A Denver Wedding on a Former Railroad Bridge

The couple’s matchmaker officiated the ceremony, 12 years after introducing them

Updated 03/23/18

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

A lucky mistake first brought James Stanaway and Harrison Hartman together in 2005. “We were at a trade show in Minneapolis, and Harrison’s freight for the show was accidentally delivered to my booth,” says James, at right. Later that night, the pair realized they shared an advertising rep, who had seated them next to one another at a vendor dinner. In November of 2016, on their 11th anniversary, James and Harrison headed to Denver’s Mizuna restaurant, where Harrison proposed. “That same advertising rep served as the officiant at our wedding 12 years later!” says James.

The Denver-based couple was in search of an urban setting that would give their wedding day a unique feel, and the Wewatta Bridge was the perfect spot. “We had dined at Coohills before, and loved the restaurant’s atmosphere,” says Harrison. The restaurant overlooks the bridge and even uses the bridge as an extension of their restaurant for celebrations. Harrison and James were able to combine the stately look of the iron bridge with the city backdrop, and worked with First Look Events to soften the space while still maintaining a masculine feel. “As regular entertainers, we wanted to create a relaxed evening that focused as much on the celebration as on the ceremony,” James explains.

Take a peek to see how James and Harrison transformed this former railroad bridge into a sophisticated wedding celebration on July 8, 2017, as photographed by Amy Caroline Photography, below.

flower girls and ring bearer

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

The couple's nieces and nephew served as the flower girl and ring bearer, in shades of gray and navy.

ceremony on denver bridge

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

The ceremony took place on a former railroad bridge, which was transformed with a light installation, potted succulents, and plenty of industrial-inspired rentals.

ring bearer walking own aisle

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

flower girl

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

“The kids did a great job, and the girls danced around the altar sprinkling lavender as they went,” says James.

gay wedding ceremony

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

With 190 guests in attendance, James and Harrison made their ceremony more intimate by skipping rows of seats in favor of having guests stand closely around them. Harrison walked down the aisle with his mother and oldest brother, and James was escorted by his parents. Says James of the emotional moment, “I’m not sure if Becky knew she had been a matchmaker back in 2005, or that she’d be greeting us at the end of the aisle on our wedding day!”

gay couple at alter

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

gay couple at alter black and white

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

Both grooms opted for shades of blue and purple for their attire. Harrison wore an Armani Collezioni suit with a printed tie, while James wore a plaid suit from Ted Baker. Both grooms wore succulent boutonnieres—Harrison’s featured an accent of lavender, while James’ had the addition of a sprig of rosemary.

reception on denver bridge lounge area

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

cocktail style reception on denver bridge

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

cocktail style reception on denver bridge

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

After the vows, guests relaxed in vignettes of mid-modern lounge furniture. Cement pillars were topped with overflowing arrangements of succulents and cascading plants, created by the grooms’ sister-in-law Lenita Hartman. “Lenita threw herself into the design, sourcing succulents that perfectly paired with our purple and green palette,” says James. “They softened the design, but kept it feeling crisp and masculine.”

succulent centerpiece

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

succulent wedding cake

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

The evening was filled with passed hors d’oeuvres and food stations that included blue crab cakes, duck meatballs, Scottish salmon en croute, and artisan salads. “s created a barrel-aged manhattan for us to serve that evening,” says Harrison. In addition to a dessert bar of macaroons, chocolate mousse cake and bread pudding, the grooms cut a yellow chiffon cake, filled with blueberry jam and Italian buttercream.

denver bridge reception at night

Photo by Amy Caroline Photography

“Walking out onto the bridge for our first dance, beneath all of the beautiful lights, was such a special moment,” says James. “The design really surpassed anything we could have imagined.”After all the planning, the grooms opted for a honeymoon that didn’t need any, booking a cruise through Malaysia and Thailand. “We met amazing people and loved exploring a part of the world we hadn’t experienced before,” Harrison says.

Of course, even the best planners need some help! “Even if you have all of the details under control, it’s so worth it to hire a day-of planner to keep things running smoothly,” says James. “You’ll be in the midst of the celebration, and won’t want to leave those special moments to answer questions or address details.”

Wedding Planner: First Look Events|| Venue: Coohills || Harrison’s Attire: Armani Collezioni|| James’s Attire: Ted Baker|| Wedding Bands: Sarah O. Jewelry|| Floral Design: Lenita and Auralie Hartman|| Paper Products: Mido Printing|| Catering & Cake: Coohills|| Music: Wesley Wayne|| Rentals: Eclectic Hive|| Lighting: Elite Entertainment|| Photography: Amy Caroline Photography

Related Stories