Sometimes it's just hard to know where to start - no worries, that's what I'm here for!
I have a few questions that will help us get started.
WHAT IS AN ELOPEMENT
Great question - and the good news is that you totally get to decide what it is for you. But generally speaking, it's not a big party. It's not a big budget. It is just you and your partner putting aside a day to celebrate the love that y'all have for each other. It's really that simple. And if you start to get overwhelmed with planning, just keep coming back to that simple definition.
Generally, I have found that people who elope prefer a more intimate ceremony. The idea of reading vows in front of 100+ people can feel overwhelming even for the most extroverted. Also, eloping can be much nicer on the budget. Generally the venue (the great outdoors) are free. (Sometimes there are permits but typically even those max out at a whopping $200). You don't have to provide food and booze for 100+ people. You can cut corners on the things that don't matter to you and go big on the things that do. I have also found that another huge reason people elope is because they want to have an experience. They want to play outside with their best friend and promise them forever in a gorgeous place. And honestly, I can't really think of a better way to do it!
WHEN TO ELOPE
In Southwest Colorado, the best time to elope (in my opinion) is late June - early October. Late June gives you crazy wildflower action and late September- early October gives you the yellow aspens. If you're looking for perfect pow, I recommend January and February. That being said, there is year round beauty to be seen and depending on your type of adventure, I'll have more of an opinion on timing. Just reach out if you have any questions, and I'm happy to help. As for time of day, the best light is always at sunrise and sunset, so if you want to make your photographer's day, don't book a mid day elopement ;) As for day of the week - couldn't recommend more that you choose a weekday. Your chances of having the place all to yourself exponentially increase. So if your biggest reason for eloping is because you want the intimacy without the crowds, weekday is definitely the way to go.
WHO TO INVITE
Did you know that in the state of Colorado, you don't need an officiant or a witness? The reason most people elope is because they want it to just be the two of them exchanging their vows together - and that is rad. Others may want to have a small group of friends and family, which is also great! The cool thing is that you get to decide. Regardless of who you invite, definitely know that your dogs are welcome.
WHERE TO ELOPE
If you're looking to elope in Southwest Colorado, my top recommendations are Durango and Telluride. For these places, I know just where to find the lupine and mules ear in the summer, I know where the good aspen groves are in the fall, and I know where the best sunset mountain views happen every night. I know the alpine lakes and they are hands down my favorite thing on the planet. There is no shortage of beatufiul options right here. That being said, I also love to drive out to these locations for elopements as well: Pagosa, Ouray, Silverton, Ridgway, Crested Butte, Moab, Page, Taos, and Santa Fe. And of course I'll always be giddy to hop on a plane and follow you wherever your heart leads!
A TOUCH OF ADVENTURE
Do you guys love to mountain bike?
Rock climb? Ski? Backpack to the top of 14ers? Paddleboard down rapids?
Ok literally, how epic would it be to
do this in your wedding attire with your
best friend on the day you promise to love them for the rest of your life??!
Just a thought. If you dig it, lets add
it to the timeline.
A TOUCH OF TRADITION
Just because you are ditching the big wedding, doesn't mean you can't add little elements of wedding day-ness to your elopement. Here's a simple list of ideas to consider:
- Doing a first look
- Sharing vows
- Having a bouquet and boutonniere
- First dance
- Champagne toast
- Cake feeding and/or smashing
That being said, it's your day. So if you see a silky green dress at a small boutique the day before your elopement, you can always just wear it instead of the white one you bought! The amount of tradition you add is 100% up to you.
You are ready to get the ball rolling! Nail down a date. Book your desired vendors (see my recommended list here). Let them help you create a timeline (especially your photographer and/coordinator). Choose the things + people you want to include, don't worry about the rest. Remember this is a celebration of you and your partner's love, so ultimately you want to create a day that reflects just that.