Photography: Sunnie Heers
An elopement allows for lots of opportunities to, well, do whatever you want on your wedding day! Depending on the venue/outdoor area you might choose for a Rocky Mountain elopement, there’s a good chance your furry friends can be your guests of honor. These family members may have been with you throughout the whole relationship (or may be pups you adopted together!), so we can see why our couples want to create space for them amidst the ceremony & celebrating. For some ways to incorporate your dogs into your elopement, take some inspo from real Rocky Mountain couple Claire & Dan who eloped in Ouray, Colorado and claim to have three loves in life: each other (of course), their two red retrievers, Kahlua & Gunner, and any adventure that includes a jeep and good mountain views!
Claire & Dan’s mid-morning ceremony took place up Yankee Boy Basin surrounded by wildflowers, 14 of their closest family and friends, and of course – their retrievers. The couple was married in the same mountains where their love story began, and they got to include their pups in this milestone memory! If you’re having an intimate ceremony outdoors, make sure you choose a venue/park/trail that allows for dogs if you want to let them be a part of the vow exchange (ring *barker*, anyone?). A pet attendant would be a good idea during this time, too, especially if you might have excitable pups that need someone to keep hold of them until it’s their time to shine.
Most couples spend the morning with their wedding party and family, so why not spend the morning with your VIP (very important pup), too! Let your dogs “get ready” with you, and get some candid photos during the process of the whole day.
Another adorable photo opportunity that C&D took advantage of was allowing their dogs to pop in during their first look. It is the sweetest thing to see the joy on their furry family members’ face reacting to the joy on their owners’ faces!
Depending on where you are traveling for an elopement, you are bringing your pups a long way with you. So of course, you should take some formal portraits with them to remember the moment and have the cutest photos to hang in your family home afterward! Everyone needs a good family portrait for their next holiday card, right?!
Some elopement or intimate wedding spots may not allow for you to bring pets in, or you may not actually want to bring your pets because of their own sensitivities or needs! Whatever the reason, if you can’t physically have your furever friends with you for the festivities, you can still include them in other ways. We love these custom cocktail cups that Claire & Dan provided with Kahlua & Gunner’s faces on them! You can also have custom cocktail napkins or bar signage printed with your pets on them – or even include photos of your dogs on the table numbers or guest book table.
For more dog-filled inspiration for your wedding day, check out our 2023 recap on the Best Dogs in the Rocky Mountains!
View this post on Instagram