Magical Mount Baker Elopement

There is much to say about this Mt Baker elopement. S+S had been engaged for 4 years. Their initial plans were to elope in New Zealand, but then 2020 happened and, well, we know the rest. But this year they excitedly started planning their elopement again. Sam and Sean actually found me through a Facebook post I happened to see, looking for a photographer who would be in Washington in the fall and New Zealand in December. Against all odds- I fit that description and responded. Sam and Sean had already seen my work in the Rangefinders Rising Stars of 2022- and it became clear pretty fast on our call that the vibes were there. Sean is a photographer- which by the way is always so flattering (and anxiety provoking!) to be photograph someone in the photog industry! And planning this Mount Baker elopement was SO fun- so much attention focused on the light and joy of it all. An epic day was planned, stoke was mega high. We all couldn’t wait.

Then, in the week leading up to their elopement, Seans father fell suddenly and seriously ill. I hopped on a zoom call with S+ S and as the screen lit up I had to pinch my leg, hard, under the table to myself keep from crying. The pain on both their faces was one I too am familiar with. 

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that both my own personal experience with loss and previous career of being a therapist didn’t come crashing down on my head. How I wanted to hug them through the screen. I’m always determined to be there for my couples- but now? More than ever.

I assured the couple that the train wasn’t going to come off the tracks- whatever needed to happen would happen (pivot? reschedule?) and I was perfectly content to sit in a holding pattern (and send light and love) in the meantime. It all happened so so fast and it’s shocking to even write this, but he passed the very next day, a little over a week before S + S’s elopement. This is tragic in any circumstances, but for a couple whose plans were already thwarted once, this felt especially hard.

I urged S + S to take space to decide what to do but ultimately, and I think this says a great deal about them, S + S decided to move forward with their elopement, full of love for each other. It’s what Sean’s dad would have wanted (he was so excited for them to be married) and they had already waited so long. They were so, so ready to be married. 

We met at the trailhead in the dark- the forecast leading up to Sam and Sean’s elopement day had been dodgey- full of clouds. With the week they’d had, I called in a favor to Mother Nature. I truly believe that all weather is beautiful but if ever there was a couple that deserved some sunshine… And wouldn’t you know it, as I drove up the mountain and looked through the moon roof in the still dark pre dawn hours… I couldn’t help but smile. All I could see were stars.

We met at the trailhead in the dark and hiked a mile along a narrow mountainside pass. The energy? So stoked, so excited to get married. As light started to fill the sky I looked around… at the clear sky and cloud inversion beside us. I couldn’t believe it- neither could Sam and Sean who gleefully squealed and smiled as they got ready separately. We adventured around as the sun rose and took in the INCREDIBLE sights. Sean’s glasses spontaneously broke, much to Sam’s amusement, and after the superglue I had on hand didn’t work, managed to patch them up with fashion (aka boob) tape. My emergency kit coming in clutch in the most random of circumstances.

The couple read letters from loved ones and exchanged beautiful vows officiated by a dear friend. I will tell you- there was not a dry eye in the house. Not even me falling over during a part of their ceremony (true story) could break the mood. After many hugs we all had some huckleberry and lemon cake, also made by a friend (YUM) with cat cake toppers, a nod to Sam and Seans beloved cats. We set out, took a slight excursion to a mountain top lake, before a quick afternoon break.

We met up at the base of a only slightly sketchy road, and I jumped in the couples car and we made our way up a mountain, before…. hiking rest of the way up the mountain (with Sam and Sean in full wedding clothes!). The sun was out, the huckleberry were ripe and we made our way up up and up, all taking turns looking out in awe at the beautiful conditions around us.⁠

Mother Nature continued to pull through (remember my stern talking to) with whisps of cloud feathers dancing around the peaks as we hiked. We got to the top and…wow. S + S took some time to sit, take it all in, and have some snacks. Then, in time for sunset, we explored around the summit taking photos, shrieking, laughing, and generally having the best time. ⁠

We watched in awe as the sun set, cracked open some trail beers, and started our descent back to the car (watching the silhouette of a mountain goat on a nearby ridge). And! The day wasn’t even done. We ended where we started, under the stars. I love an elopement day with start photos and whooooo boy the Milky Way put on a show. ⁠

Much came together this day and I’ve truly never experienced more trail magic on an elopement. There was so much joy, awe, love, and gratitude to be had- if my photos capture even a fraction of it then I’ve done my job. I’m so grateful it was the day these two hoped for.⁠⁠ And the best part? This isn’t even the end. There wer more adventures to be had with these two on the far side of the world (remember the New Zealand bit?) More on that soon. 

Florist: Beckoning Blooms

Officiant : The Sanctuary Northwest

Cake: Chance of Rain Cakes

Love Washington? Check out this North Cascades elopement

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— Ryan + Styhiln

Ready to have your own adventure of a lifetime?
I'm Aimée Flynn, Southwest based adventure wedding and elopement photographer, mega nerd, former therapist, and taker of the epic pics. But don't think I'm here just to take pretty photos (though there will be pretty photos a-plenty) I’m here to guide you through every step of your elope elopement experience; I’m your location scouter, gatherer of all in info, formal wear wrangler, & hype committee. 

I’m also a storyteller. Your storyteller. And while I'm here for the epic, magazine-cover-worthy, totally bananas moments, I'm also here (and to be totally honest, live for) those goofy, silly, unexpected moments that adventure always seems to bring. I'm here to tell your story in the honest and epic fashion it deserves.
Hey friend, I'm so stoked  you're here!

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