Iver Marjerison, owner of Colorado MicroWeddings, shares his insights on the emerging trend of exchanging vows outdoors.

Iver Marjerison Officiating Wedding Coloradomicroweddings.com

Iver Marjerison is a micro wedding officiant and planner who offers one-stop shop elopement packages for small weddings in the great outdoors. He’s helped over five hundred couples plan their special days, ranging from simple mountaintop vow exchanges to dog-sledding adventure elopements. Here, he shares his insights into how to plan an extreme event without a hitch.

Iver Marjerison


Why is Colorado the perfect location for an adventure-based wedding? 

Colorado offers a near-endless variety of scenic mountain environments, lakes, forests, and wildlife. But what really sets Colorado apart is the accessibility. With so many different beautiful mountain towns, each rocking their own plethora of lodging, dining, and activities, it’s easy for couples from all over the country to fly into Denver, rent a car, and be in the heart of the Rocky Mountains within a couple hours. Colorado also boasts 300 days of sunshine! 

Where is the craziest location you have ever planned a wedding, and what were some of the challenges and workarounds? 

Mountaintop helicopter weddings are by far the most challenging. The helicopter can’t stop at the top due to concerns of the engine not being able to restart in the extreme cold, so the couple, photographer, videographer, and officiant all have to jump out a few feet while the helicopter hovers. They do the ceremony and the photos and radio the helicopter for pickup when they’re done. The whole process is dependent on perfect flying conditions that can come and go almost instantly, so it’s not like a regular wedding on a set day at a set time. The couple and my team have to block off a three-hour window on three consecutive days and essentially just be on call for the perfect weather.

Gracie and Jackie Colorado MicroWeddings

Walnut Street Photography for ColoradoMicroWeddings.com

What is one trend in outdoor weddings you wish would go away? 

Appropriate guest counts and responsible usage of public land are big issues for weddings. Many of the locations used for small outdoor weddings are national forests, and rarely is anyone around to regulate or enforce any kind of rules. True elopements, with just a few people, have almost no impact when done responsibly and in accordance with Leave No Trace principles. 

But over the last couple years, group sizes have gotten larger; it’s not uncommon to see a group of 30 “eloping” at a scenic overlook. With these larger groups, you often see irresponsible off-trail usage, decorations that end up blowing away, garbage, disruptive noises and music, feeding of wildlife, and situations where the wedding group essentially monopolizes an entire area. In some cases, this can actually create conflict between multiple wedding parties over who was at the spot first. My advice: If you have more than six guests, book a designated private picnic area or overlook for the ceremony. 

Megan and Rob ColoradoMicroweddings

Walnut Street Photography for ColoradoMicroWeddings.com

How can people be more conscious of wedding waste? There are so many decorations that end up in landfills. 

With the weddings we do, we’re really lucky that the natural backdrops and features make it so the couples rarely feel the need to decorate at all. I’ve been hiking and scouting locations across the state for years to find the perfect ceremony sites that offer a natural sort of focus point for the couple. Whether it’s between a couple trees or up on a rock ledge, we let nature do the decorating for us. 

My advice: If you are going to decorate, be sure to avoid anything that can blow away—and certainly do not throw confetti or flower petals on public land. After the wedding, if you have stuff left over, look for a “recycled” weddings group on Facebook. Lots of couples would be happy to repurpose your decor. 

What is the one thing people usually forget when it comes to planning a wedding outdoors? 

Lighting, lighting, lighting. I always tell my couples, we can do a wedding anytime of the day, but if you want awesome photos, you need awesome lighting! For an outdoor wedding, that means sunrise or an hour-ish before sunset. These times change throughout the year and also change based on where you are in the mountains, so there are a lot of moving pieces to consider and fine-tune.