresses down to flash Casey. This is her reaction, and it's priceless!
Here I am with Luna at three months old. We rented a small studio in Denver for 30 minutes for a mother daughter shoot and she was cranky the whole time, but we managed to get this one shot of her looking at the camera.
Geoff and Lindsey had their engagement session in the RiNo district in Denver, Colorado. Rino is an awesome spot for couples portraits because of the beautiful, colorful murals located between Larimer and Walnut Street.
This flower girl was so funny, and so over the getting ready park of the day. Here she is lounging in the room at the Winter Park Mountain Lodge in Winter Park, Colorado. She's ready to get the show on the road!
Abbie and Colt on the happiest day of their lives. They got married in Winter Park, at the Winter Park Mountain Lodge. The weather was warm, but right when they said I do a little bit of snow fell on the ground.
Julia and Tony, enjoying their newly married bliss on the beautiful beach in Cancun, Mexico. They decided to have a destination elopement to Cancun Mexico, and I couldn't have been more happy to have been hired as their wedding photographer. 
This is my husband Woody, and our daughter Luna, at Sloan's Lake on the first day of spring. It was a beautiful day and we decided to pose in front of these trees that still had some flowers. Luna was 4 months old.
Casey and Matthew were two of my most fun couples this year. I laughed a ton, and their positive attitudes were contagious! They are sitting on the back steps of the Tapestry House in Fort Collins, Colorado on their wedding day. I love the grooms yellow, fun socks!
Jessamyn and Colby took a walk in front of the Denver County Courthouse after their elopement. They drove from Nebraska to elope in Denver, and were going to mini-moon for a few days after the ceremony.
Daisy and Brett posing patiently while I snapped 30 images for the Brenizer method of them at Red Rocks Park in Denver, Colorado.
April braved the cold for me even though she was anticipating a warm spring wedding! She got married at the Windsor Estate Event Center near Fort Collins Colorado. Her bouquet was a lovely mix of yellow and white flowers, which popped in the snow.
Logan and Alexa on their wedding day at the Kelly Urban Farm in Boulder, Colorado. There is a super cute blue and yellow porch, and since it was raining we took alot of bride and groom portraits here. I love how elegant they look - Logan in his tux, and Alexa in her Cotin Sposa wedding gown and birdcage!
Angela and Evan flew in from California to go hiking around at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater and get their engagement pictures taken. We hiked around the Trading Post trail and the Geological Overlook Trail. It was a warm February day.
Heather and Darron in front of the Maroon Bells shortly after their destination elopement ceremony. It rained during the ceremony but it didn't matter, there was so much love and happiness, despite the rainy mountain wedding! Here the rain stopped for a little bit to get us some awesome Maroon Bells bridal portraits!
Jordan and his groomsmen, braving the snowy cold outside of their venue, the Windsor Estate Event Center, in Windsor, Colorado, right outside of Fort Collins. There was so much snow!
Here is the view from our room in Cancun, Mexico, on the day of Julia & Tony's Wedding. We had a blast capturing their destination elopement. All of their friends made us feel incredibly loved and welcome, like we had been friends for years. I love photographing destination weddings! Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Photography
This has been the highlight of my year - my daughter Luna. She hated her crib for the first 5 months of her life, but allowed me to place her in it briefly and without a fuss for a quick picture. She loved her forest friends nursery!
I photographed the Allegro family in Pinnacle Peak in Phoenix Arizona. Kelly, Josh, and their little boy Maverick are the cutest family I have had the pleasure of photographing. I love capturing the uncomplicated love of a small family like this! Not to mention the desert is a super cool place to have family photos taken! Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Photography
Julia and Tony, in front of the beautiful blue waters off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, in Riviera Maya, after their beach front wedding. They decided to have a destination elopement with their nearest and dearest in Cancun. I can only imagine I had a super lame dad joke here, which is why they are laughing! Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Photography
Nicole and Jamie during their Mount Falcon engagement session. We had a blast hiking around for their mountain adventure session. Mount Falcon is 35 minutes from Denver, so its a great spot for an outdoor engagement session in Colorado!
I love how they are laughing here during their late fall engagement session in Denver, Colorado.
