The Ultimate Elopement: Planning Your Dream Rocky Mountain Wedding. There is something undeniably romantic and majestic about tying the knot amongst the mountains, with nature as your altar and the skies as your audience. For Cynthia and Chad, who traveled from Texas, their vision of the perfect wedding day led them to the idyllic Sprague Lake in the heart of the Rocky Mountain National Park. In the vast expanse of the Rockies, they found an intimate setting that resonated with their values and personalities, allowing them to elope with their closest family members.
Starting with Priorities. We first started working with Cynthia and Chad about 4 months prior to their elopement with our Ceremony Site Report. They story started with a realization—it wasn't about fancy floral arrangements or over-the-top decor; it was about having a scenic mountain vista (with a lake), exceptional photography, a delicious cake to celebrate with, and a ceremony that felt deeply spiritual and personal. Check, check and check! 🎉🥂
Crafting the Ideal Elopement Day. The process began with selecting the perfect site for their group (Sprague Lake), ensuring that we pulled the proper permits (no laws or regulations were overlooked), and all needed arrangements—from vehicle timed-entry passes to cake and music choices—all these are included in our elopment packages. From the pivotal first look at a secluded spot to the heartwarming ceremony by the shores of Sprague Lake, every detail was weaved into their day with love and care.
Elopement Timelines. The day started as Cynthia prepared, getting ready at a vacation rentals with the help of a skilled makeup artist (Bella Capelli) in the comfort of their mountain lodge. After our cooridinator and photographer's arrival (and a few details & dressing shots), we setup Chad, preparing for their first look in a serene setting, capturing the raw emotions that precede such a significant day. The private first look paved the way for the main event— their ceremony at Sprague Lake. Cynthia's entrance to a medley of songs that held a significant place in their story (note RMNP has a 60 decible limit - so it is imporant to play music at a low level), followed by celebrations of cake and bubbly before they headed off to 3M curve with the photographer for a few more photos. Our services ended in RMNP, but the group continued to celebrate at a locatl restaurant.
The florals of Cynthia's bouquet and Chad's boutonnière blended seamlessly with the rustic charm of their surroundings. The flowers, a kaleidoscope of pinks, blues, and earthy tones, echoed the vibrancy of nature, accentuating the natural summer environment of Rocky Mountian National Park. Their cake, a ceremonial centerpiece, stood tall and scrumptious with a horizontal texture, reminiscent of the Rockies themselves. Its flavor—a delicious white cake bedazzled with raspberry preserves and layered with white chocolate mousse.
For couples enticed by thier elopement but wary of the what it actually feels like, Cynthia and Chad's wedding offers more than inspiration; it's a blueprint for how to orchestrate your own elopement:
The charm of a Rocky Mountain elopement isn't just in the breathtaking vistas, it's in the simplicity of two people coming together in the presence of something much larger than themselves—nature's magnificent beauty. Cynthia and Chad's journey serves as a reminder that true happiness doesn't always need an audience or an extravaganza. Sometimes, all it requires is embracing each other, and the natural world that is ready to be your witness.
Their Story: "Bryan and I are both nurses and we met in an ER where I was working as a travel nurse. We have been inseparable since. We love camping, hiking, the mountains and almost anything else outside that we can do! Since we prefer the mountains to the desert and aren’t a fan of the city, we talked about a possible elopement but decided that we wanted to include a few close friends and family. So, a small destination wedding in the mountains seemed like the perfect solution. We have never been to Colorado but have always had it on the list of places to see and experience. We are so are excited to get married in the mountains there surrounded by loved ones!”
