This blog is rooted in the story of our friends Chris & Evan and the tale of how they got married. They did something that we’ve never seen done quite like this – they rented jeeps and drove high into the mountains to exchange vows and get married. They had a few very close people accompany them for their very intentional and adventurous elopement.
Some time later, they hosted a huge party and celebrated their marriage with over 100 of their friends and family. At their wedding celebration, they had live musicians, a DJ, a taco truck, catered food, an expansive charcuterie, a puppy adoption, a photo wall, Polaroid cameras, a dessert bar & frozen yogurt dispenser, open bars, and an overall incredible energy that transcended the space. It felt like a wedding day, and it was – they had just already said their vows in private. They literally had both: an elopement and wedding!
Should You Have a Wedding or an Elopement?
Do you want to elope privately in the mountains and exchange vows in a space that’s in nature and not filled with distractions? Do you also want to have a big party with your friends and family while celebrating your marriage? Well, you can have both of these experiences, and this blog will explain the benefits, suggest a few possibilities, and show you one beautiful couple who got married in this very way!
Do You Want Your Vows to Be Private?
The actual getting married part does not take a long time, per se. However, it can be a very vulnerable, emotional, and personal exchange. If you’re someone who doesn’t want 100 people to hear your private vows to your life partner, you certainly are not obligated to do this in public. Large crowds gathered for such a personal moment is an inherently distracting situation. Speaking vows to your partner will likely make you feel some nerves – those nerves should not be from public speaking.
Does Your Partner Want Something Different Than You?
You are not alone! A lot of couples who get married envision completely different scenarios of the day they get married, and that’s completely okay! By having both a wedding day and an elopement day, you have the ultimate compromise.
Do You Have Family and Friends Who Really Want to be Included?
Do you feel pressure to invite a lot of people because they are insistent and expect to be present on the day you get married? This is another reason that some people end up having large traditional weddings – there would be too many people whom they would feel responsible for upsetting. The only person who is obligated to be at your elopement is your partner. Your guests will still feel just as much a part of your marriage even if they are just at your subsequent celebration.
Tips For Planning Your Elopement & Wedding
The best advice we can give is to allow yourself enough time to elope and enjoy those moments. We recommend having a completely free day before and after your elopement. We’ve seen many clients leave town the very day after getting married. Several have remarked that they wish they just had even one day after their elopement to fully relax and not have to drive or fly somewhere else.
You could even wait a full year to have your wedding and celebrate with everyone on your first anniversary. This would also break up the cost and spread out your expenses over a larger period of time. By keeping your elopement private for the first year, you would maintain complete ownership of the day you got married for a little while. This can be a very empowering experience, particularly in our world of instant gratification and oversharing.
Benefits of Having an Elopement & Wedding Celebration
A full wedding day can fly by in the blink of an eye. By extending your experience and creating time for things to occur more naturally, you may enrich each moment and allow things to land even more deeply. Without a somewhat strict schedule to follow, it’s much easier to be present and forget about time.
Also, you can still be the center of attention without your deeper emotions being in the spotlight. The overall attention will be more focused on you being married than your emotions of getting married. It lends more purely to an overall vibe rooted in celebration! You can even wear two different outfits!
Moreover, if you’re being pulled in different directions, having an elopement and a wedding grants everyone their wish. Everyone has the opportunity to be happy and be a part of it. You can even include your dog(s) in your elopement as well!
Another benefit is that because you’re not looking for a venue or space with a nice ceremony site, it gives you more flexibility on where you can host your celebration. This can also save you money when it comes to reserving a space. A bar, restaurant, park, brewery, arcade, and classic venue are all great options! You can be as casual or as fancy as you like.
Share Your Elopement Photos at Your Wedding
Imagine how cool it would be to not tell anyone that you were eloping and to just SHOW them how you got married at your wedding! By projecting your elopement photographs and videos with your guests, your friends and family can relive your sweet day with you and feel like they were a part of it. In fact, they still are a part of it because they are at your wedding!
Instead of a vow exchange, you could have a slideshow, a mic, and simply tell everyone about your day as the photos appear. People might actually engage in a different manner because they would feel like you are speaking to them instead of observing a conversation between you and your partner.
Reduce Stress & Lower the Stakes
By eloping before your wedding, you remove pressure from wanting everything to go a certain way. The stakes are greatly lowered when you aren’t putting yourself out there in a more vulnerable manner. It’s also a more appropriate time for others to drink and celebrate, as you aren’t as much at the party’s mercy. Your guests are really there to see you, and you can be fully available physically and emotionally.
Plan Your Elopement and Wedding in Colorado
Ready to craft your unique love story, blending the intimacy of an elopement with the grand celebration of a wedding? As your experienced Colorado elopement and wedding photographers, we’re here to capture every moment of your unique love story. From intimate mountain vows to grand celebrations with loved ones, let’s create memories that last a lifetime! Contact us and embark on this extraordinary journey together!
Elopement Hair and Makeup: Salon Envy in Ouray
Jeep Rentals: Switzerland of America (Ouray)
Elopement Charcuterie: Boarderie
Elopement Hotel: The Western Hotel in Ouray
Restaurant Wedding Celebration: Rag + Bale
Catering: Denver Taco Truck & Grazing Table
Dessert: Flaka’s Food
Dog Rescue: Soulful Paws
Live Music: Trading Post Productions