I love this close up bride and groom image. You could really feel Julia and Tony's love. They are standing in front of the ocean here, enjoying that just-got-married high. They invited all of their friends to Mexico for a destination elopement in Cancun. 
I love Chelsea's flowers in this bridge shot right outside the Silverthorne Pavilion in Silverthorne, Colorado. This wedding venue is a gem, and I love this bridge that's right outside of it.
My daughter Luna, sitting at the bottom of our steps in our foyer. She sat on the edge and had the biggest smile on her face. She is the happiest baby I know, and I love taking her picture. Luckily, she is pretty easy to take photos of. 
Lindsey and her bridesmaids bouquets on her wedding day at Hudson Gardens in Littleton, Colorado. Her flowers included a mix of eucalyptus pods, lots of greenery and white flowers.
Elyse and Stefan doing their first look at the Telluride Airport with the Coor's Mountain in the background. It was a blue bird day, and I love how excited and happy Elyse looks!
Lynsey & Chris enjoying each others company before enjoying their lattes. I love when couples are comfortable and having fun during their engagement sessions. They engagement session was done in Denver, at Black Eyed Coffee in the Highlands. Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Photography
This is my daughter Luna, and my husband Woody, making music together. Nothing makes me happier then little moments such as these. They are two peas in a pod, this father daughter duo/ I love how Luna is copying Woody and pretending the drumstick is also a microphone. I throughly enjoy lifestyle family sessions such as these. Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Lifestyle and Family Photography.
Nicole and Jamie at their Mount Falcon engagement session. We spent the morning hiking around for their couples adventure session. The mountain tattoo that Nicole has is a matching one that Jamie has on his back - it's where they got engaged!
In August I had the please of capturing this beautiful mountain destination elopement in the Maroon Bells. The weather was foggy and stormy, but they were more then willing to go trekking through the mud for some awesome Maroon Bells Elopement Photos. The Bells are right outside of Aspen, so right after the elopement they met their families in town for a reception!
Jessi and Dan got married at her parents Boyd Lake lakehouse over the summer. They property, which is right outside of Fort Collins, made for a gorgeous lakefront destination wedding. I love the way the green trees are hanging low just behind Jessi and Dan. This is a moment I captured shortly after their first look on the lake. Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Photography
Jordan and Kristen during their engagement session at Black Eyed Coffeeshop in Denver, Colorado.
Angela and Evan brought spiked coffee to their engagement shoot at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater - a first for me! I love couples who are willing to get adventurous for their photo shoot. The wind started to pick up in this image, and I love how Angela's hair was blowing about.
April & Jordan's bridal party braving the cold snow outside of the Windsor Estate Event Center in Windsor, Colorado. The snow was falling so think it looked like they were in the middle of nowhere in the mountains of Colorado.
This engagement session was done at Mount Sanitas over the summer, and this adorable puppy stole the show! Betsy and Connor were up for a hiking engagement session, as long as their puppy Teddy could be involved, and I was all about it, cause like hello twist my arm, look at this cutie! And wearing a bowtie! I can't with the cuteness!
Colt and Abbie got married at the Winter Park Mountain Lodge in Winter Park, Colorado. It was a beautiful snowy day and the bride got her wish for a white wedding.
Jamie and Nicole a week before their Denver Botanic Gardens Wedding. We got together at Mount Falcon for their engagement shoot, which was actually more practice for the big day! We spent the morning hiking around, as they were all about a sunrise session. 
Michelle and Dain hugging at their Lost Gulch engagement session in Boulder, Colorado. The lighting was so warm and beautiful, as it was a little after sunrise. I'm glad they were up for a sunrise engagement session, despite the fact that it was fall and freezing!
Erin and Clay with their adorable Golden Retriever. She was so happy to hang out with her mom and dad for their Piney River Ranch engagement session in Vail, Colorado. They loved hiking around, and even dipped their feet in the lake for me!
Elyse and Stefan wanted bride and groom portraits in downtown Telluride, and I could not be more thrilled. I love how Stefan dipped her here for a photo. Telluride is an amazing spot to have a destination wedding!
Lynsey& Chris holding hands at Black Eyed Coffee in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver Colorado. They decided to have their engagement session in a coffeeshop because of their mutual love of lattes. I love the foam art Black Eyed Coffee does in each latte. The heart leaves are a nice touch!
