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Courtney & Dani – A Self-Officiated Elopement in Colorado

Courtney & Dani – A Self-Officiated Elopement in Colorado

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In Colorado you can self-officiate your own wedding and elopement, which is exactly what Courney and Dani decided to do. Amongst the mountains they made promises to one another toward a future together.

What’s a memory togehter that you’ll never forget.

Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Probably our trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. It was our first time out of the country together. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. We enjoyed exploring, walking through the cobblestone streets and visiting shops full of beautiful crafts and goodies, enjoying the street carts of incredible food, and visiting the ruins of an old Mayan temple. I ended up proposing back to Courtney on this trip as well, which made it extra special.

Tell us about the proposal.

For Christmas, we each bought our Mom’s a flight to Denver for Mother’s Day Weekend. One of the days, we decided to take a road trip to explore the beautiful scenery. Courtney and her Mom went to the store to buy some snacks for the road. My Mom and I got ready at the house. We drove to Twin Lakes, a stunning setting with a lake and the mountains behind). We got out of the car, and I ran down to the lake to take some photos, Courtney yelling, “Wait!” I continued down to the lake and began taking pictures. Courtney and our my moms eventually caught up. We took many pictures, and our Mom’s kept telling us to get closer and take more photos together. 

Eventually, we turned around to continue looking at the scenery, and Courtney said, “This would be a pretty cool place to get engaged, wouldn’t it?” Not thinking much of it because Courtney has said this before in a joking manner. I laughed and told her to “hush.” She then said, “No, I’m serious,” and I turned around to her, holding out a ring. I was shocked, and the tears began. Our moms were so excited (they knew about it beforehand), and they were able to video and take pictures of the whole thing. The ring is stunning, and my wife is even prettier. 

Eloping wasn’t you’r first choice, so how did you come to decide to elope?

Eloping was not our first choice. We had planned three different versions of our wedding to try and be COVID compliant, but eventually, we decided that it was in our best interest to postpone the big wedding. We both knew we wanted to get married in 2020, as our engagement had been over a year, and we didn’t want to wait any longer. So, we decided that we would elope, and Colorado has some fantastic places to do so. 

We told our loved ones about the elopement beforehand – it wasn’t a secret! Actually, both sets of parents encouraged us to do so! They knew it had been a rough road to get to where we were at, and they were so so happy that it could happen. We were both able to Facetime our families once we had gotten hair, makeup, and dresses on. It was incredible that they could still be a part of the beautiful day!

Walk us through the elopement day.

We woke up to the most beautiful sunshine and weather (it’s always a toss-up in the mountains, especially in September) in a house we had up in the mountains, and our hairdresser/makeup artist came to the house. We had two friends who helped coordinate so that we wouldn’t see each other. Courtney left first, and I left shortly behind. 

We arrived at Brainard Lake Recreation Area, where Long Lake is located. We both love the outdoors and hiking, so of course, our elopement involved a short mile-long hike. Courtney was there first and had her back to me. I walked up and tapped her on the shoulder, and we had our “first look.” Courtney looked absolutely stunning! 

In Colorado, you can self-officiate, which we did. We both wrote our vows and shared them with each other, and they both included similar values, which was beautiful to hear. Finally, we exchanged wedding bands and for the first time became Mrs. and Mrs. Burmeister, followed by a kiss. 

After this, we both wanted to do a first dance, so we could do it. The mountains, lake, and my beautiful wife made the moment so incredibly special. I will never forget our incredible day and the journey leading up to it.

Now you’re married, what do you feel like the future holds for you both?

In August 2021, we hope to celebrate marriage in Michigan with our friends and family, pending how COVID looks. Neither of us has seen our family in a long time due to the pandemic, and we are hoping that this celebration can happen. Following the celebration, we will hopefully be headed somewhere warm and tropical for a lovely honeymoon.

I am currently getting my master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. After I graduate, we hope to settle down either in Denver, Colorado, or back closer to home in Michigan. We hope to start a family someday and are looking forward to having some little ones running around! As long as my wife is by my side, the future will be wonderful.


Photography by Lanz Photography

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