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Adventurous Snowmobiling Styled Elopement Session in Vail, CO | CJ & Kirby

The inspiration behind this adventurous shoot was a vision to make epic elopements more accessible to couples. Photographer Emmy Gaines battles chronic illnesses that prevent her from hiking long distances or snowshoeing for miles across mountains. Armed with the intent to find alternatives for strenuous activities, she devised a plan to style an elopement around the use of snowmobiles.

Her models, CJ and Kirby, were former clients, and they used this session as a unique opportunity to renew their vows. Emmy’s goal was to create an experience that mirrored a true elopement as closely as possible. Knowing that many brides pack their wedding gowns in backpacks to allow for hiking, Emmy styled her bride in a brilliantly designed two-piece dress. CJ was able to wear the top of the gown with leggings and layers appropriate for the snow before slipping the skirt on before exchanging vows. This enabled her to safely and comfortably operate a snowmobile without the hassle of a full gown. “She was able to feel glamorous but also practical, a huge necessity for adventurous elopement brides,” Emmy says.

The team wrapped CJ’s gorgeous bouquet in plastic to provide protection from the wind before setting off on their snowmobiling adventure. “We had a specific place in mind that was supposed to have sweeping views of Summit County, but as with all great adventures, we had something go wrong… we got lost and stuck three times… we ended up at a beautiful outlook [in time] to catch the last hour of sunlight.”

Although things did not go entirely to plan, there is no doubt that this styled elopement provides the perfect inspiration for anyone looking to take their winter elopement to the next level!

“I actually battle chronic illnesses and am unable to do long hikes. Thankfully, [even] with the loss of some physical things, my wanderlust still stayed [intact]… entering into specializing in elopements I knew I wanted to do more adventurous elopements that make my heart skip a beat with couples who likewise live their life out adventurously.”

[Emmy Gaines, Photographer]

“I think the creative process was mostly motivated by figuring out a way to still do what I love to do… creating a wedding day that is a bit whimsical, a bit different, but also magical, and that’s why I love adventurous elopements, because adventure is always magical.”

[Emmy Gaines]

Florals | L.A. Flower Bar & Gifts
Styling | Marissa Merchant
Hair | Ellie Howard
Bridal Boutique | The Bridal Collection
Models | CJ & Kirby
Snowmobiles | Colorado Backcountry Rentals
Announcements | Ink & Element Designs

Thank you to Emmy Gaines of Searching for the Light Photography for sharing this session!

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