15 Nov Adventurous hiking elopement tips
1. Choose your location wisely
2. Know about safety precautions
3. What about your wedding dress/suit?
For wedding dresses it’s quite impressive how many fabrics don’t wrinkle when you stuff them into a backpack! Especially knit fabrics, certain types of lace and crochet work well. Check with your dress store, or research before purchasing :).
For our shoot I decided not to stress test the wedding dress (The Corta from Laudae). So instead, for the ascent, I hung it (in a protective cover) on the outside of my backpack. And it arrived in pristine condition. That said, after the shoot I’d stuffed the dress in my backpack for our hike down the mountain, and still it came out wrinkle-free.
In addition to the dress, I also had the groom’s suit hanging on my the outside of my backpack. Again this was an unnecessary precaution, because the same rules of fabrics apply (wool is a groom’s best friend). Additionally, you can find find some great videos online on how to fold a suit and shirt for wrinkle-free packing!
Last but not least, there’s always the option of not wearing your typical wedding attire during your adventure elopement. Instead, you can pick ANYTHING you like, as long as you’ve considered transportation :).
4. How to preserve your hair and makeup on the hike to your adventure elopement?
While you might find an active and enthusiastic makeup artist willing to join you on your venture, it’s probably more likely you’ll have to arrange your wedding hair and makeup beforehand.
For our shoot we relied on Amber from Blended By Amber, who had numerous amazing tricks up her sleeve to keep Meghan (and Drew!) looking “fresh” after a hike up a mountain.
The first concern was protection from the sun. In snowy mountains, sunburn happens a lot faster than you expect. For preventative care, Amber used a moisturizer with SPF50. If that wouldn’t suffice, she also provided us with Dermalogica UltraCalming mist, which actively reduces skin redness by 30% within 30 minutes of application. Additionally, she also prepared a little touchup kit for minor fixes that our bride could take care of herself.
Next we’d thrown our hair artist a true curveball: creating a beautiful wedding hairstyle that is both festive and hike-proof. But Amber loved the challenge and created a loose, low bun for Meghan. This hairstyle proved to be a perfect choice, because if strands of hair would come loose during the hike, the end result would still look as a deliberate, creative and beautiful whole.
In other words, what I’m saying is this: when hiking (especially in the mountains) aspects like the sun, wind and perspiration are inevitable. But you shouldn’t let them get in the way of realizing your dream mountain top elopement. Set your expectations appropriately, find a team of enthusiastic wedding vendors who are happy to take on the challenge and make it happen.
5. How about decoration and flowers?
Just because we felt brave enough to lug an entire set of decoration and florals up a mountain doesn’t mean you should feel the same. When it comes to your wedding or elopement, nothing is a ‘should’! If you don’t feel like taking up flowers (or anything else), don’t do it! That said, when you do decide to bring decoration (like we did) here are some lessons we learned from our experience.
First, delicate flowers don’t like exposure to harsh sun or hot temperatures. And hiking will usually extend how long the flowers are exposed to the elements. My best advice is to either have your bouquet made as freshly as possible (for instance on the morning of your wedding celebration) and to opt for a lot of greenery and succulents which are less likely to wilt.
Next a word about the boutonnière, and this goes for all weddings (not just a mountain elopement). Our florist made a gorgeous boutonnière for Drew with a double magnet system so he wouldn’t have to pin holes in his suit. Additionally, it makes for a fool-proof method of fixing the flower the suit. No special pinning knowledge or technique is required. Simply hold the boutonnière against the front of the lapel, and clip the magnets to the back of it. Done. Best of all, it excludes getting stabbed inadvertently (which shouldn’t happen anyways with a proper pinning technique, but that’s another story).
Finally, for the decoration, you’ll want to think twice about every object you take. While hiking, weight is your biggest concern, and once you pack it in, you’ll need to pack it out. Luckily, nature already offers you the best possible backdrop, and often lots of on-the-spot elements that you can bring to good use.
For our shoot, I’d planned to create a small rock circle for the ceremony site. Finding rocks on a mountain top is the easiest thing. Eventually the plan fell through because of time constraints, but the idea remains the same regardless of your chosen location. Get creative, and use whatever is available. And it’ll look all the better because they’re natural elements that belong in that environment.
6. How to make your adventure elopement more festive?
7. Should you hire an event planner?
The short answer is yes, if you can, and here’s why. Unless you already know exactly the where, how, what and with who of your elopement, you’ll quickly notice that organizing your wedding takes a lot of work. Let alone when you’re looking for wedding vendors who are up to the additional requirements of your adventure.
Most wedding coordinators offer smaller packages for elopements and can help you find the right vendors (for instance an officiant that is also an enthusiastic hiker) and the best location for your wedding ceremony. And thanks to their experience, they can help you hash out all the nitty-gritty wedding details that you didn’t even know about 😉
In our case, we relied on the priceless help of Natasha from Clearwater Events who helped bring our vision to life and gathered an amazing team of participating vendors. And that’s not even mentioning the countless emails she sent (and read) as well the hours of running running around to collect all the materials for the shoot!
8. As always, have fun!