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Fall Crested Butte Elopement

 head due north

When Stephanie and Trinity met in a Texas bar during the infamous 2021 Snowmaggedon in Texas, Stephanie was fairly sure she’d never see Trinity again. 

She was only in Texas for a 4-week nursing contract, and he’d offered to buy her a tequila shot to pass the time while she waited for the weather to clear up. 

But that one tequila shot turned into a year of wild adventure, boundless love, and finally, an amazing Fall Crested Butte elopement that was as beautiful as it was intentional. 

On the day of their elopement, I met up with Stephanie and Trinity at their Airbnb. They both wanted to make sure their day was as intentional as possible while surrounding themselves with people they loved. To accomplish both things, they kept the guest list small–each inviting their parents to join them on their wedding day. 

A couple plays around in the mountains during their Fall Crested Butte elopement.

When I got to their Airbnb, I captured their getting-ready moments along with a few of their unique, just-for-them details. Stephanie sported a pair of socks that said “the bride,” a word for each foot. They’d ordered a cute little cake with their initials etched into the side and two figurines hiking as the cake topper. They even included a “we eloped!” sign with their wedding location and their wedding date. 

As Stephanie pulled on her cowboy boots, Trinity got his tie just right. When all was said and done, we headed outside to the porch of their adorable mountain Airbnb. Trinity looked out along the mountains as he waited for Stephanie. When he turned around and saw her in her wedding dress, a huge smile spread across his face. They embraced each other, taking a moment to absorb everything that was happening as well as everything that was about to happen, too. 

That’s the beautiful thing about first-look moments. They feel so monumental–and they are. But they’re just the start of everything, the very beginning of a day that’s going to feel incredible beyond words. First looks are about more than seeing your partner for the first time in their wedding attire–it’s about giving yourself a small moment before the whole thing unfolds, a frozen moment in time to appreciate the beauty of it all before the rest of your wedding day goes by. 

After their first look, we all piled into our vehicles–myself, Stephanie and Trinity, both sets of their parents, and their officiant–and headed up a dirt road to their elopement ceremony location. Trinity and Stephanie love hiking and adventuring, but on their wedding day, they wanted something that didn’t require much hiking and had a little taste of off-roading. The long, dirt road to their spot eventually gave way to a more rugged, 4×4 type of road (just like they wanted). Despite a few bumps in the road (pun intended), we all made it there safely. 

Stephanie and Trinity had chosen a jaw-dropping spot for their Crested Butte elopement ceremony. Driving up, it may not look like much, but when you step out into the clearing, you’re greeted with panoramic views of mountain ranges stretching as far as the eye can see. 

Their Fall elopement was marked with beautiful, brisk, and clear weather–so all the mountain peaks were in perfect view. Mount Crested Butte even made an appearance in the backdrop, wowing us all. Small patches of snow still lingered in some of the mountain crevices, with Fall colors popping up throughout the landscape. 

A bride and groom share their vows during their Fall crested butte ceremony overlooking the mountain range in Colorado.

This beautiful blend of seasons is one of the reasons I always recommend Fall elopements in the mountains (though summer elopements in Crested Butte are amazing, too). With a little luck, you can have warm enough temperatures, gorgeous Fall colors, and even a little bit of snowy wonder here and there. (That’s just one of the reasons Colorado is a dreamy place to elope)

Their officiant led them through their ceremony, Stephanie and Trinity read through their vows from their personal books, and both sets of their parents looked on in pride and wonder. They had a brief but beautiful ceremony at what felt like the top of the world. 

After their ceremony, they signed their marriage license and snagged a few group photos of the whole family.  

Before they started into the next part of their day, Stephanie and Trinity sat back, slowed down the pace, and set aside some time for everyone to enjoy some delicious snacks and celebrate all together. They busted out a gorgeous charcuterie board featuring salami shaped like a heart, cut their cake, and popped champagne–the perfect opportunity for everyone to pause the day intentionally and celebrate Stephanie and Trinity.

After everyone had snacked and toasted the couple, Trinity and Stephanie snuck away to spend some time alone, soaking in the views and allowing me to capture moments shared just between the two of them.

Together, they explored around, taking in the red mountains, the dramatic peaks, and the Fall colors that shone through in the landscape. Stephanie and Trinity embraced this time together–an important piece of the day they wanted. They cuddled in close, appreciating each moment that passed, soaking in the reality that they were finally married. 

As we all headed back down the mountain, Stephanie and Trinity obliged to pull over one more time before heading back into town. As the sun began to sink low behind the mountains, we spent some time by a gorgeous little lake. The darker it got, the chillier it became, so Stephanie pulled on a denim jacket with her new name embroidered on the back. 

A bride and groom are shown in the blurry foreground with a focus on Mount Crested Butte in the background, sharper in focus, during their Crested Butte elopeent.

These two adventurous souls spotted a red community canoe and jumped inside–they paddled around the lake together, taking in the sunset before we headed back into town for their casual reception at a local spot. They celebrated together over a Lemon Drop shot–a little homage to their first unofficial date where happenstance led them to sharing a shot in a bar (and sharing a life together). 

Stephanie and Trinity are perfect proof that your elopement day can look however you want it to. They blended rugged adventure with accessibility; they merged intentional ceremony with including family; they even mixed together an outdoorsy, adventurous elopement with a mountain-town reception. 



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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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