May 18, 2017
When Thomas and I first started dating, we used to go on “groupon dates.” He would find so many places to visit that I had never heard of. We ate at new restaurants, explored state parks, and for my birthday, I got a (aka: my first and only) massage at Bella Collina. We drove for quite some time to get to this “mysterious” Bella Collina, and when we arrived I was…confused. As we drove over the cobbled street up to this beautiful building on top of a hill, I stared in awe. Where was I? “Am in in Italy?” I thought to myself. The building was covered in ornate stone. There were doric columns and tall, thin topiaries. I remember looking out over the grounds and thinking, “This would be an incredible place to get married.”
Fast forward years, many years, and Thomas and I received an inquiry from Stephanie and Greg. They were getting married at Bella Collina! I can still remember exactly where I was when Stephanie’s email rolled through my inbox. Thomas and I were in Denver, shooting an engagement session. I messaged Stephanie and told her that I would get back to her in a few hours, as we were out west for a shoot, but I would be in touch. Stephanie wrote a beautiful email filled with so much excitement and anticipation about her and Greg’s wedding day. I’m smiling just thinking about it. She also mentioned how cool it was that we were out west – because she and Greg would love to move out there one day. Needless to say, Thomas and I hit it off with Stephanie and Greg pretty instantly (it is hard not to!) and we pretty much counted down the days until their wedding.
Stephanie was an amazing bride to work with. She is one of those girls that makes you instantly feel like her best friend. She would send me texts with various updates over the months as the wedding approached, and on the wedding day she gave me the biggest hug!
Stephanie and her bridesmaids got ready at a beautiful home on the lake right near Bella Collina. The natural light at that home was on point! The girls spent the morning having their hair and makeup done, anticipating the beautiful day.
After a few hours, we all made our way over to the venue. It was more beautiful than I had remembered. Stephanie put on her dress with the help of her mom, sister, and future mother-in-law. Her gown was delicate and covered in lace. Her bridesmaids wore dusty blue dresses with fun off-the-shoulder details. The groomsmen played pool and relaxed in the locker room around the corner.
Stephanie and Greg opted to share a first look before their ceremony (which was adorable), and I’m so grateful that they did! It allowed us to truly take advantage of this incredible venue and capture so many images of the two of them!
Greg and Stephanie were married in the driveway at Bella Collina. It was a wonderful location with the arches as the perfect backdrop. Stephanie walked through the guests with her dad by her side. During the ceremony, Stephanie and Greg placed letters into a box, along with a bottle of wine, that they will open one day in the future. Before we knew it, these high school sweethearts were officially husband and wife!
The party got started shortly after the ceremony, as guests made their way to their dining area. The weather was perfect for an outdoor reception. String lights and an epic chandelier hung above the dance floor. Tables were covered in garlands and lanterns. At each place setting sat a bottle of olive oil and a jar of spices – the perfect favor for such an Italian-inspired wedding!
The rest of the evening was filled with hilarious and heart-felt toasts, the most delicious cake, and grandpa (and everyone else) tearing it up on the dance floor! The newlyweds exited just after midnight through a tunnel of sparklers. It was such a magical day! Oh – and I forgot to mention – remember how Stephanie and Greg wanted to move out west? They’re moving to Colorado just three days after they return from their honeymoon! Talk about really following your dreams!
Stephanie and Greg, words cannot express how grateful we are that we were able to document your wedding day! You two have such good hearts and clearly care so deeply for one another. The way you support each other endlessly is inspiring. I know that you have many years, decades, of happiness to look forward to! Congratulations on this new chapter – and I hope we see you in Colorado! Hugs!
Grateful for all of these vendors that were awesome to work with: Planning: Plan It Events // Florals: Lee James Floral // Rentals (linen, farm tables, sweetheart couch): RW Events // Hair: Hair by Elena // Makeup: APG Makeup – Andrea Guillen // Dress shop: Bridal LTD Gallery New Smyrna Beach Florida // Dress designer: Essense of Australia Designer // Shoes: Betsy Johnson // Venue and Catering: Bella Collina // Officiant: Pastor Calvin Gittner // DJ: Liquid Entertainment // Videographer: Nate Puhr // Bridesmaid attire: Show Me Your Mumu // Groom and groomsmen suits: Calvin Klein // Groom and groomsmen shirts: Banana Republic // Ties: Express // Groom’s watch: TMBR // Tie clips: Etsy // Cake: Party Flavors // Invitation: Bliss Paper Boutique // Lighting: Kaleidoscope Event Lighting