Aspen hiking elopement

Preston + Sierra’s Aspen Hiking Elopement

Preston and Sierra moved to Colorado together after graduating college, and getting married in the mountains was a natural choice for them. While they first considered a larger micro-wedding, they decided to only invite their immediate families and keep the day intimate and stress-free.

When planning their elopement in Aspen, we knew we needed a location that was easy for their families to access for the ceremony, but Preston and Sierra also wanted to exchange their vows privately on a hike—which means we had twice the locations to choose from! I’m a big fan of reserving ceremony sites for groups like this, since it takes the stress out of wondering whether we’ll have available space or if someone else will be getting married in “our spot” when we arrive. The couple reserved Ashcroft Ghost Town through the Aspen Historical Society for their ceremony, easily one of the most affordable—and beautiful—options in Aspen. (Especially when Maroon Bells Amphitheater books up a year in advance.)

We started the day together at Limelight Hotel in Snowmass where everyone was staying, before the couple and I headed out on our own for one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done in the area. Getting to spend time alone was really important to P&S, and hiking is such a great way to have that time to connect and be present in the moment without the pressure that can come with even a simple elopement day. The views could not have been more stunning, and while we passed a few hikers along the trail, it felt like we had the whole wilderness all to ourselves.

After our hike, we made a stop at the Grottos, a super cool trail that takes you through a set of caves that have been dug out by ice and water over the centuries. Getting into the main caves is a bit of a scramble, but that didn’t hold Preston and Sierra back from wanting to explore. And the photos we got down there are easily some of my favorites from the day! When we ended up with a bit of time to spare before meeting their families for the ceremony, we stopped at Paradise Cafe in Aspen for an ice cream cone—the perfect way to cool off after a long hike on a warm August day.

Finally we met up with the guests in Ashcroft Ghost Town in the late afternoon, and Preston and Sierra wed in a meadow with Preston’s sister Embo officiating their ceremony. To end the day, the whole group headed into Aspen for dinner in the private room at Duemani. The whole day from start to finish was so relaxed, focused on having a good time and enjoying the outdoors together, and it could not have been more perfect for these two.

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