Elfin Lakes Adventure Honeymoon

These are the most epic, the most dramatic, the most memorable, the most striking wedding portraits  you will ever see. Yes, yes, they will be. An Elfin Lakes adventure honeymoon portrait session is what dreams are made of… but there’s more to the story.

Photos as striking as these require a certain amount of dedication and resilience that will never be fully photographed. Photos like these are every inch worth it (I mean: LOOK AT THOSE MOUNTAINS) but getting to this spot required an 11km hike and 600m elevation gain. Photos like these will absolutely be showcased for generations (I’m predicting it right now — they’ll stay on the wall for fifty years) but there’s nothing glamorous about putting on a wedding dress in a tent.  

Basically: you absolutely do want photos like these, but make sure you appreciate the sweaty, sticky, mosquito-y reality that lies behind the Instagrammable beauty.

Inspired by last year’s adventure honeymoon portrait session up the Coquihala, Jess & Rainer chose to prioritize mountaintop wedding portraits during the second week of their honeymoon. (Their wedding day photos are also charmed, so don’t miss those!) Requirements? A love of hiking, a willingness to pack formal wear in with your backpacking gear, and an ability to do hair and makeup with a pocket mirror.

I legitimately cannot imagine a more perfect evening or morning for these photos. After the forecast threatened clouds and rain, we ended up with crystal clear skies.

Huge, massive, over-the-top gratitude to my husband for taking the trek with me, carrying most of the gear (cameras are HEAVY going up a mountain!), and being a wicked fabulous dress fluffer.

Oh, and behind-the-scenes-photo-taker. Note my concentration face. With so much begging to be photographed, I had to stay focused and not just wig out over the exorbitant beauty.  (Also: I don’t often photograph in my hiking boots and realized afresh how comfortable they are. Think I can get away with these as wedding shoes?!)

This photo (or at least one of the photos from this series) neeeeeds to end up in 24 x 36 framed extravagance on Jess & Rainer’s wall. Don’t you think?)

The lace and train and sleeves of Jess’s dress put it in my “top three favorite wedding dresses of all time”. STUNNING.

(Also, this photo above – or one from this series – is my other choice to use as wallpaper in their home.)

After a short night of sleep, a little moon watching, and another makeup application with a hand mirror, it was time for round two of majestic photos. Here’s where I am increasingly amazed at the stamina of these two: it’s hard being photographed, staying in the moment, listening to my instructions from across a lake, and having fellow backpackers watch it all unfold. But these guys rocked it and I want to be like them someday. So poised, so calm, so effortlessly beautiful, so incandescently in love.

And, yes, sunrise is my favorite time on a mountaintop. Always and forever.


This series (above and below) is one of my favorites, both for the spontaneous joy you can basically feel coming off the photo but also for how willingly Jess massacred her white dress for the sake of photos. The ombre of the mountain’s dirt is etched in the lace and in our hearts. 😉

Jess & Rainer: you two are forever inscribed on my heart for your infectious joy, your deep love for one another, your kindness and gratitude toward all around you, and your unflappable dedication to photos in your favorite place on top of a mountain. Thanks for inviting me into your heart and your life and your wedding memories. You are a delight.

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