Colorado has more elopement locations than just the mountains.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re beautiful. But if you’re after a more unique location, like Kess and Dakota were, how about a badass cave elopement? These two flew in from Oregon to say “I do” at Cave of the Winds. Their intimate wedding was a perfect blend of celebrating both alone and with family.

The couple shared a first dance as part of their cave elopement.

The Details

  • Incorporating family was important, so Dakota and Kess invited their parents to help them get ready separately in their Airbnb.
  • They opted to do a first look, so we drove out to Garden of the Gods to capture the moment. It was SO nice to take our time and let them have some alone time before meeting up with their family.
  • After pics, they had a little sunset picnic and then we were off to their cave elopement!
  • For the ceremony, all the parents read letters they had written to Kess and Dakota. It was a really special and easy way to further incorporate their family.
  • They also did a ring warming ceremony, which is one of my fave rituals I’ve seen couples do.
  • The ceremony ended with a special first dance and family photos before we headed off to dinner in Colorado Springs!
  • On the way to dinner, I pulled a signature Kenzie move. We drove past a motel with the coolest neon sign, and I knew we had to stop. These two never doubted me and the photos we got are so unique!

Before their cave elopement, this couple did a first look at Garden of the Gods.

A couple during the ceremony of their cave elopement.

Must Knows

  • Cave of the Winds is just west of Colorado Springs – about an hour and a half drive from Denver. They rented a private spot after hours for around $500. It was super nice that we didn’t have to deal with any of the public walking around during such an intimate moment.
  • To state the obvious, it was freakin’ dark in that cave. I brought my own lighting to make sure I got the best photos possible for Dakota and Kess. I’m also super confident shooting in different lighting conditions, but not all photographers are. If you’re doing something similar to a cave elopement, make sure you ask your photographer about their skills.
  • If you’re embracing self-solemnization and are worried about how to end your ceremony without it being a little awkward, take notes from these two. Concluding their ceremony with a first dance was such a natural way to close things out.
  • If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million time. Trust. Your. Photographer. The motel photos were completely unplanned, but they’re some of our favorites from the day!


Have I convinced you to have a cave elopement?

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