Family Leavenworth Elopement in the Washington Mountains
Bill and I met Kayla and Blake in Mount Rainier National Park for their engagement session last summer. It was their first hike in the park and it definitely did not disappoint. They had planned a small wedding in a barn local to where they live here in Washington. After our session we kept in touch on social media, as I had to see all the beautiful horses on her accounts! She attended my Love on Earth Workshop later in the fall where she asked Bill and I to capture their elopement day instead! I was so excited to hear more about the adventure they had started planning! Initially the ideas started out for a summer elopement in Colorado up in the mountains with fun things like zip lining and horseback riding in the plans. However, as plans came together we ended up going with Leavenworth, Washington, a place they often go to with friends or together for small get aways. Our two musts were a dog friendly hike so their husky, Pepper, could be in the photos and be with them throughout this very special day as well as a river floating event! We got the chance to meet up with Kayla and Blake at their home for dinner and a game night to catch up since last seeing them, chat over the plan and details that had been made for the big day before heading out to Leavenworth ourselves to scout their top pick trails. As mother nature would have it, we would make plans and then shift them, mostly due to snow avalanches earlier in the year in the area, road closures, too much snow being on the trails, you name it. However, also as Mother Nature would have it, we ended up with the perfect plan for their day.
We meet Kayla and Blake at their Airbnb rental at 1am to head out for the trail! We drank yummy iced coffees from their favorite coffee shop in Plain, WA they had picked up the day before. By the way, great sunrise elopement tip: pick up an iced coffee without ice the day before and in the just throw ice in it and head out! When we arrived, the sunrise was still some time away and we were able to enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the night a little while longer. We enjoyed the perfect temperatures weather on the short hike to the top with the most colorful sky surrounding us. Due to the summer wildfires we weren’t able to see the Milky Way, but they opted to share their first look in the light of their head lamps under the colorful sky with one twinkle star shining through. It was so sweet and fun to do the first look before the sun rose. Blake and Kayla wrote their vows for each other sitting side by side, with Pepper not too far away, overlooking the ridge as the sun began to rise over the mountains. I don’t know about you, but for me it was like a scene out of the romantic movie. Once they had completed their vows we headed over to the fire tower for their private vow ceremony as the smokey red sun rose over the vibrant clouds. The vows were followed by yummy rolls and treats from a local bakery. Once we were done exploring the area, taking portraits and of course giving plenty of pets to Pepper, we packed up and headed out to the state park for their official ceremony with family and friends. Kayla and Blake hiked out in their matching Lake Wenatchee tee shirts which I thought was the cutest touch and every time they wear those shirts they will remember their wedding day.
We met up with an intimate list of 30 people that are closest to them on the lake shores for their official wedding ceremony. Kayla and Blake’s family had set up the picnic tables to have pastries a cute brunch set up for a special touch to the space. The ginger bread bride and grooms were my personal favorite. Before Kayla and Blake shared their more traditional binding vows, their hand selected family members stood up to recall memories from their many years together, congrats and other positive words. Each speech was filled with so much love and ten years of memories bringing them all to this moment. It was such an honor to hear the stories some with tears, some with laughter and some of pure joy towards the future of these two families becoming one. Once the marriage was official everyone split off to give hugs, congrats, a toast and eat more yummy treats from the local bakery. The lake was a perfect place for everyone to hangout and jump in the water to relax before dinner. This was so fitting for Kayla and Blake as one of their family members had recalled a memory of these two on vacation playing and jumping into water.
In the evening we all regathered together for a lovely backyard dinner. One of their favorite restaurants in town’s sister company was able to cater the dinner with a delicious meal of brisket, mac and cheese and vegetables. As Kayla and Blake set to cut their cake they were gifted being Iced by a family member just as their favorite song came on, I believe in a thing called love. It was a fun way kick off the evening from dining to celebrating lol. The evening was spent chatting and playing back yard games taking in the most perfect day of celebrating their love story. The next day was spent with a few friends hanging out at the Airbnbs, taking floats down the river and ending the evening hanging out at the hot tub. We were honored to join in on this fun with them and are looking forward to making more memories with them in the Leavenworth area. It was a perfect sequential to their wedding day, which would also be followed up by a weekend mini-moon just for the couple at one of the local resorts in Leavenworth. This elopement is by the book what eloping is all about! These two got to have a day that fit all of their needs and desires – an adventure with just them to start the day, private vows, a small gathering with family somewhere fun and a good dinner followed by fun with friends. It was their day, their way. It was so joyous and fun to see them simply be them, on the best day ever!
Washington Elopement Vendors that made this day possible:
Photography + Officiating by Adventure and Vow
Cape bought at Brides for a Cause
Pastries were from The Gingerbread House
The Dress was from Essence of Australia purchased at The Wedding Bell
Wenatchee State Park and Forest Service Lands
Pepper’s Leash: Kelsie Elaine co.