Shenandoah National Park

Emma and Jeddah | Shenandoah National Park Wedding | Blue Ridge Mountains

“Have you ever been to a wedding like this?”
Grandmama : “No, I never have.. after all these years there’s not much I can say I haven’t done, but I’ve never done this.”

Emma & Jeddah planned an incredible and intimate wedding day for themselves. They booked the entire Hotel Laurance in Luray where their families stayed over the weekend - with plans to explore the town and the mountains for the rest of the weekend. The day of their wedding, they got ready in the hotel casually with the kids and dogs running around the hotel. When I showed up, Emma and Jeddah and a few others were sitting outside on the deck having a drink. Emma already had her hair and makeup done, but wasn’t in her dress yet.

Eventually they parted ways to get ready and Emma got into her dress while Jeddah went on up to Skyline Drive. Emma rode with both their families together on a bus to bring them all up to their ceremony spot on Shenandoah National Park. It was a remarkably quiet day up there, even though the weather was perfect and it was a Saturday. Once we got there, we chose their ceremony spot and everyone gathered around. They said their vows when the time seemed right and then took family photos before everyone (except Emma, Jeddah, their dogs and I) went back to Hotel Laurance for cocktail hour. We explored the overlook where they had their ceremony and took their photos together before heading back down to join everyone for drinks and an amazing dinner.

Their dinner was wonderfully relaxed. They had a few dances, but mostly it was speeches and toasts and stories told by whoever felt so inclined.

The entire day was relaxed and flowed gloriously with almost no timeline in place (except when dinner would be served). I left them shortly after their big dance party to “Love Shack” by the B52’s,

Stephanie & Steve | Hiking Elopement in Shenandoah National Park

A mix of wedding and weekend getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The alarm was set for 3:30am and I honestly have no idea how many miles it ended up being, but it was so peaceful and meaningful and fun. Stephanie and Steve incorporated their favorite books into what felt like multiple ceremonies throughout the hike.

Stephanie’s favorite book is “Cat’s Cradle” and in it is the boko-maru – the supreme act of worship by the Bokononists, which is an intimate act of contact between the naked soles of the feet of two people - so part of their elopement was this little ceremony.

They climbed rocks, took their shoes off, crossed across streams, and read. It was amazing. All before 9am, and then they went back to their cabin and hot tub.

Janet & Omar | Game of Thrones Winter Elopement | Shenandoah National Park

Janet & Omar had been planning their elopement for months - I helped plan a location on Shenandoah National Park, and together we came up with a game plan for locations to visit along Skyline Drive leading up to their ceremony.. and then Skyline Drive closed because of snow and ice. So late the night before we changed up our plans, while including Shenandoah as much as possible. We met up before sunrise and hiked in to the Park, then drove back to the farmhouse where their family members were (who flew in from California!) and they had their ceremony on the top of a hill overlooking fields and hills and mountains, surrounded by their families sitting on chairs and benches they carried from the farm house. It was a perfectly adventurous day, and I am so honored to have been a part of it. Also, there was a Game of Thrones theme and it was amazing.

Their small, intimate, adventurous wedding was already sounding like a dream before Janet emailed and said “oh, by the way, we are kind of doing a Game of Thrones theme.” and then death came to me. LOOK.

Janet wore husky/wolf earrings, Omar switched over to a Game of Thrones / Jon Snow outfit, they had a sword, and their cake looked like dragon scales. Flags were flown, furs were worn, it was epic.

Incredible hair & makeup by Perry Warren