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A Sunrise Hiking Elopement
Some days I honestly have to pinch myself to be sure that any of this is real. Lauren and Taylor’s sunrise hiking elopement was one of those days.
When Lauren and Taylor first reached out to me about photographing their elopement-inspired intimate wedding they knew they wanted to spend part of their day hiking and exchanging private vows and part of it celebrating with their family and friends! After tossing around a few ideas we decided to head to Crested Butte and make it a sunrise affair!
I arrived in Crested Butte the day before their wed-lopement with big plans to spend the afternoon fly fishing and then going to bed early for an oh-dark-thirty alarm. Those plans changed when a storm rolled in. It DUMPED rain from late afternoon well until 1 a.m. I remember laying in the van, trying to sleep, thinking that we were either going to get rained on … or if we got luck we might get served up some epic clouds.
Let’s just say we got very, VERY lucky.
I met up with Lauren and Taylor shortly before 4 a.m. and we were on the trail shortly after. As the sky slooooooowly started to brighten I could see a massive cloud inversion hanging in the valley below us. It was EVERYTHING my little photographer heart dreams about.
We topped out on the Ridgeline just as the sun was really starting to come up. Lauren and Taylor changed into their wedding clothes in the literal clouds. At one point Lauren looked around and said something to the effect of “I’m just so grateful that I get to experience this.” I felt the SAME way. I’ve seen a lot of sunrises in pretty places but this one was the best ever.
After everyone was changed into their fancy clothes we did some exploring and then found a beautiful spot where Lauren and Taylor exchanged private vows in one of the most beautiful places you could imagine! After their sweet ceremony we did some exploring and then made our way back down the trail (and into those clouds!) for the second part of the day!
We met up with their families and pup Afton at a campground and staked out a spot next to a lake where they had a hand fasting ceremony, exchanged rings, and made it all official! After the ceremony it was time for some quick family photos, champagne, and cake (wedding cake for breakfast? Yes please!!)!
After a while Lauren, Taylor, and there guests headed back to town for a celebration at RESTAURANT and I headed back to Boulder with the happiest of hearts. Everything about this day – from the sweet people to the beautiful mountains to those INSANE clouds – was pure magic and I feel so grateful to have been a part of it!
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