A lot of the couples I work with are from out of state, but every now and then I get a local couple. Katie and Steven call Colorado home, so they knew exactly where they wanted to elope based on the spots that were special to them. They initially wanted to get married in Utah at Arches National Park, but the process to get a permit was way too frustrating. They pivoted to a Maroon Bells elopement because Colorado makes it SO easy to get married.

Even though they couldn’t get married there, Katie and Steven knew they still wanted photos in Utah. After their special day at Maroon Bells, which is near Aspen, we all drove to Moab to make the most out of their weekend together. I was so excited they trusted me with documenting their elopement experience and I couldn’t be more stoked about how their images turned out.

The Details

  • These two were very intentional with everything, from the date of their weekend, the locations they chose, and the bigger details, like her amazing gown, exchanging rings, and the special details on her bouquet.
  • Katie and Steven rented e-bikes in Aspen. We road all the way up to Maroon Bells, which was about an 11-mile trip.
  • The road for vehicles to get into the park wasn’t open yet. Since we were on bikes that wasn’t an issue for us. It felt like we were the only ones there, which created a super intimate day for these two.
  • Their dog made the trip up in Steven’s backpack!
  • The next day we drove over to Moab. It’s about a 5-hour drive from Denver, but was only about 3.5 hours from Aspen.
  • In Moab they put their wedding attire on again and got some DREAMY pictures at Arches National Park.
  • There was a lunar eclipse that night, which made all my photog dreams come true.

Must Knows

  • If you want something with mountains, a Maroon Bells elopement is a perfect way to get them with minimal effort. It’s about a 4.5-hour drive from Denver, but there’s also the option to fly directly into Aspen. Maroon Bells is a HIGHLY competitive spot for elopements. It requires permits and they’re hard to get if you don’t plan in advance.
  • Since Katie and Steven had a 2-day elopement experience, we used day one as their elopement photography package, and then day two in Moab was their adventure session.
    • Adventure sessions are an additional session you can book with me for the week of your wedding. It’s a fun way to get photos in a couple different places!
  • These two brought their fur baby along, which I know is important to a lot of couples. Some locations don’t allow pets because of wildlife in the area, so make sure you check the rules when choosing your elopement location.

Our elopement needs Kenzie.

"Hiring McKenzie to photograph our wedding was single-handedly the best decision we made when planning our wedding. Wedding planning and vendor research was so stressful, and once we had Kenzie, she stepped in as support and helped us with narrowing down things that were important to us and to figure out what we really wanted.  wish we could get married over and over again just to recreate these and work with Kenzie again! "

Nadia + Daniel

"You will not find another wedding photographer who has the McKenzie signature style- she can capture the absolute beauty of the area and people all at once. She can shoot in a variety of settings and lightings and the photos are all gorgeous. One of the main reasons we booked McKenzie was the fact that she showcases a diverse clientele and finds beauty in all beings- something not all photographers can say.As a plus size bride who was extremely worried about looking back at my wedding pictures with dread that I wouldn't look like those gorgeous girlies on Instagram- this meant so much to me. "

Sydnie + Nathan

"When we got engaged, we searched near and far for an elopement photographer - & we met with several different photographers but none felt right until we met McKenzie. My husband, my dog and I are avid hikers - we wanted a beautiful hike and view, but it was also very important that we could be our authentic selves and intimately celebrate our 10 years together in the way we wanted. I'll be honest, I was shy about wanting to elope (ya know, family opinions and such), but McKenzie made us feel so comfortable in our decision. She wholeheartedly welcomed us being.. us! We couldn't have asked for more."

Maranda + Sam