elopement at the little nell in aspen

The Little Nell Aspen Colorado Intimate Wedding


This intimate wedding in Aspen was our first experience photographing an elopement of sorts and we instantly fell in love. So much so that their wedding experience was a major inspiration to our own personal small wedding. But we’re here to share Nick and Lana’s story.

These two live in Denver, Colorado but Lana comes from Orange County, California so with two families in different states they needed to decide where to get married. Since wherever they decided on, their friends and family would be traveling to, they wanted to make it a fun destination for them. And that so they decided on Aspen, Colorado in the summer. You know the place, Lloyd Christmas described it best: “Some place warm, a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little place called Aspen.”



Probably our favorite thing about intimate weddings is that everyone chips in to help. Because when you’re a guest for a small wedding, chances are you are family (by blood or choice) so you are there for your friends, making sure everything goes smoothly for them. For Nick and Lana, their siblings and friends, were all out helping set up minutes before they were going to say I Do.



No introductions are needed for small weddings because everyone knows everyone already. Everything is comfortable and easy and simply a celebration — which is what weddings should be, right?!


The Little Nell Wedding Deck

As soon as we got off the gondola and took in the sweeping views of the mountain tops, we understood why they chose The Little Nell for their ceremony. You’re so high up the mountain that the air is fresh, the clouds feel like they’re within reaching distance and you can almost feel the quiet. With sights like this you don’t need much else.



Nick’s first sight of Lana is priceless. The stairs leading down to the deck towards where he waited definitely made for a great entrance. And with blue skies and puffy clouds as the backdrop, it’s made for a painting.


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Big group photo with everyone in attendance. Can’t always get that at big weddings. After family and friends photos we were able to take Nick+Lana around the mountain top for photos of just them. Being surrounded by trees and views, how could you not.


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When you get married at the top of the mountain there is a special gondola the couple gets to take going back down with a “Just Married” sign and all.


aspen ski lift

Wedding Parade Through Downtown

Probably our favorite part of the day? Walking around through downtown Aspen with Nick+Lana AND all their guests. It was the entire group just walking together and along the way we’d make stops to take photos of Nick+Lana. Strangers would look on, cheering and clapping, yelling out congratulations and it was such a happy time. There was no rush at all. It was just an afternoon stroll with friends and family.


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The first day we arrived in Aspen it was sunny and beautiful. Within an hour later it was pouring rain and just as quickly as it came, it left and the sun came out again. We soon learned that in Aspen in tends to rain on the regular and usually around 3pm in the afternoon. As we were walking through downtown, right on time, it started to rain.


wedding parade in aspen colorado

Lunch Wedding Reception at Pyramid Bistro

And at the end of the walk we arrived at Pyramid Bistro where the lunch reception was held.



Oh hey, you might recognize these two. This is the wedding we actually first met Mike+Carissa and where they watched us work with Nick+Lana, telling themselves they could never work the camera like them (we beg to differ, proof is in their own wedding photos).


The Newlyweds

After lunch while everyone else headed off towards their hotels to freshen up and take naps before the evening festivities, we took the newlyweds just around the corner a couple of more photos.



Being part of this wedding was such an honor. Still a wedding we think of often.

After they came back from their honeymoon, a few weeks later they held a backyard reception in Orange County (Lana’s hometown). Make sure to check that out HERE.


Elopement Photographers: Joe+Kathrina
Ceremony Site: The Little Nell
Lunch Reception: Pyramid Bistro