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.
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.
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.
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.
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.