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Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) Proposal

 head due north

Most of the couples I work with usually work through the details of their day together. Watching that teamwork in action is incredible–they can pinpoint what matters most to them, create a wedding day that’s perfect for them, and really prioritize what’s meaningful. 

While there’s always room for spontaneity and surprise, usually, both people are in on planning and experiencing the day as a whole. Surprise proposals, on the other hand, are a totally different ballgame.

When Aza reached out to me and said he wanted to orchestrate an RMNP proposal for his girlfriend on 3M curve, I was already on board. When he said it was going to be a complete and total surprise, I was 100% invested. There’s something vibrant and unforgettable about a surprise proposal–and something truly beautiful, too. Because, sure, you want to surprise your partner with the proposal of their dreams–but even if the surprise isn’t as, well, surprising as you might think, you’re still creating a thoughtful and intentional moment for you and your partner. In other words, surprise or not, it’s a win-win. 

Still, Aza was really hoping to pull off a surprise. And I was fully committed to helping him do it. After a few Zoom calls back and forth, pictures exchanged, and the game plan set, the day of their proposal finally came.

Aza had told his girlfriend, Aalliah, they were setting off for an unbelievably beautiful hike. Decked out in hiking gear, they pulled up to 3M curve. They surveyed the view and took it all in together while I hid nearby with my Zoom lens, dressed like a tourist, casually pretending to take photos of the wildlife. 

As soon as Aza got down on one knee, I snapped those beautiful moments. Was she surprised? Absolutely. Aza had totally pulled off the picture-perfect RMNP proposal. 

As it turns out, the hiking attire is what really sold the surprise. They weren’t dressed up; they weren’t meeting up with a photographer, and nothing out of the ordinary was happening–Aalliah thought they were just heading into the park for a stunning hike. 

After they’d shared that beautiful moment together, I finally introduced myself to Aalliah and Aza. Aalliah was shocked–but in the best kind of way. 

In their packs was a change of clothes for both of them. Aza had told Aalliah that after their hike, they’d head out to a nice restaurant for a fancy dinner, so she needed to pack something a little dressier for their post-hike date. 

Of course, the fancy change of clothes was 100% for some stunning RMNP proposal photos. 

After they changed, we all made our way to Trail Ridge Road, an RMNP spot saturated with gorgeous views and plenty of spots to stop off and explore. 

These two adorable people spent time exploring around, enjoying the views, and just basking in the joy of being newly engaged. Aalliah–dressed in a beautiful blue dress–was a total champ navigating trails and terrain in her high heels. 

The rest of our time together was spent just existing in this pure state of joy. Aalliah and Aza’s surprise proposal couldn’t have gone better, and I could have been happier to see it all work out so seamlessly. 

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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My business is rooted in inclusivity, equality for all, and the inarguable truth that love is love. I am whole-heartedly and endlessly committed to capturing and celebrating your love regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

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