Cristi and David had a Sunrise Amphitheater wedding high above Boulder in a bit of a drizzle, going down the hill to their wedding reception at Chautauqua Community House, at the base of the Flatirons. The surrounding cottages and streets don’t look like they’ve changed much from the 1930s, and the reception had a timeless feel to it. As a Denver wedding photojournalist, that timeless feel is something I’m very happy to encounter.

If you haven’t been to Sunrise Amphitheater, it’s a simple yet extraordinary place. It’s surprisingly high, given how close it is to downtown Boulder. There is a feeling of floating above the city below, in absolute silence. There is a psychological transition that happens as you wind up the hillsides. You get the sense of being in another place, far removed, suspended in time. There is an anticipatory energy for the guests I’ve not seen equaled in far more opulent settings.

A bride prepares for her wedding at the Boulderado hotel.

Cristi preparing at the Boulderado Hotel.

Bride prepares for her wedding at the Boulderado Hotel

Bride putting on dress preparing for wedding at the Boulderado Hotel by Denver wedding photojournalist.

Nervous bride before her wedding at the Boulderado Hotel.

Who doesn’t feel this way? I maintain a small, quiet presence, as I want things to unfold naturally, as if I wasn’t there. Sometimes that means I might make a single frame over the course of several minutes. It’s the difference between quietly sharing space with someone and feeling like you’re constantly on display. I’m acutely aware of the ways I change when there’s a camera around, so I do everything I can to minimize my presence. In documentary wedding photography, less is often more.

Officiant at Sunrise Amphitheater wedding waits out a rainstorm to begin the ceremony.

The officiant takes shelter from a downpour and discusses shifting timelines with Cristi, waiting in a car down the road. After a half hour, the deluge turned to a drizzle and everyone headed for the amphitheater.

Groom and friends walk in the rain to Sunrise Amphitheater wedding in Boulder, Colorado.

Couple gets married at Sunrise Amphitheater overlooking Boulder, Colorado.

Bride and groom exchanging vows at Sunrise Amphitheater wedding in Boulder, Colorado.

Bride and groom exchange vows in the rain at the Sunrise Amphitheater in Boulder, Colorado.

Denver wedding photojournalist captures Bride and groom share first kiss in the rain at Boulder, Colorado wedding.

First kiss with a twist.

Bride and groom following ceremony at Sunrise Amphitheater, by Denver wedding photojournalist.

Bride and groom walk under umbrella in the rain after Boulder, Colorado wedding.

White umbrellas, yes please. Black umbrellas can turn the couple into silhouettes. Graphic, perhaps, but I really want to see their faces.

Bride and groom after Sunrise Amphitheater wedding by Denver black and white wedding photographer.

Boulder bride during cocktail hour at Sunrise Amphitheater.

I was quite happy with the drizzle. It forced people to have cocktails in the picnic pavilion, where the light was beautiful.

Black and white image of bride casually holding bouquet at Boulder wedding.

Bride and groom in the back seat following a Boulder, Colorado wedding.

Chautauqua was just a short, winding ride down the hill.

Bride and groom in Chautauqua, by Boulder wedding photojournalist

When I do take posed pictures, I think of them as an opportunity to make a portrait that doesn’t scream “wedding photography”. I imagine people looking at the image 50 years from now and what would be important to them. Perhaps a sense of each person at this point in time in their lives, a sense that could be obscured by interactions done for the sake of the camera. Trends come and go, but I want these pictures to be timeless.

Wedding at Chautauqua Community House by Denver wedding photojournalist

Toasts on the sidewalk, at the bottom of the steps.

Denver wedding photojournalist captures best man toasting couple at Chautauqua Community Hall wedding.

Denver wedding photojournalist captures best man and groom at Chautauqua Community Hall wedding.

Bride dancing at Chautauqua Community Hall wedding reception by Denver documentary wedding photographer.

Overhead image of bride and groom dancing at Chautauqua Community House wedding reception.

Groom dances with guest at Chautauqua Community House wedding. Photography by Denver wedding photojournalist.

Bride holds groom while dancing at Chautauqua Community House wedding.

Documentary wedding photographer in Denver captures couple dancing at wedding reception.

Bride does not let go of groom's hand during wedding reception.

Groom dances at Boulder wedding venue.

Bride kisses groom on dance floor at Boulder wedding reception site.

Bride and groom alone on the dance floor during Boulder wedding reception.

Couple laughing on the dance floor at a Boulder, Colorado wedding reception.

Bride smiles at groom on dance floor of Boulder wedding reception.

Denver wedding photographer captures last dance at Chautauqua Community Hall wedding.