Well, it’s been almost a month from this magical, magical North Cascades Adventure Wedding, and I’m still out of words to describe it. But I cannot wait to share all these images with you guys, so I’m gonna have to try my best.
We announced this cool thing called Adventure Weddings a few months ago, and it’s really all because of these guys. Hope & Steven originally booked with us for their traditional, all day wedding in Spokane. We chatted, we got along great, and I loved them already. After a few months, I got an email from Hope, confessing that wedding planning was stressing her out, she just wanted to scrap the plans they had for their big wedding and do something more intimate and spontaneous and *actually* fun, instead of spending a ton of money, time, and stress on planning a wedding that was starting to feel more like a second job than a celebration.
So, we chatted, we batted some ideas back and forth. They toyed with eloping in the mountains and in the outdoors, which they love, but decided they wanted a celebration with their friends and family too. So we came up with a crazy, awesome plan that was really the first iteration of the Adventure Weddings that we launched just a few months ago.
From talking back and forth via email with them and how honest & open they were about what they really wanted from their wedding celebration, we decided to take their traditional full day package and split in half over two days: one half in the mountains, elopement style, and one half at their casual reception with all their family & friends. I loved the idea & was inspired to make a better option for all the couples out there like them, who were torn between a fun, traditional celebration with their loved ones and the intimate, carefree, adventurous experience of an elopement.
To say that I owe these two amazing humans a debt is a massive understatement. They were so kind, gracious, hilarious, adventurous and had so. much. trust. in us and our vision. Hope just handed over the reins of her wedding photos and asked me to find the coolest place I wanted to go and take them there. I suggested North Cascades National Park, one of my all-time favorite places in Washington. Neither of them had ever been, so getting to see them experience this wildly beautiful place for the first time together was so special. Rose & Blossom did a fantastic job on her bouquet, and despite a last minute makeup artist cancellation on the morning of, Hope rocked her own hair & makeup and looked every bit like the bombshell bride she is.
We hiked out to a still, wintry lake where they shared their first look together, before wandering around the old growth forest and the quiet mountains, the only souls around for miles. We stayed in the park for hours and hours and saw maybe only a handful of other people, and the weather was as clear and perfect as I could have asked for. For our first adventure wedding, North Cascades was the perfect choice. It’s a quiet and gorgeous spot, tucked far up near the Canadian border and doesn’t see much foot traffic past Diablo Lake.
We drove all around the park, stopping at whatever roadside spots caught our eye, munching on lots and lots of snacks and just having a blast. We ended the day at an overlook of Washington Pass, popped some champagne as the sun went down, and waited until the night sky came out for a few star photos before finally heading home, happy and exhausted and hearts overflowing.
There are many, many amazing couples that we photograph, but these two will stick in my heart forever for being brave enough to think outside the box, inspiring me to be a better photographer, and being the reason for all our Adventure Weddings that we have in the future. They made me realize how much I wish someone would have given me the courage as a bride to do exactly what they did for their own story and their own happiness. To Hope & Steven: thanks for being such bad-asses and refusing to settle for anything less than a celebration worthy of your love story. I love you both & thanks for giving this dummy a genius idea.
To every one who feels stuck planning a wedding day they kinda sorta hate: I give full & total permission to pursue whatever crazy dream for your day that you have been holding back from. I am turning into a big, teary-eyed, mushy blob writing this because I love these two so friggin much, so I’ll quit rambling, but keep an eye out for their wedding reception, which will be getting its own blog post here soon.