Erica and Shane’s Intimate Wedding Ceremony With Family at Echo Lake State Park, NH

Erica and Shane’s Intimate Wedding Ceremony With Family at Echo Lake State Park, NH

Erica and Shane planned a small wedding ceremony with their immediate family and dogs at Echo Lake State Park in New Hampshire. They chose an accessible ceremony location and then explored with their two pups and exchanged their wedding vows.

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About This Echo Lake State Park Micro Wedding

“We got ready at the cottage she rented, and they had a first look at Cathedral Ledge – we had their ceremony at Echo Lake State Park because her dad needed something easily accessible, and then we went back to the cottage and made pizzas from scratch (they made pickle pizza).

Ellie and Macy, their golden retrievers, came with us on the hike where they said their private vows and Macy got so hot that she just laid down in a puddle and then shook the water off, soaking all of us.” [Danielle, the photographer]

Permits and LNT For This Elopement

“This elopement day took place at a few locations. They did a first look at Cathedral Ledge (not their ceremony). This location is bookable if folks want to have their ceremony there via a reservation, the website for that is here. An event fee of $100 is required, with a maximum capacity of 40 people.

We had their ceremony in NH at Echo Lake which is a state park. To obtain a permit at any New Hampshire State Park you can call 603-271-3556 or email: [email protected]
The most up-to-date information can be found here. The Echo Lake Park Office: 603-356-2672” [Danielle, the photographer]

Day Use Fees:

  • Adult: 12 and over $4, age 65 and over $0
  • Child: 5 & under – $0, 6-11, $2

Friendly reminder: When the park is unstaffed during the season, please deposit payment in Iron Ranger (self-serve pay station). Checks can be made payable to the Treasurer, State of NH.

Learn how to leave no trace during your elopement.

Top Tips When Eloping in Echo Lake State Park

“Get married in the shoulder seasons or right on the cusp of these seasons to avoid the crowds as they can be crowded. We got lucky as this was the end of October and it was 70 degrees, which was just wild!

Usually, it is way colder at this time, so you really never know what you are going to get in New England so I would really recommend people have a plan A and B, maybe even C. I think it is what makes us New Englander’s tough, our weather always keeps us guessing!

Supporting local lodges and having an indoor backup plan could be a good option as well, or if you have a group that doesn’t mind the rain bring umbrellas!” [Danielle, the photographer]

Deciding to Elope

“Shane and I always knew we wanted to elope. I don’t think we ever imagined us having a traditional wedding. We wanted our day just to be about us and celebrating us. Unfortunately, with traditional wedding culture, a lot of the decisions going into the wedding planning end up revolving around the guests.

We didn’t want to worry about other people on our wedding day, and just wanted to enjoy ourselves. A wedding to us is such an intimate and personal event and we wanted to keep it that way.” [The couple]

Check out these reasons to elope.

Planning Their Elopement

“We only had 2 months to plan from engagement to elopement date, so everything was a little chaotic. My top priority was finding a photographer as I know most are booked out months if not a year in advance. We knew we wanted to elope in October, so we were going to take whatever day in October that was available!

After finding Danielle at Moon Rising Photography everything sort of went smoothly after that. Shane and I only had a few criteria for our location and that was either in New Hampshire or Maine, and scenic wise in the mountains, at a lake, and/or at the ocean. We were very open to different options! We just wanted to be located at some of our favorite places to be.

For about 3 weeks we were planning to elope at an Airbnb or VRBO, but then realized a lot of hosts were not willing to allow us or they charged an insanely high extra fee on top of the normal fee. That’s when we decided that going somewhere and then going back to the rental property would be best. At that point we found our Airbnb and we asked for permission for photographs to be taken by a professional photographer in it. Then we contacted officials at Echo Lake and Cathedral ledge about park passes, general questions, etc.” [The couple]

Estimate Cost From This Elopement

“Our biggest expenses were really our photographer and Airbnb. Because we were under a certain amount of people the location did not charge us a fee to elope there.” [The couple]

  • Photographer – $3500
  • Airbnb for 2 nights – $1100
  • Tux rental – $150
  • Dress – $120 ( has amazing wedding dresses that are great quality!)
  • Cake – $75
  • Marriage license – $50
  • Hair and makeup – $200

Total ~$5500

Learn more about elopement costs

Details About This Wedding Day We’re Loving

“I loved that they truly got to do it all, that is what I want for my couples! They had a private first look as it was important for them to share that emotional moment privately, they had their ceremony and were able to share that officially with their immediate families.

Then because Echo Lake State Park was not dog-friendly, they wanted to include their pups in the day, so they hung out with them and made pizzas with their family at a nearby, conveniently located Airbnb.

Then they got to do a private hike and read their private vows to each other, in their comfy clothes, they changed out of their wedding attire, which I respect!” [Danielle, the photographer]

Check out these elopement ideas.

Memorable Moments From This Elopement

From the photographer:

“A few, most importantly… Erica’s dad was sick so I felt so happy that I was able to create a perfect itinerary and day for Erica and Shane as she was not sure if he would even be here today. I cried hysterically reading an email she wrote me about how much these photos meant to her after I delivered their gallery.

She shared with me that her dad was in a coma and about to go into surgery, and she told him that he had to wake up to see her get married. She was not sure if this would be possible, so to be able to have him there and to share this special moment with him means more than we will ever know.”

From the couple:

“The most memorable part of this experience was the moment we sat down and realized our day went so far beyond our expectations. We remember talking to each other about how it was just the absolute perfect day and that it truly could not have been any better. We realized during the day we really don’t need to stress about anything because no matter what happens we’re going to truly enjoy our day.

The moment we realized eloping was the absolute best decision ever was when we were on top of a mountain with our dogs enjoying some champagne, and reading our private vows to one another. Nothing will ever compare to that intimate moment of just being together and sharing our promises to one another. The best part is we will be able to hike up to that spot whenever we want to!”

Final Words of Advice From the Photographer

“What I learned is the actual true weight of my job. I take it so seriously. I felt how short life is and how paramount this day really was for everyone there.

To me I truly stand by this quote from Maya Angelou
‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ – I want to deliver not just images, but the feelings that people can keep returning to each time they go to look at their images again and again.” [Danielle, the photographer]

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Photos From This Elopement


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