Caroline + Steve’s Sprague Lake Elopement
When Caroline and Steve first contacted me about photographing their winter hiking elopement, all they knew was that they wanted to have their self-solemnized ceremony someplace with snow and mountains. I helped them come up with elopement location suggestions with great mountain views, and in the end they decided on a Sprague Lake elopement in Rocky Mountain National Park.
As their elopement day was approaching, we kept checking the weather forecast, and it kept changing from 60 degrees and sunny to 30 degrees and snowing, and everything in between. The day before, the forecast showed us afternoon rain, and so we bumped everything up to earlier in the day to avoid the rain. This truly is one of my favorite parts of small elopements – you can easily change the time around based on the weather, without worrying about 200 guests already having committed to a specific ceremony time. (Curious what’s the best month to elope in Colorado? I have a blog post on that!)
I drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park an hour before meeting Caroline and Steve, to scope out the best views and make a game plan for the day, and ran into another couple who were also eloping at Sprague Lake. Rocky Mountain National Park is such a popular place for elopements, and now that they require couples to use one of their designated ceremony sites, there’s always a chance that someone else will be in the area. Another big reason (beyond it being required by law!) to make sure you have your RMNP elopement permit in order, so you don’t risk being kicked out of your own wedding when someone else arrives!
Caroline and Steve showed up together, and while Steve got his tux on behind their car, I helped Caroline into her wedding dress in the trailhead restroom. I am always incredibly honored to be a part of my couples’ wedding days, but even more so when I am the only person there with them. Getting to help with everything from zipping up the dress to holding the bouquet to handing over a well-timed tissue to wipe away the happy-tears … it all makes my job the best there is!
After their moving exchange of vows at Sprague Lake, we drove up to Bear Lake for some more portraits on the frozen lake. SO many hikers kept yelling “congratulations” and “aren’t you cold??” to Caroline, so in a way it felt like having guests there with us. Finally we ended their Sprague Lake hiking elopement by driving down to one of my absolute favorite quiet spots in Rocky Mountain National Park, where Caroline and Steve shared their first toast as a married couple with their favorite Irish whiskey.
If you are looking into planning a hiking elopement of your own, please reach out and I would love to help you come up with the perfect location for you, give you my favorite recommendations for anything from hair and makeup to where you could go for dinner after, and of course photograph your biggest adventure yet. And check out my Rocky Mountain National Park wedding guide to learn more about eloping in the park!