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Couples ski and ride into the ceremony in these very Colorado weddings: 'The coolest thing in the world'

Adventure weddings like these have been on the rise since the pandemic.
Posted: 9:03 PM, Apr 18, 2024
Updated: 2024-04-19 13:17:31-04

Colorado is no stranger to spectacular photos taken from its many ski slopes. But a set of photos taken at Arapahoe Basin and shared recently in Denver7’s photography group on Facebook – Discover Colorado | Through Your Photos – are far from common.

It’s not just because A-Basin is “the most epic feeling place on earth,” in the words of the couple in the photos.

It’s because the February event wasn’t just a powder day or a bluebird day. It was also their wedding day.

“We just wanted to go skiing and, oh, by the way, we’ll get married while we’re there,” said Allie Strong.

She and her husband, Luke Citriniti, live in the Boston area but are avid skiers and frequent the Colorado Rockies. They were also fans of the self-solemnization rules in our state, which allow couples to get married without an officiant.

They concocted the ski wedding idea on a recent trip to Colorado.

“I brought her and her family,” Citriniti said. “[And we] fell in love with it,” Strong added. “It's just the coolest place.”

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Natalie Moore, who owns Nat Moore Photography, photographed their wedding. She does this work through a branch of her business aptly named “Elope on the Slopes.”

She takes photos like those of Luke and Allie from her snowboard. A camera hangs off of her, and sandbags help her keep the camera out of the snow in the event she needs to set it down. She takes some photos in motion, but is mostly stationary while capturing them, she said.

“I do take photos while I ride. But to be able to best get everything in the views that they want and make sure I'm getting those perfect shots, it's better if I'm able to kind of stop and let them come past me and vice versa,” she said. “So we just kind of slingshot past each other down these runs. And so they can still have fun and get to shred a little bit and we still get all the photos while still giving them those laid back, documentary type of vibes.”

“They didn't want to have the traditional wedding portraits and kind of that boring stuff,” Moore said. “So we just really had fun on the mountain all day.”

Luke and Allie exchanged vows on a run on the backside of the mountain in an area known as the Beavers. It’s typically quiet and the trees make for a nice setting, Luke said.

The wedding ceremony itself took place at the Black Mountain Lodge midway up the mountain – which A-Basin advertises as a wedding venue.

Family and friends who don’t ski took a gondola to the ceremony. Those who do joined the newly married couple for a run from the lodge to the base afterward.

“It was just nice to be able to do everything kind of exactly how we envisioned it, and have it be a lot more relaxed than I think we've seen other people's weddings in the past,” Citriniti said.

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Moore photographs these adventure weddings year-round all over Colorado’s high country. In the summer, she’s captured hiking and backpacking weddings.

It’s a concept that has grown in popularity since the coronavirus pandemic. Many couples, of course, couldn’t go through with their wedding plans as restrictions were put on large gatherings in 2020 and after. A Kansas City-based jewelry maker found in a 2022 survey that 62% of engaged couples were considering elopement.

“Adventure weddings definitely blew up in 2020,” Moore said. “They were a thing before that, but I think they were a lot less well known and elopements kind of blew up as well.”


And, to be clear, elopement doesn’t always mean running away in secret or sneaking to a courthouse. Even the dictionary definition is changing.

“[The pandemic] kind of opened up what elopements are and what they can be to the rest of the world and really just made them a little more mainstream,” Moore said.

For Strong and Citriniti, an A-Basin ski wedding was a perfect alternative to a more traditional event.

“I would just encourage more people to think about how they can make their wedding day more authentic to them,” Strong said. “And I think everyone should get married on the mountains in Colorado and ski down.”

“It was just the coolest thing in the world.”

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