When it comes to planning a wedding, a lot of considerations go into the planning process for the bride and groom. Considerations such as location, florals, bridal party, and wedding traditions should be thought of.
For Parker and Victor (Rip), these options were overwhelming and didn’t reflect their relationship. This is why they decided to have an intimate wedding at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.
Their decision allowed them to have a ceremony that was intimate and family-orientated by incorporating aspects of a traditional wedding they both didn’t want to leave out.
What Led The Couple to Have an Intimate Wedding at Mount Rainier:
According to Parker, what led them to decide on having an intimate wedding was her experience as a photographer in the Carolinas and Georgia. “During that time I saw a little bit of everything, but my favorite moments were always the quiet moments with just the couple. It always seemed like that was really when they would soak in the moment of the day. [Rip and I] have always placed the most value on quiet moments together. So when I threw out the idea of keeping things simple, it just seemed natural and more us.”
Why Mount Rainier in Washington?
Washington has a special place in the couple’s heart for some time now. They drove across the country and found their first home there, brought home their dog “Scout”, got a taste of Army life, and got engaged there! Parker told us it was a “no brainer” to pick Mount Rainier in Washington because of its beauty, accessibility, and secluded forest.
“After a little wandering, we found a spot on a nature trail across the road from the National Park Inn where two trails converged. In that intersection, there were these three beautiful and broken old trees, and together something about them felt important. To me it had the feeling of a little chapel hidden in the woods,” says Parker.
What’s the Most Important Part of an Intimate Wedding?
After deciding on the date and location, the most important thing to check off of the elopement list was the photographer. Megan Montalvo was their photographer of choice after a few quick hashtag searches on Instagram. “We LOVE her and I have to brag on her just a bit because she was a rockstar on our day. Even at 6 months pregnant, nothing slowed her down!”
Megan truly is a rockstar because our team fell in love with the small moments she was able to capture between these two. Follow along as we dive into these gorgeous photographs of this intimate wedding at Mount Rainier.
Photography by Megan Montalvo
Mixing Old Traditions With New Traditions at Mount Rainier.
One of the traditions Parker and Rip wanted to keep was including their parents on their special day. The two agreed that renting a cabin near Mount Rainier for the two families to bond was essential in starting their lives together as husband and wife.
Megan, their photographer, believes the couple is the “perfect combination of prepared yet laid back”. They knew what they wanted for their elopement, but they trusted Megan’s choice of location for their portraits.
For the Photographer: What is your creative process for intimate weddings like this one?
“[I] encourage couples to be authentically who they are and allow them to enjoy their time together and the environment that surrounds them. Nature plays a huge role in my work, and I love getting to take clients to new and exciting locations so even they don’t know exactly how their wedding day will unfold,” she says.
The nature in Mount Rainier and its many waterfalls was the perfect background to Parker’s lacey BHLDN wedding dress. The couple was able to let loose and be in the moment together as Megan captured the moment the two saw each other for the first time.
Doing What’s Important To the Couple.
Parker and Rip wanted their special day to be intimate, loving, and adventurous; but they also wanted to incorporate their parents to bring together two households.
“It truly was the most perfect ceremony to celebrate their love and the start of their forever!” says Megan.
Parker and Rip asked their neighbor, Danielle, to be their officiant. “She is one of those people that loves love,” Parker tells us.
The two exchanged their vows within the trees of Mount Rainier’s forest. According to Parker, they created custom wedding bands from the workshop These Rings in Port Townsend, WA. How cool is that?
Looking at Megan’s photography, we asked why she loves capturing personal events such as Parker and Rip’s intimate wedding at Mount Rainier.
“I believe elopements allow a couple to truly focus on what’s important to them. This gives me the space to document things more naturally and watch couples literally have the best day ever. There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate a marriage. However, I think getting lost in what’s considered societal norms, or not doing something one is passionate about can take away from the enjoyment and meaning of the day. Elopements are crafted [for] the couple… who wouldn’t enjoy documenting that?!”
It’s The Little Moments That Matter The Most.
What moments at a wedding are the most symbolic? Parker and Rip believed the first dance was important, but it was also important to share a dance with their parents as well.
According to Parker and Rip, this was a detail they kept from their parents. What a beautiful surprise!
“They only knew we would be sharing a dance, but they didn’t know we’d be asking them to participate as well. Even though our wedding wasn’t the most conventional, we knew there were special moments that we didn’t want to miss out on sharing with our parents.”
Megan was able to capture the raw emotion in the moment of these dances, and it was everyone’s most memorable moments during this intimate wedding hidden in the trees of Mount Rainier.
Megan, however, tells us that wasn’t the only memorable moment…
“I also really loved the way Rip would look at Parker, often taking his hand and tucking her hair behind her ear or gently touching her chin or neck. It’s fairly uncommon for couples to naturally do that in front of the camera, and I love the intimacy it provides in some of the photos.”
These are just two examples of the little moments that are easier to capture when you don’t have a big wedding party in attendance.
Is Eloping Right For You?
This intimate wedding at Mount Rainier national park in Washington shows us all how important it is to follow your gut when it comes to deciding if an elopement is right for you.
When it comes to wedding planning, couples often get dragged along the planning process and plan a bigger event than they originally wanted.
Parker and Rip wanted their special day to mirror who they both were, “[We hope] that our children and grandchildren will be able to look at our pictures and have a little glimpse into who we were when we were young.”
We asked Parker to give advice to couples who are still on the edge on what to do for their big day and she didn’t hesitate to tell us, “You don’t have to follow any playbook or rules when it comes to your wedding. Keep the traditions that speak to you as a couple and skip the ones that don’t. Do what makes you happy even if your family looks at you like you are crazy when you ask them to stroll into the woods in formal wear. It’s totally worth it.”
Have you decided to elope yet? Let us know what your thoughts are!