For Lily and Chris, this Mount Rainier elopement was the perfect homage to their love story.
The couple’s romance withstood years of long distance, cultivated by adventurous rendezvous and hiking expeditions throughout Europe. With her British groom arriving in the U.S. at long last, Lily sought a landscape that would successfully pay tribute to their travels. The Pacific Northwest fit the bill perfectly!
Photographers Gabi and Brandon Fox had the honor of documenting the day, and together they captured the most stunning images. “[Chris and Lily] were the perfect example of the kind of couple an elopement is perfect for,” they share. “They just wanted to be out experiencing a beautiful place together… Their ceremony was so incredibly heartfelt and got us choked up! Our favorite part was listening to them read letters that their parents had written to them… even though their family was far away, it felt like they were transported there for those moments… Easily right at the top of the list for best ceremonies we’ve ever witnessed.”
An emotional ceremony, a romantic picnic, and epic mountain wildflower views make for an elopement that can only be described as magical!
Photography by The Foxes Photography
CHOOSING AN ELOPEMENT:
“My husband is British, and we did long distance for two years before getting engaged… once we got into the swing of planning a big traditional wedding, we were completely overwhelmed by how stressful it was, especially being thousands of miles apart… it completely sucked having to visit all the wedding venues without Chris being there with me. Eventually, we were just like ‘screw it!’ and decided to get hitched once Chris flew over on his visa… being avid hikers already, I thought it would be a totally unique idea to just elope in the mountains. Little did I know there was a huge community of people who did [adventurous] elopements, and it just made sense for us from there on.”
[Lily, the bride]
“This was a perfectly classic Mt. Rainier elopement. Just the couple plus an officiant, a picnic, an epic view of Mt. Rainier, and a glorious sunset to cap off the day! We spent pretty much the whole day just hanging out and exploring one trail, though we had planned to hike another. It was just so beautiful and enjoyable out there that we all decided not to rush ourselves and just let the day progress naturally.”
[Gabi & Brandon Fox, Photographers]
CHOOSING A LOCATION:
“…when we did long distance, we would meet each other in Norway or Sweden or Ireland to go hiking, and I wanted our wedding to be just like those: a lovers’ meeting in a totally foreign place… being from the east coast and about to move to California shortly after, I figured the most epic place that would also be the least familiar to us would be the PNW… we didn’t really choose Mt. Rainier National Park as the spot for our ceremony, because we actually planned to hike for an entire week and get married in the middle of it. So because we wanted to start from Olympia and end at Baker, Rainier just happened to be in the middle!”
“Our creative process is built around a lot of spontaneity during the day, going with the flow and keeping things feeling really fun and natural, and when we see a great shot, we take full advantage of it and make sure we don’t walk away until it’s been captured as perfectly as we can.”
[Gabi & Brandon Fox]
PLANNING AN ELOPEMENT:
“The planning was pretty simple… First we prioritized what we both found to be important. For me, it was a damn good photographer – I got TWO – for Chris, he wanted a professional officiant instead of a friend or family member – he didn’t want to play favorites. So we made sure those were ticked off first, and the rest honestly just fell into place naturally. Also we might have just not planned that much at all for the sake of spontaneity.”
“Couples who elope and are just happy to be out in the wilderness together, no matter the weather or details or whatever else, are going to have the best day, and photographers who feed off that excitement and truly love being out in these landscapes are going to capture the best images.”
[Gabi & Brandon Fox]
“I have to say my favorite part [was] watching my husband sob through his vows… after I laughed at him and it became my turn, I pathetically broke into tears and actually had to tell everybody to hit pause and give me a minute. That moment is so permanently etched into my heart, I can’t imagine not having lived through it.”
“We slowly made our way back to the trailhead through wildflower meadows and were smacked in the face by Mt. Rainier the whole way. We walked away with so many images we love, and they bring back such fun memories…”
[Gabi & Brandon Fox]
“…[planning a wedding was] so stressful for us that we sometimes forgot why we were getting married in the first place. It was just so easy to get wrapped up in pleasing all the guests that we didn’t realize we were supposed to make ourselves happy… the moment we decided to make it just about us, it became effortless and fun and kinda wacky – but maybe that’s us.”