This blog is for the people who don't get in nature very much but love it. It is for the people who want to explore more but maybe something holds them back. It is for the people who like to see a great view, but just doesn't have the experience. It is for those who hike a ton but may forget how important it is to value the environment. It is for those who don't realize how big of an effect social media can have on pretty much everything This particular blog is for some of us, most of us and all of us!
The last Adventure Elopement I photographed was in Durango Colorado. I had never been there until I rolled in the day before the elopement. It was beautiful! The views were gorgeous, the weather was perfect and the people were wonderful. The perfect place to get married for sure. But what you don't understand (or maybe you do if you are in nature a lot) is the bride had to do a ton of her own research to find the perfect location to say their vows. It can take a lot of work and effort to find those amazing locations for that amazing day! She did just that. I won't say exactly what trail and where this took place in order to preserve its location but what I will say is that I was honored to have been invited as her photographer and be able to witness those views!
I think what some of us don't really understand is due to social media most of our trails, and favorite destinations are becoming destroyed and over crowded. You can't even get to some of our favorite places anymore because of the hype surrounding the social media outlet. My personal opinion, and it is just that, an opinion, is when you go somewhere and see that brand new peak, don't say where exactly it is. Don't tag it. Don't put it in your description or in your comments. You could tag the state, even the city or national forest, but don't tag the trail head. I always say things like #somewhereincolorado or #lostingeorgia when I hike or explore so people know what State I was in but never know the exact location of where I was. There are 2 reasons for this. #1. Places are being destroyed! If we work together we can preserve some of these places which brings me to my #2. Most people will not do their own research to find these amazing places. It takes to much effort.
If you are anything like me, I research days, weeks, even months on end to go places in an area that is off the beaten path. It takes me hours upon hours sometimes to plan that trip. For instance, we visited Moab, Utah last year. We were going in September and I started researching and planning in May. I had our 10 day trip planned out with my bucket list of places I wanted to see and do along with their location, mileage, difficulty estimate, what I needed to bring for the hike, what time was best to see the view, etc etc etc. . Why on earth would I do all that work just to post the locations I had been so someone else can come in behind me and do the exact same thing I just did but without having to put in the work. That sounds really selfish of me I know but I feel like if I do the work for them, it makes that person appreciate this scenery less, which in turn becomes a trickle effect. It really gets under my skin when I post a picture of this gorgeous scene that I most definitely had to research to find and put my body to the test to get to and someone comments on the post "where is this". It makes me want to scream. I quit answering comments like that publicly and started private messaging the people I knew would research and put the effort in themselves if they needed to. It was an alternative to just publicly blasting an areas location.
Now listen.. I am 100% guilty of doing exactly both of those things. I have tagged my location and I have gone somewhere that other people have tagged. It is such an easy thing to do. But once I started realizing that there are waiting lists at places there have never had waiting list before, there are trails being closed because people don't "pack in, pack out", hiking and camping areas are being destroyed by trash and other things I won't mention. It was then I started realizing what social media is capable of doing to our nature experiences. I started talking to locals, and asking questions that I knew I didn't want to hear the answer to, but it changed my view on a lot of things. I hope after you read this, it will change your view as well if you haven't already. It's such a simple gesture "tagging your location" but it is becoming devastating for the nature enthusiast and to our environment in general.
So the next time you go for that hike, try to come up with a hashtag or location that suits you but doesn't say where you are exactly. This way you get to enjoy these places over and over and the risk of them being closed forever goes down by one person. We can make a difference if we just try. It is the smallest things and takes very little effort.
Now That I have had my rant. .. Lets get you married in nature!
As I packed for this trip, I had butterflies. I felt the excitement for this elopement in my inner core. I knew it was going to be magical, breathtaking, and tear worthy.
As a society, sometimes we feel we have to do things the "right" way instead of the way we want. Elopements have this reputation of being quick, unplanned, and irrational. That is the old school way of thinking about elopements! Elopements today are the complete opposite. It takes a ton of planning, lots of arrangements, and most importantly, they are the most intimate way to get married. We spend tons of money on a venue, wedding parties, food, etc. for us to not even really remember the day because it is so overwhelming and fast paced. If you would rather take half of that money and put it toward a day filled for just the 2 of you (and maybe a handful of your close friends and family), then an elopement is perfect for you... and better yet.. an ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT!
