The couple canoes on the lake at camp following their wedding ceremony.

Campground Wedding Day Story in the Mountains of Washington

James + Carmen

The couple walks around the mountains at sunrise.
The bride smiles at the groom while they hold lanterns in the early am.

Private Vows in the Mountains

James + Carmen’s love story started in Guam when they met through friends. A night of dancing turned into a long distance relationship until Carmen choose to follow James to Washington state. They grew their relationship over the years enjoying International travel, skiing, hiking and morning coffees together. They got engaged while on a trip to Michigan visiting James’ family cabin, watching the sunset by the lake. When it came to wedding planning they knew they wanted to celebrate with those who mean a lot to them and their relationship. They also knew they did not want to plan an event that wouldn’t allow them quality time with each other and those they were to celebrate with.

When we started planning, the dream was a venue that they could stay together in cabins near the mountain, play games, hike, canoe and find other adventures near by. The Mount Baker range peaked their interest since it is an area in the Winter they enjoy skiing together. We found the perfect nook for them to host everyone and celebrate with a nearby hike with incredible views for sunrise together. Prior to the elopement day, Carmen had a skiing accident, oddly enough on a route that went over the trail they were set to hike on the elopement day. Since she would still be healing on their elopement day we selected an alternative hike that had equally incredible views just below the original location.

The couple shares private vows as the sun rises behind the mountain.
Mount Baker behind the couple as they share their vows with each other.

We hiked in under the morning blue hour glow. At the start of the hike we were welcomed to the mountains with a drummer playing in the dark perched on a hill. We arrived to the location where they would share their vows and a first look – Mt Baker’s glaciers starting to glow a bright white on the mountain. They were blown away by the views, only having ever seen this area before blanketed under many feet of snow. They changed back to back into their wedding attire, so they could see each other all dressed up for the first time to start off the day. Carmen chose a look inspired by her roots in Spain and surprised Jame’s with her stunning, unique lace veil.

They shared their wedding vows with each other in complete privacy surrounded by 360 mountain peak views. The sun started to rise and the colors on the mountains changed to a light pink before the sun crested the ridge just in time for them to share a kiss together following the completion of their vow exchange.

Following their vows we wandered around the area exploring the wildflowers and mountain views in the warmth of the morning light. Carmen envisioned a blue bird day up on the mountain and we were given just that, a stunning day with the perfect temperature and beautiful skies. It made for a lovely, romantic morning to spend time together in the meadows.

The couple watches their breathe in the morning light.
An intimate portrait of the couple under the lace veil.

Morning Camp Coffee

We hiked back to our cars and went down the mountain a few switch backs to a different area. They sat down and made their morning coffee with a camp jet boil. They toasted to starting off marriage in the mountains in the most magical way imagined. They shared stories with us about their time skiing in the area and in Whistler. They took their time just enjoying the morning together, their first alone time in several days as they had been hosting many of their guests whom had flown from all over the states to come join them on this day. It was a special way to start off the wedding day, setting the tone and intent for the day ahead.

A drone photo of the couple hiking in the mountains.

Wedding Ceremony at the Campground

Back at camp, we joined them after enough time for a nap and to re-energize for the events ahead. The couple was in their own spaces getting ready with their friends and family. The gals working on their hair and make up together upstairs in a main cabin over looking the reception space where more of their friends were putting everything together. The fellas got dressed and shared a toast together in celebration before heading over the ceremony.

James + Carmen held a more formal ceremony in a mossy forest with an adorable A Frame “arch.” Each of their parents walked them down the aisle. James’ second-father figure officiated the ceremony. It was a special touch to hear him recall the starting journey and moments shared with the couple from an outside perspective. There was laughter and joy in the stories. Carmen’s nephew brought the rings forward for the formal exchange of vows, which brought tears of joy. As their family and friends watched along you could feel and see the love of support these two have surrounding them and supporting them in their marriage. They shared their first kiss as husband and wife and walked back down the aisle hand in hand, smiles filled with stoke as everyone blew bubbles around them.

The couple looks at their guests as the officiant speaks.

Dinner + Reception at the Campground

They headed to the dock to canoe over to another dock near the reception space. It was a romantic way to get a few moments together between their ceremony and the reception – taking it all in that they were officially married. They joined the party as everyone else had made their way back too, overlooking the balcony watching them in the canoe. The night started with an incredible grazing table their friends had put together filled with yummy spreads, fruits and nuts. The chef had dinner almost ready. He had prepared a mix of delicious seafood, veggie and beef paella with salad and bread on the side. Everyone dined and chatted together socializing at different tables. As dinner came to an end, folks dispersed to play games together, take laps in the canoes on the lake, celebrate with shots and to play with the kiddos. As the night started to grow darker and the sun set behind the trees, the glowy string lights began to shine on the dance floor. James + Carmen started off the dancing with their first dance together, moving on the dance floor together beautifully! They asked everyone to join in with them as the song started to come to an end to get the dance party started. Friends took turns DJ-ing and the dance floor was never empty. As the night grew on, Carmen shared a dance with her dad and James danced with his mom. The evening was so much fun!

The couple shares a passionate kiss at camp.

James + Carmen’s elopement day was a perfect balance of adventure, quality alone time, fun and intention. It was a day immersed in celebration, joy and love. It was a day you certainly never forget – getting to spend time with all of your most important folks in your life in one place, having a great time together and becoming husband and wife.

We are so stoked for James + Carmen and feel so honored to have been asked to spend this day with them and capture their story. We wish them many years of happiness in marriage and many epic adventures on the trails and slopes as husband and wife! <3

Final photo taken of the night as guest stay to camp for the evening.

Campground Wedding Vendors a part of this day:

Camp Saturna – Campground Wedding Venue

H + M – Grooms Suit

Brides for a Cause – Bride’s Dresses

Paella Works – Chef

Blog resources for Campground Wedding ideas: