Blog

Getting married at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colorado

Jennifer Leaver discusses the Beaumont Hotel and Spa in Ouray, Colorado and what it is like to get married there. Check out the video or read the transcript below.

Hi, my name is Jennifer Leaver, I’m one of the owners of the Beaumont Hotel  and Spa in Ouray, Colorado.

This place was made for weddings, we specialize in fairytale weddings and we offer weddings starting at $1,000. You can’t get that anywhere for a venue like this. This Venue is beyond compare, it will never go out of style. Your photos will be timeless.

Everything you need is right here. We have indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception venues. We have the Grand Staircase for your ceremony, we also have the European style courtyard. You can also have your reception in the historic Grand Ballroom, and the V.I.P. lounge that comes with it is amazing!

If your event takes place during an unpredictable weather season, this adaptability can make an easy transition of your plans if necessary. Your day will be perfect, no matter what the weather conditions.

The private suite, that we call the Honeymoon Suite, has a spiral staircase that goes up into the tower of the building that you see from outside. It makes for beautiful shots in your wedding gown.

Ouray is called “Switzerland of America” for a reason. It is absolutely gorgeous and if you’re looking for a mountain wedding, this is the place.

I live here because the is no place on Earth like it. It is absolutely amazing and gorgeous, no matter what time of year. Summer is just…I can’t even describe it. It is just so cool with all the waterfalls. Winter, if there’s snow, it is like a winter wonderland.

This venue is elegant, lovely, timeless, classic, beyond compare. You’re gonna love it!

Winter Engagement Photoshoot

There is something about young love that I love to see through the view finder. Gretta and Tate hired me to shoot their engagement photos at Mesa Lakes Lodge on the Grand Mesa. They were a great couple to work with and we had a lot of fun during our photography session (minus the post-holing in the deep snow!) I am really looking forward to photographing their December wedding in downtown Grand Junction.

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tate and Gretta Engagement

Tate Thompson and Gretta Henrich engagement photo session at Mesa Lakes on the Grand Mesa, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Photo by Barton Glasser

The Best Wedding Photos of 2015

With the start of a new year I always look forward to what’s to come and not what has passed. I have never taken the time to compile a “year in review” before but I felt that 2015 was different. 2015 was a great year for me in wedding photography and I wanted to take a moment to revisit some of my best moments and best couples.

This became a special challenge for me as well. I accumulate a very large collection of wedding photos after a whole year of shooting weddings in Western Colorado and I wanted to see if I could narrow it down to the ten very best images. As it turns out, no. I can’t do it. So here are 20 of my favorite wedding photos of 2015!

I also want to send out a special thanks to all of my past, and future, clients. You’re amazing, your weddings are amazing, and none of this would be possible without you!

Palisade Winery Wedding: Cejka + Sully

For destination weddings, it is common that I don’t get to meet the bride and groom until the wedding. We communicate via telephone and email up until the big day and everything functions smoothly. I didn’t even have a conversation with Jessica and Jonathan until the day before the wedding.

The thing about photography is that you have to adapt and roll with whatever happens, always. Jessica and Jonathan embodied this idea and, in the end, it really didn’t matter that we hadn’t been chatting for weeks about their wedding plans.

Elise Love, a mutual friend of mine and Jessica’s, put the whole event together and did a wonderful job. The event was hosted and catered by Amy’s Courtyard in Palisade and entertainment was provided by local bluegrass band Stray Grass.

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

High Alpine Wedding in Yankee Boy Basin: Sarah + Paul

During my meetings with Sarah and Paul prior to their wedding day, I was very impressed by two things about this couple; their organization and their ambition. Paul had put together a website that outlined every detail of their wedding day for their guests. Because it was a destination wedding in the San Juan mountains around Ouray, Colorado, Paul even included tips for dealing with sun exposure and altitude sickness. The week prior to the wedding Paul and Sarah invited their guests to join them on a whirlwind tour of some of Western Colorado’s finest attractions, everything from riding the Durango-Silverton narrow-gauge railroad to wine-tasting in the Grand Valley.

On the day of the wedding Switzerland of America Jeep Tours arranged transport for everyone to an overlook in Yankee Boy Basin for the ceremony. As it turned out Sarah and Paul were not the only ones getting hitched in the basin that day. This caused a bit of confusion among the guests but everyone did get married to the correct person and a champagne toast was shared between the two wedding parties. Classy!

After the ceremony (and a beer from the Ouray Brewery) I ran around with Sarah + Paul making pictures. The reaction to the bride from the tourists in town is always cool to watch. Some people sneak pictures, some people ask to pose the the couple. Everyone cheers and honks.

The reception was hosted by The Secret Garden Bed and Breakfast. They put out a wonderful spread of Mediterranean cuisine and cupcakes from Patties Tiny Cakes.

 

 

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

The other wedding party.

 

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Grand Mesa Wedding: Rachel and Braden

Rachel and Braden had a beautiful outdoor wedding at Five Winds Ranch near Colbran, Colorado. I had never been to the ranch but quickly became one of my new favorite wedding venues! There are lots places on the property to make some fun photos, the facilities are top-notch and Colby, the owner, is very attentive to everyone’s needs.

Sometimes younger couples display a lot of pre-wedding jitters but both Rachel and Braden were cool and collected all day long. Photographing a couple with so much confidence in each other is really an amazing thing.

