Washington Adventure Elopement in the Cascade Mountains
A last-minute change of plan couldn’t keep this adventurous couple from the elopement of their dreams.
Just days before their Artist Point nuptials, Bryce and Rachel learned the roads to Mount Baker would be closed for maintenance. “They had spent time scouting the perfect ceremony [site], creating personalized favors with the location’s mountain skyline, and choosing a nearby brewery to celebrate [at] afterwards,” photographer Amy Galbraith shares. “We were crushed and immediately started looking at other options… They knew they wanted mountain scenery and at least a short hike involved, but nothing that would overwhelm their [family and friends]… Bryce spotted a small lake just off the Pacific Crest Trail on Chinook Pass… The hike in seemed short and doable for the [small group]. The plan was set!”
Given the couple met while Bryce was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, it was as if the change was meant to be! “As their photographer, I really wanted to sit back and document their love of the mountains amongst the beautiful scenery,” Amy says. “If there’s anything I learned from this particular wedding, it’s to be flexible and to not have your heart fully set on one location. The mountains are a fickle environment and often forest services and Mother Nature will ultimately decide what happens.”
Photography by Amy Galbraith Photography
CHOOSING AN ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT:
“A large part of [our] friendship and romantic relationship was built around and in the mountains, and we wanted to incorporate hiking and trails into our wedding as well. Logistically, having a small ceremony with only immediate family addressed our concerns about finding somewhere on a trail with enough space for us while keeping in mind the impact we would have on the area.”
[Bryce, The Groom]
CHOOSING AN ELOPEMENT LOCATION:
“The main factors in choosing our location [were] not only finding somewhere on a trail with gorgeous mountain views, but [also finding somewhere] accessible for the members of our families that are not avid hikers… We originally chose Artist Point near Mount Baker, Washington due to its dramatic views and fall foliage… The road to Artist Point was closed two days before the wedding, [so] we chose another spot that [was only] a mile away from a trailhead [and] was located on the Pacific Crest Trail, which held sentimental value to me.”
PLANNING AN ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT:
“Our planning [started with] deciding what ‘traditional’ aspects of a wedding we wanted and scoping out a location… We knew that we wanted a great photographer to capture our special day, and we found Amy almost immediately… She helped us piece together the timeline and considerations we needed. As the snow thawed in the summer, we went to scope out potential locations for the views, flat areas for people to stand, and potential alternates… For flowers, we kept it local with seasonal flowers from Pike Place Market and Rachel’s mom helped put together the bouquet. We also asked our families to prepare a reading or saying to share during the ceremony.
The hardest part about planning, after finding a location, was identifying all of the things we would need the day of the wedding and ensuring it all made it into one of the cars, since the ceremony [was] a two hour drive from our house.”
THE ELOPEMENT EXPERIENCE:
“We had our families hike ahead of us to the location of the ceremony, and Rachel and I followed Amy down the trail, taking photos along the way. The hike out was magical, basking in our newlywed bliss while soaking in the mountain views. We also loved having our family members each share something with us during the ceremony, which left us all in tears.”
Thank you to Amy Galbraith for sharing this session, and congratulations to Rachel + Bryce!