elcome to the journal for April O’Hare Photography! Here you’ll find all of my latest photographic outings with the couples, families, seniors and small businesses that I get to work with and make beautiful photographs for. You may also see a personal post here and there discussing my life or my travels with my teeny family of one husband and three cats! Sometimes I even write advice articles with tips to help make your photo experience better which you can check out under the “Educational” category.  

Take your time and look around! Type in the place where you’ll be getting married in the search box to see if I’ve photographed there before. At the bottom of the page I’ve highlighted some of my favorite sessions and weddings from the past. Grab a drink and have fun going down the photo rabbit hole!


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Keystone Ski Resort Colorado Destination Wedding | Alpenglow Stube at Anticipation Run

March 13, 2019

Keystone Ski Resort is an incredible place to host your destination Colorado mountain wedding!

I’ve photographed nearly 200 beautiful weddings during my wedding photography career here in Colorado.  There are so many lovely places to tie the knot in this huge state that I’ve always known I’m just scratching the surface when it comes to seeing all of the incredible wedding venues out there.  I think the views are always one of the most important things to consider, particularly for a destination wedding. Since family and friends are traveling so far, it’s nice to have a place to gather that is really going to wow them.  Last Friday was actually my first time photographing a wedding celebration on top of the mountain at Keystone Resort and boy, did it deliver!

Double the amount of Gondolas!

One of the coolest parts about hosting a destination wedding at a ski resort in Colorado is getting to ride a lift or a gondola up the mountain.  It may seem like old hat for the locals, but there is something really special about taking a serene ride up the mountain soaking up the gorgeous views. (Actually, I grew up here and no, it doesn’t seem like old hat.  Not even for us!) For a lot of guests, this might be their first time getting to experience this most basic part of mountain culture and they don’t even have to strap on skis to do it. It’s a sure-fire way to impress them from the very start of your wedding day.  What I like about getting married at the Alpenglow Stube or Timber Ridge at Keystone is that you get to ride not just one gondola, but two! At the base of the mountain you’ll hop onto the River Run Gondola and once you reach Summit House and Schoolmarm run you’ll take a short little walk over to the Outpost Gondola for another ride up to the top of North Peak.  

Your bar tab might go further here!

At the top of North Peak where Alpenglow Stube and Timber Ridge are located, it’s a whopping 11,444 feet in elevation.  Guests coming to Colorado from sea level might need a couple days to acclimate but the views from up here are one of a kind.  Plus, that open bar will hit them harder and faster so be sure they’re taking in lots of water with those drinks. The food at Alpenglow Stube is seriously gourmet so getting enough food in your guests at dinner will be no problem at all.  

Colorado winter weddings are even more magical!  

I mostly photograph summer weddings at ski resorts, but I find that a winter wedding on top of the mountain has a certain je ne sais quoi.  The weather most certainly becomes a key player in the day, but it turns an already special event into something seriously otherworldly. This was the atmosphere we encountered at Chandler and Nick’s wedding on Friday.  Their wedding day was the first day of what basically turned into snowpocalypse here in Colorado. (Seriously, I have lived here my whole life and have never seen avalanches like we’ve seen this past week and a half!) Luckily for them, because it was the first day of tons of snow falling, it didn’t impact the travel conditions too much and everyone arrived safe and sound for their wedding.  I admit, when I arrived in Keystone, I was a little disappointed for Chandler and Nick and their families because there were ZERO views when we first started photographing. We made it through all of their pre-ceremony portraits with a gorgeous snowy winter wonderland as their backdrop. But, I know the views are a huge plus when photographing at a ski resort.

Consider hosting your winter wedding outside, even if it’s snowing.

Chandler and Nick are total badasses and decided they were going to do their ceremony outside despite the chilly weather.  Afterall, they traveled long distances to celebrate and a short amount of minutes of discomfort would be worth the pretty pictures.  

They had planned ahead with custom printed fuzzy blankets with their names and wedding date on them as a gift for their guests.  So everyone gamely bundled up and marched outside to Anticipation run where the chairs had been set up by the Keystone Resort staff.  They all settled in and snuggled up with each other while they waited for the ceremony to begin.

My assistant and I had privately lamented about how sad it was that the views were so obscured.  But wouldn’t you know it, as the ceremony went on, the sky miraculously started to clear and the majestic mountain views off in the distance started to show up!  I seriously wanted to jump in the air when I saw that (both because I was freezing and needed to keep warm and because I was excited that their wedding pictures would have some mountains in them!)  I had three spare camera batteries tucked away in my bra to keep them warm in case of the cold weather sucking all of the power out of my cameras and I am still shocked to report that not a single one of them died on me!  That’s just one little anecdote for how wonderful their outdoor wedding ended up being!

There’s nothing quite like a cozy mountain cabin wedding reception.

