Today on the blog, Erin and Kevin’s awesome Retreat at Solterra wedding. I have actually shot at this venue before, but for winter family photos (oddly enough). While these were very different types of photography, it was helpful to already be a little bit familiar with the space. It worked beautifully for a wedding and their big day did not disappoint! I am sure they were so bummed having to postpone due to the pandemic. But I would guess that this amazing celebration more than made up for it!
There were many aspects of this wedding day that made it so special, unique, and memorable. Some of my favorite parts of the day were the multiple “first looks”. First Erin did a first look with the groomsmen. This was a first for me, and it was completely fun and adorable! The guys had a great reaction, and you knew how excited they were for their buddy to marry his bombshell bride! The first look with the groomsmen was followed by the first look with Kevin. Because we were in a parking lot at Red Rocks, and it was a wide open space, we were trying to think of a creative way to do this first look. The groomsmen had brought along some colorful parasols to help keep cool. Little did they know they would become a major photo prop for these wedding portraits. We decided the groomsmen would block Erin from Kevin’s view with the parasols. Then, on cue, they dropped the parasols and revealed this stunning bride to her eager groom. It was an awesome moment!
This is one of my favorite things about being a wedding photographer…no two weddings are the same. It sure keeps things exciting!
Other parts of their Retreat at Solterra wedding that I loved were the sweet and funny wedding vows, as well as the surprise Irish Dancers at the reception. Erin used to dance herself, and her parents surprised her with dancers from her former dance studio. They were very entertaining, and the couple and their guests were delighted with the fun performance! I also loved all the bride and groom photos we captured at Red Rocks, especially in the “rock tunnel”. Their first dance was wonderful, and the dark and dramatic skies with lightning off in the distance made for a really incredible backdrop for the dances and the toasts alike. The dance floor was hopping…it didn’t matter how windy it got out there! They ended an awesome party with a lively sparkler exit. I love a good sparkler exit. They have become rarer and rarer in Colorado with all of the fire bans and wildfires in recent years. It was great that they were allowed to do this exit, because it always provides such a fun, picture-perfect ending to the wedding day.
This is definitely one of my favorites from Erin and Kevin’s Red Rocks and The Retreat at Solterra wedding photos. Totally worth photoshopping multiple people, vehicles, and signs out of the shot! It was insane over there, with a concert later that evening. But we made it work…and it was pretty incredible 🙂
Here is their Retreat at Solterra wedding from Erin and Kevin’s perspective. I think it’s always fun to read these post-wedding questionnaires and relive the day through their eyes 🙂
What was your most anticipated part of the day?
Erin: I was anticipating the timing of all the events to get behind schedule and was stressing over that the most.
Kevin: seeing Erin for the first time at Red Rocks
Did anything unexpected happen? What was the outcome?
Erin: We forgot everyone’s bouquets when we left for first look and bridal party pictures, however we were able to get some very cool posed pictures without them and they are by far my favorites
Kevin: Irish Dancers! Was an awesome surprise.
What ended up being your favorite part of the day?
Erin: My favorite part of the day was the reception and listening to everyone’s speeches. It’s such an intimate moment you share with your close friends and family and it’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded by all of that love.
Kevin: getting married 😉 plus the after party of course
What advice would you give to future couples for their wedding?
Erin: Don’t sweat the little details! No one is going to remember what type of cutlery you had at your wedding, they’re going to remember how much fun they had and who was around. Splurge for good food! We got a lot of compliments on the finger foods for appetizers and having cupcakes for dessert instead of the typical wedding cake. Make sure to communicate with your vendors EXACTLY what you want. I had all my favorite music playing since I sent a list to the DJ and was able to get pictures with everyone I wanted thanks to Melissa and her amazing team!
Kevin: doing all of the pictures before the wedding was for sure the way to go, makes everything go much faster after the ceremony and keeps all the guest from waiting around by themselves.
Were you nervous? How did you squash the nerves?
Erin: I knew I was most stressed about making guests wait around while the wedding party did pictures so opting to do a first look and majority of the photos before the ceremony helped ease my anxiety a lot.
Kevin: I was more excited than nervous, the day flew by so fast there was no time for nerves.
What was the biggest surprise on your wedding day?
Erin: My Dad surprised me with Irish dancers! He ran into my old dance teacher earlier in the week and she sent a few of her current students to surprise us, it was amazing and we have some great pictures of their performance!
Kevin: how good everyone’s speeches were, they were awesome plus the weather and lightning storm in the distance made for an awesome setting
What inspired your wedding decor? Did you have a theme in mind?
Our venue has a Tuscan feel to it so I opted for earth tone colors that complimented it. I didn’t have a particular theme in mind which is exactly why I chose a venue that had good bones and didn’t need a lot of extra work to decorate.
Tell me about some of your favorite wedding details and how you came up with them!
The colorful umbrellas for the bridal party photographs were a fun touch. Shoutout to the groomsmen for bringing those. Doing the first look at Red Rocks was super cool and the tunnel photos are amazing. The separate groomsman and bridesmaids houses for the weekend.
How did you feel at the end of the day?
Erin: Overwhelmed but forever grateful for all the love that surrounded us on our special day. It went by so fast it was hard to take it all in.
Kevin: like I couldn’t have hoped for the day to have gone any better.
What are you most looking forward to as a married couple?
Erin: Building our lives together! Decorating our house, adopting all the animals, traveling and making memories
Kevin: Being a husband and continuing to grow together, expanding our lives and experiences
What did you like most about working with Plum Pretty Photography?
Melissa and her team were very easy going and her questionnaire beforehand made the day much less stressful knowing we were getting all the pictures we wanted. THANK YOU so much for everything!!
Why did you pick the venues that you chose?
I didn’t have a particular theme in mind I just wanted a place with good bones for a party that needed minimal decoration. Solterra was an amazing venue for about 50 guests!!
Which part of your wedding did you want to WOW your guests?
I wanted the reception to wow people with good food and drinks so people would be eager to dance all night, it was a blast!
What was the biggest challenge you faced in planning your wedding?
Honestly, the COVID-19 pandemic was the most stressful part of the whole thing. We had immunocompromised guests and had to be particularly strict about who was allowed to attend the wedding. Having to postpone a year was stressful but thankfully all of our vendors were willing to work with us to minimize the stress and we were able to find a new date that worked for everyone.
Did you go on a honeymoon? If so, tell me about it!
We haven’t yet, we want to travel internationally for our honeymoon and with COVID restrictions still in place we wanted to wait so it won’t be so stressful of an experience. We did buy a house two months before our wedding so we have been enjoying settling into it with our three cats!
Thank you, thank you Erin and Kevin! I had such a blast at your Retreat at Solterra wedding day. You and your friends and family were so enjoyable and fun to work with 🙂 Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together! On the blog next, another past wedding couple…Kailey and Leland. Their rainy maternity portraits at Evergeen Lake House were amazing, and quite memorable too. Have a great weekend ahead!
Erin and Kevin’s wedding dream team:
Primary photographer: Plum Pretty Photography
Assistant photographer: Maria Brock Hanson
Ceremony and reception venue: The Retreat at Solterra
Caterer: Serendipity Catering
Bakery: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Hair and make-up: Leslie Snyder
DJ: Matt DiAno
Videography: Jeremiah England