Ya’ll. I have been SO EXCITED to share this utterly magical North Cascades elopement with you. J + A first found me though the black whole that is instagram and had their hearts set on the Cascade range in Washington. For their elopement they wanted “a non-traditional day somewhere with epic mountains that will make for dramatic pictures. “
Whooooo boy did they get what they hoped for and more. A perfect sunset, the most perfect quintessential PNW A-Frame, trekking through the snow, a *heat wave*, the most epic, mind-blowing mountains ever, and more fun than any of us knew what to do with.
J + A knew from the get-go they didn’t want a big production (hence their decision to elope). This continued into their elopement day, which was a lovely and simple affair. This is one of the greatest things about eloping- they can be so chill and easy. J + A said they didn’t even have any real expectations going into their day- just to have fun with the person they love in an epic place. The rest was gravy. (Pro-Tip Side Note: This is absolutely the perfect mindset going into your elopement). I sent the couple a few locations but recommended a specific combo that I thought would be perfect – and that’s what J + A wound up choosing. A stunning 360 spot that was pretty easy to get to deep in the heart of the Cascade range. The perfect location for their North Cascades elopement dreams.
Summer in the Cascades is a funny thing, so to prep for this North Cascades Elopement I *stalked* the weather. This part of Washington got a huge amount of late season snow, meaning that the trail that the couple chose, the same trail I hiked with zero trouble and hardly any snow, was covered in over a foot of snow. At the exact same time of year. In fact, the road leading up to their location was closed up until a mere 2 weeks before their elopement day. We had a back up in place in the event the road was closed, but luckily we didn’t need it.
I prepped the couple for the snow, packed my crampons and trekking poles (which were then later confiscated by TSA… pro tip! Don’t try to carry on your trekking poles. They are… not allowed) and we were all ready and rearing to go for this epic North Cascades Elopement.
The day of their elopement dawned… to a 90 degree heat wave. There are often plot twists in elopements, and the heat was absolutely the plot twist here. To J + A’s credit they took it allll in stride. To them, it was all part of the adventure- even in J’s long sleeved black wedding dress. On the hottest day of the year. With full sun. Total troopers, I tell ya. I arrived at their (absolutely adorable and amazing) A-Frame airbnb, took a few detail photos and portraits of the couple on their porch, and we set out! (grateful for the AC in our cars). We drove up the mountain, wandered around a lower elevation spot where much of the snow had melted, then continued our journey up and got geared up for the real hike. Remember all that snow? Yeah- it was still there! And deep snow like that that starts melting at an alarming rate gets super hard and slick on the top. I was super grateful for the (borrowed) trekking poles I secured and crampons for all of us. J+ A felt like such badass adventurers setting out in their formal wear, with traction on their boots, and trekking poles in their hands.
And they were total badasses! We passed another couple getting wedding photos taken just near the parking lot- they had been unable to hike further out due to the slick melting snow. We waved and offered our congrats, then continued our hike up over a hill and out of view. The hike was such a blast- all of us out of our minds with stoke, much cooler with a breeze blowing off the snow (natures air conditioning!). We took some portraits along the way, me making continues heart eyes at how J’s dress stood out against the snow. Seriously we had so much fun on that hike. We arrived to our destination and… were totally alone. The snow and heat (lol, what a combo) had kept many away so we had one of the best views I’ve ever seen… to ourselves.
Then the big moment: J + A exchanged vows with the mountains lighting up pink behind them. Non-traditional, epic mountains, and dramatic photos. Check, check, and check. Afterwards we explored around taking some more portraits (with me spinning in tiny, frantic circles on more than one occasion because it seriously was an amazing view in every direction and I didn’t know where to look, haha). The mountains *really* put on a snow and then we all celebrated the North Cascades elopement with champagne.
We hiked back together by lamplight, laughing and resounding the amazingness that had just happened. We took some fun lantern photos before packing up the car and as full darkness fell, finally headed down the mountain. I feel so lucky to have a job where folks start off as clients but we 100% end the day as friends. This elopement was definitely one of those.
So grateful to have been a part of this day. J + A, you are both amazing humans and I’m so glad I got to be a part of your adventure. And don’t just take it from me, here are some super kind words from the couple:
“We are so happy we went with Aimée Flynn Photo, as she went above and beyond our expectations in all aspects of our elopement. It was evident how thoughtful and thorough her planning process was, which brought so much ease to our own planning of the trip. Aimée continued this professionalism/passion when she sent us up-to-date weather info before our event, scouted the exact trail the day before, and delivered our photos WAY before we could have ever anticipated them. All this doesn’t even include how comfortable, excited, and relaxed we felt during our elopement! She was the perfect combination of enthusiastic and professional, and the photo results were evident of that. We are forever grateful to have had Aimée Flynn Photo photograph our elopement!”
— Ryan + Styhiln