Mount Rainier Hiking Adventure Elopement | Cara and Jared
Mt. Rainier National Park Hiking Adventure Elopement at a Fire Lookout
Throughout my website, I guess you can tell how I feel about elopements. If there's one thing I wish I could tell any couple, whether they are having a traditional wedding or an intimate elopement, is that DO WHAT YOUR HEARTS DESIRE. There's no norms, there's no "must do" or "have to".
I am so excited to share with you guys the perfect example of what I meant in this blog post. Cara and Jared flew in from Florida, stayed in a cute A-Frame Cabin, hiked up Mt. Rainier and exchange their vows during the most beautiful sunset I have ever witnessed.
Cara and Jared found me from Instagram and Pinterest after seeing my work on other elopements at Mount Rainier National Park. Living in the East Coast, they wanted a different experience. They wanted to see Mt. Rainier in person and get married with this beautiful view in the back. Reading their inquiry, I immediately felt their excitement to fly out West. I immediately felt their trust in my photography.
Something about excitement that is very infectious. How my clients feel about me makes me even more excited and allows me to open up and be creative for their photos
After asking about their vibes and visions, I immediately started doing research to find a location that would not only match with what they had envisioned but also will melt their heart. Here's a little secret: when working with me, you don't really need to have everything figured out; part of my job is to work along side with you to prepare and plan for your big day :). So I wrote down a list of what Cara and Jared were looking for:
Mount Rainier in the back
Approximately 1 - 2 hours of hiking.
To be 100% honest, a wish list helps, however, I always try to remind my couples that a wish list is only a wish list, sometimes, it's impossible to find something that could meet all those items. Well, guess what, with me digging deep in the web of hikers and travel guides, I FOUND THE PERFECT LOCATION for these guys :) (and yess everything was in CAPS because I was screaming in excitement haha)
Keeping the ceremony spot in mind, Cara and Jared found the cutest A-Frame Cabin just right at the base of Mount Rainier in a little town called Ashford. On the day of their elopement, I drove to their cabin and of course got lost when I almost got there. According to my GPS, I was already in the right general area but somehow, I could not find the right house number. As I started driving around the neighborhood even more, I saw a random guy standing in the corner in his hoodie. We both sort of looked at each other but also felt awkward so did not want to maintain eye contact. Then the guy in the hoodie raised his arm and waved at me. It was Jared hahaha.
Apparently, he knew I would be lost so he waited for me for a while. Jared later on told me that they also got lost when they got there the night before. They had to go back into town to get data so they could look for direction instructions from the owner.
Jared welcomed me with a warm hug as Cara was still getting ready in the bathroom. Their A-Frame cabin was super cute and cozy so although I did not get to see Cara's face just yet, we were already talking. Here's a funny thing about meeting someone new for the first time, we all felt a bit awkward and did not want to talk too much because we did not want to scare other person off, but at the same time, we felt like we already knew each other from all the emails and phone calls we previously had. And that was exactly how Cara, Jared, and I felt about one another.
Before we went on our adventure, I snapped some quick photos of the couple at their cute A-Frame Cabin. Although the cabin was not the main event of their elopement, I just knew I had to because it is part of their experience, it is part of their memory. I knew I had to make sure I captured some photos at the cabin
From then, it took us about 30 minutes driving to get to the trailhead. Riding in the car with these guys was one of the highlights of the day. We got a chance to talk about life. We got a chance to learn about one another. And the best thing about the car ride was all the "ooohhhs" and "ahhhhs" the couple had for all the epic views around Mount Rainier National Park.
As we approached the trailhead, I quickly remembered that I forgot my jacket and guess who was wearing basketball shorts with a T-shirt to photograph this elopement? This dude. Haha. Well, YOLO :) Here's another embarrassing fact about me: although I love all these hikes and all these epic locations, I am such a bad hiker. I think it all comes down to how out of shape I am. After all, I spend a lot of time sitting at home editing photos so don't judge me. What I am trying to say as well is that I'd do anything for my couples and I'd anything to explore and witness all the beauty of this beautiful planet. There were so many times I told the couple to go ahead and I will catch up (I mean, they both are cross-fit people and who am I to compare haha). I still remember what Jared told me "You haven't been to this trail either. We want to experience this place with you". I mean, don't you make me cry before you exchange your vows.
When we got to the top, we were all just speechless about how crazy beautiful it was. As we approached the fire lookout house, my fear of heights kicked in and my knees were shaking, but of course my couple was just casually strolling around, haha, why am I always the chicken one of the group? I faced my fears and got all the way up. My heart stopped for a second because Mt. Rainier was just right in front of us and it was just amazing to see it from another angle.
We all entered the fire lookout house and I made the couple sign their name in the guest book. It was so darn cute and I can't wait for them to come back one day and look at their names there again.
Cara and Jared then changed into their wedding attires for their first look. The best thing about this first look is that none of them knew what the other person was going to wear, not even Cara. Usually, the bride gets to see what her groom is going to wear, she might even be the one who picks out everything for her groom. However, what I like about what Cara and Jared did is that they told each other the color palette and that was it. They wanted to be surprised by each other. Cara did not know what Jared was going to wear and vice versa.
The second thing I love about their elopement was the fact that they ditched the traditional white dress. Their color palette was black, gray, and purple. Wait till you see how these colors mix with the beautiful sunset around Mt. Rainier, it was truly unreal.
We then proceeded with the first look and I am telling you, none of our eyes was dry. This was my first time ever crying during the first look.
Being an adventure elopement photographer, I am always so honored to be there photographing some of the most precious moments of my couples' lives. Not only I get to photograph Cara and Jared's beautiful love story, I get to be a part of their life story and nothing else in this world can compare.
We ran around this beautiful trail and soaked in every single second. We photographed till dark and hiked back down when it was pitch black. Oh, also remember how I forgot my jacket? It was FREEZINGGGGGG and IT WAS WORTH IT!!!
Words can't express how beautiful they looked and how beautiful their elopement was. I think it's time for me to shut up and let you guys enjoy this beautiful Mount Rainier Elopement at a Fire Lookout
READY FOR YOUR OWN ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT?
Henry Tieu is a Seattle Wedding Photographer. We specialize in intimate weddings, couples, engagements, and elopements. Often travel to Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California, and Hawaii. We focus on the intimate and raw moments that are unique to each couple.