Lyons Riverbend Wedding | S+S

As if you thought that this Lyons Riverbend wedding couldn’t get better, now you all get the chance to learn more about Suzy and Sarah.

For starters, we met at one of my all-time favorite spots in the neighborhood where I live, El Camino, when we were obviously being responsible adults with margaritas in our hands. I knew from that moment that these were my kind of people.

From there, the engagement session was so fun since they brought their pups to the session. Honestly, pups make everything better, right?

Suzy and Sarah are down to earth and so caring. They wanted a nontraditional approach but that certainly didn’t take away from the intimacy of the day. A few of my favorite parts were:

  • The two awesome locations. The ceremony at the Riverbend in Lyons, Colorado and the reception down the street at the Lyons Farmette are hella good spots for a number of reasons. 1. You can stay at the tiny home village near the Riverbend, 2. You can include produce from the farm into your reception food, 3. The crew at the Farmette are eco-friendly with composting and recycling bins all over the venue (if you know me, you know how big of a deal this is), and 4. You can also have some flowers added to your ceremony and reception that were hand-picked from the farm, which is exactly what Suzy + Sarah did for their floral design.
  • Food trucks. When we say this was nontraditional, we mean completely nontraditional. Instead of a choreographed and seating arranged dining portion, these two had a classic food truck from Steuben’s for the dinner. In their words, “We loved having a food truck and casual reception. No seating chart or served dinner. It made the evening more relaxed.” I couldn’t agree more.
  • A quintessential Colorado location without having the hassle of I-70.  I know how gorgeous and majestic the mountains are here.  But let’s not pretend like it isn’t a total downer to have to deal with I-70 traffic to get there.  The Lyons Riverbend and Farmette are the perfect option for a couple who wants that breathtaking Colorado backdrop without having to do the I-70 thing.  Can we get that train along the highway already, please?
  • Alpacas.  Yep, this place has alpacas and we were able to take photos with them after the ceremony!

A chill couple, a mixed bridal party with fun dudes and ladies, and an eco-friendly and environmentally conscious celebration is one I know I won’t forget. Going against the grain with your wedding plans turned out to be one bangin party. A huge thank you to these two wonderful and strong women and cheers all of our to future margaritas at El Camino together!

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Lyons Riverbend wedding ceremony

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Lyons Riverbend Wedding | Ashley Kidder Photo

Venue: Lyons Riverbend and Farmette | Dress: Watters | Floral: Farmette Flowers | Hair: Wedlocks Bridal Hair | Officiant: Friend of the couple | Food truck: Steuben’s | Dessert: Friend of the couple | Bridesmaids’ attire: Azazie | DJ: Elite DJ | Coordinator: Dahlia Events | Neckwear: The Tie Bar | Bartenders: Garnish Bartending | Tables: Harvest Tables |

Ashley Kidder is a Denver-based wedding and engagement photographer who shoots anything from mountainside to urban locations. She shoots stellar couples and weddings that are both trendy and unconventional. When she’s not working the camera you can find her in the gym (Pearl Street Fitness is bae) or sharing philosophical ideas with her corgi, Sherman.

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Curtis Hotel Denver wedding | K+J

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Colorado mountain wedding but there’s a special place in my heart for a stylish, vibrant urban wedding that just brings me to a special place as a photographer.

Plus, there were so many things to love about this Curtis Hotel Denver wedding aside from the fact that it was basically a giant dance party. The colorful vibes, the killer 90’s dance jams, and the roll-with-it kind of couple made for a stellar day.

Kristi and Jason were a blast to work with and made this day about everyone else.  They had a bangin dance party, incredible food, and a nice little spot on the roof with an open bar and firepit.

