Thomas and Megan had their hearts set on one particular mountain town for their sunrise mountain elopement, Breckenridge, Colorado. With it being such a convenient location close to the Denver airport, with tons of lodging options as well as an abundance of hikes for all adventure levels, it was a no brainer. They had family and friends coming in from 7 different states, and their plan was to have everyone lodge together at one big cabin. They had the cabin for 5 days, and all of their closest loved ones would be there. Their wedding day was the best of both worlds, a morning of hiking and private vows next to an alpine lake, just the two of them – followed by a ceremony and celebration at the cabin with everyone present.
When we asked these two why they wanted to elope, they said, “We are hoping to do a hybrid elopement-wedding: eloping just the two of us in the morning, with a small ceremony with ~20 of our closest family and friends in the afternoon. We wanted the best of both worlds with hiking just the two of us to say our private vows, while still celebrating with the folks we hold most dear. We chose this because neither of us have wanted a big wedding, and we want to kick off our greatest adventure (being married) with an adventure in and of itself.”
Where to Stay When Eloping with Family in Breckenridge
For Thomas and Megan, they chose to have all of their loved ones stay at the same cabin. It’s such a good idea, especially when you have a group of people coming from out of state. It just makes logistics so much easier. They decided on the Little Mountain Lodge, which had enough rooms to accommodate all of their guests, and even had an extra room for Alex and I to sneak a nap in during our mid day break! Click on the photo below to read more about the Little Mountain Lodge, which is a great place to stay when eloping with family in Breckenridge!
M + T’s First Look Before Their Breckenridge Sunrise Mountain Elopement
M + T’s Breckenridge sunrise mountain elopement day started with meeting Thomas and Megan in an empty parking lot in the morning darkness before the sun came up. The two of them hopped out of their Jeep, and changed into their wedding attire, preparing themselves for a “first look” of seeing each other in their wedding attire for the first time. The two of them shared a first look right there in the parking lot. Megan was wearing a stunning Made With Love wedding gown that she purchased at Lovely Bride DC. And Thomas wore a white jacket tuxedo from Black Tux.
Part 1 – Adventure Hiking Elopement
Hiking in the Dark with Lanterns before their Breckenridge sunrise mountain elopement
We started the hike up to the alpine lake, stopping to admire the wild flowers, and take in what views we could see while it was still dark. We had plans to capture some star photos, but the cloud coverage that day was just too heavy. Since the star photos weren’t in the cards, we didn’t want to waste the time we had there, so we got creative and pulled out our lanterns. These lanterns made for some really dreamy shots!
Self Solemnizing Ceremony & Alpenglow
As the sun started to rise and illuminate the mountainous landscape that surrounded us, T + M walked around until they found the spot where they’d hold their self-solemnizing wedding ceremony. The two of them stood next to each other as they read their private vows. As soon as the marriage license was signed, and it was official, the most spectacular alpenglow I’ve ever seen made its appearance. At first, just the top of the mountain glowed bright orange, but as the sun rose higher, the natural phenomenon made its way further down the mountainside until the whole rock face looked as though it was on fire. It displayed the most beautiful orange and pink hues, and reflected perfectly off of the still morning alpine lakes surface.
After picking our jaws off of the ground, and the morning alpenglow was over, we made our way further up the mountain. Thomas and Megan had their first slow dance as husband and wife on what felt like the top of the world. Megan’s dress flowed with the movement of the dance and song perfectly resembling the flickering of leaves on an aspen tree. They danced to Leon Bridges ‘Beyond’ amongst the rocky mountain evergreen trees, mountain backdrop, and warm Colorado sunshine. If this is sounding magical, it’s because it absolutely, without a doubt, was indeed.
Breckenridge Sunrise Mountain Elopement Details
Thomas and Megan really leaned into the adventure details for their Breckenridge, Colorado elopement and we are here 👏 for 👏 it 👏 !!! Look at these! Little shoe tags reading “I do”, and “7.22.22”, as well as a wooden box to hold their wedding bands with a mountain engraving and “The Adventure Begins” engraved on the side. They also had custom made vow booklets for their hand written wedding vows. I’m in love! It’s so so fun to incorporate these types of details into your elopement day. It’s just one way to really make your elopement special. All of these details can be found on Etsy!
