Love has a power to change us. As human beings we can be pretty stubborn, but there is something about love that allows us to soften enough to change and experience life in a different way. Into her mid-forties Dawn never thought she'd get married. It wasn't important to her or something she envisioned for her future. Then, she met Kevin and she fell in love.
Dawn, an avid cyclist, met Kevin through the bike community in Florida. A small, tight-knit group, they spent a lot of time together riding and talking. Over time the two realized they were falling in love. Dawn says if it wasn't for biking, none of this would have happened. Their shared passion sparked the beginning of a beautiful life together.
"We have a 4-year-old golden retriever named Evans (after Mt. Evans) with endless energy and my mom lives with us. Both of us work full time and ride our bikes on an almost daily basis. We try to go on small side trips as often as possible and we always make time for a trip to the mountains, that's where we recharge. I don't see our lives slowing down anytime soon."
As part of one of their "recharge trips", the couple decided to head to Colorado and thought, "Hey, why don't we get married while we're at it?" The couple did not have a traditional proposal so why would they have a traditional wedding?
"We were so pragmatic about getting married, we talked about it a little bit...and then a few weeks later we went and picked out a ring...very nontraditional but it works, " Dawn said.
Most of our clients choose Colorado for its beauty. For its Rocky Mountains and alpine lakes. While there is no doubt that Mt. Evans boasts views with the best of them, Dawn chose it for its significance to her. The first trip the couple took together was to Colorado and on a whim, they decided to check out Mt. Evans. Dawn's father had died the previous year and she had brought his ashes with her so that when she found the right place she could scatter them in a place that was beautiful and felt right.
"It was late September so we couldn't get all the way to the top due to snow. We stopped at Summit Lake which is about 5 miles from the summit and walked up a ways. As soon as we started the drive up Mt. Evans we could feel each other's anticipation, we were discovering this for the first time together and there was something special about that. When we arrived at Summit Lake the silence was deafening, the sun was setting, and a small snow cloud had just come through. The snow started to fall and we both jumped out of the car like two kids that had never seen snow before. I knew right then this was the place, not just the place to leave my dad's ashes but a place that had spiritual significance for us both. I knew we would continue to come back in the coming years, it was like home now. Every year since then we have made sure to include Mt. Evans in our trips out west. Last year we hiked from Summit Lake to the top, it definitely tested us since we live in Florida. I think that is the first time we both said out loud if we ever get married we are doing it on top of Mt. Evans."
So, at sunrise on June 28, 2018, Dawn, the amazing cyclist from Florida who said she would never get married said "I do" to Kevin, the love of her life.
"There was one point in the wedding that Austin (Simply Eloped photographer) captured that I will be eternally grateful for. The sun was coming up over the mountain and the light just started to hit us. It drew my attention away from the ceremony for just a few seconds, I couldn't help but look. At that moment I saw the sun coming up and thought of my dad. Austin was right there and got the shot. My dad will always be part of my wedding day because of that. I will never forget that moment."
Dawn wore a gorgeous dress that her mother made and Kevin wore a handkerchief from the same material. She covered herself in thoughtful, personal mementos; a bracelet made from a necklace her dad wore every day, her mother's wedding band, and jade jewelry from her great-grandmother.
We asked Dawn to explain her feelings the day of the ceremony, "I wanted to stay up there all day and live in that moment. I really cannot verbalize my feeling that day, I can honestly say I have never felt that way before and I guess that is a good thing. Marriage is supposed to be a one-time thing, if you only feel that with the person you love on the day you are devoting your life to them then it makes sense to not have the words to describe it.
We want to thank you, Dawn and Kevin, for sharing your story with us and even letting us be a part of it. We wish you the best, brightest future filled with many bike rides and sunrises together.
All photos credit to Austin Drawhorn of Simply Eloped; Video Mckenna Bird of Simply Eloped.