You + Me and the Mountains
Sarah and Blake's Romantic Boulder, Colorado Elopement
When we first met fellow Midwesterners, Sarah and Blake of Ohio, we couldn't have imagined the connection we'd form and the inspiration they would further ignite in our work. Our story began last August when I first spoke with Sarah about their desire to have an intimate elopement in Boulder with gorgeous mountain views - on a Tuesday in early January 2018. The duo hadn't been to Colorado before, but sensed it was the perfect place to said their "I Do's."
I got to work scouting various elopement locations and helping Sarah and Blake visualize the options and the terrain from Ohio. At the time, it was anyone's guess if we'd have 0 or 10 feet of snow on the ground and the goal was to keep the experience simple. Our elopement photographer, the vibrant and downright fun Grace Gatto and I bonded over scouting outings and working together to help design Sarah and Blake's day around what they'd been dreaming of - mountain views, fresh air, and a whole lot of love.
In the meantime, Chris Sachs, the Wedding Officiant of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs, worked closely with Sarah and Blake to curate a custom wedding ceremony, designed to draw upon the collective life experiences that brought them together. Selecting thoughtful readings, music selections, and advice on writing and delivering the vows were part of their many Skype planning meetings.
January 9, 2018 arrived and we already look back on the day so fondly. We thoughtfully designed the experience that in real life, was elevated by the collaboration of our team, the raw and honest spirit of Sarah and Blake, and the joy of witnessing a romantic elopement accessorized by the one and only, Mother Nature.
A balmy 60+ degree day, sunshine, a light breeze and no snow made for an unparalleled day. We first gathered at Sarah and Blake's Air B&B that became their home during their stay in Boulder. The Mr. and Mrs. to be didn't see one another until their first look. Our entourage of six drove separately to the iconic Chautauqua Park for the first look. And yes, there were emotional waterworks when the two first laid eyes on one another! Sarah's wedding dress so beautifully complimented her tall, slim physique, and Blake, donning a sweater vest for the first time in his life, surprised his bride with his handsome get-up.
Following the first look, we drove higher into the Boulder foothills to a gorgeous and private outcropping where Sarah and Blake Said "I Do." The gentle wind danced around our faces (which were permanently smiling because of our excitement), the sun slowly began to settle, and it felt like time stopped as the ceremony commenced. "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis accompanied the processional. Through guiding the ceremony, Chris helped Sarah and Blake to deeply connect in that moment and through the reading "I Will Be Here" by Steven Curtis Chapman we are reminded of the power of marriage - enjoying life as a team where no one feels alone.
As sure as seasons were made for change,
Our lifetimes were made for years,
I will be here.
Sarah and Blake were pronounced husband and wife with a mountain top memory locked in for the ages. The post ceremony champagne pop was one I won't forget with the happy couple enjoying a bottle of Robert Moncruit Grand Cru and soaking in the emotions of that moment as the sound of "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King filled the air.
The wedding ceremony is the "why" behind a wedding. Whether in the company of a party of 6 as we experienced, or a party of 100+, the moment of commitment deserves your best. To help other couples looking to plan an authentic elopement, here are our favorite pieces of advice.
DO HIRE a professional.
Although elopements are seemingly simpler than planning a larger wedding, it is important not to underestimate the planning. We recommend hiring a professional Wedding Planner to guide your research to find your desired elopement location to understand access, complications that may arise depending on the time of year, as well as carefully selecting your photographer and personal stylists for the day. These individuals, when chosen wisely, will have a positive impact on your intimate wedding day experience. Your Wedding Planner will also help to create a timeline for the day, work with your vendors and be with you the day of the wedding to orchestrate the experience.
DO spend time writing your personal vows.
We hold the wedding ceremony in high regard, no matter the size of the wedding, as this is the “why” and the meaning behind your wedding day. Especially during an elopement, a couple has a precious opportunity to open up to one another so vulnerably through their vows without feeling self-conscious around a crowd, or any time constraints. With only the wedding Officiant and likely a photographer and videographer present, couples can feel safe expressing their sincere feelings, their wishes for their life ahead and other special things on their heart that they may not have shared before.
DO design your perfect day.
Eloping offers an incredible opportunity to save money on a traditional wedding ceremony and reception and the trade-off? More flexibility to spend money on designing your perfect day that may include a more lavish dinner celebration, a nicer bottle of champagne for toasting, or an upgrade at a swanky hotel. Consider what is most important to you and allow yourself to splurge on a few treats to celebrate this happy milestone.
Our sincere thank you to Sarah and Blake for inviting us on this journey and for inspiring us! Here's to your next stop, happily ever after! All photos by Grace Gatto Photography.
Find more photos from Sarah and Blake's wedding ceremony on our COLLECTIVE/Couples page.