Megan & Andrew | Sunrise Adventure Elopement | Leavenworth, Washington

Megan and Andrew Lake Valhalla Washington PNW Adventure Elopement White Sails Creative Sunrise Hike_76.JPG

One of the best experiences of my life, this was. I flew straight from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon. My first time on the West Coast. Megan reached out to me months ago, asking me to photograph their wedding in Virginia. It was going to be at one of my favorite wedding venues, and I was incredibly excited after meeting her over video. She had just moved out to Washington with Andrew, and was planning a wedding from across the country. She told me over and over how she wanted her wedding to be different than normal “I actually would love if it rained on our wedding day”. Everything she had planned sounded marvelous. But, a couple months later, I got an email from her telling me they spent nearly every single weekend in Washington hiking, and they couldn’t imagine exchanging vows with each other anywhere else. They were cancelling the whole wedding in Virginia, but asked that I come out to Washington to photograph their elopement. This was obviously very much okay with me.

They rented a cabin for their friends and family that flew out to spend the weekend with them. I joined them for dinner on Friday, and everyone managed to wake up at 3am on Saturday for their sunrise hike to Lake Valhalla. It was completely dark for the first hour of hiking and started to lighten up just as we were reaching the lake. Megan had her ladies to help her change into her wedding dress, and to build her bouquet made from flowers they all picked as they hiked. After the most beautiful first look, everyone gathered around as they exchanged their vows. After a few more photos, they were ready to hike back up to the next spot. As we climbed higher, the smoke from the nearby wild fires got thicker. They hiked all the way back down the mountain, about 4 miles back, in their wedding clothes. Driving back to the cabin, they were absolutely ecstatic. “This is the best day ever!” over and over. Megan played “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, and now every time I hear it, I think of this day, and how they did exactly what they wanted, exactly what made sense for them. It was the perfect adventure.

After getting back to the cabin, having some delicious quiche and a little sit down, they went down to the river with whiskey and speakers, and had their first dance to “Harvest Moon”.

Damian & Jesse | Destination Backyard Wedding | Chebeague Island, Maine

I’d like to first say thank you to Clare who helped photograph this wedding. Jesse asked me to be her Maid of Honor when we went to Peru to take their engagement pictures, but I also wanted to help capture their wedding day in-camera, so Clare and I worked together to do that. The following photos are a mix of both her’s and mine. You can find her work at Madeira Creative. Johnny also helped in capturing the ceremony and drone shots (:

We spent an entire week in Maine leading up to this wedding. Damian is my brother, and so we had our entire family there (something that is rarely accomplished because it is 35 of us between my siblings and nieces and nephews) - Jesse told us for months leading up to the wedding all about this Island she spent her summers on growing up, but I don’t think any of us realized just how special and incredible it would be until we got there. It was like stepping back in time, I felt like I was somewhere between the 50’s and 80’s. There was no internet, no cell service, few cars; only old trucks we’d ride around on the backs of, or we rode around on bikes. It was like being 8 years old all over again for an entire week. The whole time we were there was an experience that added on to the wedding day. It was a wild and fun freedom that makes me love backyard weddings, and even more-so now.

Jesse brought something wonderful to Damian, but also to our family. She’s an incredible hula hooper who inspires and impresses me daily. She let us in on this secret island, and I think we are all so thankful for that. To top it all off, Jesse found a wildflower farm where we went and picked all our own flowers for our bouquets and hair. We went back to one of the cabins and drank and put all our bouquets together late into the night. She’s just really, really cool. (this has become my love note to her.)

This song was one that played during their wedding reception in Maine, and again in Virginia. It’s the song you can run and dance to and feel a bit wild. This song will always remind me of their wedding, I can’t help but dance whenever I hear it. It matches the way the week and day felt, and it matches these two : fun, wild, carefree.

I love these two with all my heart.

Dress : Grace Loves Lace
Cake : Sweet Bella’s Homemade Treats

Katherine & Alex | Shenandoah National Park and River | Virginia Adventure Engagement Session

When Katherine reached out asking my to photograph her wedding, she told me all about their love for Shenandoah National Park. She said her mother would bring her there for spontaneous adventures, and when Katherine started dating Alex, they started their own annual trips there together. They knew the area well, which made me so happy. This was my first time back up in the Blue Ridge Mountains in almost a month, and going there with a couple who felt like they were also returning home made it so much sweeter. They even knew the backroads I took to get down to the river. Kat and Alex are all over, from the Carolinas to Florida and California, but they’ll be back in Virginia again for their wedding next year!