Buena Vista hiking elopement

Daryk + Ikumi’s Buena Vista Elopement

Daryk and Ikumi met in Japan, and were still living there when they first reached out to me about capturing their elopement in Colorado. Sixteen hour time different aside, we were able to link up schedules and start planning their elopement on just two months notice. While the grooms were planning a big wedding celebration in Japan, they were also in the process of moving to Seattle, and as you might expect that comes with a whole lot of legal hoops to jump through.

Having been through the extensive green card application process myself when I married my American husband, I will always have a soft spot for couples going through the same thing, and I’m so glad I was able to help Daryk and Ikumi document their elopement. After considering locations all across Colorado, including some sweet spots on the western slope that reminded Daryk of his home state Utah, they decided to elope in Buena Vista. One of the selling points was being able to stay at The Surf Hotel & Chateau, one of my favorite boutique hotels anywhere in Colorado.

The day started with getting ready in their cottage at the Chateau, before heading out on an adventure with their pup Arc. The sun was still out when we first set off, but by the time their vows were exchanged and the marriage license signed (and Arc had witnessed it with his paw print), a storm started rolling in over the mountains. The weather changes quickly at 12,000ft, and before we made it back to our cars it was snowing on us. We warmed up in the car for a bit, and just as we were about to call it and head back to town, the clouds lifted and we got the most beautiful light coming through the storm.

Being flexible is an important part of eloping in the mountains, so we decided to head back to the Surf for champagne and chocolate instead of sitting down for a picnic in the freezing mountains. And after warming up with some bubbly, the grooms finished their elopement with dinner at Wesley & Rose. Not bad for putting everything together in two months and while moving across the Pacific!

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