Mel & Matt's Elk Meadow Elopement in Colorado

Melissa & Matt’s Elopement | Evergreen, Colorado Elopements | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography

I am very excited to share not only the beautiful pictures from Melissa & Matt’s Colorado elopement, but also the guest blog from our dear friend and officiant, Carya:

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“It was in the freezer aisle of Costco…

…snacking on yet another sample, that Melissa non-chalantly said to me, “Hey, I have a random question. Are you ordained in Colorado?” As it turns out, I am! And as we waited in line to check out, she told me of their plans to elope. 

Melissa and Matt had been engaged for 5 years. And every time they sat down to start to plan a wedding, stress and anxiety quickly followed. Both born and raised in Colorado in big families, they knew that if they had a traditional wedding, it would be a dauntingly big affair. So a few months ago, they decided that what would honor them best is to go up into the mountains, just the two of them (and their sweet pup, Country), and tie the knot in the simplest way! Once they knew what they truly wanted, they spoke with their close family and friends to inform them of their plans. 

I had only officiated one wedding before, and I absolutely loved it! As a yoga teacher, it felt very natural to mindfully guide a couple through such a special ceremony. So, of course, I was thrilled to be asked to preside over their wedding and for one of my best friends to ask me to be such an integral part of her big day! She has been there for me through so much, I was so grateful to be able to return the favor! 

When I first asked Melissa if she had plans for photos, she said, “I just figured we would have you take a few shots after.” Thinking that would just not do, I knew just who to call! You never know when Heather is going to be in Colorado, maybe she will be around! If not, she will surely know someone! Melissa, Heather and I all worked together in Arvada and had become good friends, so when I told Heather that Melissa and Matt were eloping, she jumped into action. Because Heather is a legit Wonder Woman, on top of all the other work she does, she mentors other photographers who are just starting out. And since she would not be in Denver, she secured her mentee Carly, who happened to be free on a Tuesday evening around sunset with less than a week’s notice. 

With photos in place, my focus turned to flowers. Every bride has to have flowers, no matter how small the wedding! I have done freelance wedding flowers for many years and I wanted to make a beautiful bouquet for Melissa. I had recently heard of an urban farmer growing beautiful flowers on her little farm in Arvada, CO. Since I follow Gina on Instagram, I reached out to her and she invited us out to her farm to pick flowers for Melissa’s bouquet. The day before the wedding, we met Gina early in the morning in her beautiful fields. She guided us through, naming all the flowers and then gave us clippers and a bucket and told us to take our pick!

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As we walked up and down the rows of blooms, Melissa would stop and marvel at the beauty a specific flower. She fell in love with radiant dahlias and happy sunflowers and picked white lavender and sage to give her bouquet a beautiful aroma. Later, as I made the bouquet, I remembered how she chose each flower with such love and care. It was a beautiful experience and made her bouquet that much more special!

When the wedding day arrived, we met at Melissa’s mom’s house. Melissa got ready with her mom and sister while Matt and Country hung out in the back yard. Her sister placed a few flowers in her hair while her mom placed precious family jewelry around her neck. She joined Matt and Country in the back yard for their first look, sharing a sweet moment, however fleeting due to Country’s bounding excitement. Then we all shared a champagne toast with her family before climbing into Matt’s pickup and heading up to the mountains. 

A few days prior, Melissa and Matt had traveled up to Evergreen, CO to look for the perfect spot for the ceremony. They chose Elk Meadow Open Space and found a small patch of trees, not far off the trail, with lichen covered rocks and a beautiful view of the meadow as a backdrop. 

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The ceremony was short and simple, with a heartfelt message to their families and a beautiful poem that the couple chose. Little Country was overcome with emotion and cried throughout the ceremony. A sweet mix of Melissa and Matt’s favorite love songs played softly as they professed their love to each other. A few tears were shed and before you know it, they were married!!! 

While a champagne toast is great and all, this elopement was about being true to who Matt and Melissa are, and though they have their moments of poise and class, they are also country bumpkins at heart. So we busted out some Montucky ColdSnacks for them to toast this next chapter in their lives. 

With daylight waning, they walked through the meadow hand in hand, enjoying the peace they created for themselves through this intimate setting. We gathered up our few things, and Country and I crawled into the backseat of the pickup, where he promptly fell asleep (all that crying is tiring!). Melissa summed up the day perfectly as she tapped Matt on the arm and exclaimed, “Holy crap, Babe, we’re married!”

Writing by: Carya Haas

Enjoy the photos from Mel & Matt’s elopement:

Photography: Associate shot by Carly for Apollo Fields
Florals: SheGrows
CO Elopement Location: Elk Meadow, Evergreen