You know how I always say that each blog post is long and gonna take forever because I’m too obsessed with all the photos and can’t decide which ones to include?? well BUCKLE UP because I mean it 120% more than usual. This North Cascades camping elopement is utterly next. level. and I refuse to do anything other a giant bananza of a really long blog post because I love it that much. Okay? Okay.
In a fashion turning out to be rather typical for 2020, when Molly & El contacted us to ask if we would perhaps be available to shoot their elopement, it was less than 2 weeks away! Unfortunately, their original photographer had left them in the lurch, and they were scrambling to come up with a replacement and nail down some elopement plans after the pandemic meant that a big wedding was going to be out of the question. I am so grateful that they found us & reached out, because Molly & El are some of the. very. coolest people!! Not only are they adventurous goofballs and were planning to have a relaxed, backcountry camping elopement, they were also incredibly flexible, moving around their plans in order to work with our busy summer schedules. Molly & El are some amazing backpackers who have been almost everywhere in the state and know most trails super well (goals, right?). We had tossed around a few different location ideas for their elopement, but when I mentioned that one of Devon and mine’s very favorite places in the North Cascades we’d never actually shot a wedding at and we’d been dying to, their ears immediately perked up. A spot they *hadn’t* heard of yet that wasn’t going to be too challenging for their friends who were coming along? They were immediately intrigued and said LET’S GO FOR IT.
So we met up with them and a small group of their lovely friends down a very bumpy dirt road in the middle of nowhere for a gorgeous campsite equally in the middle of nowhere. We all said hello, got to know each other, made some smores, played some uno, and finally said goodnight. Devon and I spent the night car-camping in the back of our beloved subaru, but stayed up late to take some photos of the gorgeous night sky and milky way above our heads. After just a few hours of zzzs, we dragged our groggy selves out of bed and into the chilly, pre-dawn darkness, and headed up to the trailhead along a further bumpy dirt road somewhere around 4am. I can’t believe Molly had already gotten up early to put on makeup and make coffee and everyone was so cheerful and ready to go (amazing, because I’m pretty sure at this point in the morning, I was still wearing my pjs underneath my many layers of warm jackets). Molly and El got changed at the trailhead parking lot, and with the light juuust starting to be enough to see by, we all switched off our headlamps and started the short trek up to the ceremony site. Molly looked incredible in her flowy Scout Bridal gown with a bouquet from The London Plane.
They said their vows in the gorgeous, pink and blue early light of morning, and it was a sweet, wonderful ceremony, filled with a lot of tears and a lot of laughter. After their ceremony, the sun started to break over the mountain peaks and we were all awestruck at the incredible pinks, blues, purples, yellows, reds, and oranges filling the sky and reflecting off of the snowcapped peaks of the North Cascades. It was truly one of the most gorgeous sunrises I’ve ever seen, and I just about lost my mind. After shooting a loooot of portraits (who can blame me?? They are so cute!), they headed back to their campsite to enjoy some coffee, mimosas, warm up by a fire, and eat some of their delicious wedding pie they’d brought from a la mode pies. After breakfast, they watched some very sweet congratulations videos their far-away friends and family had sent them, which I thought was a wonderful way to include loved ones in an elopement who couldn’t be there due to covid-19. This North Cascades sunrise camping elopement was incredible, and I loved the format of being able to spend two days with this lovely group and being a part of such a cool, intimate celebration.