Andrea and Stephen | Maroon Bells and Castle Creek Elopement
Savannah Chandler Photography | Aspen Elopement Photographer
As anyone who’s ever tried to get a Maroon Bells wedding permit knows – it’s like sifting through Wonka bars trying to find that golden ticket. The permits sell out within seconds of being released typically, and you really have to be on your A Game knowing that you’ll get a reservation a year out. Also, weekend dates are not allowed to be reserved due to the high traffic of the area – meaning you can only get a permit for Monday – Thursday most of the open season (Sundays are available for portions of the season).
When Andrea let me know that they had secured a permit for a Sunday at the Maroon Bells Amphitheater – she even mentioned having to pinch herself to believe it was real. Her and her then fiance, Stephen, were in Aspen in 2022 and happened to snag a permit for July 9, 2023. Needless to say – we were all super stoked to be celebrating their elopement together under Maroon Peak and North Maroon peak booming in the background.
We started our morning for sunrise at nearby Castle Creek. This beautiful 4×4 road goes up relatively high in elevation and serves as the trailhead to surrounding 14,000′ peaks Castle and Conundrum. We drove up as high as we could until a snow mass blocked the trail, and then hiked up a bit to get views out over the Aspen valley. Andrea and Stephen drove out their new Bronco to Colorado, allowing us to both drive up towards 12,000′.
Just as the sun started to rise over the horizon, all of the adjacent peaks turned a stunning red. Though I, shockingly, am not an early morning person – sunrise is by far my favorite time of day.
After adventuring around up high, we headed down the road making a few stops on our way over to the Maroon Bells amphitheater. One thing that’s a little crummy about needing a permit is that we couldn’t enter the area until 9:00am.
Andrea and Stephen said their private vows to one another and then had a first bite of Crumbl cookie overlooking Maroon Lake and the infamous Bells.
To end our time together, we headed out on the Lollipop Loop for some portraits. This area has always been one of my favorites for portraits in the area – but it appears they’ve built a new pedestrian bridge and taken out the little dirt island that I’ve always been so fond of. The area is still incredibly beautiful, I was just a little taken aback to not find the area I’ve come so accustomed to photographing at.
Congratulations again, Andrea and Stephen!