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Marlayna & Austin

Marlayna and Austin came to Colorado from Louisiana for their elopement because Marlayna dreamed of a snowy winter elopement. The thing about springtime in Colorado is that the weather can do all sorts of things. It can be sunny, beautiful and warm, or it can be a white out blizzard. Marlayna and Austin were lucky to experience both of those extremes on their wedding day. As I drove to Georgetown to meet Marlayna and Austin, the weather changed about every ten miles from a beautiful sunny day to a whiteout blizzard and I wasn’t sure what weather we would end up with that day.

They chose to get ready separately so they could do a first look. Even with having a non-traditional wedding, it’s still great to create a momentous occasion out of seeing each other for the first time because it is a big deal. I helped Marlayna put on her dress while Austin finished getting ready. We added some flowers in her hair as Austin left to get us snowshoes because we thought we might need them. When he returned to the hotel, we went to a little lake near Georgetown with a peninsula that went out into the lake. We decided it was the perfect spot for their first look. As I was lining them up, we could see a snowstorm barreling across the lake right towards them. As soon as they turned and saw each other for the first time, it started snowing and the wind was blowing. It was very dramatic all of a sudden and punctuated the emotions of the day perfectly.

Loveland Pass was their first choice for an elopement space. When we got there, the weather had turned nasty with a total blizzard and extreme winds. In the whiteout conditions, you couldn’t see anything. We got out of the car at the top of Loveland Pass, looked at each other and knew this wasn’t going to work. Their second choice spot of Sapphire Point would have to work.

Choice number two ended up working even better than Loveland Pass. It tends to work out that way with elopements. The weather is always a big wild card in photographing elopements outside. I’ve had quite a few elopements that we’ve had to change plans at the last minute because of weather. When planning your elopement, it’s important to have a backup location for this reason.

Sapphire Point is a very busy location, even in early spring and during a snowstorm. We explored off the main path for an adjacent spot that wasn’t as busy. It was snowing heavily when we first arrived and we couldn’t see the reservoir or the mountains.  We started to climb high and higher, and more of the view started to appear through the trees which were lightly dusted with snow.

We had no idea the exact location Marlayna and Austin would be saying their vows. I told them to take their time and feel it out; we had the entire day to find something special and right for them. As we climbed, suddenly, the sun started to peek out, the snow stopped and they just knew this was the place to say their vows. The wind started to blow Marlayna’s dress dramatically as they said their vows to each other. It was emotional and beautiful. No matter what else is going on, when you pull out your vows and promise to spend the rest of your life with your person, it’s magical. Every single time.

I tell my couples that they should be the ones to pick their spot, to pick where they’re going to plant their feet and say their vows to each other. It’s a special thing when a couple elopes and it should be theirs to choose. When eloping, you don’t have a venue where hundreds of other people have stood before you. I think seclusion, privacy and quiet are very important for an elopement wedding day. I strive to help all my couples find a spot that’s off the beaten path and unique for their story. You don’t want the spot where you show up and fifty other people are taking the exact same spot. You having stood there and said your vows makes it a place. I always pull out my phone and screengrab the GPS coordinates of the exact spot a couple choose because I think it’s so special for them to know.

After their vows, we took more photos of them as a couple. It started to get dark and cold and the other hikers that day started to leave. It afforded Marlayna and Austin more privacy in the mountains on their private wedding day. Marlayna got her wish and they spent their wedding day in the mountains, surrounded by snow, in a scene that looked out of a snow globe.

 A snowy mountain ridge near Dillon and Breckenridge, Colorado was the perfect outdoor winter setting for Marlayna and Austin’s snowy elopement. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin handwrote their vows to each other in leather bound notebooks for their snowy winter elopement ceremony. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Great boots were essential for Marlayna and Austin’s winter elopement ceremony at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna’s impressive wedding bouquet before her elopement wedding ceremony in the snow at Sapphire Point in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Austin chose to wear cowboy boots for his winter elopement ceremony at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado.Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Austin prepares for his winter adventure elopement ceremony at Sapphire Point in Dillon Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Austin, the groom, gets ready for his outdoor winter elopement ceremony in Georgetown, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 The groom hand writes his vows in a leather bound notebook before his winter elopement ceremony in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Austin, the groom, writes his vows by hand before his snowy wintery elopement ceremony. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna’s wedding gown hangs in Georgetown, Colorado while her boots and fur lay on the bed before her winter elopement ceremony. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna picks up her wedding dress while she gets ready for her winter wedding at Sapphire Point near Breckenridge, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna gets ready before her self solemnizing elopement ceremony at Sapphire Point in Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Hiking boots are essential for a winter elopement ceremony. Marlayna layers up for her outdoor elopement at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna writes out her wedding vows by hand before her elopement ceremony at the snowy Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 The bride writes her vows out by hand before her winter elopement ceremony. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin chose to have their first look at Georgetown Lake outside Georgetown, Colorado with the snowy mountain peaks behind them. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 A first look during an elopement is still possible! Marlayna and Austin had a first look at Georgetown Lake, in Georgetown, in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Having a first look before an intimate elopement ceremony is still possible! Marlayna and Austin got ready separately and then saw each other for the first time at Georgetown Lake with the snow capped peaks of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains behind them. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 The snow started to gently fall before Marlayna and Austin’s self solemnizing elopement ceremony in Sapphire Point, Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado look like a scene out of a snow globe for Marlayna and Austin’s snowy winter elopement. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin brave the snow for couple’s portraits before their snowy winter elopement ceremony at Sapphire Point. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin eloped in a scene that looked like a snow globe. Snow fell during their winter elopement at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin embrace before their snowy winter elopement ceremony. They chose to self solemnize their wedding and travel to Colorado to get married. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna’s big beautiful bridal bouquet was so beautiful against the snowy backdrop of Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin walk through the snow for their snowy winter elopement ceremony. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin weren’t sure of the exact location they wanted to perform their self solemnizing elopement ceremony in but we helped them plan their perfect day at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin read their handwritten vows from their leather bound notebooks during their snowy winter elopement ceremony. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin had a self solemnizing ceremony at the top of a mountain at Sapphire Point during a snow storm. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 With the snow capped Rocky Mountains behind them, Marlayna and Austin had a self solemnizing ceremony at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin had a winter elopement ceremony surrounded by the snowy Rocky Mountains at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 A winter elopement is possible. Marlayna and Austin eloped in the snow at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin chose a self solemnizing ceremony where they were the only witnesses to their marriage vows. They eloped in Dillon, Colorado in a winter snowstorm at Sapphire Point. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin embrace in a wooden snow structure outside Breckenridge, Colorado following their snowy winter elopement ceremony. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin embrace outside in the snow with the Rocky Mountains behind them following their outdoor adventure winter elopement ceremony. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna’s blush wedding dress was stunning in the snowy mountain setting of their elopement day. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 The snow capped Rockies behind them, Marlayna and Austin embrace following their winter elopement ceremony at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 A few tips to stay warm during your winter elopement ceremony: wear underlayers, invest in a coat or fur, and take lots of breaks throughout the day to warm up. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 To stay warm during a winter elopement, it’s important to take lots of breaks, wear a warm coat and dress in lots of layers. Marlayna and Austin eloped at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
 Marlayna and Austin embrace at the top of Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado. Photo by Adventure Instead, Maddie Mae Elopement Photographers.
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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.

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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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