BUILT THEIR ADVENTURE ON: The Mid-Mountain Package
Why they loved it: Freedom to create a wedding celebration that prioritized their special places and activities + balanced in family, giving them exactly what they wanted without all the extra fluff.
What do you do if you are an avid rock-climbing couple and dream about climbing in your wedding fits?
This inkling of a dream might feel a little out there. I mean, not just every photographer has the skill-set, or the bravery, to take on a climbing elopement. BUT, if you find the right photographer, an adventure elopement with as much rock climbing you could imagine is a quality wedding experience.🥳️
Keep reading if you want to see one of the best winter Chattanooga elopements, turned winter-wonderland rock-climbing elopement.
An out-of-the-box Chattanooga elopement idea
Margaret (she/her) and Dan (he/him) had this seemingly shocking (although in my world, not weird at all) idea to elope cliffside and needed someone to come alongside them to make that happen.
Through a friend referral from the rock-climbing community, I joined Margaret and Dan in their elopement planning. With my love for climbing, my intense affection for out-of-the-box, and my capable concierge service, we created an elopement experience that felt good to this couple.
Their goals were:
- rock climbing
- outside and beautiful
- do things their way, but, still involving family
- no fuss of traditional full-scale weddings
- stay flexible, embracing a “winter Chattanooga elopements” style of nimble🙌
So we made it happen, beautifully…without the stresses and pressures of a traditional wedding.
Dreams turned into a winter elopement reality
The elopement experience began at the Edwin Hotel, our home base, the night before the big day.
We met up that night (for the first time in person!) to review timelines, answer any final questions, and go over what to expect.
We started the day very early, the sun hadn’t risen yet, and it was cold! Temps clocked in 17 degrees Fahrenheit (the coldest of any of my winter Chattanooga elopements) as we started.
Dan had gotten ready entirely at the hotel, while Margaret got ready, minus her dress. They shared a first look inside with excitement fluttering high.
The five of us: me, Margaret, Dan, and two of their closest friends made our way to Foster Falls with warm Dunkin Donuts in hand. The sun welcomed us in with the most glorious sunrise.
No holding back (even if it was freezing!) during your elopement!
We were amazed by how gorgeous the hollow was. The sun brought some warmth, up to 31 degrees and warming, but it was crystal clear we’d be encountering some ice!
The reveal of the frozen falls and it’s plunge pool was a beautiful surprise to us all–it was Foster Falls but as none of us had ever seen it before! 🤯
A core part of the experience M & D wanted was to have a sweet first look in front of the falls.
So Margaret braved the cold and got ready next to the frozen creek with her friend’s “Z’s” help. Leaving fleeces and coats behind, she surprised Dan as he waited by the falls.
Pro Tip: Whether in winter Chattanooga elopements, or, other adventures, we prep for all weather and conditions as comfort and safety is always first (because cold is not fun, and, can be dangerous! )
And besides, leggings, hats, and puffy down coats with formals look adorable and make for awesome stories later on😍
Snuggled in together, they read the beautiful letters from their parents–words of wisdom, wishes, love and support.
Their friend, “J”, led the ceremony. They read vows they wrote to each other, exchanged rings, and J and Z helped them in a guided handfasting ceremony.
The best part?!? They customized the ceremony by using climbing rope from their adventures to do the binding and knot–SO DANG SWEET!! The knot is now displayed in a shadowbox in their house! ❤️️
Pro Tip: To keep “government” logistics easy and not need a marriage license from out of state, J led the Chattanooga elopement ceremony, but I served as the officiant to sign off on the legalities during part two of their day back in Georgia!
There are many less-stress options to make your elopement official with the government! 🙌
Rock Climbing Elopement–Chattanooga Winter-Style!
After the ceremony, we went to check out the rock climbing route we had been hoping to climb for their portraits.
We arrived at our originally planned rock climbing location, only to find it completely covered in the most gorgeous ice.❄️
Laughing at the total uniqueness of this situation, we hung out for some portraits and detail shots to capture this amazing scene before we kept moving.
Further on, Margaret made eyes with a beautiful rock arete that wasn’t ice covered.
With knowing smiles, Dan nods, I flash a thumbs up, and she puts down her pack and begins to climb! Dan spotted her from the ground, and while her dress flowed behind her, she moves up the cold rock. It was beautiful.
Even though we couldn’t commit to the full extent of climbing they’d hoped for, we flexed plans and still made the dream come true🎉
Now they have an extra special reason to celebrate their 1st anniversary… Choosing an elopement-style rock climbing Adventure Session, back here where their marriage began, will bring the story full circle!
We ended our outdoor adventure with some camp chairs, a crackling campfire, and yummy hot chocolate. It was a lighthearted hang-out around the fire, sharing stories and laughing.
12 hours after our day began, it was time for the final celebration. An intimate family reception at Maragret’s sister’s house.
Hugs, drinks, a delicious catered-in dinner, a mouthwatering cake made by Dan, and sharing the story of their day. No one had known where they were going or what they were doing–only that they were eloping that morning!!
It was fun to have the family hear the story and, to still BE part of the story being created! It was a beautiful balance.
Together we can turn any idea into reality for your elopement!
As far as winter Chattanooga elopements go, this was one of the coldest and best that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of. ❤️
Margaret and Dan brought the passion, for each other and for climbing.
I brought my camera, concierge services to help plan, and signature to legalize it all.
Together, we created one of the best elopements!
If this wedding experience feels like you or makes you realize what is possible for you and your partner, we should talk. I love taking out-of-the-box ideas and turning them into a reality!
You deserve to have the wedding experience that makes you feel alive, calm, and most yourself.❤️
If you’re a fellow climber (or just want to see what these crazy climbers do!!), check this out for some recent fun! Want to brainstorm your own elopement adventure?!? You can book a free brainstorming call with me here!
I’m so stoked to meet you!
Winter gives you some unique and incredible experiences. Winter weddings are STUNNING! Just because it is winter does not be an outdoor, adventure elopement isn’t possible. Just because it isn’t traditional or typical doesn’t make the winter any less spectacular for your elopement experience!! I promise.
Go somewhere warm! Or international!!
The desert or beach in America can give you warmth. Or even heading to Australia (where it would be summer during our winter). Your options are endless.