Sarah and John, Estes Park wedding photography

Sat Sep 05, 6:53 PM

In July, I photographed the wedding of my sister-in-law Sarah and John! They are now officially Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Had John’s last name been anything other than Claus, I think Sarah would have had more to say about changing her name. But let’s just say, she’s been counting the days until Christmas ’16 since John proposed.

Where are the words to describe Sarah? I don’t have them. But I will say she is quite likely the kindest person I know. Her smile is immediate, sincere, infections and beautiful. She is full of love. And it seems as if her mission is to share that love with everyone around her.  I would say that she is successful. She is an incredible listener with a compassionate heart and intuitive mind and her path has wound around into to a wonderful career for those traits. Finishing up her masters program as we speak, she has just started working as a counselor. The world is a better place with Sarah in it.

Sarah and John met online. I remember her telling me about him before they had met face-to-face. She was giddy. They had been talking on the phone….for hours…and hours…instead of sleeping. I couldn’t understand how anyone could talk on the phone for more than an hour (I am only able to do that even if I’m driving) but they were talking for like 6, 7 hours. What!???? And then the first time they met in person, as she was walking up to the bookstore, John called and said he was nervous. As she was telling me this story, I got nervous, thinking he was going to stand her up. But the story turned sweet. They were both nervous; so they talked on the phone as she walked toward him until they were looking each other eye to eye. Picturing that day still brings a smile to my face.

John, I love having you in our family. Not only do you bring great happiness to Sarah, but you up the game of every family gathering with your presence, your sense of humor and smile. You are an incredible uncle.

I loved watching John with his family in town for the wedding. He lit up around his siblings, nieces, nephews and parents. It is obvious that family means more than anything to him and he already treats Sarah’s family with the same love and respect.

Notice how many kids these two had at their wedding! Everyone was included. The whole wedding party were family and the officiants were two of  siblings – John’s brother-in-law Henry and Sarah’s sister Christina. At some points, while leading the ceremony Henry was holding his children, which didn’t bother Sarah and John one bit. I thought it was so sweet and telling about their selfless love for each other and their families.

Together, these two are going to continue bringing great things to the world.

It was special, fun and a different-kind-of challenge to shooting this wedding. So I am SUPER DUPER thankful for my dear friend and incredible photographer MAHALA GAYLORD. My husband Steve was a bridesman and Maevery was a flower girl. Yet, Maevery got really sick that day and pulled herself outta the game at kickoff. (An hour later she threw up all over bridesman Steve’s snazzy suit moments before the reception was to start with his joint sibling toast.) I hugged her naked shivering body while Steve tried to freshen up for his performance and Sarah and John were inside having their first dance. Needless to say, I couldn’t have documented this beautiful celebration without Mahala. She took half of these photos and she brought fun energy (as she always does) to the day. Sarah and John loved having her by their side as a friend and artist. So from all of us, thanks, ‘Hala! xo

p.s. The YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park is gorgeous. They kicked off the weekend with a campfire. The outdoor chapel at the top of the property is magical! See for yourself.





Sarah and John got ready with all of their family in John’s families rental house. It was pretty sweet. Once Sarah’s dress was on though, John was quarantined to the laundry room.



I’m usually hanging with the couple, but it’s fun to see the behind-the-scenes friends helping! When I went to set up the photo booth, I saw Sarah’s friends Mo and Shelly making the flower arrangements.
































When many brides might start getting frustrated at the bugs finding their way into layers of wedding dress, Sarah was saying, “Oh, poor bugs.”














































































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