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Rachael & Emily

I have known Rachael for almost 10 years now, so when she told me that she was engaged to her girlfriend Emily and planning to elope—I was absolutely thrilled out of my mind. I got to know these two through their long-running tradition of "Adventure Tuesdays." They both had Tuesdays off due to their work schedule, and would each week plan a new hike, road trip, or place to explore. I joined along whenever I could, and they inspired me to make this a tradition in my own relationship. So when they got engaged, it was only perfectly fitting that Rachael & Emily chose to have an adventurous destination elopement in a new place they hadn't explored before—the Dolomites (Italian Alps)—their most adventurous Tuesday ever. 

One of the most fun parts of the process of working with couples planning destination elopements, is assisting in the dreaming & exploring process and giving all of my best suggestions for locations for their ceremony & portraits. I spent countless hours scouring all of my favorite resources of maps, forums, and software to find the absolute most gorgeous views in South Tryol—which in my opinion is the most beautiful part of the Dolomites. I found a series of mountain passes that we could explore as well as the beautiful & iconic Lago Di Braies as a perfect place to say their vows in a bit of a warmer place than on top of a snowy mountain pass.

We started the day with a first look at sunrise right outside of their amazing AirBnB, which had the most incredible views—we could have happily stayed their all day, but we hit the road, and headed on our journey through the most beautiful scenery I've seen in my life. The Dolomites in May were very cold, with brutal winds at the top of these vistas and still plenty of snow—but these two kept each other warm—and when it came time to say their vows, I had a hard time looking through my viewfinder through all the tears. The scenery that we saw that day was unlike anything I've ever experienced. The Alps are truly world class, and as a die-hard mountain lover, I was in absolute heaven and I can't wait to go back. 

