Are you considering a hiking elopement? Well, look no further for inspiration than Brooke and Athene’s stunning elopement in Washington’s central Cascade Mountains. Their October wedding was backdropped by everything gorgeous the Pacific Northwest has to offer – foggy forests, towering peaks, a hint of fall color, and even some clear skies!
Meet Brooke & Athene, the stars of this Hiking Elopement
Brooke and Athene had been living in Seattle a while. Like many couples who were planning a 2020 wedding, they were having a difficult year. They ultimately decided to reschedule their original wedding. With no idea when they would be able to celebrate with all of their friends and family, they wanted to plan an extra special day to celebrate their love in the mountains. They invited a small group of their closest friends to a very special day in the mountains. Oh, and we can’t forget their beautiful pup Khan, who just had to be a part of the action!
Hiking Elopement Planning & Prep
When Athene contacted me, she had yet to pick out a location for her hiking elopement. I absolutely love helping couples choose a location for their elopement! I sent them a list of several hikes that were dog-friendly that I thought would work well for October. October can often see some early snow in the mountains so we stuck with a slightly lower-elevation hike. If you want to check out one of the tools I use, be sure to visit Washington Trails Association. It’s all you’ll ever need for planning hikes in Washington state! I think couples also struggle with what to pack for a hiking elopement. Not only do you have to plan for a regular hike, but you have to bring all of your wedding stuff! Check out my list of What to Pack for a Hiking Elopement to help with your planning.
Brooke & Athene’s Hiking Elopement Ceremony
We arrived at the trailhead fairly early in the day to begin our hike into the lake. We only had a few miles to go and the trail wasn’t too difficult. Athene chose to hike in regular clothes and change at the lake in order to do a “first look” with Brooke.
When we arrived at the lake, Athene got ready in the woods. Brooke got ready by the lake, donning hiking boots along with his wedding suit. They shared a beautiful first look in the woods and the festivities began.
Athene chose to be walked down the “aisle” by her sweet dog Khan. Their ceremony next to the alpine lake was gorgeous! Fog was rolling through the forests along the lake and the sun even peeked through at one point. There were a few parties camping on the far side of the lake who cheered when Brooke and Athene kissed at the end of their ceremony. After the ceremony, the guests and couple toasted a bottle (er, maybe a few!) of champagne, danced, took photos, and enjoyed the scenery. We took photos at the lake then began our hike out.
The Post-Elopement Celebration at a Cabin
Not only did Brooke and Athene have a beautiful hiking elopement, but they planned a fantastic post-elopement celebration at a cabin near the trailhead. Athene had prepared an amazing charcuterie board, cake and macarons, and lovely fall spread for them to all enjoy dinner around later in the evening. They lit the fire next to the river and basked in the autumn beauty on the property. Brooke and Athene chose to share their first dance fireside, with their friends watching on in the background. Endless champagne toasts filled the afternoon with beautiful celebratory vibes in the mountains.
Where to Stay for a Hiking Elopement on Highway 2
The towns in this area are small, so AirBnb is probably going to be your best bet. There are many fantastic cabins right along the highway in the towns of Baring, Skykomish, and Index. If you want access to restaurants and shops, you can drive another 35-55 minutes to get to Leavenworth, the Bavarian town on the east side of the Cascades. I’ll save Leavenworth for another post though 🙂 Below are a few of my suggestions for places to stay on the west side of the Cascades.
- Dog-Friendly Cabin in Baring
- Foss Haus A-Frame Cabin
- Skykomish Escape
- Tye Haus A-Frame Cabin
- Galena’s Getaway
Hiking Elopement Photographer in Washington
Hey there, that’s me! If you’re planning a hiking elopement in Washington, I’d love to help you out. I especially love helping couples find the perfect location to elope, whether it’s on a 16 mile backpacking trip or a 2 mile hike with epic views.
Hiking Elopement Packages Include:
- At least 4 hours of coverage documenting your epic wedding day – this works great for a 2-mile hike and we can always add more hours for longer hikes!
- Elopement planning assistance – This includes location suggestions, timeline planning, lodging and activity ideas, vendor recommendations, and permit guidance.
- Either a wooden box of archival prints or a wedding album
- High-resolution digital files delivered within 2-6 weeks with personal printing rights
- 10-15 previews from your elopement day delivered within 48 hours
- An online gallery for easy sharing and downloading
- Travel to anywhere within Olympic National Park
Starting at $3000
Learn more about my hiking elopement packages and pricing on my website.