Planning a Colorado Winter Wedding – Adventure Elopement Style
When we first spoke with Nicole and Cameron, the plan was to just take some photos to expand our portfolio to show what a Colorado winter wedding could look like. We didn’t have anything to showcase what a snow covered wedding in Colorado could look like, and Nicole and Cameron were down to strap on some snowshoes and have an adventure. The AirBnb was booked, the vendors were hired, and everything was in place. Until Nicole and Cameron woke up to a broken furnace during a cold front that brought in temperatures to negative ten degrees! When they showed up to the AirBnb and told us that they woke up to a broken furnace, I was truly impressed that they didn’t bail on the photoshoot. Needless to say, what started out as a stressful day for them ended up being a day they’ll never forget.
Nicole and Cameron were planning a wedding in Mexico, until COVID became a thing. It kind of threw a wrench in their plans. Travel restrictions, concerns about not being able to get vaccines in time, and conversations with their family members were making it look like a destination wedding in Mexico might not be happening this year. So the newly engaged couple started thinking of alternatives, like so many other couples getting married in 2020 and 2021. They started to wonder, what if during the photoshoot, we just elope? They let this thought sit with them for a few weeks, and decided that they would see how they’re feeling day of, and see if it feels right. If their intuition told them it was their day to get married, then they were going to elope on the snow covered mountains in Colorado. They were going to have a Colorado winter wedding.
Adventure Elopement Theme
The theme for the styled adventure elopement, Colorado winter wedding was easy. We knew we wanted the shoot to be an elopement (because we specialize in elopements), and we knew of a few specific shots we wanted for our portfolio. The shots we knew we wanted to capture to showcase this Colorado winter wedding were 1.) a champagne pop (seltzer water to LNT, learn more about Leave No Trace here.) 2.) “Just Married” hand made signs to hang off the backpacks of the couple 3.) a faux ceremony to showcase vow booklets (which ended up being a REAL ceremony!!) 4.) getting ready photos to show our couples what a full day adventure elopement could look like and 5.) a “first look”. The color scheme for the styled shoot came easy to me. I kept seeing terracotta color palettes mixed with sage green. We added a deep purple for a more winter vibe. For this shoot, the theme and color palette were the easy decisions.
After we had the theme and color palettes picked out, we had to decide on a location for taking the photos. We knew this Colorado winter wedding styled shoot had to take place outdoors and in the snow, which came with it’s own challenges. Guaranteed snow meant high elevation, which meant a chance for high winds and cold temperatures. We knew there was a chance that going out into the elements would not be an option if the temperatures were low enough. We are all about adventure here at In Love and Adventure, but keeping safe is our number one priority. A little snow (or a lot of snow) won’t turn us away, but if anything about the plan at all is unsafe, we are headed down the mountain and getting to a safe spot. It’s just one of those things that comes with choosing to have an adventure elopement. You’re at the mercy of mom nature. We ended up choosing a mountain pass close to Breckenridge, Colorado. Just a short 15 minutes drive south of Breckenridge, and you’ll find this beautiful scenery great for snowshoeing in the winter. If you’re someone who is looking to have a Colorado winter wedding, definitely consider incorporating snowshoeing on your big day! It’s an exciting activity that can lead you to some of the most remote, jaw dropping scenery that Colorado has to offer! Before you head out into the forest for your Colorado winter elopement, check out our blog post on What to Pack for an Adventure Hiking Elopement. This blog post will get you geared up and ready for it all!
Cameron + Nicole’s Colorado Winter Wedding Story
When the big day arrived, Cameron and Nicole showed up and told us the story of their furnace breaking that morning! They quickly reassured us that everything was taken care of, they called who they needed to call, and it was in the works of being fixed. Nothing to worry about! Nicole sat down to begin the professional hair and make up by Rollers & Rouge, and they got to talking about the couples plans to have a destination wedding in Mexico that they’re not sure will pan out. I heard Nicole say, “who knows, maybe we’ll just get married today!” And I thought to myself, how freaking awesome would it be if this styled adventure elopement turned into a real Colorado winter wedding day! As the day goes on, I was busy capturing the getting ready process, the details of the day like the stationery provided by Tasha Rae Designs, the stunning bouquet provided by Compass Rose Floral, the couples backpacks they were going to bring on the hike made by Gregory and Osprey, smaller details that made the day unique like their Vasque hiking boots, the bridal dress from Lulu’s, the groom’s tie and pocket square from Dazi’s, the rings that were bought from Champagne and Grit, and the hand made wooden signs that read, “Just Married”, that were created by the talented Katie Grace Lettering. While capturing all of the details, Alex came up to me and said, “Cameron asked me to officiate a ceremony.”, to which I replied, “like, a real wedding?!” !!! We both were just so excited that this truly awesome couple was planning on getting married in the best way possible. Alex got busy and started writing up a ceremony, while I then went ahead and continued on with the day!
The weather was a concern. In the middle of writing the ceremony speech, Alex kept an eye on the weather at the mountain pass we were planning on going to. We kept hearing him shout out, “it’s up to 27 degrees!”, and we would all cheer and say, “that’s not that bad!” We talked about Plan B’s, alternative locations, but the end decision was to power on with the original mountain pass we had picked out for them. We decided we would try to keep in the trees to get out of the wind, cover Nicole in body warmers, and indulge in a little liquid courage before strapping on our snowshoes and beginning the adventure. If you’re planning a Colorado winter wedding adventure elopement, check out our blog post that will tell you exactly what gear and items you will want to bring here!
Their snow covered first look
We planned the first look by blindfolding Cameron, putting them both in our car, and then driving 5 minutes up the road to the mountain pass. We took Nicole into the woods first, and then followed Alex and Cameron.
We planned the first look in the trees, so we were out of the wind. Cameron had a fun time turning around in his snowshoes. A lot different than a regular first look! Is this the first snowshoeing first look you’ve seen? It was for us!
After the first look, we hiked up the mountain and found their ceremony location. Alex & Cameron made a little circle in the snow for the two of them to stand easily during the ceremony. You can kind of see the mountains trying to peek through the storm clouds, but unfortunately we didn’t get the views we were hoping for their Colorado winter elopement. This is just one of many locations we know of in Colorado. Check out our blog posts on the Best Places to Elope in Colorado.
Want inspiration on where to elope? Check out our list of Best Places to Elope in Colorado! 👉
After the ceremony, the happy couple celebrated with wedding cake push pops made by The Dessert Stand (I had one myself and they were delicious!!!), a champagne pop, a few portraits in the snow, and then we turned around and started the snowshoe hike back in the falling snow. It was COLD, but Nicole and Cameron were true adventurers and ended up having the Colorado winter elopement of their dreams.
The vendor team that participated in this styled shoot is nothing short of amazing. They each took the mood board that was created, and brought it to life! They each suggested their own ideas on how to make the styled Colorado winter wedding shoot special and unique, and they each did an amazing job. Just let the pictures speak for themselves.
Beautiful Florals by: Compass Rose Floral
Wedding cake push pops: The Dessert Stand
Stunning Hair and Make up by: Rollers and Rouge
Elopement Announcements and Vow Cards by the talented: Tasha Rae Designs
Handmade “Just Married” Wooden Signs by the talented: Katie Grace Lettering
Photography, Hosting, and Planning by: In Love and Adventure – Elopement Photography