Izzy + Garrett - Reception & Honeymoon

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Izzy & Garrett - Reception & Honeymoon Adventure Session

Adventure Elopement Photographer - Maroon Bells

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Remember these two from Monday’s blog post?! As I mentioned I followed Izzy and Garrett to Colorado Springs, Colorado for their reception following their intimate adventure elopement in Sedona. Izzy and Garrett held their reception in Izzy’s parents back yard, bonfire style. When I would ask her about the reception’s plans she said, its no big deal just a casual night by a fire with friends and family.

Her dad build an amazing gazebo area in just three days for the shindig. Parked friends adventure rigs and helped set up tents in the back yard for those staying from out of town. They hosted friends from Arizona and welcomed family. Her family made it so beautiful and special! They had bought flowers for the table had these beautiful plates and pitchers. Garrett’s family helped hang some of the pictures from the reception on these cute string lights around the gazebo and above the table so everyone could share their special day and see how they got married.

Prior to dinner everyone enjoyed a yummy taco bar and a cheese and meats platter. Then Izzy’s dad served up dinner, he and a friend had barbecued chickens and brisket and her mom had made these amazing mashed potatoes and green beans. Everyone gathered around the long tables family style to dig in and enjoy each others company. Following dinner everyone gathered around the camp fire while Izzy and Garret shared a spontaneous second first dance. Throughout the evening everyone shared memories, laughter, jokes and all had a great time.

Later in the evening Izzy and Garret got to have their formal cake cutting as Izzy’s mom had made pies, lemon bar and picked up an amazing cake. Izzy and her dad also got to share a first dance unexpectedly which you tell meant a lot to both of them.

It was such a great evening with friends and family just having a good time gathering together. The whole week was great really hiking and exploring the area with friends that had came into town from Arizona. After the reception Izzy and Garrett set out for their honey moon, which consisted of camping, hiking, swimming in hot springs and fishing in different areas of Colorado. A celebration of their marriage and moving back into their home state.

I was set to met the two of them at one of the locations on their honeymoon, Maroon Bells. This way they could have photos from their old home, Arizona and their new home Colorado. Maroon Bells had been on the top of Izzy’s to visit list for some time and her and Garrett actually camped near by when in high school.

We met up at the visitor center around 4am and drove to the top to get ready. We got the Maroon Lake right as the sun started to peak over the opposing mountain tops. We had a few moments to ourselves before tourist started to arrive. It was a super fun laid back session with just the two of them to have fun in the mountains, talk about the up coming parts of their honey moon and recall memories they had already made on their trip. I loved hearing about the first part of their trip in Steamboat soaking in the hot springs and meeting new friends while camping. After Maroon Bells they were headed to Eleven Mile to fish, one of Garrett’s favorite things and Izzy was surprising him by taking him to where he used to fish growing up as a child.

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The Reception

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Tips on Eloping at Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells is easily one of the top places to elope in Colorado! Maroon Bells is managed by the US Forest Service in Aspen, Colorado and is apart of the White River National Forest. You can elope here! You for sure want to elope at this busy, but stunning place on a weekday. During season you may not even be allowed to elope there on a weekend day. You absolutely must fallow Leave No Trace behind and you may not bring bird seed, confetti or loud music. There is a platform area, the Amphitheater, you can rent for the ceremony and can be reserved by going to recreation.gov. The road to Maroon Bells is open typically mid May to Mid November. The best way to enter is via bus from Aspen or to bike in. If you go early in the season you can drive your car and usually find parking. There are three camp sites at the base near visitor center you can stay at and access the area while staying there. I would highly recommend booking camp sites months in advance. I always suggest call to speak with a ranger prior to make sure you have all the permits needed and check conditions of the the area. This park recommends dealing with everything at least fifteen days in advance.

There are may take photos at Maroon lake which now has a rope around the lake and is great spot to easily access. There is a trail that goes around the lake that takes you to a closer look of the mountain and a field. You can also hike to Crater Lake for a view with less tourist, high elevation and a beautiful hike with other mountain views. This week the trail was still under two to three feet of snow. The hike was still do-able, but the lake itself was frozen over. There are other hikes within the park as well that go through the beautiful aspen trees and along the river. This is a wilderness area and in the heart of bear country, please be prepared to store food properly and encounter wildlife. The winters here are harsh and can effect the parks trails and season. This year they had a lot of avalanches which means a lot of the areas were closed off for restoration.

Aspen is a cute little town to spend your elopement week, evening or weekend. It has quint places to stay, shop and eat. Not too far away is Snowmass Village and Independence Pass which are great areas for adventure too, weather permitting. If you would like to go horse back through the Rocky Mountains or stay at a cute ranch in a valley around the mountains not far from the visitor center check out T-Lazy Ranch! In the winter this places turns into an epic snow skiing town which also be a great idea for your adventure elopement or honey moon!

For more information and tips on eloping in Coloardo please check out the “Top Places to Elope in Coloardo” blog post.

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Read what Izzy had to say about why they choose to elope….

Garrett and I chose to have an adventure elopement for many reasons. Arizona was special to us and Sedona was somewhere that we always loved to visit together. We spend a lot of our time hiking together and so it made sense to us to spend our wedding day doing something we loved. It was also very important to us to focus on each other during our wedding day. We didn’t want to worry about all the business of a big wedding and all the expectations that come along with one. We wanted to focus on each other and do things at our own pace. Another important factor for us was how environmentally-friendly elopements are compared to a standard wedding. We didn’t have to buy so many decorations and all types of other things for our guests because it was just us and a couple of our closest friends.