Donovan Pavilion Winter Wedding
What better way to start a new year than by getting married and celebrating with your closest family and friends? That was couple Melissa and Ben’s thinking last year when they planned the epic weekend itinerary for their Donovan Pavilion winter wedding in Vail, Colorado. It included some of the best meals Vail has to offer as well as skiing excursions and a New Year’s Eve bash featuring Denver’s The Radio Band. Melissa had hoped for a snow globe vibe and, say photographers Jesse and Moira of J. La Plante Photo in Boulder, Colorado’s weather definitely delivered with big, fluffy flakes all day long.
Also adding to the ambiance was the lodge itself, a stunning timber and stone building featuring gorgeous mountain views that provided a lot of opportunities for guests to get cozy around the fire.
In addition to the abundance of portrait photo ops, the dance party was one of Jesse and Moira’s favorite parts of the event. “Live bands always bring a great energy to the reception,” says Jesse. “This is especially important when your party runs until the countdown at midnight. The Denver Radio Band kept the party hopping all night long!”
Of course, no wedding comes without its challenges. “The trickiest thing about winter weddings is shooting in the dark,” says Jesse. “The sun sets around 4:30pm in Colorado in December, which meant that most of this wedding day (including the ceremony) happened after dark. Fortunately, we love using off-camera flash and were able to make the ceremony, portraits and reception look cool despite the lack of ambient light.”
The photo duo pulled out all the stops for this Donovan Pavilion winter wedding. Approaching it in their signature style, “the wedding day was 90% journalistic and 10% posed,” says Moira. “Jesse was a newspaper photographer long before we started shooting weddings, so candid photography is an incredibly important part of what we do. During that 90%, we don’t manipulate or control anything. We simply capture the day as it unfolds. Then, for portraits, we take the reins for greater creative control.”
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Venue: Donovan Pavilion
Planning: AW Events
Floral: Rose Petals Vail
Band: The Radio Band
Catering: Red Maple Catering
Getting ready: Grand Hyatt Vail
Hair and makeup: Weemala Hair and Makeup
Rentals: Event Rents
Cameras: Nikon D750. D780, D850
Lenses: 14-24, 24-70, 35, 70-200
Flashes: Geekoto GT200s
Lighting modifiers: MagMod (gels, sphere, soft boxes)
Light stands: Cheetah Stand C8, C10