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"Brainard Lake Wedding in Indian Peaks Wilderness" couple dancing with mountains and alpine lake behind them

Brainard Lake Wedding an Indian Peaks Wilderness Elopement Making Heart Skips

We’re fallen head over heals for this  Brainard Lake wedding an Indian Peaks Wilderness elopement, not only because this location has been on our bucket list for years but because its such a perfect location for easy access plus epic views. 

We’re going to hop back into this blog post to give you some tips about having your own Brainard Lake wedding but for now here is the beautiful story of this Indian Peaks Wilderness elopement. 

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

How to have a Brainard Lake Wedding?

bride and groom hugging at Brianard Lake wedding in Indian Peaks Wilderness

If you haven’t visited this beautiful treasure in Colorado then I don’t need to tell you much except to pause and scroll down to see the majesty of this little corner of colorful Colorado that honestly is a lot like the Pacific Northwest. If I’m really honest is why I’ve fallen in love with it. We were so excited that Ciarah & John chose to have their ceremony here.

So, how can you have your ceremony at Brainard Lake? Currently, there are no permits needed if your having your ceremony at Brainard Lake and have no props or chairs. However, all your guests, photographers and you will need to pay the entrance fee. Keeping in mind a group over 25 may be too much for this little area. It can never hurt to double-check with local rangers as permit rules do change often too. Better safe than sorry with a fine on your wedding day!

Brainard does get overcrowded during the summer months and especially on the weekends. Expect lines to get in and check to see if timed entry passes are still happening.

If you’d like to hike and have your ceremony in other places in the Indian Peaks Wilderness you’ll need to reach out about a permit with the rangers and can only have up to 12 people including your photographer and officiant (if you have one.)

Vendors to Hire for Your Brainard Lake Wedding


Brittany and Emmy, Colorado and oregon elopement photographers in a beautiful location

A Colroado elopement photographer and guide, hey that’s us! We’re Lumalia and team that help couples like you navigate what it means to get married out in the wilderness, navigate permits, weather, timelines and help with dreaming about all the fun things you could do on your wedding day or Celebrate Again after with things like you know horseback riding or strolls through some beautiful places around Colorado, just like this couple did down below.


While you don’t need one in the state of Colorado, (yay self solemnizing) it can be nice to have someone help you create and direct your ceremony. We also have some suggestions on how you craft your elopement timeline.

For more of our favorite vendors check out our vendor page or more guidance on how to elope in Colorado.

When To Have Your Brainard Lake Wedding

bride and groom touching Brianard Lake wedding in Indian Peaks Wilderness

You love this location now when to have your Brainard lake wedding? Access to the main parking lot is open June (depending on snow levels usually mid or late) into mid-October.

June-August is going to be the busiest with summer crowds and September can get a bit chilly but will have less people. But go mid-week and you’ll face less people. Even better come early in the morning at sunrise and you’ll be completely set!

However, if you really love snowshoeing and are trained to handle the attitude (10,050 feet) then this may be a fun adventure for you. The trail into Brainard during the winter is roughly 6 miles loop and 472 elevation gain.

Mornings will always be better out here as afternoon thunderstorms roll in a lot in this area especially in July.

Ready to start planning your elopement wedding at Brainard Lake? Schedule a free elopement consult call with us!

Brainard Lake Wedding inside Indian Peaks Wilderness - The Story

The day was absolutely beautiful, supported by both of their families, Ciarah & John began their day at the Blue Sky mountain Ranch getting ready. 

As Brittany stepped into their day after 6 months of planning their elopement with Lumalia (Emmy), she felt the whole atmosphere was sincerely calm and relaxed. 

Ciarah & John’s excitement radiated into them, and stress was wholly nonexistent, even as they approached their ceremony location which on a peak summer day wasn’t without some other mountain explorers and enjoyers. 

When Ciarah walked down her natural aisle to greet John for the first time, John broke out in tears of absolute joy. Through the day his few words mostly included “wow” in awe of the beauty of his new wife. 

Fully in love with Ciarah’s dress John kept wanting to spin her to see all the beautiful swirls of her lovely wedding dress.

After celebrating back at the lodge with family and friends Ciarah and John meet up with Brittany the next morning in Rocky Mountain National Park for a little meandering around one of the lakes then headed off to horseback ride to Celebrate Again, because why not!

Throughout their time they just kept saying to each other how being in these Colorado mountains could never get old.

Thank you Ciarah & John for letting us guide you through your experience and we cannot wait to see you choosing celebration ever day through the entirety of your lives together. Best wishes to you both!

Schedule Your Free Elopement Consult

We would adore coming alongside you to help you navigate all the rules, permits and locations around your wedding experience as your guides and photographers.

Brittany and Emmy, Colorado and oregon elopement photographers in a beautiful location

We believe that your wedding day is meant to be cherished as an experience and not just an event. We’d love to help guide you in crafting a wedding day experience that you’ll never forget. Learn more about hiring us as your Colorado elopement photographers.

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Free Elopement Wedding Checklist PDF Download

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Feeling like you want some extra support right now? We gotcha bb. Check out some of our fave elopement guides we’ve made just for you:

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About the Authors

Lumalia with her hand in her hair leans to the side smiling
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Hey, we’re Lumalia (Emmy) and Sam, the leading voices behind Celebrate Again (Lumalia) and our sister elopement company The Dropped Pin (Sam and her husband Kyle). Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle.

We want to help you embody life’s joy by learning to Celebrate Again in everything from practicing intentional breathing to taking on major life events. I believe your life should be full and be what you make it.

Whether you’re joining me to plan your wedding, dive deeper into your couples connection, celebrate an anniversary, adventure around the USA, stay connected to your beloved, practice yoga or whip up a plant-based recipe, I’ve got you covered, friend.


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