This snowy backpacking elopement just might take the cake for our most wild and adventurous mountain wedding. We didn’t plan for snow, but we didn’t let it stop us! It turned out to be an experience unlike any other we’ve had, from the epic views to the solitude to the sunrise breakfast snow table the groom built. If you’re an adventurous couple who likes to get after it, this elopement shows how incorporating a big adventure into your elopement can make for an unforgettable experience.
Keep reading for the full story + pics!
An autumn elopement turned snowy backpacking adventure
Isabel and Andrew are big hikers and backpackers and all around adventure junkies, so when it came to their elopement, it was only fitting to put a little extra adventure in the adventure elopement. They wanted to hike a new trail they had never done before and backpack it so they could wake up the morning after their ceremony on top of a mountain. We had the perfect trail in mind, a 7.5 mile hike in the heart of the far North Cascades.
The date of the elopement was set for October 10th, which typically means peak fall colors in the mountains. Hillsides of wild huckleberries turned bright red, with varying shades of oranges and yellows stretching across the sea of peaks. It’s a magical time in the North Cascades and one of our favorite times of year to photograph elopements.
But Mother Nature had some different plans…A week before the elopement, a freak early winter snow storm ripped through Washington and dumped not inches, but feet of snow! Side story – we actually shot another couple who eloped literally the day after the snow storm and their crazy snowy elopement ended up making the local news!
Fortunately, by the time the 10th rolled around the forecast was calling for clear skies and a high of 60 degrees, not bad! Nevertheless, we had to contend with a trail that was absolutely buried in snow. The snow started less than ¼ mile into the hike, and just kept getting deeper and deeper as we gained elevation. But wow was it beautiful! On the upside, we had the trail to ourselves because we were the only ones crazy enough to go out and forge fresh tracks through knee deep powder haha.
Love the dreamy scenery of the Washington Mountains? Check out this elopement!
The final push up to the summit of the hike was by far the hardest part of the hike. The snow was deepest here, and it was also the steepest section of the hike. We definitely had to work for these views and it was 1000% worth it! We set up our tents and Isabel and Andrew changed into their wedding clothes. These are honestly some of our favorite getting ready photos we’ve ever taken. They just scream adventure elopement and feel so out of place from what you typically see in places like this. Freaking love it.
As the sun was setting behind the snowy peaks, they finally had their ceremony and said their vows surrounded by a sea of snowy peaks. We ran around in the powder taking some pictures during some beautiful blue hour light, then crawled into a snow hut/tent Andrew had rigged up for some homemade dehydrated chili over the backpacking stove – an Isabel specialty. Everything about this elopement, from the big adventure to the home cooked backpacking meal, was so Isabel and Andrew. We felt lucky to be tagging along and experiencing it with them, such an incredibly fun time.
In the morning, we woke to the most amazing sunrise we’ve ever seen. The snow was dazzling in the morning light and the air was crystal clear. We all bundled up and watched the show, then gathered around a cute little snow table Andrew made for breakfast. With the sun up, it was surprisingly warm and we were even in our t-shirts at times. Eventually, we packed up and hiked back to the cars, filled with memories that’ll be with us forever. Just goes to show how you can never plan for everything with elopements, especially the weather, but if you embrace it you can end up with experiences that are even better than you ever imagined. This was a 10/10 snowy backpacking elopement adventure.
Inspired by this snowy elopement adventure? Check out this couple who got married in a blizzard!
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