There are few feelings that match the sense of awe and gratitude that I feel when I get to be a part of an elopement. It's such an inspiring and brave thing when a couple decides "We want to have a wedding that truly reflects us. We want a day that is a real and honest representation of who we are, and that celebrates our commitment in a genuine way."

For Kourtney & Gabriel, that meant deciding to do an epic hiking elopement in one of the most spectacular landscapes in all of Colorado.  Their day started driving in the dark—up winding, unmarked, dirt roads, and we met at the trailhead at 3am to start hiking. As the dark turned to dawn while we hiked, we could start to see the beginnings of the pink glow on the mountaintops. We arrived at the perfect vista right as the sun was about to crest over the horizon. Kourtney & Gabriel quickly changed out of their hiking clothes separately, and got into their fancy attire, and saw each other for the first time in their wedding-day gear right at sunrise. It was the most perfect "first look" I think I've ever seen. Filled with emotion, they pulled their vows out of their pockets and promised their lives to each other and were married. We continued hiking exploring the whole area and didn't see another soul up there for several hours (until we hiked down). They celebrated by popping champagne and cheering at the top of their lungs at the mountains, and having a picnic before we headed down. It was the most perfect of wedding days. 

Colorado is actually one of only 3 states in the whole U.S. where this type of wedding day is possible—as it's a "Self-Solemnizing" state. In Colorado, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania (and D.C.) a couple can legally get married without an officiant, or "Self-Solemnize" (it's also called  "self-unification" or "self-officiating"). Colorado doesn't even require witnesses either. Self-solemnization weddings are 100% legal and valid marriages in the whole U.S.—they can just only be performed in those 4 places. It's an absolutely perfect way to have a completely intimate wedding day just the 2 of you.

To execute a self-solemizing wedding in Colorado, all you have to do is obtain a marriage license from any county clerk & recorder office in Colorado,  fill it out when you get married (you each sign as the parties getting married, and again on the officiant line), and then return it within 60 days via mail or in-person. You can check out more info about self-solemization in Colorado here.

