A few Mondays ago, I hopped on a Southwest flight for a quick trip to Dallas, and who did I sit next to but my sweet bride Gena! I have to say it was probably one of the most enjoyable flights ever, because we got to catch up on work, life, and being a newlywed — AND we got to relive her wedding day at Planet Bluegrass in Lyons, Colorado, all over again!
I heard about Gena and Jake’s mini-moon in Palisade, where they had a grand time celebrating Jake’s birthday too. The western slope of Colorado holds special memories for the two of them, since that was one of their first adventures together, and Jake proposed in Moab.
Speaking of proposing, the first time Gena and Jake said “I love you” was the day Jake proposed! They each believe that love is not a feeling or emotion, but a promise — and so once they were engaged to be married, that was the right time to say those three words to each other for the first time!
Gena and I talked about how beautiful their wedding day was — how it was literally perfect from start to finish. The day started out overcast but beautiful, and the rain held off until after the ceremony, when it added such a soft, romantic touch to their couple’s portraits.
Gena told me that walking down the aisle and seeing Jake waiting for her was a moment she’ll never forget. She loved how she could actually feel the enthusiasm and excitement he had to marry her. Jake also loved seeing Gena walk down the aisle on the arm of her dad, her number one fan, getting ready to pass that torch along to Jake.
They both loved holding hands in the middle of their gorgeous ceremony site with the river and the rock wall in the background (Planet Bluegrass does not disappoint!) as they read their hand-written vows. They couldn’t believe it as Steve, their officiant and long-time friend, told the story of their relationship exactly as it happened. The were awed to realize someone else knew them and their love story as well as they did, and to be able to share it so flawlessly with their friends and family, many of whom were meeting Gena or Jake for the first time.
During their vows, Gena produced a list she had written at church camp in seventh grade, where she names the qualities she hoped to find in her future husband. Not surprisingly, Jake fit the bill. Gena told Jake she knew he might be the one before they even started dating, because “I was never more myself than when I was with you.”
One of the special things about Gena and Jake’s relationship is how beautifully they complement each other. Where one is weak, the other is strong. But they don’t see those weaknesses as a deficiency — more as the opportunity to complete each other, the way God designed. Even when they were planning their wedding together, Gena was the option creator, and Jake was the decision maker. And now, in married life, Gena told me, “He’s my stability and I’m his adventure.”
One of the things I appreciated most about Gena and Jake’s wedding was they wanted to have 15 minutes alone after the ceremony to just be together, and they even built it into their timeline. It is so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the wedding day, and this was one way they were able to stop and savor the meaning of the day, and each other.
Jake and Gena entered into their reception to the announcement of Chicago Bulls basketball players being introduced onto the court. Then they danced the night away with their friends and family from around the country, all who came to heartily support Gena and Jake as these two became one. The love they all have for each other was evident in every image I captured, in every minute of the day. Cheers to a lifetime of happiness, you two! I am so humbled and honored to have been part of your day, and now to call you my friends.
To see more of Gena and Jake, watch Christian Dacosta’s wedding highlights video here.
Venue: Planet Bluegrass, Lyons, Colorado | Colorado wedding planner: Kathy Miller | Second shooter: Julia | Florals: Living Arts Floral | Video: Christian Dacosta | Hair and makeup: Jordan Brittany | Wedding gown: Luv Bridal | Groom’s attire: Tom James | Music: DJ Connection | Catering: Under the Sun | Bakery: Voodoo Doughnut | Rentals: All Events Rentals
Thanks to this dream team of vendors who made the entire day a joy to photograph:
Venue: Planet Bluegrass, Lyons, Colorado
Wedding Planner: Kathy Miller
Videographer: Christian Dacosta
Floral design: Living Arts Floral
Wedding gown: Luv Bridal
Groom attire: Tom James
Groom accessories: Triton
DJ: DJ Connection
Caterer: Under the Sun
Rentals: All Events Rentals
Bakery: Voodoo Doughnuts
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