I love capturing the wildly in love. On the left is a quick glimpse of some of my work. Like what you see?
One of the greatest things about eloping is that you don’t have to follow a strict schedule or sit through a seemingly-endless hair and makeup session. Your “ceremony” on elopement day can take just a half-hour, leaving the rest of the day open for adventure! But, what do you do with all that extra time? How do you fill a full elopement day with activities that feel fun and true to you?
As a Colorado elopement photographer, I’m an expert in helping couples plan their dream elopements! Here are my top elopement ideas for adventurous couples eloping in the mountains.
Hiking doesn’t have to be your thing to get married in a fantastic location. Just hop into a 4×4!
As a Jeep lover myself, I can assure you that there’s nothing more fun than hopping into a four-wheel drive and hitting the road less traveled! Taking an off-road vehicle into the backcountry is a great way to see a lot quickly. And, you won’t even have to get your dress dirty! In fact, I love the experience so much that I incorporate some type of off-roading into many of the elopements I photograph. Whether we’re zipping through the desert in Moab or heading up a mountainside in Ouray, off-roading makes the top of my list for elopement activities.
You could even say that off-roading is in my blood! I’ve been off-roading for over twelve years, and the first vehicle I learned to drive was a John Deere tractor. So, if you book an adventure elopement with me, you can feel confident that you’re in good hands!
Stasia and Ethan wanted to elope at sunrise and have a first look under the stars. A hike up here would’ve been challenging (not to mention dangerous) in the dark, so we drove the jeep up and caught the stars on camera just before the sun rose! It was an incredible experience made possible by my Jeep. And we even got to brew some back-seat coffee, and have a lake-side brunch picnic!
This alternative to off-roading to your “venue” (usually a viewpoint where you’re saying “I do”) is another excellent way to get the most out of your elopement day. Ouray, where I’m based, is a fantastic spot in Colorado to have your elopement if you love hiking. As a regular on the 76 beautiful hiking trails, I can show you the best ones to visit!
Much of the most jaw-dropping scenery in this area can be best found through a hike. But sometimes you don’t even need to go all the way to the top of a mountain to get the view! Eloping near alpine lakes is a popular option, and you might be surprised how accessible some of them are!
If it’s a short hike or walk, some couples choose to make the trip in their wedding attire (well, wedding attire and hiking boots, of course!), which means we can stop and take lots of great photos along the way. Some of my favorite hikes for elopements near Ouray are The Perimeter Trail, Sutton/Neosho Mine Trail, and Bridge of Heaven.
If you’re eloping in the winter, your go-to activity will be snowshoeing! Typically you can rent snowshoes at local gear stores. Never snowshoed before? Don’t worry! It’s simple, and I can help you get the hang of it! It’s really just hiking with wider shoes on that prevent you from sinking into the snow. This is also a great way to get to your elopement location if you plan to elope in a wintery wonderland. And the photos turn out so cozy and cute!
If you’re worried about the cold and the difficulty of trying a new activity, here are my tips for enjoying a snowshoe adventure on your elopement day:
My favorite snowshoeing trails are Ironton Park Nordic Trail near Ouray, Top of the Pines near Ridgway or Trout Lake near Telluride.
For couples eloping in the summer, paddleboarding is a fun way to get outside in a more lowkey way. Rather than taking an intense hike into the mountains, simply enjoy your surroundings at one of the many lakes in the area. We have alpine lakes here in Ouray that are perfect for stand-up paddleboarding! You can even rent a blow-up paddleboard that makes transportation between locations much simpler.
My favorite lakes for stand-up paddleboarding are Lake Como, Ice Lakes or. Blue Lakes and great places to rent gear include Rigs Fly Shop in Ridgway or SOL Paddleboards in Telluride.
For adventurous couples looking for the next epic thing to try, a helicopter tour should be on top of your list! Imagine getting to see the stunning mountainscapes from the vantage point of a bird! Helicopter tours can book up fast, so reserve in advance. For helicopter tours near Ouray, I highly recommend Helitrax in Telluride.
Whatever you decide, you can’t go wrong here in the mountains of Colorado! If you’re planning an elopement in Ouray, I would love to chat! I’m a local to the Ouray area and have tons of experience helping couples like you arrange their dream mountain elopements. Get in touch before my calendar books up!
*** Vendors of Stasia and Ethan’s Elopement:
Mountainesque Weddings and Elopements