Adara & Landon’s Gorgeous Ghost Town Colorado Elopement
Adara and Landon knew that they didn’t want to go the route of a traditional wedding, and after seeing friends elope with Simply Eloped and having only positive things to say, they knew exactly what they wanted to do. After seeing Ashcroft Ghost Town as a potential ceremony location, they knew instantly where they wanted to have their Colorado elopement: overlooking the mountains and streams in this hidden gem of a spot! The pair eloped on June 20, 2020 and had the wedding day of their dreams – scroll below to read their love story and to check out the incredible photos that were captured that day!
How did you meet? What was your first impression of one another?
Adara: We met at Landon’s family’s Crossfit gym back in 2015. I started working there as a trainer with his family. We have known each other and talked from time to time. He was into powerlifting at the time and would come into the gym occasionally to lift. He also helped out a ton when it came to any events the gym would put on. He was athletic and obviously easy on the eyes. I knew he was a caring person and a committed dad to 3 great kids. He worked swing shifts and needed someone to watch and help with the kids. When he asked if I could help, I immediately said I would because I already considered them family.
Landon: All of the above is very accurate. I remember Adara always being at the gym and we never really paid much attention to each other. I remember specifically a party at the gym about a month before we had started dating, I had chose to quit drinking for no particular reason – other than to just say I did it – and Adara has very firm beliefs on alcohol use. I felt her seeing my self control open up her heart to realize deep down we had more in common.
When did you first fall in love? How did you know?
Adara: After a couple weeks of actually talking with Landon and growing closer with him, we found that we had common goals, values, and interests in life. I remember one day after he got home from work, we talked for an hour about life and how we ended up in that moment. We both believe everything happens for a reason and if it’s meant to be, it’ll be. I knew then that I had feelings for him. He asked me out 3 times though before I finally said yes. I said no mostly because I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take on the role of becoming a “parent” to 3 kids. However, after turning him down 2 times, I missed talking with him. I realized I needed to listen to my heart and just let it be. I actually asked him to ask me out again so I could say yes! He had plans to take his littlest boy (Braxton) to the racetrack and asked if I would like to come. I agreed. We watched the races and I remember Braxton falling asleep. At the end of the night, he carried Braxton down the bleachers while I walked behind them. At the final bleacher, Landon, carrying Braxton in one arm, reached back to hold my hand and continued to hold my hand all the way to the car. That gesture really caught me off guard. It was that moment that I knew, this could work. There is room for me in his heart, in this family. It really is the small things that count.
How did you propose or accept the proposal?
Adara: I bought Landon Garth Brooks tickets for Christmas 2018. Garth Brooks was playing in St Louis, Missouri on March 9th 2019. We stayed at this fancy Arts Hotel, Angad Arts Hotel. Each floor had a different color scheme, our floor was green. We had a corner room so we had a great view of the town. I recall getting ready for the concert and coincidently watching “Say Yes to the Dress.” I remember Landon asking if I was ready and shutting off the TV. All of a sudden, he was down on one knee, asking me to marry him. I, of course, said yes- apparently after yelling his name! We sat on the windowsill after the proposal just talking about all the events leading up to it. We kept it our little secret for the night. It was the best, most memorable night.
Landon: I spent a lot of weeks pondering how i wanted to pull this off. I knew the moment that I got the Garth Brooks tickets for Christmas, thats where i would do it. Originally, I considered proposing to her at the concert. I thought long and hard and came to the conclusion that I wanted it to be more private and all about us. At that point i said to myself that before dinner that night would be the best. She got in the shower and I stumbled around the hotel room anxiously awaiting her to come out. It felt as if she had taken the longest shower ever. When she finally came out, she sat down on the bed. I knelt down and said, “Adara Rose Ailene Griffin, will you marry me?”
What do you love about your partner?
Adara: Landon has such a big heart. I love how much he cares and wants to help others. He wants everyone to be the best version of themselves and honestly, brings that out in me. He has goals, and sets a path to achieve them. He’s not a talker, but a doer. He doesn’t make excuses for anything. He is such a lover and a joker. I love how he can cheer me up in a split second with a simple look. He is a wonderful Dad. He is a jack of all trades. I don’t want to sound cheesy but ultimately, I love everything about him.
