Snowy Elopement in the Cascades

Snowy Elopement in the Cascades

I'm Rachel, your PNW elopement photographer. I say "yes" when other people have told you "no," for the most you wedding day.

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A snowy elopement is what dreams are made of.

In this particular case, not exactly the dream Shelby and Jamie started with, given that they eloped in June.

But it turned out beautifully all the same.

In Washington, your location choice is important during certain parts of the year. Depending on your proximity to the mountains and the elevation, there could very well be snowpack into June, sometimes even July. I’m upfront about the gamble with my clients when we’re in the location-choosing phase. It’s totally up to you, always; I just do my best to provide you with as much info as possible so you can make an informed decision. The mountains can be fickle ladies: we’ll always have a backup plan.

If a snowy elopement is what you’re looking for, I’m all for it. Imagine it: towering mountains, blanketed in snow, as a stunning backdrop as you say your vows. Maybe a frozen lake, crusted with ice. The snow dampens sound, providing quiet and calm as you and your partner explore a landscape transformed. You say “I do” surrounded by the craggy beauty of the Cascades with crisp, mountain air in your lungs.

Shelby and Jamie got ready at an a-frame cabin with their friends. It was an early start, but a peaceful one. They made breakfast—including some signature cinnamon rolls—and drank coffee as the sun came up. Their morning was spent together, then apart while they changed into their wedding outfits.

Their first look was shared outside the cabin, in what I was quickly learning was genuine Shelby fashion.

After that, we piled into the cars and headed up to the mountain, where we all took a moment to catch our breath in the chill. Unless you’ve planned for snowshoes, you have to work with what you’ve got! In our case, what we had for this snowy elopement was a little too much snow to hike over without post-holing the entire way, so we looped around via the road first. When we found the perfect spot, we made our way across the snow until we found the ideal ceremony location.

With the mountains behind them and the river winding along below them, Shelby and Jamie said their vows in an emotional, romantic ceremony.

Followed by Shelby pranking Jamie with Groucho glasses.

We took portraits in the snow, I fell over backwards in the snow, and we marvelled at the height of the snow walls we walked beside. (Not to worry: my cameras are weather sealed so they keep working in wet weather and the memory cards don’t fail. I also instinctively protect them if I take a tumble.)

After playing in the snow, we headed back down the mountain road, stopping over at a favourite spot of mine for some forest portraits. The end of the trail was washed out last year in the floods, but it’s still a beautiful stopping point for a different backdrop.

They ended the day back at the a-frame, where, prior to whisky and s’mores and reading letters from loved ones not present, Shelby jumped into the hot tub in her wedding dress. Never change, my darlings, never change.

If this sounds magical to you, send me a message to start planning your own snowy elopement! Mt Baker is a fantastic snowy elopement location, as are many easily accessible areas around Seattle. And if you want to elope in the sprint without the feet of snow, I’ve got you covered there too. Washington has it all, my darlings. Click the links to learn more about eloping in Washington and my Washington elopement packages.


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  1. […] And for some Mt Baker elopement stories, check out this lakeside elopement, this elopement in a cloud, and this snowy elopement! […]

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