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”.