Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Summer Crested Butte Elopement

 head due north

From the moment Mike and Kenzi met, their lives had been filled with laughter, joy, support, and love so unique they both believed they fell for each other within minutes of meeting. 

With a relationship that special, it only made sense that their wedding–their summer Crested Butte elopement–should follow suit. Kenzi and Mike are an adorable young couple who are madly in love, something so obvious from the start that Kenzi’s best friend told her on the night she met Mike that he’d be the one she’d marry. 

What was so incredible about Mike and Kenzi was how committed to intentionality they were from the start. Most of my couples know they want something different. They know they want to spend the most special day of their lives focused on each other.

A husband and wife look out at a mountain peak during their summer Crested Butte elopement. Two side by side images show a bride and groom kissing in the wilderness during their summer Crested Butte elopement.

Kenzi and Mike were no exception. When I first asked them what they wanted their day to revolve around, the answer was crystal clear–to be present on their elopement day, be in awe of their surroundings, and intentionally soak in the first moments of their marriage together. 

On the day of their summer elopement in Crested Butte, I met them at their Airbnb. They finished getting ready separately; Kenzi getting her hair and makeup done, Mike getting his suit to fit just right. This couple wanted more than just a first look–they wanted an intentional time before the day began to see each other in their wedding attire, say a prayer together, and bless their wedding rings. 

For Kenzi and Mike, private, meaningful moments like these were the entire reason that eloping this way felt right. They each knew what mattered most to themselves. In the quiet moments after their first look, they had the opportunity to lean in close, say a prayer, and experience the magic of a just-them moment on their wedding day.  

A bride and groom hold hands during their first look, an intentional moment during their summer Crested Butte elopement.

After they’d spent some time soaking in these beautiful moments, they hopped in their Jeep, and I hopped in my car–it was time to make our way up to their ceremony spot in Crested Butte. Their elopement location (a super secret spot up a mountain I adore) was going to be beautiful–but I also knew the drive up was going to be breathtaking, too. Thankfully, Kenzi and Mike were game for a lot of stops. 

Whenever I ride in a different car than my couples, I make sure to hand over a walkie-talkie so they can buzz me (or I can buzz them) anytime a spot stands out to them. I feel like Kenzi, Mike, and I were constantly on the walkies as we (slowly) made our way up the mountain. 

What about this spot? Are you game for another? This one is too good to pass up!  

Before we got to their ceremony spot, we made our way to an alpine lake to see a stunning array of wildflowers still in bloom.  As they made their way around the lake, exploring and soaking in every beautiful sight, the clouds started to roll in. 

Summer in Colorado, especially a high alpine location like Crested Butte,  is unlike any summer elsewhere. It’s beautiful, sunny, and the perfect temperature. But it’s also temperamental–Colorado summer way high up in the mountains can mean rain and storms at the drop of a hat.  Kenzi and Mike were game to keep this knowledge in their back pocket, ready to face whatever came their way that day. To them, all that mattered was getting married–and that was going to happen whether it was a wildflower-saturated bluebird day or a rainy Colorado thunderstorm. 

Standing among the wildflowers in Crested Butte, a bride and groom kiss and embrace during their Crested Butte elopement ceremony.

A bride and room run excitedly up a mountain trail during their summer Crested Butte elopement.

For Kenzi and Mike, the weather was a bit of a mixed bag. All the way up to their secret mountain location and their gorgeous lake, we had sunshine and clear skies. Then, before their vows, a little drizzle came our way. The good news? They were prepared, and so was I. I popped open my clear umbrellas, handed them off, and neither Kenzi nor Mike let the rain dampen their moment. To them, it didn’t matter if it sprinkled, downpoured, or nothing at all–their day was magic, whatever the weather.

All they wanted was to experience it together, their way. 

After the rain cleared up, we finally headed toward the place they’d read their vows and have their elopement ceremony. Then, Kenzi and Mike did something incredibly unique–they got comfortable.

Almost every couple I’ve ever captured has stood during their vows. But Mike and Kenzi cuddled up close, sat down, and got comfortable. They wanted to enjoy every second of their vows; they wanted to stretch out these moments as long as they’d last–and for them, standing and holding ceremony just wasn’t important. 

As they curled up together, nestled close in a Colorado mountain meadow, they read their handwritten vows to each other. They exchanged rings, signed their marriage license, and mindfully enjoyed every moment as it unfolded around them. 

When we started adventuring around again and capturing more photos of their day, the clouds continued to part, making way for a beautiful rainbow to glimmer through the cloudy sky. Kenzi and Mike were astonished–in their eyes, they couldn’t have asked for a luckier sign on their wedding day. 

A bride and groom admire the alpenglow in Crested Butte during their mountain elopement ceremony. A bride and groom explore a Crested Butte trail by lantern light during an incredible sunset on their elopement day.

The sun continued to sink behind the mountains. As the sky slowly changed in front of them, Kenzi and Mike (and myself, too) were even more thankful for the mini rainshower that’d happened earlier. Like most alpine storms, even if they arrive unwelcomed, they leave behind an astonishing display in the sky–and this sunset was exactly that.

A spectacular explosion of oranges, pinks, and reds layered across the mountains. The alpenglow was breathtaking. The views were almost unbelievable. 

It was the perfect end to a stunning day–and I couldn’t imagine a couple more deserving of this magical light show than Kenzi and Mike.

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.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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!"

explore more


couples I've worked with


5 star
review record 


years as a photographer


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.

My Values


dollars donated to charity


(and counting!)


countries visited so far