Rocky Mountain Elopement
Warren & Katie
It was a Tuesday morning in Estes Park. I met these good friends at a Starbucks, and we split up to run last minute errands around Estes Park. From picking up a bouquet to making sure we had a razor for Warren, we finally drove into the park in the afternoon. As we drove in, rain clouds suddenly appeared and lightning filled the distant horizon. Worried about our hike, we were relieved for clear skies as we pulled in.
Setting off on the trail, I think most of us were scared about reaching our final destination. As we began we tried to scout the returning hikers to gauge the intensity of the hike. After making it to Alberta Falls in good time, I began to be optimistic about reaching Sky Pond in time for sunset. But unfortunately the next miles of switchbacks killed the energy of our group and the sun was dipping fast.
Afraid of shooting an elopement in the dark, I suggested we stop at a nearby river at the base of the trail. We pulled off and Emily began doing hair and make up for her sister. Warren began getting ready.
After an amazing first look, these two were all over each other in the best possible way. Their story is an incredible one, and it was amazing seeing their big day finally arrive! Katie has spent several months in Africa since these two first started dating, even contracting an infection one of the trips that quickly altered their lives. Warren had been the rock to her adventures and seeing their union come together this past summer has been such a huge honor!
We headed up the river a bit and they began to perform their vows. The water hitting the rocks drowned out their voices, and all we could hear were the words that shaped in their eyes and smiles. Nature was their witness.
We finished up with some quick portraits and hiked back a ways to catch the last light as it touched the peaks. After changing, we pushed our way back down the trail with head lamps. The hike might not have gone as planned but these two's attitude towards it all was inspiring!