Meredith and John got their engagement photos taken at Evergreen Lake in October of 2019 and we had planned to see each other in a few months for their wedding… that didn’t happen. Fast forward to August 27, 2021 and their venue (thankfully) was changed to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, or “A-Basin” as we call it here in Colorado. During the engagement session we discovered that we have common roots in East Coast skiing. A-Basin is a really special ski area in Colorado. It’s much higher and untamed than the rest of the ski areas and is usually the last one to close in Spring.
The day started in the Keystone skiing area’s lodging, just down the hill from A-Basin. We did their First Look around the bottom of the slopes in the Keystone village with mountain bikers skirting around us to head up the mountain on the lifts. After some wedding party shots we headed up the mountain for the quick jaunt to A-Basin. From the base the venue drives you up the mountain to the Black Mountain Lodge where the views are just outstanding. I’m used to it in the winter, but the drama of the cliffs surrounding the area in the summer is something else.
After some adjusting to the altitude, which at the lodge is 11,540 feet, the whole wedding party and family members headed to the bottom of the slopes for the arrival of the guests. I don’t know if you have ever taken a ski lift down, but it’s quite different from going up on one. When the ski lift crested the cliff, I screamed and gripped the seat… and I’ve been skiing since I was 4 years old! While the guests started getting on the lift to get up the mountain, the bridal party watched from the upper level of the rental area and prepped to head up the mountain in formation. It was such a blast to photograph Meredith and John on the lift as they approached the ceremony site.
The ceremony was held with the awesome backdrop of a sheer mountain cliff on a Bluebird Day where barely a cloud appeared in the sky. After the touching ceremony was completed, I had the immense pleasure of riding the lift in front of the bride and groom on the way down and behind them on the way up. This ride created some of my favorite photos of the year!
To compensate for the extreme altitude at A-Basin the venue supplies a flavored oxygen bar for the guests. I tried it out, it was pretty awesome, that little headache you get at altitude was gone, and the flavors made it extra fun! The reception included a roasted pig with ski goggles on, much to the horror of the mother of the bride, and the vegan singer for “That 80s Band”, who performed after the toasts. The father of the bride gave an epic toast, finished off by the gift of champagne glasses mounted to a ski for the newlyweds to drink from.
I headed down the mountain wishing I didn’t have a wedding first thing in the morning the next day so that I could have photographed the couple under the absolutely stunning amount of stars visible in the sky on that clear new moon night!