Adventure Elopement Photographer | Rocky Mountain National Park

Hiring an Adventure Elopement Photographer

So you have chosen to elope? You spent weeks deciding if you wanted a traditional wedding or a deeper and meaningful experience that comes with an adventure elopement. And now you’re here!! You threw away the rulebook and have decided to elope. To celebrate your wedding day in a way that is different and unique. And let me just say, as an adventure elopement photographer, I am SO proud of you!!! This is a choice that I can honestly say you will not regret.

But now what?? Where do you even start? There are so many things to plan. Maybe it’s a little overwhelming. Check out this free elopement planning guide to help get all the ideas flowing and help you plan your own adventure. If you need help with some of the planning process, allow me to be your adventure elopement photographer. Let me celebrate you and your love story in a way that is authentic and meaningful. Because your wedding day is more than just a bunch of pretty pictures, it is an EXPERIENCE that deserves to be lived. An experience that deserves to be told to the world through all of your elopement photographs.

Nathan & Shelley

Nathan and Shelley wanted just that. They wanted an experience unlike anything they have ever had before. They jumped on a phone call with me, to see if I would be willing to be their adventure elopement photographer. On the phone, I quickly realized that these two were down for the adventure. We brainstormed all the possible fun activities to do on their elopement day. Originally from Florida, Nathan and Shelley decided that they wanted to come to Colorado and go hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park to celebrate their wedding day. As an adventure elopement photographer, I was thrilled to be working with such an adventurous couple. They weren’t afraid of the elevation or the snow. Nathan and Shelley dove right in and together, we sat down to create the most epic elopement day!

The Elopement Day

It was an early morning in April and there was still snow on the ground. I woke up at 3am on the morning of Nathan and Shelley’s elopement to drive up to Estes Park to meet them. They were staying at a rustic log cabin tucked among the hills. When I arrived, the fireplace was crackling and and the lights were dimmed. It was cozy inside the cabin and served as a refuge from the cold mountain air. In the kitchen Shelley was getting her hair done. And Nathan was in the back room finalizing the details for his outfit. Everyone was still a little tired from the early morning but you could feel that excitement was building.

A First Look In The Cabin

After Shelley finished with hair and makeup, she stepped into her dress and then walked out to the living room area. She met Nathan who was standing by the fireplace and they shared the sweetest first look. There were a few blissful tears shed before they packed up all of their things for this morning’s hike. Before walking out the door, Nathan sat down to help Shelley slip into her hiking boots and even helped her tie her shoelaces. The love these two shared for each other simply radiated throughout the cabin. And you could hear them laughing all the way out to the car as the cold morning air whipped through their coats.

Hiking To Dream Lake

It was a 30 minute drive from their cabin to the trailhead. We entered the park around 5am so we essentially had the whole park to ourselves. The road twisted and curved throughout the park and we took the winding road to Bear Lake. We parked at the Bear Lake parking lot and everyone bundled up in their winter coats. When we got to the trailhead, we all attached our ice cleats to our hiking boots and started up the trail towards Nymph Lake.

About 1.5 miles into the hike we started having a hard time find and staying on the trail. Due to the excessive snowfall, there weren’t many clear trail markers and we found ourselves accidentally veering off in the wrong direction. Nathan and Shelley were absolute troopers and spent the whole time laughing and simply relishing in their epic Colorado adventure elopement. Up until today, neither one of them had ever worn ice cleats or spent that much time in the snow. They were THRIVING and living up each moment of the day.

The rest of our hike took us up different mountain sides and out onto these beautiful vista points that overlooked the Rocky Mountains. After a little over an hour of hiking we arrived at Dream Lake. Nathan and Shelley were nothing but smiles when they saw the views from the trail for the first time. We ventured off the trail down to the lake side which was frozen solid. We walked out onto the ice for a better look. Nathan and Shelley spent the rest of the morning exploring and soaking in all the beauty the Rocky Mountains had to offer. As their adventure elopement photographer, I allowed them the space to explore together and celebrate their adventure together.

The Hike Out

When everyone was too cold to continue on with the hike, we all decided to make our way back to the car. But not without a few more stops on the way out to really soak in everything from their adventure elopement. We stopped at vista points. Climbed rocks for more pictures. And even spent the last few miles fighting with the ice cleats. Nathan and Shelley were struggling to keep their ice cleats attached to their hiking boots. We made sure to stop every so often to check and make sure they were still secured. Eventually we made it back to the trailhead. However, before wrapping up the hike, we made a quick trip over to Bear Lake to take in the view and celebrate with more photos.

The Most Perfect Private Elopement Ceremony On The Balcony

Afterwards, we returned to Nathan and Shelley’s cabin. They turned on the fireplace and they cuddled up together to dry off and warm up. Once everyone was warmed up again, we went out to the balcony to have their official elopement ceremony. Nathan and Shelley joined hands and began to read their wedding vows to each other. They shared short, sweet words of love and promise. They then sealed their wedding vows and ended the ceremony with wedding bands and a kiss. Once the marriage license was signed it was official and they celebrated in the best way they knew how.

Nathan ran inside and came back out to the balcony with a few beers. He cracked one open and took a sip before handing it to Shelley. Nathan and Shelley then sat on the deck chairs and said a toast to their marriage and their new life together. It was the perfect way to end the day as their adventure elopement photographer. Cheers to Nathan and Shelley! I wish you a lifetime of love, happiness, and of course adventure.

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