entire wedding party celebrating the newly married couple on top of mt rainier

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I'm Heather, a Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer serving Central Virginia & Beyond! I love sharing beautiful love stories, inspiring wedding details, and practical tips for a stress free wedding!

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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.

Lake at the foot of Mt Rainier engaged couple talking on the shore of the lake at the base of mt rainier Inflatable swan floating in the lake at the foot of Mt Rainier friends sitting around a picnic table in mt rainier national park wedding guests celebrating the newly married couple engaged couple hiking to the top of Mt Rainier engaged couple with friends and family at the base of mt rainier wearing hiking clothes and shoes bride and groom in mt rainier bride and groom in mt rainier bride and groom kissing along the waterfront in mt rainier national park bride and groom holding each other close in mt rainier national park elopement bride and groom holding each other close in mt rainier national park elopement bride and groom holding each other close in mt rainier national park elopement bride and groom with photographer friend in mt rainier elopement wedding detail shot from an elopement in mt rainier

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!

wedding invitation with a picture of the bride and groom on top of mountain, for elopement in mt rainier landscape shot of mt rainier national park bride looking off into the distance while mother helps her finish getting ready for elopement ceremony side by side shot of the bride and groom finishing getting ready for their elopement ceremony on top of mt rainier bride in wedding dress and veil with her grandma on top of mt rainier groom with his grandma on top of mt rainier as she fixes his Boutonnière grandma holds the hand of bride as they meet her groom on the alter at the top of mt rainier bride and groom on top of mt rainier bride and groom with groomsmen behind them on top of mt rainier wedding party during the elopement ceremony groom shedding tears while bride looks at him lovingly before the ceremony bride reading vows while holding grooms hand during mt rainier elopement bride and groom reading vows to each other on top of mt rainier bride and groom kiss during elopement ceremony on top of mt rainier entire wedding party celebrating the newly married couple on top of mt rainier entire wedding party celebrating the newly married couple on top of mt rainier entire wedding party celebrating the newly married couple on top of mt rainier groom and groomsmen on top of mt rainier bride and bridesmaids on top of mt rainier bride and groom eloping in mt rainier national park bride and groom eloping in mt rainier national park bride and groom eloping in mt rainier national park bride and groom in dress and tux with their hiking backpacks on with mt rainier in the background landscape of mt rainier national park bride and groom walk through the forest inside of mt rainier national park bride and groom walk through the forest inside of mt rainier national park bride and groom kissing in the forest inside of mt rainier national park bride and groom standing underneath the entrance sign to mount rainier national park wedding cake and detail shot of elopement in mt rainier national park table set with wine bottles and purple flowers bride eating during wedding celebration grandmother of bride giving a speech at the wedding reception in mt rainier plate of food and wedding party eating wedding party toasting to the bride and groom during the reception after the mt rainier elopement ceremony wedding party toasting to the bride and groom during the reception after the mt rainier elopement ceremony bride and groom pop champagne bottle on riverbank in mt rainier national park bride and groom hold each other close on riverbank in mt rainier national park bride and groom hold each other close on riverbank in mt rainier national park bride signing the marriage license bride and groom kissing in dress and tux with their hiking backpacks on with mt rainier in the background

If you’ve caught the travel bug like me, check out a few recent destination favorites:

Denver Colorado | Adventurous Engagement

Corona Del Mar | California Couple Session

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

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hey friends!

I'm Heather, a Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer serving Central Virginia & Beyond! I love sharing beautiful love stories, inspiring wedding details, and practical tips for a stress free wedding!

recent posts

wedding tips

Real couples

personal

Catagories

Join the newsletter