Let’s make sure you have a day that’s a little more punk-rock. Regardless of your personal style, your hiking ability, your budget requirements–you can have a day that says fuck their traditions, and pave the way for your own. You can have a day that says “yes, we’re nerdy AF and we don’t care if you like it”. As your Colorado Elopement & Wedding Photographer–with a mix of alternative grit and nostalgic grunge–I’m focused on making sure you have the space to create a wedding, intimate wedding, elopement or anything in between that truly feels like you, and leaves space for you to fully experience your wedding day. We’re going to do this by putting your values, wants, and needs front-and-center, and I’ve got a list of alternative wedding ideas to get the inspiration flowing.
A quick disclaimer: you’re welcome here, no matter who you love, what you look like, if your personal style is “trendy” or “cool enough”, if you have tons of outdoor and hiking experience or none at all, I want to adventure with you.
Here’s some alternative wedding ideas to throw the middle finger to the wedding industry, and do things your way.
Alternative Wedding Ideas for your Colorado Elopement
Your elopement day is much more than a day where we show up to a beautiful location, snap a few photos, and leave. It’s your wedding day, and the freedom to elope means you have the freedom to celebrate in any fucking way you want. THERE ARE NO RULES. When you’re thinking of photography coverage, or how you want to spend your day with your partner, start with things you already love to do, and incorporate them into some bucket list items; then, add sentiment–what is important to the both of you and why? How can you bring the nostalgia of your relationship into your day?
A wedding day on skis / snowboard–in true Colorado fashion, what is more epic?
A plane / helicopter ride through the rockies
A hot air balloon ride on the front range with epic views
Bar-hopping through downtown RiNo, or in cozy pubs that scream “please play Frank Turner so we can punk-mosh our wedding song”
A dog-sledding ride through Breckenridge
ATV or ski-doo tour through the mountains
A jeep (or subaru–because I’m biased) 4×4 trail to the top of the mountain (we can say fuck you to hiking, too)
A zip-line tour
Trout fishing after saying your vows in a valley
A trail-side breakfast or dinner picnic to watch the sunrise or sunset
A horseback riding trail
Getting matching tattoos following your ceremony
A reception where you play video games and board games with your friends
Sharing celebratory shot of whiskey or joint on a mountaintop after your vows
Painting or sculpting at your air bnb with candlelight (yes, ghost vibes)
Cutting down a tree to decorate around the holiday
Paddle-boarding into an alpine lake
Soaking in local hot springs or a hot tub at your airbnb
Stargazing at a campfire, a first dance by firelight
Karaoke!!! by yourselves or with friends
A haunted pub tour in Denver
Exploring through Meow Wolf in Denver
A hike through Colorado’s wildflower-filled trails, or elope in a scenic location right off the road
Alternative Wedding Ideas for your Colorado Wedding
Keep in mind that having a larger guest list doesn’t mean your day has to be traditional. Throw the entire fucking rulebook out the window. Think of a traditional wedding timeline, and the events that occur, and re-imagine what your day could look like if you made the focus your love story. How can we do things differently?
Best way to make your wedding day punk rock? Only invite the folks who want to be there. It doesn’t matter how big your guest list is, if the mindset behind it is intentional (and believe me, this will impact your day). Consider this–will the people on your guest list be active in your life in 20 years? If you ever had marriage trouble, could you call each and every person on the list and be met with the utmost of support? Do the people on this list want to be at your wedding as much as you want them there?
Walk down the aisle together–you do not have to be “given away” on your wedding day, and can still pay tribute to your parents throughout your day. A simple hug at the end of the aisle gives them a special recognition in this moment without taking away from you as a couple.
Incorporate your interests or fandoms, like writing quotes from your favorite artists in your ceremony script (yes, I added Frank Turner into mine because “love is all the changes you make, not just three small words”), or buying Harry Potter or Star Wars themed vow books
Consider a multi-day wedding! Some folks love the idea of the freedom of eloping, but don’t want to celebrate without their favorite people (which is exactly why I don’t limit myself to shooting just one or the other, and offer coverage options that are custom made to you). We can build a package together that allows for a private ceremony the day before your wedding day (or within the week) to share private vows and get the epic views you normally couldn’t fit into a day with a larger guest list, so that you can party later with friends without all the pressure.
If you choose me as your alternative, story-focused photographer, I’ll spend time digging through our timeline to find ideas to make your day unconventional and authentic to you.
Ask friends & family to write you letters or record a video for you to play on your wedding day
Incorporate family traditions–does Grandma have a recipe you can make to enjoy? Did Dad love video-recording your childhood, so you want to add a super-8 style film to your day? (yes, I’d love to help with this) Do you play Monopoly every holiday season with the family, so you want to incorporate board games into the day?
What are your favorite hobbies? Did you meet at a bookstore, and want to take wedding photos inside a hole-in-the-wall nerdy haven? Do you love to fish together on sunny days?
Incorporate clothing–does mom have a favorite scarf? Do you have a ring that is significant to wear?
Add in a playlist to your day that makes your heart sing–does listening to Simple Plan on the way up the 4×4 trail screaming “I’M JUST A KID!” out the window make your soul light up? Do you want to walk down the aisle to the Game of Thrones theme song?
Incorporate your fur babies–maybe just to hang out around your airbnb, to walk your rings down the aisle, or to be Dog of Honor in every part of the entire day
Play a home video at your reception–maybe as a way to honor your parents (I did this during mine because I lost my father), a way to showcase your relationship (consider a super-8 style short film of your engagement session to show during dinner!), or a cut of each of your home videos from your childhood together, to commemorate your lives that come together on this day
Start with hiring a photographer that fucking gets you. Let me help you have a day that is relentlessly you.
COLORADO ELOPEMENT AND WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SPECIALIZING IN NON-TRADITIONAL, DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE OFFBEAT AND NERDY COUPLE. BASED IN NORTHERN COLORADO, ILLINOIS AND FLORIDA. AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE.
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