Sunset and sand dunes adventure elopement
Marlen and Jesus had an adventurous and nature-focused spring elopement in the sand dunes of Colorado at sunset. Marlen and Jesus traveled from Atlanta, Georgia, for their elopement, which was minimalist and simple.
They started the day driving up a rough 4X4 road to Zapata Falls. Marlen and Jesus got ready on opposite sides of their jeep. The first look was overlooking the sand dunes, and after they headed to the dunes for their ceremony. After the ceremony, they signed their certificate (as did their Boston Terrier), had a champagne pop and cut their cake. The day finished with a simultaneous sunset and moonrise.
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
Make it about yourselves. When we first started planning our wedding, we planned this big extravagant destination wedding, which was when we started doing a bit more thinking we realized how important it was for the two of us to share the moment and not make it about everyone else. We noticed that weddings these days are becoming more about your guest list versus the couple, and we wanted to appreciate one another before we appreciated everyone who was there on our day. We are still planning on having a small ceremony for family and friends next spring, but eloping was the best decision we could have ever made.
Advice for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
Pick a vendor who has worked with LGBTQ+ couples; there are so many wonderful photographers and vendors out there but as first-timers to get a photo shoot, you realize how important it is to distinguish that LGBTQ+ poses are very different from non-LGBTQ+ couples. Our photographer was incredible in making us feel comfortable during the shoot and throughout our entire elopement.
Did you encounter any pleasant surprises as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
Our day couldn’t have been more perfect. We originally were supposed to be having our elopement in one location, but due to weather (thank you, Colorado), it was not possible to reach it. Ten days before the big day we had to find another spot. Our photographer was not only ridiculously accommodating to finding us the perfect spot, but went out of the way to make sure it was the best spot.
The day before the wedding we checked the weather and it stated 60 percent chance of rain, overcast and minimal sun. Our wedding day was not only sunny, but there was barely a cloud in the sky was to be found, it was warm and we even got a full moon at night for starry photos.
The clerk at the Denver court was so enthusiastic and excited for us, that he said that we better see him the next day with our rings when we come back to file our marriage license to show them off! Another wonderful surprise was that our dog was our other witness on the marriage license, yep, we got an ink-pad and stamped his paw right on there. That was a very special moment for us.
Photographer: River and Root
Planner: D. Fritz, River and Root
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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