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Breckenridge Mountain Elopement

 head due north

The more I photograph elopements, the more I realize that for most couples, eloping isn’t about whisking away to a secluded location–it’s about blending the perfect balance of intimate privacy along with moments they can share with the people they love the most.

Marissa and Bryan’s Breckenridge mountain elopement was the perfect example of that. 

Though they knew they wanted to carve out private moments, a just-them vow ceremony, and plenty of intimate time to themselves, they also knew that they wanted to share this day with their people. 

Marissa and Bryan’s family-included elopement was set for just before sunset in a gorgeous, accessible spot on an alpine lake–a place everyone invited could access that didn’t skimp on gorgeous Colorado views. 

Sitting on a blanket, a bride and groom soak in the mountain views of their wedding day during their Breckenridge mountain elopement.

But first, Marissa and Bryan wanted to make sure they were taking time for meaningful, intentional, and private moments on their wedding day. I met up with them early on in the day–leaving them plenty of time to get ready, spend intentional time together, and sneak away from the group of loved ones (almost 20!)  they’d invited to celebrate their love alongside them.

In their wedding attire, we hiked up to a secluded spot in Breckenridge, exploring around, soaking in the views, and giving them time to enjoy a small–but important–slice of their day fully dedicated to time together. 

With Colorado’s mountains towering in the background, Mariss and Bryan took hands and shared their personal vows with each other. Their decision to elope right in the seam of summer and fall (early September) gave them a beautiful blend of Colorado’s last whispers of summer and the first pops of autumn color all over the base of the mountain range. 

Marissa and Bryan had a full day of elopement activities planned, but they didn’t rush this moment. To them, it was equally important to balance time together with time with their people. They treated this part of their day as the sacred experience it was, soaking in each moment with a mindful intention I wish for every couple.

They hiked, explored, and had their own private ceremony–and when they felt fulfilled with that experience, we made our way back down the mountain, starting our trek

 to where they’d have another elopement ceremony. 

Snuggling in close for a kiss, this black and white photo series shows a bride and groom during Breckenridge mountain elopement.

A bride and groom lean in for a kiss next to an alpine lake during their Breckenridge mountain elopement.

We all walked an easy trail to a stunning alpine lake in Breckenridge, where they’d have their second ceremony–this one with all their family and friends in attendance.

Before the ceremony began, though, Bryan and Marissa had their first looks–but not necessarily with each other. Bryan and Marissa loved the first look concept, but they each wanted to put their own spin on it. 

Marissa had a first-look moment with her mom, while Bryan had a first-look moment with his mom. Seeing this tried-and-true experience unfold with a bit of a twist is exactly what elopements are all about. 

Like I always say, there are no rules when it comes to eloping. Do you love the idea of a first look with your spouse? Go for it. Do you hate it? Don’t do it! Want to use this idea and make it your own like Marissa and Bryan did? That’s perfect, too. 

There are no rules–you should be able to do everything you want on your elopement day. 

Their second ceremony of the day was just as special to them as the first. They had 17 guests attend, and Marissa’s mom officiated their ceremony.  We grouped up for some captures of them with their family and friends before we moved on to another special part of their day–the first dances. 

Marissa and Bryan included their families in this moment, too. Bryan danced with his mom, while Marissa danced with her father. But Marissa had another surprise up her wedding dress sleeve. About halfway through the dance, Marissa and her dad made their way over to her stepfather–and to his surprise, Marissa’s father asked her stepfather to cut in. 

Both men had played such important roles in Marissa’s life she wanted to include each of them. As an observer, I couldn’t look away from this moment–Marissa’s stepfather was so surprised, then so overcome with joy to be included in such a special moment. 

Before the dancing was over, Marissa and Bryan had a first dance of their own–another special moment they could share, both for themselves and for their loved ones. 

A bride and groom walk through the forest with lanterns, exploring on their Breckenridge mountain elopement day.

A couple's silhouette is shown as the sun sets in the background on their Breckenridge mountain elopement.

The day began with moments spent just between the two of them, and it would end that way, too. After their ceremony with their family, Marissa and Bryan stuck around longer, eager to explore the area just the two of them and spend soak in the sunset as husband and wife.

They lit up a few lanterns to guide them and began their adventure, finding the best views and sharing intentional moments with each other as the sun sank low behind the mountains. As the sun dropped and the alpenglow lit up the peaks, the sky turned pink and purple, putting on the perfect show for their Colorado elopement day. 

The temperatures had started to dip lower and lower as the sun set, but they weren’t ready to leave just yet. Marissa wrapped herself in a blanket, Bryan huddling in close to stay warm. 

As the sun continued to set and we lost the light, the last few moments I captured were their silhouettes–just Marissa and Bryan cuddled in close on their wedding day. 


Join the Facebook Community, Mindful Elopements, filled with free resources, free videos, engaging conversations and questions, and other couples that are exactly like you, in the same place, trying to book an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer.



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Alex, Coastal Elopement

"We loved our experience having Marcela as our elopement day photographer.

What was even more special about our experience was her ability to set us at ease months before our day. Through constant communication leading up to, and during, the day we got eloped. Her personality is that, in just four days time, we felt as if we've known her for years. 

Ah, but you're wondering about her photos. We loved every thing about them especially the raw emotion captured in many of the shots."

Caitlin, Alpine Lake Elopement

"My husband and I have been trying to put into words how simply amazing working with Marcela was.

From the start we could tell she truly cared about us, our relationship, and our story. She asked us so many questions, valued what we wanted, and kept up with the ever changing plans that came along with planning a wedding.

She made us feel so comfortable, made us laugh till we cried, and captured our true wholesome love for each other."

"We loved every moment of the day she helped create. Marcela was the perfect photographer for our adventure elopement! She worked tirelessly to make our adventure into marriage happen after our first options were snowed in! Great Sand Dunes felt like the perfect unique place for two Floridians who met in the mountains.

She made us comfortable to be ourselves throughout the whole day while making her job look effortless and fun. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, laughing and a few tears.

Marcela captured every precious moment! Her photography is absolutely stunning every way! I highly recommend Marcela for your elopement or wedding!"

Lauren, Sand Dunes Elopement

Amy, Forest Elopement

"Instead of telling us how to pose or interact with each other, Marcela gave us prompts that seemed simple but made a huge difference.

She asked us to talk about our first date. We discussed the weirdest things we loved about each other (which made us laugh) and how we could fulfill each other’s love languages. Amy and I played games with each other and Marcela captured the energy that happened naturally between us.

I love this shoot because it perfectly captures the love we share. It’s incredible to see that love and admiration encapsulated in a photo! Thank you for this!"

Chris, Anniversary Session

"The photos we just got back from Marcela are giving me CHILLS!! They are absolutely stunning!!!

She did SO MUCH more than just photograph us — she created special moments that I’ll cherish forever. She encouraged Con & I to genuinely interact & share intimate moments together. She prompted us to tell each other things that we love about one other, ways that the other person inspires us, & how being together has positively changed us.

It was more than just a beach shoot. We ended up giving each other precious, heart melting encouragement & that makes these photos all the more treasured to me."

Andrea, Red Rocks Elopement

"We had a pre-meet with her before the big day which definitely helped me feel more relaxed going into the wedding day. She gave us great suggestions and things to think about to be ready with on the wedding. On the day of she showed up early to help scope out the venue. She was creative to try and pull extra joy into our photographs.

When I look at these photos I see more than just beautiful images. I feel the moments that Marcela helped us experience and the connection we had.

I can't thank Marcela enough! We will treasure these moments forever!"

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