crater lake national park oregon pnw adventure elopement wedding



“Appreciating every quiet moment is what makes eloping a really special experience.”

East Coasters Jessica and Sam felt a deep connection the moment they set foot in Oregon. Falling in love with its natural serenity, they knew it was where they wanted to start their journey as husband and wife. They later returned to say “I do” at Crater Lake, sight unseen, and their photographer, Dawn Jarvis, could not have been more thrilled. “[They] had never been to Crater Lake before but saw some photos I had done and fell in love,” she says. “It’s our one and only national park here in Oregon, so any chance to get out there is the best day ever.”

After a sweet ceremony with their officiant, the newlyweds celebrated with an adventure session around the park, sharing a private moment to exchange personal vows and popping a bottle of champagne. “Jess and Sam wanted a few different spots around the lake that showcased all the different views,” Dawn shares. “They saved their vows for [after the ceremony], to keep it more intimate between the two of them, and it was beyond beautiful… Honestly my favorite thing about their day was how laidback and carefree they were… They truly made this day how they wanted it to be, no pressure at all, and that was so fun to witness… I just want them to be able to look back on these photos and feel all the elements and how amazing their day was.”

We doubt they will have any problem with that, because these images are giving us all the feels!

Photography by Dawn Photo



CHOOSING AN ELOPEMENT:

“When I imagined my dream wedding, I never pictured dozens of bouquets of flowers and a big, poofy dress. I wanted to spend less time worrying about the color of tablecloths and, instead, focus on the love we had for each other. To us, eloping was the ultimate way to make the day all about a celebration of our journey together, and we didn’t want to lose that sensibility by worrying about anything.”

[Jessica, The Bride]



CHOOSING AN ELOPEMENT LOCATION:

“When we first started dating, we watched TV and ate junk food all day. Throughout the course of our relationship, we regained our sense of adventure and love for nature, and it has since become a really important part of our lives. We had just traveled to Oregon before we began wedding planning and found such a beauty and serenity everywhere we went, unlike anything we had experienced on the East Coast. There’s something really magical about the state, and we were determined to find a spot that exuded that extraordinary quality.”

[Jessica]



PLANNING AN ELOPEMENT:

“Since we hail from North Carolina, we heavily relied upon Instagram and WeddingWire to find our vendors. We scrolled through pages and pages of photos and reviews of photographers and stylists, and we were incredibly lucky to find the perfect ones for us within a week of beginning our search.

Finding the right photographer is the most important part of the entire experience. You want one who you instantly connect with and who will help you feel at ease. We’ve never been the types of people who have enjoyed the spotlight so we felt hesitant and frankly a bit camera-shy the day of our wedding. However, the right photographer will almost blend into the background and will capture all of the natural movements and moments of the day.”

[Jessica]



THE ELOPEMENT EXPERIENCE:

“Appreciating every quiet moment is what makes eloping a really special experience. I specifically remember the sounds of little birds chirping around us as we were getting married. I remember the little chipmunk that joined us as we drank our first toast as a married couple, [and] I even remember each step as we fell and slid through the snow. The frenzy of traditional weddings creates so many chaotic moments that I’m not sure I would have been equipped to handle. Eloping slowed everything down and helped us cherish every single moment.”

[Jessica]



ELOPEMENT ADVICE:

“Throw a post-elopement reception. Several weeks after we got married, we invited close family and friends to a small reception at a local restaurant. I think a part of us felt guilty about getting married without our family, so we wanted to celebrate our new life together without adding in all the personal aspects of a wedding (e.g., a ceremony, vows, etc.)  that we privately celebrated.”

[Jessica]




Vendors:

Bridal Designer | BHLDN
Hair & Makeup | Cassidy Elise
Officiant | The Wright Officiant


Thank you to Dawn Photo for sharing this session, and congratulations to Jessica + Sam!



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