Joe and Jen have a great sense of adventure and love to travel. After they shared some of their amazing engagement photos with me, I knew I had to knock this one out of the park for them.

With all the wonderful places in the country to pick from, they chose the beautiful Garden of the Gods, in Manitou Springs, Colorado for their ceremony.  They were looking for a very natural settings, not man-made, so I suggested the Cathedral Spires, in Cathedral Valley, a natural rock formation that is one of the most photographed locations in the park. I had seen the Cathedral Spires from a distance, but had never actually been inside it. You can see the Cathedral Spires in the photo below, in roughly the center of the shot.  

Cathedral spires at the garden of the gods

I was able to arrange the entire shoot online, without ever meeting the couple. We kept in touch consistently in the weeks leading up to their special day, I wanted them to be confident that I would be there and ready for them when they arrived. I was really excited to find that they were willing to walk a bit into the park, and would both wear shoes that would be safe for getting around on some of the rocks.  

They couldn't have been a more pleasant or patient couple to work with, and the service was provided by a wonderful gentleman, an aptly self-described "Old West Preacher", Wayne MacKirdy, a retired US Army chaplain from Colorado Springs.

Joe and Jen wedding photography in the Garden of the Gods

It was a chilly day, with temps in the low 30's. The sun was quickly fading behind Pike's Peak, and I knew there was a limited time before the bride would start to feel the cold. Working as quickly as I could, we managed to shoot five or six setups after the ceremony before the cold became too much for Jen.  I didn't want to push, but I would have loved to have another hour with this great couple.

Showing as much respect for the park, and preserving its natural state, we stayed within the boundaries, but I did convince the couple to squeeze their way up into a formation within the Cathedral Spires - I didn't note any warnings at this spot, but I did hope we weren't going to get in trouble.

You can find a few more samples of Joe and Jen in my Weddings and Bridal album, and more information about my wedding photography services here.