Colorado Woodland Fairy Adventure Elopement For Wild Hearts | Camp Cozy Waterfall Elopement in Colorado | Hiking Adventure Elopement Photographer For Non-Traditional Brides | Justyna E Butler Photography

CAMP COZY…..these two give me all the goosebumps, the hammock snuggles among the Aspens, swoon worthy moments. Packing for your adventure would not be complete without those when you are headed to the mountains for a lifetime adventure, away from it all hiking, backpacking, camping, or glamping. Waking up at 2 am just to say hello to the sunrise LIGHT, a cup of favorite coffee at the top of the world sounds like HAVEN TO MY HEART. You feel me?

Bride’s Few words

I still remember the first time I saw him. Sitting alone, reading his torn up, dog-eared book in the corner. I remember the pull I had to him, even then, even in the crowd of people ambling about.

For us, our relationship has always been made up of humble, small moments. Seeing each other reading and waiting for class those many years ago, getting dinner together (and forcing our roommates to come as moral support), going to tea shops or book shops and buying more of the things we love but don’t need. Going on walks together, rain, shine, or snow, and pointing out all the flowers, bugs, and plants to one another to make sure the other doesn’t miss it. Making dinner together (or rather, him watching me make dinner) and sitting next to each other while we watch The Office. Playing with our cats and coming up with scenarios about them that could never possibly happen, but still have us laughing deep into our bellies.

When we decided to to have Justyna take our elopement photos, it was for a few many reasons. For one, we knew that though we wanted to celebrate our marriage with our families and friends, we first wanted to savor that moment on our own. We wanted to share our love for one another without an audience, so we could authentically share our vows, our promises, our memories, and our hopes for the future. We wanted to make sure we had a whole day to ourselves to remember for the rest of our lives, and not feel rushed by an agenda or having to mingle with other people with barely a moment together the whole day. Further, we were honored that a long-time family friend was able and willing to share that moment with us. Since we wanted that moment to be private even from our family and friends, it was wonderful that we knew we could be comfortable with our adventure elopement photographer on the day of our marriage and not have to worry about keeping up appearances.

Adventure Experience

Throughout the experience, Justyna was wonderful at giving directions, while also giving us space to enjoy each other’s company and let us organically experience the moment. She pushed us, as we’re so private and introverted that being in front of a camera can be challenging for both of us, but still allowed us to be ourselves. And while at the time I worried that we might show our discomfort in the photos, after seeing the handful of sneak-peeks she posted a few days later I am astonished at her ability to capture the pure moments, without the nervousness we may have been feeling showing through.

I’ll never forget that day. A night of fitful sleep, dreaming about missing our alarm. An early wake up time of 1:30 AM (but so worth it to catch the moon and stars!). Getting ready in separate rooms, something we haven’t done in years since before we started living together. Seeing the look on his face when he saw me for the first time, totally alone in our hotel room. And the pure adoration on his face that cemented in my heart the trust and knowledge that we will spend the rest of our lives together, happily.

Even with the “mishaps” like forgetting my bouquet at the hotel, the day couldn’t have been more perfect. We got so incredibly lucky with the weather—no snow, rain, or high winds and it was almost uncharacteristically warm for being on the mountain at 3 AM. Standing and looking up at the stars together. Watching the light just start to peek over the mountain tops. Listening to the waterfall as we shared our stories and love with one another. Resting and soaking it all in in the dappled sunlight under the aspens.

I can’t wait to get the rest of the photos back so we can have them in our home, as an anchor and a reminder for us as the years go on. So that now, I can remember all the little moments, but all the big moments too.

Groom’s Few words

Even though my now wife and I have lived in Colorado most of our lives, we had never been to Steamboat before. The drive up was filled with excitement; we were going on an adventure in our backyard of the Colorado mountains. We kept nervously checking the weather app on our phones, but the predicted forecast for rain 2 days ago now showed sunny skies. Pulling up to the snowcapped mountains and bright green valleys of Steamboat confirmed our choice that this was the perfect place to get married.
We woke up at 2am after a night of tapas and drinks and met our wonderful photographer, Justyna, in the hotel lobby. She was eager to go and excited that the sky was looking good. We drove just a short distance to fish creek falls where we were greeted to a perfectly clear backdrop of the milky way. We rummaged for our headlamps and listened as Justyna oriented us on how to take the perfect starry sky shot. After each photo we could hear Justyna in the background remark at how gorgeous the photos were turning out. Between the tea breaks and sounds of the wilderness, taking starry night photos was certainly one of the highlights of our trip.
As the sun rose, we walked closer to the waterfall with our morning snack of overnight oats and waited for the perfect light. Justyna gave us the space to be ourselves and enjoy each other’s company. We read each other our vows in front of the waterfall and exchanged rings, knowing full well that Justyna was taking the perfect photos. The rest of the day was filled with walking alongside the glacial temperature stream, setting up hammocks in the aspen trees, and trying to spot the hummingbirds, Justyna’s favorite, as they zipped across the top of the trees. We celebrated a successful day of photos with a relaxing dip at the nearby Strawberry hot springs. Our day was made so special because of Justyna and we wouldn’t have asked for a more exciting wedding day. She made us feel comfortable and we knew we could trust her to take the perfect photos, making the day memorable.
Ready to take a look? Let’s go!

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  1. what an adventure! i love the sweetness of these two and how well you managed to include both emotion and landscape in these pictures 🙂

  2. What an amazing adventure! Really love the mood and the storytelling in the gallery. The headlamps are really awesome and unique. Also love how you incorporate the couple’s own experience in the post. This makes it even more personal and valuable!

  3. The colors and tones of your photos are just astonishing. also, the emotions in these are incredible, i love how cute and romantic they are! gorgeous work 🙂

  4. These images look like a fairytale, which complements their love story. what a beautiful elopement in steamboat colorado!

  5. I felt I was in a vintage fairy tale with these two. Next time, maybe someone will be on the slackline!!

  6. This collection of images is amazing. Literally Cannot believe the details you’ve captured and i think the headlamp shots at the Beginning are so creative…thanks for sharing!

  7. Oh my gosh, I was drooling just scrolling through this entire elopement! I love that they made their vows so casual and intimate in front of the waterfall and love the hammock photos – this is dreamy!


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