Cori & Max’s Family-Focused Summit Lake Elopement
In the heart of Hatchers Pass, Alaska, where the mountains meet the serene Summit Lake, Cori and Max celebrated their love in an intimate elopement. What was initially planned as a family gathering to commemorate their 10-year anniversary evolved into a heartfelt ceremony, surrounded by the fogginess and beauty of Alaska and their loved ones.
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A Sentimental Setting: Summit Lake in Hatchers Pass, Alaska
Cori and Max chose Summit Lake as their elopement destination, a place filled with memories from Cori’s childhood and the site of her sister’s wedding. Despite the unexpected fog, the couple embraced the private ambiance it created.
Top Tips From The Photographer Eloping in Hatcher Pass
“While you may visit Hatchers Pass year-round, the full road up to Summit Lake is only open in the summer, which is usually July 1st-Sept 15th. More information can be found here.
You will experience a very scenic drive through Hatchers Pass Road but be advised that the road is only paved up until you reach Hatchers Pass Lodge. The last stretch of the road up to Summit Lake is steep and rugged, so drive with caution.
Since the weather can be unpredictable year-round, I highly recommend packing layers and waterproof boots. Temperatures can be cooler up in Summit Lake, even during summer months.” [Nassim, the photographer]
Things to Keep in Mind for Your Elopement
- Bring bug spray.
- Stay alert for bears. Make noise by clapping, use an airhorn/bear bells, and carry bear spray. Also, store food properly.
- If you plan on hiking around the area, walk in groups.
- You can bring dogs to Summit Lake and most trails in Hatchers Pass. If you plan on bringing a pet, please keep them leashed.
- There is very little to no cell service in the area, so make sure to download offline Google Maps for your drive, as well as any All Trails maps, as needed.
- While there is designated parking in Summit Lake, spaces are limited so be sure to plan accordingly and carpool whenever possible.
Permit Information For Couples Venturing to Summit Lake
Nassim, the photographer, shares insight for couples considering a similar elopement. Nassim shares how it’s important to acquire the necessary permits and to follow all Leave No Trace principles continuously.
Consider road conditions and weather preparedness when planning. This couple did not expect it to be so foggy on their elopement day. These are crucial elements for couples to factor into their elopement plans in Hatcher Pass.
“Permits in Hatchers Pass depend on group size. Special Park Use Permits are required for gatherings over 20 people. For more information on permits for your particular elopement, visit State of Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.
Plan ahead and prepare for extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or fog. If you plan on having a picnic by the lake, remember to pack out all trash and leftover food. If you plan on hiking in the area, you may also come across wildlife so remember to never feed animals and observe them from a distance. Finally, since Summit Lake is a popular destination, remember to be considerate of other visitors.” [Nassim, the photographer]
A Photographer’s Perspective: Cori & Max’s Adventure Unveiled
Nassim shares with us how Cori and Max were deeply connected to nature and each other. The couple’s choice to craft their vows together and share words of gratitude in a unique activity involving their families added a personal touch to their celebration. We love the simplicity of this elopement. The couple didn’t include any decorations and didn’t fuss over extravagant wedding attire. They only prioritized a meaningful ceremony to exchange their wedding vows together.
Favorite Moments: Gratitude Circles and Shared Vows
The circle of gratitude. This elopement ceremony is the perfect inspiration to include a familial bond during your wedding day.
“During their ceremony, each person passed on the basket of letters that Cori and Max had prepared, randomly choose a piece of paper, and read it out loud to the person it was intended for. Cori shared with everyone that this was an activity that she and the rest of her family did when she was younger.
I felt like this added to the incredibly sentimental and heartfelt nature of their ceremony, and was a sweet way to share part of her legacy with Max and his family too. ” [Nassim, the photographer]
Inspirations for Couples: Embrace Your Story
Nassim hopes that Cori and Max’s story inspires future couples to infuse their own narratives into their elopement plans. Nassim’s advice is to think creatively, be open to doing things differently, and understand that sometimes, simplicity can be the key to a profoundly meaningful celebration.
“Hatchers Pass Lodge with the small red cabins is an iconic accommodation, which also happens to be incredibly close to the mountain pass up to Summit Lake. As of recently, they are only allowing professional photography for people that book a stay there. So, if you would like the iconic photos with the red cabins, book a stay at Hatchers Pass Lodge.
You can aslo find accommodations in Palmer and Wasilla or have a full camping adventure elopement experience. Some designated campsites include Gold Mint Parking Area or Government Park Campground.” [Nassim, the photographer]
Photography: Nassim of Breezy Photography
Accommodation: Hatchers Pass Lodge
More Photos From This Elopement