I'm so glad you are here to check out some recent work. I'm a Colorado wedding photographer that shoots all around the country. The blog is filled with full wedding and portrait sessions, and includes weddings planning tips and inspiration.
August 25, 2022
Piper and Jesse’s have been waiting to host their Surf Hotel wedding for YEARS as they were one of those infamous covid couples that had to reschedule due to the pandemic. Like they say though, great things are worth the wait. That rang true for these two, as their closest friends and family came all the way out to Buena Vista, Colorado to celebrate with them.
One thing I love about photographing weddings is listening to the speeches. Hearing Piper and Jesse’s closest humans speak so highly of them and their love, really got me teary-eyed! They truly deserve each other and both families have been so excited to welcome the other.
Some highlights of their day would be dodging the rain the entire day (woo!!), the fun cocktail hour inside the Wesley and Rose, and of course, Jesse getting on stage and shredding on guitar to “Jesse’s Girl” for the whole crowd! It was a wild evening!
Photography; Shelly Anderson Photography Venue; The Surf Hotel Coordination; Callaluna Events Catering; The Surf Hotel. Hair and Makeup; Beauty Mark by Kacie and Chelsea Garcia Beauty Florals; Growing Wilds Cake; French for Sugar Video; Reagan Lynn Films. Entertainment; Patrick Lentz Band Wedding Dress; Alexandra Grecco
The Surf Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel that sits right on the river and the Buena Vista Whitewater Park. The hotel is reminiscent of European architecture with a twist of some mountain edge. You can feel like you are in the alps of Europe while also still feeling at home in Colorado. Each room has being carefully curated and designed by different designers and artists. The property is split into two lodgings; the Surf Hotel and the Surf Chateau. The hotel will provide more of a communal, hotel room like experience, while the chateau will offer more residential suite and apartment options.
The hotel has offered buy-out options in the past (such as with Piper and Jesse’s wedding), so you and your guests can have full reign of the property for your special event. *Please reach out to the event staff at the venue to see if this is still an option they offer*. This would include their onsite lobby cafe and bar, the Wesley and Rose.
The Surf Hotel is a boutique venue that can host around 130 guests.
Most couples choose to stay on site at the Surf Hotel, and use two different rooms for getting ready areas. The rooms are updated and modern, and if you are staying in one of the Chateau rooms, they are extra cozy! Piper got ready in a Chateau room with vaulted ceilings and a stand alone tub. So dreamy! Jesse’s room had a lovely balcony overlooking the river.
There are a few ceremony options on site at the Surf Hotel. Piper and Jesse rented out the front lawn for their event. This way they had the beautiful outdoors and river as their backdrop. They hosted around 130 guests on the lawn. Another option is one of the courtyards on site. The entire venue is decorated with stone walls that create a romantic, European vibe. These courtyards are enclosed with these same stone walls, and it makes for a majestic enclosure and comfy space for a ceremony.
For rain options, the Surf Hotel can easily tent any of their outdoor spaces in the event of a bad storm.
Piper and Jesse were able to do a buy-out of the Surf Hotel, which included the onsite bar and lounge of the hotel, the Wesley and Rose. (*This option might have changed in the last year or so, so please ask the staff if this is still allowed*). The courtyard has also been used as an adorable space for cocktail hour as well.
The most commonly used reception space is the Ivy Ballroom. This room has large glass doors that look out to the river, and is located in the back of the Surf Hotel. It is also connected to one of the courtyards, which can be used as ‘extra’ reception space. Piper and Jesse had some of their reception tables spill out into this courtyard area to fit their 130 guest count. The Ivy Ballroom is large enough to host an entire live band on their stage as well!! There is also a DJ and lighting both available in this space for your use.
The entire area surrounding the Surf Hotel makes for great photos! It really is a lovely venue to photograph. There are cute photo spots around every corner, and can be photographed at all times of day even with harsh sunlight.
The stone courtyards are a great place on site for photos, especially for a first look! These areas are usually quiet and closed off. They are romantic and really grasp the trademark “look” of the Surf Hotel.
The river is located directly beneath the venue, and is very easy to get to. It’s romantic and serene. Just know that you may get some kayakers, hikers, and fishermen walking by! There is also a shaded walkway between the venue and the river that is great for bridal party photos mid-day to avoid harsh sunlight.
One of the most iconic photo spots on site is in front of the hotel’s main door. The beautiful hotel logo is always lit up, and is reminiscent of a 1920’s art deco era. If doing a grand exit, you would probably want to use this front door as well!!
To find out more about hosting your event at the Surf Hotel, you can contact them at https://surfhotel.com/weddings/.
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All photos copyright 2023 Shelly Anderson Photography