Amanda and Mark | Estes Park Resort and Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement
Savannah Chandler Photography | Estes Park Elopement Photographer
Amanda and Mark’s Weekday Mini Elopement in Estes Park, Colorado
Amanda and Mark came out to Colorado from Mississippi, just the two of them, to elope amongst Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
Estes Park is a short drive from the Denver Metro area, and provides year round mountain views (and maintained roads).
The biggest caveat to eloping in Estes Park is that you MUST have a pre-approved wedding permit to elope within the borders of Rocky Mountain National Park, regardless of how many people are in attendance. The park issues so many permits per day and has a specific set of locations that are approved for weddings and elopements. You can check out all the information needed to elope INSIDE Rocky Mountain National Park HERE.
If you want to take photographs in Rocky Mountain National Park, but say vows elsewhere, that is totally possible! And this is just what Amanda and Mark decided to do for their elopement.
As they decided to stay at the STUNNING Estes Park Resort that overlooks Lake Estes in town, they said their vows to one another at the pavilion overlooking the icy waters. The cabins here are brand spanking new, boast these awesome views, and (in my opinion) are super stunning and cozy inside. 10/10 recommend as a place to stay while in Estes Park.
After they said their “I Do’s”, we hopped in the cars and headed into Rocky Mountain National Park.
Beginning in 2020, a timed entry permit is needed to venture into the park during peak season (May – October generally). The great thing is that I carry a Commercial Use Authorization permit year round, and this permit serves as our entry into Rocky Mountain National Park – no need to worry about snagging a permit for your elopement day. If you want to venture personally into the park while you’re visiting – do be sure to plan ahead and get entry permits.
Though spring starts for most of the world in March, the mountains will see winter conditions well into May. Just before Amanda and Mark’s elopement, Colorado saw a pretty good dumping of snow and I knew that we’d have the chilly mountain air at our backs as well.
We headed into Rocky and began just before the entrance where you could see panoramic mountain views. Chapin, Chiquita, and Ypslion are three of the more prominent peaks that tower over the southern facing views throughout the town of Estes Park. I personally think that this trio of peaks is stunning – and having hiked up 2 of the 3, the views from the top are also worth exploring!
Once we got into the park, we made a few scenic stops at Horseshoe park, Moraine Valley, and Sheep Lakes. With the weather being rather cold, we had stints of about 10ish minutes of photographing with warming breaks in between shots and locations.
The sunset was absolutely STUNNING to cap off our time together.
Weekday Mini Elopement Details
A weekday Mini Elopement was the perfect amount of time for Amanda and Mark-
• They said their vows where they were staying
• The driving distance into Rocky Mountain National Park was roughly 10 minutes
• All the locations within the park were in a logistical driving loop
• It was a “Just the Two of Us” elopement
Congratulations again, Amanda and Mark! I hope that you enjoyed your time here in Colorado.