Nate and Tori had a pretty tough 2020. With the virus outbreak the couple had decided an elopement was the best option for getting married in 2020. Being that they are very adventurous and love to hike, we had originally planned on a Yosemite National Park elopement. Tori had secured a wilderness permit for us to hike in 5 miles and backcountry camp overlooking half dome, with a sunrise elopement set for the next morning. As the date approached, the wildfires in California grew worse. A little over a week before their date, the wildfires were rapidly encroaching on Yosemite and the park was already blanketed in smoke. Being that it was 2020, Nate & Tori just rolled with the punches and we started talking about a new location. It turns out that when they first started dating, they were on a road trip heading to Yellowstone when night fell and Nate wasn’t feeling great, so they stopped at the first hotel they saw. This hotel just happened to be less than a mile from the Grand Teton National Park! The next few days they took turns feeling under the weather but it’s one of those experiences, early in a relationship, that shows you how you can rely on your partner. One of those unexpected adventures that ends up being the building blocks of a GREAT relationship!
So when we were discussing new locations and Grand Teton National Park came up as a possible new elopement wedding location, Nate & Tori immediately felt like it would be perfect. They had fond memories of the Grand Tetons even though they never had the opportunity to explore it because they were too busy taking care of each other. What better way to build on the memory of that first foundation block then to finally explore the Tetons together and get married there! After a little research, we found the perfect hike for their elopement and off to the Tetons we all went! With a 7am sunrise and close to 3 miles to go, we started our hike just after 5am. None of us had been on this hike before and when we arrived at the location it was still dark. As twilight started to illuminate the landscape, we realized how perfect of a location this truly was! As the sun rose above the horizon and the morning light kissed the mountains, we took a few quick sunrise portraits before Nate & Tori did their self-uniting elopement ceremony.
Being that marriage licenses are always difficult, we had to track down two witnesses and lucky for us an amazing group came by just in time! Before hiking back out, they made some coffee and spent some time taking in the location and the moment. They even brought a cake along to share in some of the “wedding traditions”. For me it was a truly amazing moment to capture for this couple. To see how happy and content they were. To see how important this beautiful little spot in the world was becoming to them. It just made me so happy that after all the stress and frustration they had been through planning this day, it all just came together for this perfect! Tori summed it up in a comment she made as we were hiking out, she said, “This was just meant to be” with a big smile on her face.
I hope you enjoy this Grand Teton Elopement!