We had gone back and forth many times about what we wanted to do for our elopement, although the choice to elopement was never really debated, it was just really our only option because of family reasons. Honestly, even if we didn’t have a divided family, we probably still would have eloped because that is the most like who we are. At first we were thinking a helicopter to a Glacier in Alaska, then a waterfall in Iceland, then Montana because we love the state, but finally ended up in Colorado because it was somewhere on our bucket list and was easy for any friends to travel to, if we decided to have people come out. In the end, we did!
This post is part 1, because we actually ended up doing a 2 part elopement. An no, we aren’t that extra, we actually spent under 5k total…on the entire thing, including a 2 week vacation and travel, my dress, food, and the house.
I am known in my family for having THE WORST LUCK. Its just something that has become a part of me. So NOT to my surprise, the hike that we picked to elope on when we flew out to Colorado last year to PICK our spot so we knew where we were going, CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC a month before our elopement. Thanks Cottonwood Pass, I still have a vengeance toward you Chaffee County. Just kidding, kind of. Anyway, I’m a pretty chill person, but not being familiar with the state I was in a sort of panic about how we are supposed to plan our elopement sight unseen. Maddie was a huge help of course, and we just picked a hike that I did extensive research on via AllTrails and hoped for the best. We landed on Arapahoe Pass, where we could get elevation, mountain views, and amazing wildflowers. Plus it was only 30 minutes from where our house was in Black Hawk. We centered ourselves around the town of Nederland because we wanted quaint, quiet, and amazing hiking without too many tourists. And the town is frankly really freaking weird, with a Carousel of Happiness (which yes sounds kind of like a horror movie), and a Frozen Dead Guys Days, so it sounded cool.
Aug 6, we woke up at 1am. I did my own hair and makeup, I picked up my flowers from Lace and Lillies the day before, and we packed some snacks and my dress and met up with Maddie at 4am at the 4th of July Trailhead. Because we wanted to bring our dog, we also brought my middle sister to babysit 🙂
It was about 35 degrees as we took off. We reached halfway to the summit around 545, when the sunrise started to peak out. We decided to say our vows halfway because the summit was going to be extremely windy, and honestly, I was cold….
We passed 2 bull moose on our way up. Our dog was really amused by it.
I changed in the woods, and we did the damn thing!
After our vow exchange we continued to hike to the top of the trail at full elevation where we singed our marriage license, popped a Coke, and took some awesome photos. For those who may not know, Colorado is a self-solomnizing state where you do not need a licensed officiant.
The first thing we did when we finished our hike around 11am was EAT BREAKFAST. Our first strawberry waffles as a married couple.
Photos credit to our amazing photographer: Maddie Mae from Adventure Instead