Sophie and David had originally planned to get married at sunset at one of our favorite lakes between Aspen and Leadville. Well, 2020 did what 2020 does best and naturally changed up those plans. The state of Colorado was basically engulfed in wildfires, resulting in haze and smoke that blocked some of the best mountain views out here. On top of it all, their sunset ceremony was projected to have high altitude lightning storms for a few hours. And while I’m certainly not one to let weather get in the way of someone’s elopement day, high altitude lightning is not something you mess with out here. So just a few days before their elopement, we actually swapped locations to another spot farther away from the fires and changed to a sunrise elopement ceremony instead.
And oh my gosh was it the best decision we could have made. Personally, I love sunrise elopements, particularly in the summer, because high alpine areas tend to have the most stable and predictable weather at this time of day. Afternoon thunderstorms are quite common in Colorado at high elevations. You pretty much always have to be prepared to switch to a sunrise elopement if the weather is looking dangerous.
I love how Sophie and David totally rolled with the punches and were really excited about the idea of a sunrise elopement…the increased privacy of eloping while everyone is still sleeping, the feeling of knowing you have the whole day ahead of you, getting up into the mountains while it’s still nice and cool and crisp. Can’t beat that. Let me tell you, I’m not a morning person AT ALL, but sunrise elopements are quite possibly my favorite types of elopements. I’ll prep for that early wake up call any day for the perks that come with eloping at sunrise.
To add onto the magic of sunrise, the slight haze in the mountains coupled with the glowy morning light made for one of the prettiest sunrises I’ve witnessed in this spot. It was a morning I’ll never forget.
We began their sunrise elopement with a first look before the sun had a chance to peek up from behind the mountains. Pretty sure I’ll never get over this view or the smile on David’s face as he spun Sophie around to see her dress in action.
It was super important to Sophie and David to have their sunrise elopement ceremony on the date of their eight year anniversary. They said their vows to each other as their parents and siblings looked on. You’ll notice these two also chose to self-solemnize, which is essentially where a couple marries themselves without an officiant present (one of the many perks of getting married in Colorado!).
After their sunrise elopement ceremony, Sophie and David popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate the start of their new adventure together. Popping champagne at 12,000 ft elevation is always my favorite. David made sure to give the bottle an extra intense shaking and the champagne explosion we saw did not disappoint.
We spent the remainder of the morning after Sophie and David’s sunrise elopement ceremony wandering through the mountains. We ventured on the trail where they had their ceremony and headed off to one of my favorite mountain overlooks in the area, where they shared their first dance.
Afterwards, we hopped in our cars and drove to a spot about an hour away to go hiking on another one of my favorite trails. One of the things I love about sunrise elopements and just elopements in general is how much adventure time you can fit into the day, and Sophie and David’s elopement was no exception.
P.S. As an adventure elopement photographer, I’m here not only to document your sunrise elopement or small wedding, but help you navigate the little details as well — like helping you figure out the perfect time of year for your mountain elopement.
I believe in being a resource to you while you plan your adventurous sunrise elopement. Why? Because I’ve been in your shoes, with my own elopement too. I know what you’re going through, and I’m here to help.
Check out some of our favorite elopement and adventure wedding planning resources:
The Colorado Rockies are our home. We know these mountains like the back of our hand, and we love helping our couples plan their Colorado adventure elopements. Our land is your land, peeps. so let’s get you mountain married!
We specialize in photographing small adventure weddings in the great outdoors. We believe small weddings empower couples to be themselves on their wedding day, which is what makes us so honored to be a part of them. There’s nothing better.
We like to say we’re adventurers first, photographers second. Which frankly, is what we think makes us good at what we do. We live and breathe the outdoors lifestyle, and we make sure our adventure wedding photos show off your adventurous side too.
Not everyone loves tradition, but that doesn’t make your adventure wedding or elopement any less important.
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