Colorado Hiking Elopement with Stunning Mountain Views

Emily and Matt knew from the beginning that neither of them wanted a traditional wedding. They wanted an epic experience that would stand out in their memories against all the other wedding they’ve been to over the years. “We love to travel and go on new adventures together so we kept that as our focus throughout planning,” Matt told us. “The only other non-negotiable was that our dog Rufus, the Best Dog of Honour, be there with us.”

Their original idea was to have a very small, simple ceremony with their most important people on a mountaintop in Washington State and then go head off on a hiking adventure. “We love to hike so we felt it was an appropriate wedding day activity.” However, once COVID took hold, they downsized and decided to elope closer to home. “We’re very lucky that there are plenty of mountain adventures to be had right here on our doorstep in Colorado!”

With a budget of $15,000, the couple enlisted photographer duo The Foxes to capture their day. They had a quiet morning drinking coffee together in their Airbnb until Anne Timms arrived to do Emily’s hair and make-up. Once she was all dolled up, they hopped in a jeep with Rufus, and followed their photographers up to the mountains. They spent all day four-wheeling the trails. When they made it to the top, they got dressed on either side of the Jeep and had their first look at 13,000 feet. Then they got back in the Jeep and continued wandering the mountainside, stopping every mile or so to take pictures, and soak in the otherworldly beauty of the San Juan mountain range. 

“Eventually we arrived at the spot that our photographers had scoped out for our ceremony a couple of days before. There was no-one else there, it was perfect. We parked and walked down a short path towards a beautiful blue lake. We spent time exploring the basin and said our vows at the edge of the water.”

“In Colorado you can self solemnise so we did not have to have an officiant or witnesses – Rufus signed our wedding license with his paw print! To end the day we drove to the blue lakes trial and hiked a short, steep trail to the top of the pass to watch the sunset and have our first dance. We hiked back down in the dark, with a full moon and headlamps lighting the way. It was an epic day.”

Their biggest expense was their photography, which Matt said was worth every penny (and more!) “We were very selective when hiring vendors and were careful to choose people who were passionate about their jobs, cared about us as individuals, and held values similar to ours. Basically we hired people people we knew we could be friends with, which was one of the best decisions we made. When we had to reschedule and change plans, everyone was both generous and gracious in finding the best solution for us. I’d advise futures couples to do the same; under normal circumstances you might not need people in your corner, but it’s thanks to our wonderful vendors we had an incredible experience that we will treasure forever.”

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