I am thoroughly convinced that Colorado is the best place in the U.S. to elope. Besides having some of the most gorgeous mountain view in the world, and over 300 days of sunshine a year, Colorado is one of just 4 places in the U.S. where you can "self-solemnize" or get legally married without an officiant or any witnesses. In Colorado, you can "marry yourselves" or "self-officiate," or "self-perform" your own marriage by signing both of your names on the officiant line of your marriage license. 

Self-solemnizing gives each couple the ultimate freedom to celebrate their commitment in whatever way they see fit for their ceremony, and keep their day as absolutely intimate and private as possible. 

Dona & Malisa had one of the most heartfelt self-solemnizing ceremonies I've ever seen. We started the day driving up a remote mountain pass in the early hours before sunrise. When we got to the top, we hiked up to the location they wanted to say their vows, and they parted ways for a bit to put on their wedding dresses as a surprise for each other (they hadn't yet seen what each other was going to wear). Just as the sun rose over the gorgeous peaks, Dona & Malisa saw each other for the first time in their wedding gear for an emotional "first look." It was an absolutely incredible moment and the emotion continued as they immediately started reading their personal vows. After many tearful moments, and they had exchanged rings, Dona had a special surprise for Malisa. She had secretly collected hand-written letters of support & love from Malisa's family members, and brought them to read on their wedding day.

I can't think of a ceremony that made me tear up more behind my camera—these two were absolutely made for each other, and I could not feel more lucky to have gotten to capture their day. These two spent hours cuddling and frolicking around the mountain top in their gorgeous dresses—I thought they looked like "mountain mermaids." 

 

 We met before the sun had come up at the bottom of Jonas Pass near Winter Park, CO. This secluded spot is off Berthoud Pass and is perfect for an intimate sunrise elopement ceremony. Photos by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 These beautiful brides hiked their way up Jonas Pass as the sun began to rise over the San Juan mountains on the morning of their intimate elopement with traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae. 
 They carried their wedding gowns and oversized bouquets in their packs as they hiked up Jonas Pass with their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae for their sunrise elopement near Winter Park, Colorado.
 Early mornings in the high alpine terrain just as the sun begins to peek over the mountains the sky lights up a bright peachy pink. The most stunning background for an intimate elopement in the Colorado San Juan Mountains. Photos by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 As they reached the top of the Jonas Pass, these stunning brides flashed each other a quick smile knowing their intimate sunrise elope ceremony was soon to commence. Their only witness their traveling wedding photographer, Maddie Mae thanks to Colorado's self solemnization laws 
 They kissed one final time as only fiancés as the sun began to peek over the San Juan mountains lighting up the tops with the pink alpenglow. This intimate lesbian wedding photographed by Colorado native Maddie Mae Photography.
 Dona waited watching the sun rise over the San Juan mountains as her stunning bride wandered through the high alpine terrain towards her. Their intimate first look up Jonas Pass captured by traveling photographer Maddie Mae.
 Their intimate elope ceremony began as the sun crested the San Juan mountains near Winter Park Colorado. These adventurous brides opted out of tradition and self solemnized with only their traveling wedding photographer, Maddie Mae, looking on.
 As Dona said her personalized wedding vows to her mountain mermaid bride she couldn't hold back her emotions. Their private elopement up Jonas Pass near Winter Park Colorado photographed by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 The wind blew as they said their vows in private high up Jonas Pass in the San Juan Mountains. This intimate elopement near Winter Park was photographed by Colorado native, Maddie Mae.
 They looked deeply into each other's eyes as though speaking without words. They threw tradition to the wind and had a self solemnization elopement ceremony high up Jonas Pass near Winter Park, Colorado. The only witness to their private vows was their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae. 
 Sealing the deal with a kiss, these two brides were wed in a private elopement ceremony up Berthoud Pass in the Colorado mountains. Their sunrise wedding captured by traveling photographer Maddie Mae.
 As their ceremony ended, Malisa surprised Dona by reading some letters that their families had sent along so they too could be there in a little way. This emotional elopement up Jonas Pass was photographed by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 With the sun above them Dona and Malisa glowed like angels in their white tulle dresses up Berthoud Pass in the Colorado mountains. The only witness to their intimate sunrise elopement was their traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 With no one around except their intimate elopement photographer Maddie Mae, Dona and Malisa shared promises meant only for their ears. They opted for adventure and eloped at a self solemnization ceremony up Jonas Pass near Winter Park, Colorado.
 They frolicked like faeries high in the alpine terrain up Jonas Pass. Their intimate sunrise elopement near Winter Park, Colorado was photographed by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Even the high alpine wildlife looked on as Dona and Malisa lived their fairy tale wedding by eloping privately in the mountains of Jonas Pass near Winter Park, Colorado with only their intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae as their witness.
 They continued their hike post ceremony by wandering through the high terrain of Berthoud Pass. Their private sunrise elopement captured by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae. 
 Skipping in the sunny Colorado mountains, Dona and Malisa celebrated their intimate elopement up Jonas Pass by hiking and enjoying the privacy of the high alpine terrain. Their sunrise Berthoud Pass elopement captured by intimate wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 Dona grabbed Malisa's hand for the most intimate kiss as they wandered onward around Jonas Pass at their sunrise hiking elopement. Photos of their private wedding by traveling photographer Maddie Mae.
 The Colorado mountains at sunrise are often empty making it the perfect location for a self solemnization ceremony. This intimate elopement up Jonas Pass captured by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 The high alpine winds caught Malisa's dress, blowing the layers of tulle around her. Although skipping out on much tradition, she did opt for a garden rose bouquet of pink and white. This intimate double bride elopement captured by traveling photographer Maddie Mae.
 As these brides cuddled up close, the wind rushed passed them. These adventurous brides threw tradition out and eloped high in the mountains of Colorado near Winter Park. The only witness to their intimate ceremony was their traveling wedding photographer, Maddie Mae.
 Dona glowed like a mountain angel in the high alpine sun. She and her bride opted for matching silver wedding rings to celebrate their intimate elopement. Photos of their adventurous wedding up Jonas Pass by Colorado native, Maddie Mae.
 Running into the wind as the sun rose high above them and the high alpine terrain, Dona and Malisa started to make their way down Jonas Pass near Winter Park, Colorado. Photos of their intimate mountain top elopement by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 They stopped short of a piles of rocks overlooking the valley below Jonas Pass. These stunning brides hiked around Berthoud Pass after their private elopement ceremony where they said their vows as the sun rose over the Colorado mountains. Their intimate elopement photographed by Maddie Mae.
 Making their way up a stack of jagged rocks for a better view of the valleys below Jonas Pass, Dona and Malisa opted for adventure over tradition for their intimate sunrise elopement. Their only witness their traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 With their soft dresses tumbling down the jagged rock landscape these gorgeous brides embraced their inner mountain mermaid at their private sunrise elopement up Jonas Pass near Winter Park, Colorado. Photos by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.
 The San Juan Mountains offer a stunning high alpine landscape perfect for any private sunrise elopement or intimate wedding. Photos of this Jonas Pass elopement by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae from Colorado.
 With the sun high in the sky, these adventurous brides hiked their way back down Jonas Pass to begin the real adventure of marriage together. This intimate elopement through the San Juan mountains captured by traveling wedding photographer Maddie Mae.

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Maddie Mae is a Colorado elopement photographer specializing in adventure weddings and intimate elopements for fearless couples worldwide. If you are considering planning a dreamy Colorado elopement, get in touch to receive location ideas, planning advice, and all the tips & tricks to make your adventurous elopement uniquely you.

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