It was absolutely incredible being Shana + Matt’s Evergreen Colorado Wedding Photographer. This lovely indoor Colorado church wedding took place on a beautiful summer day at The Church of Transfiguration in Evergreen Colorado. This was my first time documenting a wedding at this Rustic Colorado Wedding location, but it did not disappoint. The church had stunning natural light and was oak from floor to ceiling.
Shana + Matt actually had two wedding ceremonies, that’s right, two. Their first ceremony was a traditional church wedding ceremony, by a minister. Immediately following the indoor wedding the bride, groom and all of their guests headed outside of the church and in to a meadow across the way. The bride, Shana, is native american. The couple then took place in a traditional Cherokee Native American Wedding Ceremony.
More went in to this ceremony than what actually occurred on the wedding day, though. For 24 hours prior (that means at the rehearsal dinner, too!) Shana + Matt were not allowed to drink any alcohol. Also, after the wedding day they had to burn the blue blanket that you see them folding immediately following the ceremony.
Out of respect of the Cherokee culture we were asked that we not take any photographs of Matt and Shana after they entered the circle of trees. But, as you can see by the photos documented shortly before and after that moment took place it was such a culturally rich + incredible experience to be a part of.
Here are some details about the native american ceremony, as told by the bride:
“Cherokee Native American Ceremony:
- 6 choke cherry branches standing up in a circle(one for each element or “Creator”)
- Mother Sky
- Father Creator
- Each branch had a “Prayer” tied to it. The “Prayer” is a piece of cloth that both Matt and I prayed on before the ceremony. My uncle Nick used the pieces of cloth to tie tobacco and sage inside then fixed them to the branches.
- Burning sage: Sage is believed to bless and cleanse or “get the bad spirits out”. Any traditional Native American ceremony will typically have sage burning. My Uncle used a hawk wing to “sage” us during the ceremony. No animals were harmed to get the hawk wing. Lol The Hawk died of natural causes.
- We both had to enter from the East. I was wearing the blue blanket to signify the old life or the past. Matt took the blue blanket off and we were given the white quilt to wrap around us both. When we were in the quilt together, that signified our togetherness and the new life. The white quilt was my great grandmother’s quilt (she was 100% Cherokee), she made it by hand.
- Matt had the knife and stabbed it in the ground to show he would protect me and stand by me.
- The juice we drank and food we ate was basically something we would share together. The juice was choke cherry juice my grandma made (very sour) and the food was beef jerky with choke cherry juice on it.
- During the ceremony my great uncle would pray to each creator and point the peace pipe in the direction he was praying. Then at the end we both smoked the peace pipe. You can’t inhale because they believe the prayers are in the smoke.”
As an Evergreen Colorado Wedding Photographer you always have to roll with the punches that Colorado weather has to offer. The day started out super warm + sunny with just a few whispy white clouds in the sky, but smack dab in the middle of their outdoor white tent reception it started raining, then hailing, in AUGUST. It was so unexpected and definitely a great memory to think back on forever when looking back at the wedding day. It only lasted for a short amount of time and then it was back to warm Colorado weather again!
The Church of Transfiguration in Evergreen Colorado actually has a bell on-site and to end the day Matt + Shana got to ring the bell. I love that it actually lifted Matt off of the ground when he rang it. It was such a joy to document Matt + Shana’s wedding day!
To see images from their engagement session please click here!
Venue: The Church of Transfiguration
Evergreen Colorado Wedding Photographer: Sharee Davenport
I’ve never been to Evergreen Colorado, but after seeing these wedding photos I’m going to have to visit soon! You did an amazing job capturing the joy of their day!
ok this wedding is stellar! I love all of the family traditions added in, annnnnnd you got them in the water!!!! Seriously, the best Evergreen Colorado Wedding Photographer ever!!!
Omg what an awesome wedding! That’s such a colorado thing, sun then rain then sun. So great! LOVE how the bell lifted him up! Lol!
So cool that they incorporated a traditional Native American ceremony after the church ceremony. Reminded me of what Leon Littlebird does in the mountains. The altar in the church was lovely with the rustic rock. I haven’t heard of this location before?? I’ll have to check it out. Super fun couple – you can tell.
I am just LOVING this gorgeous church wedding! What beautiful formal pictures. I an enjoying the scenery in Evergreen Colorado too, it’s so pretty. Your work is amazing you are a very talented wedding photographer!
what a great location. Really special wedding! I would love to experience this! Probably only in Colorado.
What stunning wedding photos! I love how culture and traditions were involved. What gorgeous location and couple! You’re such an amazing Evergreen Colorado wedding photographer!
what a cool experience! i love that they celebrated their heritage in that way. thanks for sharing about what the different traditions meant, too! you did a beautiful job capturing this special day!
Oh my gosh, you weren’t kidding about that downpour! I wasn’t familiar with the traditions of a Cherokee wedding, so thanks for sharing that insight from the bride! They were blessed to have you as their Evergreen Colorado wedding photographer!
Congratulations, Shan and Matt, Evergreen Colorado is absolutely gorgeous!! You sure chose right when choosing Sharee as your Wedding Photographer, these images are gorgeous and I love the way they tell a story! The Native American Ceremony is stunning… I’ve never seen that before and it’s such a special part of your day! And I love that everyone made the best of a crazy downpour, including some great portraits afterwards. Beautiful work as always, Sharee! I love the way you capture the entire day!
what a fun day! I love this story and how excited the groom is to see his bride! I also love how they kept a mix of traditions with a traditional church and the blessing from their local culture. I love this! I can’t wait to see more of your beautiful weddings in Colorado next year!
Oh my gosh! That church is so amazing! I love all of the personal details you captured of their big day!! Such beautiful work.. you are truly a talented Evergreen Colorado Wedding Photographer!!
What a lovely outdoor wedding in Evergreen Colorado! Those shots at the end must have been so much fun. We love all the detail shots too.
This Evergreen wedding looks like so much fun! I love the creative shots you captured here!
I love that they had two ceremonies! It is such a beautiful thing to see two people come together to not only share their love, but to be a part and cherish one another’s traditions. What a cool experience for you to not only be a part of that but to be able to capture such a pure moment of love and two people truly becoming one..