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Mallory & Robert’s Sapphire Point Elopement
FACT: Winter elopements in Colorado can be uncomfortable—the temperatures are often below freezings for days at a time, many of the most popular wedding sites are inaccessible due to feet of snow, and you can expect to lose feeling in at least one extremity (nose, toes, or fingers) at some point during the day. For Mallory and Robert, these facts did not dissuade them! Avid skiers, they were fully prepared for extreme winter weather and were rewarded for their choice with a gorgeous below-freezing day. They began their celebration with a first look at Loveland Pass, then an emotional ceremony at Sapphire Point, followed by a snowshoeing adventure through the forest. Below, we also share a little bit about what you should know before planning your own Sapphire Point elopement.
Below-Freezing First Look at Loveland Pass
Mallory and Robert traveled out to Colorado from Seattle for their elopement—they wanted to turn their winter wonderland elopement trip into a ski vacation, so I trusted they would be able to handle the below-freezing temperatures of the Rockies. In fact, they told me they had already logged over 40 days on the mountains this year, and the season wasn’t even halfway over!
They’d booked me for their elopement only a few months out, so we planned this one a bit quicker than most. I’d sent them a few winter-accessible sots, and they loved Loveland Pass for their first look. Knowing it would be cold that morning, we planned to be on the pass only for a little while before heading to Dillon for their ceremony at Sapphire Point.
The morning of their wedding I met Mallory and Robert at their Airbnb—they were getting ready on different floors of the home, and Mallory was Facetiming friends all over the world who were sharing their congratulations and well wishes. There’s something really special about getting to witness an eloping couple’s support system—even when not physically present, loved ones can find such creative ways to show love to the marriers. For example, Mallory’s close friend (who is not a baker or florist) made her cake and bouquet.
Robert was blindfolded for the drive up to Loveland Pass, so they wouldn’t spoil the surprise of the first look. When we got out of the car, it was COLD—like, -11F degree windchill. When Robert and Mallory saw each other for the first time, they were all smiles and laughter! They both told me they were pretty emotional people, and had expected to cry. Instead, it was way too cold for tears to flow!
PRO TIP: Mallory told me that when she was buying her wedding dress, she was advised to wear a *brand new* perfume on the day of her wedding, so that whenever she smelled that scent again in the future it would remind her of this special day!
Elopement Ceremony at Sapphire Point
After their very cold first look, we got back in the car and headed over to Sapphire Point in Dillon. Sapphire Point is a popular spot for picnics, weddings, and day hikes year-round with gorgeous views of the Dillon Reservoir. Thankfully, it was warmer than it had been at Loveland Pass, and we were able to spend more time exploring the area in relative comfort.
There is a small loop hike here that takes you through some of the most picturesque landscape—views of snow-capped mountains in the distance, and stunning forest trails. We found a spot that was pretty and secluded for Mallory and Robert to get married at the point. Their pastor from back home had recorded a video blessing for them, and they shared their vows. It was a lovely ceremony, and these winter lovers were enjoying every moment!
Snowshoeing Through a Snow Globe
After their emotional ceremony, we got back into the car and headed to the next location. At this point, we were running a little behind schedule with only a couple hours of daylight left. We decided to switch spots and go to a closer location for their final part of the day—a snowshoeing adventure and picnic!
We parked and strapped on our snowshoes—Mallory and Robert hiked in with a charcuterie picnic and champagne. This part of the day was definitely the warmest, and we were all enjoying it! The sun had come out and the snowflakes periodically falling from the laden branches glittered like we were walking through an actual snowglobe. Mallory kept exclaiming, “Look at this!” It was so much fun to witness the wonder and joy in their eyes at seeing Colorado in it’s beautiful winter form.
They had brought along dozens of letters from family and friends to read throughout the day—they pulled out a few at different times, rather than sitting down at one moment to dedicate to their loved ones. I thought this was a really special way to do this—a lot of our couples read letters from their support system on their elopement days, and I loved the idea of spreading it out throughout the entire experience!
At one point they pulled out the charcuterie picnic and champagne under a stand of pine trees. This was the last part of the day, and when they were done we snowshoed back out to the car so they could make a reservation back in Vail at a restaurant called “Vintage.” They’d booked a table outside to meet up with some friends, and after getting a few photos of them together I left them to enjoy each other’s company. They stayed in Colorado for another week and planned to ski every day—I can’t imagine a more epic winter elopement adventure!
How to Elope at Sapphire Point
First, you’re going to want to pick your season—Sapphire Point is accessible year-round, but is a very different environment in the summer than it is in the winter. In the summer, you can hike along the trail that overlooks the Dillon Reservoir and enjoy the comfortably warm temperatures expected at 9,500 feet of elevation. However, this idyllic environment is also quite busy in the summer months, so we’d recommend you consider a sunrise elopement if you’ve chosen a popular date. In the winter you’ll find the location much less busy, but with uncomfortably low temperatures often accompanied by a freezing wind. At this high elevation the weather can also shift drastically at a moment’s notice, so you’re not guaranteed to see the view.
If you’d like to plan an elopement or small wedding with guests, it’s recommended that you reserve the site to ensure it’s available for your group size. The overlook can be reserved for 2-hour blocks of time and is the only official site for weddings listed in the Dillon Ranger District.
If you’re interested in eloping at Sapphire Point, or are curious about other Colorado elopement locations, reach out! We’d love to help you plan your perfect day.