In my experience, more and more people are choosing to honor their marriage in more than one way. My wife, Heather, and I did when we choose to do a courthouse wedding + a destination wedding. Ellen and John did when they chose to elope on top of Mt. Evans + host their friends at Chatfield Botanic Gardens. And Liz and Carisa followed suit when they chose to elope at sunrise at Lily Lake before their wedding with their family on the beach in Connecticut.
What I really love about this model is that you get the best of both worlds. You get to plan a big party and host the people you choose, and then you get to plan a reverent, super intimate ceremony where you relish in the moment of marriage.
Sunrise Breckenridge Hiking Elopement
I met up with Carisa and Liz before sunrise, at the trailhead for Lily Lake in Breckenridge, CO. Even though it was August, it was chilly and we all donned layers to make the short trek up the hiking trail to the lake. Liz and Carisa invited their two close friends and their two dogs, Amos and Citra, to be their witnesses and the group of us set off in the dawn up the trail.
We meandered, taking in the quiet and the peacefulness of being on a trail so early in the day. Carisa and Liz picked wildflowers for each other so they’d have flowers for their ceremony. As the sun came out we stripped off layers until we reached Lily Lake, then together we picked out the most perfect spot for the ceremony.
Carisa and Liz exchanged vows by the water, their two dogs standing by, and jumped for joy when they were pronounced married. We took some time to enjoy the light by the water, then hiked back to the car where donuts and coffee waited for us.
One of my favorite moments of the day was shortly after the ceremony when Carisa looked at Liz and giddily said “hey, we did a thing!”.
Favorites from their Breckenridge Hiking Elopement are below. Then stay tuned for their Connecticut wedding celebration in a future post.