Overlook Chapel Wedding in the Rockies

March 2, 2020

I saw Mat post one of these wedding photos on instagram and immediately messaged him and asked if I could feature it. I love that Cheryl and Cody incorporated Meskwaki Traditional aspects into their wedding, and that they chose their date and their wedding colors based on Cheryl's Dad. Everything is so personal to them as a couple, which is what a wedding should be.


Venue: Overlook Chapel at YMCA of the Rockies | Bride’s Dress: Atira by Cheryl Iron | Bride’s Jewelry: Jayla Iron | Florals: Southern Blooms Co. | Groom’s Shirt: Atira by Cheryl Iron | Groom’s Hat: Greeley Hat Works | Bride Meskwaki Outfit: Brenda Ackerman | Groom Meskwaki Outfit: Atira by Cheryl Iron | Photography: Mat Schramm Photography

From the Couple

What was the most important thing to you while planning?

We planned our wedding around our family and simplicity. My (Cheryl's) late dad was also a big factor in decisions we made. He loved the Oklahoma Sooners so that’s where we got our wedding colors from, and his birthday was September 22nd which is the reason why we chose a September wedding. It was so special to incorporate him. From the venue to lodging, we just wanted to make sure we accommodated our family comfortably. We knew from the start that we wanted an intimate wedding and that made it a lot less stressful.

How did you find your vendors?

A lot of our vendors were local and we found a few through social media.

What creative touches did you use throughout your wedding?

I (Cheryl) am a seamstress so I felt obligated to make sure I added some creative element to the wedding. I made my top and I added the designs to the men’s shirts that participated in the ceremony. My niece Jayla is an amazing beader and she made Cody’s hat band as well as my earrings.

Did you forego any of the traditional aspects of weddings?

We customized our wedding a lot to our liking. We didn’t have bridesmaids, groomsmen, or the traditional reception. We really kept it simple and had more of a big family dinner for the reception followed by traditional singing and round dancing. We also sat around a campfire at the end of the night making s’mores and telling ghost stories.

What was your favorite part of the day?

The ceremony was definitely a highlight of the day. The breathtaking venue made it so special and unique! Instead of having music play as everyone walked down the aisle, Cody sang a song on a hand drum that he composed for me. It was so beautiful and hard not to shed some tears! The words exchanged during the ceremony were so heartfelt and meaningful. It was really was an amazing moment!

The acceptance ceremony of being dressed in Meskwaki clothing by my new sisters was another highlight of our day that I feel like I can’t leave out. Being gifted such a beautiful outfit was priceless and I couldn’t be more thankful to be part of such a beautiful and traditional family.

From the Photographer

How did you prepare your clients for your style of shooting and the harsh light?

Engagement sessions are an important part of my process. Not only is it such a valuable time to get to know each other, but it also lets them get used to being photographed and I get to learn how best to capture them together.

What techniques did you use that were out of the norm?

I spend a lot of time with couples asking about the meaning behind the things they choose to do during their wedding because in most cases, a wedding is a day when we showcase a lot of our religious beliefs and cultural practices. Cheryl told me during our first conversation that there'd be a traditional Meskwaki practice during the day involving Cheryl receiving a traditional outfit from Cody's family as a sign of acceptance into his family. We spent time talking about that so I could make sure to capture it in a way that would not only honor the moment, but also show how special and intimate the moment was for both of their families.

Do you have any advice for other photographers or vendors when it comes to weddings?

Really take time to get to know your couples throughout their engagement. It'll make you more excited to deliver really great work if you've taken the time to get to know the people you're working with.