Fall Elopement near Georgetown, Colorado | Katrina S. Joseph Photography

2024 Update: Please note that some of these exact trails are no longer accessible to preserve the fragile ecosystem. However, I can guide you towards the many open trails at Guanella Pass that offer incredible and similar views!

Justine and Len are two of the kindest and carefree people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. They reached out to me wanting to elope ASAP because they couldn’t wait to get married, so we planned out the perfect little elopement in just a week (🤯). When we saw rain storms in the forecast for their elopement day, Justine simply said “We will have a good time no matter what!” (Spoiler alert: we had an amazing time!!)

Of course I created backup plans in case the weather became dangerous, but otherwise we prepared for the rain with clear umbrellas, plenty of hand warmers, rain jackets, and other gear to make things as comfortable as possible. And in true Colorado fashion, the weather pleasantly surprised us all with no rain and the most perfect cloudy skies.

elopement couple walking on guanella pass trail

Justine and Len were looking for a care-free day to celebrate their relationship. They wanted to feel relaxed and spontaneous. They wanted to explore. And they wanted the time and space to connect with each other.

There’s nothing I love more than helping a couple’s dream day come together seamlessly. Whether you’re planning a week or a year in advance, I’m down to help every step of the way 🙂 Keep scrolling for more from this perfect fall day 🍁

From Texas to Colorado

Justine and Len drove from Texas to get married, and they brought Justine’s dad and their pastor along for the adventure. They also decided to bring their marriage license with them from Texas. Since cell service is usually non-existent on Guanella Pass, we met up in Georgetown before driving up to the summit together.

Some fun things to do in Georgetown, Colorado before (or after) your elopement:

  • Georgetown Brewing Company
  • Walk around the historic town and check out all the unique shops (Georgetown Rock Shop and Shoppe Internationale are my favorites!!)
  • Walk around or fish at Georgetown Lake

First Look at Guanella Pass Summit

From Georgetown to the Guanella Pass summit, it’s about a 20-30 minute scenic drive. Since Justine and Len wanted to have a first look, we decided that Len would drive up the pass with me while Justine drove with her father and pastor.

Planning your First Look

Here are a few ways I’ve found that are best for a successful first look:

  1. Drive to the location in separate cars
    • This is best if your first look location is easily accessible (like an overlook that’s a short walk from where you park)
  2. Drive together and change into your wedding attire after you’re there
    • If your first look spot takes a while to get to (a long drive, hike, etc.), this allows you to spend the travel time together & still have a special first look moment
  3. Have your first look at your AirBnB before heading out to your elopement location
    • You can always have your first look at your AirBnB to avoid most of the logistical challenges!
    • I recommend keeping this in mind when booking your lodging – whether you’re planning on taking photos at your lodging or using it as a back-up location, consider the scenery, layout, and lighting when choosing your AirBnB.

Ceremony at Guanella Pass

One misconception about elopements is that it’s just the quick way of getting married and there’s no place for the usual traditions – this couldn’t be further from the truth! Eloping is about having a day that’s representative of your relationship and what matters to you both.

It was important to Justine and Len that they have their pastor officiate their ceremony and that Justine’s father could walk her down the aisle, so they decided to incorporate some of those traditional elements into their day.

PRO Tip: When planning your elopement, I recommend starting with your guest list. The number of people you’ll have with you heavily influences your location options and whether you’ll need any permits.

guanella pass elopement ceremony in fall

Reading Vows in an Aspen Grove

After the ceremony, the newlyweds and I explored the rest of Guanella Pass on our own. Justine and Len wanted to spend some time connecting with each other to celebrate and chose to read their vows in private .

PRO Tip: You can have the best of both worlds by including close family and friends for a portion of your elopement day, and saving the rest of the time to be by yourselves! Pick a special activity to do together or new place to explore, and think about what moments you’d like to keep private or share with your loved ones.

Ready to start planning your own Colorado elopement?

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