Nikki + Jay wanted to immerse themselves in a full day of adventure for their elopement. They wanted something epic, exciting, and full of jaw dropping views. They were down for a sturdy adventure, so I was so excited to help them plan something perfect. Cue an American Basin Jeeping Elopement in Colorado.
Nikki + Jay traveled to Colorado from the East Coast. They were so much fun to work with, and throughout our video calls and planning sessions we really became great friends– so much so that we could give Jay a hard time through this blog, but we’ll refrain.
They had a few ideas in mind for their elopement, but since they weren’t from the area they were totally willing to trust our expertise and opinions. To be honest, we felt like their original plan would have disappointed them. The location they had in mind is often photographed at its best angle to hide tourists, roads, and other commercial activity. It just wouldn’t have given them the remote, deep adventure that they were craving.
We were honest with them about this, and we were then able to work together to create a day that fulfilled the elopement experience they were chasing. After diving into a few different location options, we settled on American Basin. What an epic place to say “I do”.
American Basin is an epic little spot found nestled in the San Juans. It takes some commitment to get there (this isn’t a short drive to your local grocery store), but it is SO WORTH IT! The views are beautiful and the adventure is sturdy. This location is accessible in the summer and fall months. You can get to the location in winter, but it would take some serious snowmobiling, skiing, or snowshoeing paired with extensive avalanche knowledge.
June provides gorgeous snow capped peaks, while July and August welcome abundant wildflowers. You will share the location with other jeepers/UTVs as well as hikers trekking Handies (one of Colorado’s 14ers), and everyone is usually just happy to be out in jaw dropping nature.
American Basin can be accessed from multiple towns. Our couple chose to stay in a local cabin, and we jeeped our way through the San Juans all afternoon. This allowed Nikki + Jay to really take in the plethora of mountain peaks and incredible views that the San Juans have to offer. We stopped a few times along the way to soak up some history, and we organized a mountainside luxury picnic for them on the way back.
Jeeping is a great way to experience your elopement in Colorado because it gives you access to epic locations witout having to hike (unless of course you want to!). There are rental companies all over the state, and you can even hire a private tour that will tell you all about the history of the mountains. Private tour companies will also shuttle any guests you might have which is perfect for people who aren’t so comfortable navigating 4×4 terrain.
Nikki + Jay hold value in what’s important, including each other and the experiences they share. That was apparent all throughout their day. We grew so close to this couple while helping them create one of the best days of their lives. My heart was so full while capturing their love story and celebrating them as they shared a fun-filled day.
At the start of the day, we helped them tango in their cabin to keep them from seeing each other before their first look. Nikki flipped the cabin upsidedown looking for her lipstick, but the great thing about elopements is that the schedule is flexible. You don’t have guests waiting on you if you need to spend an extra 10 minutes looking for something. We led Jay outside by the river where he patiently waited to see the love of his life. He was excited, but he played it cool.
We love the anticipation and build up to a first look. It shows how much you love each other because you are so excited to see that person and all of the preparation they did to marry you. First look or down the aisle, this moment is really special.
After the first look, we loaded up the jeep for a day packed with fun adventures. We hit the road and I immediately got to experience on of my favorite parts of an elopement. Jay’s jaw dropped as he started looking out the window and the massive cliff dropping off the side of the road. I love getting to watch my clients experience the adventures we plan for them and get super stoked as their day comes to life. Nikki on the other hand kept her eyes forward and would have hugged the wall if she could.
American Basin was our first stop. We soaked up the scenery and found the perfect spot for Jay + Nikki to say their vows. They had the basin all to themselves, so they were fully surrounded by epic nature while committing themselves to each other. The sun was warm on our skin but the mountain air was cool and breezy. We really couldn’t have asked for a better day!
We explored the mountains on our way back to their mountainside luxury picnic. Our original picnic plan was lakeside, but the lake was still snowy/icy creating a super cold environment. We stopped here to snag a few photos and the wind was BLOWING. It was awesome, but not so awesome for a picnic. Another great thing about elopements is you can be flexible with what the day gives you!
Their picnic was a perfect way to end the evening. They ate a mouth-watering meal, shared some cake, and had their first dance while overlooking the sunset on the peaks. We went back to the cabin to sign their marriage license and tie the bow on an epic day. A huge, huge, huge congratulations to Nikki + Jay on a lifetime of happiness and choosing to put themselves first in their marriage. Happy elopement!
Want your own American Basin Colorado Jeeping Elopement? Let’s do it.
We would love to go on an adventure with you! Michael and I are a traveling adventure elopement photo, video, + planning team. We chase loving souls and deep emotion, and we go wherever the wind takes us. Check out our blogs below for recent work, or reach out to plan your epic day. We can’t wait to get you in front of our lens!
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