Purgatory Resort Elopement at Boyce Ceremony Site | Durango, Colorado Elopement Photographer

On a gorgeous summer day, Cassie + Ryan had their elopement at Purgatory Resort amongst aspen trees and mountain views. 🏔

In the midst of a global pandemic, Cassie graduated with a PHD, she and Ryan got new jobs, and they moved across the country. Oh, and planned an elopement! A big wedding never felt like a good fit for them, and their intimate ceremony in the mountains of southwestern Colorado was just what they had envisioned. Although planning and traveling from out of state during the pandemic wasn’t easy, it was absolutely worth it to celebrate with their immediate families and enjoy Colorado’s majestic mountains.

Ryan and Cassie were originally looking within New Mexico for their perfect elopement location, but when I heard their vision for grand mountain views, I knew I had to suggest southwestern Colorado. The views in the area are always spectacular, but August is the absolute best time to get married around Durango. Gorgeous wildflowers dot the landscape, the mountainsides are a vibrant green, and moody monsoon clouds roll in every afternoon. I just love the San Juan mountains in August! And Purgatory Resort really is one of the best Durango wedding venues. 😍

The elopement wedding day began with Cassie getting ready with her mom at their vacation rental in Purgatory Resort. Then, in the beautiful aspen grove by the house, she and Ryan did a “First Look” reveal in their elopement outfits. What a gorgeous spot to see each other for the first time on their wedding day! They couldn’t wait to see the mountains, so they hopped in the car and drove to a mountain pass with incredible views in every direction. Cassie’s beautiful dress and cathedral veil fit the dramatic scene so perfectly! Ever since the first time I visited this spot (over 12 years ago!), I thought it would be the most amazing place for a couple to explore. And wow… it really was! Ryan and Cassie love being active in the outdoors, so hiking the hills and exploring the lilypad-laden pond was such a fun thing to do on their elopement day. All three of us incredibly happy from the views, we headed back to Purgatory Resort for their elopement ceremony.

The resort has three beautiful spots for weddings, but Cassie and Ryan were drawn to the Boyce ceremony location because it combined beautiful trees with a great mountain view. Tucked into a forest of aspen and evergreen trees, the ceremony spot felt so intimate and perfect for their elopement ceremony. Moody clouds hung over the mountain in the ceremony background, and the rain held off long enough for the couple’s sweet ceremony. 

The afternoon light filtered through aspen leaves as Cassie and Ryan took portrait photos with their family and then explored the area. Not far from the Boyce ceremony spot was the most beautiful patch of purple wildflowers with another beautiful mountain vista in the background. They were absolutely lovely for photos, but we made sure not to step on any (there was a perfect little grass patch in the middle of the flowers for Cassie and Ryan to stand on). As a certified Leave No Trace Aware Photographer, I’m always looking out for flower friends! 🌼 😉

After such a lovely elopement day, Cassie and Ryan finished the festivities with a nice dinner with their families. I’m so glad Ryan and Cassie were able to have the elopement day they dreamed of and the amazing mountain views of Southwestern Colorado and Purgatory Resort! If you’re looking for a mountain elopement that’s just as spectacular, fill out the contact form at the bottom and get in touch! I know we can dream up something amazing. 🙌

Elopement Vendors:
Ceremony Location | Purgatory Resort
Photographer | Julie Haider Elopement Photography
Ceremony Coordination | Purgatory Resort

Ready to plan your Purgatory Resort elopement?

Hey, I’m Julie — I’d love to help you craft an elopement day full of peace, enjoying nature, and deep connection with each other and document every moment! 📸

Most couples lack the time and expertise to plan an epic elopement day. And that’s why I’m here to help you create a meaningful celebration with ease. ✨


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


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