We arrived in Durango and my goodness... There were no words for me to express my gratitude of just being there. I am in love with CO and every different mountain town I see makes me speechless. I knew that this experience was going to be spectacular! The day of the wedding came super early. 3:00am to be exact. The couple did a cute sock exchange first thing in the morning with coffee and breakfast. At 4:30am, after a quick but oh so sweet first look, we laced up our boots and hit the trail head.
We stepped off in pure darkness in hopes to get to the summit and married before the crowd of hikers hit. The experience of the hike was breathtaking. Once the sun started rising, you could see the mountain peaks light up. With every switchback there was another view. We stopped often to take it all in... and to catch our breath. We hiked 1600 feet in elevation in 3 miles reaching the top at 10,397 above sea level. Coming from Ga, where we sit at practically sea level, this was a huge experience! I enjoyed watching the couple beam from ear to ear with every step to the summit. The anticipation of knowing they were about to become husband and wife was written all over their faces.
Once we reached the top the preparation began. The quick look in the mirror, the deep breaths, the calming of nerves, and then it was time for the ceremony! In Colorado you do not have to have an officiant so it was just the 4 of us at the top of this mountain, taking in the view, watching the sun rise higher and higher, and listening to the vows they read to each other. Once the kiss was done the marriage was sealed. It was spectacular. The most intimate and special ceremony. We took a few more pictures at the top and then we started our decent down.
After the hike was over we made our way to the ski lodge to enjoy the rest of the afternoon on the fall foliage ski slopes. We rode the ski lift, the roller coaster, and alpine slide, and walked the bike trails a little. We enjoyed every minute of the afternoon from meeting new people, to taking the most amazing pictures. I was with the bride and groom every step of this adventure. They are avid hikers and for them, this day will be the "trail that never ends" full of happiness, tears of joy, endless love, and memories that will last them a lifetime.
If you find yourself getting married soon and this type of wedding seems appealing... then please reach out. We can seriously talk about all the options you have!
A ONE OF A KIND EXPERIENCE BLENDING LOVE AND LANDSCAPES
What is an ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT? It is just that! An elopement that is filled with adventure! It can be a yurt sleepover with all your loved ones, in the middle of no where or just the two of you under a waterfall. Think breathtaking views and becoming one with nature. People love this type of wedding because they feel most connected when in the great outdoors.
WHO WOULD DO THIS The couples who want this type of wedding tend to have a love of travel and passion for exploring. They want to be unique. They throw all the rules out the window and do things the way they want to. They typically don't want the stress that "traditional" can bring. They are fearless and definitely not afraid of a little dirt. They live life on the edge, wear their hearts on their sleeves and value experiences over things.
WHERE CAN WE DO THIS With an adventure wedding, the possibilities are endless. From mountains, to waterfalls, to beaches, to caves. To get to the destination of your choice, you can have four-wheeler rides, horseback riding, helicopter rides, Literally, wherever or however your imagination takes you!
WHEN SHOULD WE HAVE OUR ADVENTURE WEDDING? Consider where you want to go and research. Look at weather, does your destination have a rainy season? Think about Tourism, is it a tourist area and does it have a peak season? If so, consider the crowds, longer lines and booked lodging.
HOW DO WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN? Contact me and we can reserve your date, Talk about pricing, ask and answer all the questions, bounce ideas and then all you have to do from there is relax, have fun, enjoy yourself and of course adventure!
Interested in having an Adventure Elopement or Wedding .... We have tons of information to help you!
From timelines to location ideas we have a ton of information that can help you plan your adventure wedding!
*Starting your day pictures Lace up your boots and put that pack on.. we catch it all on camera and video too! *First Look Is there anything better than those beautiful pictures where he sees you for the very first time in a place that both of you are amazed by? *Getting to your ceremony destination Rather it be by foot or four-wheeler we are catching it all on camera! *The Ceremony Imagine pulling up to this amazing view for a beautiful intimate ceremony. Its everything you didn't know you needed! *Reading letters The family and friends who couldn't make it can still be involved. Of course if you want guests there to watch you marry the love of your life, they should be. If not, then why not ask them to all write a little letter full of best wishes to read after the ceremony and catch those sweet moments on camera and video. *The first dance UMMM..YES PLEASE.. why not have your first dance just the 2 of you with this amazing view! Who can say they did that?? *The adventures hiking, kayaking, off roading, fishing, or walking through town with that gorgeous dress and beautiful smile that the two of you share, will all be caught on camera!
For more information on our elopement and adventure wedding services, or to book, please contact us by using the form below!