Today was a good day for retired First Sgt. Ed Rossman...not just because he was marrying his soulmate, but because for the first time in weeks he was able to stand and walk upright for more than a few minutes without his back brace. Because he was able to dance almost an entire song with his bride in his arms without collapsing from pain and exhaustion.
In 2004, Sgt. Rossman and his team embarked on a mission to rescue an American patrol in Iraq and found themselves surrounded by nearly 500 insurgents, all bent on killing them. In the ensuing engagement, Sgt. Rossman suffered life-threatening spinal injuries that have plagued him ever since. Countless surgeries and hardware implanted in his body have caused Sgt. Rossman's health to deteriorate significantly and the debilitating injuries have kept him from being able to work since his retirement from the Army. Instead he has volunteered as a cub scout leader, acting as an important male role model in the lives of young boys in Colorado Springs.
Along the way, Sgt. Rossman met Lori McCoy, the widow of a soldier killed in Iraq, struggling to raise their two sons on her own now. Eventually a romance blossomed between them. He became a surrogate father to Lori's two boys and it became clear to them that God had pulled the pieces of their lives together to create a new family.
Lori and Ed had their wedding planned for two years ago but additional surgeries for Ed foiled these and subsequent plans, presenting health and financial obstacles it seemed they would never overcome. When their DJ, Randy Rodriguez, learned of this he contacted Melodie Owens, catering Manager at Cheyenne Mountain Resort and together they assembled an A-list of Colorado Springs wedding professionals to donate their time and talents to put on the wedding of a lifetime for Lori and Ed.
The New York Times and Cheyenne Edition both sent a reporter and photographer to cover the wedding...they spent the entire day at the wedding and interviewed guests and vendors throughout the evening.
As part of our commitment to supporting and encouraging our friends and neighbors in the armed services, DeAnna and I were honored to donate Image Factory Photography's services for Lori and Ed. Below are some of our favorite photographs from the day.
The wedding and reception were set at the classy Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Even on brown winter days this is a gorgeous venue with spectacular mountain views and a definitive Colorado lifestyle feel.
Lori's rings were already soldered together from previous wedding plans...a caricature of things gone wrong finally being righted.
Lori was stunning in a simple white dress with ruffles and smiles on a day so long in the planning they thought it might never come. Rhonda Nichols Flowers provided the gorgeous bouquets.
Ed found new energy to last through the portrait session when he saw his beautiful bride, finally wearing the gown she'd purchased so long ago.
Ed carries a pocket watch engraved with the name of a fellow soldier, Spc. Jonathan 'Kep' Kephart, who died in Iraq. He credits him with saving his life during the rescue mission where he received his own injuries.
Ed's son and new step sons made up the guys' end of the wedding party.
The ceremony took place on the western terrace of the Quail Creek Lodge with a gorgeous view of the front range and Cheyenne Mountain. The sun melted away the clouds just in time to settle gently on Ed and Lori at the ceremony.
Talk about a sand ceremony! Ed and Lori chose a sand ceremony that included their own sand plus different colored sand for their children -- 3 sons and a daughter altogether.
Top notch ballroom decor at the Remington Room of the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Centerpieces by Skyway Creations, linens and chair coverings by Bridal Elegance.
A romantic first dance.
A delicious five course plated dinner from Cheyenne Mountain Resort.
...and they danced the night away.
Here are the wedding professionals that helped make this day happen...we think they rock!
Wedding Designer: Theresa Ortega, Bridal Elegance, www.bridal-elegance.com
Wedding coordinator: Melodie Owens, Cheyenne Mountain Resort, www.cheyennemountain.com
Wedding and reception venue: Cheyenne Mountain Resort, www.cheyennemountain.com
Food and beverages: Cheyenne Mountain Resort, www.cheyennemountain.com
Dresses and tuxedoes: Bridal Elegance, www.bridal-elegance.com
Linens and chair coverings: Bridal Elegance, www.bridal-elegance.com
Master of Ceremonies and entertainment: Randy Rodriquez Entertainment, www.randysinatra.com
Flowers: Rhonda Nichols, Rhonda Nichols Floral Designs, www.rhondanicholsflowers.com
Flowers: Lori Goede, Skyway Creations, www.skywaycreationsunlimited.com
Cake: Keith and Nancy Johnson, Like No Other (719) 328-1290
Table favors: Patsy's Candies, www.patsyscandies.com/
Officiant: Reverend Dale Bowman, www.revdalebowman.com
Videographer: Michael Hering, Lodo Cinema, www.lodocinema.com
Ring Bearer Pillow, Flower Girl Basket, Guest Book, Garter, Toasting Glasses, Cake Knife: Carol & Michael Pennica, Pennica Financial, www.pennicafinancial.com
Champagne Toast: Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado, www.southernwine.com
Bookmark Favors of first Dance: Sara Barrett, Sarah Lane & Angie Farmer
Photography: Tim & DeAnna Skrastins, Image Factory Photography, www.imagefactoryphoto.com
Wedding album: Image Factory Photography & Pictage, www.imagefactoryphoto.com, www.pictage.com
Image Factory is a Colorado Springs based wedding photography and portrait studio known for amazing photography experiences, incredible albums and the best, most fun photography anywhere on the Front Range or the destination of your choice! Image Factory has been voted one of the top 5 wedding photographers on the Denver A-List 2 years in a row! See more at www.imagefactoryphoto.com or call Tim and De at (719) 357-9791.