 Starting before sunrise, Kourtney and Gabriel began their epic hiking elopement through Scarp Ridge in Crested Butte with only their headlamps and their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae with them.
 The sun slowly began to peak over the mountains in Crested Butte on this warm summer day giving view to the fields of flowers, the perfect location for an intimate elopement. Photos of this adventurous hiking elopement on Scarp Ridge by Maddie Mae.
 With the Crested Butte mountains glowing pink behind them, Kourtney and Gabriel paused with headlamps on to take one last look at each other in the light of dawn. This adventurous hiking elopement photographed by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 The carried their picnic for after the ceremony up the trail where they would eventually stop to change into their elopement clothes for their private wedding ceremony on Scarp Ridge as the sun rose. Photos of this epic sunrise elopement by Maddie Mae Photography.
 With the alpine glow giving way to the bright orange hues of sunrise, they had reached their private elopement ceremony location on Scarp Ridge with only their intimate wedding photographer, Maddie Mae as their witness.
 Kourtney took one last look at her makeup, making sure she was picture perfect for her private elopement up Scarp Ridge in Crested Butte. She and Gabriel opted out of tradition and picked a ceremony that would truly reflect their adventurous sides. Photos by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Kourtney giggled as she put on her flowing white wedding dress. She and Gabriel were about to say their vows in private at the top of Scarp Ridge in Crested Butte for their intimate hiking elopement, a true example of what their sense of adventurous love looks like. Photos by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 The sun rose over the mountains in Crested Butte giving away to a rainbow of colors of the hillsides where Kourtney and Gabriel picked for their intimate elopement at Scarp Ridge. Photos of their private ceremony by Colorado native photographer Maddie Mae.
 Gabriel waited patiently for his bride in the middle of the meadow with the mountains of Crested Butte shining behind him. He and Kourtney threw out tradition and decided to elope in a private ceremony at Scarp Ridge. Photos by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Looking like an angel in the alpine glow, Kourtney was ready to see Gabriel for their first look before their private elopement ceremony at Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte in Colorado. Photos of this sunrise elopement by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Kourtney approached Gabriel for their first look as the sun rose over Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte where they chose to elope in private with only their traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae there to capture each intimate moment.
 The look on Gabriel's face said it all when he turned around to see his stunning bride donning a flowing white wedding dress - truly a picture of bridal perfection. Photos of this private elopement at Scarp Ridge in Crested Butte by intimate elopement photographer Maddie Mae.
 Although it was just them, their love could be felt for miles. With the harsh warm sun on their skin they embraced before beginning their intimate and private elopement ceremony on Scarp Ridge with only their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae there to capture each stunning moment.
 The sun crested the Colorado mountains lighting up Scarp Ridge as Gabriel began his intimate and personal elopement vows. Their private sunrise elopement outside Crested Butte captured by adventurous elopement photographer Maddie Mae. 
 Gabriel's vows reminding Kourtney of all the reasons why she was marrying her best friend high on a mountain top with no one but their intimate elopement photographer Maddie Mae with them. This adventurous couple hiked their way up Scarp Ridge before sunrise to say their vows in private.
 Excited to be finally living their dream day the way they always wanted to - with a private elopement ceremony at sunrise high above Crested Butte on Scarp Ridge with only their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae there to capture each epic moment. 
 Gabriel's intimate elopement vows riddled with memories of their adventures together that had led them to this moment; their stunning sunrise elopement at Scarp Ridge. Photos of this private elopement near Crested Butte by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Kourtney began her personalized vows with the harsh morning light making her glow. She and Gabriel threw tradition to the wind and eloped privately at the top of Scarp Ridge just outside Crested Butte, Colorado with only their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae as their witness.
 In the privacy of sunrise on Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte, Kourtney and Gabriel said their intimate wedding vows at their private elopement ceremony with only their traveling wedding photographer and Colorado native, Maddie Mae to capture each intimate moment.
 As she finished her intimate vows, her groom wiped the happiest tears from his eyes. Throwing tradition to the wind this adventurous couple hiked in darkness to the top of Scarp Ridge to privately elope with only their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae as their witness.
 And like that, with the sun just over the mountains they were wed. Their first kiss like something from a romantic movie. This intimate sunrise elopement at Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte captured by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Wiping the happiest tears from her eyes, Kourtney was elated as she looked into her new husband's eyes. This adventurous couple opted for a private sunrise ceremony up Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte, Colorado. Photos of their intimate elopement by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 With the warm summer sun on their faces, they wandered away from the meadow to the ridge line to see what epic views lay below them now. This intimate elopement at Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte captured by Colorado native, Maddie Mae Photography.
 They quietly watched the sun make the rest of its accent high into the sky. Not a soul was around them on that summer morning as they held their private elopement ceremony high in the mountains of Crested Butte at Scarp Ridge. The only witness to their intimate elopement was their traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Taking in the quiet and allowing themselves a few moments to let their private elopement on Scarp Ridge really sink in. Photos of this intimate hiking elopement near Crested Butte, Colorado was photographed by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Some couples want to get married in a church with all kinds of planning and tradition. Some couples, like Kourtney and Gabriel want a ceremony that truly reflects their relationship, adventurous, intimate and epic. Photos of this Scarp Ridge elopement by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Looking like a moment from an old romantic film, Kourtney nuzzled into her husband enjoying the warmth of the sun on their skin making them glow high above the valley near Crested Butted. This intimate Scarp Ridge sunrise elopement photographed by Colorado native Maddie Mae Photography.
