Some of my favorite weddings are the ones where you have only a small handful of guests and you can disappear for hours afterward to explore, take photos, or just enjoy the time together. That’s just what Samantha and Ryan did for their Rocky Mountain National Park wedding in Estes Park last year. Instead of being overwhelmed with guests, they had their closest family in attendance and then had some time to just enjoy each other’s company and really take in what the day is all about. Anyone who has been married before at a big wedding knows that while they are a ton of fun, sometimes you don’t feel like you got to visit or celebrate with everyone there. It’s a whirlwind and you talk to more guest than you might with your new spouse.
Samantha and Ryan had their ceremony at the Black Canyon Inn and then we explored the national park together afterward for some amazing shots with great views! Due to an influx of weddings and wedding photographers at Rocky Mountain National Park the last several years, they are now very particular about who gets married there and staying on the trails, but it works out just fine and you still get to take photos in fantastic places! After exploring and taking photos at a few of their favorite spots and getting in some divine light, these two headed off for dinner and the day felt like the perfect combination of everything you’d love about celebrating with family and friends as well as an elopement! I’m so thankful I was the photographer that got to participate in this day, and that we got to spend time in the mountains and sunshine in the park. I’ve been going there since I was a kid with my family and it just never gets old – even to a photographer like me whose dad works for the Forest Service and loves to get us all outdoors there!