The rain didn’t stop Courtney & NJ having the intimate wedding of their dreams in a barn in New Mexico.
Who are Courtney & NJ?
Courtney has been a nurse for over 5 years. She is currently the nurse educator for the University of New Mexico Hospital GI Unit. For fun, Courtney enjoys reading while pretending not to watch the crime documentary NJ has on in the background.
NJ is the Director of Senior Services and Community Development for Valencia County, New Mexico. She has been working with seniors for the last 5 years, providing meals and medical transportation to 60+ residents of our rural county. For fun, NJ likes to do crosswords, listen to podcasts, and RUN!
Tell us a little about your love story.
We have been together for 3.5 years. We met on Tinder, of all places!
Among so many memories, our favorite is going to our family cabin in southern Colorado, where we can take our dogs, unplug, and spend the day reading and doing crosswords together while we tune out the chaos of our usual routine.
Tell us about the proposal.
Courtney planned on proposing in San Francisco in March of 2020. COVID changed everything, so we ended up road-tripping to Taos, New Mexico, where Courtney proposed over room service burritos.
Courtney got NJ’s entire family and close cousins to film a 60 second clip where they shared funny stories, words of advice, and loving encouragement. This made it feel like her family was there in a time where we all had to be apart.
How did you nearly lose your vows the morning of the wedding?
While Courtney was writing her vows on the deck of our cabin, on the morning of the wedding – of course-, she came inside to refill her coffee. When she went back outside, all we could her was her screaming at the top of her lungs was, “THE SQUIRREL GOT MY VOWS!”
A mischievous squirrel had stolen her hand-written vows off the table and made a mad dash into the forest. Luckily, Courtney chased him down – while NJ’s brother got the whole thing on an old-school VHS camera – and she was able to get them back.
Talk us through your wedding day.
Everything we’ve done has been far from traditional. We spent the day getting ready side by side in our cabin, with our moms and sisters there to keep us sane.
New Mexico had been under a severe drought, with forest fires burning all over the state, for weeks. It had been over 2 months without rain, but that day, just after we finished our vows in front of our friends and family, the skies rumbled with thunder and poured out the most beautiful rainstorm we’d ever seen. We made the most of it and took pictures in the rain, posed with umbrellas, and ended up muddy and wet from dancing our way through the night.
It was such a special occasion, because Courtney’s grandpa was our officiant and we had all over our closest friends and family present.
Any advice for other couples planning a smaller wedding?
Invite who is important to YOU. You won’t regret spending a few extra bucks to have everyone there who is important, but this doesn’t mean you have to invite everyone to whom you feel obligated.
Remember to stop and smell the roses on your wedding day. The months and weeks leading up to it feel so stressful and long, but the day goes by in a flash. Soak it all in.
What does the future hold for you both?
As we settle in to our careers and life together, we are planning on enjoying the first couple years of marriage fixing up our little farm. And then… we’d love nothing more than to have a couple of kids and raise our family around the people we are so lucky to call our loved ones.
Photography by Crystal Cousin