Drawn to Tahoma | A Mt Rainier Snowy Elopement
Liz and Anthony are all about intention, relationships, and happiness. When I first listened to their story, I got it immediately. They met on Rainier as strangers, summited together, and came down as good friends. Although their relationship started off as what seemed to be a simple friendship, even across continents they remained pen pals and close friends. They just couldn’t stay away from each other, drawn to each other and drawn to their love of mountains. And actually, they are both avid mountaineers, accomplished on their own and also in their respective career paths, but time and time again they’d be back at Rainier. So naturally, it made sense to have their elopement at Rainier, a mountain that means more to them than words can express.
We managed to work around the tricky weather and finally settled on one evening we knew would have at least a partly cloudy sky. I don’t usually plan around the weather when booking, but made the exception since the elopement and Liz and Anthony’s story is focused on Rainier. It just didn’t make sense to go to Rainier without the views.
Friends and family were invited with little expectation of who exactly would be there. Liz and Anthony would have a proper wedding reception for more people later. So, this was a small group, but even Anthony’s mother flew across the country to hike in snow for the couple. I don’t think she had ever hiked on snow before so I am very impressed with her determination! The friends came in a few different waves, hiking at various speeds. It was interesting to see that most other park visitors were leaving, but we were there for that awesome sunset and solitude you wouldn’t normally find. It helped that we took a weekday evening, which is way less busy than any given weekend. Giving ourselves plenty of time to spare, we went up at a casual pace. There was no rushing and everything was as laid back as could be.
Upon arriving at the ceremonial site, we were glad to see that the area had melted out. Everywhere surrounding these rocks was still snowy, but our flat ground was as dry as we could have wished for. It was an amazing vista point with a slight drop off below to reveal Tahoma in its full glory behind. Plus, there were nice sitting rocks that attending guests could use. Liz and Anthony quickly changed into their fancy wedding clothes and in true mountain woman style, Liz chose to go barefoot! I think that’s one of the qualities that Anthony loves about her and just that small choice made their elopement more unique.
Even though this was an elopement in the sense that Liz and Anthony went to have a larger wedding reception afterwards, the whole evening felt entirely thought out and free flowing at the same time. Flowers were gorgeously woven in Liz’s hair, done by her friend right before driving up to the National Park. And her bouquet was also friend-crafted. What awesome people to be surround by! These small gestures add to the uniqueness of this elopement and the loving atmosphere that was kindled between friends. I felt that everyone was eager and excited to witness Liz and Anthony be joined as one.
Once everyone had arrived, Anthony’s best friend began to officiate the ceremony. Whether standing or sitting, everyone was soaking in all the spoken words. It was a sweet ceremony with the prayer and vow readings. I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed as Liz and Anthony made life-long promises to each other. Until then, I didn’t realize ceremony so simple could be so impactful. It’s really is the relationships and emotions that connected everyone in the moment. Sure Rainier was an awesome backdrop, but nothing beats the love that was shared. Liz and Anthony were surrounded by love and showered with love on their elopement day.
Soon, everyone cheered and we even had an impromptu human tunnel for Liz and Anthony to run through! A couple more friends showed up and toasts were made before everyone else headed back to the parking lot. Liz and Anthony stayed for some portrait photos in some of the best light I’ve seen here. The sunset was glorious with Rainier, the Tattoosh and all the mountains further south. We played around, enjoying the different rocks, embracing all the mountains around us. It was a perfect send off before we too got started to head down before the sky got dark. And once back at the parking lot, we found more friends and family waiting to celebrate the newlyweds.
They really showed that an elopement could be anything you want, with all the people you love shared in different ways. From hiking in snow to a mini reception post ceremony, love enveloped Liz and Anthony. You two are an amazing couple. Adventure runs through you and kindness shines from your eyes. You are loving and caring to those around you. Thank you so much for allowing me to be there at your elopement and trusting me with my camera to capture your special day! Let’s get out together sometime!
Vendors: everything was done by friends!!
Photographer: moi! Cherlyn Eliza Photography
Are you looking to elope? Let’s chat more!
All photos are mine. Please do not reproduce without permission.