 This adventurous couple continued on, making their way along the trail for a post ceremony picnic at Scarp Ridge. Photos of this epic sunrise elopement near Crested Butte, Colorado captured by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 With her flowers secured in her backpack, Kourtney turned around to check in on her new husband as they hiked their way up Scarp Ridge for their intimate elopement. Photos by Colorado native and traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Scarp Ridge is a stunning location near Crested Butte perfect for any adventurous couple looking for an epic elopement location. Photos of this intimate sunrise elopement by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 They adventured on up Scarp Ridge flanked by fields of Colorado's summer wild flowers. Photos of this epic hiking elopement near Crested Butte by intimate elopement photographer Maddie Mae.
 With the wind in her hair, Kourtney looked up at her smiling groom elated that they were able to celebrate their wedding the way they wanted to - with an intimate sunrise hiking elopement through the Colorado mountains near Crested Butte. Photos by Maddie Mae Photography.
 As they helped each other up the rocky ridge side, their love could be felt for miles away. Their intimate Scarp Ridge elopement near Crested Butte captured by adventurous wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 The train of her white dress dragging behind them as they hiked up the rocky ridge of the mountains near Crested Butte. This adventurous couple eloped at sunrise with only their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae as their witness.
 Summer in Crested Butte gives way to green fields, rocky mountain sides and stunning summer flowers. Kourtney and Gabriel picked this intimate location for their private elopement at Scarp Ridge with only their traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae as their witness.
 Running down the ridge line is always fun, especially in a flowing white wedding dress with your new husband by your side! These outdoor lovers opted out of a traditional wedding and eloped privately in the Crested Butte mountains at Scarp Ridge. The only witness to their private ceremony was their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Smiling and laughing through the tall grasses of the meadow below Scarp Ridge this adventurous couple hiked on for more epic views of Crested Butte on their intimate elopement adventure through Scarp Ridge with only their wedding photographer Maddie Mae in tow.
 "Over there," she pointed to the mountains ahead as they hiked on through Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte. This outdoorsy couple opted for a wedding that truly was them - a hiking elopement in the Colorado mountains. Photos of this epic private wedding by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 With the sun at their faces, Kourtney and Gabriel held hands as they walked through the tall meadow grass to the ridge in front of them. Photos of this intimate hiking elopement through Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte by intimate elopement photographer Maddie Mae.
 Hand in hand, they wandered down the grassy ridges of the Crested Butte mountains where they celebrated their private adventurous elopement with only their traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae in tow.
 Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte is an amazing location for an intimate Colorado elopement. Photos of this adventurous sunrise hiking elopement by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Although throwing the traditional wedding to the wind, Gabriel looked as sharp as any groom in his black suit and white tie. Photos of this adventurous couple's elopement up Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte captured by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 The high alpine wind of Scarp Ridge caught Kourtney's vintage style flowing wedding dress making the epic landscape seem that much more grand. Photos of this adventurous elopement near Crested Butte captured by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Kourtney and Gabriel hiked around Scarp Ridge outside Crested Butte Colorado for their intimate elopement ceremony. This adventurous couple opted for a private ceremony at sunrise and epic elopement portraits with their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Like playing Where's Waldo, Kourney and Gabriel almost looked camouflaged in the mountain side. The only give away, her flowing white wedding dress that had been caught by the wind. Photos of this epic sunrise elopement at Scarp Ridge near Crested Butte by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae. 
 As they hiked high above Crested Butte on Scarp Ridge Kourtney and Gabriel looked down at the valley below as the wind caught her flowing white wedding dress making her look like an angel on a mountain top. Photos of this adventurous elopement through the Colorado mountains by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Stopping for one last embrace in the warm Colorado summer sun that shone down on Scarp Ridge. This adventurous couple opted for a hiking elopement through the mountains near Crested Butte with only their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae there to capture each private moment.
 "Follow me!" Kourtney yelled as she grabbed her groom's hand and ran down the ridges of the mountains in Crested Butte. This adventurous couple opted out of tradition and eloped in a private ceremony high at sunrise on Scarp Ridge. Photos of their epic hiking elopement by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 No wedding or elopement is complete without a proper toast. High above Crested Butte Kourtney shook a bottle of rose champagne and popped the bottle in proper fashion. This romantic hiking elopement on Scarp Ridge captured by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 With pink fizzing bubbles flowing Kourtney and Gabriel said cheers and giggled as they celebrated the final moments of their intimate elopement on Scarp Ridge in Crested Butte with only their traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae with them.
 Looking back on the mountains they had just eloped in Kourtney and Gabriel changed out of their bridal gear for the hike back down Scarp Ridge with their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae. They threw out tradition and opted for a private elopement in Crested Butte, Colorado.
 With her oversized summer bridal bouquet in her backpack, Kourtney began the decent back down off Scarp Ridge where she and Gabriel had just celebrated their epic elopement with a hike through the Crested Butte mountains with only their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae to capture the day.
 After spending their day seeing epic locations and celebrating their love the way they wanted to - privately on a mountain top, Kourtney and Gabriel were ready to head home after their adventurous elopement on Scarp Ridge with only their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae in tow.
 Summer in Colorado is always stunning, but there's something especially magical about the wild flowers that can be found around Scarp Ridge in Crested Butte making it the most perfect location for intimate elopement in the mountains. Photos by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.

19 Comments