2020 taught Lizzie and Mia to not expect anything. Their original wedding was downsized and a teary decision led to a sweet intimate Colorado elopement.
M: I decided to surprise Lizzie with an early birthday present, or at least that’s what I told her the trip was for. After we got our favorite breakfast burritos, I told her we were on our way to Albuquerque, NM, for the Balloon Fiesta. Lizzie has a love for hot air balloons, and the fiesta has been a bucket list item for us both.
We spent the first couple of days at an adorable casita, going back and forth to the fiesta, drinking beer, and eating our way through Albuquerque. Friday morning, October 11, 2019, I told her we would have an early morning picnic as we watched the balloons take off at sunrise. Little did she know that I had a photographer hiding out in the bushes as we froze in the early morning desert air.
When I said we should stand up and take a selfie, she captured my most terrifying moment. Next thing she knows, I’m on one knee as the balloons fly overhead. Good thing she remembers what was said because I’m pretty sure I blacked out at this moment.
At my max capacity for planning and surprises, I forgot to make breakfast plans after all that. Luckily, we stumbled upon the cutest place to grab a lavender latte and fresh farm eggs- Los Poblanos Ranch.
DECIDING TO ELOPE
At first, we held out hope that we could have a smaller, downsized wedding in our original venue, but after more consideration and lots of tears, we decided to reduce again to just our immediate family. We did not want to risk the health of those we love, but our date had become something special, and we were ready to be married. We couldn’t imagine getting married without our family as they are a part of us and our relationship story, so we decided to hold a small ceremony with those we had already seen throughout the pandemic. So we booked an Airbnb that would accommodate a space for all of us to gather around the table for dinner. It was by chance that we stumbled upon the gorgeous Allison House with enough room for everyone.
When it comes to telling our loved ones about the elopement, our most important people were with us. We’re holding out hope that we can have a larger celebration at the end of this year with our extended family and friends in our original venue. Our extended families have been very understanding, and they all look forward to celebrating with us in the future.
THE ELOPEMENT DAY
It was perfect. We woke up and had brunch together of bagels and lox and mimosas. After that, Lizzie got ready in a bedroom upstairs with her family, and I got ready downstairs with my family. Lizzie’s maid of honor and best friend was our runner, bringing our shared hair and makeup stuff back and forth since we already lived together and shared many things. We definitely didn’t think about that!
To kick off the day, we had our first look on the front porch. We then did a quick run for photos over to Red Rocks Open Space with our photographer. After the pictures, we came back to the house. Mia tried to wrangle everyone up to talk through what the ceremony would be like because we completely forgot to do any rehearsal.
We had our ceremony outside on the back deck and tried to keep it short because it was pretty chilly being January in Colorado. Despite the cold, it was beautiful. After that, we came inside to warm up, had a first dance (kind of- Mia was embarrassed). Then we sat around the table and ate our favorite meal, pizza. We chatted and ate almost the entire cake for the rest of the night. We ended with a movie and a sleepover with Mia’s nephews. It was nothing like what we planned for our wedding, but we were just so happy to be surrounded by our favorite people that it did not matter that somethings did not go right or the details were forgotten. You hear it all the time, and it really does ring true. At the end of the day, you’re just happy to be married.
Honestly, who knows what our future will hold! The last year has taught us nothing can be expected. We didn’t expect that our future would hold moving across the country twice during our engagement, changing wedding plans half a dozen times, or being in lockdown, but it did, and we got through it together. So we hope our future holds some happiness and some adventure, but only time will tell. We do know we are excited to take it on together as Mrs. and Mrs.
Photography by McKenzie Bigliazzi
Cake Cupcakes and Sweets LLC
Catering Savelli’s Pizza
Celebrant Family Friend Joanne Devine Westphal
Decorative Elements ALPine Crafters
Gown Boutique The Altar Bridal Lakewood
Gown Designer Monica Loretti
Rings McNulty Jewelers
Ring Box Friend Paul Manka
Shoes David’s Bridal, JJ House
Veil Bella Tiara LLC
Venue The Allison House in Manitou Springs