I first found out that Cara Jo and Keith were looking for a Grant Humphreys Mansion wedding photographer when I shot their camping engagement session last winter. After we had finished most of their photos, we built a campfire and sat around drinking whiskey to stay warm. We were waiting for the sky to get dark enough for some night time long exposure photos of the stars. And it was such a wonderful way to learn more about their relationship and what they were planning for their wedding!
In the months since their engagement session and leading up to their wedding, I’ve stayed in touch with Cara Jo via Instagram. I love seeing “behind the scenes” to how my couples plan their weddings, and especially for a creative couple like these two! Cara Jo painted watercolors of the venue to include on the invitations and programs, laid out the prettiest “unplugged wedding” sign I’ve seen so far, and put so many personal touches into every little details. It really made my day to photograph their Grant Humphreys Mansion wedding feel like I was just reuniting with dear old friends!
I asked Cara Jo and Keith to share some details about their wedding, so that I could do my very best to capture what was important to them as their Grant Humphreys Mansion wedding photographer. I think these answers give such a sweet insight into who they are as a couple, and makes the following wedding photos that much more unique when you know why they planned things the way they did.
What was your wedding planning inspiration?
We wanted our wedding to have the theme of ‘us’. Both of us appreciate older things because of the history they hold and just the little details that buildings have. Cara is also very much into florals and loves painting, growing and taking photos of flowers, so we had to have that somewhere in the wedding!
What personal details or traditions did you incorporate in your wedding day?
We wanted people to feel like they feel when they come over to our house for dinner, at home. We wanted people to feel comfortable with the space and one another. One of the things we are doing is putting picture frames of us, our family, and places we’ve been on the mantles of the mansion, kinda like how you have at your own house! We are also ditching the regular idea of a singular guestbook and instead, we are having small photo books at every table that have ample space for people to write in. It’s one of the ways we are also trying to avoid congestion before people sit down – who wants to wait in line to sign a guestbook?! Each book is different, and there is a note encouraging everyone to get up and look at all the other tables’ books, to encourage mingling. The venue can seem broken up, so we wanted a way for people to feel like they were invited to the other areas. Cara designed enamel pins with a cute illustration of the Denver skyline for guests to take home. They are adorable, high quality, and easy for anyone to incorporate into their lives.
What made you pick this venue?
We picked the Grant-Humphreys mansion for a few reasons. We wanted a venue that was very much IN DENVER. Not in the suburbs, not in some hotel convention center, but in the heart of Denver. Capitol Hill literally is that! We love the history of Capitol Hill and love looking at all the old mansions and spending hours reading about them on Wikipedia, or in history books. Another reason we were interested in the GHM is because it is part of the Colorado Historical Society, which is a non-profit. We love giving back to non-profits and this was an obvious choice because of it’s significance to Denver & Colorado! We wanted to support a local non-profit that is working to preserve the beautiful buildings that we are both so nostalgic for.
Shoutouts to all the amazing vendors that made Cara Jo and Keith’s Grant Humphreys Mansion wedding such a beautiful day!
Venue: Grant Humphreys Mansion
Wedding dress: Little White Dress Bridal Shop
Bridesmaid attire: Jenny Yoo at Bella Bridesmaids
Stationery: Cara Jo Knapp – the bride!
Catering: Footers Catering
Hair and Makeup: Fluff Bar Bridal Salon Denver
If you are looking for a Grant Humphreys Mansion wedding photographer, I would absolutely love to chat with you about your big day. Contact me and let’s make it happen!
Cara Jo left me this sweet review after their wedding at Grant Humphreys Mansion!
Nina has this amazing ability to capture moments of love, laughter, and everywhere in between, perfectly. When you look back at the photos she took, you feel like you have stepped back in time, to that moment where you kissed your partner for the first time after you said your vows. Over and over again my husband and I look at our photos and are transported back to our wedding day, one of the happiest days of our lives, and I am so thrilled that Nina was there to capture all the little (and big!) moments.
We found Nina on facebook just by happenstance. We weren’t looking for photographers at the time, but she had posted a call for adventurous couples. Lucky for us, we were one of those couples! We set up our engagement session in Leadville so that we could do some night time starry shots. As photographers ourselves, we had a lot of patience for setting up nighttime shots, so it was a perfect match up! We got along with Nina right away and felt like we were just hanging out with an old friend who also happened to be a pretty amazing photographer. While we were getting ready to leave, Keith turned to me and said “we should just hire her right?” and we mentioned that to Nina, to which she said, “you should wait to see the photos, before committing.”. That really resonated with me, because Nina is the kind of person that wants to make sure that you are comfortable with the commitment, throughout the entire process. Obviously, we hired her immediately after seeing our engagement photos because they were astounding. We STILL get compliments on how “us” they were.
In the days (months really), leading up to the wedding she and I communicated over Instagram a lot and I loved how engaged she was with my behind-the-scenes wedding planning. I’m one of those crafty brides that can basically plan and do decor for an entire wedding myself. I was so happy that she was able to capture all those little details for me so that I can always look back at them and think to myself “yeah, it was worth it.”
The day of the wedding, Nina was a dream. She made sure we didn’t see each other before the ceremony (we didn’t do a first-look) and made sure to capture all the getting ready moments that are so important. I cried the first time I saw myself in my wedding dress all done up, and she was able to capture that moment perfectly. I still look at that photo and remember that feeling. One of the best parts about hiring Nina was that we were both able to re-live the wedding through the perspective of each other, and our guests. I never did see what they were doing while they were getting ready, and I’m pretty sure I blacked out while walking down the aisle because it was such a blur.
I’m so happy we went with Nina for our engagement and wedding photos. Our photos are the one thing we will have to forever remind us of the day we became husband and wife, and Nina’s pure talent captured every moment.
About Nina Larsen Reed
Nina Larsen Reed is an elopement photographer based in Boulder. She plans and captures adventure elopements and micro-weddings across Colorado, and has photographed over 220 elopements since 2017.
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