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Garden of the Gods Elopement

 head due north

Every elopement day is unique because every couple is so different. The things that matter to them, the places they want to explore, even how they want to get married–all of these elements end up being a beautiful, meaningful mixture that’s wholly special to the two people sharing their love. 

Hailey and Kevin were no exception to this whatsoever. These two were an adorable couple, head over heels in love with each other–a pair that had been together for nearly a decade and seemed so effortlessly at ease with each other. This fact alone is a little bit unique–it’s not every day you see a couple so smitten and so happy to be with each other (well, I do, but I’ve got a pretty remarkable job). 

But there was something extra special and extra sentimental about their Garden of the Gods elopement. And personally, I think it had to do with how every detail of the day–from the smallest moment to the biggest gestures–was so thoughtfully planned out. 

When I arrived at their Airbnb in Colorado Springs to capture some getting-ready moments and a few detail shots, Hailey and Kevin were separately preparing for the biggest day of their lives. They both wanted an adventure elopement so they could get married their way, but they also wanted to blend a little bit of tradition into a non-traditional way of getting married. 

A bride shows off her unique note from her parents, hand stitched into her wedding dress

Detail shots of a bride and groom's elopement day are shown in this image.

They both really wanted that “walk down the aisle” moment, even though they were getting married outdoors in the Garden of the Gods. They both wanted to invite the people they loved the most, including siblings, parents, and best friends. They both wanted some meaningful time together, just them, to soak in their day and enjoy their wedding, but they also wanted to spend important time with their people, too. 

Elopements are unique and wonderful in that people like Hailey and Kevin–who want a beautiful blend of their own thing–can do that without question. 

Hailey and Kevin went above and beyond to seamlessly include meaningful details into their wedding day. Her pair of white vans had her new last name and the date of the wedding stitched into the back, and her black leather jacket boasted her new last name on the back, too. 

She had a sweet little handkerchief featuring photos of her three dogs and a cute note from them telling her that even though they couldn’t be there on her wedding day, they were still snuggled up close to her heart. I may or may not have teared up reading this little note–it was just too cute for words. 

As for Kevin, his wedding attire hung on a personalized hanger sharing their wedding date, another thoughtful touch in the detail department. 

But they weren’t the only ones with sentimental details for the wedding day. Hailey’s parents had a few beautiful details up their sleeves, too. They’d surprised Hailey with her “something blue”–a heart-shaped, blue note sharing their love for her handstitched into the inside of her dress. 

Hailey’s mom helped her get ready while Kevin’s best friend (and best man) helped him. Though they chose not to do a first look moment before the ceremony (something they wanted to save for the wedding), Hailey did do a first look with her dad and her stepdad. When she saw them both, she gave them thank you letters and little gifts–small tokens of a much bigger sentimentality, reminders that she was grateful for them and loved them. 

They’d chosen Garden of the Gods for their elopement ceremony, a stunning spot that blended jaw-dropping views and iconic Colorado landscape with accessibility and ease (something important for their wedding guests). We made our way to High Point, a gorgeous spot in the park, for their ceremony. 

Because of where the spot was located, and the geography, Hailey and Kevin truly did get to have a “walk down the aisle” moment. As she made her way toward Kevin, he was overwhelmed by the moment. When he saw her, he was brought to happy tears. 

As you might expect, their ceremony was filled with beautiful touches, too. Kevin’s sister officiated for them, and they shared personal vows from the heart. They had a unity ceremony, too, where they each blended colored sand into a jar, representing blending their lives and their love together. 

A groom bursts into happy tears when he sees his bride walking down the aisle during their Garden of the Gods elopement.

A bride and groom have their first dance during their Colorado Garden of the Gods elopement.

A bride and groom explore the Garden of the God during their elopement.

At the end of the ceremony, a joyful champagne toast and the signing of the marriage license ended their family celebration together. Now, it was time for some meaningful moments just for Hailey and Kevin.  

As soon as all the guests left, Hailey and Kevin shared something just for the two of them–a first dance. 

Normally, this location in Garden of the Gods is busy, but Hailey and Kevin’s timing was perfect. They had the whole place totally to themselves to share this precious, once-in-a-lifetime moment. 

When their ceremony ended and their time together began, the sun had already started setting. It was dusky and hazy and beautiful out–the mountains in the background were popping, the setting sun lit up Hailey’s dress, and there was a gorgeous glow surrounding them. 

We explored around a little more, moving to a new location so they could take in the scenery together. As it got darker, it got colder and a little windier. The red dirt seemed to dance around them. The ends of her dress had shifted from a soft, creamy white to a reddish brown hue–the sign of an adventure elopement done right. Hailey slipped on her black leather jacket, her new last name illuminated by the Colorado sunset.  


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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