I'm a fine art wedding and portrait photographer — creating a space that welcomes creativity and inspiration. Based in Colorado, my work has taken me across the globe.



tips for couples

Want to know my biggest secret to avoiding crowds on your wedding day? Try to have a hiking elopement on a weekday.

Now, let me make two things very clear…

  1. This is not me saying that hiking is a requirement for having an adventure elopement. The outdoors is for everyone. Many of the elopements I shoot are in very accessible locations that require no hiking whatsoever!
  2. Hiking does not mean a long, strenuous trek uphill. Hiking could mean 1 mile (or sometimes less) on a paved trail. It could mean 10 miles through the woods, 100 miles along the Colorado Trail, or even half a mile from a parking lot.

Choosing to hike for your wedding can be a great idea for a number of reasons:

  1. Scenic views: Hiking trails often offer stunning natural scenery and breathtaking views, making for a picturesque backdrop for your wedding photos. If you choose to hike along a trail, it will allow us to capture you in a variety of landscapes in a short period.
  2. Intimate setting: Hiking for your wedding can offer a more intimate and personal setting for your special day, away from the crowds and distractions of traditional wedding venues.
  3. Unique experience: A hiking wedding can provide a truly unique and memorable experience for you and your guests, creating a shared sense of adventure and excitement.
  4. Cost-effective: Hiking for your wedding can be a more cost-effective option compared to traditional wedding venues, as many hiking trails are free to access and don’t require expensive venue rental fees.
  5. Environmental impact: Choosing to hike for your wedding can also have a positive impact on the environment, as you won’t be contributing to the carbon emissions associated with a traditional wedding venue.
  6. Drive-up locations are much busier than locations you can hike to. This is because they are well-known and very easy to find on the map. These locations are typically polluted with passing-through tourists who want a quick viewpoint on their long road trip itinerary.

    Overall, hiking for your wedding can be a great way to create a unique and unforgettable experience. And, It’s also cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

Benefits of choosing to have your wedding on a weekday:

  1. It’s easier to obtain necessary permits and lodging when you elope on a weekday, as most people work. On another note, eloping in certain areas on a weekday can save you some cash.
  2. Less crowded: Popular elopement destinations can be crowded on weekends, but choosing a weekday can help you avoid the crowds and have a more intimate experience.
  3. Cost-effective: Many vendors and venues offer weekday discounts, so eloping on a weekday can be a more affordable option for couples on a budget.
  4. More availability: Popular wedding vendors and venues may have more availability during weekdays, which can make it easier to plan your elopement on shorter notice.
  5. Unique experience: Choosing to elope on a weekday can make your experience more unique, as you’ll be able to avoid the typical weekend wedding rush and have a more relaxed and personalized celebration.
  6. Flexible schedule: Eloping on a weekday can also offer more flexibility with scheduling, as you’ll have more options for travel and accommodations without worrying about weekend traffic or availability.
  7. Less stress- and choosing to hike on a weekday can more likely allow you two to enjoy the place you’ve selected to elope in peace.


Take this 4-mile round trip hiking elopement I captured near Breckenridge, Colorado, as an example. While the couple could have chosen to drive up to this open field, they made the trek and dressed in their wedding attire outside of some abandoned cabins in a gorgeous meadow. After they dressed and had their first look, we hiked further up and explored the area for a few hours. Then their closest friends and family drove up to meet them before their intimate ceremony. The best part? An elopement shot in late July with not a single soul in sight. If you want to see more of their adventure elopement, click here!

Again, hiking (on a weekday) is absolutely not a requirement for your wedding day. It’s also not the only way to guarantee you won’t have a crowd. Although I love scouting a good remote trail to help give my couples the most intimate elopement experience possible.

Now tell me… would you hike during the week on your wedding day?


Call it authentic, candid or genuine. Whatever the adjective, I want to create a wedding celebration that resembles you, from the big celebrations and the in-between moments to the images I deliver that help you relive the day for years to come. When it comes to your wedding day, the moments you want to remember aren't always perfect, staged or scripted, they are uncut, raw and true to you.


I believe in

Dorothea Lange

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still”

Words I Live by

Let's Connect


*Virtual Wave*

Hello! I feel beyond honored that you've made your way here! In order to give you the best representation of who you'll be spending your wedding day (one of the best days you'll live) with, here's a brief run down!

First and foremost, I'm a mountain gal through and through. I was born and raised in Vail, Colorado and unless it's another mountain town, my husband and I will always call this home. It's the tightly knit community, the fresh air (but really, it hits different here), the scenery and most importantly for us, the recreation + lifestyle. This is something that will always come through in my work, and what I believe sets me just a little bit apart - I am, and will forever be, inspired by the poetry of love in landscapes. 

I have a deep desire to be on the move, to see everything before I don't have the opportunity to, and are therefore happiest when traveling and exploring new places (which I feel so lucky is a part of my work!) 


Spending quality time hiking/biking/skiing/camping with my husband and our two border collies, clocking in some R&R at home or catching up with a friend over a glass of wine/craft beer are things that always sit at the top of the priority list.

If you're in to it- I'm a Libra, A Manifesting Generator (6-2) and an Enneagram 7 Wing 6/8. In short, I'm a people person, an optimist, and for lack of better terms- like to get shit done and make things happen. I'm a feeler, with a strong sense of empathy and sense of what people are experiencing, both when it comes to myself and others. I'm a bit of a goof, a tiny little thing packed with some sass, and ultimately just want to live a fun and adventurous life that's packed with new experiences and people. 

..I guess that's why I do what I do. I feel so grateful to be on this journey of having my own business where I have freedom to curate the life I want to live, where I get to connect with truly so many amazing humans, travel to some really beautiful places, and document that as a whole, as creatively and beautifully as I can for you.

Copyright 2024 WHITNEY RAE  |  Template Design by With Grace and Gold |