When I first jumped on a call with Emily and Kendell, we connected instantly after discovering Kendell and I went to CU Boulder at the same time! The couple who now lives in Kentucky knew they wanted to come back to Colorado for their elopement, and spend a day together in the mountains without any of the stress that often comes with big weddings.
While they wanted to elope in an epic location without other people around, they also didn’t want to spend all day hiking. Kendell had done his fair share of off-roading when he lived in Colorado, so it was an easy choice to go that route for their elopement. We decided on one of my favorite trails in the Front Range that combines off-roading with a short hike, and headed out together along with my good friend Dylan with Crossley Film Co.
On the day of their elopement, the forecast was looking gray, somewhere between a drizzle of rain and a thunderstorm. We didn’t get far into the planned hike before dark clouds came rolling over the mountains, and we decided to cut the hike short to avoid getting caught above tree line. The wind started picking up as Emily and Kendell each changed into their wedding attire, and by the time they shared their first kiss it was sleeting.
In all my years in the Colorado mountains, I’ve never seen a storm roll in more quickly or fiercely. We hauled it back to the trailhead, where we took refuge in each of our Jeeps. The jokes shared across our walkie-talkies might have been on the dark side of funny, but we stayed hopeful and before long the rain started letting up. Deciding it was better to head out in a drizzle than miss our only break in the storm, we walked down to the lakeshore—and five minutes later the sun came out!
There’s something about being caught out in bad weather that makes you appreciate good weather even more, and we sure enjoyed the heck out of the break in the storm. Emily and Kendell toasted with good bourbon, signed their marriage license, and sat down to share a charcuterie picnic basket that their amazing chef Jenn with Harvest to Home had prepared for them. When the rain clouds started creeping back down, we drove back down to their airbnb, where Jenn was waiting with hot toddies and a gourmet three-course dinner that included the best potatoes I’ve ever eaten. (Yes, really.)
Even with the uncooperative weather and having to skip out on the full hike and fly-fishing, I could not have loved photographing Emily and Kendell’s elopement any more.
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.