Written by Audrey
Being dressed up as Mario isn’t exactly the way we picture meeting “The One.” But a quirky costume is all it took to catch the eye of the toga-wearing guy across the room. Ironically, Halloween costumes are what drew them together. But it would be the fact that they are completely and whole-heartedly able to be themselves around one another that would become the recurring theme in their relationship and what would make their love last.
So when Ellie told Tyler that she was seriously considering taking the next step in her professional volleyball career by moving across the globe to play internationally, he encouraged her to go because that was what she was meant to do–even though it meant 9 months of separation after already spending 2 years long-distance.
Just weeks before their Rocky Mountain Wedding, Ellie and Tyler were reunited in the states. In the nearly three years they had been apart, Tyler had learned to keep his emotions tucked away, and he told Ellie their wedding day would be the same. “He was set and determined not to cry that day,” Ellie told me. “But I told him this is not the day to worry about what people think…it’s the one day you can let go of the man card and let your feelings show. I’m so glad they did.” When Tyler toasted to his new bride, on love, happiness, and never having to see each other through a computer screen again, Ellie knew that he had listened. He was completely himself on their wedding day.
Rehearsal: Timber Ridge Lodge. Elevation: 11,444 feet (!!!)
You really feel one with the outdoors at Timber Ridge Lodge, especially when the occasional chipmunk scurries across the room!
July 21, 2012 (The Big Day)
The Reagan family rented a cabin-style mansion in Ruby Ranch gated community for their extended family to stay. So when Ellie saw how beautiful the place was, she changed her plans last minute and decided she had to get ready there.
Ellie had special “JUST MARRIED” undies made for her wedding day that the bridesmaids (and we!) couldn’t help but photograph –because when you’re a professional volleyball player and stay healthy for a living, you can do those sorts of things! :)
Before their first look, Ellie and Tyler started with a “first hear” Romeo and Juliet style on the balconies of the house. They read thoughtful, hand-written notes to each other detailing the excitement they had for their wedding day and for spending the rest of their lives together.
And then first touch…
…and finally their first look.
OK, right about now is when I started crying. Maybe it was the altitude, but this moment made me dizzy with happiness! :)
It only made sense for Ellie and Tyler to have a Rocky Mountain wedding. Colorado has always been a special place for both of them. It’s where she vacationed as a child, and where he currently lives. It’s also the place Tyler proposed to Ellie. During one of those long-distance stretches of their relationship, Tyler planned to surprise Ellie by showing up on one of her family vacations in Breckenridge and pop the question. But due to bad weather, what should have been a 2 hour drive turned in to a 7 hour drive, and Tyler didn’t make it in time to first properly ask Ellie’s father for his approval. So, the next night, Tyler took Ellie downtown Denver and treated her to a romantic dinner and horse-drawn carriage ride. And not on one knee, but snuggled up in the carriage, Tyler asked Ellie to marry him.
It took nearly 30 minutes by gondola to reach the peak of Keystone Mountain and ceremony destination. Intermittent thunderstorms are common in Colorado this time of year. Just after the first of two stops to the top of the mountain, lightning shut the lifts down. The entire wedding party turned the delay into a party by hanging out and enjoying the spectacular views. Miraculously, the ceremony still started on time!
Remembering her wedding day, Ellie says walking down the aisle was one of the best and most emotional moments of her life. “It was a combination of excitement to be married, ‘oh my gosh this happening,’ ‘oh my gosh it’s lightning,’ and complete joy to finally see all of my guests in front of me!” Ellie said.
One of Tim’s cameras was put on lightning duty during the ceremony. Even though the camera took six shots a minute for ten seconds each during the whole ceremony, the lightning never showed up in a picture. And Tim calls himself “no-miss-Dodd”… :)
Ellie and Tyler had their wedding and reception at the Timber Ridge Lodge on the summit of Keystone Mountain–elevation 11,444 feet! The setting was beyond gorgeous, providing stunning views of mountain peaks in the distance.
Ellie’s good friend and personal attendant, Sara Fitzgerald, hand-drew dozens of these crafty notebooks where guests shared their congratulations to the couple.
No, no, no! Thank YOU, Tyler and Ellie for inviting us out to Colorado to share your incredible day!!!