Out of all the Colorado towns I’ve shot elopements in, Crested Butte is hands-down one of my absolute favorites. The town itself has the perfect mix of artsy style and good food (every time in town, you can bet your ass I’m swinging by Secret Stash for a slice of pizza), and just a short drive up a dirt pass in either direction, you can find some of the most beautiful mountains in Colorado’s Rockies. So as you can imagine, when Amanda and Peter reached out to me about their Crested Butte elopement, I was hyped.
Their day honestly felt like it came straight out an adventure novel. Amanda and Peter’s Crested Butte elopement started with a ceremony alongside the East River, led us down a bumpy dirt road to the craziest hidden waterfall that pretty much took our breath away, and ended the evening with time spent on the water in the most adorable little red canoe.
We drove a few miles out of town, and up a scenic dirt road to Amanda and Peter’s Crested Butte elopement ceremony spot…a place you could easily miss if you weren’t looking for it, but whose views are hands-down some of my favorite in all of CB.
Amanda and Peter’s immediately families joined them on their elopement day. And while these two chose to self solemnize, they had every member of their families participate in the ceremony by reading a few words and sharing stories and advice. Amanda and Peter themselves chose to read a poem instead of sharing their vows, as they decided to share those privately with each other at a later time.
After we wrapped up their Crested Butte elopement ceremony, we all hopped in our cars and headed down the road to a spot I’d found for them to host a little camp-style picnic reception. Everyone shared stories about their least favorite and favorite parts of their wedding day, while snacking on mini donuts, sipping beers, and toasting Amanda and Peter.
We had the mountains surrounding us in every direction, with Mt Crested Butte on one side and the grouping of mountains that were the backdrop of their elopement ceremony on the other side.
For the second half of the evening, Amanda and Peter’s family went back to their Airbnb, while we continued to explore in the mountains. After a bumpy drive down a dirty road alongside the river, we made it to an unmarked pull-off on the side of the road, which led us to a small path, which then led us to the middle of the woods with virtually no markings to find our way, other than the sound of a waterfall down below. We emerged from a grove of trees to the ground floor of one of the most epic waterfalls I’ve seen in Colorado. A hidden gem of a spot that we had 100% to ourselves.
I feel like in a state like Colorado, where epic mountain overlooks are so popular, this waterfall was an awesome change of pace. Personally, I’m obsessed with waterfalls, but epic ones like this aren’t always the easiest to come by in Colorado. Needless to say, finding this spot and taking these two here was definitely one of the highlights of the day.
After trekking our way through the trees and back up to our cars, we made the drive up to my favorite lake in CB so we could go on some canoe wedding adventures. Less than a week before Amanda and Peter’s Crested Butte elopement, a freak early-season snow storm rolled in and dumped a ton of snow all over the town and the mountains. And the road to this lake is not one you can or want to take as the roads begin to get icy in the fall and winter.
Honestly, until the day-of, we weren’t sure if we’d even be able to access the lake, but luckily the snow had pretty much completely melted on the route up, and the lake was accessible. These two hopped into the little red canoe and took off exploring the rich blue/green waters of the lake.
One our way back into Crested Butte after the canoe wedding adventures, we stopped alongside the road at a spot with a lovely view of Mt Crested Butte so these two could pop a celebratory bottle of champagne, as a few free range cows grazing on the mountain pass moo’d on in the distance.
P.S. As an adventure elopement photographer, I believe in being more than just a documenter of your Crested Butte elopement day. I pride myself on helping you navigate all the little details as well — like helping you figure out the perfect time of year for your elopement in the mountains of CB or choosing the best vacation rentals in town.
As someone who also eloped, I’ve been in your shoes. I know what you’re doing through, and I’m here to help.
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