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Sunrise Mountain Elopement on Mt. Hood

eloped announcement sign

Photography by Sam Starns

This mountain elopement at Mount Hood is what adventurous dreams are made of.

The photographer, Sam Starns, tells us about Becca and Jared’s wedding day starting before the moon even set to hike up the Mount Hood for their elopement ceremony.

Imagine getting ready for your special day as everyone else is still sleeping. These two helped each other get ready and brought along adorable elopement signs and hand warmers to stay nice and toasty together. They also brought along a couple of headlights to help them see each other.

If you want to skip the details, then jump straight to the photos of this mountain elopement at Mt. Hood

mountain elopement at sunrise

Elopement Day Details

Sam tells us how stressfree, casual, and fun this mountain elopement was. She loves working with couples who are always up for anything, and that’s exactly the type of couple Rebecca and Jared ended up being.

“With a pop of champagne to celebrate afterward, these two shared their ceremony with a few close friends and then headed down the mountain to explore nearby lakes and to see Mt. Hood from a farther vantage point. How often do you have an adventure elopement at sunrise, with snow, and then follow that up with a rainbow? Well, that was certainly the case for Becca and Jared!” [Sam]

After saying their I do’s and popping their champagne bottle, the couple then stopped by Mt. Hood Meadows to get their season snowboarding passes! Sam tells us how sassy and fun they were during their elopement. We can definitely see this from some of the fun images she captured!

bride and groom dancing

Deciding to Elope

This couple reminds us to never settle when planning your wedding. According to the couple, they originally wanted to have a small wedding with about 55 people. They also wanted to get married in the mountains. Due to financial reasons, however, they soon realized they couldn’t afford to have a small wedding while also having their wedding day where they wanted it.

“One day I came across one of Sam’s ads about adventure elopements and immediately fell in love with the idea! We were excited about having a day truly all about us at the location we wanted. It just made sense that this was the path we wanted to take.” [Rebecca]

As far as planning goes, Rebecca tells us having an experienced photographer is key. She mentioned how amazing it was to ask Sam questions and bounce ideas off of her. The only thing Rebecca wanted was to not be stressed out during her wedding day, and she tells us that deciding to have an adventure elopement was the best decision they made.

Many couples don’t elope because of the fear of what their family and friends will think and say.

“The hardest part about eloping is not deciding to elope. It’s continuing to stick to your convictions when you’re met with questions, judgment, or skepticism. Know that your desires are 100% valid and worth it. Find a support system who will be your cheerleaders and biggest fans, and rock your elopement.” [Sam]

mountain elopement ceremony

Favorite Moments During this Mountain Elopement

Elopements are special because the couple can really enjoy the intimate moments throughout the day. They don’t have to worry about barely remembering their day, and they also don’t have to worry about anything else besides saying, “I do” to each other. Rebecca tells us that it’s hard for her to pick out the part they enjoyed the most during the elopement at Mt. Hood.

“First, it would be having our ceremony on the side of a volcano as the sun peaked up over the beautiful mountainous terrain that surrounded us. The second would be much later in the day when we visited Trillium Lake, and as we walked up the dock, a rainbow had appeared just long enough to grab some amazing pictures. Still blows our mind when we go back through pictures and look at that moment.” [Rebecca]

wedding rainbow portraits

Why This Photographer Loves Elopements

We asked why Sam loves capturing elopements, and she admits she loves empowering couples to do the very thing she wished she did herself.

“I regret my own wedding day and how it played out. I wanted to elope from the start but caved to societal pressure. It’s amazing helping couples explore more about themselves and each other, help them discover their strength, and uncover new interests and ways of having an elopement day. I always tell my couples to think about the best day ever. Whatever that entails (hiking, fishing, hot air balloon ride, exploring a new country, etc.). Then add some fancy attire and a ceremony, and you have yourselves your ideal elopement.” [Sam]

Sam is right on the money. Your elopement can be whatever you want it to be. Are you ready to start planning yours? Head over to our Elopement Resources to get more ideas! 


Florals | Beaverton Florists 
Accommodation | Timberline Lodge 
Officiant | Sam Starns

Photos of This Mountain Elopement at Mt. Hood

Planning a Mountain Elopement

If you are loving this elopement as much as we are, then maybe you are starting to think about planning your elopement here. Sam tells us there are two big questions you should ask yourself:

  • What do you want to do?
  • What type of weather do you want?

“[Those questions] will significantly affect what time of year you elope. Summer activities at places like Ski Bowl are plentiful but shut down in the middle of fall. On the other side of that coin, snow sports don’t kick off until well into winter. Then you have the weather to think about. If you want significant amounts of snow, it’s going to be different than if you want no snow or very little snow (Timberline always has at least a trace of old snow year-round).” [Sam]

Sam also recommends staying at Timberline Lodge, where this couple stayed. With delicious food and amazing views, it’s the perfect spot to get ready together and snuggle in afterward.

“The beautiful thing about an adventure elopement on Mount Hood is that there is usually some level of snow year-round at Timberline. This isn’t the case anywhere else accessible on the mountain, but Timberline provides beautiful views and 365 days of snow access.” [Sam]

Thank you to Sam Starns for sharing this session, and congratulations to Rebecca and Jared!
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