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Aspen Elopement | St. Regis Hotel and Independence Pass

Lindsay and Andrew | Aspen Elopement | St Regis, Twin Lakes, Independence Pass

Savannah Chandler Photography | Aspen Elopement Photographer

Lindsay and Andrew’s Just the Two of them Half Day Elopement

Lindsay and Andrew love Aspen. They’ve flown out with friends to Ski and just generally enjoy the great Colorado atmosphere in one of Colorado’s essential mountain towns. On their last visit here, they stayed at the ever fabulous St. Regis hotel and knew that they had to visit again when they came back and eloped.

How they chose to Structure their Elopement Day

We had talked quite a bit about what was important on the day of their elopement and how they’d like to spend their time together. We based our timeline off:

• Meeting at the St. Regis for a few photographs at the front entrance
• A ceremony at Twin Lakes
• Knowing they wanted to say their vows before the rest of our adventure
• Time for a picnic – made specially for them by some friends
• A first dance on the mountain
• Ending up on Independence Pass for Sunset

Why they chose Sunset and how it worked during the Summer

Due to the early time of sunrise, Lindsay and Andrew decided on a sunset ceremony. A Hair and Makeup artist was flying in from Denver to professionally make up Lindsay, and we knew that being ready to make the hour drive over to Twin Lakes at 4:00am would be quite the calamity. Plus I’m told that Aspen has a great bar scene – I know that the newlyweds headed into town for a good Manhattan after our time together.

Our mountain summers can have afternoon thunderstorms, some weeks it rains every evening. Knowing that we’d be close to a vehicle the entirety of the elopement (there was no hiking involved), I felt comfortable moving forward with an evening wedding. We did a formal weather check roughly 48 hours before the elopement (I’m sure Lindsay checked much more than just that singular time 😉 ) and saw that our chance of rain had diminished to a mere 18%.

It did happen to sprinkle on us, which was no big deal as we were close to my Jeep. When we were driving up Independence Pass, you could tell that the Eastern side of the pass had gotten some recent rain, but we seemed to have just missed it.

Once up on top of the pass, I knew that we’d be above the thunderhead and was hoping that the western skyline was clear – meaning an epic sunset. Mother Nature delivered and we had a stunning, dramatic sky until the light went blue.

One thing I’ve repeatedly told my couples:

You don’t get dramatic skies without dramatic weather.

About Lindsay and Andrew’s Aspen Elopement

When I got to the St. Regis, I met Lindsay and Andrew at the bar. We brought their martinis and champagne that a patron so kindly bought for them with us to the stunning entry way. The red brick surrounded by dark green aspens is such a stunning color combination. This was my first time visiting the infamous St. Regis – and if I’m ever in Aspen celebrating a large milestone – this fabulous hotel is certainly my first choice.

After their drinks, we hopped in my Jeep and headed over Independence Pass and got down into Twin Lakes. I had asked if they wanted a waterside ceremony, or more hillside and overlooking the Eastern lake. For the dramatic lake view (and the hope of less mosquitos), we headed to one of the overlooks for their intimate ceremony.

Lindsay had made programs for their vows and order of events – just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you can’t have any of the parts of a “traditional” wedding that appeal to you!

During the middle of their vows, the sky opened up and the sun began to peak out from behind the dark blue clouds – beaming light onto the distant peaks that surround Mt. Elbert. It was SO beautiful out, and there was an ever-so-light breeze in the air, just enough to create that perfect wind swept look.

After their I-Dos, we found an awesome rock to sign their marriage license on. Yes, an awesome rock – my favorite way to sign your legal paperwork. We got the exact coordinates as their location – in the state of Colorado you can list your coordinates as the location of your wedding.

After taking some photos in the flower fields just above the lake, we headed up the pass to have their picnic. There’s a super adorable spot in the canyon that I happened on by accident a few years back, and it’s quickly become a favorite spot to stop for photographs when I’m in the area. It’s super secluded, and all you can hear is the water rushing by. This is where I thought would be a great spot for their picnic provided so kindly by one of their friends. When Andrew opened up the basket – I was shocked to see how adorable it was and how much food it actually held.

Once they had a few snacks, followed by a few photos on the cliffside above the water, we headed up to the summit of Independence Pass. As we started driving up the switchbacks, we could see that the sky was completely clear up top and to the West. I had a feeling that if the skies in the East were still dark, we’d get ourselves a rainbow.

And boy oh boy did we. We had a rainbow, in front of a reflective body of water, with mountains in the background. The Trifecta.

As the rainbow faded into the darkening skies, we headed over towards another lake where Lindsay and Andrew had their first dance together to a Fleetwood Mac song. Again – you can incorporate any aspects of a wedding day that you’d like to into your elopement! Having a first dance in the mountains with just the Pike and Marmots to watch is one of my favorite activities on an elopement day.

Permitting Information

Twin Lakes, Colorado | Roughly 2.5 Hours from Denver

No Permits needed for groups under 10
Contact the Leadville Ranger District with any questions

Independence Pass, Colorado | High Mountain Pass between Twin Lakes and Aspen, Colorado

No permits needed for groups under 15

Aspen, Colorado | St. Regis

Located in beautiful Aspen, Colorado and is just beneath Aspen Ski Resort
Easy access to Downtown Aspen, within walking distance

Savannah Chandler Photography | Aspen Elopement Photographer
Based in Denver, Colorado | Available for Travel Worldwide

Photographing across the Rocky Mountain Region and Beyond
Aspen | Vail | Twin Lakes | Telluride | Ouray | Silverton | Crested Butte | Silverthorne | Breckenridge | Steamboat Springs