Nicole and Jamie with their bridal party at their Denver Botanic Gardens wedding. Here is a shot of the wedding party, wearing blush and grey, in front of one of the ponds at the gardens. 
Erin is laughing as Clay gives her a huge hug during their Piney River Ranch engagement session in Vail, Colorado. They wanted to incorporate the Rocky Mountains, hiking, and their adorable Golden Retriever in their session. We hiked around Piney River, stopping in wildflower patches and by the lake, which they even went wading in!
Lynsey is in Chris's arms here as they spin around on their wedding day at the Flying Horse Ranch in Colorado Springs. Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Photography
This bouquet was absolutely gorgeous against Lindsey's beautiful dress and the backdrop, which was Hudson Gardens.  Hudson Gardens, which hosts weddings over the summer, is a gorgeous property with vast gardens and several options for wedding ceremonies. 
Jamie and Nicole during sunset at their Denver Botanic Gardens Wedding. They are slow dancing in the soft light, I love the colors of the green foliage against the warn light!
Evan and Angela brought spiked coffee to their engagement session at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. Here we are taking a small coffee break - thankfully it was February and it wasn't terribly cold!
Tony & Julia's Cancun Destination Wedding Elopement could not have been more fun. I asked them if they would mind hopping on this rock, and Julia was all about it! She was they more fun, laid back, boho beach bride. I love photographing beach elopements, and this one in Mexico was a blast!
The spot where Lindsey and Geoff said I do at their gorgeous Hudson Gardens Wedding. The weather was cloudy but the lighting was soft, and perfect for an outdoor garden wedding in Denver.
Megan and Chris during their Kenosha Pass destination elopement.
This was my first elopement of the year and I was so excited. I love when couples chose Colorado to have a destination elopement. There is something so romantic about a bride and a groom reading wedding vows to eachother on top of a mountain!
Alexa in her gorgeous Cotin Sposa wedding gown at her Kelly Urban Farm wedding in Boulder, Colorado.
This is my daughter Luna on her second beach trip in Maine. She was loving the sand, and was very into eating it as well!
I love when couples can laugh at themselves, and be super comfortable in their skin. Betsy and Connor were so in sync for their Mount Sanitas engagement session in Boulder Colorado. I love the blue dress she was wearing, and that she was all about hiking in it as long as their adorable puppy Teddy could join. Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Photography
Heather and Darron embracing after their Maroon Bells Elopement. There was so much love that day, despite the rainy wedding ceremony. The Colorado mountains are an amazing place to elope, with so much beauty. Definitely one of my favorite Aspen destination elopements!
Daisy and Brett laughing during their anniversary session at Red Rocks Park in Denver, Colorado. It was a late fall session and I love how the coats looked against the rocks.
I love every minute of Julia & Tony's Cancun Destination Elopement. The day they got married had a lovely ocean breeze, and Julia's backless boho wedding dress couldn't have been more perfect. I love how they are posed here, with Tony looking down at Julia in front of the gorgeous ocean. I can't believe how blue is was that day. It was so much fun Capturing this fun tropical destination wedding! Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Photography
Clay and Erin are slow dancing in this photo at their Piney River Ranch engagement session in Vail, Colorado. Their vision was to have a hiking engagement session in the mountains with their adorable Golden Retriever, somewhere with wild flowers and the dramatic Rocky Mountains in the background. I would say we accomplished all their goals! Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Photography
Elyse and Stefan during their first look. This bride and groom decided to have a destination wedding in Telluride, Colorado. They had their epic mountain top first look just outside of Telluride at the Telluride Airport.
Jamie and Nicole hugging at their Mount Falcon engagement session. They were such a fun couple to go hiking around and photographing, and it's evident how strong their love is for one another!
Michelle and Dain the morning of their sunrise mountain engagement session at Lost Gulch Overlook in Boulder, Colorado
A reflection of Jamie and Nicole at their Denver Botanic Gardens wedding. They stood at the edge of the pond for me and the water was perfectly still. I love the grey suit that Jamie is wearing and the blush colored tie!
