“There’s a place on a blank stretch of road/ Where nobody travels and nobody goes,” Bruce Springsteen sang of hidden slices of heaven on his song “Moonlight Motel.” It’s an ode to the places made priceless by the passage of time. That’s what makes 1880 Union Hotel in Los Alamos such an exquisite location. Part rustic hotel and part secret garden, the venue screams rustic beauty. There’s a lived-in charm to the venue that makes it inviting it its aesthetic prestige.
The building itself has been around since the 1800s. The place’s old-world charm is captivating. From the dressing rooms to the saloon, the owners know how to balance antiquity with functionality. You don’t feel like you’re in a museum, but you can’t help but feel transported back to the 19th century. This is only augmented by the greenery that crops up the outside walls. Along with the various trees and hedgerows, the place packed with textured, multifaceted visuals.
1880 Union Hotel tends to attract a lot of couples from out of town, and want to get away for their special day. It blends into the street and surrounding buildings quite well, but stepping inside reveals a whole other world. The amount of gorgeous backdrops I found in such a small space is truly impressive. I found myself having more issues picking one shot over the other. The Bride’s flower theme blended naturally with the hotel’s vibe, as did the groom’s suave suit. It’s not too old for modern touches, and just right for every delicate addition.
One of the shots I think really stands out is the ones with the bride and groom in opposite windows. It’s a scene straight out of Shakespeare or some obscure Southern Gothic novel. It’s actually incredible how picture-perfect the ceremony became. 1880 Union Hotel became a canvas for the couple’s personality. It’s not simply a retro-wedding for those who long for the good old days. Its time-tested architecture and ornamentation are not only regal, but adaptable to those who want to realize their dream wedding.
As gorgeous as the scenery is, it really does feel like people could live at 1880 Union Hotel. The familial vibe is perfect to celebrate the start of a new branch in the family tree. The genuine emotion I was able to capture reflected the venue’s comfortable vibe. The people present could come together for an uninhibited celebration. While I was there, I sometimes felt like I was watching the end of a romantic comedy. When I began looking over my shots, I was struck by how a hundred percent real the experience was for everyone involved.
The homey vibe of the place is what stood out to me the most. This is the kind of venue to be enjoyed, not just used. Such a warm atmosphere is only possible through the sheer number of years the place has existed. It’s easy to see people turning up a couple centuries ago just like they still do today. The place simply begs for community and that’s why it works so well as a wedding venue. Its very foundation lends itself to taking people in and giving them the best day of their life.
Contact Christopher to hear more about this wedding!