Some of my other favorite things about this Curtis Hotel Denver wedding:

  • Everything about the city, I just love. Their ceremony spot showed off the incredible view of the Daniels + Fisher Clock Tower (a staple of the classic Denver skyline) plus all of the new buildings that are popping up around the city, which is right up my alley.
  • These two were such a chill couple.  Kristi didn’t even flinch when it started raining a bit right before the ceremony. She must have done some kind of poker face because it cleared up minutes before it started. You know, standard Colorado weather tease.
  • The colors, man. The florals for this wedding cannot be shown off enough. A good friend of mine, Stephanie with Lalé Florals, put together these stunning arrangements and all of the right colors combined were stunning. Plus, these bright, vibrant colors seem to be going by the wayside for Colorado weddings and let me tell ya, we need to bring those back right now!

I’ll be honest, dancing along to 90’s bangerz galore while working the reception made my feet a little tired at the end of the day but this wedding is one that brought good energy to everyone. Kristi and Jason, thank you both for letting me in on your tropical urban paradise wedding in the middle of beautiful Denver. Check out some of my favorite shots from their special day!

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Curtis Hotel Denver Wedding | Ashley Kidder Photo

Venue: Curtis Hotel | Floral: Lalé Florals | Dress: Hayley Paige | Groom’s attire: Men’s Warehouse | Hair: Clementine’s Salon in the Highlands | Makeup: Anna Guidone | Officiant: Good friend of the couple | Bridesmaids attire: Show Me Your Mumu | DJ: Elite DJ | Rings: Vintage | Earrings: Ralph Lauren | DIY: Spray-painted pineapples that adorned the reception tables and lined the aisle

Interview with the Bride

What was your favorite part of the wedding day? “My favorite part of our wedding day was walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing my husband at the alter. Also, dancing and celebrating with our loved ones from far and near.”

If you could give one piece of advice to other couples planning their weddings, what would it be?  “Music. Food. Booze. Keep it simple, it’s easy to get wrapped up in little details but mostly people just want to celebrate with you. Everything will be gone in the morning.”

What was your favorite thing to plan or design and why? What would you outsource if you had to do this all over again?  “I enjoyed picking the venue and crazy color schemes, making it my tropical 70’s nightclub fantasy. Also, I LOVE flowers and Lalé killed it! I would outsource all of the other details if I could. I’m not super into wedding planning!”

What did you do that was non-traditional or outside of the box for weddings?  “A tropical mod wedding in Denver! Jason’s father passed away 10 years ago but he was notorious for wearing Hawaiian shirts and being the life of the party (as is his son). Jason really wanted to incorporate Hawaiian shirts to honor his father and thus the mood was set.

“The Curtis Hotel was a great location. Immediately fell in love with their crazy colors, art pop vintage vibes, and the convenience of not finding individual vendors. I grew up in South Dakota and my husband is from Connecticut, though we now live in California but we met and fell in love in Denver. We wanted to keep the travel as minimal and easy for our guests (SoDak is not easy to get to).  We’re pretty laid back people so we wanted to keep dress casual, including the dog.”

Where did you go/are going for your honeymoon?  “We are going to Rio de Jinero for Carnival in Brazil, then to a resort to relax on the beach.”

Anything else you’d like to share?  “Guests were taken to the reception “after party” via a line of pedicabs to Appaloosa Grill with live music, then back to the Spice Girls Suite at The Curtis for the after after party.  The last song of the night was everyone belting “Bohemian Rhapsody” in a circle on the dance floor.”

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7 Simple Ideas For An Eco-Friendly Denver Wedding

I recently wrote this article for Style Me Pretty and am so excited to share with you here!

