Written by our rad team member, Kiersten Roy
This alpine lake elopement in Washington was seriously such a magical day! From sunup to sundown, we ventured through alpine lakes and wildflower meadows and, by the end of the night, the couple and I (Mollie) felt like old friends. Keep scrolling to see more from this Erika and Chris’ magical day and learn some of our top tips for planning an alpine lake elopement.
Get a Glimpse into this Magical Alpine Lake Elopement
Erika and Chris love the outdoors and after visiting Mt Rainier and falling in love with the park, these two decided that there was no better place for them to get married. We planned a sunrise-to-sunset elopement so we would have lots of time to explore the park, soak in the beautiful wildflowers, and hike to not just one, but multiple alpine lakes!
We kicked off the sunrise portion of their alpine lake elopement at (you guessed it) an alpine lake. The weather was perfect that day and the trail we hiked had multiple lakes all around it. As we hiked, we passed through wildflowers galore, so already their day was off to an incredible start! We had the trail all to ourselves and, once we arrived at our destination, we witnessed the most magical sunrise. Did I mention that the wildflowers were EPIC? For the sunrise portion of their day, Erika and Chris chose to wear more casual clothes as they wanted to have some photos that were dressy-casual as well as photos in their wedding attire. That’s one of the things we love about elopements – you get to decide what you want to do and how you want it to look!
After a mid-day break, I met back up with the couple at their Airbnb, Heartwood Cabin. There, Erika and Chris changed into their wedding clothes and shared a first look on the porch. After eating a picnic lunch before we all packed up and went into the national park (the great thing about Rainier is that there are so many amazing locations to explore both inside and outside the park.). We stopped for a quick break in the forest so Erika and Chris could change into their hiking clothes for our sunset hike. When we reached the top, we were all so excited to see a tarn (a small mountain lake)! Tarns are not always there as they are largely dependent on the weather, snow, time of year, etc., so seeing one there made us feel like we had hit the jackpot! We got some incredible reflective alpine lake photos both for their elopement ceremony and sunset before hiking back down in the dark with our headlamps.
Check out even more photos from Erika and Chris’ elopement on Instagram!
Three of the Best Places for an Alpine Lake Elopement
Alpine lakes are truly an incredible piece of nature. Fed by runoffs from the mountaintops, these natural lakes are known for their high elevation and crystal clear water.
When it comes to finding the best places for your alpine lake elopement, our team has spent hours scouting for the best locations. Three of our favorite places for an alpine lake are:
These three states are filled with mountains and alpine lakes that are easy to access (some you can even drive right up to), accessible via hiking trails, or even ones that require multi-day backpacking trips if you’re looking for more adventure.
In each of these locations, you will find a variety of alpine lakes. Some are small and reflective of the mountains around them, while others can be very large, allowing you to paddleboard or canoe around!
No matter which location you choose, you’re sure to be wowed. As your elopement photographers, we know these alpine lakes like the back of our hand and we can’ wait to help you start planning your own alpine lake elopement!
Best Time of Year for an Elopement at an Alpine Lake
Because alpine lakes are typically located at higher elevations, it’s best to visit these areas during the summer and fall months after the snow has melted. During winter and spring, these alpine lakes are iced over and the trails are snowy, making them difficult to access. Once summertime rolls around though the ice has usually melted, oftentimes giving way to beautiful wildflowers all around. In the fall, the lakes are surrounded by gorgeous fall foliage turning the alpine landscape into something entirely different!
Explore Even More Alpine Lake Elopements
Meet the Other Incredible Vendors From This Alpine Lake Elopement
Photographer: Between the Pine
Hair & Makeup: Anne Timss Makeup & Hair
Cabin: Heartwood Cabin