An Activity-Filled Mountain Elopement in Ruidoso, NM

Like so many other couples, Elizabeth + Austin’s wedding plans were changed by the global pandemic. While canceling their Glacier National Park elopement was disappointing, plan B made up for it.  The bride and groom were both in the military and stationed in different states, so Ruidoso, New Mexico was a great place to meet up and get married! The couple wanted a relaxing day of fun and beautiful mountain views. We were able to plan and create an incredible elopement day that they said really was the best day!

It started with Elizabeth and Austin getting ready separately so that they could see each other for the first time in their wedding outfits just before the ceremony. They drove up the mountain, each with a close friend, and had a joyful First Look with an amazing mountain backdrop. Beyond excited to get married, they picked a lovely grassy slope for their ceremony amongst the surrounding peaks. In the moments just before their ceremony, birds were singing in the stillness of the mountains, and it felt like so much peace and joy. 

Austin’s pastor led a beautiful ceremony with friends and family watching from afar via live stream. It was such a special way to include loved ones who couldn’t be there physically. After the ceremony, Elizabeth and Austin popped some champagne and celebrated their marriage with their close friends Sarah Jane and David. It was incredibly special for these friends to be here on such an important day – Elizabeth and Austin met at their wedding just a few years before! 

Throughout the day, I couldn’t help but see the obvious love and respect that Austin and Elizabeth have for each other. Every moment together was filled with joy and an infectious happiness. After spending some time together exploring the mountains and taking in the spectacular views, the couple headed down to Ruidoso for some fun. They rented a canoe and paddle around Grindstone Lake together, something Elizabeth was so excited for, and that they both said was so relaxing! Austin is a big disc golf fan, and he and Elizabeth love to play together, so they had to get a few rounds in! Their friends joined in and had a great time walking through the pine forest of the course and laughing as they played.

Austin and Elizabeth’s relationship began with a dance at Sarah Jane and David’s wedding, so it felt only right to end the day with their first dance as husband and wife. Original plans to hike to a mountain top were foiled by a storm, so they found a lovely forest spot instead. A little sprinkling of rain didn’t stop them from having the sweetest dance among the forest pines. They even had an audience of elk and deer in the distance! 

This day was so perfect because it focused on what truly matters – Elizabeth and Austin’s love – and because it was filled with things that they love to do. And their mountain scenery dreams came true with beautiful locations and (mostly) ideal weather. I’m so thankful to have been a part of such an intimate and special day. I absolutely love working with couples to dream up their perfect elopement day and make it happen, and Elizabeth + Austin’s day was so lovely. Elope, my friends!

Elopement Vendors:

Flowers – Floricita

Hair + Makeup – Atelier of Hair by Anna

Elizabeth’s Boots – LL Bean

Dress – BHLDN

Canoes – The Dam House

Cake – Nothing Bundt Cakes

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Julie Haider is an adventure elopement photographer + planner based in New Mexico and photographing destination elopements worldwide.

@juliehaider

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