Their Story: "We met back in 2017 at a mutual friend’s birthday party during his Grant's year of college and my first year of college. We reconnected again during COVID and began dating. We have both traveled many miles over the last two years to see and support each other. Grant surprised me on Easter Sunday of 2022 by proposing! We are both very low-key people, and wanted our wedding to reflect that. We also wanted to do something less stressful and intimate for our wedding because I am in the process of finishing college and working and don't have much free time. A family friend of mine used Wendee and Custom Weddings of Colorado for her wedding, and the small, intimate ceremony was something I wanted for myself and my wedding. We chose our location based on the beautiful photos on the website. I have traveled to Colorado when I was younger, but never Grand Lake and my fiancé has never been to Colorado. I have always loved the mountains and scenery of Colorado."
Their Story: “Tim and I met while working at a pizza restaurant. Since then, we bought a house, and adopted two German Shepherd dogs. Tim and I love adventure, taking trips, and trying new things. Our families are very tight-knit and we value our close relationships with them. We are looking for a small and intimate wedding day that celebrates our marriage with our closest friends & family without worrying about "hosting" or "entertaining". We truly want this day to be about us.”
Thier Story: “Zach and I met in 2014 on our college campus. We would like to have a small wedding/ elopement because we want the time to be about connecting with our family and close friends and enjoying our time together. The idea of a large wedding feels too impersonal and stressful. We decided on Colorado because it is close to both of our families. We also greatly value spending time outdoors and feel that we are most ourselves when hiking and exploring.”
Their Story: “We both work from home and are currently in school. My cousin introduced us about 3 years ago and we love to travel. We got engaged April 2022 in San Diego, California. We don't want the stress of planning of big wedding so decided to have something small and intimate.”
Thier Story: "We met on Facebook Dating; a former leader was our mutual connection. We each reported to him at different companies. We met on Leap Day 2020 and went bowling on our first date. We're thinking small, Colorado wedding because we love an adventure, want beautiful pictures, and know a destination will help keep the guest list to nearest and dearest."
Their Story: Max and Mette live in Denver with their sweet golden retriever. "We quickly bonded over our love for the outdoors and adventure, and felt getting married in the mountains with just a few close friends was a perfect representation of our relationship. Our perfect day includes an early morning wake-up with strong coffee, a long, hard hike, and an outdoor brewery." ☕️ 🥾🍻
Micro-Wedding Plans: When Mette and Max reached out to us, they has already booked an amazing venue in the picturesque town of Buena Vista, Colorado. But, they needed help pulling together the logistics along with their needs and vision. They we started discussion how having a first-look and then doing couple-only photos with the photographer BEFORE the ceremony would offer a nice "flow" to the wedding day and give them an opprotunity to head into the mountains for those scenic mountain photos.
Thier Story: We grew up in the same small town in northern Ohio. We knew each other growing up, but we didn't start dating until about 3 years ago when we reconnected. We started our relationship doing long distance, but both came back to Ohio after our first year of dating. We are both excited to get married the summer of 2023. I have always wanted a small/destination wedding, and we both love spending time in the mountains (something we don't get enough of in Ohio). We want a wedding focused on the people we love and who love us the most. We simply want a small, beautiful micro-wedding that everyone can enjoy.“
Their Story: Tyler and Sara met through a mutual friend and became friends themselves. That friendship then led to a deeper connection and relationship. Tyler and Sara live in Iowa, with their 3 daughters. "We decided to get away from our busy lives and celebrate our 2nd anniversary in Colorado back in June of 2021, which was both of our first times in the state. We drove through Grand Lake on our way to Rocky Mountain National Park, and loved the beautiful and serene setting, and said someday we would be back. When we got engaged and started wedding planning, we discussed how we both wanted something small. So we decided that an intimate ceremony in Colorado with just our immediate family and the couple who we are best friends with would be perfect, and we knew that Grand Lake, Colorado was just the place!"
Their Story: "The first week we started seeing each other we went on four dates- our mutual favorite bar, a trail run, a long bike ride, and a brewery to play board games with friends. It’s been all of that fun and more ever since. Since we are local to Colorado, we don’t consider this a destination wedding, but we would like to get out of Fort Collins to get married somewhere beautiful in the state that reflects our love for the outdoors and can feel a bit like a weekend getaway for us. Another important element to this is that our families and friends will all have to travel by plane to be with us, so we want it to be more than just gathering at the courthouse. We really want to do a small micro-wedding because though we are both pretty outgoing, we are also fairly private people and not really into the performative feeling of big modern weddings. We really want to honor our love in a way that feels authentic to us with just family and one close friend (+spouse) for each of us.”
