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Sam’s Point Preserve Adventure Wedding in Cragsmoor, New York

sam's point preserve cragsmoor new york elopement wedding

“My favorite part of the experience was just being able to be carefree about everything and not having to stress out about anything.”

For this sweet couple, choosing an adventure wedding allowed them to have both the nuptials and the honeymoon of their dreams. They kept costs to a minimum by saying “I do” at Minnewaska State Park Preserve, where they paid only a small fee to ensure a private ceremony, and enjoyed lunch with their guests before continuing the celebration at a local brewery.

Photographer Nicole Wagner was absolutely thrilled to document their day. “We met in the morning at Sam’s Point in Ulster County… a favorite hiking spot of theirs,” she says. “The views it offers of the Hudson Valley are incredible, and it’s such a peaceful atmosphere.”

As a photographer, Nicole feeds off the energy of the day. She finds there is a tangible difference between traditional weddings and more intimate affairs, sharing elopements and adventure weddings are “…so genuine and focused on the couple alone, rather than the production of a big wedding and all the moving parts…

The energy at elopements is refreshing.” Inspired by the cliffs and the preserve’s picturesque scenery, she says,” My main goal was to create beautiful landscape shots that [Nicole and Chris were] a part of… It was a perfect morning filled with so much love and just the right amount of adventure!”


“…we aren’t the type of people that feel the need to spend our money on a day that goes by so [quickly]. The amount of money that our friends spent on their weddings – the flowers and the dresses and the food – all that stuff is just ‘stuff’ to us. That was never something I dreamed about growing up, [and] honestly that all seemed super overwhelming to me. Choosing to elope with just my best friend and his best friend and our close family by our side was much more intimate and much more special to me, and money that we would have spent on a wedding, we got to spend on an awesome honeymoon [in] Iceland.”

[Nicole, The Bride]


“We chose Sam’s Point because it was special to us. It was somewhere that my husband took me to hike when we had first started dating, and we really enjoyed going there. It’s not a long hike to the top, so we knew it would be perfect for our guests…”



“This was probably the least stressful thing to plan… I called up Sam’s Point, and it didn’t seem like they had had anyone want to get married there before so it was a super easy process. We could pay a small fee if we wanted the cliff blocked off during the ceremony, which is what we decided to do to make it more special. I had already picked out my dress before I was even engaged – I knew it was the one I wanted the minute I saw it on BHLDN’s website… Nicole takes amazing photos so I knew I wanted her as our photographer. We had a little lunch afterwards down below and then invited our guests to Gilded Otter Brewery for some beers after and that was that! I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”


sam's point preserve cragsmoor new york elopement wedding


“My favorite part of the experience was just being able to be carefree about everything and not having to stress out about anything. I didn’t have to worry if the flowers looked okay or if the food tasted good, and it was great to just be able to do whatever we wanted… We love hiking [and] to be able to get married to the love of my life in one of our favorite places that we can go back [to] time and time again… is something to treasure forever.”



Bridal Designer | BHLDN
Officiant | Nestor Soto


Thank you to Nicole Wagner for sharing this session, and congratulations to Nicole + Chris!

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