This elopement is basically the exact thing that comes to mind when I think about a magical winter wonderland elopement!
Kari and Craig traveled to Colorado from Kansas and chose to keep things simple by doing their own private ceremony (you can self-solemnize in Colorado!). What they weren’t planning for was a major snowstorm that caused a quick change of plans.
But they rolled with it and married in the falling snow! I love Kari’s red dress against the blanket of fresh white snow. How many people can say they got married literally in snowstorm?!
Check out the photos and some Q&A with the couple below.
Photography: Celebrate Again
Location: Summit County, Colorado
Dress: Amazon, but it’s a David’s Bridal dress
Crown : The Pearled Rose in Fruita, CO
Earrings : Olive & Piper
How did you meet?
We are both from Southwest Kansas. During the summer my hometown has a huge festival! I was volunteering for a fundraiser at the rodeo grounds during a concert as a bartender. A friend of mine was roommates with Craig at the time, and they came to the concert that night. When it was time for a cold beverage, our friend brought Craig up to meet me and grab a cold one. It was like a movie, our eyes met, we both smiled and later asked our friend about one another. Next thing you know we were dating, but we were young and it was not the right timing. So after a few months of dating we parted ways. Years later, those same exact friends just happened to unknowingly bring each of us to the same lake and we ran into one another. And the rest is history!
How did you decide to elope vs. something more traditional?
Let’s be honest, weddings cost a lot of money these days, and couples lose site of what is important. It was so stressful trying to get wedding lists together, looking at the cost of everything, and ultimately cutting the guest list to afford what we wanted. So eventually we decided let’s just elope! Colorado allows couples to marry themselves without a witness. We decided that ultimately our marriage was about each other, so let’s take this moment to focus on each other. Our photographer, Emmy with Searching for the Light & Celebrate Again made eloping pretty easy. We selected a location with them, and Emmy made sure to find out if we needed permits or schedule times with the National Park Service. The only stressful part was finding a dress last minute. Long White Dresses in a specific size are not easy to find. So this is why I chose a color! But ultimately, to elope in the winter, you still need to roll with the punches, or maybe avalanches. Our ‘venue changed’ last minute! We chose to elope on top of Loveland Pass, however leading up to the wedding there was a large snowstorm that closed the pass and even caused an Avalanche! So the morning of the wedding I went to the front desk at Keystone Lodge and Spa and explained to the manager about our predicament, and they let us know exactly where to go! So our photographer Brittany went on an adventure with us to find a new spot, and we ended up at Peru Creek east of Keystone near Montezuma, CO and just walked up and found an awesome spot to by the trail head!
How did you decide on the location?
I spent a summer working in Keystone when I was younger and always wanted to get married in that area. Formal weddings were very expensive so we decided that eloping on top of Loveland Pass would be a great alternative! Well then that all changed! As I mentioned above about eloping and stress… Our ‘venue changed’ last minute! We chose to elope on top of Loveland Pass, however leading up to the wedding there was a large snowstorm that closed the pass and even caused an Avalanche! So the morning of the wedding I went to the front desk at Keystone Lodge and Spa and explained to the manager about our predicament, and they let us know exactly where to go! So our photographer Brittany went on an adventure with us to find a new spot, and we ended up at Peru Creek east of Keystone near Montezuma, CO and just walked up and found an awesome spot to by the trail head!
Did you tell anyone ahead of time or truly elope? How did you break the new later?
We eloped right after Thanksgiving, and only a few friends knew so they could help me choose a dress. We called our immediate families a few days after. But for everyone else, we sent out our Christmas Cards with a photo, and it said on the Card, ‘A Very MARRIED Christmas!’ It was so much fun receiving those emails, calls and texts from surprised family and friends!
What was your favorite part of the wedding day?
We would probably agree that the day was too good to choose just one! I would say the surprise on his face when he saw me in a Red Dress, and he would also agree that it was a great surprise and unexpected.
Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their own elopements?
I am a very sentimental person, and not having a traditional wedding didn’t stop me from continuing traditions. We kept it simple, kept it about ourselves, and still kept traditions alive! I wore the same ‘old’ barrets my grandma wore at her wedding. I ‘borrowed’ a necklace my grandma, mom and sister wore at their weddings. And finally, my something ‘blue’ was a pin my other grandma wore all the time. But even with tradition, you can make an adventure out of it! Plan fun things to do leading up to and after the elopement! As long as your partner and you can agree on the details of the ceremony, that is truly all you need!