Their Story: “Spending time together is our favorite thing - be it laughing until we're crying at something others probably wouldn't find funny at all, having deep conversations about the past as well as the future (and everything in between), or in silence, simply soaking up each other's company. Golf, darts, shuffleboard, and air hockey are sure to end in someone being a sore loser, but never for long - staying mad at one another has always been difficult. Our love for lakes and forests and mountains ultimately made us decide that Colorado would be the perfect backdrop for our elopement ceremony and first memory as a married couple. We've already loved each other for a few lifetimes now, I'm sure of it, and we're both so excited to see what this one has in store for us.”
Their Story: We met in August 2014, on a “meet your fellow grad-student” walk around the Torrey Pines Cliffs in San Diego. We instantly hit it off talking about New York living, French vacations, and food adventures! A couple of years ago, we moved cross-country to Boston for new job opportunities and mountains to climb. Chad grew up in Colorado Springs, and we have made a trip back at least once a year to visit family. We try to fit in a hike, some skiing, or at least a trail walk during our visits. Usually, we are able to entice our family to join in as well. We want an intimate ceremony to really celebrate our immediate family and grandparents, surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Colorado just felt like the perfect place. We love the outdoors, especially hiking! Our favorite vacation entails a challenging full-day hike followed by a hot tub soak and some burgers and beers. We also love getting spoiled with oysters and cocktails! We are always looking to learn and so like to experiment a bit in the kitchen with new ingredients while cooking, baking, bartending. That has really helped us appreciate individual ingredients and that more is not always better. When done well, simplicity can be extraordinary.”
Their Story: “Haris and I are high school sweethearts and couple of 11 years. We are from Nebraska and actually met in middle school. Between our busy work/training schedule we like to spend time hiking in the mountains with our dog. We want a small Colorado midro-wedding because we want to share our day with our closest family and friends.”
Calling all Star Wars enthusiasts who are planning their special day! Are you looking for a unique and fun way to celebrate your love with a May the 4th theme? Do you want to keep things intimate and personal with a micro-wedding or elopement in Colorado? Look no further, young Padawans, for we have the perfect guide to help you plan your own epic and elegant Star Wars wedding celebration!
Mother, teacher, planner, gardener, mountain biker, entrepreneur, librarian, hiker, snowboarder, reader, dork, chocoholic, trail runner and creative. Wendee has been planning weddings in Colorado since 1995. In 2012, she decided to "go small" and only plans micro-weddings & elopements with 35 or fewer guests. Contact Wendee to get started planning your intimate small Colorado wedding.
I've been planning weddings since 1995 when I moved to Colorado from Iowa. I cut my teeth at Keystone Resort in their wedding department, then then ventured on to planning corporate meetings. But, I kept helping friends and their friends with weddings starting my first full-service company in 2002 (yes - planned the big overwhelming ones). In 2012 with the birth of my son, values shifted and I decided to go small, intimate and meaningful. Please connect with me to make your dreamy, simple mountain wedding come true!
Behind the Scenes
Ever wonder what goes on behind-the-scenes of a micro-wedding day? Jaime L. Barba, one of our talented professional photographers, captured me at work from one of our May 2023 weddings in Boulder, Colorado. Enjoy! .... and yes, she does wedding-day content creation (a great alternative if you cannot afford videography) for couples as well as photography.
What is a wedding day content creator? It’s someone who is there on your wedding day taking pictures on a cell phone (or in Jaime's case, her professional equipement), documenting behind-the-scenes moments, capturing and telling stories, and delivering short-form media content of your wedding day in real-time. Checkout one from our September 2023 weddings ⬇️.