Snowy Winter Elopement in Ouray Colorado || Tafadzwa + Tiauna
San Juan Mountains Winter Elopement || Telluride Adventure Elopement Photographer
Tafadzwa called me two weeks before he even proposed to start planning his and Tiauna’s Colorado elopement just a couple months later. They gave me full reigns to plan a dream day for them, and, humility be damned, it was a pretty freaking incredible elopement day. They were open to anywhere in Colorado, as long as they could have a fun adventure and an epic mountain backdrop. They flew from the East Coast and I drove from California to meet these two and their parents in the tiny San Juan mountain town of Ouray, Colorado.
Ouray was a perfect elopement location choice for many reasons. Tafadzwa and Tiauna’s first choice was Rocky Mountain National Park but RMNP has a very tight permitting system, so we opted for somewhere outside of the National Park system. The San Juan Mountains are so gorgeous and have some lower-effort, high-reward scenic spots, which was ideal for taking the parents along for the ceremony. Ouray was more affordable and less crowded than neighboring Telluride, and I scouted the perfect ceremony spot along the iconic Million Dollar Highway. Silverton is another stunning option and further down the highway, but it was a little more remote than we wanted to be.
I came two days early to scout the location and be completely prepared for everything Ouray had to offer. It happened to dump snow the night before the elopement, but we were so lucky that the Million Dollar Highway opened up for us just in time for us to go with our original elopement adventure plan. Plus we got a fresh sheet of snow for some extra wintry photography magic!
We began the day documenting slow and sweet getting ready moments at the Imogene Hotel in downtown Ouray. Like I mentioned, I was prepared for everything…except for what absolutely incredible humans these two and their parents would be. Tiauna, Tafadzwa, and their family felt like familiar friends. It was so comfortable from the get-go. I picked up snowshoes and a sled from Our Mountain Sports, and we headed out to the Million Dollar Highway for the ceremony with Abrams Mountain towering behind us.
We frolicked in the bright, glistening snow along the Uncompahgre River, and then drove further down toward Silverton to go snowshoeing and enjoy some jet-boiled hot chocolate (courtesy of Conrad) amongst the evergreens. We fell knee-deep in the snow so many times and never stopped belly-laughing. This day was truly what snowy winter elopement dreams are made of. Colorado, we’ll be back.
Photography + Planning: @safeenanoah
Getting Ready: Imogene Hotel
Winter rentals: @ouraymountainsports