Evergreen Era Film + Photo
The Couples Story:
When I first hopped on the phone with Jess and Colin to chat about their elopement day, they told me they were considering just going to the courthouse for their day. Why? Mainly because they hated the idea of being posed all day and didn’t think a full blown blue ridge mountain mountain elopement could really be as awesome as they looked. They had seen photos of couples “adventure style” elopements and were drawn to them, but didn’t full believe that they could actually have a personalized and genuine experience. They didn’t want to pay money for a photoshoot, since they didn’t love being in front of the camera to begin with.
I encouraged them that they found the perfect person for a non-posed elopement day! I’ve always been a big believer in experience mattering just as much (if not more) than a couples photos and video for their elopement days. Vanity metrics don’t matter to me, or my couples, as much as memories and genuine connection.
Even if you end up with beautiful photos, if that means you’ve been forced into a full day photoshoot on one of the most special days of your life, you’re not going to use those photos and video to re-live those moments fondly. They are going to remind you of the actual day, and if you weren’t enjoying life in the moment, you won’t deeply enjoy the photos or film of it.
Thankfully these two trusted me and we booked a full on adventure day filled to the brim with fun things that were personal to them.
They booked my photo + video full experience package, which includes 10 hours of coverage and photo and video both done by me. Even with 10 hours, we even RAN OUT OF TIME! Can you believe it? When you’re just living in the moment and enjoying the day, this can happen quite easily so don’t underestimate what your day can look like when it comes to a timeframe.
I’ve included their actual timeline throughout the photos below to give you an idea of what a full day mountain elopement looks like. I thought that would be help so that you can get a straightforward example of how time plays out throughout the day.
BE SURE to watch their film to experience the adventure even more fully:
5:30 AM – Coverage Begins – Meet at Trailhead
Begin Hike to Ceremony spot
Jess and Colin met me at the trailhead VERY early in the morning when it was still dark. We said hello, got our headlamps on, and headed out with all our gear on our backs. As we hiked, we chatted about life and how they were super nervous to get up early (they even slightly regretted the decision at some points leading up to their day) but as we were doing it they were so glad they didn’t back out.
On the hike back down after the beautiful sunrise and quiet secluded morning, they said it was absolutely worth getting up early for!
6:30 AM – Arrive at Chosen Trail Location
Take a break/hydrate/etc.
We decided last minute to pick a different spot then originally planned for their vows since we could tell the spot further up the mountain was in fog. So, we found a good little spot, stopped early and just enjoyed the sunrise. We spent some time here taking a few fun headlamp/sunrise photos and then just hung out for a bit until it was light enough for them to start getting ready.
6:30 AM – Getting ready in wedding outfits
Get ready at different little areas
6:50 – Sunrise (sun will be fully risen)
First look and enjoy sunrise together
7:20 AM – Vows
Find a special spot that you feel comfortable and want to share vows
I told Jess and Colin to find a good spot that they felt comfortable and happy in for their vows. They settled in, took some deep breaths, opened their books, and read each other the sweet words they had written. Mountain elopements are special because they allow you to be right in the middle of a gorgeous moment, like sunrise, and make that moment even more amazing by sharing your love and your gratefulness with your partner.
7:45 AM – Picnic Breakfast
Blanket, snacks, we can make tea/coffee, etc.
Jess was a bit cold after the ceremony, so she kept her rain jacket on, but as soon as the coffee was made and the sun was up, she cupped her hands around the mug and lifter her face toward the sky to soak in the warmth. It was such a sweet moment that reminded me of why I love “uncomfortable” moments – they make other moments in life of comfort and joy THAT much sweeter.
Jess and I ended up eating some cold oatmeal for breakfast but we were happy as could be with how simple it all was! Colin wasn’t hungry yet, so we just enjoyed the mountain views and conversation. It was a sweet and simple moment in their Blue Ridge Mountain Elopement
I loved how much these two made each other laugh all day – it was continuous and so lovely to witness.
8:45 AM : Flex Time!
Anything else you might want to include in the day
Deep breaths – moment to be alone without me if you want/need it!
At this point during their blue ridge mountain elopement, we had some flexibility! I took a few portraits of them cuddled up and then we decided to head to the original ceremony spot. Thankfully the fog had cleared up, so away we went!
9:00 AM – Begin Hike Back Down the Mountain
Take photo/video along the way as we hike and see pretty spots
It’s pretty common with a Blue Ridge mountain elopement that weather can change rapidly. Thankfully even though there was a chance of rain that morning, we had a few hours of beautiful, clear views, but as the day went on the fog rolled in and gave us a totally different landscape on the hike out. We loved it all!
10:30 AM : COVERAGE ENDS – Arrive back at trailhead/cars
Woohoo what an awesome morning!
For the afternoon we planned time to get out on a mountain lake with our kayaks. These two had mentioned in one of their questionnaire answers that they have these 2 kayaks they haven’t gotten to use very much. When better than your elopement day? So, I suggested a fun paddle and swim session to end the day. It was perfect!
5:30 PM – Drive to the lake boat launch
6:30 PM – Get Boats on the water
Kayak around for a while and just enjoy
Find a spot to pull off and go swimming!
These two were giggly, and silly, and we had a blast enjoying how perfect the water temperature was. The view wasn’t half bad either!
I also taught them the life jacket floaty trick for swimming without having to actually do any work – THE BEST!
Then, they wanted to do something fun! They decided to jump into the lake in their wedding clothes as a final HURAH! I’m all about doing things just for the heck of it, because why not?
7:40 PM – Sunset
7:30 PM – Head back to airbnb
8:30 (ish) PM – Arrive at Airbnb for Private Chef Dinner
It was rainy on the drive back, so we couldn’t have a fire like we had planned. Plus our kayak and swimming time was so fun! We stayed longer than planned, which is totally OKAY with elopements! Therefore, we didn’t have time for a dip in their hot tub before coverage ended. We had an AMAZING dinner by a private chef waiting for us when we got back though – LUXURY!