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Lifelong “sporto.” Traveler. Organized optimist. Adventure accomplice.  And, with my whole soul, I believe that you and your partner should marry in a way that feels like you. SO... Four years ago, I completely reworked my photography business to honor that vision. I changed course so that you can too.  Ready to explore eloping?!  Let's Chat!
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Ultimate Elopement Schedule for an Olympic National Park Elopement

How-To & Tips

BUILT THEIR ADVENTURE ON: The Mid-Mountain Package

WHY THEY LOVED IT: It became the perfect, ultimate elopement schedule for them. It gave them time for themselves. They had time for their family. AND most importantly, the flexibility to create an adventure that felt right for who they are.

Picture this, you’ve just gotten engaged and begun planning your wedding.

You’re googling “alternate wedding options” and the concept of an elopement keeps coming up.

Maybe you have preconceived expectations of what an elopement is. Those expectations might stop you from loving the idea, but you keep thinking about it.

Before you know it, you begin dreaming about what your elopement could look like. Maybe it could even happen at a bucket list spot: Olympic National Park.

As you daydream about this wacky idea, you stumble upon a out-of-the-box, dream-creator, elopement concierge and photographer hybrid (me!). So you harmlessly send her a message and your little idea turns into a plan to capture your love story and celebrate your “I dos” in a way that feels astoundingly good.

That is exactly what happened with Anna (She, her, hers) and Ryan (he, him, his)!

The Ultimate Elopement Schedule begins at Day One: Scouting

 We met up together for the very first time with the goal to walk through location spots. This is always a fun part of an adventure elopement (where logistics allow!). My couples get to see the spot they picked, often for the first time!

This was especially important because Anna and Ryan’s wedding was scheduled for October 1st, which coincided with a mandatory government shutdown due to a lack of funding.

With the potential shutdown looming, we needed a plan B.

I had been quietly and quickly working behind the scenes. I spoke with the rangers and resources at Olympic National Park to create alternative options. Even these alternative options would not compromise the vibe Anna and Ryan wanted. Thankfully, plan B ended up not being needed, but I do believe luck favors the prepared!

That night Anna, Ryan, and their small crew got together for a family dinner. It was there that they reviewed the schedule, timing, and expectations of the following day with their guests.

A Beautiful Experience within Your Ultimate Elopement Schedule: Private Vows at Olympic National Park

Anna began the day at 1:30 AM by getting ready at the AirBnB with a hair and makeup artist. I arrived at 4 AM to capture the last little bits of them getting ready and then we loaded into our cars. The drive up to the summit of Hurricane Ridge was about 1 hour long.

From the comfort of my van, Anna finished getting ready as Ryan waited outside, watching the glow of the sun beginning to creep from the black depth of the mountains around us. 

Then, in that frosted, crisp darkness, they shared the most joyful and tender “first look” by headlight. 

After soaking in those moments, we donned warm clothes and began the hike to the summit as a glimmer of light was just beginning.

Walking with our headlamps clicked “on,” soon the glow of the sunrise outlined the mountains and filled the sky around us. 

Removing our headlamps, we hiked upwards and watched the glorious sun rise over the mountains and witnessed the cloud inversion in the valley illuminate.

Arriving to the summit at about 7am, Anna & Ryan found THE SPOT for their vows. 

Wide open with 360 views, it couldn’t have been more beautiful. We set up for vows.

Their excitement was tangible, ready to celebrate each other.

After some sweet, touching vows interlaced with adorable laughter and gentle tears, they soaked in the moment.

Taking a quiet second to share a celebratory treat from a local restaurant, soaking in the beauty of the place and in each other. When they were ready, we began the hike down slowly.

One thing I love about an elopement is that we can have a flexible elopement schedule so you can really FEEL your day. We can give space for breathing, relaxing, and leaning into moments of love and joy that you want to etch into your mind as core memories.

Including Family in your Elopement

We met up with family back in the valley for the official ceremony.

All together we hiked through a beautiful grove of old-growth trees. It completely felt like we were magically picked up and placed in the middle of Ferngully (ifykyk, lol).

As we kept our eyes peeled for a fairy, we completed the short walk to a beautiful natural opening in the forest to hold the ceremony.

When they were trying to decide where they wanted to get married, they pursued the things they loved. Anna loves the rain and lush foliage. They wanted it to feel very intimate and closed.

They looked at different zones across the Northern and Western United States and landed on Olympic National Park. 

Knowing that they had aimed to target those fairy vibes, seeing their reaction as we first walked into the forest for their ceremony was amazing. 

It was magic experiencing this idea come to life in this old-growth grove.

Every member of the family played an important part of the ceremony.

We had a blast doing formal family portraits after the ceremony.

The festivities were so fun with happy tears, laughing, smiling, and overjoyed emotion for Anna and Ryan.

Walking back out, they and their loved ones loaded back up and we headed to another magical spot to enjoy a celebratory picnic by Lake Crescent. 

After the picnic wrapped up, the family all headed off to enjoy the rest of their day while Anna, Ryan, and I explored the little park for some more portraits.

They enjoyed each other’s presence, and we recounted the day so far, allowing them to relish in the feel-good-feelings of the adventure.

In the moment of reflection, they decided to forgo the additional hike that we had planned for the late afternoon. They loved every moment of the day so far and honestly felt fulfilled.

And that is the beauty of an elopement schedule compared to a wedding schedule: you can do whatever your heart desires, when your heart desires.


Your ultimate elopement schedule should be stress-free

I re-joined them at their cabin on The lake for some light, easy-going sunset portraits to close their beautiful day at about 8 pm.

This elopement shows the power of an elopement itinerary. Why?

An elopement gives you the freedom to create the wedding experience you want AND an elopement schedule gives you the time you need to embrace the moments.

Your wedding is for YOU.

If you’re ready to create a wedding experience that involves adventure and allows you to share your love in a way that feels good, book a call with me here!

If you’d like to explore some other elopement itineraries, check out this family-inclusive elopement!

DETAILS
Photographer: MAKE / ADVENTURE STORIES PHOTOGRAPHY
Florals: Lexi Mara
Location: Olympic National Park, Washington State

Hi! I’m Kate, 

and I’m in your corner.

Lifelong “sporto.” Traveler. Organized optimist. Adventure accomplice.

With my whole soul, I believe that you and your partner should marry in a way that feels like you.   SO... Four years ago, I completely reworked my photography business to honor that vision.  To create a safe space for couples to create a wedding experience that feels right.

I changed course so that you can too.

Freeing couples to get married exactly how they want to, with no limits on what that looks like.   Is that bold?!?  Maybe, but you're ready!

Let's build your elopement adventure!

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