Bella Vista Estate Wedding, Steamboat Springs, CO | Anika + James

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

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Steamboat Springs Wedding Photography

Thanks to the lovely & talented Molly Richardson for assisting me!

  • Nikki Morrison said:

    Wow! I don't think I could have succeeded any more than this: I have a hunky husband AND an awesome new friend that took pictures of a lifetime of the best day of our lives. Thank you doesn't say enough, Haley. Your talent, joy, spirit, and creative eye is unmatched in this world. Finding you was simply a blessing and we are so thankful to call you our friend. Many hugs -- Nikki

  • Kami said:

    WOW! What stunning images! These are truly treasures that will be enjoyed for generations! Amazing job!

  • Jennie said:

    That first (and last) photo is absolutely phenomenal. One of my favorites in a long time!

  • amy said:

    So beautiful! When I see images like these, that show a real, beautiful, loving wedding, that's when I totally envy your job! Stunning!

  • Savannah said:

    So incredibly beautiful! And I love Nikki and Jim's story. Stunning images.

  • Beautiful photos Haley! This seems like a really fun couple, and you captured so much emotion throughout the day. Love the sign the guys made to keep girls out. That last photo is stunning. One of the prettiest sunset photos I've ever seen!

  • danielle said:

    eeeek! They are stunning! That location is just amazing!!

  • Adriana said:

    What a beautiful wedding, and lovely couple! Your detail shots are so inspiring Haley! What a small world, I too grew up in Leadville, and totally understand the draw of the mountains. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos!

  • Wow! What a beautiful setting and beautiful couple! Great captures!

  • Melissa Johnson said:

    WOW!!! These are seriously amazing!! That last image took my breath away! I hope your couple prints that out as a giant canvas, it needs it!!

  • Sunshine Lump said:

    Wow!!! These are absolutely fantastic! The location is amazing....but the photos a just stunning!!

  • Kathryn Kim said:

    Are you kidding me with that first shot, wow. Beautiful job!

  • Thank you for showcasing Bella Vista in such a gorgeous light!! We have had many destination weddings at our luxury private estate, But you, Nikki and Jim did a truly fabulous job. Unforgettable weekend of family fun. We are grateful to share this lovely property with amazing talent like you, Haley!

  • Brittany Slaughter said:

    this is easily one of my favorite weddings of yours! everything just looks so dang perfect! the location is the stuff of dreams <3