Knoll Willows Elopement with Sunset Photos in Rocky Mountain National Park

Nikima and Keith’s intimate Knoll Willows elopement left us spellbound; it’s hard to know where to begin this love story. From the crisp autumn air to the radiant glow of the September sunset, their day was a beautiful display of unforgettable moments. It was a celebration brimming with romance, sweetness, a few tears, lots of laughter, and all the feelings of love, in a place that felt like home.

Their Love Story

Nikima and Keith’s love story first began at the local grocery store where they both worked. She was working at the customer service desk while he was stocking the produce shelves. Luckily the departments were right next to each other, so Keith spent a lot of company time talking to Nikima.

One summer night, a mutual friend was having a birthday party that Nikima was planning to attend. She extended the invite to Keith to come out as well. At the time, she thought it was just her inviting him to their friend’s outing. However, he thought she had asked him out. They ended up going to the party together and having a great time! So good, in fact, they even shared their first kiss! However, if you ask Nikima, she considers their actual first date to be the day after that pseudo date. The next day, after they finished work, they went to dinner and a movie. On their “actual” first day, their connection grew quickly. with easy-flowing conversations. Nikima tells us it progressed naturally from there for the rest of the summer.

The Proposal

It was the weekend of Juneteenth. Nikima and Keith had a trip planned to Palisades, CO. Leading up to the trip, Nikima had a sneaking suspicion that Keith was going to propose. However, she could not seem to find any sort of box in their luggage. Nor could she make out a tiny box-shaped bulge in his shorts pockets that would give it away. Little did she know, he had ditched the ring box a long time ago. He was keeping the ring safely in a pouch in a pocket that was zipped. She did notice that Keith was touching his pocket a lot but had no clue he was checking to make sure the ring was still there.

The plan was to propose after dinner, but they were both so exhausted from the ride. Keith didn’t think that the hotel was the best place to pop the question. So he tabled the idea. The next day, on Juneteenth, they hopped on a few electric bikes and explored all of the great wineries in the area. The first winery stop had infamous birria tacos – one of the many memorable parts of Nikima’s day. From there, Keith leads the way through a nearby park. The ring was safely tucked away in his pocket as he searched for the perfect spot to pop the question. Mind you, it was over 100 degrees, and they are both dripping in sweat. Finally, Nikima asks Keith if they can stop to take a rest. Luckily they found a tree with some shade. It was the perfect spot. Then to her surprise, Keith got on one knee and ask Nikima to be his wife. She of course, said yes!

Their Knoll Willows Elopement

They chose to elope in Colorado because it’s where they started their careers and bought their first property together. It’s also where Keith proposed to Nikima. For them, it just made sense to get married where they felt at home. We couldn’t agree with them more.

On the day of their Knoll Willows elopement, the two Coloradans arrived separately. Keith craved a traditional first-look experience. One where he waited to see his bride all done up, during an authentic “first look” moment.

When Nikima arrived, Keith was patiently waiting at their ceremony site with their officiant Stephen. Nikima was dressed head to toe in love and looked like a professional model as she walked toward her groom. Keith’s reaction to seeing his bride was so sweet and pure. As she walked toward him, he smiled in awe and total disbelief. The day he had been looking forward to for so long had finally arrived. The day he would finally marry his best friend, his beautiful bride.

We love a first look for so many reasons, regardless of how or when it happens. The emotions that follow are always so genuine and heartwarming to witness. And let’s not forget about the photos that freeze that irreplaceable moment forever. It’s hard not to get butterflies just thinking about a first-look moment. If you’re on the fence about having a first look at your elopement, check out our resource below!

With Mother Nature as their witness, Nikima and Keith shared their vows and exchanged their rings. They also included a wine box tradition in their ceremony! A tradition that not only honored their love for wine but represented what they love to do together.

After sealing their love with their first kiss as husband and wife, they signed their marriage license! Then they popped a bottle of bubbly to celebrate!

Sunset Photos in Rocky Mountain National Park

After a few celebratory toasts, the newlyweds made their way to Rocky Mountain National Park for a few sunset portraits. We spent the rest of the evening embracing the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park and capturing their newlywed glow. As the sun started to set, they shared their first dance as husband and wife. It was the most beautiful ending to a perfect day in a place that felt like home.

Insider Tip: Exchanging vows, reading letters, and signing the marriage license within the National Park does require a ceremony permit. However, if you want to take your photos within the park before or after your ceremony, like Nikima and Keith, we can make that happen! Thanks to our trusty commercial use authorization photography permit! This is actually a common solution for couples who want those post-card-worthy photos but aren’t able to obtain the proper permit to do so!

This is precisely what we did for Marya and Peter, who had their ceremony in Estes Park but took their photos at Bear Lake! Read all about their day in the blow below!

Knoll Willows Elopement Vendors

Photographer | Natasha of Colorado Photographer Squad
Hair | The Diva Den Makeup | The Hair and Image Studio
Suit | Suit Supply
Rings | Shane Co. 
Officiant | Stephen with Ceremonies with Lisa
Dress | Brilliant Bridal Boutique 

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