Piney River Ranch Colorado Micro Wedding

Piney River Ranch Colorado Micro Wedding

Colorado is one of the best places to elope in the US, and it’s also a great option for couples who want to plan a micro wedding with their immediate families. Stephanie and Jeff opted for a smaller, intimate wedding in the mountains of Colorado at the gorgeous Piney River Ranch.

This wedding venue is located in Vail, Colorado, and it’s the perfect spot for couples looking for a private experience.

Are you sure you want to elope in Colorado? Check out our featured Colorado elopement vendors in our directory.

Planning a Piney River Ranch Wedding

Set on forty-acres, Piney River Ranch is within the White River National Forest. Stephanie and Jeff didn’t originally plan for an intimate wedding experience, but they enjoyed their special day in Colorado. We love this place to elope because there’s everything you can possibly need for the perfect elopement experience including a getting ready area and private ceremony spot.

“You can’t go wrong anywhere in Vail, but Piney River Ranch is a special place. It is a remote spot (45 min. dirt road drive) in Vail. However, there is literally beauty at every angle. For our wedding, we hiked along the trail past the private area and held our small ceremony on a small bluff with the Gore Range in the background.” [Stephanie]

One thing to note about this venue in Colorado is it’s open seasonally. The ranch is open from June 21 through the last weekend in September. With that said, this place is a popular spot, so we recommend scheduling your wedding day here in advance.

“July is perfect for wildflowers, but watch out for the occasional passing rainstorm. The cabins by the lake at Piney River Ranch are adorable and the perfect place to get dressed and have a first look by the water. You can even take out a canoe for some picturesque lake and mountain views.” [Stephanie]

Besides reserving their spot, Stephanie and Jeff’s wedding day was low stress, simple, and beautifully put together in less than 1 month.

Are you considering eloping? Check out what you should consider when planning your elopement.

Memorable Moments During This Piney River Ranch Micro Wedding

From coworkers to friends, and now partners for life, Stephanie and Jeff enjoyed a little bit of everything during their intimate wedding day in Colorado. Even though they had an “elopement plan”, they didn’t need to truly stick to it.

The beauty of deciding to elope is you have enough time to do everything you envision for your wedding day and more, according to Shelly.

“One of the most memorable moments from our elopement was the individualized Jewish wedding ceremony that we co-created with Jeff’s brother, Daniel. We wrote the ceremony together, integrating all the traditional and non-traditional elements that were important to us. At the end of the ceremony, Jeff and I read hand-written vows to each other, kissed, and walked as partners through a shower of aspen leaves being thrown by our family!” [Stephanie]

Shelly tells us the couple experienced some rain showers throughout the day, so there were a few times their planned schedule needed to be adjusted. The storm only lasts about 30 minutes, and during that time the couple popped some champagne, and their parents gave a mini toast in their honor.

Once the clouds and rain left, the couple and their family went on with the show!

Incorporating Religion and Tradition During Your Elopement

Sometimes couples don’t want to plan an elopement experience because they want to include some traditions they hold dear to them.

You can absolutely still incorporate your religion and traditions you hold dear during your elopement ceremony together. This couple is a great example of this.

“I’d tell all couples that may be scared to elope because they’d still like to keep some traditions or a religious experience, I’d say that eloping would make it even EASIER. Eloping gives couples SO much more freedom to do what they’d like on their wedding day. If there is a will there is away, and this couple actually hiked out to the field with a chuppah! They also signed the Ketubah on a picnic table in front of the lake right before the ceremony as well. It wasn’t rushed and we still got to incorporate all of their wishes for the day.” [Shelly]

Check out our favorite elopement ceremony ideas.

Deciding if Eloping is Right for You

For a lot of couples, they are unsure if eloping is the right choice for them because they worry their family and friends will not be ok with their decision. Even though Stephanie and Jeff originally opted for a larger, traditional wedding at first, in the end, their wedding at Piney River Ranch felt more like them.

“With Covid-19, we decided to have a small ceremony with our immediate families in the mountains of Colorado. It was so us because we didn’t have to bend to all of the restrictions of a bigger crowd. All of the decisions we made about our wedding were just for us. It was refreshing, and everything we didn’t even know we wanted for our wedding. For us, eloping was a safe and fulfilling choice. We will forever cherish our special and intimate day.” [Stephanie]

So should you elope? Should you plan a micro wedding? What the heck is the difference? Luckily for you, we have all the resources you need to help you make this decision.

When it’s all said and done, you should do what you both want and remember there are no rules that come along with planning your elopement day.

“Just because you are eloping, doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake and eat it too! You can still have traditions, you can still do toasts, you can still have a few guests, you can still throw the bouquet, and you can still get the most beautiful photos you’d ever dream of! Couples do not have to sacrifice anything (other than a larger guest count).” [Shelly]

Check out our top 10 reasons to elope!


Photography: Shelly Anderson Photography

Venue: Piney River Ranch

Florals: Little Shop of Floral

Hair and Makeup: Weemala Hair and Makeup

Wedding Dress: La Vallée Bridal

Styling: Mahjuba Styling

Are you loving this wedding day, but are you not sure you want to elope in Vail, Colorado? Check out some of our other favorite locations to elope in Colorado!

Photos From This Piney River Ranch Wedding

We Have Elopement Vendors Located all Around the World!
Search Vendors