Destination engagement sessions?
Growing up we didn’t do a whole lot of traveling. Not that we didn’t travel, we totally did, but only destinations that our Astro Van could drive us to. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I rode an airplane for the first time and my life was forever changed. If you follow me on social media, you know my life now REVOLVES around travel. The minute I land from my last trip I’m immediately planning my next.
I come from a long line of beach bums so it took me 30 years to discover I freaking loved the desert and the mountains. Now I’m in a constant state of wanderlust bouncing between the mountains, ocean, and deserts…with a few random trips to Detroit in between. (WE LOVE DETROIT!)
Everywhere I go, I set up a photo session, because my happy place is behind my camera. Destination photography is my favorite. If you haven’t thought about a destination wedding, elopement, or engagement session Colleen and Brett’s destination engagement session at Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park in Morrison, Colorado is about to make you reconsider everything you once thought your wedding/engagement dreams were.
Destination engagement sessions are perfect for couples who love adventure but just can’t imagine a wedding without all of the important people. Do you have a favorite city or a dream destination? Let’s plan your dream photo session!
For Brett and Colleen’s engagement session, Red Rocks was a no brainer. Not only does it make for a gorgeous backdrop, but it’s where Brett and Colleen’s love story began…well kinda. Their love story is one of my FAVORITES. Before I wrote this blog post, I sent Brett and Colleen a wedding planning guide that starts with questionnaire about each couples love story. By the end of theirs I was literally bawling.
Colleen + Brett’s Love Story:
“We met in 2014 at The Phoenix. [a restaurant in Ohio]. I was working and he used to come in all of the time. I was never his server, but we’d always talk when he was there. I used to call him Zack because he looked like Zack Morris. All of my coworkers knew I had a crush on him and would tell me when he was there. We didn’t start hanging out until 2015.
Right before I moved to Colorado in 2016 Brett and I were at Buffalo Wild Wings getting a drink after I worked, and he went on a spiel about how he loved me. It was something I wanted to hear from him for a while, but I didn’t believe a word he said after him being so flaky for a year and a half.
After I moved to Colorado we didn’t really keep in touch, but would message each other every once in a while. I invited him to a wedding I was going to in Youngstown in 2017, he agreed to come, but then when I was home, I (not to my surprise) didn’t hear from him. (He probably hates that I’m giving this much detail, but it’s all part of our wild, magical love story). After not hearing from him that week, I think that’s when I finally gave up on ever hanging out with Brett again.
Then in October of 2018 his Dad had to have a liver transplant. I texted him and said “are you doing okay?” - he always mentions how much that meant to him because I was the only person to ask how Brett was doing. Then in November of 2018 I received a message from Brett about 5 days after my birthday wishing me happy belated birthday, after I responded he then sent me a long message how if we were together, that he’d make sure to always make it the most special day. I was very taken aback. He continued to message me about how he’s always loved me, and that he knew we would get married one day. I figured I would get a text the next day apologizing for being drunk, but to my surprise he didn’t, and in fact messaged me that he was so serious. I told him I didn’t believe him and wouldn’t unless he visited me in Colorado, a few days later he booked a trip.
“I realized he was the one when he visited me. We had not hung out or saw each other in almost three years. I was super anxious when picking him up from the airport because I thought it was going to be awkward. When he got in the car it felt like we didn’t skip a beat. I had the most amazing week with him. We went to a Browns vs. Broncos game together. Just being around him felt natural and fun. After almost 4 years of waiting, he finally asked me to be his girlfriend. We then immediately started talking about how we were going to make our relationship work with me being in Colorado and him in Ohio. At first he said he was going to move in October of 2019, then when he went back home, he immediately decided he couldn’t wait that long and changed the date to January 5. He almost didn’t go back to Ohio at all. I knew then that this was forever.”
“Colleen was always special to me. I just was terrible at expressing that to her. I met her while I was in another relationship that was very unhealthy and I didn’t realize it at the time. Once I got out of that relationship I immediately began to hang out with Colleen pretty frequently.
I remember one of the first times we hung out in the parking lot because she wanted to officially meet Shay (Brett’s dog). She was so loving and had such a beautiful personality that I had never been around. I could tell she had the biggest heart and I had never experienced that before. She was always willing to put me first. Then we began to become romantic and I'll never forget the way she stared into my eyes after the first time we kissed. I don't want to be cliche but i knew, right there that she was in love with me. No one has ever looked at me the way Colleen does. I felt all these things but was unable to express them coming out of a prior relationship. Its corny but I was just so emotionally immature, I wasn’t ready for Colleen and the type of love she has. “
“Once I grew up a little and stopped feeling sorry for myself, she was still there. I have no idea why but she always put up with my bullshit during that time. Then when I found out she was moving to Colorado, I made a last ditch effort thinking I could just get what I want. But what I love most about her is that she's so independent and said no. She didn't need me to be happy, but she needed to see that I was willing to put in effort. After not talking for a while besides flirting through liking instagram posts and tweets.
She texted me out of nowhere asking about my dad and family. That shows the kind of heart she has. After the way I treated her, she still wanted to make sure I was okay. It was remarkable to know someone thinks about you that way. I texted her after a Penn State game the week before Thanksgiving professing my love again for her and, she said she needed actions and not words. So I booked the flight that night to go see her. “
“When she picked me up the look in her eyes had not changed one bit, and we picked up right where we left off. That week with her was amazing and one of the best times of my life. It's so special to me. She took me to red rocks and as we stood above the amphitheater together, I just knew that this is the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Its corny but so true, I felt calm and happy. No girl has made me feel so safe. I missed my first flight back home to spend an extra day with her and the only reason I flew home is so we could do this the right way and set things up correctly. We were supposed to wait until October but once I got back home I had an amazing dinner with a family friend and former boss Rich Herrera. We ate and drank some wine and I got some of the best advice in my life. I booked a flight the next day for Jan 5 and here we are.”
And here they are…getting married!
Is that not the cutest love story ever. Perfectly imperfect. But in the end…love always wins. Sometimes you just have to move across the country for it. Colleen and Brett’s chemistry and love is beyond adorable. We had so much fun adventuring Red Rocks together during their engagement shoot. I am beyond excited to capture the next chapter of their love story at their 2020 wedding in Youngstown, Ohio. I’m also pretty excited to be their friends…because I’m low key obsessed with them.