I have a theory that the best wedding receptions are those where your guests are a little bit trapped there with you.  Ok, maybe “trapped” is a bit of a harsh way to say that. But what I mean is, making it a bit of a destination to both arrive and leave your wedding is a good thing.  It makes it easy for guests to go all in on a celebration. They’re more prepared to stick it out longer and really party with you. Often times, there is very little cell phone reception on a mountain too.  I know this makes some people really antsy, but I personally love that. It provides an even better atmosphere to allow people to let go and truly enjoy the moments they are in rather than burying their noses in their little pocket computers.  And they can’t just run off and uber their way back to the hotel on a whim. As much as I’m a fan of a good Irish Goodbye, I don’t love them at weddings. Part of the charm of a wedding on top of a Colorado mountain is that it really becomes a true escape and hopefully becomes a beautiful memory for everyone involved.

Be sure to check out my favorite highlight photos from Chandler & Nick’s beautiful wedding day below!

Alpenglow Stube Cabin Wedding Reception on Winter Day at Keystone Resort in Colorado Keystone ski run near Anticipation on a snowy winter wedding day in Colorado Low visibility on Anticipation run at a Keystone Resort Winter Wedding in Colorado
Winter wedding floral bouquet by Petal and Bean at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Groom puts on boutonniere from Petal and Bean at Alpenglow Stube at Keystone Resort in CO

Winter wedding day first look photo collage at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Pretty brunette bride smiles at her groom after first snowy winter wedding day at Keystone

Colorado Destination Wedding during winter at Keystone Resort with snow covered tree backdrop

Romantic kiss photo in front of snow covered trees outside of Alpenglow Stube on a winter wedding day at Keystone in Colorado

Couple walks hand in hand through the snow at their Winter wedding at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Sweet portrait of a couple snuggling in the snow on their winter wedding day in Colorado

Classic groom portrait with a snow covered tree backdrop at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Groom with Groomsmen at snowy Colorado destination wedding at Keystone Resort

Groom and his friends walk through the snow at his chilly outdoor winter wedding at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Bridesmaid blows snowflake off of her sister's eyelash at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Groomer working in the backdrop of a wedding portrait of a bride with her bridesmaids at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Bridesmaids wearing shades of blue lace dresses for a winter wedding at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Bride walks through the snow with her bridesmaids with a gorgeous snowy Colorado backdrop at Keystone Resort

Beautiful brunette bride wearing a fur stole at her outdoor snowy Keystone Resort wedding in Colorado

Detail photo of a brunette bride's long eyelashes on her snowy winter wedding day at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Gorgeous Colorado Winter Bride Outdoor Portrait at Keystone Resort

Wedding portraits on a snowy winter destination wedding day at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Wedding party laughing during outdoor formal portraits at a snowy destination wedding in Keystone Colorado

Wedding party walking in a winter wonderland of Keystone Colorado

Family photos at a Colorado Destination wedding at Keystone Resort during winter

Family formal portraits Destination wedding at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Outdoor family pictures at a Destination wedding during winter in Colorado Keystone Resort

Custom printed cozy blankets for an outdoor winter wedding at Keystone Colorado

Guests waiting for snowy outdoorwinter Colorado destination wedding at Keystone to begin

Guests take their seats for an outdoor snowy winter wedding at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Guests all bundled up and snuggling together for outdoor Colorado destination wedding at Keystone Resort during winter

Outdoor winter wedding ceremony processional at Alpenglow Stube in Keystone CO

Groom's parents walk to their seats at outdoor winter wedding at Keystone Resort in CO

Mom escorted by sons to her seat at Colorado destination wedding during winter at Keystone Resort

Groom and wedding party make their way from Alpenglow Stube to Anticipation run for outdoor winter wedding at Keystone

Magical outdoor destination winter wedding on a Colorado mountain with St. Bernard pulling a sleigh

Adorable ring bearer all bundled up in his winter gear is pulled in a sleigh at an outdoor Colorado winter wedding at Keystone

Groom looks at his bride as she walks down the aisle at their outdoor winter destination wedding at Keystone

Bride and her father walk from Alpenglow Stube to Anticipation Run at outdoor snowy winter wedding in Colorado

Beautiful snowy winter wedding day bride and her dad walk down the aisle at outdoor Colorado wedding at Keystone

Family and friends look at bride as she makes her way toward the groom at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Father of the bride says some words to groom before giving his daughter away at Keystone Resort

Father of the bride gives his daughter away at an outdoor snowy winter wedding at Keystone Resort in CO

Outdoor wedding ceremony space at Anticipation run during winter wedding at Keystone Resort

Gorgeous outdoor wedding ceremony during winter with mountain views at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Groom looks at his bride during outdoor winter wedding ceremony at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Weddings guests bundled up in coats at outdoor Keystone Colorado wedding ceremony in the mountains

Groomsmen at an outdoor winter wedding at Keystone Colorado

Wide angle view of an outdoor winter wedding ceremony during a snowstorm at Anticipation Run in Keystone

