Kourtney & Gabriel - Crested Butte Colorado Elopement Photographer - Hiking Elopement Photographer - Adventure Wedding Photographer - Self-Solemnizing Elopement
There are few feelings that match the sense of awe and gratitude that I feel when I get to be a part of an elopement. It's such an inspiring and brave thing when a couple decides "We want to have a wedding that truly reflects us. We want a day that is a real and honest representation of who we are, and that celebrates our commitment in a genuine way."
For Kourtney & Gabriel, that meant deciding to do an epic hiking elopement in one of the most spectacular landscapes in all of Colorado. Their day started driving in the dark—up winding, unmarked, dirt roads, and we met at the trailhead at 3am to start hiking. As the dark turned to dawn while we hiked, we could start to see the beginnings of the pink glow on the mountaintops. We arrived at the perfect vista right as the sun was about to crest over the horizon. Kourtney & Gabriel quickly changed out of their hiking clothes separately, and got into their fancy attire, and saw each other for the first time in their wedding-day gear right at sunrise. It was the most perfect "first look" I think I've ever seen. Filled with emotion, they pulled their vows out of their pockets and promised their lives to each other and were married. We continued hiking exploring the whole area and didn't see another soul up there for several hours (until we hiked down). They celebrated by popping champagne and cheering at the top of their lungs at the mountains, and having a picnic before we headed down. It was the most perfect of wedding days.
Colorado is actually one of only 3 states in the whole U.S. where this type of wedding day is possible—as it's a "Self-Solemnizing" state. In Colorado, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania (and D.C.) a couple can legally get married without an officiant, or "Self-Solemnize" (it's also called "self-unification" or "self-officiating"). Colorado doesn't even require witnesses either. Self-solemnization weddings are 100% legal and valid marriages in the whole U.S.—they can just only be performed in those 4 places. It's an absolutely perfect way to have a completely intimate wedding day just the 2 of you.
To execute a self-solemizing wedding in Colorado, all you have to do is obtain a marriage license from any county clerk & recorder office in Colorado, fill it out when you get married (you each sign as the parties getting married, and again on the officiant line), and then return it within 60 days via mail or in-person. You can check out more info about self-solemization in Colorado here.
We're Maddie Mae, Amber, & Tori. We are adventurous elopement photographers & guides based in Colorado that travel worldwide to help fearless couples like you create your unforgettable, wildly different wedding experience—that is completely yours.
Are You Ready to Create Your Own Adventurous Elopement?
If you would like help dreaming up your intimate wedding day, a customized elopement location idea list just for you, planning tools, vendor recommendations, and a creative, laid-back, documentary approach to your adventurous wedding photography—we would love to help you make your adventure elopement dreams come true.