Sometimes I seriously feel as though I have to pinch myself, especially after days like the one I had with Amanda and Joe for their Dream Lake elopement. It was so perfect and dreamy and every other cliche word you can think of, and a perfect winter elopement in Colorado
how they met
Joe and Amanda have one of those so-good-it-can’t-be-true kind of love stories. They actually met as teenagers in high school when their best friends started dating; Amanda jokingly refers to herself as a cradle robber since she was 16 when they met, and Joe was only 15. It didn’t take very long for these two to fall madly in love with each other, head over hiking boots. The realization didn’t come at any specific time though, one day they each realized that they had found in each other their person.
When Joe decided to propose, ‘butt naked and still in bed at 7am,’ he faked Amanda out by pretending that he had forgotten her birthday present. He totally had her going, but he actually had the ring hidden; he said some sweet things, got down on one knee and asked Amanda to be his wife. And now, here we are, celebrating their Dream Lake elopement!!
what they love to do
Amanda loves to comes up with magnificent ideas for adventures. Usually, she has to drag Joe to the adventures, but once it’s all said and done, Joe had a lot of fun. Joe picks out the restaurants (but Amanda exercises veto powers). Their best adventure to date, for the record, was Ireland (a surprise entirely planned by Joe). When they aren’t hanging out together, Joe watches ALL of the sports and plays softball and video games. He also loves golfing and recently discovered that he really likes jiu-jitsu. Amanda works out a lot (all hail the CrossFit cult), loves to read, hike, and play video games.
their Dream Lake elopement
Since there are very specific rules
to getting married in Rocky Mountain National Park
, their self-solemnized ceremony was at Sprague Lake. Sprague Lake is one of the 12 specific sites
that couples are allowed to hold their marriage ceremony at in the park. Sprague Lake is one of my favorite choices for a winter elopement in colorado because of the majestic views of the snow-covered peaks. On Amanda and Joe’s wedding day, Sprague Lake was positively magical with thirty inches of freshly fallen snow. The three of us waded through the snow, just laughing about it the entire time!
Amanda wore the most stunning BHLDN wedding gown
, with a hand-sewn fur caplet that she actually made herself. While I brought Joe out to their first look spot and got him situated, Amanda changed into her wedding dress in the car. They exchanged their personal vows, with the snow-covered mountains surrounding them, and officially became husband and wife. Since they are big fans of whiskey, Joe picked out the perfect whiskey for them to toast to in special monogrammed glasses after they got married. They poured each other glasses and toasted, and just breathed the special moment in.
One funny moment was that after their ceremony, when they went to sign their marriage certificate, it was so cold that the pen froze! The pen barely worked, so they had to use each other’s back as a table to make it official. Afterward, we all used our boots to dig out a little spot in the snow next to Sprague Lake for them to have their first dance.
hike to Dream Lake
We decided to celebrate their newlywedness by hiking up to Dream Lake together. If you’ve never been to Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park
, let me tell you it’s 1000% worth it. The 1.1 mile hike is all uphill. Typically Dream Lake is frigid and windy, but we lucked out with a miraculously non-windy and not-absolutely-freezing winter afternoon up there.
Since it was the day before Thanksgiving, there were tons of people there hiking in to get a view of the lake in the wintertime. On the hike up to Dream Lake so many people stopped Joe and Amanda on the side of the trail to congratulate them!
We staked out a little spot, popped some champagne and had the best time just dancing around and exploring. I’m so grateful that Joe and Amanda invited me to tag along and photograph their Dream Lake elopement in Rocky Mountain National Park!
Need a Dream Lake Elopement Photographer?
Meet Larissa. Larissa is an adventure elopement photographer based out of Colorado. She’d take and adventure in the mountains over shopping any day and prefers and date night snuggling on the couch over dinner and a movie. Larissa’s obsessed with: morning snuggles with her rescue pup, Hazel, hot chocolate, a good book and yoga pants. She believes in making you forget a camera’s even there, that your story is the actual thing she wants to capture on camera and that real, raw moments are more important than perfectly curated poses. Book your Colorado elopement photographer today!