Landon: Adara can find the best in everything and everyone. Her heart is huge! Hard work does not scare her away. Through all our crazy adventures she is always willing to tag along even if she is unsure of the final outcome. It takes a special person to put up with me! I am definitely a lucky man.
What is the greatest strength of your relationship?
Adara: We put each other’s happiness on top. We try to do things that will help the other person out and make their day easier. We communicate well and strive to be better everyday. We understand that relationships are not easy and they take work. Ultimately, we tell each other how grateful and appreciative we are daily and how much we love each other. At the end of the day, we take the time to enjoy tea together while watching the sunset and talking about our day.
Why did you decide to elope?
We wanted the raw intimacy between us. We believe the vows are meant for us. We wanted to embrace the beauty of being husband and wife without the crowd of eyes.
How did you find Simply Eloped?
We had friends that got married in Colorado that used Simply Eloped! They had nothing but great things to say! So, we went for it.
How did you know Simply Eloped was the right fit for you?
We went online and looked at blogs and reviews. They had everything we were looking for. All we wanted was simple elopement. We emailed Simply Eloped and they helped us figure out exactly what package we needed. EVERYTHING WAS A BREEZE. They handled everything. I am not the kind of person that likes planning things and honestly, i’m terrible at it! Simply Eloped did an amazing job getting to know us and making sure our vision for our elopement came true.
What attracted you to the venue you eloped at?
We actually were going to get married in Estes Park on June 20th 2020. But due to permit issues, we couldn’t get one for that day because they were all handed out! We wanted to keep the date and we knew we wanted to get married in Colorado so I went on trusty ole Pinterest and looked at other places in Colorado to elope! Simply Eloped had a few pictures of another couple’s elopement in Ashcroft Ghost Town and we instantly fell in love. I loved that it has history to it along with the beauty of the mountains, streams and prairies.
What activities did you do before the wedding? How did you prepare? How did you feel leading up to the moments of your Colorado elopement?
We took a couple days to drive to Aspen Colorado from Port Byron Illinois. Once we got to Aspen, we mostly just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. The day before our elopement, we drove to Ashcroft Ghost town and hiked around so we had an idea of where we wanted to say our vows. We felt mostly anxious and excited on our wedding day! Since we didn’t get married until 5 pm that day, we were kind of twiddling our thumbs that morning! We did a Crossfit workout that morning. I got my hair and make up done at Lather Salon and Spa in Aspen a few hours before our wedding. We couldn’t find any Ubers or Lyft services so Landon picked me! Because we wanted first look pictures, we draped a sheet on the seats to separate the front and back seats so we couldn’t see each other!
Tell us about your experience with Simply Eloped leading up to and on your big day!
Simply Eloped made everything easy. The officiant, the photographer, the flowers. EVERYTHING was handled. Brandon Baker (our officiant) called us a couple weeks before the wedding to make sure we knew how everything was going to be done and if we had any questions. Landon and I answered a questionnaire about us and our story that Brandon used to make our ceremony unique to us! He did a beautiful job. Alisha (our photographer) called us a few days prior to ask us if we had any views that we wanted to make sure she captured! But ultimately, she has a great eye for photography and I love ALL the pictures she captured of us! The communication between us and Simply Eloped was amazing. They always emailed back right away and answered any questions we had.
How did you celebrate after?
PIZZA. We ordered 2 pizzas, cheese bread, eggplant Rolatini and a salad from Tasters in Snowmass Village! And WE ATE EVERYTHING while reminiscing upon our day and how perfect everything went!
What words of encouragement do you have for those considering eloping?
Adara: GO FOR IT. YOU WONT REGRET IT. We eloped then had a reception back home a week later to include our families. And I got to wear my dress TWICE, too! If you’re not great at planning, nervous around crowds, or want your wedding to be more intimate, eloping is definitely the way to go. 🙂
Landon: All of the above is very accurate … it is much more about the couple rather than having a wedding party and a big crowd. Also, it is more cost efficient. Rather than leaving the ceremony and going to a big event, it allowed us to sit and enjoy our moment uninterrupted the entire night. We would definitely recommend this to anyone. The reception was awesome a week later it felt like we got to relive the moment again! We were lucky to have such an awesome team that worked with us. Literally nothing could have gone any better because it was so perfect!
Planning: Simply Eloped
Officiant: Brandon Baker
Photographer: Alisha Light
Flowers: Boulder Blooms