Sunrise Hiking Adventure Elopement – Colorado
When Shelby and Derik were planning their elopement, they new they wanted specific things for their special day.
They wanted a ceremony that was accessible for family, but also a private, intimate adventure for just the two of them. They wanted to do a hiking adventure that included the mountains, waterfalls and a big alpine lake. They were coming from Iowa, so having something close to Denver and easy for them was a must. They wanted to hike somewhere beautiful together, but wanted to include their family for their vow ceremony at a location with big views that truly encapsulates Colorado.
I am no stranger to custom elopements, so we went over a number of different ideas over the 5 months leading up their elopement and finally laid out the perfect 2 day plan that incorporated all their wishes!
The first day of their elopement, I picked them up at 3am and drove to the trailhead. It was still completely dark and we were the only ones on the trail, which is exactly what you want if your’e seeking privacy for your elopement. I gave Derik an extra headlamp and we started hiking up in complete darkness to one of my favorite alpine lakes in Colorado! We arrived at the lake and they hung their clothes up on some trees before getting ready separately for their first look by the lake. Derik jumped out to a rock with the sun rise behind him and Shelby came up and tapped him on the shoulder for the big reveal! First looks are one of my favorite moments of elopements because of the sheer raw emotions. You should have seen the expression on Derik’s face as he saw Shelby for the first time!
After their first look, Shelby, Derik and I wondered around the lake and took in the alpenglow over the mountains, hiked over some left over winter snow, cuddled near the waterfall, snuggled on rocks and laughed the morning away while the sun rose over the trees. The morning views and colors were totally breathtaking and the lake was completely theirs to take in. We didn’t want to leave!
We eventually had to head back to the car before the rain rolled in and chatted about how amazing it was for two small town kids to share their morning in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Their little sunrise hike was adventurous, intimate, and fun! This is one of my favorite parts about shooting adventure elopements. You work with so many people and get to share such beautiful backdrops with couples that have never seen or been to the places right in my backyard. So. Freaking. COOL!
The next day, Shelby and Derik gathered friends and family together at Brainard lake in Colorado for their ceremony. They had around 15 people for their ceremony, including their closest friends and family that traveled for their celebration.
Since Shelby and Derik live in Iowa, I helped them find a local officiant in Colorado to lead their vow ceremony. Jeannette helped them write a beautiful script that expressed their love and devotion to each other. Being surrounded by the ones that love and support them most was really the perfect way to cap off an epic two day elopement.