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Hiking Elopement Lake Isabelle

 head due north

There are moments in life that feel so innately perfect; it’s like everything somehow came together exactly as it was supposed to. Moments where the simple act of just being in a place at the perfect time brings life to something so much bigger than you could have possibly imagined.

These are the moments when time seems to freeze–small seconds painted into place that you wish would never end.  

And when Halley and Austin experienced their hiking elopement at Lake Isabelle, that’s exactly what that felt like. 

I imagine that wasn’t the first time this sweet couple felt that way. Maybe it happened to them when they met in middle school art class. Maybe their first kiss was perfect, too. Maybe even their first “I love you” felt that way. 

All I know is that watching them elope at Lake Isabelle was like watching something unfold that was always meant to happen. Something that had been in the works for a long time. 


A couple holds each other close with a stunning lake in the background during their colorado hiking elopement.

A couple takes off on their trek during their hiking elopement at Lake Isabelle.


Halley and Austin chose a sunset elopement because they wanted to experience a day without rush or stress. We met at the Lake Isabelle trailhead in the middle of the day. The weather was beautiful, but we anticipated that less-than-beautiful weather might roll in later. We couldn’t be sure, but we had plenty of backup plans in mind in case the rain didn’t hold off.

Thankfully, though, our hike up the mountain was clear, beautiful, and filled with the gorgeous July sights you’d expect out of Colorado–sunshine, wildflowers, and even a moose. 

Halley and Austin chose to do the hike up in regular clothes so that when we arrived at the lake, they could wander off their separate ways, get ready, and have a first look at their wedding attire. 

When they were each changed and ready, Austin stood at the edge of the lake, his back facing the beautiful forest we’d hiked through. Halley, in her beautiful gown, walked up behind him. She tapped him on the shoulder, and he turned. Though Austin was certainly a more reserved person, glimpses of emotions made their way throughout the day–and the first look was one of those moments. 

They embraced, soaked in their first few moments seeing each other in their wedding attire, and Austin pinned a beautiful boutonniere to his lapel. 


A couple shows off their hiking boots during their Colorado hiking elopement.

A couple explores the lake near their hiking elopement, pops champagne, and says their vows.


The two of them explored around, hiking up and down the lake and looking for their perfect elopement ceremony spot. At the edge of the lake, Halley and Austin took hands, brought out their vow books, and read their handwritten vows to one another. Halley and Austin took turns reading, slowly wiping away subtle tears from each other’s faces. They exchanged rings, had their first kiss, and took a few moments to soak in that; finally, they were married.  

As the two of them explored the area, hiked around, and just enjoyed all the beauty in front of them, I snapped photos, documenting their day and their love story. They popped champagne, they ate a delicious spread, and they even had a first dance among the snow-crested mountain tops.  

What I appreciated most about Halley and Austin is that they were never in a rush. The only expectation they set for their day was to get married–no matter how that unfolded. They even took the time to set up a hammock, snuggle up close, and soak in the magic of their elopement day slowly. 

Unfortunately, we did have to make our way back down the mountain, but something tells me that Halley and Austin (and even I) could have stayed up there forever. After exploring all over the lake, we started to make our way down. 

We snapped a few shots of the hike back down, but ultimately, we kept our eyes on the prize–descending before it got too dark.

With the rain moving in, we didn’t get to see an epic sunset, but that didn’t matter. Halley and Austin’s day was beautiful, it was genuine, and it was an authentic representation of their love. 

All that matters when you elope is that you and your partner are happy–and Austin and Halley were determined to have exactly that. 



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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