Their Location in Breckenridge
When Megan and Thomas were planning their elopement, we sent them a list of potential locations to choose from for their morning hiking adventure. They picked a spot they loved, but a few days before the big day, some hiccups in the plans meant they had to switch to Plan B (can you believe this was their Plan B?!)
Fortunately, Plan B turned out to be a blessing in disguise – as you can clearly see, it was beautiful. They said their vows at a nearby mountain pass, surrounded by natural beauty and stunning views. And as their photographer, we were thrilled to capture their special day in such an epic spot.
We know that picking the right location for your elopement can be somewhat challenging, especially if you’re coming from out of state. That’s why we provide our couples with a comprehensive list of potential spots, complete with descriptions, photos, and even our personal recommendations. We believe that by giving our couples all the information they need, they can make an informed decision that truly reflects their unique style and vision.
And when unforeseen circumstances arise, we’re always ready to pivot and make things happen. Just like with Megan and Thomas – when their original plans fell through, we were able to switch gears and make their day unforgettable.
So no matter where you’re dreaming of saying “I do”, we’ve got you covered. We’ll help you find the perfect spot no matter what twists and turns come your way.
Wanting some location inspiration for the elopement you’re planning? Check out our list of The Best Places to Elope in Colorado 👇
Part 2 – Breckenridge Elopement with Family
After their morning adventure elopement we drove back into the town of Breckenridge and the 4 of us stopped at The Crown for coffee and breakfast. Then we headed back to the cabin for a nap! Thomas and Megan were so sweet to offer us a spare bedroom for us to lay our heads during the break between the morning Breckenridge sunrise mountain elopement and the afternoon intimate wedding they had planned.
I joined Megan to document the getting ready portion of the second part of her day. She did her own hair and make-up and looked absolutely stunning. She ditched her hiking boots she wore for the morning hike, and changed into these super cute floral Keds. Before heading out for her first look with her father, she had a special moment with her mom, and her new mother in law. She gave them both a very special gift that brought them both to tears.
First Look and Slow Dancing with Father of the Bride
On the property of the cabin was a little gathering spot smack dab in the middle of an aspen grove. Megan’s father waited there, and when Megan walked up hand in hand with her mother, the father of the bride turned around and saw his only daughter dressed in her white dress for the first time. There wasn’t a dry eye out in that aspen grove.
The short and sweet ceremony took place on the side yard of their cabin. Their closest loved ones gathered around and watched as the two of them shared vows, and Thomas’ cousin officiated a lovely ceremony. Our time with T + M was almost coming to an end. We spend some time capturing family photos, and then some candids. Thomas and Megan were super sweet though and they wanted us to put down our cameras and join them for their celebration. At this point, we felt like old friends. Before we headed home for the evening with full hearts and full memory cards, they had one more request! They wanted photos with the Breckenridge Troll! Of course we were into this idea. Neither of us had ever seen it before but always wanted to! So at this point, sadly it was time for us to say our goodbyes. The newly married couple had a delicious dinner ahead of them by The Happy Cuisiniere and a whole night of celebrating to do!
Breckenridge Elopement with Family Details
The details at the Little Mountain Lodge were so much fun to photograph. Megan and Thomas’ invitation suite was something you’d see on Pinterest! There were even parts of the invitation suit that Megan hand drew herself! I took pieces of the left over florals and incorporated them into the detail shots to add texture and layers for the photos. The diamond engagement ring and wedding bands were definitely the show stoppers for this Breckenridge elopement with family though.
If there is any day out of your entire life where you should do exactly what you want to do – it’s your wedding day. Rent the cabin. Have your family fly in, even if they’re all coming from 7 different states! Hire the elopement photographer. You will have the best day, and stunning photos to hang on your walls for life.