Claren + Benjamin’s Romantic Elopement Day

Claren + Benjamin’s Elopement Day

Claren and Benjamin share a love story that starts all the way back to 4th and 7th grade when they first had lasting impressions of each other. Re-connecting as adults much later, they started a long distance relationship. That did not stop them from growing their love deeply here in the states and abroad. They always made points to share loving surprises and post cards sent in between visits. Upon getting engaged they decided they wanted to plan an adventurous elopement wedding. Living far away from family, this felt the most fitting for a non-stressful way to get married, but also a way that felt true to their own connection and story.

Morning Canoe on Mineral Lake

We started off their wedding day at Mineral Lake just before sunrise for a canoe ride. Claren + Benjamin got engaged while out canoeing as well, such a wonderful thing to incorporate to start off the wedding day – honoring important past memories + making new ones! As we arrived to the lake, the morning fog was laying low – hiding Mount Rainier, but creating a magical fairytale feeling non the less. They spent time on the water canoeing around the lake, taking in the experience together. I love when couples start off their morning so intentionally together. It is one of the best ways to find some peaceful relaxation and to set the tone for the rest of the day together. They brought their book that contains all of the post cards they had sent each other over the years from places all over the world. Flipping through the book together they re-called travels, notes to each other and the building of their relationship.

We ended the canoe experience with a romantic kiss on the dock as the fog cleared and the sun rose behind us over the peaks in lieu of the movie, The Notebook, a movie Claren finds a fun connection in of their own story.

Getting Ready + Crafting a Bouquet

We headed back to their adorable farm stay where they were staying in a unique dome house with incredible views of Mt Rainier. Claren got ready with hair and make up, while Benjamin hung out with the family and their pup, Frankie. The morning was a perfect reflection of how they wanted their wedding day to feel – not rushed and peaceful.

Though Benjamin had already seen Claren in her dress while canoeing in the morning, he had not seen her all dolled up with her hair, make up and jewelry. They took they time to share a “first look” privately, taking a moment to soak up feeling fancy all dressed up in their attire.

Once they were both ready for the rest of their big day, they sat down together in their bubble dome with Frankie nearby to build their own floral arrangements. When they first pitched the idea of making their own bouquet in the morning together I thought it was one of the cutest things I had ever heard of, but also fitting as they love having a bouquet they arrange on their kitchen table. They worked together with all the beautiful local florals laid out in front of them to put together a beautiful arrangement and adorable boutonniere.

Mimosas + Family Time

While Claren + Benjamin are both now Washington locals, all of their loved ones live out of the state. Some of their closest loved ones were able to travel to the state and celebrate this day and weekend with them. They joined their loved ones in the second house on the property, walking hand in hand with Frankie heading over to the cake and mimosa celebration. Their family had set up a beautiful display for the cake which had beautiful wild flowers on it. Benjamin opened a bottle of champagne to get the cerebration started as everyone toasted and cheers to their merriment.

Benjamin and Claren cut into their cake with Claren’s grandparents knife set from when they cut their own cake at their wedding reception in 1949. It was a sentimental and sweet way to honor her grandparents. The box for the knives even still contained the hand written letter her grandma had written her father gifting the knife set for him to pass it down. We gathered in the house for them to sign the marriage paperwork along with two guests witnessing as everyone hung out enjoying each other’s company over mimosas.

Hike + Sunset Private Vows

When planning their elopement day one of the most important elements was where to share their personal vows with each other. They wanted to hold their ceremony somewhere private, dog friendly, with an incredible view of the mountain and hopefully with some wildflowers around. They love going on new hikes together each year and we found a new hike for them that checked off all of these boxes.

Stoke was high upon arriving at the trailhead, the time had come for them to share their vows on this day. We hiked through the forest in complete privacy, not a soul around. It was a sunny Washington day with the perfect temperature AND there were golden and purple wildflowers still gracing the meadows at the top of our peak. As we arrived at the end of the trail you could see clear views of Mount Rainier and Mound Adams. They sat down to enjoy a sandwich and split a summit beer before changing back into their wedding attire.

They shared their vows with each other surrounded by countless peaks and the warm sunshine. Private vows out in the wilderness feels as though you are the only two people in the world and as though time has stopped just long enough to share a small, but very meaningful moment together. Before the evening faded away we took in the views and they enjoyed some time just being connected together as the bright sun turned into a colorful sunset.

As the blue hour light started to set in we headed back down the trail to a different view point where there was a lot of space for them to share their first dance together. They shared a romantic first dance with dip kisses and spins under the soft glowy blue sky. Claren’s dress was made for this moment I think. It was a spectacular way to end the evening. As the song ended they took the time to simply hold each other and take in the moment they were sharing and view of the mountains surrounding them. As we hiked down the mountain we got a glimpse of that days full Supermoon rising over the mountain peaks. It was if mother-nature was bidding us a good night and congrats to the newly wed couple!

The Elopement Team

Hi-ya! We are Traci + Bill, a husband and wife adventure elopement photography team based here in WA. We love helping couples craft elopement days just like this – immersive, connected to who they are, deeply meaningful and creating core memories together at the end of the day. From canoeing to hiking we are here to help you logistically make it happen. On the day of, we are there to help you legally wed as officiants as needed, be your right hand man and of course creatively capture your elopement day so you have images to look back on for a lifetime to relive the magic.

Elopement Day Vendors

Hair & MUA // @blackfernbeautyco

Photo + Planning // @adventureandvow

Cake // @celebritycakestudio

Dress // @dearlyconsignmentbridal, @wtoowatters

Alterations // @byninacherie

Claren’s Ring // @silverandsaltco

Benjamin’s Ring // @stagheaddesigns 

Suit // @suitsupply

Shoes // @foreversoles

Stargazing House // @wildlinfarm

Florals // @stumprootfarm