Elopements offer couples something that traditional weddings can’t always give them–freedom. Sometimes that means they have the freedom to get married in an amazing–but sort of non-traditional–place.
Other times, it’s about the freedom to invite (or not invite) whoever they might want so they can have the best, most “just-us” day possible.
But for Tony and Marianna, eloping offered them a different kind of freedom–a way to beautifully blend all the traditional and non-traditional elements of getting married that they loved.
Their Fall Vail elopement included everything that was most important to them–a gorgeous place, their love for travel, their closest loved ones, and some of the traditional elements that meant the most to them.
When I met up with them on their elopement day in Vail, Marianna and Tony were getting ready separately. They knew they wanted a “first look” moment, but instead of sharing this privately somewhere before their ceremony, they both wanted to go all out and wait for the moment Marianna walked (or hiked) down the “aisle.”
Usually, during the getting ready moments, couples are preparing for their first look–but Tony and Mariana, who chose to wait until their ceremony, spent their time a little differently. After they each got ready separately, they opened up and read letters they’d each written to each other.
And even though Marianna didn’t have a first look with her soon-to-be husband at the Airbnb, she did have a first look with someone. When she stepped out onto the balcony of her Airbnb for her father to see her in her wedding dress for the first time, everyone (myself included) was a total emotional mess.
Watching Marianna share that special moment with her father was that unique blend of traditional and non-traditional that eloping offers, and it’s in moments like that I can’t help but smile and love the job I get to do.
Once we’d all collected ourselves (again, myself included), we started getting ready to head out to Tony and Marianna’s elopement ceremony.
Marianna’s dad was way ahead of us–he sat in the car a full half-hour before we were ready to leave because he was so excited to head out to the ceremony. (P.S. that’s the level of family support everyone should have on their elopement day, by the way).
When we got to the ceremony spot, Marianna, her dad, and I parked and started the short, easy hike up to where Tony and Marianna chose to get married. Their super secret spot outside of Vail was a Fall dream–a gorgeous vista with sweeping views of Colorado mountain ranges (some dusted with snow, some already popping with the vibrant colors of Colorado autumn). As we hiked up, Marianna and her dad played around with some of the snow just for a few moments so he could savor his first experience seeing snow.
When we arrived at their ceremony spot, Marianna’s father walked her down the aisle toward Tony. Finally, they had their first look–a beautiful traditional moment during a not-so-traditional wedding day. Once again, everyone (myself included) was an emotional mess.
At that gorgeous vista, Marianna and Tony took hands, shared their personal vows, and had an officiant-led ceremony witnessed by their closest loved ones–another beautiful little touch of tradition in a non-traditional venue.
The two of them shared their first dance at the top of that mountain vista in Vail, with stunning views of mountain peaks and Fall colors popping up in the backdrop. They snuck away for a little alone time, just the two of them, to explore the area and soak in the first few moments together, being husband and wife.
For Tony and Marianna, choosing an adventure elopement wasn’t about an epic hike, iconic photos they’d remember forever, and even about adventure for the sake of adventure. None of those reasons for choosing an adventure elopement are bad or wrong, but if you just look at an adventure elopement from that lens, it’s possible to miss the real beauty of eloping.
These two chose an adventure elopement for the freedom of it all. They wanted the freedom to have the perfect wedding day they always envisioned–somewhere beautiful, surrounded by their loved ones, doing exactly what they wanted. That was exactly what their Vail wedding in the middle of a Colorado autumn was for them.