Intimate Ceremony at the Base of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains.
Photographing Rose and Dacre’s Colorado mountain elopement at Three Peaks Ranch in Westcliffe, Colorado was one of the highlights of my year. Similar to most every 2020 couple, Rose and Dacre had to change plans for their elopement because of the pandemic.
Due to other circumstances, they had already postponed their elopement plans once before and then Covid hit. They were determined to keep their June date but trying to plan anything, let alone a destination elopement amidst a global pandemic was filled with much uncertainty. Through it all Rose and Dacre handled it with so much grace. They were dream elopement clients to work with and the location at Three Peaks Ranch in Westcliffe, Co. was absolute perfection.
I met Dacre years ago while working in Antarctica. When he and his fiancée reached out to discuss elopement photography I was thrilled. Before meeting Rose, I knew she was going to be awesome because Dacre is such a laidback, kind, cool guy. Rose and I chatted and I knew we would be fast friends (it’s too bad we don’t live in the same state). Right off the bat, I could tell she was genuine, kind and my awkwardness over the phone didn’t scare her away. Their Telluride mountain elopement plans changed due to the pandemic, but instead of postponing a second time they found a new location, Three Peaks Ranch, and said their vows at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Range.
It turns out their first backpacking trip together was in those very mountains on the South Colony trailhead. This trailhead is just up the road from the Three Peaks Ranch venue.
Three Peaks Ranch Intimate Ceremony
This luxury venue sits unassumingly at the foot of a gorgeous mountain range. It is located in official Dark-Sky Territory, which makes it the perfect place to stare at the wide open skies and do some stargazing after getting married.
The venue itself consists of the Gathering Place, which has panoramic views of the mountains and the valley to the east. A main cabin, an indoor/outdoor dining area, and two canvas glamping cabins. And although this location wasn’t in their original plans (thanks, Covid!), it ended up being a gorgeous and safe location for their elopement.
Just like many couples who choose to elope, one of the reasons Rose mentioned they decided to elope was, “It keeps us at the center of the day and because it’s more stress-free.” Going through these images for the blog, I got teary eyed re-living their day. Rose and Dacre shared their vows surrounded by a few family members and their sweet pup. Everything about their day felt intentional and focused on their love for each other.
Stress-free and Intentional
After their sweet ceremony, we created portraits, we had a delicious meal prepared by Chef Meis, and toasted to their love. After the amazing dinner we wandered back outside as the sun set for more portraits. We were even able to get photos with the horses, before a spur of the moment first dance on the barn deck. It was stress-free and just the best day!
Love is so important in this chaotic world. When everything feels exhausting and tumultuous photographing these moments will never get old. Recording these moments is so important. I hope these images will be cherished for generations. Thank you Rose and Dacre for having me come to Colorado to document your beautiful elopement. (especially with all the uncertainty in the world). It was an honor and absolutely wonderful working with you both. Much love to you!
Venue: Three Peaks Ranch
Hair & Makeup: Rose’s sister
Flowers: Rose and her sister made the bouquet, boutonniere, dog collar with artificial flowers.
They were the realist fake flowers I’ve ever seen. Beautiful!
Videography: Daylene Wilkins
Chef: Chef Meis
Check out sweet words from Rose here.
Have questions about eloping or having a small wedding in the gorgeous Sangre De Cristo Mountains, Three Peaks Ranch, or Crested Butte, Colorado?
Learn how you can have your own amazing elopement experience this year! Contact me here.
[email protected] | 303.596.6325
Bend, Oregon| Elopement & Intimate Wedding Photographer
Gwen Shoemaker is a seasoned professional photographer with 13 years of experience capturing the beauty of human beings all around the world. From Iceland to Antarctica, and Colorado to Bend, Oregon, Gwen’s passion for love and adventure has led her to specialize in wedding photography. Known for her ability to capture moments of raw emotion, she’s been humorously described by a client as an “emotion vulture,” always ready to swoop in and capture the perfect moment. Gwen’s love for travel and new experiences began when she studied abroad in rural Spain at the age of 17 and has since taken her to 15 different countries. Interestingly, it was in the least populated continent, Antarctica, where she found her true love. Gwen seeks to work with clients who share her love for the universe, are madly in love with their partners, and are full of joie de vivre.