Last month I got to photograph my first true destination elopement. Kyle and Casey, ditched their traditional wedding plans in Richmond Virginia and headed to Mt Rainier National Park.
After years of rescheduling, they followed their hearts to create a wedding day that truly represented their relationship. Their intimate vows took place in the breathtaking Mt Rainier National Park near Packwood, Washington. The snow covered peaks and crystal blue glacier waters looked like they were painted in the backdrop. Looking back, I am still in awe of this trip!
Fun Fact, I’m actually the one who introduced Kyle & Casey a few years ago!
Casey and I played intramural Volleyball together, and Kyle and I were coworkers at UVA. Although it’s still up for debate who made the first move. I’m so thankful that their 3rd wedding date allowed me to be a part of the celebration!
During our stay in Packwood, Washington, Kyle and Casey were joined by their closest friends and family. They spent the first few days at an Airbnb on the stunning Cowlitz River, before hiking up the Pinnacle Peak Trail. One of my favorite parts of this experience was being able to be witness Kyle and Casey interacting as a couple. Plus I got to weigh in on so many wedding decisions such as setting up reception decor, and choosing the final ceremony spot.
After all of the celebrations, I will forever be obsessed with these photos, and I am especially grateful to have had such a fearless couple. Kyle and Casey are incredibly thoughtful, adventurous, and easygoing. They had zero hesitation about trekking across our backyard river in a blow up swan to capture a few final sunset portraits. Not to mention the entire hike in Mt. Rainier, carrying backpacks stuffed with wedding outfits, local bouquets, and of course a few bottles of champagne.
Day of the Wedding
The weather at Mt. Rainier National Park can be hard to predict and can change at any moment. We were holding our breath the entire week hoping for the perfect wedding day weather. Only 24 hours before, the fog was so thick on the mountain you couldn’t see a ridge 100 yards ahead. This made for some nervous energy leading up to the big day! Luckily, when it was time to begin our wedding day hike, we were greeted with the perfect crisp blue skies, and cool breeze to celebrate their vows from the most incredible overlook on the trail.
Kyle and Casey’s wedding was definitely one of my most memorable and challenging weddings to date! With no shade options, shooting directly into the sun, on an uneven cliffside, we had to get super creative with positioning. Thank goodness for the epic backdrops in every direction!
As the newlyweds made their way down the trail we were stopped by every hiker we passed, with congratulatory cheers and dozens of questions about Casey getting her dress dirty. She just repeated “she’s living her fullest and best life”. After their jam packed day, the couple enjoyed a late night dip in the river to cap off the evening!
Keep scrolling for a jam packed recap of Kyle and Caseys wedding festivities!
If you’ve caught the travel bug like me, check out a few recent destination favorites:
This elopement would not have been possible without these amazing vendors:
PHOTOGRAPHER: Heather Dodge Photography
VENUE: Mt Ranier National Park
CATERING: Supreme Eatery
FLORIST: Courageous Crow
DRESS: Ania Bridal
Mt. Rainier National Park | Destination Wedding
Aug 16, 2021