Colorado Hiking Elopement | Lela and Zadok | Handies Peak 14,058′

Lela and Zadok | Handies Peak Elopement

Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Hiking Elopement Photographer | 14er Elopements

Like so many 2020 couples, Lela and Zadok’s wedding day was very different from what they had originally planned. Lela is from the states, while Zadok is from the island of Trinidad and Tobago. They were looking to host their wedding day on the tropical island where Zadok’s family lives, and have all their friends and family out for a large celebration. Once COVID hit, both countries closed down their borders.

Insert Colorado.

Though it may seem like a complete 180 turn from a tropical island wedding, our mountainous terrain is not far from their hearts. When I say Lela is a total badass, that is a complete understatement. She trekked up to Everest Base Camp (16,900 ft!!!), and has quite the mountaineer spirit. As Zadok stated, I believe that this “Plan B” was always a bit of “Plan A”.

To start hiking up to 14,058, we met at the upper American Basin trailhead. The basin its self is one of the most stunning areas I’ve seen here in Colorado. There are jagged mountains jetting out above a luscious green landscape. One thing I’ve learned about the San Juan mountains is how green everything is. You just don’t see greenery like that in the Denver area.

We hiked up by the light of our headlamps, to just below the technical summit. We started our morning at this stunning outcrop, as the winds were picking up and it looked as if a storm was heading our way. As anyone who spends time in high altitude knows, Colorado weather be CRAZY (an not something to mess with). We took a few minutes to capture the Alpenglow shining back on the basin, then started our way back up to the true summit.

Once we reached the tippy top of this stunning mountain, Lela and Zadok signed their marriage license and were married!! We were still a little worried about the weather moving in, so we started to hustle a bit. A slight amount of hail started to hit us, but only for a minute or two. Once we started to take portraits up on top of Handies, the clouds parted and we were greeted with (very welcomed) sunshine.

As we made our way down the mountain back into the American Basin, we stopped by the teal blue waters of Sloan’s Lake for a breather and some photos. The lake sits right at the edge of the basin and the talus field of Handies. The water was SO teal with hints of green. Since we had passed the lake in the dark on our way up to the summit, it was a stunning surprise to see how beautiful the lake truly was.

Concluding our time together, we all stopped in the flower field basin to take in the views one last time. Lela and Zadok had quite the cheer squad once we came down – everyone who was beginning their hike at that time stopped to say a quick congratulations.

Congratulations, Lela and Zadok! We had quite the adventure together! Thank you for spending your elopement day with me amongst the San Juan Mountains.

Cheers –

Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Elopement and Hiking Photographer | 14er Elopements

Photographing across the Rocky Mountain Region: Telluride | Dillon | Keystone | Vail | Breckenridge | Winter Park | Granby | Grand Lake | Estes | Buena Vista | Ouray | Arapahoe Basin | Silverton | Silverthorne | Spanish Peaks

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Recent Colorado Weddings


Colorado – my home for the past 34 years and counting.  My family were Pioneers from Norway and Germany to Colorado in the 1880’s.  I think it’s pretty amazing that our family has always had an interest in photography and capturing moments.  Growing up seeing photographs of our family in covered wagons on their way to Colorado is one of my fondest memories.
  Truly, I love Colorado and the amazing mountain ranges throughout.  I grew up heading into the Mountains on weekends to hike in the summer, and to snowboard in the winter.  I’m hapy to say that not much has changed, I’ve just added a husband and child into my adventerous outdoor mix.  My husband and I now take our little man out into the wilderness that Colorado has to offer, hoping to fill his young life with amazing memories and experiences.
I hosted my wedding in Evergreen, Colorado in May of 2011 at the Evergreen Lake House  .  After our wedding day,  I knew that I wanted to be a Colorado Wedding Photographer.  I was attending Metropolotian State University of Denver for fine art photography at the time, and the transition into a Wedding Photographer was fairly seamless.
I love adventuring to new places for weddings and elopements!  I hike regularly, and love showing couples my favorite spots.  There are amazing places in every corner and in every season.  Snowboarding is also a passion of mine, and I LOVE to capture couples shredding Pow Pow down the mountain.  Interested in a Colorado Hiking or Adventure Elopement?  Contact us on the form below!  Every year I have a list of locations that have special prices for couples wanting to hike, I’d love to chat about my current list!


Awesome Colorado Wedding Vendors

One of the great things about being based here in Colorado is getting to work with some of the best wedding vendors! Here are some of my very favorite places and people to work with. They're all awesome. Almost as awesome as the views we have here across the continental divide... almost.

Venues: Strawberry Creek Ranch in Granby, Colorado
               TimberRidge and Alpenglow Stube in Keystone, Colorado
               Wild Basin Lodge in Allenspark, Colorado
               SkyView at Fall River Village in Estes Park, Colorado 
Planners: Sweetly Paired
Videographers: Whitney Milton
Florists:  Olive and Poppy

Review from Jenna and Chris

"Savannah is the most AMAZING photographer!!! I would recommend her a thousand times over again. I would plan another event just to use her again! She is incredibly professional and incredibly talented!!! Best vendor/photographer/professional I have ever worked with."

Check out Jenna and Chris' Estes Park, Wedding Day HERE

Review from Ashley and Aaron

"Savannah is an amazing person and photographer! She captured our wedding in every way we could imagaine. Looking back on the pictures she took makes us remember and feel those special moments. Savannah is very professional but at the same time will help load up carseats and offer a helping hand wherever she can. She is very knowledgeable from locations to take pictures to making us feel comfortable in directions to pose. We have nothing but good things to say. We definitely reccomend Savannah Chandler!"

Click HERE to see Ashley and Aaron's Estes Park, Colorado Wedding Day!

Review from Katie and Brad

Savannah was so great and managed to make us (two awkward people) feel super comfortable and thrilled about wedding photos. :) She saved our day with her flexibility and the pictures were better than we could've ever hoped for! Highly recommend!

Check out Katie and Brad's Boulder, Colorado Wedding Day HERE

Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Wedding Photographer | Colorado Mountain Wedding Photographer

Photographing in the Rocky Mountain Region, Including: Keystone, Aspen, Breckenridge, Estes Park, Twin Lakes, Leadville, Silverton, Telluride, Durango, Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain, Larkspur, Steamboat, San Luis, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Winter Park, Granby, and the Spanish Peaks.