Brainard Lake and Long Lake Elopement | Ashley and Hayden

Lakeside elopement at Long Lake Colorado

Ashley and Hayden came all the way from Virginia for their Brainard Lake Elopement and Long Lake elopement photos.  They met just over a year ago and got engaged in March 2019.  They were really hoping they could officially tie the knot by the end of the year!  Hayden is in the Navy, and on Sea Duty, so the two had to plan their wedding around his fall leave schedule.

Together with about 20 of their family, they made the trek to Colorado for their elopement.  Ashley had done tons of research on locations for their ceremony and fell in love with Long Lake.  Located in Brainard Lake Recreation area, near Indian Peaks Wilderness, Long Lake is stunning.  It feels lush and fresh and features gorgeous views of the mountains.

Unfortunately Long Lake only grants permits for up to 12 people.  So Ashley and Hayden chose to say their vows at the nearby Brainard Lake.  Then they left plenty of time for photos of the two of them at Long Lake.

Brainard Lake Elopement

To start off their day, Ashley and Hayden got ready at their rented cabin.  They drove separately to Brainard Lake, Hayden in their rented red sports car!  I met Hayden in the parking lot near the lake. Together we hashed out the exact spot where they’d stand to say their vows.  Their family made their way down to the shore, then Ashley made the walk down with her bridesmaids and her dad.  There is a beautiful, evergreen lined boardwalk that leads from the parking lot to the lake, that made the perfect start to the wedding aisle.

Their ceremony was lead by a family member and featured traditional vows and a beautiful ring exchange.

After the first kiss, and a round of hugs and kisses, we took advantage of the lake and views for family and bridal party photos. We had just a peak of sunshine during the ceremony and photos, but the skies added a layer of drama and beauty to the views.

Long Lake Elopement

Then we all jumped it the car and headed up the road to Long Lake. While their guests wandered and took their own photos, Ashley and Hayden and I chased the light around the lake.  The sun came out in full force, so we were blessed with gorgeous, golden, light for the rest of our session. It seemed like everywhere we went, the light and views were in our favor.  Ashley and Hayden reveled in their newlywed status and wandered anywhere I suggested.

We had such a beautiful day together and I feel so honored to have been a part of their intimate Brainard Lake and Long Lake Elopement.

Long Lake Elopement

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Vendors who made this destination Long Lake Elopement happen:

Photography: Jennie Crate, Photographer
Hair and Make up: Wedlocks Bridal Hair and Make up
Dress: Evelyn Bridal
Dress shop: Yours Truly Bridal
Flowers: Stems: A flower shop


Coming from out of state and looking to elope? I provide location help and long distance planning to all of my couples! I want  to make sure your destination elopement goes off perfectly! Let’s talk about your vision!


  1. Wow! WH=hat a beautiful story and a gorgeous capture of their big day! I can def. see why the bride chose this location! 

  2. These are so cute! Looks like such a fun day with just their closest friends & family. And that location!!!

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