A Sunrise Family Hike with a Mountaintop Elopement Ceremony

Nakean and Amanda, who both have a children from previous relationships, met online and bonded immediately due to their mutual love of outdoor adventuring. Many of their early dates were doing something adventurous – from hiking to snowshoeing – so, when the decided to marry in August, having an outdoor adventure elopement was the prefect choice. They decided on an early morning hike, with their kids in tow, culminating with a mountaintop elopement as the sun rose.

Amanda started getting ready at 2:30am, they began their assent at 4:30am and the ceremony kicked off just as the sun was rising above the mountains. “Since we both had a love for the mountains, we definitely knew we wanted an outdoor/mountain themed wedding”, the bride told us. “I had been married previously and already had the big church/reception wedding and that was something Nakean never wanted. We fell in love in the mountains and couldn’t think of a more perfect place to start this next adventure.”

“We both have children from previous relationships and it was important to us that they were included in our day, too. We chose Mt. Fremont Lookout at Mount Rainier because of its expansive views, it’s one of our favourite hikes and we knew the kids could easily hike it.”

Katjarina Hurt, who they met through the PNW Outdoor Women Facebook group, came with them and officiated the ceremony. “Our ceremony took place at sunrise on at Mount Rainier, which meant a 2am wake up. Once we arrived at our destination, we changed on opposite sides of a boulder, so we could still get that initial first look once we were ready. It was a Thursday morning, so the trail was quiet and we had the mountain pretty much to ourselves. We included our children in the ceremony as well. After vows and ‘I Do’s’, we popped some champagne and had our first dance on a cliff with views all around!”

As it was an elopement, it meant they didn’t have a lot of costs for the day, but they did splash on getting great photographs. They hired The Foxes Photography to come with them to capture all the important moments. “We absolutely love photos and capturing moments and expressions and knew this was where we wanted to spend the most”, she said. “We had to acquire a permit to get married in MRNP, but it was around $60, so we had a definite saving on hiring a venue. We had a small reception at our parent’s home/backyard afterwards.”

The only stressful part of doing their wedding this way was making sure they made it in time for sunrise! “The sun waits for no one!” Amanda laughed, “In retrospect maybe we should have done it at sunset instead but this way we did have the rest of the day to play and adventure, so I’m not sure we’d actually change it if we were to do it all over again!”

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