Sunrise Hiking Elopement in Telluride
L + J choose an adventurous sunrise hiking elopement in Telluride for their wedding day. When we first talked to the couple they told us the vibe they were going for was Lord of the Rings. I immediately knew what alpine lake I wanted to take them to. The lush green mountainside along with the dramatic cliffs and jagged peaks was perfect. Their day consisted of their two dogs, packs filled with their wedding attire, lunch, champagne, wine, and a few LOTR inspired details. We woke up super early and started our hike at 2 am. Once we signed the registry at the start of the trailhead we started the long hike in the dark. With our headlamps and the moon guiding us up the mountain, we hiked for about two hours before reaching our destination.
Where do you get ready for a sunrise hiking elopement in Telluride?
We hiked out of the dense evergreen forest and finally make it to the lake! The sky was full of clouds, and the alpenglow wasn’t as stunning as we hoped, but just the feeling of being there was what was important. We walked all around the lake to find a private area, and somewhere the dogs could take a nap while their parents got ready for their elopement. L + J helped each other get into their elopement attire and freshen up while being surrounded by evergreen trees and wildflowers. The temperature was cool but not too cold, and the sun was trying to come out. J was wearing a dark navy blue suit from Berragamo with cuff links to represent his line of work. L was wearing a stunning lace and tulle gown by Bella Rose along with her Blundstones.
Self Solemnizing Elopement Ceremony
L + J decided a self solemnizing elopement ceremony was right for them during their sunrise hiking elopement in Telluride. L walked down a trail with wildflowers on both sides of her towards her fiance. The two had their private ceremony right next to the turquoise blue lake as the sun shined on the mountain behind them. Their ceremony consisted of reading their private vows, a ring exchange, and signing their marriage license. They of course had their two dogs sign their marriage license as well!
Mountainside Picnic & Hammock Hangs
After their ceremony, the two hiked a bit up the mountainside to enjoy lunch with a view. What was on the menu? An assortment of fruits, cheeses, pizza, and wine! After lunch, we all took a nap on the mountain. After a 2 am wake-up call, 3 miles of hiking with ~1,500 ft elevation gain, and an adrenaline-filled morning, it was much needed for all 6 of us! The couple and their two dogs got cozy in their hammock before it was time to head back down the mountain. As the sun came up and shined right down on the lake, the lake turned even more turquoise, so we of course had to grab a few photos before starting our hike back down to the trailhead.
Our hike back to the trailhead after their sunrise hiking elopement in Telluride
During our hike back down we passed tons of fellow hikers. All congratulating the happy couple! We even ran into another adventure elopement photographer! We found a spot on the trail with killer views and decided to take a rest to soak in the views and celebrate with a bottle of champagne! L’s dress got super dirty, especially after crossing the river and then leaving it down to hike on the trails. Exactly what she wanted! I remember on our first phone call she even said, “I want to get my dress wet and dirty and drag it through the trails!” A true adventure bride!
What to Expect During a Sunrise Hiking Elopement in Telluride
This really depends on the time of year, but for this post, we’ll talk strictly about summer sunrise hiking elopements in Telluride. Have you ever heard the saying, “the mountains make their own weather”? Well, it’s true. You never really know what the weather is going to bring when you’re in the mountains and in high elevation, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the San Juans Mountains in the summer. So if you’re planning for a sunrise hiking elopement in Telluride, just keep this in mind. You’ll want to keep an eye on the sky and have a plan should conditions become unsafe. We always plan to be at least halfway back to our car by noon.
Early Wake-up Call
If you’re wanting a sunrise hiking elopement in Telluride, you’re going to have an early wake-up call. Depending on how far of a hike you have, you could have to start as early as 1 or 2 am.
How to Prepare for Your Sunrise Hiking Elopement in Telluride
Rest & Sleep
During the days leading up to your big day make sure to get plenty of rest. You could even try and switch up your sleep schedule if you’re in for an early wake-up call on your elopement day. Go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, and nap when you can (yes, naps count!)
The key to staying comfortable during a high elevation hike is to stay hydrated. Stay hydrated during the days leading up as well. Consider buying a hydration supplement like Liquid IV to bring with you during your hike. If you go to your local Walgreens, you can buy the Walgreens brand for a few bucks cheaper. We always have these on us when doing a big hike, they’re essential!
Break in Your Hiking Shoes
Nobody likes a blister. Make sure the shoes you’ll be wearing are broken in and don’t give you blisters.
Make A List
Make a list, check it twice. There’s no worse feeling than feeling like you’re forgetting something important. By making a list you can check off each item and leave on your adventure with the peace of mind.
What to Bring on a Sunrise Hiking Elopement in Telluride
Adventure and Hiking Items
Depending on what you want out of your day, an item or two on this list could be essential! At In Love and Adventure, we have a Gear List that you can shop from for free! Borrow items you’d like to bring to your elopement from us!