Orcas Island Adventure Wedding

A couple stands on a seaplane together in a lake with mountains behind them.

Allison + Brittley’s Adventure packed Island Elopement

Allison + Brittley decided to elope in Washington because they wanted to get married somewhere that embodied their love for travel but that wasn’t too far away from their home in San Fransisco. It was also important to them to pick a place they could go back to in the future and that family and friends could attend. After traveling and living in other countries together over the last ten years, they for sure wanted a day that had adventure, the unknown and fun to it! These two are big kayakers and love being outdoors in the mountains and on the water, so Orcas Island of the San Juan Islands in Washington State seemed like a perfect fit. The island promised good food, lots of places to kayak, mountain views, and plenty of opportunities to relax as well. During the planning process, we were able to capture their engagement session in Yosemite National Park where we met them and their dog Lily. It was great meeting them before hand where we got to know their friendly, welcoming personalities, to see their love for each other and to get a sense of their sense of humor! It made planning so much more fun to have that initial connection with them. 

After almost a year of planning the big day was almost here! They road tripped up the Western coast together towards Seattle and eventually hopping on the ferry over to the island. We met up the day before to say hello, meet some of their friends, checked out the beautiful cottage Airbnb they had rented and talked over final details. The following morning a little before the sun came up, we met them at a nearby bay on the island to start their wedding day off with kayaking. We had views of Mt Baker, the sound and the Canadian Rockies as the sun rose in a colorful sunrise. In the still water in their kayak together they wrote their vows into cards for each other as they stopped to take in the beauty and look for otters and seals. It was a perfect way to start off their wedding day doing something they love together that was low key, private and stress free. After kayaking, they headed back to the Airbnb to get ready for the wedding with their closest friends and family. Once hair and make up was finished it was time for a first look! However, Allison + Brittley’s friend had something up his sleeve. As Brittley was waiting in the garden, anticipating Allison’s arrival, he turned around to see his friend dressed in a romper. It was a great moment to help take some of the nerves out of the anxious waiting to see his soon to be wife and a fun memory that will for sure not be forgotten. After the fun, Allison came out to finally share her first look with Brittley. It was a sweet moment and you could tell the excitement and stoke for the day was fully there!

We left the friends and family at the AirBnB to head to the docks for an extra special adventure. We were taking a seaplane from the island over to a lake in the Baker area. As we made our way to the dock we couldn’t get over the perfect summer PNW weather. The sky was sunny without a cloud in sight; it was going to be a great flight. We boarded the seaplane, put on our headsets and were off from the water into the sky. This was their first ride ever in a seaplane, so it was so fun checking out the views and experiencing take off and landing on the water. The flight included incredible views of all the San Juan Islands, rivers and shoreline, eventually leading us over the mountains with great views of Mt Baker’s glaciers. We eventually reached our destination, landing in a beautiful bright green lake surrounded by forests and peaks. As we made our way onto land, we picked the perfect spot with amazing mountain views for them to share their vows with each other privately. Following the emotional vows reminiscing on their relationship growing up to this point and all their promises for the future, they shared a packed picnic at a nearby table in the shade. We headed back to the seaplane to take off one more time, taking them back to their wedding! Before landing back on the island we circled around the neighborhood in the sky in search of their Airbnb for their guests to give them a wave!

Once back to the Airbnb we met back up with their family + friends for a dinner reception where a private chef had prepared shrimp, steak, mushroom risotto and vegetables. As folks gathered to get their food, some took advantage of the photo booth Allison + Brittley had set up to take photos with their guests. Dinner was delicious and cozy as we were surrounded by beautiful forests on the balcony of the cottage they had rented. As dinner progressed, several family members like Allison’s father and Brittley’s best man shared heart warming toasts about these two as a couple, as individuals and the journey they have shared personally with them. There were happy tears shed, but lots of laughter was heard around the table. It was a perfect note to end dinner on before heading out to their ceremony location.

Everyone loaded up into the cars together and we made a short drive to a nearby state park. We hiked one mile together into a quiet rocky shore line overlooking mountains and ocean right at sunset for the ceremony. Brittley walked into the ceremony high-fiving everyone along the way to get to his ukulele which he played as Allison walked down the aisle. The bride wanted each person to help her walk down the aisle, taking each guests hand in hand as she made her way to Brittley. Once they were both down the aisle, two of their friends officiated the ceremony. The two friends, another married couple, made the ceremony extra special bringing everyone to tears and laughter sharing their own memories with the couple over the years. During their ceremony, Allison + Brittley shared their personal vows with each other again in front of their family + did a whisky ceremony pouring a bottle into a wood barrel which they will open later in their marriage. Their ceremony ended with a kiss and them along with all of their guests smashing their glasses per Jewish tradition. They walked out of their ceremony space back to the forest for a private moment, as their guests clapped in celebration for them. You know that, we just did it, we are married moment! They rejoined their guests once ready for family/group photos, music and champagne before starting their first dance. Their first dance was so beautiful  as the light was setting over the mountains across the ocean. Eventually their family and friends joined in on the dancing with them. It was so beautiful in all of the ways they included their family and friends in this day. After the dance everyone headed back up the trail to the cars to go back the Airbnb while Allison + Brittley and us stayed back from some final sunset portraits and time to just let it all soak in, slowing down the day in this incredible, serene place. 

Once we arrived back to the Airbnb, the group had started the fire and set out drinks for everyone to celebrate. They signed their marriage license with their friends witnessing and cut their cake. While the night was coming to an end the celebration was set to continue the next day as they had a whale watching tour planned with their group before they would set out on their honeymoon up to Canada. The entire elopement experience was so wonderful, fun, and intentional. It was a day planned perfectly with the right amount of adventure, wildlife, family, friends, good food and epic views. 

Watch their elopement video here!

A bride and groom share a kiss on the shore

Vendors a part of their day: