All my friends and family will tell you I’m not a morning person. They’re not wrong.

BUT I’m a totally different person when it comes to a sunrise elopement. Maranda and Sam have an adventurous lifestyle and wanted to get married their own way, so we woke up at 3 a.m. for a sunrise Lake Isabelle elopement with their pup.

The Details

  • We spent the night before their elopement in Nederland, which is about a 30-minute drive from Lake Isabelle. This meant we got to sleep in a little bit longer, but coffee was still a necessity
  • It was super important to involve their dog in their special day. Lake Isabelle was the perfect spot since doggos are allowed, as long as they’re leashed
  • Because of Colorado’s badass self-solemnization rule, their pup signed their marriage license for them
  • These two spent intentional time getting ready together once we got to the trailhead and spent more time together with a sweet picnic after saying “I do”
  • A couple days after their elopement, they celebrated with their family at an intimate dinner in downtown Denver. They even hired me to stop by and take some pics!
  • This hybrid experience was exactly what Sam and Maranda wanted – intentional time together, but also dedicated time for celebrating with friends and family

Must Knows

  • The hike is about 5 miles round trip and fairly moderate, so I love recommending this spot for my couples who want to incorporate a hike into their elopement
  • During peak months, timed entry permits are required to enter the park. They can be hard to get since Lake Isabelle is a popular hike
  • I STRONGLY suggest a sunrise Lake Isabelle elopement. You 1.) don’t need a timed entry permit that early in the morning and 2.) you avoid the large crowds and have a more intimate setting with bae.


A hike AND an elopement? I’m in!

"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