A Hiked Mountaintop Utah Elopement

With Colin and Karlie being very outdoorsy, it was no surprise that they wanted to get married on the top of a mountain! It was quite the hike to the very top, but the views were absolutely stunning for their “I do’s”. They had their 20 closest family and friends hike up with them for the celebratory event and the day couldn’t have been more perfect.

How did you meet?

Colin and I met when I moved to Utah after grad school to take a job as a Nutrition Coach. I moved in with his mother and step father for a few months initially, unaware that she had any children. He had just returned from seasonal work on a wildland fire hotshot crew, and quickly became a good friend. We started running trails and hiking together frequently, and actually made our relationship official halfway through a run in Moab. We wanted to carry the theme of that foundation for our relationship into our wedding, so we were really pleased that we were able to begin our marriage between trails-and with so many of our loved ones present!

What is your proposal story?

Colin: A hike! Surprise :) It was a local trail and a beautiful day, and she had no idea. I had the ring specially made by a local jewelry artist that I knew Karlie was fond of.

Karlie: it was perfect.

Tell us about your attire choices.

We wanted to have the white dress and a few classic wedding photos, but also wanted to stay true to the outdoor aspect of our relationship that felt like “us”. We compromised by getting married on a mountaintop and packing our finer wedding attire into our running packs (to change at the top). I left my trail runners on underneath my dress; it seemed right. After the ceremony, we stripped back down to our running clothes and our “aisle exit” was a 8 mile trail run home. In retrospect, it may have been a little whimsical to cram my beautiful dress into a backpack to wear it for 30 minutes at the top, but I really wouldn’t have done a thing differently.

What were your favorite parts of the day?

The hike up with our families/pastor and trail run down with our MOH and Best Man really were the best moments of the day for us. The weather was perfect! We chose the trail to Mount Naomi that we both love and frequent, but I truly never remember it being as beautiful as they were on our wedding day. It was such a magical walk up to the peak-in part, because we had never shared it with our immediate family (and several dear friends) before (20 total in our party). As we hiked, different members of our party picked wildflowers and compiled them to create my bouquet. It really felt like a day to celebrate loved ones and the beautiful outdoors, so that was extra special for both of us. Trail running down (there were five of us total) was also so special. Colin and I really got to know each other and ultimately fell for each other while trail running together, so getting to share that time before our reception was cherry on top. Our reception dinner was put on by our families. They really went above and beyond to make a taco bar for our guests, set up tables, put together floral arrangements, drive, hike, and overall shower us with love. I think their total commitment to celebrating with us in the way that we wanted is ultimately one of our favorite memories from the day. We definitely considered doing a totally private elopement, but it was definitely more special to take each step of the day with our loved ones.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

Don’t over spend, try to be flexible, and stay focused on each other! It’s easy to get hung up on the details of the day, but ultimately, the partnership is the real treasure. Pick a few things that matter most to you, and try make those happen. Make sure it’s comfortable and right for you as a couple. If it doesn’t make sense for you two and your personalities, don’t stress over it!

Why a Mountain Wedding? What’s your biggest piece of advice for other couples planning a mountain wedding?

We chose the mountain atmosphere because it was so foundational to our relationship. We had built our friendship, love, relationship, and so many memories on trails, so it just made more sense than any other venue. I think the symbolism was significant too – we’re signing up to walk alongside each other, mountains and valleys, no matter what. If you’re planning a mountain wedding, I’d say just try to be flexible, and lay down a few priorities together. We initially thought we’d choose a much more strenuous outing, but wanted our parents to be able to attend. Be ready for a few hiccups and have a backup plan in case the weather turns, but don’t let “what ifs” keep you from planning the day that’s right for you two. And definitely opt to get married in your trail running shoes. They’re way more comfortable than heels, I can vouch.

Event Credits

Ceremony VenueMount Naomi Wilderness
Reception VenueSpring Creek Retreat
Wholesale FlowersThe Flower Shoppe
Wedding DressWear Your Love
Groom’s AttireFilson
Bride’s ShoesAltra Running
Wedding RingSage Hen Jewelry