Sometimes you go out looking for love. But sometimes it shows up looking for you. And in my experience it rarely looks quite the way you expect. I don’t think Danae ever expected a man in dress blues to walk into her life and carry her heart away, but danged if Derek didn’t do just that. And I definitely don’t think a year ago Derek OR Danae were expecting to elope in Breckenridge. But that’s where they found themselves on this fine September day. He swept her off her feet and now she’s agreed to follow him wherever the Army sends him. For the rest of her life. I’m pretty sure she didn’t start out looking for an adventure quite like that when she met this handsome soldier. But then, soldiers are so very good at that whole sweeping off the feet thing. (I speak from experience.)
When they decided to elope in Breckenridge Danae and Derek asked me for suggestions on perfect spots. I gave them a list and they went out exploring! But they found this magical little hideaway all on their own. The beauty of eloping in Colorado is that you don’t need an officiant or a venue, just the two of you and a quiet place. And maybe a photographer who’s really really excited for you.
Possibly the most perfect thing about this spot where Danae and Derek chose to elope in Breckenridge is that, while it was quiet, the river was LOUD. So loud, in fact, that I couldn’t hear a word they said to each other as they exchanged vows. So even though I was hovering on the edges with my long lens and teary eyes, their ceremony was really just the two of them. And yes, I 1000% still cried even though I couldn’t hear them. The way they looked at one another and the expressions on their faces were so raw and beautiful, that was all it took to give me all the feels.
Sometimes I take a whole bunch of photos when I ask a couple to do something. That’s partially to give myself lots of options in editing, and also because sometimes I get to make GIFs.
*Fun behind the scenes for the next set of images.*
Me: “Okay Derek, now kiss her.”
Derek: Leans in and kisses her.
Me: “No, no, like you MEAN IT!”
Derek: Puts his hand on her neck
Danae: “Don’t mess up my hair!”
Derek: Buries his hand in her hair because he loves to tease her and mess with her a little.
Danae: “I’m not photogenic at all.”
Me and Derek: Laughing hysterically at that totally absurd and erroneous statement.
Besides being a soldier, Derek reminds me of my husband in many ways. That’s all I’m going to say about this image.
After we ran around the woods in the Rocky Mountain fall we drove the short distance to the downtown area. There are several AMAZING restaurants and other hot spots that are the perfect finish if you’re going to elope in Breckenridge! And a pretty darn good view!
I love that pursuing my passion gives me the chance to get to know people in a way that I otherwise would not. I had met first Derek and then Danae before their elopement in a totally different context, and while I knew that they were lovely people who I’d enjoy getting to know better, that was pretty much it. Well, aside from the EXTREMELY obvious fact that Derek was absolutely, totally, irreversibly in love with Danae. It absolutely shone out of him the first time he mentioned her. But after being a part of this incredibly special page in their story, they have a special place in my heart. And I am so excited to see where their journey takes them next!