Getting to document Emilee + Jimmie’s Mount Rainier adventure elopement after randomly meeting them in Oregon a year prior was a dream come true. I feel so lucky to get to work with couples who allow themselves to be vulnerable in front of me so I can capture their real stories, and these two were nothing but vulnerable, open, and full of love for each other + the beauty around them. <3
Leave No Trace disclaimer: Leave No Trace principles were fully respected at this elopement as they are during all my sessions. I provide my couples and clients with Leave No Trace information and keep them accountable, as well as myself. There are many photos throughout this blog that were strategically photographed to respect the land and highlight the beauty of the land, without showing trails. Read through my guide to How to Leave No Trace With Your Adventure Elopement to find out how you can respect the land + leave no trace with your outdoor elopement—let’s all do our part.
It’s always funny how the universe seems to connect you with the right people, at the right time, in the right place. I didn’t meet E + J the traditional way (through social media); I actually met them a year prior to their elopement date at Elk Flats, down in Oregon, while photographing another couple’s wedding portrait session. J proposed to E, and I kind of noticed just after the fact, so I snapped some photos and before they walked back up the trail, I congratulated them and asked for their info to send the photos! E ended up telling me that she’s a photographer also and recognized me, and they ended up hiring me later on to document their big day. I’m truly so grateful for this new friendship with them and for the random way we connected!
We got SO lucky with the most beautiful, sunny summer day in Washington for E + J’s Mount Rainier adventure elopement. You truly never know what could happen in the PNW, even in the middle of August, so we were prepared for anything—but I swear we got every freaking type of lighting you could imagine: bright midday sun, glowy golden hour, and a dreamy blue hour to end the night, with a soft alpenglow over the mountains. . . truly couldn’t have asked for a better day in the mountains.
If you’re having trouble deciding what time of year you want to elope, and want to make sure you’re ready for any + all weather, read through my guide to How to Choose the Best Time to Elope in the Pacific Northwest.
Packwood seriously has some of the best Airbnbs for elopements, most of them are so so cozy and set right on the river—aka the dream spot to get ready + have your first look. E + J got ready separately inside of the Packwood Airbnb they rented, which had the most gorgeous wood paneled floors, boho decor, and neutral tones that matched the vibe of the day perfectly. It even had a hot tub out on the deck for them to come back to at the end of the night!
Once they were ready to go and looking incredible in their elopement attire, J made his way out into the sunshine for a first look, right by the river with Rainier peeking through the background. The blue skies and greenery were to DIE for out there, and even in the harsh midday sun these two looked so amazing. The way they looked at each other all day, starting at their first look, truly had me melted into a puddle; I knew it was going to be such an emotional day. They were so kind, always talking so sweet to each other, constantly laughing. . . the amount of times I caught J just admiring E, literally could cry every time I think about it. They have a romance out of a fairytale book I swear, and this day proved it!
Want to find a cozy Airbnb of your own for your PNW elopement? Here’s a list of the 25 Best Airbnb’s in Washington & Oregon for an Airbnb Elopement.
You all know that I’m a sucker for a good set of boho elopement outfits, especially when it comes to adventure elopements or sessions in the mountains, and E + J brought all the boho magic. E wore the most breathtaking dress that truly made her look like a queen in the middle of a whimsical mountain fairytale, strapless with so many fluffy layers of tulle draping down to the grass, billowing sleeves with delicate lace detailing, and a leg slit that added just a little bit of spice to her look. I’m obsesseddd with the fitted corset top, which had a v-cut down the center and all sorts of gorgeous lace details to match the tops of the sleeves! Paired with her chunky white ankle boots + pearl earrings, and her loose curls + natural makeup, E’s bridal look was just breathtaking + full of effortless beauty just like her! I also loved how minimal J kept his look, equally as effortless and loosely boho as E, with a cream-colored linen top, dark brown pants, and matching brown boots. Together these two absolutely killed it and looked like they did this every freaking day!
Need some help picking your own elopement outfits + want to look as effortlessly amazing as E + J?! Check out the guide I created for What to Wear for Your Elopement!
We headed to Paradise for the first part of our Mount Rainier adventure, stopping at the park sign at the Nisqually entrance for some portraits of course! Then we spent some time exploring the Paradise area, taking full advantage of the lush summer greenery, the sunshine sparkling through the trees, and the incredible reflections of Rainier in the water. This entire portrait session was a dream come true, E + J were naturals and with the breathtaking backdrop behind them, it was SO easy to create some really beautiful, cinematic, storytelling images for them to look back on forever. I’ll leave it at that for now and let the pictures speak for themselves!
I loved that E + J wanted to explore both sides of Mount Rainier and really get all the amazing views they could. After exploring the trails of Paradise and enjoying all the vibrant wildflowers at their peak, blowing in the gentle summer breeze, we were off to Sunrise—the other side of the mountain—for their ceremony. Which, ironically, took place at sunset! And wow if this wasn’t the absolute best sunset you could ask for at Mount Rainier. They exchanged their vows surrounded by the trees, with the golden hour sun shining down on them + through the branches to create the most DREAMY sun rays ever. It was so unbelievably special getting to witness this moment between E + J and capture it so they could truly bask in the emotions, and be able to remember them when they look back on the photos in the future.
Like I said we got every type of lighting a photographer could ask for, ending with a seriously magical blue hour once the sun had set behind the mountains. The subtle pink alpenglow on Rainier combined with the cool blues of the shadows at the bottom of the mountain were absolutely stunning, and made for such a romantic setting for E + J to pop some champagne + celebrate. The colors of the sky as dusk grew closer were truly spectacular, with shades of orange and pink and purple highlighting the backdrop over the mountain ranges. Seriously the most perfect way to end an already perfect adventure with E + J!!
Hey y’all! If you don’t know me already, I’m Dawn, a PNW-based elopement and micro wedding photographer with a heart for storytelling, the outdoors, and creating magic with couples in love. When you’re ready to find the perfect Mount Rainier adventure elopement photographer to tell the story of your day, reach out to me here—I can’t wait for the adventure we’re going to have together.
If you fell absolutely in love with Mount Rainier after scrolling through E + J’s day, I don’t blame you! It’s one of my all-time favorite adventure elopement destinations in the PNW. I’ve got a couple more Rainier blogs I think you’ll love + that’ll help you plan your unique dream day at this epic mountain destination 🙂