Shelbi and Jeremy planned the epitome of an intentional elopement day in the mountains. I was really freaking excited when they reached out to me — so much so that I canceled my plans to stay in Breckenridge the week of their elopement, because I felt like I really connected with their inquiry and wanted the opportunity to work with them. At this point in planning, they had already booked the AirBnB for their mountain elopement and were searching for the perfect photographer. When they sent me the link, my jaw dropped. This place was something else – an absolute experience and the perfect mountain dwelling and property to make perfect wedding memories.
The couple selected a secluded mountain home situated in Golden Gate Canyon State Park for their AirBnB elopement. If you’re unfamiliar with the park, it is one of the best places near Denver to see the aspens changing from green to yellow each September. The home reminded me of a shipping container style house, kind of separated compartmentally with hallways to each room, but with a contemporary style. My favorite parts of this home were the giant highland cow print in the living space and the outdoor entertaining area.
The deck housed a few Adirondack chairs, a fire pit and market lights – the perfect space to start your day, coffee in hand, and the perfect place to settle down each evening watching the sun set as the fire crackles.
The property around the house was wooded except for a clearing beside the deck. The clearing led to a set of stone stairs built into the side of a giant boulder. As you climb the stairs, the 360-degree mountainscapes come into view. A magical place to say your vows. Shelbi and Jeremy even explored the nearby park and kept coming back to the idea of saying their vows on the airbnb property.
As soon as I arrived on the property, I started photographing Shelbi and Jeremy’s wedding day detail photos. This was something they really loved planning and put a lot of thought into. Shelbi knew she wanted a map of the state park incorporated. They also handed me some gorgeous leather vow books, necklaces with their pups’ initials and the rings, of course. I was really digging the harsh shadows in the living space, so I ended up arranging their details on the concrete floor and playing with the sunlight a bit. One of their sweet friends made specially designed cookies for their elopement, so we ended up incorporating those too.
Once I gave back their small details, I documented each of them getting ready. They chose to get ready separately because Shelbi really wanted to see Jeremy’s reaction during a first look. Jeremy got ready first, donning a pastel blue suit with sporty No Bull sneakers and a bow-tie. It was a vibe and felt very true to his style. If you take anything away from this post, take away this: be true to yourself on your wedding day – in your attire, your vows, your elopement activities, and your relationship. Chances are you chose to elope because you wanted a one-of-a-kind experience where you could be authentic and not have to worry about the judgment of others. This is it.
Okay, reeling myself in from that tangent. I photographed Shelbi’s dress and shoes as she was putting the finishing touches on her hair. She opted for a sporty Sorel high-top sneaker. There’s one thing I try to get at every single elopement: shoe photos. It brings me so much joy to see what people choose to wear with their wedding attire.
Ah, the reaction we’ve been waiting for: Shelbi and Jeremy’s first look. Just take in the sweetness. After giving them a moment, we all ventured up to the top of the boulder on property for their wedding ceremony. Honestly, it’s the perfect place to say your vows. Since it’s on private property, it’s secluded – but you can see for MILES in every direction. You don’t have to worry about being bothered by onlookers and passersby like you would in a public setting.
Their ceremony was everything I expected after getting to know them the previous hour. It was obvious how much they loved and valued each other as partners.
Naturally after you elope on the side of a mountain in a one-of-a-kind AirBnB, you make it official by signing the marriage license. I suggested they sign their marriage license in the living room just for a change of scenery. The colors of green velvet couch and orange leather ottomans complemented their wedding attire so well. My one regret is not taking any other portraits in that room – it’s just a vibe.
After Shelbi and Jeremy signed their marriage license, it was time to celebrate. Their friend had gifted them a bottle of champagne, and of course they wanted to have some fun with it. We brought the bottle outside for a few champagne popping photos. This was a really fun memory for them because neither had popped a bottle of champagne before! After looking for about 4-5 minutes, we did end up finding the cork. 🙂 As perfect as those cookies looked, we couldn’t let them go to waste on their elopement day; a cookie cheers was necessary.
Even though Shelbi and Jeremy opted for an AirBnB mountain elopement, they valued one traditional wedding aspect: having a first dance. Getting married on 9/21, you can probably guess what song they chose. Yep, you’re right. September by Earth Wind & Fire. They had a magical moment to themselves while I photographed with a long lens and climbed the boulder again for a different perspective. It was one of my favorite first dances ever.
After all the fun activities they had planned, they really just wanted some stunning portraits to remember their day. And of course I’m all about that. We explored the property and got a huge variety of images. Towards the end of our time together, we hopped in the car and drove back into the park. We stopped at one of the fields as the sun set and twilight began. We ended our evening with some of my favorite photos ever.
If you want to see the rest of Shelbi + Jeremy’s portraits, I’d highly encourage you to look through their gallery link below. If you love the idea of an AirBnB mountain elopement – or any elopement for that matter – please reach out!