Weddings that include dogs or other animals such as horses, Lama’s, birds etc. seem to attract me! Then when you add on, camping in a tepee on site, I’ll look forward to it knowing that it’s going to be seriously fun.
Their destination mountain wedding 40 miles up a dirt road out of Vail at the end of a box canyon with a beautiful lake that reflected the mountain peaks was a perfect location for this dog friendly wedding.
Their dogs are Cali, a medium size dog, that Katie rescued while she was in the Peace Corp servicing in Grenada, Ranger, a German Shepard mix and Junior with two different colored eyes. Their ceremony including branding a slice of a log with the couples initials and three dog paw prints, one for each of their dogs.
Jonny of The Jonny Mogambo Band played for the wedding ceremony and the his band performed for the reception which at times felt like a concert. Jonny’s voice reminded me of Glenn Frey of The Eagles.
Monique Busold, the General Manager, at the ranch served grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup and hamburger sliders as the inside party wound down.
My good friend Mark Cafiero joined me as guest photographer. Mark has his own wedding photography business and we’ve been able to photograph a few weddings together over the years. Mark’s love of the outdoors, camping, fires, and dogs made him my first choice since Geri, my wife, was in Italy.
Our 8 hours of coverage technically ended at 9PM but Mark and I both wanted to play around doing long exposures with the mountains and stars and of course night time pictures of the campfire party around one of the three tepees.
Mark preferred to put up his own tent in the soft grasses in the tent camping area even after hearing that a bull moose usually beds down in that area. I was happy having a tepee all to myself on a cool night well below freezing with a hard frost expected.
In the middle of the night Mark was woken up when the moose started snorting around and clearing a place to sleep right next to his tent.
After a short nights sleep Mark woke up before the sunrise and unzipped his tent scaring both of them. The moose headed off to the marshes around the lake and Mark came over to wake me up so we could go photograph this beautiful creature in the fog around the lake. We hiked around the lake hoping to get a little tighter picture but that didn’t happen. So later we went out in a canoe to see if we could get closer without risking our necks, however, Mr Moose decided to lay down somewhere out of our view. Paddling around the lake in the early morning light with the calm waters was plenty of fun.
Back on shore, friends of Katie and Rocky were starting to cook up bacon and eggs. What a great beginning for the marriage of two of nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of documenting get married.
Cheers to a lifetime of happiness together for Katie and Rocky!