Cottowood Pass Elopement | Alex & Carrie | Buena Vista, Colorado

Growing up in Colorado, one of the many things that I, Rychelle, remember most about my childhood was that my dad took us all over the area to explore. There were many weekends and summers that we would roam all over the mountains of Colorado. We would hike to the high lakes, we would go fishing, we would climbing, we would run in fields, play in creeks and rivers, we would jeep, we would four-wheel on top of mountain peaks and a-lot of the times we would just take a drive to look at Colorado’s beautiful scenery. One thing I know tp be true, is that there isn’t any other place as spectacular and majestic as Colorado. The fourteeners, the high mountain peaks, the blue, the green, and the gray hues of Colorado cannot be found anywhere else. There is so many hidden gems all over Colorado. Living in a small mountain town near the Collegiate Peaks of the Sawatch Range had so many perks and advantages that could not be explored or discovered elsewhere.

When I became a photographer, photographing a Colorado elopement was at the top of my bucket list. Why you ask? First, elopements to both Aaron and I are something incredibly intimate and powerful. We photograph larger weddings a majority of the time, but the smaller, more intimate elopement type weddings are something so spectacular and special that it’s hard to put into words. It has a way of putting why you are getting married into perspective and what the day truly is all about. There is no one else but the two of you and there is nothing more sacred. Secondly, Colorado. Being at the top of the mountain peaks, deep down hidden near lakes, above timberline, or just on the edge of a mountain ledge is one of the most freeing and breath-taking experiences. Sure, we see the beach often and its stunning in its own way, but there really is no other epic, jaw-dropping place I want to be than on top of the world in Colorado. Literally, in certain places, you are on top of the world!

Being that 2020 was quite the disappointing, chaotic year, it also meant that a lot of our travel weddings and elopements were cancelled. We were suppose to photograph an epic elopement in one of my most favorite places on earth at the top of Cottonwood Pass that summer, but with Covid it sadly got cancelled. After dreaming of what it would have been like and how incredibly cool it would have been, I decided to plan our own styled elopement session just for the pure fun of getting to finally do something while we were home in Colorado for an extended period of time. I had in mind everything I wanted, how I wanted it to go, what I wanted it to look like and planned everything in a matter of hours.

Cottonwood Pass, holds a lot of memories and treasures for me, and there is something about being at the top of the pass and looking down at the winding road that has me so mesmerized. Not to mention, that my dad was part of the several year long project to redo the roads at Cottonwood Pass and pave all the way from the top over to Taylor Park. If you have never been to Taylor Park, it is one other place that definitely should be on your list of places to visit while in Colorado.

When planning for the styled elopement shoot at Cottonwood Pass, I had all the other things secured quickly. Finding models I felt was going to be a challenge, just for the mere fact that Buena Vista, Colorado is small town with a small population and anyone who we probably could find would have to take the several hour drive from Denver or Colorado Springs. Not wanting to have to deal with someone having to drive, I went through all of my friends that I knew back home and realized that one of the sweetest girls I had grown up with and use to play with a lot had moved back home. After a facebook message to her, I got a YES instantly and from there everything fell into place perfectly. Carrie and her hubby Alex so graciously were the best models that anyone could have ever asked for. They brought my vision to life and it was amazing!!

On the way to the top of Cottonwood Pass it was raining and hailing. Much to my surprise, when we got to the top, the weather had cleared and gave us the most perfect, sun shiny weather. It was glorious! We hiked almost all the way to the top for their “vows” and then ventured up and down the mountainside. It was a fun elopement experience and everything that I had envisioned for several years and I finally feel somewhat complete!!

If you are on the fence about eloping or about whether or not Colorado is a place to elope, we would 10000% recommend it! You will find some of the most breathtaking views and it will be an elopement experience you will never forget!!


Dress: Crystal Cousin Photography

Florals: Grey Peony Boutique

Vow Books: Cozy Comfy Home

Ring Box: The Velvet Garden