Bride and groom say their vows with tears in their eyes at Keystone Resort in CO

Bride smiles at her groom during their pretty outdoor winter wedding at Keystone Resort

Outdoor winter wedding ceremony at Anticipation ski run at Keystone

Bride in long sleeved lace dress and her groom at their outdoor winter wedding in Keystone

Ring exchange at outdoor winter wedding ceremony at Anticipation run at Keystone Resort

Bride and groom kiss at the end of their winter wedding ceremony at Anticipation run at Keystone Resort in CO

Bride and groom walk hand in hand away from their outdoor winter wedding ceremony at Anticipation run at Keystone Resort in CO

Bride and groom walk to their reception at Alpenglow Stube at Keystone Resort on their winter wedding day in CO

A funny "politician" style handshake photo opp after signing marriage license at Alpenglow Stube in Keystone CO

Classic winter wedding portrait with mountain backdrop at Anticipation run Keystone Colorado

Cute wedding photo with snow groomer in the backdrop at Keystone Resort

Bride and groom have a sweet moment during their romantic photo time at Keystone Resort during winter

Bride and groom laugh together on their winter wedding day at Keystone Resort in Colorado

Groom lifts bride in the air as she kisses him on their pretty snowy winter wedding day in Colorado

Groom leads his bride back to the reception at Alpenglow Stube in Keystone Colorado

Cute photo of bride and groom on a medic snowmobile at Keystone Resort in CO

Colorado wedding table floral design with snow covered trees in the windows at Alpenglow Stube Keystone Resort CO

Floral details from Petal and Bean at Alpenglow Stube in Keystone Colorado

Grand Piano Ice Sculpture at a winter wedding at Alpenglow Stube at Keystone Resort in CO

Tables inside Alpenglow Stube set up for a cozy cabin winter wedding at Keystone Resort in CO

Detail photo of winter floral design by Petal and Bean at Alpenglow Stube at Keystone

Florals on the tables inside Alpenglow Stube at Keystone Resort

Wedding ring detail photography from a Colorado destination wedding photographer

Cozy wedding reception inside Alpenglow Stube restaurant venue at Keystone Colorado

Father of the bride gives a speech at her winter wedding at Alpenglow Stube Keystone Resort in CO

Wedding speeches and toasts inside Alpenglow Stube at Keystone CO

Maid of honor toast destination wedding in Colorado at Alpenglow Stube Keystone

Colorado destination wedding photographer Alpenglow Stube Keystone

Best man speech Alpenglow Stube Keystone CO destination wedding

Glasses clinking at a fun Colorado destination wedding Alpenglow Stube Keystone Resort

Three tiered wedding cake at Alpenglow Stube Keystone Resort in CO

A cute little gluten free cake alternative at Alpenglow Stube Keystone Resort CO

They had a cute little gluten-free cake too!

Bride and groom cut their cake at Alpenglow Stube Keystone Colorado

B&W photo of bride and groom first dance inside Alpenglow Stube Keystone CO

First dance inside Alpenglow Stube wedding reception in Keystone

Beautiful B&W photo of a couple dancing at Alpenglow Stube in Colorado

Bride and groom dance their first dance at Alpenglow Stube wedding reception in CO

Father dances with his daughter on her wedding day at Keystone CO

Groom dances with his mom at his Colorado destination wedding at Keystone

Dancing photos at a fun destination wedding reception in Colorado at Alpenglow Stube in Keystone

Dancing photo collage from destination wedding reception at Alpenglow Stube Winter wedding Keystone CO

Couple kisses on the dance floor at destination wedding at Alpenglow Stube in Colorado

Fun wedding dance floor picture from Alpenglow Stube in Keystone CO

Dance floor candid photo from Keystone Resort in CO

Smoking cigar at Keystone CO wedding reception

Dad and his daughter smoke cigars on her wedding day at Alpenglow Stube in Keystone

Dance floor shenanigans at a Colorado mountain wedding in Keystone

Dancing at Colorado winter wedding reception

B&W wedding dance pictures from Keystone Colorado winter wedding

Bride and groom have fun at their destination wedding in Keystone CO

Snowy Colorado Destination wedding at Keystone with Epic mountain view

Saved one of my favorites for last!

Be sure to check out the Colorado Mountain Venue section of my site for more Colorado mountain destination wedding venue ideas for your wedding!

Wedding Venue: Keystone Resort Summit County, CO
Florist: Petal and Bean Breckenridge, CO

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  1. Dale Conley

    March 13th, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    The pictures are all stunning! What amazing photography!
    Thanks for all your hard work!!
    Dale

  2. Val Harrison

    March 15th, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Wow! Beautiful couple and beautiful pictures. Very stunning and I enjoyed them all.

  3. April O'Hare

    March 23rd, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Thank you both for stopping by to take a look!