Emily and Clay came to me with a vision of eloping in the mountains of Colorado. Huge adventurers, and with deep ties and love for the small (and often overlooked) mountain town Buena Vista, they chose to plan a Buena Vista elopement, and spend a full day hiking and off-roading to their favorite spots they’ve explored over the years.
Clay spent months driving from Denver to Buena Vista mining Emily’s aquamarine stone for her engagement ring – a reminder of their explorations in the area, and how Buena Vista shaped their relationship and love for nature over the years.
Both from Michigan, Emily and Clay met at a dinner party one evening, and talked about their shared vision of creating a life full of adventure out in Colorado. When their dreams became a reality, they moved to Denver. Spending their free time off-roading in their X-Terra to insane and remote camping spots, ice climbing, back country skiing, and hiking they are an inspiration to all adventurers seeking a life of fun and beauty in the Rocky Mountains. Buena Vista stuck with them as a favorite place, so for their elopement day they brought their favorite people out to an overlook for sunset as they said their vows.
Their fall elopement began with a first look in rock tunnels in Salida, where Clay saw Emily for the first time. We walked down to the river, and took a set of portraits as Emily and Clay got to have a moment with one another and take in the day.
After Emily and Clay’s first look, we stopped for coffee at Buena Vista Coffee Roasters before driving to their hike. This spot is a must for coffee if you are in Buena Vista! They do an incredible job with their coffee, and it the perfect drink to warm us up before we hiked!
As we began the hike to the alpine lake, the entire forest was covered in fog and fall foliage. The clouds hung low enough that it felt as though we were walking through the clouds, with just the mountain tops peaking through.
After 3 miles, we finally made it to the alpine lake! Something about having this entire lake to ourselves, and the sun peeking out during E + C’s vows after an afternoon of fog made this day as close to perfect as they come.
After their private vows at an alpine lake, Emily and Clay headed toward the Collegiate Peaks to meet their family and friends for their formal vows, and for their Buena Vista Elopement celebration. Emily emerged from a tent to have her dad walk her down the ‘isle’ lined with camping chairs!
Emily and Clay finished off their day with a champaign pop, and golden hour portraits. They had a dinner with family and friends, and finished off their Buena Vista elopement with a celebration at a rental in town!
Thinking of planning a Buena Vista elopement?! Check out my Ultimate Buena Vista Elopement Guide for more information! If you need some help bringing your vision to life, check out my Colorado elopement photographer page & let’s start the planning process!