When I got an email from Holly and Matt last fall saying that they were planning a Crested Butte elopement, I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement! I will take any excuse to travel to a small mountain town to capture adventurous couples, and yet somehow I had not made it to Crested Butte yet in my eight years since moving to Colorado. It was time to change that!
As Holly and Matt had never actually been to Crested Butte either, and were traveling in from Indiana, I offered to go the extra mile and head out there before their big day to scout the perfect spot for their intimate ceremony. Okay, really it was an excuse for me to go camping! I ended up going for a camping trip with my husband over Memorial Day weekend, and fell head over heels in love with CB as soon as we drove into town. And don’t even get me started on how good Secret Stash pizza is – it’s a CB classic!
One of my favorite parts of this day was how much time Holly and Matt had set aside for their bride and groom portraits after the ceremony. Most couples spend about an hour on their photos, but this time I had over three hours to play around with the couple. This meant that we were able to stop at multiple different locations to get different views for their photos, and we even bushwacked our way to a secret waterfall!
Now I know people claim “secret” locations all the time, but I have honestly never seen photos done at this waterfall before … and I really hope to keep it from becoming a new “instafamous” location. There is no trail, it has no name or online listing, and there are no google maps directions – at least that I’ve been able to find – which made the whole adventure that much more special to all of us. (Even as we were cursing and laughing at hiking through a crazy thick aspen grove and almost losing our footing down a muddy bank.)
After making it back to my Subie from the waterfall hike, and frolicking around through a field of wild flowers, we ended the evening at the Sunflower Restaurant in downtown Crested Butte. This restaurant actually came highly recommended from a friend of mine who lives in town when Holly asked if I had suggestions for their reception dinner. I’m so glad they ended up picking it because it was such a cute place! All in all, I’d say my first Crested Butte elopement turned out to be everything I had dreamed of and then some, and I’m SO stoked to be heading back here for three more weddings and elopements this fall!
About Nina Larsen Reed
Nina is an elopement photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. She plans and captures adventure elopements and micro-weddings across the Rocky Mountains, and loves getting to share the mountains she calls home with couples who want a different wedding experience.