Alex and Brittany after they married themselves on the top of a mountain. Self-solemnization is honored in Colorado, which is why this is one of the best places to have a destination hiking elopement.
Lynsey and her bridesmaids on her wedding day at the Flying Horse Ranch in Colorado Springs. I love the sparkly nude colored dresses they all wore, and the white wild flowers! The flower girl is pretty funny too! 
Elyse and Stefan during their amazing San Sophia Overlook Wedding in Telluride, Colorado. They chose to have a destination wedding in Telluride, and the views were epic!
Julia and Tony's first dance during their beach reception. They got married right in front of the ocean and later had their first dance in the same spot. I love how windswept and boho htye look here. Just the right amount of tired and happy. I love photographing their cancun destination wedding elopement.
Alexa and her bridesmaids on the porch at the Kelly Urban Farm. The blue and yellow porch is a fun spot to take all kinds of photos, including these of the girls while they were getting ready. I love the realness of how Alexa still has curlers in her hair, and the girls are all still in the black off shoulder rompers Alexa gave each girl as a bridesmaids gift.
Heather and Darron were all about hiking through the mud after their Maroon Bells elopement ceremony. They decided against the big wedding and felt it was more them to have a let's elope to Aspen kind of wedding. They stood in front of the Maroon Bells while they said I do. Here they are laughing during their mountain bride and groom portraits. The Maroon Bells is definitely one of my favorite destination elopement spots!
Lindsey standing in front of the beautiful wildflowers at Hudson Gardens on her wedding day. Her and Geoff decided that Hudson Gardens would be the perfect place for all of their friends and family to father for a wedding.
Alexa and Logan after their rainy wedding at Kelly Urban Farm in Boulder, Colorado. It rained all day, so for this image we finally got a chance, at the end of the night, to climb the tree hoyse on the property and get some nighttime bride and groom portraits.
Michelle and Dain at their sunrise session at Lost Gulch Overlook in Boulder, Colorado. 
Dain and Michelle hugging at the foot of Lost Gulch Overlook. It was so cold, but they were troopers about the weather and having a sunrise engagement session in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado!
Lindsey and her bridesmaids laughing on her wedding day at Hudson Gardens. Lindsey chose neutral colored skirts and white tops for her bridesmaids so that the girls wouldn't clash with the against the bright wildflowers, and I think it turned out beautifully. Copyright: Teresa Woodhull Photography at Hudson Gardens.
A couple embracing on a bridge at their Denver engagement session.
Brittany and Alex at the top of Corwina Park. They decided to have a destination elopement to the Colorado mountains and were troopers about the steep hike up, but when they got there they were able to marry themselves. Colorado is the perfect place to elope because it is one of the few states that honors self-solemnization. 
Megan and Chris, slow dancing in a field shortly before their wedding in Kenosha Pass. Megan made the most beautiful mountain bride. 
Jamie on her wedding day at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Here she is right before the ceremony, holding her gorgeous bouquet (which she got from Whole Foods!)
Elyse and Stefan before their amazing Telluride Destination Wedding. They decided to do their first look at the Telluride Airport, and they had some amazing mountain vistas to accompany it.
The sky was like cotton candy this day. Daisy and Brett had a gorgeous anniversary session at Red Rocks Park in Denver, Colorado.
A couple embracing for me during their engagement session in Denver, Colorado. I think the wind here and use of black and white really emphasizes the love and emotions they have for one another!
Allison and Dan during their Rino Engagement session in downtown Denver!
Chris and Lynsey running down between their friends for a sparkler exit at their Flying Horse Ranch Wedding!
A black and white double exposure of Daisy and Brett during their Anniversary photo session at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.
The Mason family hugging each other during their Mount Falcon family photo session. I love how their little boy was laughing up a storm during their entire family session!
Kristen and Jordan during their coffeeshop engagement session in Denver. We met at Black Eyed Coffee, which is the cutest location for engagement photos in the city!
Jordan and Kristen outside of Black Eye Coffee in Denver Colorado. They decided to pose in the blue chairs outside of the coffeeshop during their engagement session.
My daughter Luna at 7 months old, loving her first swing.
Bride and Groom wearing masks on their wedding day during their Kenosha Pass photo shoot. I love what they wore for their Kenosha Pass destination elopement.