As Covid-19 keeps coming in waves across the US, Colorado included, I have been getting more and more inquiries for smaller weddings (sometimes called micro weddings) and elopements. Honestly, I see this as the best case scenario in the current times. I think it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around safely having a wedding of 50 plus people right now, and either eloping and planning a party for later, or cutting the guest list down for a tiny backyard wedding is a great solution.
It obviously isn’t a great fit for everyone, so I definitely am not going to jump on the train of “everyone should be having a micro wedding.” I don’t think it’s the end all be all fix for people who were excited about being able to have a huge celebration with all their friends and family. There is no substitute for being surrounded by everyone you’ve ever known, and bringing all your family members together if that’s what you wanted out of your wedding day. Those events are once in a lifetime!
But, in some cases it can give you the excuse to have the micro wedding you always wanted, or elope to a super unique location while you wait for the world to simmer down a little. Courtney + Tim set out for a small wedding from the get go, but unfortunately as their original date of March 24th loomed closer and closer, they had to make the call to move their wedding and cancel their flights out to Colorado. We stayed in touch, and finally restrictions lifted enough that they felt comfortable flying and their friends were on board to come and celebrate with them. Sadly, that wasn’t the end of the hoops that they would have to jump through while planning their micro wedding though! They originally wanted to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park, but even though some restrictions were being lifted, their permits were still strictly regulated and they weren’t allowing any new wedding reservations. Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (which I know well and have some secret elopement spots in) wasn’t having it either. Fortunately, Tim hit the trail maps and found a super beautiful location in Lyons that they loved for their micro-wedding! I called their parks office expecting either for the phone to ring forever, or to be told the same laundry list of restrictions that existed in other places, and was pleasantly surprised when the guy on the phone said it sounded like a beautiful idea and that we just needed to be respectful of other users on the trail. I was thrilled!! Lyons and the trails around it are now on my radar for low key elopement locations to avoid the tourist traffic at some of the big name destinations.
Let me take a quick aside here and say that I fully support the other parks’ decision to keep restrictions and lockdowns in place, as well. RMNP and Boulder see massive amounts of tourist activity and Estes particularly doesn’t have the infrastructure to deal with all the people who live there getting sick at once. I fully support anything that these popular locations do to protect wildlife, land, and people’s safety.
Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, haha. Anyway! I scouted the gorgeous trails at Button Rock Reservoir, and found some spots that were within the range that the group was willing to hike, and felt confident that we had found a location that was going to be a perfect fit. It was so special to be there with these two, especially after all they had done to plan and get to this moment!! The group they had brought with them were so fun, and so supportive of them. The family they chose to be with them was an absolutely beautiful group, and it always warms my heart to see friendships like this!!
After their short ceremony by the water, and Courtney’s amazingly dramatic walk into the ceremony with an amazing canyon wall behind her, we hiked a little ways up the trail to hop on rocks in the river, play in the the trees, and enjoy the last few beams of golden hour sunlight. The waterfall at the base of the trail was one of the reasons this location was special to Courtney + Tim. He proposed to her at a waterfall, so this felt like a beautiful next step in their story.
We, of course, had to finish things off with an obligatory mask photo near the parking lot before they headed off to their dinner reservation at a little restaurant in Lyons.
Check out all the photos below from Courtney + Tim’s Lyons Micro-Wedding, and I hope they inspire your planning!!
Lyons Micro-wedding & elopement photos at button rock reservoir
Planning a micro-wedding or elopement? I’d love to help in any way I can. I know it’s a tough time for everyone out there trying to navigate a new normal, but working together and supporting each other is what’s most important.