Artwork Network Denver wedding photos
You recycle every can and bottle, love to shop local and maybe even have a compost bin in your backyard. Why not extend your eco-friendly lifestyle to your wedding planning process? As a wedding photographer in beautiful Colorado, I get to see the many ways brides and grooms are adding sustainability to their weddings. Here are seven simple ways you can, too!
I won’t lie: getting a letter in the old fashioned post is hella romantic. But in a day and age where conservation is key, it is prudent to explore alternative options for save-the-dates and invites. Consider a video save-the-date that you can email out to your guest list, or an evite with all the necessary info. This will not only save you cash, but will also eliminate unnecessary paper waste. However, if you’re dead-set on mailing your info to your guests, use recycled paper stock.
If you’re a hugely sentimental and nostalgic person (like I am), you could skip purchasing your bling and wedding threads new altogether. Perhaps there’s an heirloom ring or necklace in your family that could be passed down? I’ve also seen a few brides (see the photo from Nicholas + Emily’s wedding above, where she wore her mom’s retrofitted dress) of mine wear their mother’s dress (after they’ve made a few updates with a tailor) and the end result is just stunning. Lastly, you can also check out consignment stores that specialize in secondhand options for attire and accessories. Why not save a little cash on an outfit you’re only going to wear once?
Instead of buying 150 brand-new mason jars, sift through your local Craigslist ads to see if there are any couples selling their used wedding novelties and décor. Or, do a quick Google search for rental companies that may already have these items (e.g. silverware, vases, decorations) amassed for you. No need to reinvent the wheel!
As a vendor myself, I keep my contracts online so that I don’t have to print out important paperwork to put in the mail. If you’re a vendor and don’t have this set up just yet, look into resources such as Honeybook or MachForm, both of which allow you to store and sign proposals online. Once my clients sign, I simply email them a PDF copy and voilà! No need to drop anything in the mail! (Related: ask your photographer for an online gallery where you can download the images instead of getting a disc or USB in the mail.)
One of my favorite wedding venues in all of Colorado is the Lyons Farmette. In addition to being obviously adorable, the site features an organic farm where produce and flowers are grown locally to be included in the weddings hosted onsite. How cool would it be to have a true farm-to-table wedding? They also provide recycling and compost bins around the property to help reduce waste, something all venues should have. (Related: think about donating your leftover wedding grub to local food bank or shelter.)
People are getting married much later in life nowadays, which means that by the time they tie the knot, they probably already have all the fun kitchen gadgets and trinkets for their house. Instead of doing a traditional registry through a department store, try Honeyfund, which allows guests to donate online to less-traditional registry items like a down payment for a house or honeymoon activities.
Let’s be honest: do you really need another beer koozie from a wedding? In lieu of gifts for guests, consider donating the cash you would have spent on favors to your preferred charitable cause. I snagged this idea from a couple who decided to donate to a local foundation after severe flooding had devastated the groom’s hometown of Lyons, Colorado, in 2013.
Ashley Kidder is a Denver-based wedding photographer who loves weddings of all shapes and sizes. When she’s not photographing rad couples, you can find her slinging kettlebells around at the gym or going on long romantic walks with her corgi, Sherman.
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Rocky Mountain Bride Gem Vendors

I’m so excited to share the news!  I’ve been graciously welcomed into the Rocky Mountain Bride Gem Vendor collective by the lovely ladies who run the best mountain resource site + magazine in the country!  I am elated to be featured on their site along with a handful of incredibly talented Colorado wedding photographers.  It is an honor to be included and I’m stoked!

Rocky Mountain Bride Gem Vendor

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Colorado Engagement Photos | Sapphire Point + Civic Center Park

This post is a doozy!  For Rahul + Aamna’s Colorado engagement photos, they wanted a variety of quintessential Denver and Colorado locations.  We first started at Civic Center Park, one of my very favorite spots for any kind of photo shoot in the Mile High City, and then hopped in a car headed west down I-70.  We hit Sapphire Point overlooking Lake Dillon and finished with a stunning sunset atop Loveland Pass.  It was a day jam-packed with incredible views and conversation with these two, who are also super fashionable — you’re going to love all their outfit changes!

Thank you again to Rahul + Aamna, for braving elevation changes, blustering 30-degree weather atop the pass, and for indulging in my requests to climb up on rocks and up mountainsides for these images.  I am so happy with how our shoot turned out and so glad we could connect.  Best wishes to these two in their future together!

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Colorado Engagement Photos | Ashley Kidder Photo

Hi, I’m Ashley, a Colorado wedding photographer, and I love everything about Colorado, from our killer city happenings to the majestic views found in the Rocky Mountains!  If you’re looking for a double-header engagement session like this one, get in touch!  We can plan a day that gives you all the best locations Denver + Colorado both have to offer.

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