When most people think of adventure elopements, they automatically assume a couple is dead-set on hiking up an epic mountain, tirelessly marching toward an epic view, or doing something absolutely wild to create an over-the-top wedding day.
But truthfully, an adventure elopement isn’t always about the wild views or crazy hikes, or once-in-a-lifetime experiences. At their core, adventure elopements are simply about marrying the love of your life exactly the way you want to.
Sometimes that does mean an epic hike. Sometimes it means taking a helicopter to the top of a glacier. Sometimes it means rappelling down from a gorgeous viewpoint.
But other times, it means walking around a mountain town in Colorado in the midst of a winter wonderland, exploring a bookstore feeling like you’re smack-dab in the middle of a fairytale, and rolling with the punches that an unexpected blizzard brought on your wedding day.
Those things might not sound like they have anything in common–but they do. They’re all things that people have chosen as their ideal wedding days–and that’s the real adventure of it all.
Leah and Chris had planned for the most beautiful winter Telluride elopement in the stunning outdoors. Surrounded by winter white, they’d dreamed of beautiful, snowy views and jaw-dropping backdrops for their elopement photos.
And, of course, Colorado delivered–but perhaps just a touch too much. The winter snow they’d wanted did come–the problem was it kept coming. An unexpected winter blizzard changed their elopement plans, but only a touch.
Though they’d planned to have their winter Telluride elopement outdoors, they ended up setting up their ceremony right there in their gorgeous, bright Airbnb. The two had splurged on a stunning place to stay, which worked out beautifully for their just-them elopement ceremony.
Before they kicked things off, they spent time intentionally getting ready for their big day. They got ready separately so they could each soak in the authentic, solo moments they each wanted as they prepared for one of the most important days of their lives. They also both really wanted to have a surprise first look–something I always encourage.
Because their elopement ceremony plans had shifted a bit, we had plenty of time to slow down and embrace their getting-ready moments. This was one of the greatest gifts the blizzard could have given them, I think. They were able to take their time, slow things down, and even call Leah’s parents and talk to them before the ceremony.
What I loved about Leah was how expressive she was. Leah was never afraid to express and illustrate her emotions on her wedding day–and that’s something I wish more people would embrace. Your elopement day is about your love for your partner and expressing it in the most natural way possible. Leah and Chris were both wonderfully open with their emotions, and that’s something that made their day exceptionally magical.
Before they began getting ready for their first look, Leah gifted Chris something incredibly sentimental; two pieces of artwork from his favorite artist. Together, they viewed the pieces on the hardwood floor of their Airbnb, soaking in the bliss of the moment.
We took our time getting ready, snapping some photos, and having their first look. Their indoor ceremony turned out more beautiful than I could have imagined.
The gorgeous natural light gave everything a soft glow. They laughed together; they cried together. They read their handwritten vows to each other as a blizzard coated the outside world in a fresh blanket of snow.
When the weather had calmed, Leah and Chris drove into downtown Telluride to explore the magical winter wonderland that was laid out before them. Everywhere we looked, the town had been blanketed in white, glistening snow. In most areas, we were the only people around, and it truly felt as though this moment had been somehow reserved just for the two of them.
It was magical–it almost felt like a fairytale.
They explored the snowy town of Telluride, often stopping to snuggle up for warmth, pose for a photo, or just soak in the magic around them.
We popped into a brewery for a beer (Chris loved breweries) and explored a Telluride bookstore (Leah is a book aficionado who’s actually writing her own). The lovely owners of the bookstore even stayed open late so the couple could explore, take a few fairytale-inspired photos (think Belle from Beauty and the Beast), and soak it all in.
As their day was coming to a close, a man approached Leah and Chris. He congratulated them, asking them if he could take a quick video for them on their wedding day. We were all a little confused, but Leah and Chris happily obliged as they walked through the snowy streets of Telluride.
It turns out the man that had approached them was American director Jason Ensler. He took some footage and then edited a short video of them that he later sent them as a wedding gift of sorts.
It was yet another part of their day that felt like pure magic.
Leah and Chris’ winter Telluride elopement is the perfect example of what I love about adventure elopements.
Even if the entire day doesn’t go according to plan, even if you have to shift to Plan B, even if things unfold in ways you never anticipated, you still end up with exactly what you wanted in the first place–marrying the love of your life.