I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!



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November 11, 2020

Alex & Courtney | Richmond, Virginia Wedding Photographer

Alex & Courtney | Richmond, Virginia Wedding Photographer

Even though this wasn’t Alex and Courtney’s original plan to get married in Virginia, it ended up being a perfect celebration! After all, they were looking for a relaxed, easy-going day with loved ones. I was so grateful they still wanted me as their photographer to photograph their backyard Richmond, Virginia wedding!!! And after talking over the phone to see how we could make our plans aligned, everything came together from there! They initially planned for a 2021 Hawaiian wedding, but plans changed causing them to improvise just weeks before this day I get to share with you all. 🙂 You will see fun Hawaiian details sprinkled in these photos to honor their Hawaiian plans. So fun!!!

Alex & Courtney | Richmond, Virginia Wedding Photographer

Alex and Courtney drastically cut down the guestlist for this intimate wedding, but it was one of the most special ceremonies I had the privilege of witnessing/documenting. I don’t think it was just the pregnancy hormones that had my eyes filling with tears because they had every guest crying during their vows! Truly these two belong together. <3 They brought so much joy to my “job,” and I love seeing the love, laughter, and joy that exudes from these two. I think you might agree when you look through this blog post!!! 🙂


Prepping for Forever.

Courtney was upstairs enjoying the hang out time with family and friends. Everyone was on time, which isn’t always the case on wedding days, so this meant Courtney was going to have the relaxing day she hoped for! I remember when she excitingly found THE perfect BHLDN dress for their Hawaiian wedding. They named the dress “fern butt” because of the lace pattern that just emphasized the right areas. 😉 Haha! After seeing I-Phone photos, I couldn’t wait to take pictures of her entire ensemble on their wedding day! It’s a one of a kind dress that Courtney ROCKED!

While Courtney was upstairs making everyone cry (LOL!), Alex was downstairs enjoying the downtime. If you’re a cat lover, you’ll see that Courtney gifted him a new pair of cuff links with their kitties on them (so fun). Speaking of Courtney, when they were visiting the Maker’s Mark Distillery, they got to seal their own bottle of whisky. To honor that bottle, the guys opened that seal and enjoyed a glass together. I won’t show you the “after faces” when they took that strong first gulp (HAHA!), but I’m sure it was good!! After Alex finished straightening up his details, he was ready to see his beautiful bride for their first look!!!

The First Look.

Alex hid behind the tree on the floating deck and Courtney extended her hand to reach for his before revealing herself. In disbelief, he grabbed her in tightly, and they both laughed together as they shared some of their fun details … Like the “Fern Butt” and the Hawaiian socks! Alex pulled Courtney off to the side and had her open up a locket necklace and a “ring bed” as Alex called it. <= I love “ring bed” rather than a “ring dish.” HAHA!

You will fall in love with Alex and Courtney looking through these photos below. 🙂 They have so much fun together and I LOVE it!!!!

The Ceremony.

I’ll never forget how sweet this ceremony was. Tears quickly filled my eyes as I listened to the words Alex and Courtney exchanged during their vows. And after years of dating, this day was very anticipated! I’m SO thrilled they didn’t have to wait another year before they said, “I do!” 🙂 And I wasn’t the only one who felt this way either! I don’t think there was one dry eye during their ceremony. As they came in for their first kiss as husband and wife, they walked away celebrating while their friend/officiant played “Somewhere over the Rainbow” on the Ukelele. Don’t you love the subtle Hawaiian touch? 🙂

Their Best Friends.

Because they downsized their wedding plans, they decided to have their two best friends as their honorary wedding party. And I loved the chemistry between this crew!!! Just like Alex and Courtney, their best friends also love to have fun! I guess the countless years of inside jokes also help. 🙂 But most importantly, it was so evident throughout the day how much their best friends love and support them. I’m so glad they were able to have them stand by their sides along with their families on this very special day.

The Details.

When they were searching for their new wedding venue, they stumbled across this cozy home called the Riversol Estate situated in the woods. It had everything they were looking for to accommodate their small party! It was like a maze walking around the home, but it was the outdoor scenery that captured their hearts. The spacious deck not only fit four guest tables but also two bars and a table for their Hawaiian favor treats, including a tropical mask! I love that little detail!!!

Because Alex and Courtney just had weeks to plan this day, they kept the theme simple with class. And thanks to their friend, Darcy from ValentineTheKnot, everything came together effortlessly! Fall colors were beautifully added through the burgundy napkins, seat assignment cards with gold calligraphy, and the florals. I loved spotting the gold accents with the flatware, candles, lanterns, and charger plates. And the wooden chairs tied in the rustic appeal of the woodsy atmosphere, and the twinkle lights added a romantic ambiance with the candles. I loved seeing how all of this was brought together in such a short period of time!! And their family and friends loved it too, especially being welcomed with charcuterie plates prepped by MOSAIC Catering + Events at their seat!!! YUM!

Their Newlywed Moments.

It seemed like my contract time FLEW by so quickly, but I had the best time celebrating with Alex, Courtney, as well as their family and friends. And to end it with a few more portraits around the property just capped off the beautiful day! I can hear their laughs through these photos, and I love how infectious their smiles are. 🙂

Thank You!!

THANK YOU, Alex and Courtney, for having me as your wedding photographer document your precious day in Richmond, Virginia!!! What a PERFECT celebration! I’m sooooo happy seeing how the day played out because you both deserved every bit of love, joy, and support. <3 You brought so much joy to my work that it left me feeling so grateful for couples like you. I wish you nothing but prosperity and happiness for your future!


Thanks to the vendors who made this happen!!

Venue: Riversol Estate | Photographer: Stephanie Messick Photography | Planner: ValentineTheKnot | Makeup: MakeupbySAC | Hair: Katie Mosquera | Caterer: MOSAIC Catering + Events | Baker: Arley’s Cakes | Florist: Sassy Snapdragon Florals | Guitarist: Sam from Honest Debts | Officiant: Jesse Goldsberry | Dress: BHLDN | Rentals: Rent-E-Quip