Two grooms kiss while holding lanterns during sunrise at their North Cascades mountain elopement

The Couple and Their Decision to Plan a Mountain Elopement in the North Cascades

Cote and David’s vision for their wedding were just two things: something small that included their family and also took place in a breathtaking location. Wherever they decided to elope, they wanted the view and setting to be a special part of their day. Like so many other elopement couples, they did not want their wedding day to be focused on flowers, decor, or centerpieces, but rather on the moments with those closest to them and all the beautiful scenery surrounding them.

That is how I knew that Washington would be the perfect place for their mountain elopement. The North Cascades, especially in late summer, is absolutely breathtaking and I knew that Cote & David would get the exact vibes that they were dreaming of.

The planning process wasn’t always easy though. Even though Cote and David started planning their elopement a year in advance, we couldn’t prepare for everything. The summer of their elopement, Washington experienced an extreme heatwave and some wildfires, and just days before their elopement day, everything we had planned for was gone and we had no choice but to totally toss out the original plan that we worked so hard on for a whole year.

Cote and David flew into Washington a week before their elopement and we basically lost everything we had originally planned: their cabin, location, timeline, etc… They joked that maybe this was the universe’s way of telling them not to get married but in all honesty, I think these are the kinds of obstacles life throws at you to see how you handle difficult situations together.

Elopement planning and marriage are quite similar. You can plan and dream and hope, but you never know what might happen. What’s important is how you hold hands and support one another through tough times.

Although it was stressful, Cote and David trusted me through it all and took in everything I had to share. 3 days before their elopement, Sergio and I looked for a new elopement location, worked on a new timeline, found a new cabin, and just went with what life had in store for us. We picked up and moved to another location and in this unexpected and new plan, the couple and I spent 20 hours together exploring the North Cascade mountains, seeing the beauty that was unplanned, baring our hearts with life stories and vulnerabilities, and witnessing the love that needs no words to describe.

This stunning mountain elopement is now featured on Junebug Weddings

From Waking Up Before the Crack of Dawn To Intimate Dances After Sunset, this Is How To Elope In the North Cascade Mountains Adventurously

Cote & David’s elopement day started early. I woke up at 11:30 pm the night before to drive 3+ hrs to meet at their cabin. We then hiked up the mountain for their sunrise first look and that’s when the fog rolled in. Within seconds, the North Cascade mountains were in full view and we were surrounded by the most magical, mysterious-looking vibe. Then the sun came up and shone through the fog creating some of the most stunning views any of us had ever seen.

After their ceremony and reception time with family, Cote, David, and I went off to go on another adventure. We off-roaded to their second location and then hiked up the mountain to watch a beautiful sunset.

The evening moments are some of my favorite moments of an elopement day because after the sun goes down when the last light of the day puts a magical glow on everything I ask my couples to do their first dance. They can let go of all the stresses and worries of life and just be…2 humans in love in the most beautiful corners of the earth. As the sun went down and the evening air cooled, Cote and David continued to dance and I didn’t want the night to end.

This mountain elopement in the North Cascades is so near and dear to my heart. The conversations we all had together during our almost 20 hours of adventuring were emotional. Through conversation, we bonded over our coming out stories, over the fact that we spent our youths not knowing where life might take us and asking whether happily ever after exists for people like us. (spoiler alert – it does!)

That day I got to witness firsthand that happily ever after exists for LGBTQ people like us. That happiness and love don’t need traditions or approvals that my young self was so worried about.

Two grooms kiss during their North Cascades mountain elopement

I’m incredibly honored and humbled to share this image of Cote and David has won Junebug’s Best Wedding Photos of 2021.

This is one of the images in their gallery that I have been and forever will hold close to my heart. No, it wasn’t because of the light or the compositions that makes me cherish this image with all my soul but the story behind this, the story of Cote and David, the story of their elopement.

Cote and David, I’ve never spent over 20 hours for an elopement before and I honestly don’t know if we could have done it any other way. Your love give me the energy I needed to be present and creative for you. I miss you both and I can’t wait to see your beautiful faces again soon.

He was able to capture the most incredible pictures of our natural exchanges as a couple and while truly being ourselves.

We had the BEST experience with Henry! From the beginning we could tell that Henry truly invests in each couple he works with. Knowing more about our story and who we are was very important to him. That made us much more comfortable being ourselves around him and in front of the camera. There’s nothing more unnatural than an uncomfortable pose doing something for a picture that, as a couple, you’d never normally do. Henry didn’t put us in that position. He was able to capture the most incredible pictures of our natural exchanges as a couple and while truly being ourselves. After our initial call, it was clear that he does his research and really knows his craft. He was willing to listen and consider whatever we were threw at him. He guided us through our choices without influencing decisions. He provided great support and information from start to finish. We were put in a position to have to move our elopement from the east side of Washington to the west just two weeks before the wedding. Henry was beyond helpful, flexible and supportive throughout the entire process. His energy is infectious. His professionalism is top notch. When you are spending a good chunk of your wedding day away from family and friends and with your photographer, you can’t do better than Henry. We’d book him again in a heartbeat and have nothing but great things to say about our experience with him.
Cote & David
Mountain elopement in the North Cascades

Meet the couple & the best North Cascades Mountain Elopement Photographer everrrr!!! 🙂😘


Meet The Best Mountain Elopement Vendors:

Photographer: Henry Tieu Photography (aka Henry)

Caterer: Saskatoon Kitchens

Tuxes: JCrew


Henry Tieu & Sergio - Elopement Photographers

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