By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Photos by Vows and Peaks
Welcome to the magical hiking elopement of Jared and Ron who had the most amazing mountaintop wedding.
They were hitched on the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, early in the morning. They travelled by an off-road jeep as the sun rose and had an enchanting ceremony in the sunlight. Exchanging vows they wrote themselves, they wore gorgeous burgundy and navy suits.
Then there was the fantastic Harry Potter ring book, fun bubbles moment and portraits in the wondrous surroundings. Does it get any more romantic!?
Vows and Peaks, thank you so much for sharing with us these sensational images of a very special day indeed.
Our story began 13 years ago so this was a long time coming. We actually met on Myspace when that was still a thing (like I said, a long time ago). We grew up in neighboring towns in Indiana and Ron says that he first laid eyes on me when I attended his high school prom a few years prior to us meeting.
I wouldn’t say that we ever had a formal proposal. When the U.S. Supreme Court legalized marriage equality in 2015, we pretty much knew at that point it would be in our future. We just didn’t feel in a rush to make it official with Ron finishing his Master’s degree and I was considering a career change as well.
In the last couple years, we have begun talking about starting a family and so the timing felt right for us to say “I do”. I can’t remember how I first came across our elopement photographer, Sean’s work, but I remember being blown away and I ran to Ron and said “This is what I want!!!”
I (Jared) am a big fan of hiking and being outdoors and tend to shy away from the traditional, so Colorado in all of its beauty was a dream location. When Sean, our photographer asked us about our vision for this day we told him we wanted mountains, water, cliffs, and canyons.
We trusted him fully to find a spot for us so we actually didn’t know the exact location until we arrived there by way of a Jeep, 13,000 feet elevation just before the sun rose over the San Juan Mountain peaks.
We planned to spend about $10K-$15K on our entire trip which included the wedding and a week of adventure in the state of Colorado.
Sean picked us up at 4:00 in the morning with his buddy that had a Jeep that was equipped for off-roading. It was chilly, dark, and bumpy as we made our way up the mountains and exchanged stories.
We arrived at the top of the mountains at around 6:00 a.m. and the sun was just about ready to peek through. We grabbed our suits out of the bags and stood on opposite sides of the Jeep to get ready, using only the tinted windows for reflection.
Since we couldn’t see each other getting dressed this gave us the opportunity for a proper first look. I (Jared) stood on a rocky slope while Ron came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder to signal for me to turn around. WOW, he looked amazing dressed up in his navy blue suit.
We were planning to have suits that were navy and burgundy, but the latter color was harder to find. We came across a burgundy-coloured suit made by Express and went to check it out. While there we also found a lovely navy suit that was made of the same material and ended up purchasing them both there.
Our ties and pocket squares came from a company called Dazi. We opted for ties that were muted tones of the other’s suit color. Our hiking boots provided us with stable footing during our trek and tied together the formal look of our outfits and the rawness of the outdoors.
Our ceremony was just us, standing on a rocky spot, secluded from the rest of the world and exchanging our handwritten vows to each other. It was a raw and emotional moment for us.
The sun had begun to rise and the warmth was glowing on our cheeks as we read our promises and the things we loved about one another.
We exchanged rings out of a copy of Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince that had been hollowed to expose the chapter “The Unbreakable Vow”.
Sean Oblizalo of Vows and Peaks.
Our colors were navy and burgundy. We wanted something that would stand out with the greens and greys of our surroundings and set the mood of the time of year as we begin to approach fall. Our ties were muted versions of each others’ suit colors which we complemented with matching pocket squares and handmade paper flower lapel pins.
Our honeymoon and wedding were all part of the same trip. We arrived in Colorado five days prior to our ceremony where we enjoyed a ride through the mountains on one of the oldest steam engine trains in the U.S. along an old mining route on one particular day, and went white water rafting and ziplining on another.
We enjoyed the many local dining options and walked around shops admiring the work of local artists. On the days after our ceremony, we traveled to more locations around the state partaking in the most beautiful hikes that I have ever seen.
After our ceremony, we hiked and adventured around the area. This particular mountain top had three lakes nestled within its ridges, and snow banks that survived the summer months. It seemed you could walk just a few feet and your entire view would change. It was endlessly beautiful.
We capped off our morning by opening a bottle of Moscato that we enjoyed directly from the bottle.
Your day is about the two of you so you should do what makes you happy. Have fun, see the world, and enjoy the company of each other. Whether you opt for the traditional, the unusual, or an elopement, the most important thing is that at the end of the day you are happy.
Wow, so very beautiful.
Jared and Ron, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your breathtaking hiking elopement story.
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