Wowza, was this a crazy and memorable adventure with Lauren and Craig! They wanted to have their Colorado winter elopement before all the covid lockdowns began. These two were visiting from Louisiana, and chose Loveland Pass as the location to exchange their vows. Mother nature had her own plans lol! I had warned them that mid-March in the Colorado high country is extremely unpredictable. But I do not think any of us were quite prepared for the afternoon that was in store for us though 🙂 Lauren and Craig were ABSOLUTE troopers though…they truly rolled with the punches.
Lauren and Craig and I first headed up to 11,990 feet, to the top of Loveland Pass. The wind was INSANE! I thought I was prepared for wind, but my goodness was it brutal. We lasted maybe five minutes, and three or four photos before we decided to figure out plan B. Back down the mountain, and scrambling to figure out where to go. I suggested heading into Dillon and checking on the Windy Point Campground and Sapphire Point area. They trusted me, as they didn’t know the area. We drove the 20 minutes and the closer we got to our destination, the harder the snow started to fall. Not much wind…yay! But no mountain views either…boo!
Most people traveling to Colorado to elope want mountain views after all.
We did manage to make it twice as long at our second stop though. A whopping 10 minutes this time lol! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore photographing in the snow. A blizzard on the other hand, is a lot more challenging, when you can barely see a foot in front of you! We got some great stuff, but I just knew this location wasn’t going to work either. Lauren and Craig were staying at a rental cabin near Idaho Springs for the weekend. They said it was fairly pretty, and we were scrambling to figure out our plan C, so we went with it. We get in our cars, and start heading to Idaho Springs. On a normal day, the drive is about an hour. But I-70 during the winter can be a nightmare…and it was! There were accidents ahead, complete gridlock traffic, not what we needed at all.
There were honestly moments I considered pulling to the side of the highway, and having them exchange vows there. I am not even kidding! We were losing light, and I was so worried they were going to be so upset that their wedding day was ruined. Traffic starts moving, and we finally arrive at the cabin. Not really any mountain views there, but at this point they just wanted to exchange their vows and rings! The weather is calm, not even snowing in Idaho Springs (but plenty on the ground to still get them their winter wonderland wedding photos). Another little hiccup as they walk out to the spot I directed for their private ceremony…Craig steps and sinks nearly waste deep into the snow! Oh boy…what a day! We don’t have a ton of daylight left, but the snow does act as an excellent reflector to pop some nice light onto their faces.
We quickly get many wonderful shots, and we all three let out a simultaneous sigh of relief 🙂
Then, Lauren, Craig and I head inside their cabin to warm up a bit, they signed their marriage license, and I grabbed a few quick detail photos. I gave them my well-wishes and then began my trek back to the Front Range. What a crazy, amazingly memorable day! And such a good story to share with their grandkids someday, right? I may have been over the few hours they hired me for, but I am not that type of photographer to just bail. I needed to know they received an adequate amount of images, and had a positive experience overall. Plus, they went through enough stressors this day, they didn’t need a selfish photographer that bailed on them too. I would never do that. The weather, the traffic, none of this was their fault! So, here’s the moral of the story AGAIN (since I mentioned it earlier), winter in the Colorado mountains is very unpredictable! Oh wait, this is very true in the spring and fall as well. Hmm, and I do remember some summer snowstorms too. Ok, just be prepared for anything, be flexible, roll with the punches and don’t let anything ruin your day!
Windy Point Campground wasn’t the windy spot this time…but oh, so snowy!
This is definitely one of my favorites from their Colorado winter elopement photos…sweet, snowy kisses!
Finally arrived at their Idaho Springs cabin, shortly before sunset!
Lauren and Craig, I can never thank you enough for how wonderful, patient, gracious and flexible you were on your wedding day. You could have been angry or in tears from the first hiccup. You didn’t let ANYTHING ruin your day, and that’s really the only way to be 🙂 If this is an indication of how your marriage will be, I know you guys will go the distance. It was such an honor to be the only other person to share day one of your marriage with you. Wishing you a lifetime of even more wild, amazing adventures together!
To see another beautifully snowy Colorado wedding, check out Kelly and Ryan’s RMNP Colorado winter elopement HERE!