Hiking elopements can be a beautiful way to exchange your vows while enjoying the scenic Colorado landscape. Here are some tips to help make your Colorado hiking elopement a success:
This might feel like a really obvious elopement hiking tip, but couples tend to make emotional decisions instead of practical decisions when planning their elopement day. When looking for the perfect trail to explore for your Colorado elopement, make sure you choose a trail that is suitable for your fitness level, experience and accessibility in the season in which you plan to elope. Though it is true that most of the best views in Colorado require some physical exertion, we don’t want you to be exhausted or overwhelmed on your wedding day.
Also, please remember to take the higher elevation into account. If you’ve not been to a state like Colorado with a high elevation, it might affect you more than you expect. Drink plenty of water on the days leading up to your travel to Colorado and also the days leading up to your adventurous elopement hike. We can always set up a backup location that’s a little less exhausting to get to if you’re feeling the effects of altitude after you arrive. Investing in canned oxygen might be a good move, too!
If you think the weather in the midwest changes fast, think again. Colorado weather is all over the board at any given time of the year. Be prepared for any kind of weather – even snow in June. Check the forecast before you go, and pack accordingly. Colorado will likely bring March, April, and even May snowstorms and daily afternoon summer thunderstorms in the mountains. The great news is…weather never lasts long here, so if it storms, it’s usually for about 20 minutes or so. I’d recommend a rain jacket, sturdy shoes and clear umbrella for photos in the summertime. For winter elopements, hot hands are the best for sticking in your shoes, coat pockets and even down your dress. Also pack a jacket, of course! For the ladies eloping in the winter, invest in a pair of skin colored leggings or thick tights for under your dress.
Don’t forget to bring essentials like water, filling and substantial snacks, sunscreen, bug spray and even a first-aid kit. We’re a mile closer to the sun in Colorado, which makes a huge difference in sun exposure. If we’re hiking to a remote alpine lake, I can almost guarantee there will be mosquitos, so bug spray is a must. You never know when you’re going to need a first-aid kit. It’s always good to at least bring some band-aids in case you get blisters!
Choose comfortable and functional clothing that is appropriate for the weather and trail. You’ll also want to wear comfortable shoes that are broken in and suitable for hiking. If you want to hike in normal clothing and get dressed when we get to our destination, I’d recommend rolling, yes rolling – not folding, your dress into a trash bag and then into your pack to prevent wrinkles and keep it water-free. Same goes for suits – you can roll your suit in the garment bag and slide it into your hiking pack. Consider picking a dress that you’re able to move around in easily. Nothing is harder than attempting an adventure elopement in a ball gown, I promise! When trying on wedding attire, make sure you can move easily because we’ll be stepping up on rocks, crossing small streams and hiking up and down trails. 🙂
In the planning stage, we’ll decide on a great location for your ceremony. Whether it’s at the summit of a mountain, a bright blue alpine lake or beside a waterfall, I can help you plan that. What I need from you is to make sure that you plan the logistics of the ceremony, such as deciding whether or not you want an officiant or to self-solemnize. I also recommend having a plan for order of events. Elopement ceremonies can be as simple or as traditional as you’d like, but it’s always good to discuss if you want to read vows, exchange rings, share a first kiss, or add any other activities into your ceremony.
Consider incorporating an activity or two that you and your partner love to do together. This could mean taking a dip in an alpine lake, packing stuff for a celebratory drink or snack – think cake, champagne, smores, etc. – rock climbing or via ferrata, camping or even going to get pizza after your long adventurous elopement day hike. I’m 100% down to brainstorm all of the options with you so we can fit them into your day perfectly.
Just because you’re having an adventure elopement doesn’t mean you can’t include special details on your wedding day. This could include vow books, rings, your bouquet, a special handkerchief, a shoelace charm in memory of a loved one, a photo of your parents on the back of your tie, etc. Let me know if you need help in this department – I love giving couples suggestions to include important mementos in their wedding day.
Remember that hiking elopements can be unpredictable, so be flexible and willing to adjust your plans if needed. Enjoy the journey and have fun!
Elopement Day Supplies Packing List:
Daypack or hiking backpack
Windproof, warm jacket
Dog supplies (if applicable)