I absolutely love shooting an unconventional wedding. Specifically I really enjoy shooting these intimate weddings set against a organic and nature filled backdrop. Photographing Northwest elopements can be a bit of a trip at times, especially when you’re in the mountains where the weather is very unpredictable. The day of the ceremony we were treated to warm sun, overcast clouds, hard rain, soft rain and snow.
This wedding weekend got of to a start with a late arrival at Paradise Lodge the night before. Jaclyn and David graciously offered me a room to stay in for the weekend at the historic lodge and I jumped on that opportunity. As luck would have it my partner Alicia is a hairstylist and was hired on to do hair for the bride which meant I got to enjoy her company all weekend at the lodge. The first night there we suffered the cold temperatures so I could get some shots of the lodge with the distant stars in the night sky. We had to wait for quite a while for the clouds to work in my favor but I walked away with a cool shot.
In the morning we met the bridal party at their cabin near Ashford. The gang had a leisurely morning and got ready at a relaxed pace which really set the tempo for the day. We knew we were working against the weather so we made the most of it and just swung with the punches. Jaclyn and David exchanged wedding gifts in the company of their close friends and family who came to witness their vows. David was gifted a globe while Jaclyn was given an old hat that David used to wear when the two of them first met, the story goes that this hat would rarely leave his head and Jaclyn was never fond of it. So David gifted her the hat along with some kindling and a match so that she may set it ablaze.
Once we arrived at Paradise we marched up the steep paved paths that lead to the diverse trail network that crosses along Paradise. Inclement weather made this a more utilitarian ceremony with bright rain jackets and weatherproof wear (as well as mountaineering boots on a bride). The couple was married by a close friend who read from notes tucked within a Steel Construction manual in lieu of religious texts. The vows were exchanged and just before they spoke their “I Do’s” snow began to fall. They kissed underneath a soft touch of snow. What a way to start a life together.