High in the mountains of Colorado, in the Golden Gate Canyon Park, stands a rustic homestead called the Lazy Squaw Ranch, which is also (less racistly) known as the Harmsen House. It was this beautiful place, with four bedrooms and fireplaces galore, that served as the Base of Operations for Amber and Eric’s wedding.

They are, shall we say, colourful people. Brought together by a passion for art and nature, white gowns and tuxes wouldn’t suit them. Nor their wedding party; dispensing with titles like best man and maid/matron of honour, the sides of the party were titled the Bridesguard and the Groomsguard respectively, which I honestly think is badass. And birds of a feather flock together; both Guards were bedecked with mighty plumage indeed.

Pastor Stan led a moving ceremony that left very few eyes dry (I partially missed it as the ceremony was being gatecrashed by a chipmunk), and the darling couple read their vows. They’d written them separately but I doubt anyone will ever believe them; they fit together so well. 

We are gathered, with this ring, you may kiss…

Later, Eric remarked to me that the ceremony was not, to him, the wedding, at least it wouldn’t be in his memory. What was as important, or more so, was the friendship and love shared with friends and family in the hours and days afterward. And he’s so, so right.

Amber and Eric had been guests at the last wedding I shot in the States, for Nicole and Jeffrey, so I was tremendously pleased when they requested me to document theirs. But as the days went on (and they were very few days, alas) I felt more and more privileged to be a part of such a loving, foolish, enthusiastic, responsible and irresponsible group of people.

Together, we sang and danced to m’buddy Fox Amoore ‘s music. We carved a roast hog, devoured jars of creme brûlée and mead, explored a candy paradise and an anachronistic hardware store wonderland in Georgetown, and schemed as/with/against/despite the werewolves of Harmsen Village – never mind that last part, I guess you had to be there.

It is customary for me to thank the bride and groom for letting me be a part of their wonderful day. This time, I’d like to thank their friends and family as well – thank you all for being magnificent!

– Nico