As a photographer, you get to know the couples you work with on varying levels, but I’ve had the rare & true privilege of becoming friends with James “Jim” & Anika “Nikki”. At a time when my world was shrinking rapidly – becoming tiny & chaotic with the birth of my twin girls – I was blessed with two new friends and we shared two of the most amazing parts of life with one another. So I write this post not only as their photographer, but also their friend.
It’s funny to think these two were almost a missed connection, both unsure if they wanted to continue online dating after feeling weary from the dead-end dates & lack of chemistry. All the longsuffering was satisfied after Jim & Nikki wrote back and forth – “novels worth” according to the toasts given by family – these two decided to meet. Nikki describes the feeling of their first meeting best, “We made eye contact and immediately walked towards each other and fully embraced each other for a good 2 minutes – longest first meet hug ever. It was incredible. It was meeting someone you already knew.”
These two grew up in very different settings as Nikki grew up outside of San Diego & Jim is a 5th generation Coloradan raised in the mountain town of Leadville. However they share in common two wonderful families – something they both value highly.
One of the first things I learned about them was that they competed in mining competitions, which before then, I had never heard of such events & was intrigued to say the least! Given their passion for the outdoors & adventure, a mountain wedding was a natural choice & Bella Vista Estate in Steamboat Springs Colorado provided the perfect balance of grand & epic views and yet the feeling of an intimate & elegant place for their old friends & family to come celebrate.
After talking to Nikki & Jim, it was very apparent that they have put a lot of work into their friendship & relationship. Their wedding day was no different. Their day somehow struck a perfect balance emotive & cerebral. Vibrant & yet you sensed the quiet vulnerability that a love like theirs demands.
Nikki took the opportunity to honor her wonderful family & friends with thoughtful gifts for everyone. Every detail from their personally written heartfelt vows to the understatedly elegant arbor themed centerpieces with the soft yellow, purple, & green palette, sings of the warmth & joy in their relationship. However, don’t be fooled because these two definitely bring out goofiness & laughter in one another as well.
Nikki & Jim have stood together in the face of the challenges of being in a committed relationship & still looked at one another to say “I choose you.” I could not have imagined a better day for these two incredible souls who are even more unstoppable together. I’m proud to call them my friends & absolutely honored to have documented their love.
Venue – Bella Vista Estate
Hair – Alicia Brio Salon & Spa
Makeup – Cari Ann Gelbart of Apothecari Skin Care
Cake – Mountain Brew from Steamboat
Videography – Adam Bradley of Aflatis Films
Caterer – Rex’s from Steamboat
Band – Missed the Boat
Florist – Tall Tulips Flower Shop
Planner – Alex with Soul Spark Events
Photography – Haley Allen Photography
Thanks to the lovely & talented Molly Richardson for assisting me!