Sunrise hiking elopement in the Colorado mountains

Alicia + Ben’s Wildflower Alpine Elopement

I knew immediately that I wanted to photograph Alicia and Ben’s elopement when they first reached out, because I photographed her sister Gloria’s elopement back in 2021!

Alicia and Ben wanted to elope in the mountains of Colorado, on a hike with their sweet pup Junko. But it was also really important to them to celebrate with all their closest friends and family afterwards. We picked a date at the end of July when I knew the wildflowers would be at their best in the Front Range, and set to planning.

On the morning of their elopement, we were the first two cars to pull into the trailhead, a couple of hours before sunrise, and off we went. Starting in the dark always seems like a lot of effort, but there really is nothing like seeing the landscape come to life around you as the sky turns from pitch black to blue to golden, knowing you’re the only people around for miles.

I always encourage my couples to find ways to make your elopement feel special to you, and Alicia and Ben really nailed it. From carrying a pizza box up the mountain for breakfast, to each picking a song to listen to on headphones for their first dance, to having a macaron tower instead of wedding cake, every part of their day told the story of their relationship, and I love how personal it all felt.

After our hike, we drove to the Echo Lake picnic shelter, which the couple had rented from Denver Mountain Parks for the day, where their guests were all waiting for us with a picnic spread, champagne, and even acoustic music. It was the perfect way to get everyone up to the mountains to celebrate, but in an accessible location where we could do family photos without going off trails.

And to finish it all off, Alicia and Ben booked The Maven at the Dairy Block for their small reception that evening. The outdoor cocktail hour in the prettiest alley in Denver was such a fun contrast to our morning in the mountains. They really combined all the best parts of both elopements and weddings, and made it all their own.

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