Katie and Jonah had to move their May wedding to August, and then they planned a small gathering at Riverbend in October after navigating all of the changes due to covid. Like many, they plan to have their big party in 2021, but they couldn’t wait to marry each other, so their official ceremony happened in October.
Everything was planned and the weather was looking perfect for their day. Because I had so few weddings in 2020, I was particularly excited about this one! The RiverBend is one of my favorite venues and it’s always so nice to have work in Lyons, CO. I also really connected with Katie and could not wait to work with her.
I was set to leave around 3 PM, but around 1:30 the sky was starting to fill with smoke. I stepped outside and saw that it was coming from the North, where I was headed. I jumped online and realized that the Calwood Fire was quickly spreading towards Lyons. I worried that the road was soon closed and I would not be able to get to Riverbend for the wedding. Luckily my gear was packed and I was able to grab it and go!
As I feared, they had just closed 36 as I was driving up. I called Katie and she too was stuck on the Boulder side. We quickly came up with a plan to try to get to Lyons through Hygiene. By some miracle, the police let us through. We got to Riverbend in time for Katie to get in her dress and down the aisle.
One of my favorite photos from the season is Jonah’s expression as he waits for Katie to come down the aisle. The anticipation on his face holds all the feels of 2020. This is the moment he was waiting for! Katie looked stunning in her elegant gown and cape. Both Katie and Jonah were unflappable during the chaos of the fire. Following the ceremony, they enjoyed dinner with their families. They had to evacuate RiverBend and head back home, but they did it! They were married during a pandemic and a wildfire. I am so glad I could be there to document it and that I’ll get to be with them again for the big party in 2021!
Cheers, Katie and Jonah! 2020 proofed that you can do anything!

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