This time last year my husband (then fiance) & I were just a couple of weeks away from our wedding ceremony among our family and friends. Wow, a year already? Time flies! We have always had sort of our own way about things, call it untraditional, but we had wanted to have an intimate exchange between ourselves before the whirlwind of a grander celebration. But really what could be more grand than hiking a mountain and exchanging love notes?! Or vowels as some call them. We hiked Gothic Mountain (12,631′ ft) and at the peak we set up the camera/tripod duo, I changed into a white MinkPink dress I had purchased from Revolve (being naked on the peak for a bit is exhilarating to say the least), and exchanged handwritten, heart-forward love letters brimming with meaningful intent. Before filming our summit celebration we took a few practice shots to ensure we would end up within the frame and capture the magnificence of our surroundings. Below I’ve collected a few of my favorite captures and/or stills from our ceremonial summit.
12,631′ Above Sea Level
Luckily (for me) this was our 3rd time ascending Gothic so I knew the endurance needed and the intensity of the journey ahead. The first time we accepted the challenge took us nearly a whole 9 hours (roundtrip) to complete. Not only was that the first time hiking Gothic but my first mountain, well, ever. If you’re anything like me and didn’t spend your childhood or any part of your life at altitude, let alone climbing mountains, then you understand where I’m coming from when I told my husband (then fiance) that I would need a helicopter to get off of that mountain. I did however make it down the mountain on my own two feet and ever since, I’ve loved the thrill of a new peak.
Taking Love To New Heights
The views are just breathtaking in every direction! Like gazing into the oceans infinite expanse, once you reach the peak it’s a panorama of cloud gazing mountains, deep blue sky, dark timber pine forests, whimsical aspen clusters, and winding rivers. Gothic holds special meaning having been not only my introduction to mountain climbing but also our dear ol’ senior dog bear who summited at 15 years, as well as Styx, who is pictured with me here. ((Self admitted proud dog mom.) ) Adding our own momentous and somewhat spontaneous. honoring of our love on top of those already immeasurable milestones makes Gothic Mountain like a cornerstone in our story.
MinkPink Rum Diaries Dress
In total Tori fashion, I bought a few white dresses for the week leading up to our larger wedding ceremony. With family and friends flying into Colorado from all over I really wanted to be prepared for whatever occasion arose. Plus, living in the mountains and having a black furry dog doesn’t make wearing an all white outfit a very viable option so sure I took advantage. This MinkPink dress from Revolve was an absolute dream. The fabric is soft, lightweight, and the fit is well-tailored for those on the taller end of the spectrum. It has a sewn-in half slip with a delicate but sturdy lace overlay. I highly doubt it’s still available yet it was perfect for our mountain celebration and I look forward to getting more use out of it however long it can endure the rocky mountains.
On The Other Side
5 or 6 years ago I spent a lot more of my time on the other side of the camera. I spent as many hours modeling as I did for whatever other job I worked at that juncture in my life. I worked with start-up (bikini) companies, gallery photographers, small business advertising, website marketing and others I’m unintentionally leaving out. It is one of those creative pursuits that continues to cultivate a flame in me. Before I met my husband he, like myself, had taken photography classes and so by the time we crossed paths his interest in shooting had developed. Unbeknown to me, he would photograph me while I studied and did random other things until I grew comfortable enough to knowingly be his subject. We are still refining our craft of shooting together, I’m still a little headstrong with the camera, think Taurus the bull, but because our connection is rooted in creativity, we have a merry good time.
I traded the runway (and the traditional wedding aisle) for trails but still enjoy mixing the two.
I hope you all enjoyed this post! As always, thank you for joining me here! ♥
Until next time, happy trails to you…