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

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Maroon Bells Elopement | Aspen, Colorado


Sophia and James’ Maroon Bells elopement in Aspen, Colorado, was an incredible celebration of love in one of the most stunning natural settings. With towering peaks, shimmering lakes, and colorful foliage, the Maroon Bells offered a picturesque backdrop for the couple’s gorgeous wedding photos. Whether you’re considering eloping at Maroon Bells or simply want to enjoy a virtual tour of Sophia and James’ special day, you’ll want to follow along to the end for a comprehensive how-to on planning your own Maroon Bells elopement. From permits and vendors to logistics and photography, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make your wedding dreams a reality.


Sophia and James, Colorado natives, had a clear vision for their special day – a beautiful and relaxed celebration surrounded by their loved ones in one of their favorite places. As fate would have it, they found themselves at Maroon Bells in Aspen, Colorado. A breathtaking location captured in countless photos and postcards.

We spent some time in the morning sunlight capturing their magical moments together. Then, Sophia surprised James during their first look with a heartwarming serenade on her banjo. As they sat on a picnic blanket, with the majestic Maroon Bells in the background, their love story unfolded in a truly romantic and unforgettable way. This experience shows how you can incorporate activities and personal touches to create a memorable wedding day.

After some cherished time alone, their closest family members and friends joined them for a simple, yet beautiful ceremony officiated by the bride’s best friend. I feel honored that Sophia and James selected me to capture their one-of-a-kind and intimate elopement experience. It was a true joy to witness their love for each other amidst the stunning scenery of Maroon Bells. Their trust in my ability was appreciated, and I’m thrilled that I was able to provide them with these sweet memories.


Are you ready to book your Colorado elopement photographer? If you’d like to learn more about the process of working with me, click here! Find more of my work on my blog. Talk to you soon!

“Whitney! Thank you so much for the photos!! They are so beautiful. We love looking at them and reliving our special day.”


Makeup: Gambuti Robson

Flowers: Mountain Flowers of Aspen

Video: Henry Hill Productions

Dress: BHLDN


Eloping at the Maroon Bells can be an incredibly romantic and memorable experience. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the location offers stunning views of nature, making it ideal for couples who want a private and intimate wedding. Keep reading to learn how to elope at the Maroon Bells.

Research the Regulations:

The first step is to research the regulations. The Maroon Bells are part of the White River National Forest. There are rules and regulations in place to protect the area. Make sure you understand the rules before you start planning your elopement. You can find information about regulations on the US Forest Service website.

Plan Ahead and Reserve:

If you are wondering if you need a permit to elope at Maroon Bells, know that, unlike many other popular Colorado elopement locations, the permitting process at the Maroon Bells is simple! Do you want to get married at the Amphitheater? You simply need to reserve the space if it is available (like you would a campsite). If you are wanting to plan an adventure and camp overnight, there are limited permits available.

Should the Amphitheater be unavailable, or if you want to elope somewhere more private, there are a few places you can hike out to that are stunning for small ceremonies.

If you’re hoping to have an intimate wedding at the Maroon Bells (around 10+ guests), the more remote locations might not be ideal. You’ll need to register your party at the trail log when hiking out into the Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness. The wilderness access permits are currently free. Signing the log ensures you’ve notified the parks system of where you are in case anything goes wrong. Parties are also limited to ten people- which reduces the environmental impact.

Choose a Location:

The Maroon Bells offer several locations for elopements, including Maroon Lake, Crater Lake, and West Maroon Pass. Choose a location that speaks to you and fits your style. Some spots may require a permit, so be sure you understand the regulations for your chosen location.

Best Time to Elope at the Maroon Bells:

The best times of year for a wedding at the Maroon Bells Amphitheater are summer and fall. As you can imagine, the conditions are beautiful, providing clear access to trails. Winter is not recommended, as there is no vehicle access to the Maroon Bells due to road closures.

Open / Close Dates:

Mid-November—Early June: Maroon Creek Road is closed. You can only access the trails via a long hike, snowshoeing, skiing, or snowmobile.

Early June—Mid-November: Maroon Creek Road is accessible but restricted to shuttles only from mid-June to late October.

Obtain a Marriage License:

Before you can get married, you need to obtain a marriage license. In Colorado, you can obtain a marriage license from any county clerk’s office. Make sure you get the license before you head to the Maroon Bells.

If you have any questions about the reservation process, I recommend calling the Aspen Ranger Station at 970-963-2266.

Born with an understanding that people and relationships are most important, Whitney Rae believes that freezing moments into forever lasting memories is ...  




Henri Cartier-Bresson

"For me, the camera is a sketchbook, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity."

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