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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June 1, 2022

Michael & Laura | Early Mountain, Virginia Wedding Photographer

Michael & Laura | Early Mountain, Virginia Wedding Photographer

When I first talked with Michael and Laura, Laura was getting ready for her twin sister’s big day! And it seemed like the months FLEW by quickly after that initial conversation! Soon after, we were together photographing their Christmas tree farm engagement session and she was able to switch gears to plan her wedding! I had plans to fly back to Virginia, so it worked out perfectly that her wedding at Early Mountain aligned with my calendar! 🙂 Although it seemed like the threat of rain was a common occurrence over the Virginia spring weekends… But we didn’t let that threat ruin the celebration!!! 🙂

As the wedding photographer, one of my jobs during the day is to make sure things are flowing as planned without stress. When I saw the threat of drenching rain potentially interfering with our timeline, I wanted to make sure we covered our grounds. So just in case, I took some time at Oakhurst Inn to take some photos of the wedding party in case we arrived at Early Mountain when it was pouring. I’m glad we did this, but what was even better was that the rain held off longer than anticipated! YAY! So we ended up with even more photos since we took pictures at Early Mountain too. 🙂 The day went smoothly, and I’m grateful that we had flexibility throughout the day to make it a successful and fun day!

Check out their beautiful day through my lens!!!

Michael & Laura | Early Mountain, Virginia Wedding Photographer


Prepping for the Ceremony.

When Michael, Laura, and I got together last December, they were making a trip out of the engagement session and decided to stay the night at Oakhurst Inn. They fell in love with the venue and booked it for their wedding party. It was the perfect, quaint place to get ready with family and friends. It had a bar, a pool, and plenty of cute rooms to get ready!

Laura and the girls were upstairs having their hair and makeup done by AMBY while the men hung out in their robes with some cocktails downstairs. I love that the men in robes is a thing this year! Haha! But also note the bowties with the robes… That might be a new trend they started. 😉 And what I really loved is when I was gathering the guys together, I was able to recall their names because they had them embroidered on their robes! It made my job easy! HA! While getting ready, Michael and his mom had a little moment together as she adjusted his attire. It was so sweet seeing their relationship in front of my camera. <3

Fortunately, everything was running according to plan, and Laura slipped into her BEAUTIFUL Elegance by Roya dress! My goodness… Could she have picked out a more beautiful gown?!?! 🙂 We snuck downstairs around the guys after Laura finished and took some photos outside before it was time to head to Early Mountain. Then we were off to the venue to get Michael and Laura hitched!!!

The Ceremony.

Even though Plan A was to get married outside, I think this scenario was even BETTER!!! The ambiance was cozy and beautiful with the chandeliers, fireplaces, florals by Blue Ridge Floral Design, and candles lit. Just as I finished taking photos of Michael with his groomsmen and Laura with her bridal party outside, the rain started POURING! Everyone huddled inside where the ceremony was, and I just prayed that the rain would stop in time for Michael and Laura’s portraits. Unfortunately, that was out of my control, but we were grateful for a beautiful Plan B ceremony option!!!

The music by Black Tie Entertainment started, and it was finally time for Michael to see his bride!!! The doors opened, and she walked towards the altar smiling from ear to ear! I loved catching her glancing over at his mother as she made her way toward Michael. 🙂

Michael and Laura’s friend, Alex, officiated the wedding and incorporated personal stories (always fun!!!)! To make the ceremony even more personal, they shared their own vows with each other and their family and friends. They were pronounced husband and wife and were off to kick off the celebrating!!!

Their Best Friends.

We gathered their wedding party together for fun and casual photos … FORTUNATELY without rain!!! YAY! While the men kept their look classy in their tuxes, the girls brought the color with their dresses and colorful bouquets provided by Blue Ridge Floral Design. And because it was an overcast day, the colors seemed to pop even more! I loved getting to know these fun people who played a huge part in Michael and Laura’s life!!

Mr. & Mrs.!!!

Because their ceremony didn’t take the full 30-minutes like we had scheduled, we had even more time than we anticipated for their portraits!!! IDEAL!! 🙂 They made this time easy to photograph them (I mean… look at them!!! :)), especially since they wanted to focus on the beautiful views and the architecture of Early Mountain. So we worked with the time that they got to enjoy a little bit of their cocktail hour which doesn’t typically happen! 🙂 I also love that Laura’s bouquet created by Blue Ridge Floral Design incorporated peonies (my fave!!!), and just as of that week, the peonies were blossoming at Early Mountain! What a fun surprise in the photos!!! If it’s also your favorite flower, you’re going to love seeing the reception details too!!!

The Details.

Sara at Early Mountain and the team did a great job flipping the ceremony room into the reception! I was in flower Heaven documenting what Blue Ridge Floral Design did with the arrangements… Spring flowers are beautiful!!! Everything was kept timeless and classy with the white linens and gold accents. One fun detail they had above the fireplace close to the dance floor was a neon lit-up sign with their last name! FUN!!! 🙂 It had different levels of brightness and even had a flash setting which was very appropriate for the party later in the night. 

I was excited when I heard that their alternative to a wedding cake was providing Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches at their wedding! I had my first Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwich at a local restaurant last year and it was by far one of the best desserts… SO. GOOD. Delicious combinations of cookies and ice cream. It can’t get any better than that. 😉

The Reception.

Everyone cheered and stood up as the new Mr. and Mrs. were announced into the room. Michael and Laura spent the first couple of minutes at their reception swaying in each other’s arms for their first dance together. They spoke a few words of gratitude to everyone who came to celebrate with them, and it was time to feast!!

After dinner wrapped up, family and friends gave heartfelt and hilarious toasts to the bride and groom. And Michael and Laura got to share special dances with their parents which officially kicked off the party! Black Tie Entertainment had no problem keeping the dance floor going all night long… As you’ll see below! Haha! 🙂 What a fun celebration to celebrate Michael and Laura!!!!

Thank You!!

THANK YOU, Michael and Laura for having me document your wedding at Early Mountain in Virginia!!!! My goodness… Weren’t we so lucky? The rain worked in our favor! You both looked so beautiful and I’m honored that I was able to stand by your side to celebrate with your family and friends!!! CONGRATS!!!


Thanks to the vendors who made this happen!!

Prepping Location: Oakhurst Inn

Venue: Early Mountain

Photographer: Stephanie Messick Photography

Wedding Coordinator: Sara at Early Mountain

Hair and Makeup: AMBY

Florist: Blue Ridge Floral Design

Dessert: Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches

DJ: Black Tie Entertainment

Videographer: Wedding Bug

Dress: Elegance by Roya

Officiant: Alex Koma

Transportation: Albemarle Limousine