Beth and Joe are criminology professors from St Louis who have been friends for over 20 years. They both LOVE the outdoors and the mountains so it only made sense for them to elope in the heart of the Rockies! I was SO stoked when they contacted me about working together for their Colorado hiking elopement! After tossing around a couple ideas we decided to head to one of my favorite towns in ALL of Colorado – Crested Butte!
We had plans to do a longer and higher hike for their elopement but Mother Nature had other ideas. Colorado received record snow this winter and snow was lingering in the high country well into mid-summer. Its great for late season wildflowers, wildfire prevention, and water supplies … but not so good for high altitude hiking elopements! Not to worry, we figured it out (we always do, y’all!)!
The funny thing about all that snow was that when these guys came out for their engagement session back in December it was … not warm. And by not warm I mean it was 7 degrees (farenheit!!) when we started and 5 degrees when we finished and dumping snow. We hiked five miles for that session (which actually kept us pretty warm!) and laughed at how we at least knew we wouldn’t be dealing with snow for their elopement. We were wrong!
With a solid, snow-free plan in place I met them the afternoon of their elopement at their cute little AirBnB (appropriately named the “Love Shack”) while they were getting ready and it wasn’t long before we were headed for the trailhead! We hiked up to a beautiful overlook where they changed into their wedding clothes, did their first look, and had one of the sweetest and most heartfelt ceremonies I have ever seen.
After that it was time to explore!
We took our time on the hike back down, stopping for drinks and snacks in a big mountain meadow, taking pictures amongst the aspens, and just generally enjoying the beautiful summer day. We made it back to the car and decided to head over to one of my favorite spots in Crested Butte to watch the sun set – and Milky Way rise – above the Elk Mountains. Along the way we were lucky enough to spot a mama and baby moose munching on some willows and if that’s not a sign of good things to come I’m not sure what is!
We ended the day with a picnic on a giant rock next to a lake (that still had chunks of ice floating on it in July because have I mentioned that it was a crazy winter?!), sharing drinks and snacks, and enjoying the end to what was a PERFECT day and unforgettable way to get married. As I watched those stars rise above the mountains I couldn’t help but feel so damn lucky to get to share these moments with some of the sweetest people.
Here are some photos from Beth and Joe’s Colorado hiking elopement. Enjoy!