December 8, 2020

Blue Ridge Mountain Elopement

A couple stands in the sunshine on a mountain during their elopement holding each other and looking at each other. There is a beautiful blue and green mountain scene in the background and they are in wedding clothes.

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.

PERFECT!

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.

Package Type:

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.

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!

A landscape of stars and clouds before the sun rises on the top of a mountain.
A couple stands on mountain at the beginning of their elopement day, holding hands and wearing shining headlamps. The sun is rising over the mountains behind them with a blue, pink, and orange cloudy sky.

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

A groom is getting ready and buttoning his jacket on top of a mountain for his elopement. It is right before sunrise and the light is blue and soft.
A groom is standing on the top of a mountain waiting to see his bride for their first look during their elopement day.
A bride is getting ready in her wedding dress on top of a mountain for her elopement. She is looking into a compact mirror and smiling. The sun hasn’t risen and the light is blue and soft.
A silk elopement bouquet of pink, green, and beige sits in the grass on a mountain beside two leather vow books.

6:50 – Sunrise (sun will be fully risen)
First look and enjoy sunrise together

A bride and groom stand feet apart on a mountain for their elopement day, about to have their first look where they see each other in their clothes for the first time. The sun is rising behind them.
A bride and groom look at the brides wedding dress during their mountain elopement at sunrise.
A bride and groom hug each other facing out toward a mountain view during their elopement at sunrise.
The bottom of a white elopement dress is being tossed out to the side by a bride in the grass on a mountaintop.
A couple walks into the distance in a mountain landscape view at sunrise for their elopement.
A blue ridge mountain mountain sunrise elopement sky.

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.

A couple stands on a mountaintop in the blue ridge mountains for their elopement. They are facing each other about to read their vows at sunrise.
A bride holds her vow book in her hands before she reads them to her groom during their mountain elopement.
A groom holds his vow book in his hand on a mountain during his elopement.
A bride and groom hug each other during their elopement vows on a mountain in the blue ridge.
A bride is reading out her vows during an elopement on a trail through the blue ridge mountains at sunrise.
A close up of a couple holding hands and walking in their elopement clothes on a mountaintop.
A blue ridge mountain landscape with foggy layers and cloudy skies.

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

A couple wearing elopement clothes and backpacks walks through high grass on a mountaintop on a partly cloudy day.
A close up of a groom holding a blue percolator and a red fuel canister crouch beside a striped blanket on a rock during his elopement day.
A groom holding a blue percolator and a red fuel canister crouch beside his bride on a rock at the top of a mountain during their elopement day.
A bride and groom are sitting on a blanket on a mountain with their elopement clothes on laughing.
A bride and groom are sitting on a blanket on a mountain with their elopement clothes on laughing while making coffee.

I loved how much these two made each other laugh all day – it was continuous and so lovely to witness.

A bride and groom are sitting on a blanket on a mountain with their elopement clothes on smiling and sipping their coffee.
A bride pours out some coffee from a percolator into her mug while sitting on a mountain across from her groom holding another mug of coffee during their elopement day.
A bride and groom sit perched on a grassy, sunny mountaintop for their elopement picnic with the sun shining behind them.

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!

A bride stands in front of a mountain scene with her silk green, pink, and beige bouquet for her elopement day.
A groom poses in front of a mountain scene in a grey suit on his elopement day.
A close up of a bride holding her green, pink, and beige silk bouquet in front of a mountain scene for her elopement.
A close up portrait of a bride standing on a mountain with her head tilted down to show a leaf shaped jewelry hairpiece she is wearing for her elopement.
A groom hugs his bride from behind amidst a high grassy field on a mountain during the morning of their elopement.
A couple in their elopement clothing and backpacks starts a hike on a mountaintop.
A bride walks through big bushes with her backpack on and her long white dress grazing the trail behind her.
A bride and groom hike on a trail across a mountaintop in elopement clothing and backpacks on.
A bride and groom stand face to face holding hands in their wedding clothes and backpacks. They are in the middle of a trail surrounded by green trees smiling at each other.
A bride and groom stand face to face holding hands in their wedding clothes and backpacks. They are in the middle of a trail surrounded by green rhododendron kissing.
A bride is hiking in her elopement dress and backpack through a big tunnel of rhododendrons with craggy branches and light streaming through.
A bride and groom hike on a trail across a mountaintop in elopement clothing and backpacks on. The bride is looking back and smiling.
A couple wearing their elopement clothing sits in tall green and beige grasses on a mountain and the groom is kissing his bride on the head as she smiles.
A bride and groom stand far in the distance of a mountain view looking off into the distance on their elopement day.

9:00 AM – Begin Hike Back Down the Mountain

Take photo/video along the way as we hike and see pretty spots

A bride holds her dress up to show off her muddy legs and hiking boots for her mountain elopement.
A couple stands facing a cloudy mountain view during their elopement with their wedding clothes and backpacks on.

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!

A couple stands on a trail surrounded by green bushes  facing a foggy mountain view during their elopement with their wedding clothes and backpacks on.
A bride and a groom walk toward the camera in their elopement clothing and backpacks on a mountain. The bride is smiling at the groom and the groom is smiling at the camera.
A small bride and groom during their mountain elopement are hiking on a trail in the distance while fog moves over the mountain.
A bride and groom stand hugging and looking up into the mossy, tall trees around them during their elopement day.

10:30 AM : COVERAGE ENDS – Arrive back at trailhead/cars

Woohoo what an awesome morning!

Break time


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!

A couple sits in orange and green kayaks on a lake surrounded by mountains on a cloudy afternoon as a part of their elopement day.
A couple sits in the distance in orange and green kayaks on a lake surrounded by mountains on a partly cloudy afternoon as a part of their elopement day.
A couple swims in a lake with life jackets on surrounded by mountains on a cloudy afternoon as a part of their elopement day.
A couple is standing in waist high mountain lake water during their elopement day hugging.

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?

A couple is running towards a boat dock in their wedding clothes surrounded by mountains at sundown.
A couple runs and jumps in a mountain lake with their elopement clothing on.
A couple is swimming in their elopement clothing in a blue lake surrounded by mountains at sunset.

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!

A couple looks at each other with goofy faces enjoying a beer at the end of their elopement day.
A place of food as snacks before a big chef meal.

9:30 PM – Coverage Ends; Say goodbye!


HEY ThERE Y'ALL!

I’M KATHRYN OF EVERGREEN ERA

I CREATE & CAPTURE EXPERIENCE CENTERED ELOPEMENTS
FOR EASY-GOING COUPLES WHO FEEL AT HOME IN NATURE.

I believe everyone deserves a wedding experience that feels genuine to them.
That’s why I help those who value intimate, unique, & adventurous memories
have a celebration they cherish for a lifetime.
If you’re dreaming of an elopement immersed in the natural beauty of Western NC,
get in touch and I’ll help you bring everything to life!

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