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Sunrise Hiking Elopement | Jenna and James | Loveland Pass

Jenna and James | Loveland Pass Elopement

Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Hiking Elopement Photographer

When I think of marriage – not the wedding day, but the marriages that unfold after all the time we spent together photographing – I think of couples like Jenna and James. Two souls that made the intentional decision to spend the rest of the time they have earthside with one another, but also two individuals that can face all the things life throws your way and know how to be a supportive partner.

Jenna and James’ elopement day had many… variables.

The night before we were going to meet for their sunrise hiking elopement, we did a last minute weather check to see a complete 180º from decent weather to a storm with lightening starting at 8am. For those outside of Colorado, afternoon thunderstorms are certainly common during our summers, but storms beginning that early in the morning are pretty rare. As a safety precaution (and let’s be honest, hiking to wed in the rain would not be a pleasant experience in general) – we went ahead and switched from Thursday to Friday.

Friday came, and the weather was SIGNIFICANTLY better. The trail wasn’t too muddy at all, and we got stunning clear skies. Sunrise is always cold (especially at 13,000+ feet) – there’s no way around that, but we certainly made the right call when it came to moving 24 hours later.

As we got to the top of Loveland pass, we awaited the sun to break the horizon while Jenna and James changed into their wedding attire. I’ve been asked numerous times “where do we change” – and eloping at the top of a mountain leaves only the option that nature intended ;).

As we started taking portraits at the top of the mountain – Jenna let me know the second hurdle that they had faced on their elopement day, her hair and makeup artist called her at 2am and cancelled. Jenna’s attitude and James’ supportiveness to two very large changes in their elopement day really left me in awe. As pretty as the images are – I knew at that moment that they were eloping for the marriage. I have a lot of personal memories from other people’s weddings, and the strength of Jenna and James as a couple is one that will always stick with me.

We spent the next hour or so for portraits, taking breaks between spots to warm up. Just before heading down to meet their family and friends at Pass Lake, Jenna and James took a few moments to say personal vows to one another in private overlooking out onto Torrey’s peak.

We headed down the mountain to meet their families and friends for an intimate ceremony and some portraits with their loved ones in attendance.

One of the best things about Loveland Pass is the amazing accessibility the road provides. We were able to have both of their families, including parents and children, in attendance. Unfortunately, Jenna’s father was undergoing chemotherapy out of state and was unable to be in physical attendance – however, there is enough cell phone service on the pass that he was able to be FaceTimed into the entire ceremony (which really brought on all the emotions for all in attendance).

Thanks again for adventuring with me (and being such amazing humans)

Cheers –

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

Photographing across the Rocky Mountain Region and Beyond
Silverthorne | Vail | Keystone | Crested Butte | Telluride | Silverton | Ouray | Steamboat Springs