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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December 21, 2022

Luke & Valerie | The Broadmoor + Garden of the Gods, Colorado Elopement

Luke & Valerie | The Broadmoor + Garden of the Gods Elopement

When Luke, Valerie, and I talked about their elopement plans, not once did we think that they were going to elope in a snowstorm!!! Although, the weather quickly changed the day of, and I secretly hoped for magical snow photos. πŸ˜‰ Maybe not the low, frigid temps… but it was Colorado in December, so we braved (more so Valerie and Luke) the elements! I was so excited to photograph their day, which started at the Broadmoor and led us to their elopement at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The day exceeded our expectations β€” even though we were frozen, our hearts were full! I also loved that they had this special date in mind because it was Valerie’s grandparent’s wedding anniversary. <3

A Romantic Winter Elopement at The Broadmoor and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado

I met Valerie and Luke at the infamous Broadmoor Hotel for quick photos leading up to their elopement at the Garden of the Gods. They exchanged hand-written letters to each other inside the beautifully decorated interior. Shortly, we braced ourselves for some quick photos outside! I’m glad we did these portraits because we had clear mountain views at the point before the snowstorm arrived. Mind you… The weather predictions said that the snow was coming in the evening. Boy, weren’t they wrong. Ha!

The Elopement

After we arrived at the Garden of the Gods, the snow started to pick up a little bit. Their ceremony was intimate and meaningful, surrounded by God’s beautiful creation!!! Valerie and Luke incorporated sentimental details to honor her grandparents. Luke wore her grandfather’s boutonniere, and she had his photo on her bouquet. They kept everything simple yet meaningful. They sealed their elopement with a kiss, and I immediately grabbed Valerie’s coat β€” I couldn’t imagine how cold she must’ve been at 17 degrees for a 30-minute ceremony without additional layers! <= You read that right. Phew!! We took photos around the red rock formations β€” I got excited during this part because the snowflakes really started to come down, and they looked incredible! 

We drove down the road to finish their portraits, but by this point, the ground was covered in snow! Their hands were numb, but they still managed to open a bottle of champagne to celebrate the occasion. πŸ™‚ After they left, they enjoyed a relaxing dinner and night at the Broadmoor β€” What a treat!!! We had to thaw out after being outside for 1.5 hours, but Luke and Valerie looked incredible and classy! I appreciated their willingness to brave the low temperature and the wet snow for these magical photos!

A Romantic Winter Elopement at The Broadmoor and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado

After having a private prayer together, they came in for a kiss before the “first kiss.” Haha! I loved their reaction when they realized what instinctually happened! Priceless!!!

Thank you!!!

Thank you, Luke and Valerie, for having me document this VERY intimate celebration. It was a cold one, but your elopement at the Broadmoor and the Garden of the Gods will forever be a favorite because of this unexpected snow storm! πŸ™‚ CONGRATS to you two!!! I’m so happy for you both!

Thanks to the vendors for making their day possible!

Prepping Venue: The Broadmoor

Ceremony Venue: Garden of the Gods

Hair: The Broadmoor Spa

Makeup: The Broadmoor Spa

Florist: Juniper and Honey Floral Designs

Dress Designer: Aritzia

Fur Wrap: BHLDN

Officiant: Pastor Matt Ferrell from the Woodmen Valley Chapel

Jewelry Designer: Lindsey Leigh Jewelry

Wedding Cake (not photographed): Sweet Elizabeth’s Organics

Stephanie Messick Photography, LLC is a Northern and Central, Virginia + Colorado Springs Family, Wedding, Elopement, and Engagement Photographer. Learn more HERE or contact her HERE!!