Natalia & Chris came all the way from Florida for their sunrise elopement in Mt Rainier National Park. These two incredibly lovely people were such a joy to work with, and we had the best day hanging out with them all over the park. First, we all started off with a veeerry early start to the day with a 4am meetup at the trailhead. The stars were out & the skies were clear. Although Natalia & Chris had never been to Washington before, much less hiked in the dark, they were incredibly game for whatever adventure the day had in store at them, and were just so excited to be there and that their long awaited day had finally arrived.
We hiked up in the predawn hours through the foggy forest, making sure to chat loudly to ward off any nocturnal critters 😉 Once we got through the layer of morning fog and above the trees, a great view of Tahoma opened up across the valley. We all stopped several times (to catch our breath on the steep climb, but also to admire how the pre-dawn light played on the glaciers & the multitude of dewey wildflowers!
Natalia & Chris had their ceremony along the trail, which we normally don’t do. Normally I try to find a spot off the trail that we can have folks tucked away to say their vows, but luckily we didn’t see another single group that whole morning, and we had the entire trail to ourselves! So it turned out to be the perfect spot for them to say their vows. It’s obvious from the photos, but honestly the best part of this day was just how much Chris and Natalia clearly love being together. They are 100% genuine, kind, warmhearted people, and being around them for any length of time will immediately endear them to you. They had a beautiful, teary, laughter filled ceremony with an incredible sunrise display behind them, as the light hit the early morning layer of fluffy clouds and the glaciers of Tahoma. This sunrise elopement ceremony truly felt like something out of a dream. Once they were officially pronounced married, they munched on some granola bars, gave their awesome officiant John a big hug, and signed their marriage license on the side of the trail.
After the ceremony, we continued on the climb upwards to the saddle of the peak, where we were treated to even more amazing views in the other direction of the Tatoosh range mountains and a far off Mt Adams rising out of the clouds. They toasted their marriage with some Rainier Beers (because duh) before we headed down the trail and back to the cars to head out for lunch. Natalia and Chris are pretty big foodies, so even with a remote airbnb and the challenge of the pandemic, of course they had some epic food planned. Not only had they rented out what is possibly the most charming a-frame cabin of all time, but they had an amazing lunch prepared, with charcuterie, pizza, beer, champagne, and of course, delicious wedding cake. Natalia & Chris gave us so much delicious food, which is honestly the fastest way to our hearts (seriously, they were the sweetest couple and they MADE US OUR OWN CHARCUTERIE BOARD to snack on. Plus gave us an amazing 6 pack of cider for our long mid-busy season week on the road?? I almost cried. The best couple, y’all.) After lunch, they watched some prerecorded videos of congratulations from dear friends back home, and we all took a break and had a much deserved afternoon nap.
Once we all had a good nap & a long afternoon break, we met back up a different part of the park for sunset photos in the evening. Because they were only at Rainier National Park for a few days, they wanted to see as much of the park as possible, and I wanted to show off the incredible meadows of wildflowers at their best! So we took an easy stroll to possibly the world’s most charming bridge and admired the sunset colors off the mountain peaks before blue hour set in and we said our goodbyes.
This Mt Rainier sunrise elopement was one of our absolute favorites this year, not just because of how beautiful it was, but because of how much thought, fun, and love Natalia and Chris put in to making their elopement day an experience and an adventure that reflected what they really loved most about each other.