Foggy Elopement at Dolly Sods Wildness, WV
Jess and Hillary drove 20+ hours with their son from Texas to West Virginia for their elopement in Dolly Sods Wilderness. Instead of scenic mountain views they saw online, they were surprised with a total fog out. Their disappointment shifted when they realized the fog added such a moody and romantic vibe to their day.
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Planning Your Elopement at Dolly Sods Wilderness
No permits are currently required to elope at Dolly Sods Wilderness. However, this can change, so please stay up to date and double-check.
“LNT principles include parking in designated areas, staying on clearly marked paths, and leaving the areas that are visited just as you found them. Skip any chairs, archways, or other large decorations.” [Michelle, the photographer]
Top Tips For Your Elopement Here From The Photographer:
- Be prepared for a range of weather. Sometimes it can be quite chilly up at the Sods, so bringing layers or wearing leggings under your wedding clothes could be a good idea pending the temps.
- Have a plan with your photographer for the timeline. The nearest restaurants and lodging are about an hour away and they don’t stay open very late. Eloping can bring quite the appetite so coming down off the mountains with nowhere to eat is a huge bummer.
- If golden hour and sunset are a priority, then packing in a picnic is our favorite tip (and pack out the trash!)
- Avoid the weekends at Dolly Sods, always, no exceptions.
Deciding to Elope
“Hill always knew she wanted to elope. She wanted something peaceful and intimate, no public speeches onlookers. Jess wanted something extraordinary with little to no worry. Eloping gave us everything we wanted…
The decision to elope is not an easy one. But it was the absolute best decision for us. We went mushroom foraging, collected art, ate some amazing local food, listened to Appalachian music, explored Blackwater Falls in Canaan Valley. We spent time just enjoying each other and our son. And we were able to feel and remember every small moment without any added stress or distractions. That was something we didn’t fully understand until the day of. You can pause and play and slow down and let each moment imprint along the way.” [The Couple]
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Details From This Elopement
Michelle and the couple tell us more about the logistics and details of the day. Jess and Hillary talked to their photographer through email and zoom to talk about their elopement vision, but allowed the day come to them as it was meant to.
“Most of the planning focused on the week leading up to that big day, and the road trip from TX to WV! We wanted it to be about the family time, not so much the details of the big day. We had custom dried florals created by an amazing artist on Lopez Island, WA. Jess’ dress was custom from an Etsy shop, add a few runs to H&M and Kohl’s and that was the extent of our day of planning. We let WVEC worry about the rest!” [The couple]
They even had 100-year-old gypsy wedding bands! And we love the fact they included their son throughout their ceremony and adventure.
From the photographer:
“I loved that we got to include their son in their elopement trip. He is a really sweet kid and we just loved chatting with him throughout the day. He and Braiden bonded over mushroom identification…The most memorable part of this day was the weather. As I mentioned above, Jess and Hillary drove over 20 hours from Texas to elope in West Virginia.
Dolly Sods is known as this incredibly scenic landscape and during their time on the mountain, it was a total fog out. We couldn’t see more than 50 yards in front of us and they missed out on the Sods’ epic views. However they were really chill about it and got excited about the moodiness that the fog brought to their day.”
From the couple:
“The day of our elopement the town we were staying is was sunny and warm. Jess had been checking the weather all week. Our only real hope for our elopement was a crisp, fall day. As we climbed the mountain up into Dolly Sods, we became locked in by fog. At the top, the air was cool and damp and we felt completely wrapped up in our moment.
We couldn’t hear or really see anyone else, except our little family. We didn’t get our epic lookout moment, but somehow this was so much better. We both remember stepping out of the car and breathing in deeply. The awe that we were given exactly what we’d hoped for.”
Final Advice When Eloping
“Embrace the day as it is. Jess and Hillary could have been easily bummed about the weather, but they saw the positive side of having fog and their excitement and smiles throughout the day really made for some sweet memories for them. Just roll with it!” [Michelle, the photographer]
Photography | The Breiters Photo & Video
Planning | West Virginia Elopement Collective
Headpiece: Honey and Ember
Photos From This Elopement at Dolly Sods Wilderness