It was mid-day last Sunday (only a week ago from the time I am writing this) when Audrey first reached out to me to photograph her Aspen elopement. She and her fiance, Nick, are currently living in California and were out visiting Colorado for a trip. She messaged me on my instagram (shamelessly plugging it here) and hopped on the phone with me. She shared that she and Nick were supposed to get married back on May 23rd (which is the date Johnny and I were supposed to get married), but given the state of the world, were forced to postpone. From this moment on, I knew we were soul sisters and meant to do this together! One thing I stress to EVERY. SINGLE. ELOPEMENT. INQUIRY. I. GET is this: this should feel like much more than a photoshoot or rushed ceremony, but should be an EXPERIENCE. An Aspen elopement doesn’t just mean going up to the top of a mountain and coming back with photos and a signed marriage license and calling it a day. HECK YES – you’ll definitely get some beautiful photos and of course we’ll get that marriage license signed… But you should do so much more than that! Elopements are the perfect way to scrap any traditions that don’t hold meaning to you, and to create new ways to celebrate the ones that do. So I told Audrey that I believe in telling the story of the day from start to finish: getting ready, through the ceremony, through the end. And asked them what they had in mind…
However, I knew immediately I was in over my head. Normally, I’m pretty comfortable setting up a day that holds meaning for my couples. But since we only had four days and Audrey and Nick were having a few guests, I called in an expert elopement planner: Jes with Knotted Events! You can find her instagram here! This woman pulled off some amazing miracles and even went so far as to officiate the ceremony for Audrey and Nick! She got a venue in only four days time, the gorgeous Pine Creek Cookhouse, got a videographer, cake, florals, and even rentals from a huge table filled with greenery, charcuterie, and champagne! She organized everything so seamlessly that we even had a driver to get us around the property and surrounding area and we were all smiles the entire day!
And that’s kinda the key here: celebrating love in the middle of a pandemic. Trusting the experts to plan and document a day full of intention over expectation. To be honest, Audrey was so excited to elope in Aspen but was afraid because not all of her family could be there. And I understand: I’m a very family-oriented person, too. But at the end of the day, I personally know my family would be happy for us and thrilled to watch the video and scroll through photos documenting the day. I know they’d love to celebrate when they can but they want us to feel solidified in our love and I know that nothing would change that. And I let Audrey know it was hers and Nick’s decision, but that I’m sure their family would feel the same! So the ones that were able to, hopped on a plane, brought their finest clothes and hearts full of enthusiasm that Nick and Audrey were getting their Aspen elopement they had been dreaming of since their original plans were shattered. Thank to Jes, it all came together so beautifully and when they return home, this couple will have some beautiful photos and videos to share with their friends and explain all the fun little moments in between. They danced, (Nick and his mom to some hilarious 80’s rock – which was totally unplanned but adorable!), they ate, and they drank champagne and celebrated amongst the mountains, the only way to have a true Aspen elopement!
There, in an open field, surrounded by mountains and rolling hills as far as the eye could see, Audrey and Nick professed their unwavering love for one another, creating a moment of peace and joy in a world so full of chaos and uncertainty. I almost forgot how much my soul missed and needed this calmness amongst the storms, but watching as the day unfolded, it was impossible to ignore. And I think that is what love is all about: finding shelter within another person and keeping that up against all the odds. Needless to say, it was a day for the books. Full of beauty, full of love, and full of spontaneity. I was so honored to be chosen to photograph it and let them relive these moments over and over again and my heart and soul are ready for more! Bring on all the 2020 weddings and especially all of the weddings that turned into elopements!
Nick and Audrey – here’s to you! The Lappins!
Hair and makeup by: GR Hair and Makeup
Cake by: Coppelia Cake Design
Florals by: Susan’s Flowers
Charcuterie by: Colorado Coterie
Sign by: Knock on Wood Designs
Planning: Knotted Events Co
Venue: Pine Creek Cookhouse
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Copyright 2020 Breelle hilsenrath
Whenever you hop in front of my lens, I don't just pose you. I guide you, I hype you up and I aim to show the real YOU. I am so excited you are here and would love to chat! Also, sign up for my newsletter for first dibs on discounts, themed sessions and tips for success for your portraits. I promise not to be spammy - ain't nobody got time for that!