Secret & Scenic Colorado Elopement

Sheena Shahangian Photography

May 13, 2021

As wanderers, Karie and Jared wanted to encompass their desire to explore the majestic mountains of Colorado for their September 2020 wedding. Their secret elopement was romantic, scenic, and most importantly – unique to them.

Katie wore a dusky blue Chantel Lauren dress with hiking boots, of course, and an aquamarine ring from Zacchariah Zypp & Co. Jared wore a Men’s Wearhouse suit and his ring was from Jewelfire Diamonds. Karie reminisced; “changing into a wedding dress and suit in the back of a rented SUV while hurricane-force winds threatened to steal anything that wasn’t nailed down kicked off our adventurous and unforgettable day.”

Armed with vow books from Sip Hip Hooray and a custom wedding ring box, they set off on their hike with just their photographer in tow. They had a self-uniting marriage, where no witnesses or officiants were required. Essentially, in Colorado, a couple can both sign on the officiant line and ‘marry themselves’.

“After a short hike to the jaw-dropping summit of the mountain pass in full wedding attire, we expressed intimate vows and exchanged our locally crafted rings, then proclaimed to the world we were husband and wife by shouting it from the mountain top!” the bride told us. 

“We celebrated by swaying as one to Unforgettable by Nat King Cole, showered our surroundings with sparkling champagne before drinking directly from the bottle, and sipped hot chocolate while watching the sun set on our magical day.”

“Our surprise elopement saved us tens of thousands of dollars by not requiring a costly venue to host a formal ceremony and reception. My dreamy Mae dress was our biggest expense, because how was I going to feel like a pretty princess without my fairy tale, hand-painted wedding dress? 

“Eloping allowed us to splurge on the vendors and parts of the day that mattered most to us, while still spending less than a huge, traditional wedding, and planning our wedding alone allowed us to avoid unfitting traditions and the emotional wrecking balls of well-intentioned family members. It did, however, mean that we didn’t get to share our journey with our best friends, but our only regret was that we wish we had not passed up the opportunity to eat an entire wedding cake by ourselves.”

The bride concluded, “Having previously checked the box for the whirlwind of the extensive (and expensive!) family-demanded wedding, I encourage you to make the most important day of your lives uniquely yours. Also, hire a talented professional adventure elopement photographer (specifically, Sheena Shahangian!) who shares your passion and vision while encouraging authenticity and adventure on your wedding day, so 50 years later you will have more than fading memories of the expression of your love for one another.”