Oh boy—I don’t even feel like I’m ready to talk about this wedding yet, but here goes. What you need to know before reading the rest of this: I cried like 8 times during this wedding. It set my soul on fire, and these two amazing women are some of the most inspirational people in the entire world.
I’m going to start off talking about a part of the day I can gush over without crying. This amazing venue!! I’m a non-traditional wedding venue kinda gal, and Skylight in Denver really nails that vibe. There is something about a whitewashed exposed brick warehouse space that just makes me so happy. They could have left it at that, but instead, Skylight really nailed some of the other key wedding day elements, making this one of my new favorite places to photograph.
Amazing natural light throughout the space from windows on both ends of the building. This means no super dark ceremonies if you get married during daylight!
A well designed and super cute getting ready space with awesome window light.
Several different places to hang a wedding dress for details, including an awesome hook right in the middle of their mountain mural in the getting ready room.
Minimal furniture, but what they have is gorgeous and super useful!
Twinkle lights. Need I say more? They make the dance floor come alive, and the fact that the lights reflect in the windows on either end of the building just creates magic.
It’s also bang in the middle of the Santa Fe Arts District in Denver, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods! There are tons of fun murals, brightly colored walls, oodles of other photo opportunities.
Okay, no more avoiding it—below you’ll see photos from the first time I cried on Nelia + Daniell’s wedding day. So, whoever decided to break the “getting ready separately” tradition between these two was an absolute genius. Normally this part of the day is fun, but very heteronormative and stereotypical. The guys get a space with pool and video games, and the girls have to wake up at 7am to do makeup and hair all morning. I still love photographing it, but the awareness that these two had to say “nope, that’s not us” is awesome and I hope more people do it in the future. The moments between the two of them as they were helping each other get dressed, Daniell crying (and me crying) as Nelia was putting on her final touches, and the fact that their friends were there for there for both of them was just magical.
After they got ready, we hit the streets for some fun portraits together. Daniell chose the second mural (the blue one with the guitarist) and the textures in it photographed so beautifully! They totally nailed it—just laughing and being there for each other the whole time. Special thanks to my amazing assistant Alix for carrying around a box of tissues, holding up Nelia’s dress, and managing to run out of the way every time I decided I needed a candid shot of the two of them.
I would be a terrible photographer if I didn’t use Skylight’s gorgeous facade for some photos! I love the way the windows were reflecting the perfect golden hour light, and that you can see some of the indoor twinkle lights through the glass.
Let’s talk details. How gorgeous is this room?? They really nailed it (along with an amazing planning and florist team). Just goes to show you don’t need an outrageous amount of stuff to make wedding decor come together, you just need the right stuff. The Cultura chocolate was such a cute touch for their favors, and keeping it simple with greenery and candles was totally the right move.
Yet another place where Nelia + Daniell threw tradition to the winds? Their ceremony! They just had this amazing greenery arch set up in the front of the venue, and rather than flipping the room or having the ceremony in a different place, the just said “we’re standing.” They stood at the front doors welcoming all of their guests together, then when it was time, the officiant just asked that everyone turn and watch as Nelia + Daniell said their vows.
The DJ got the dance floor popping right away (no first dances or cake cutting, who needs it!) and as a fun break, the family band got up and played some live music too! While they didn’t have a formal first dance, I adore these shots of Nelia and Daniell dancing together, and the special moments between Nelia and her brother, then dad. I did the same thing at my wedding because I didn’t like the idea that my dad and I were supposed to sob as he “gave me away” during the first dance to my husband. He and I danced together in our kitchen for all of my childhood, and we will keep dancing for years to come! I grabbed him for a song during my reception, of course, but it was so much less awkward than having the whole room staring at us thinking “is he crying, is she crying?? DO THEY NOT LOVE EACH OTHER ENOUGH??”
Of course, days like this don’t happen without an amazing vendor team—credits are linked below. If you’re having a wedding at Skylight in Denver, or if you need a Denver LGBTQ wedding photographer, hit me up or learn more about me using the buttons below :)
VENUE: Skylight | Denver, Co
PLANNING: David Alexander Design
FLORALS: Newberry Brothers
DJ: DJ RIPM