 Starting off in Ortisei in South Tryol (Val Gardena), in Northern Italy, the morning sun shone brightly while Rachael & Emily got ready for their intimate Italian elopement in the Dolomites. Photos by Maddie Mae Photography.
 Their simple wedding bands, a symbol of their eternal love, were some of the only details that these ladies brought for their adventurous mountain elopement in the Italian Dolomites.
 Wearing white and showing off her freckles, they anxiously got ready in separate rooms. Keeping the tradition of a first look before embarking on their Italian Dolomite mountain ceremony. Photo by Maddie Mae Photography.
 Making sure that they could wander and hike in their white wedding dresses was important to this wanderlust loving couple. Their love as wild as the wind and spanning taller than the Dolomites where they would hold their intimate wedding ceremony with photographer Maddie Mae in tow.
 Patiently waiting for her bride and taking in the grand view of South Tryol in Northern Italy had to offer, she found her nerves calm when she would have been so anxious on her on her wedding day. Photo by Maddie Mae Photography.
 Down in the valley of Ortisei, the town was lush green. A stark change from the high alpine terrain of the Dolomites where these adventurous brides would be heading to for their intimate mountain elopement ceremony. Images by Maddie Mae Photography.
 Meandering their way into the high alpine terrain of the Dolomite Mountains in Northern Italy, this couple was in for some of the most breathtaking views for their intimate elopement. Photo by Maddie Mae Photography.
 Taking their time to find the perfect intimate ceremony spot amongst the snow with the Dolomites looking down on them they began their hiking adventure for their non-traditional wedding ceremony. Photos by Maddie Mae Photography.
 As the fog began to roll out from the highest peaks of the Dolomites and the wind began to pick up, these adventurous brides continued wandering through the foot hills with an oversized bouquet to find their perfect intimate elopement ceremony location. Photos by Maddie Mae Photography.
 Pausing to enjoy the company as the high alpine Dolomite wind rushed around them. These stunning brides radiated love far beyond the Northern Italian mountainside where they were about to celebrate their intimate elopement. Captured by Maddie Mae Photography.
 As the fog rolled in slowly they stopped to take in the amazing Northern Italian Dolomite mountains where they had picked for their intimate elopement ceremony. Photos by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Their love could be felt through over the hills and well into the Dolomite mountains where these adventurous brides choose to have their intimate elopement ceremony. Inviting only their wedding photographer, Maddie Mae, to be their witness as they said, "I do."
 With the wind whipping through their hair these stunning brides continued their hunt for the perfect intimate elopement ceremony location high in the Italian Dolomite Mountains. Captured by Colorado wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 While keeping much of their intimate elopement simple, these brides did opt for an oversized spring flower bouquet brilliantly designed by Il Profumo dei fiori flower design in Northern Italy. Photos by adventurous wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Donning a fur stole and simple but stunning white wedding dress, the love that E felt for R could be felt for miles through the Italian Dolomites where this adventurous couple picked for their intimate elopement. Photos by wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 The simplicity of this intimate elopement, punctuated with the incredible oversized spring flower bouquet made with care by Il Profumo dei fiori flower design. It held up through their adventurous hiking elopement through the Italian Dolomites. Photos by Maddie Mae Photography.
 Making their way down from Gardena Pass in the Italian Dolomites the snowy landscape began to fade giving way to more lush valleys below. Photo by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 There are few things as simply sweet as a long and loving embrace surrounded by snow and jagged rocks in the Italian Dolomite mountains where these brides picked for their intimate elopement ceremony. Photos by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 While most couples find themselves in a church or hall for their wedding ceremonies, these adventurous brides threw tradition to the wind and traveled to the Italian Dolomites for their intimate elopement with only their wedding photographer, Maddie Mae as their witness.
 Gardena Pass in the Italian Dolomites provided these adventurous brides with all the high alpine views and wild wind for their intimate elopement. Photos by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Hiking their way down the Italian Dolomites' Gardena Pass and on to their next location for their intimate and non-traditional elopement through Northern Italy with wedding photographer Maddie Mae by their sides to capture every sweet moment.
 Watching the Dolomites get smaller and smaller and the landscape get greener and greener this adventurous couple made their way down to Lake Braise for their intimate wedding ceremony with photographer Maddie Mae in tow. 
 Taking in the sights, surrounded by the views of their dreams. These gorgeous brides picked the perfect spot along Lake Braise with the Dolomites behind them for their intimate elopement ceremony. Photos captured by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 With no one in sight, they put down their oversized bouquet and began their intimate elopement ceremony with only their adventurous wedding photographer as their witness. This Dolomite mountain elopement captured by Maddie Mae Photography.
 Holding tightly to each other and making promises for their future while the wind blew next to Lake Braise at the foothills of the Dolomite mountains where these gorgeous brides eloped. Adventurous wedding photographer Maddie Mae captured each tender moment of this intimate Italian elopement. 
 Sharing their first kiss at Lake Braise with the Italian Dolomites in the background was the most surreal setting for these non-traditional brides who opted for a hiking elopement through Northern Italy for their wedding. Photo by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 There are few moments as sweet and honest as the embrace after an intimate elopement. With no one around, these gorgeous brides fell into sheer bliss at Lake Braise in Northern Italy where they had just said, "I do" at their intimate elopement. Captured by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 The old chateau style buildings were a real treat for this history loving and adventurous pair. They opted out of the traditional wedding and chose to adventure through Northern Italy for their intimate elopement. Photos by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Pausing to take in the moment, the one where they realized they were wed in their dreamy location of Lake Braise with the Italian Dolomites surrounding them. These brides had lived their dream of eloping together with only their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae looking on.
 Walking along Lake Braise with the Italian Dolomites looking down on them. These adventurous brides knew they had found the place where they wanted to share their vows. Photo by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 These stunning brides smiled and snuggled next to the Italian lake where they had just said their intimate elopement vows at the foothills of the Dolomites. Photos of this epic romantic destination elopement by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 With the sun shining brightly they spent their first few minutes of married life walking along the water of Lake Braise with the Italian Dolomites in front of them. This intimate elopement captured by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Running off into the forest, starting off their wedded life as they had always dreamed - with an adventure through Northern Italy, no one around but their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae to capture each step of their incredible day. 
 The changing landscape of Lake Braise made for a gorgeous backdrop for this intimate Northern Italian elopement, photographed by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 After their intimate elopement ceremony, they wandered through the tall pines of Lake Braise, almost loosing their oversized bouquet by Il Profumo dei fiori flower design to the wind. Photos by wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 No wedding is complete until a bottle of champagne is popped! These gorgeous brides in the forests near Lake Braise in Northern Italy for their intimate elopement. Captured by Maddie Mae Photography. 
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HEY THERE!

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.

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