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Post Elopement

5 Tips for Your Post-Wedding Adventure Hike

wedding adventure hike for bride and groom.

Wedding Hike Adventure at Lake Tahoe

Are you stuck between eloping on a beautiful mountain, or having an intimate wedding with your closest family and friends? Since it’s your wedding day, you can do whatever you want! Mariana and Robert decided they wanted the best of both worlds.

These two had an intimate wedding with their family and friends, and then they went on a sunrise post-wedding adventure hike in Emerald Bay State Park, South Lake Tahoe, California.

Mariana and Robert’s session was backpacking themed. According to Autumn Marshall, the photographer, these two are fun and adventurous, and they really wanted to live out their mountain top elopement dreams, so they organized a sunrise post-wedding adventure session.

“If you want a regular wedding but also crave those epic adventure photos, I highly suggest doing a post-wedding adventure session. It gives you a chance to make some romantic memories with your new spouse, and it eases the stress of your wedding day timeline, giving you the chance to enjoy your time celebrating with your friends and family.” [Autumn]

This sunrise adventure is just the inspiration you need to start planning your special day.

“There is something so special about hiking in the dark and seeing shooting stars along the way. It was incredible to get up early just to watch the sunrise. You get the whole mountain to yourself while the rest of the world is sleeping. You know what they say, ‘the early bird gets the worm’! Having the opportunity to do that with your husband in a wedding dress and tux takes it to a whole new level. It was absolutely breathtaking.” [Mariana]

Photography by Autumn Marie Photography

1. Find a Photographer You Trust

According to the couple, they grew up in Lake Tahoe, and they always had a strong affinity for exploring the Mountains. Over the last 6 years of their relationship, they spent a lot of time hiking together. These two even got engaged during a hike exploring the top of Mount Whitney in California! Their experience makes them the ideal couple to give you some awesome tips for your hiking adventure.

This couple suggests booking a photographer you trust and feel comfortable with.

“Planning with Autumn was incredibly seamless. I felt like she really got a sense of who we were. She felt like a best friend. Not only did Autumn always have a backup plan, but she even buttoned my dress in freezing weather and packed snacks for us all to share!” [Mariana]

Having a photographer who knows the area you are eloping can also be helpful if a backup plan is needed. Autumn was able to find the perfect location for these two to enjoy their wedding adventure hike in their wedding attire.

“Make sure that you or your photographer is familiar with the hike. You don’t want to get lost or lose the trail in the dark, not only can it be dangerous, but it can potentially ruin your session.” [Autumn]

2. Be Prepared for Crazy Weather

When going on an adventure wedding hike, you have to be prepared for mother nature to change your plans with little notice. This couple, for example, originally planned their adventure session at Freel Peak. However, a massive snowstorm formed the day their hike was scheduled, so they decided to wake up at 3 am and hike Cascade Falls before the storm hit!

Talk about a wild adventure!

“My biggest advice to any couples that are wanting to do one of these sessions is to make sure your photographer has a backup location! We were originally supposed to do a more extreme hike, but a snowstorm had rolled into town, and we had to change our location and bump up our date. Safety should be one of your biggest concerns!” [Autumn]

3. Layers and Champagne are Your Best Friend

If you are eloping in the mountains, you should pack a change of clothes or layers to go on top of your wedding attire.

We love seeing brides in their beautiful wedding dresses in the mountains, but it gets cold! This couple had a night sunrise session, so covering up was essential.

“When I asked Mariana if she pictured being in her wedding dress, watching the sunrise, on top of a mountain, with the love of her life, she just smiled really big and said, ‘This is exactly what I pictured us doing!’” [Autumn]

Mariana also mentions bringing something to toast your adventure at the top. She suggests canisters of your favorite coffee to share or a bottle of champagne to pop.

4. Enjoy Every Moment

One of the most important things to remember: enjoy the moment. The couple tells us how intimate and romantic this session was for them from start to finish.

“We loved hiking, laughing, and taking in the stunning beauty mother nature has to offer. We started our married lives together exactly how we wanted to, outdoors climbing mountains. Make sure you stop and take in the moment and scenery with your partner. Don’t worry about the camera, and just admire this incredibly special moment with your person.” [Mariana]

This gorgeous sunrise wedding adventure is a dream come true to look at, so we can only imagine how surreal actually being there was like.

Autumn mentions watching the sunrise over Lake Tahoe with these two is her favorite moment during the session.

“Between the snapping of photos, I always make it a point to tell my clients to enjoy the moment and take it all in. In those few seconds of taking a deep breath and letting the beauty really sink in, you appreciate the fact that you made time to make this happen. The shooting stars and quiet of the night made the build-up pretty amazing as well!” [Autumn]

5. Do Your Thing and Get Married

Are you planning to elope? Do it!

Are you thinking about having a big wedding? Go for it!

Do you want to do a little mix of both? Make it happen!

The best thing about your wedding day is that it is YOUR wedding day. Despite what some may think, there is absolutely no right or wrong way to celebrate your special day.

Mariana recommends this wedding adventure hiking session to all couples!

“If this sounds fun, but you know you really want to have a traditional wedding, then find a photographer who is willing to do a fun adventure session with you the day after your wedding! Whether it be climbing a mountain, jumping into the ocean, throwing paint on each other, or dirt biking in the mud. Do something fun with your new spouse and get in a second use out of your wedding gown!” [Mariana]


Flowers | Flowers Chateaubliss

Dress | Jaime Bridal

Thank you to Autumn Marshall for sharing this wedding hike session, and congratulations to Mariana and Robert!

If you are thinking about having a post-wedding hike adventure yourself, then you should check out our best places to elope to get some location inspiration.

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