December 11, 2020


Wedgewood Black Forest Wedding

bride and groom kissing at the end of the aisle
Created by Ali Coşkunfrom the Noun Project

bride and groom kissing at the end of the aisle

I can’t believe I just photographed my final Colorado wedding in my career. Randy and I are going back next year for a videography gig, but this was the last wedding I’ll ever photograph in Colorado.

It’s honestly kind of surreal, and not at all sad. I am so proud of all the amazing moments and memories I’ve been part of and documented, and I really could not have picked a more special wedding to finish out my Colorado wedding photography career.

I’ve known James for years – I did his senior portraits, his dad’s first military homecoming, and his family’s photos since 2012. In fact, James’s mom Heidi is the talented eye behind the lens at Dunn 4 You Photography, and I’ve mentored her for years for photography and business. This entire family means a lot to me, and I am beyond honored that the family asked me to photograph James’s wedding with Sherika at the Wedgewood Black Forest just a couple of weeks ago.

James and Sherika’s Love Story

James and Sherika met about 4 years ago, when they worked together. It was an easy friendship at first, and soon developed into romance because they truly saw and loved each other for who they are. Then, last year, James decided it was the right time to pop the question; in his own words …

We decided to take an extended vacation for Thanksgiving last year. I knew how important family was to Rika so I decided that would be the time that I proposed. I wanted as much of her family around as possible when I popped the question. We started planning the trip and I worked to find an engagement ring. I went ahead and had a ring designed because I couldn’t find anything I liked. While we were on vacation, I hid the ring inside of a sweater I had packed so every time Sherika went to grab clothes I had to hold my breath and hope she didn’t pick up the wrong clothes.

I decided to propose on Thanksgiving. I messaged Rika’s aunt to let her know about my plan. When the day came, we planned out a circle before dinner at which time everyone went around saying something they were thankful for. I had to go last so I could go ahead and give my little speech before I popped the question. When I got down to ask Rika started crying and I dropped the ring but we recovered and I was able to get out the question.

So I flew out to Colorado, even during this crazy pandemic, and had the most amazing time.

We actually ended up running out of light super quick. Eek! And since James and Sherika opted to not do a first look, we did not have time to finish their bride and groom portraits. Luckily, the next morning we were able to meet up at Garden of the Gods before my flight home. It was starting to snow and freezing cold, but these two were total troopers for it!

James and Sherika’s Wedgewood Black Forest Wedding

wedding invitations on wood circle father walking daughter bride down the aisle outdoor ceremony at wedgewood black forest large rottweiler with funny wedding sign first kiss at wedgewood black forest wedding outdoor ceremony bride and groom with parents large gray red and pink wedding party groomsmen poses wedding party cheering on kissing newlyweds bridesmaids party bride and groom with their two dogs indoor reception at wedgewood black forest wedding naked wedding cake with fishing rod cake topper bride and groom dancing at indoor reception at wedgewood black forest wedding bride and groom at high point at garden of the gods bride and groom giving each other eskimo kisses bride and groom at garden fothe gods sunrise wedding photos at garden of the gods wedding photos at high point at garden of the gods

A big thanks to the incredible vendor team who made James and Sherika’s Wedgewood Black Forest wedding so perfect:

venue, invitations, planning & catering Wedgewood Black Forest | dj DJ Shieldofficiant Heather Hargrovecake Icing on the Cakehair & makeup Kylee Drake & MacKenzie Drakebridal gown David’s Bridaljewelry Gage Diamondswedding video & photo booth Wedding Mix

I’d love to give a big shout out to Ali Copeland of Photos by Ali Marie and Shebli Huston of Shebli Nikkole Photography for coming to help me shoot this wedding, since I was still recovering from my shoulder procedure and couldn’t do a whole lot of heavy lifting. Y’all are the real MVPs of the day!

Puppy kisses. Because of course.

ashley durham with a rottweiler and wedding couple

Are you looking for an LGBT friendly wedding photographer in Phoenix?

Hey there, I am Ashley Durham, a Phoenix Arizona wedding photographer specializing in unposed, authentic and romantic intimate weddings that capture the love, fun and realness of couples and wedding days.

I am happy to serve LGBT couples from Phoenix all the way to Palm Springs, and as well as Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff and all over Arizona. Are you ready to have an incredible time together for your wedding?? DM me!!

© ashley durham photography