 

 

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Colorado Wedding Photography

Ouray Elopement: Eve Anne + Kevin

Most of the weddings I am invited to photograph are younger couples who are just starting out in life. Eve Anne + Kevin’s elopement was a little different. It was a small, but elegant, affair at The Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colorado. The ceremony was held on the grande staircase with their adult children from previous marriages by their side. Both were overjoyed to be tying the knot and to spend a week away with their family. The whole event was more of a merger of two kingdoms rather than just a merger of two people. It is not often that I am invited to photograph second weddings but I am grateful for Eve Anne + Kevin for showing me how cool they can be!

 

 

Ouray Wedding Photography

 

Ouray Wedding Photography

 

Ouray Wedding Photography

 

Ouray Wedding Photography

 

Ouray Wedding Photography

Winter wonderland wedding in Ouray, Colorado

There may have only been a few days of winter this year, but one of them was just for Ash and Karla. Just as they were about to take their vows on the steps of the historic Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colorado, big, fat, fluffy flakes started flying. The weather, along with their great personalities, made for a very special day and some great photography.

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Stuckey Chesnut Wedding

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Stuckey Chesnut Wedding

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Stuckey Chesnut Wedding

Stuckey Chesnut Wedding

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Karla Stuckey and Ash Chestnut wedding at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 2015. Photo by Barton Glasser

Tips for Great Wedding Photography

   Since I started photographing weddings more than a decade ago, I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Getting great wedding photos is really a collaborative effort and I’ve compiled a few tips that can help ensure that you get the best images possible.

Barton Glasser on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. Photo by Barton Glasser Meet your photographer

This seems pretty basic but a lot of couples don’t do this, especially for destination weddings. The day of the wedding can be hectic, stressful and emotional and the last thing anyone wants is some stranger sticking a camera in their face. It is important that you and your photographer get along and have developed some kind of rapport. A great way to do this is to schedule an engagement shoot. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, try to arrange a phone call or video chat.

Wedding Photography

Put your photographer on the guest list

Being on the guest list does several important things for photographers. When you send an invitation, we can photograph it. It is also very nice to be able to confirm all of the times, places and the names of your family and wedding party (if you choose to include them). It also lets your other vendors know that we will be part of the party.

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Getting ready

Plan plenty of time to get ready. Hair and makeup often takes longer than expected and your photographer will want some time to do a few bridal portraits. This is usually when we photograph the dress, the rings and other details, so please have those things ready. You also may want to consider tidying up a bit. It is amazing how half-a-dozen brides’ maids can make a hotel room look like a Guns ’n Roses after party. For better or worse, the room will be part of the photos.

Montrose Colorado Wedding Photography

First look

Decide early on if you want to do a first look or reveal. In my opinion, I find that doing a first look has a lot of advantages. Most importantly, it allows you and your partner a lot more time to enjoy the moment, calm each others nerves and settle into the fact “today is wedding day.” Aside from that, now that you have already seen each other you can get some of your family photos done, freeing yourselves up to enjoy the cocktail hour with your guests.

Grand Junction Colorado Wedding Photography

Guests with cameras

It is really up to you how you want to handle this but with the prevalence of cell phone photography it is an important issue to consider. Whether it is someone jumping in the way to get an photo of your first kiss or your family not knowing which camera to look at during the group shots, guests with cameras can interfere with the work that you have paid a professional to create. It is usually enough to simply remind your guests that there is a professional photographer present and to be respectful of the job that they are there to do.

Seth and Casey Wedding at Colorado National Monument and Allen's Unique Autos in Grand Junction, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Photo by Barton Glasser

Transportation

Whenever possible, it is a good idea to have your photographer travel with you. There are a lot of intimate moments and great photos that can be made en route.

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Indoor ceremonies

It is common practice for some indoor venues and churches to restrict photography. Ask your venue coordinator if there are certain places that photographers can or cannot stand and if using a flash is allowed. Make sure that your photographer is aware of the rules. If there are any restrictions on photography it is important to have realistic expectations.

Ouray Colorado Wedding Photography

Outdoor ceremonies

Think about the sun when you schedule your outdoor ceremony. Generally, the best time is later in the afternoon, a few hours before sunset. The light will fall more evenly on your face and will be more dramatic at this time of day. Harsh midday sunlight, especially at higher elevations, will create some very unflattering shadows.

Telluride Colorado Wedding Photography

Group shots

Most of the formal group shots should be done immediately following the ceremony. If you are doing a first look you can do a few of your photos then. Before the wedding, give your photographer a list of every combination of people you want in each group photo and ask one or two of your guests to help organize everyone. This should be someone who knows most of your friends and family.

Telluride Colorado Wedding Photography

The reception

Remember that photography is essentially painting with light. When there is no light, photographers have to bring their own and this can create a lot of distracting pops from flash bulbs. Accentuating the natural light with candles, uplighting or light strands can really enhance the mood of your reception and give your photographer a lot more to work with.

Ouray Wedding Photography

Feed your photographer

Contrary to popular belief, photographers are human beings and do require sustenance during the day. Usually the wedding staff is fed after the guests but ask your caterer to serve the photographer with the wedding party. No one needs photos of themselves chewing. Serving your photographer early ensures that they are revitalized and ready to work when the speeches begin.

Montrose Wedding Photography

Have fun!

You’ve spent a lot of time, energy and, probably, a lot of money planning your wedding, but big events seldom go exactly according to plan. Embracing the unexpected and allowing for spontaneity can really add to the magic of your day and go a long way toward creating a wedding that is uniquely yours.

That photo looks familiar

Of all of the thousands of photos taken at Telluride weddings in a summer, the marketing department at Telluride Ski Resort thought that this photo would be the best for their display ad in Rocky Mountain Bride magazine. From Alisha + Graig’s wedding.

Telluride wedding photography