A Foggy Micro Wedding Ceremony & Mountain Bike Adventure at North Mountain Lookout
Elisa and Patrick wanted an intimate, unique ceremony for their elopement day. They chose to elope with their immediate family at North Mountain Lookout in Darrington, a place they frequent for mountain biking day trips.
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About This Micro Wedding Ceremony at North Mountain Lookout
“Their close friend and fellow mountain biker officiated as they said their vows 41 feet above the ground in a fire lookout built in 1966. The weather was chilly and the views mostly obscured by low-hanging clouds, but that didn’t stop this rad couple from having the elopement day they envisioned! After sharing stories of their most memorable adventures together over cake and champagne, their families departed for the afternoon, and Elisa slipped on her favorite wellies as we stepped out into the cold of North Mountain at 4,000ft.
They ended their elopement day with a quick mountain biking session on one of the nearby trails, and spent the night inside the renovated lookout to kick off their honeymoon weekend.” [Janelle, the photographer]
LNT and Permit Information at North Mountain
“Please follow all LNT principles while recreating in this area, and pack out everything you bring to the lookout, including your trash! The fire lookout is privately owned and managed by Friends of North Mountain, who let us know that no permit was required to have a ceremony there.
The lookout can be reserved through AirBNB. The normal booking season is late June through mid-October, and dates become available for reservation 90 days in advance. This is a very popular spot, so you’ll have to be quick on the trigger to be able to reserve your date!” [Janelle, the photographer]
Top Tips for Eloping at a Lookout
“The lookout is very small, so I would recommend this spot for small groups only, and the climb up the stairs could be unsettling for those with a fear of heights. We had a total of 10 people in the lookout for the ceremony: the couple, officiant, photographer, and 6 guests, and had just enough space.
Make sure to bring bedding or sleeping bags, and plenty of snacks and food, as it’s about a 45-minute drive to get back to town from the lookout. The forest road goes up to 4,000′, so there can still be snow on the shady portions of the road well into June, and a high-clearance vehicle is recommended year-round.” [Janelle, the photographer]
Deciding to Elope
“We were looking for something more intimate and opted to do a reception the week after our elopement instead. We also chose a place to do our vows (a fire lookout) that wouldn’t fit more than a few people! So an elopement just worked out for us.
We both love to mountain bike, and there’s a great trail system at North Mountain that is a lot of fun, and there’s a fire lookout at the top. We thought it would be a great place to get married. Also, thanks to the Friends of North Mountain, a volunteer group, the fire lookout is available for overnight rentals now! They did such a great job restoring the lookout, which was just finished and made available for booking. We are so thrilled we were able to rent it for a few nights after our elopement and enjoy the lookout, and mountain bike!” [The couple]
Estimated Cost Breakdown From This Elopement
Men’s Suit (Nordstrom): $1000
Dress (BHLDN, second hand): $500
Hair and makeup: $250
Random decor, snacks, etc: $500
Total ~ $4,600
Deciding to Mix Traditional With Adventure
“Elisa and Patrick are some of the most hardcore, outdoorsy people I know! We took their engagement photos while rock climbing, so of course they wanted to include an equally as adventurous hobby of theirs on their elopement day. They knew they wanted to have an intimate ceremony with only their immediate family present, but still wanted to have a celebration and reception with all of their family and friends, so they decided to make their elopement a two-weekend experience!
Their mountain biking elopement and stay in the fire lookout was the first weekend, and the following weekend took place at the Rolling Huts in Winthrop where they rented the entire camping area and spent three days mountain biking and recreating with all their friends. I loved the fact that they chose exactly how they wanted their wedding experience to feel, paved their own path, and made it happen.” [Janelle, the photographer]
Memorable Moments During This Elopement
From the photographer:
“One of my favorite moments happened while we were all enjoying a slice of cake after the ceremony. Patrick was retelling a story from early on in their relationship, where they got his Sprinter van stuck in a stream on a forest road during a storm with no service, and Patrick had to head down the mountain to try to get help while Elisa held down the fort (van). Listening to them share stories, laugh, and reminisce was such a sweet part of the day that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
Just before the first look, as Patrick was climbing the stairs to the lookout, he paused to take a breath and prepare for that moment, but as soon as he stepped through the door and saw Elisa, you could see so many emotions pour over him.
During their mountain biking portion of the day, there was one drop that Elisa was a bit nervous to go down and had to give it a few tries, but Patrick was at the top of the hill cheering her on each time! Patrick also took a really large jump like a champ, and was doing wheelies on the way back up the road to the lookout, haha. It was just such a fun, playful time and I’m so glad they chose to include one of their favorite hobbies in their wedding day experience!”
From the couple:
“We really enjoyed riding bikes down the trail after our elopement! Janelle took some really fun photos of this, too. It was fun to incorporate something we really enjoy doing together into our day.”
Photography | Janelle Renee Photography
Photos From This Elopement