Hiking Elopement at Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier Elopement
Sometimes the best memories and experiences are the ones that we didn't plan on. The ones that happened spontaneously, either out of decisions of the heart or from circumstance. This is certainly true with Jordyn & Nick.
Whether it's in their everyday life on one of their great adventures together where Jordyn asked Nick on a whim to join her on her short study abroad trip to London after only dating for a few weeks and without any hesitation he said yes. Or when Nick knew he was going to propose, but was still working out the "where", when on their 4th hike of their Sedona trip it just felt right.
For their Mount Rainier elopement, it was a bit of spontaneity through circumstance. We had planned their day in the mountains on HWY 2 near Leavenworth, where they had chosen a beautiful, secluded hike to say their vows. About a month before their elopement, it became clear with the wildfires in the area, that we would need a Plan B, "just in case". After presenting them with several options, they chose another hike- close enough to their cabin but far enough from the current wildfires to be safe.
A few days before they were supposed to leave the East Coast to begin their elopement trip, another even bigger, wildfire started- completely shutting down HWY 2. Due to the heavy smoke in the area, we decided to alter their plan completely and they trusted me to find them a spot that fit the vision of the type of experience they were looking for (while still being safe from the many wildfires popping up over the state). Thus, we landed on this beautiful trail on the outskirts of Mount Rainier National Park (one of my personal favorites areas of Washington) and I knew it would be everything they were hoping for.
We started hiking through a lush, green forest, having fun talking & getting to know each other more. We saw the only snake I've ever seen hiking while in Washington (it was pretty cool!) before making it to the lake and picking several of the delicious wild blueberries that were adorning the hillside (my favorite part of fall hikes).
When we arrived to the top of our destination, Mount Rainier was peeking through the clouds- a welcome and exciting view after our hike! It's hard to put into words how awe-inspiring it is seeing Mt. Rainier so close. It's something I never take for granted and always makes me smile. Jordyn & Nick changed into their wedding attire and it was time for their ceremony.
I know I say this often, but it is always, always true. Their ceremony was so full of emotion and unique, intentional details from their relationship. It was so incredibly moving and heartfelt. I think when couples elope it really allows you to have the space to not only be your truest self. To say what you *truly* want to in your vows, not what you think you should say. You're also free to do whatever you want during your ceremony and include incredibly personal details.
One of my favorite parts of their ceremony was when they included a reading of "The Invitation." It was so beautiful and is now one of my favorite poems. I also loved that instead of exchanging rings, they got matching tattoos (of Unown Pokémon of their initials)!
With the mountaintop being so exposed, it was quite windy, and incredibly cold. We decided to hike back down to the lake where it was much warmer. They explored the lakeshore during sunset and looked for the perfect spot for their first dance. As it got darker, the fog rolled in, creating a beautifully moody atmosphere. After we were done exploring, we pulled on our headlamps and hiked down the mountain in the dark to finish off their wonderful day.
Jordyn & Nick's Mount Rainier elopement was such an incredible day, and I'm so thankful I was able to document it. Their day is living proof that a Plan C can be pretty phenomenal.
Pro-Tip: If you're eloping outdoors, always have a backup plan and just go with the flow! So many things can happen on both wedding days and in the outdoors. Be flexible and remember: at the end of the day you're marrying the love of your life. Have fun! :)
Want More Resources?
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