Mountaintop Real WeddingWords by Jennifer Stein
Photos courtesy of Daniel Kim Photography
Waiting is hard. But to wait for the love of your life to show up, especially when you’re a professional wedding photographer for over 15 years, now that is hard. What got Melissa through it? Her faith in God and an unrelenting trust that someone like Bruce would eventually come into her life.
Online dating hadn’t really worked, meeting friends-of-friends turned out to be a bust and being an entrepreneur doesn’t exactly produce a huge work place dating pool. So, when she took a leap of faith and got on Christian Mingle, it turned out to be a game changer. To say their love was fast and furious is an understatement. Bruce had written a letter to his future wife on his online profile, drawing interest from Melissa immediately. A few bits of correspondence sparked “a two-and-a-half week marathon of phone calls and video exchanges,” until he flew out to Phoenix to meet her in person.
“We planned to spend three days together and I cleared my calendar, despite it being the middle of busy season,” recalls Melissa. That three-day trip was stretched out to a week, then another and then another! “Those three weeks were amazing and helpful to me in discovering his heart and what he is about.”
Several months later, Bruce, with the help of friends and family, staged an elaborate scavenger hunt proposal and popped the question.
The couple resided in two different states and Melissa’s busy season for her business is during the nicest weather in Arizona, so a summer wedding in Colorado fit the bill perfectly.
Every year, Melissa attends an event with Forge Ministry called Deep Camp in Colorado, so the couple made sure to schedule the wedding around the event. In part, to make sure their ministry friends could attend and also so some of their guests could attend the camp with them post W-day. “Yep, we spent our first week of married life at a camp with our family and friends! It was an incredible way to get extra quality time with loved ones,” recalls Melissa.
Via chairlift, 120 guests traveled to Granby Ranch in Colorado to witness a touching, personal vow exchange, officiated by friend and Forge founder, Dwight Robertson. “During the ceremony, our bridal party and immediate families prayed over us. I just loved that moment,” says Melissa.
After the tear-jerking ceremony, guests headed back down the mountain to a dinner under the open sky. During the reception, a few sprinkles and a sudden storm rolled in. It lasted only a few minutes, but resulted in a gorgeous, full rainbow.
Isn’t that just a perfect metaphor for marriage and life? Without the storms, we wouldn’t have the rainbows.
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2019 issue. You can order a copy here.
Vendor List: Wedding Planner: Kayla with Some Like It Classic; Venue: Granby Ranch; Photographer: Daniel Kim; Florist/Decor: Sarah's Garden; Bridal Dress & Veil Boutique: Emma and Grace Bridal; Bridesmaids Dress Designer: Jenny Yoo; Bridesmaid Dress Shop: Bella Bridesmaids Scottsdale; Hair: Emily Hughes; Makeup: Arielle Rondeau; Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar; Groom's Suit: Magro Clothing; Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux; Ties: vKnit; Stationery: Electric Dreams, Design & Roots and Rain Creative; Musicians: Mountain City Music; Officiant: Dwight Robertson with Forge; Vow Booklets: Art + Alexander; Rentals & Lighting: Event Rents; Linens: La Tavola; Cake: Megan Joy Cakes; S'mores: Ruze Cake House; Videographer: Sula Studios; Photo Booth: Rendezbooth; Ribbons: FrouFrou Chic
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