We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Lill and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vanessa, how does your business help the community?
At The Outlovers we plan and photograph epic elopement experiences for ALL couples who find their greatest connection in the great outdoors. We take people into the heart of the desert or to the top of a mountain to share their wedding vows, possibly the most important words they’ll ever say!

First and foremost, we strive to help our couples by granting them FREEDOM OF CHOICE as they plan their wedding day and by creating an intimate, SAFE-FEELING environment to be their most authentic, truest selves as they celebrate their love.

Everywhere we look in life, we’re told how to behave. We’re bombarded by constant expectations of how we should look, how we should act, how we should live our lives…. The traditional wedding industry is no different.

All couples are forced into the exact same mold and are told this is what a wedding day ‘should’ look like, this is what you ‘should’ wear, this is who you ‘should’ invite etc. It’s restrictive, unrealistic and unrepresentative of the diversity found in modern day couples.

There’s more than one way to live, there’s more than one way to love and there’s certainly more than one way to get married!

We pride ourselves on providing an alternative wedding experience. We want our couples to understand it’s ok – fantastic, in fact – to be different! It’s ok to not want what everyone else wants. Go ahead and break that mold!

So, we throw away the rule book. We strip away all those preconceived ideas of what a wedding ‘should’ be and we wipe the slate clean. We start with the simple question of ‘Well, what do you WANT your wedding day to look like?’. It’s a very liberating concept for so many couples who actually have never been asked that question before.

And for many couples, the answer is simple:

“We want a deeply-connected, meaningful and STUNNING elopement experience in the great outdoors: a day packed with fun, adventure and pure love.”

What should our readers know about your business?
Nothing in business is easy! And we LOVE that. There is constant challenge, constant learning and constant growth. We love where we are compared to a year ago, and we’re excited to see where we’ll be in another year.

We’ve learnt to:
– invest in quality education: learn from the best and those that inspire you.
– ‘fail forward’: make mistakes, lots of them, and use the experience to IMPROVE.
– recognize your strengths AND your weaknesses. Outsource the things you’re not great at: your time is better spent on the things you’re good at and that you get excited by.
– never get complacent. There’s ALWAYS more to learn and ways to improve and grow.
– stop the comparison game. Imposter syndrome is real but it’s not at all helpful. Focus on you and try to forget what everyone else is doing. (This one is easier said than done!).

We’re most proud of the attention we give to each and every one of the couples that book us: no one is just a number or a pay check to us. We DEEPLY care about their experience and willingly give 110%. If that means getting up at 2am so they can share their vows atop a mountain at sunrise, we’re ready!

We’re also really proud that we sensitively educate all our couples on Leave No Trace principles so they can interact responsibly with the natural environment on their wedding day and hopefully beyond.

We think what sets us apart is our life experience. We’ve been fortunate to live in 8 different countries between us and to have traveled to 40+ more. This gives us so much knowledge and hands on experience when it comes to creating adventurous, unique elopement experiences for couples who’ve not had the opportunity to explore so much and who want to do something exciting on their wedding day.

We want the world to know that we understand that finding your ‘person’ is life-changing and that how you choose to celebrate your union MATTERS! Don’t be forced into someone else’s idea of what your wedding day should be. There ARE people out there who are ready to listen to your unique vision and help bring it to life with you.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We live in Fruita and it’s the sweetest, quirkiest little town: we LOVE it!

We’re quite new to the area, but a few of our suggestions are:

– eat at The Hot Tomato! Reeeeeeally good pizza, fun staff and a great ethos supporting the local community.

– visit the Colorado National Monument: you can drive, hike or bike and it’s spectacularly beautiful.

– hang out on the Grand Mesa: go camping, paddle on one of the lakes, take a picnic….

– drink at the vineyards in Palisade and organize for a charcuterie board to be delivered from Taste of Palisade, sooooo good.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Maddie Mae of ‘Adventure Instead’ set us up SO well for this career: her education is pure GOLD and her heart is even purer gold, she’s totally our (s)hero!

Website: https://theoutlovers.com

Instagram: @theoutlovers

Twitter: @theoutlovers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theoutlovers

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-outlovers-fruita

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.