Oh goodness, this wonderful Leavenworth elopement. Where do I start? This was one of those very special elopements where M had been following me on instagram for a very long time- she would often comment on posts or message me replies to my stories and we’d chat about the parks or movie soundtracks 🙂
So when she and her fiancé inquired about me photographing their elopement, I was freaking *stoked.* Fellow nerdy park rangers?? Yes PLEASE. And to spoil things a bit, yes the photos and views during this Leavenworth elopement are beautiful, but honestly? The thing I remember most is how much fun I had with these two on their day, how flexible and go with the flow they were with plans (more on that later) and just how much stoke they brought to the whole thing. It really did feel like spending the day with good friends.
The couple settled on wanting to elope near Leavenworth, a town in Washington they both love. They opted for an elopement on October 20th, figuring that would leave enough time for the fall rains to start and clear out any fire concern that often comes with late summer elopements in the PNW. Being super familiar with WA (former Rainier park rangers!), a moody fall elopement was just what they wanted, and planned accordingly.
LOL. Well, as we all know the weather is wacky and super unpredictable these days, and Washington was suffering with a *super* unseasonably dry autumn which meant… many fires, and even worse air quality, especially around Leavenworth (seriously- the AQI at my airbnb was rated as “hazardous.”) I chatted with the couple, willing to move the whole operation clear across the state if needed, but a lucky break in the smoke (really lucky-right before rain and snow moved into town the night after their elopement, closing all the highways) meant we could go on as planned.
We met at the trailhead bright and early and hiked 4 miles together into the woods and mountains for their mountain top first look and lakeside vows.
We reached out summit, and M got into her STUNNING dress (seriously- take a peek) and R got into his suit. We took some early morning portraits before finishing the last half mile of the hike to the lake, where the couple said their unbelievably sweet vows. The fall colors were stunning and we were visited by many bird friends before we packed up and head back to the trailhead.
There we met up with M + R’s family (who were waiting with pastries in hand!) and we spent the last part of this Leavenworth elopement with family, taking photos by the river as rain (finally) began to fall, clearing Washingtons air and keeping the fires at bay.
It was an incredible day, and definitely one to check out. And if you want to learn more eloping in Washington, check out this blog post on How to Elope in Washington State.
— Ryan + Styhiln