Liz + Joe Brezin
The sunrise over the Maroon Bells, sweet moments shared between the couple and it all beautifully captured by Foster Creative and Adventure Instead are just a few reasons why this elopement caught Rocky Mountain Bride’s eye. We hope you enjoy the stunning scenery and lovely details of Liz + Joe’s sunrise backpacking elopement as much as we have!
Four fifteen AM is early. It’s even earlier when you’ve got to wake up several hours sooner just to make it to the trailhead in time to begin the ascent at, you guessed it, four fifteen AM. But that’s the time that we arrived to greet our photographer and videographer in the parking lot at Maroon Lake, in the Maroon Bells wilderness area near Aspen, Colorado on this brisk summer morning. On our backs we’ll carry everything we need so that at first light, we can marry each other in a breathtaking high elevation valley.
We began the hike to Crater lake, over one mile and one thousand vertical feet still ahead. Our plan is to hike under the moonlight, so that we can perform our first look at alpenglow. We made great time, and were even able to stop along the way for several pictures, all before rest light. As we reached morning alpenglow, we stopped at an overlook and both began to dress for the first look.
With Maroon Peak painted bright red from the sun’s first light, our first look was everything we dreamed of and more! We spent well over 10 minutes just taking in the moment, savoring every second, appreciating the gravity of what was unfolding. A waterfall roaring in the distance, the aspen leaves rustling in the forest, we felt a part of the scenery. We were totally alone, and the moment was ours.
Not ten minutes further along was our ceremony destination: Crater Lake. Our photographer & videographer helped us and the perfect location to recite our vows, and so we did. It’s hard to describe what it’s like to elope with your best friend in a way that is so thoughtful, but we experienced so many emotions during our ceremony. Once we finished our vows, we celebrated by pouring ourselves coffee from our thermos, and taking a few more moments for photo and video opportunities.
We descended the mountain, and before we returned to our vehicles our photographer showed us a hidden grove of aspen trees to shoot at! Shortly after 8:30 am we left the Maroon Bells and began heading towards the summit of nearby Independence Pass. We spent a few minutes shooting here as well, before descending the mountain pass for our cabin.
It was a warm summer’s evening when our eyes locked for the first time at our hometown fourth of July fair. We were just 17 years young. We attended rival high schools, but we were connected through mutual friends. The night we met, we only had a brief introduction and unfortunately, had to quickly part ways. A few months later, we reconnected when we both decided to go to Chicago with our friends, not knowing that we would be at the same place. That day we instantly hit it off. Although we hit it off right away, we were friends for a few months before we began dating.
After a few months of being a couple, Liz went through some traumatic life events. She ended up moving in with Joe in the last few months of high school and his family took her under their wing. Our relationship grew into something we never knew was possible and continues to flourish beyond our imagination. We helped each other get through college with many long nights of studying, writing papers, and taking frequent snack breaks. Our relationship grew stronger with each passing year and we were beginning to feel it was time to take the next step.
After awhile, the proposal was planned around the idea of recreating one of our first and most memorable dates of our relationship. On this date, Joe took Liz out to dinner and ice skating at Millenium Park in downtown Chicago. Liz looked absolutely beautiful and smiled the entire time, even though she couldn’t let go of Joe’s hand for fear of “falling.” It was a night we will never forget.
For a while after our engagement, we were not exactly sure how we wanted to get married. After attending and being in numerous wedding parties, we ultimately decided a traditional wedding was not for us. We always knew that we wanted something small and intimate so we could enjoy the day just focusing on ourselves. Our Colorado elopement was the best decision we ever made and we wouldn’t change a single aspect of our special day.
– Bride + Groom, Liz + Joe Brezin
Congrats Liz + Joe on your beautiful wedding day! Rocky Mountain Bride wishes you years of health + happiness with the person you love the most. Interested in planning a backpacking elopement? Grab some more inspiration for your own special day from this Dreamy Whistler Waterfall Elopement Inspiration.