Almost all of my couples see photos from this elopement and tell me that this is the reason they chose me as their photographer. I tell the story of this elopement all the time, so I figured I need to write a post about it! Jake and Alyssa are such a beautiful couple and had the most intimate elopement in mid-June of 2022. They had set-up camp at their ceremony location the night before the wedding. This site was special to them because they had already camped there in years prior to the wedding and they had always known this was were they wanted to tie the knot. The night before the wedding, Jake camped with their two doggos, and Alyssa stayed in a hotel room in Gunnison so she could do her hair and makeup.
I made the drive to their ceremony site and Google maps totally failed me. Thank goodness I found spot with a sliver of cell service and they had a sliver of service at the campsite and were able to get me going the right way. I arrived after driving down a very sketchy 2-track road, and parked in a field by their tent. Alyssa helped Jake get dressed and he walked up the hill to the place they would say their vows. I helped Alyssa get into her beautiful vintage wedding gown and then it was finally time!
I can't begin to say what a privilege it is to be the photographer for an intimate elopement like this one. There is something almost sacred about being the one person to witness the union of two people. Jake and Alyssa wrote their own beautiful vows to each other, exchanged rings, and had an epic kiss to seal the deal.
Next, they signed their marriage license and shared a homemade cocktail. They signed their marriage license and mixed their drinks on a table that Jake handmade and brought up with them to the site.
We hung around this area for awhile longer to take some more photos of them and their dogs. You can see the panoramic view of the mountains behind them, and when we faced the opposite direction, there was a thick aspen tree grove. Alyssa created her own bouquet with faux flowers. She used to work in a floral shop and they were arranged so beautifully and were vibrantly colorful.
Next, we drove about 15 minutes away for another picturesque view they had scouted out for additional pictures. The dogs even cooperated for the remarkable photo below, both looking at Jake and Alyssa at the same time. SO CUTE!
On my long drive through the national park, I passed multiple fields of the most AMAZING wildflower fields. I noted the one I loved them most and we decided to drive down to that field to have Alyssa and Jake share their first dance. This is where things got crazy. While we were driving back up the 2-track, I blew a tire. They doubled back and Jake, suit and all, helped me get the blown tire off, only to discover that the spare tire did not fit!!! We loaded the punctured tire into their truck and they so graciously offered to drive me an hour out to the town of Gunnison, get the tire repaired, then drive back and get me rolling again. While on the way to town, we passed the wildflower field and I INSISTED that we had to stop and still photograph their first dance. And boy was it epic. Jake setup 2 different blue-tooth speakers in the field and filled the valley with music for their first dance. It even drizzled rain, making the flower field and the sky so dramatic.
After their dance we took a mix of posed (and some silly) shots in the field. One of my favorite photographs I have ever taken is this one of them lying face to face on the ground amidst the flowers.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to in Colorado. If you are a couple looking to elope, I would love to talk to you about planning an epic wedding day in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison or anywhere else! Here's a few more shots of the landscape and some lupine flowers to finish off this post. Thank you for reading!