Elegant Telluride, Colorado Elopement | Ali + Phil

July 30, 2022

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If you’re a fan of adorable love stories, backup plans, and intimate vow exchanges out in the middle of nowhere, you’re going to LOVE Ali + Phil’s Telluride, Colorado elopement. Especially if you feel like you can never choose between fashionable elegance and carefree mountain vibes – Ali + Phil are the perfect example of how you can truly have it ALL! Enjoy scrolling through this absolute dream of a day and reading a little bit about Telluride, one of our fave little Colorado mountain towns.

About Ali + Phil – The Love Story

We obviously have to start off with a little bit about the couple because who isn’t a sucker for a good love story?? 🙋🏼‍♀️

Ali + Phil tied the knot on their 9-year anniversary in a place they’ve both always wanted to see: the lil’ mountain town of Telluride, set smack dab in the gorgeous landscape of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. 

They’re both from New York, so you can imagine Telluride was an insane difference in scenery – and they were absolutely captivated by it. The entire day they were WOWED by the peacefulness of the mountain air and the stunning views surrounding them everywhere they looked!

The most important part of their elopement day, as told by Ali:

“Photos! Lol every girl dreams of her wedding day and the party. but I always just dreamed of dressing up and taking beautiful photos with the love of my life. being stress free and just doing whatever we wanted for 24 hours!”

Ali’s a photographer as well, so it just makes sense how much these two prioritized photos. And they both love film, too – which we’re huge fans of! One of the first things they told us after finding us on Instagram was that they wanted natural but dramatic photo edits, which we absolutely thrive on. 

So you better bet we got some damn gorgeous photos for these two!! It was impossible not to, what with the insane views – especially as they had a riverside first dance to John Legend’s Conversations in the Dark under falling snow, with glistening views of the Telluride mountains in the background. No joke. A freaking fairytale if I’ve ever seen one!

Their Elegant Telluride Mountain Elopement

A stress-free day – despite some bumps in the road

These photos may look *perfect*, but trust us when we say that there were definitely some bumps in the road for Ali + Phil’s elopement! We’re total pros at going with the flow + keeping our couples calm and in the moment no matter what unexpected situations we may get hit with, and this day was a perfect example of that.

We had originally planned on using the San Sophia Overlook for letter readings from their family members, but that unfortunately fell through. When we went to scope out the location the day before, we learned the overlook was closed due to it being off-season. So instead we found a beautiful spot in the birch trees in the Mountain Village (overlooking Telluride), where Ali + Phil could read the letters from their loved ones!

Next we drove down from the Mountain Village to Telluride for fun photos in town and lunch at Steamie’s Burger Bar. We stopped to smash some burgers & fries right across the street from the courthouse where Ali & Phil got their marriage license. 10/10 would recommend!!

Once we finished up lunch in Telluride, we all jumped in the car & headed toward Ouray. Our drive was super relaxing – we were listening to music, talking about our favorite tv shows, movies, (etc!) & taking in the incredible mountain views. We stopped to explore Cascade Falls and Box Canyon Falls, which turned out to have the best dramatic lighting for photos ever.

But next up on the list of unexpected hitches the day-of: the drive up to Yankee Boy, where we were going to do their ceremony, turned treacherous due to a snowstorm that moved in several hours earlier than expected. It got COLD, and fast, with the snow coming in super quickly + packing onto the already snowy “road” on the way up to the basin.

So we stopped ¾ of the way up and Ali + Phil picked a ceremony spot, then jumped in the car ASAP after their self-solemnized ceremony was done to get warm again! They cuddled the whole way back to Telluride (we drove them around the whole day, listening to music & vibing while taking in all the views).

We ended up having their first dance in a park in Telluride by the water (we brought a speaker along for it!), where they danced to that tear-jerking John Legend song I mentioned earlier. After their dance, they rolled a joint and popped some champagne, then signed their marriage license – my kinda people!

All in all, we absolutely LOVED this day with Ali + Phil because we were all just able to go with the flow. We had a plan in place, but we ended up having to be super flexible with a lot of little things, like the weather changing quickly and not having a golden hour for sunset photos. We are so thankful for this wonderful couple who was able to adapt to the ever-changing plans and still have THE best day ever!

Sample Telluride, CO Elopement Timeline

Ali + Phil eloped right before Telluride’s busy season, which was intentional so we could do our best to avoid crowds. This did mean that most things were closed, like the gondola between the towns, but since we knew about this ahead of time we were able to plan for it!

To get a feel for what a real Telluride elopement timeline could look like, take a look at Ali + Phil’s below! Like I’ve been saying, manyyyy things changed the day before or the day of this elopement – so not all of this on the original timeline ended up being precisely followed!

8:30 – Detail photos

9:00 – Get ready together at condo

10:20 – Read parents’ letters back-to-back

10:30 – Snap some photos

11:00 – Drive to Telluride (30 minutes)

11:30 – Snap some photos in Telluride

12:00 – Lunch in Telluride

1:00 – Drive to Cascade Falls Park (1 hour 5 minutes)

2:10 – Explore waterfalls, take photos

2:40 – Drive to Box Canyon Falls Park (10 minutes)

2:50 – Explore canyons, take photos

3:20 – Drive to Yankee Boy Basin trailhead (40 minutes)

4:00 – Hike to ceremony location

4:30 – GET MARRIED!!

4:40 – First dance following ceremony

4:50 – Smoke to celebrate

5:00 – Explore, photos in the mountains, alone time for Ali + Phil

6:30 – Pop champagne at overlook, take golden hour photos

6:45 – Drive back to condo (40 minutes)

7:30 – Drop off at condos, part ways for dinner

Fun fact – we also ended up taking some photos at the courthouse that they picked up their marriage license at in Telluride, which was right across from the burger place we ate at for lunch!

Telluride, Colorado elopement vendors

Shoutout to all the incredible vendors who made Ali + Phil’s day come to life!!

Photographer: Elope with TKM (T!)

Videographer: Elope with TKM (Corey!)

Officiant: They self-solemnized! 🙂

Hair + Makeup: Ali did her own!

Dress: Grace Loves Lace | Bridal & Occasion Wear

We could NOT be more thankful to have worked with Ali + Phil, two truly rad humans!! They even wrote us the kindest review, and we felt like we had to include it here – humble brags are acceptable, right?

A sweet review from the couple

“I can’t even begin to put into words how special T and Corey made our wedding day. I knew from the moment we FaceTimed that they were the perfect pair to photograph our day. 

We are very shy & awkward but T and Corey made us feel so at ease and special.

They captured us just being us and the results were magical 😍

They are the most genuine, sweetest and talented couple! Thank you guys for becoming more than just our photographers but also our friends. ❤️

I can’t recommend them enough!!! 📸🎥

How to Plan an Elopement in 2022-2023: The Ultimate Guide

Oh man, I know that after re-living Ali + Phil’s day Corey and I are SO dang ready to photograph & film another amazing adventure elopement like this!!

If you’re feeling inspired by their freaking breathtaking Telluride, Colorado elopement, and want to plan an elopement of your own, you’ll def want to check out our Ultimate Guide to Planning an Elopement in 2022-2023. It’s JAM-PACKED with everything you need to know when it comes to elopement planning, from marriage licenses to permits to how to choose your location and soooo much more. 

Give it a read here, and once you know you’re in love with the idea of an elopement + want to start booking your vendors, we’d be so honored to photograph + film your big day!! You can hit us up on our website and we’ll be ready to help make your dream elopement come to life 😉 Also, feel free to follow Ali on Instagram for amazing lifestyle & fashion photos – @alirae23!!