These Manning Park Larch Forest wedding portraits have been a long time coming. (And I’m not just referring to the 18 km I had to hike to make it happen. :-P) Over a year ago, Rae sent me the sweetest email describing her hope for a portrait session during an adventurous, autumn, romantic weekend with her husband to celebrate their ten years of marriage. Rae is one of the dear gals I met through an online community and so scheming toward an adventurous autumn weekend has been most definitely a highlight of my year.
Funny twist, though: three weeks before her scheduled session I photographed Rae’s sister and her new husband on top of a mountain and immediately the pressure to create magical images for Rae increased expontentially.
How do you top a 360 view near the summit of Needle Peak?
You go to the Manning Park Larch Forest, of course.
While some might say it’s insanity, hiking in the rain up Mount Frosty in Manning Park to do a bridal portrait session in the middle of the larch forest at 4 degrees Celcius is brilliant.
The fog and rain meant we had the trail to ourselves (just imagine being a hiker coming upon a fully outfitted bride and groom!) and meant that we really did have everything that defines autumn and adventure: fog, cold, fire, rain, color.
Plus, THE STORIES we get to tell from “that time we hiked 18km in the rain with a wedding dress and all the camera gear” are literally limitless and will absolutely amuse our grandchildren.
In case you’re wondering, larches are a tree that is conifer and appear to be evergreen but are actually miraculously deciduous. Larches only grow at high elevations because they thrive on cooler temperatures and they only are colorful for a few weeks each year. They’re basically God’s way of saying “hey, I’m more creative than you can even fathom!”
When I hiked Watersprite Lake last year (all 19km of it), I swore I would never hike more than 15km in a day. After visiting the Manning Park larches with Rae & Kyle, I guess I’m willing to hike so far again but ONLY for the perfect opportunity.
Look closely above and you will absolutely see the raindrops in these Manning Park Larch Forest wedding portraits. The dedication it takes to stand in a rainstorm on top of a mountain in a wedding dress? Unfathomable.
Would you believe me if I said that Rae and her sister handmade this flower crown of goodness?
I dreamed that the fog would roll in for some eerily magical moments . . . and look! it did!
Manning Park Larch Forest wedding portraits aren’t easily attained but boyohboy are they worth it! Do you want a dramatically adventurous wedding portrait? I’m your girl.
I mean…LOOK AT ALL THAT YELLOW!
In case you want to see the Manning Park Larch Forest, know that the needles change in late September or early October. We went on October 1 and the next day reports of snow on the train began (hallelujah! we didn’t hike in snow!). You’ll park in the Lightning Lake Day Use Area at Manning Park and then start the trail to Frosty Mountain. The larch forest begins about a kilometer past the campsite and cabin area and continues much of the way up to the summit of Frosty.
We weren’t dedicated enough to summit the Mountain, but made it 8.5 kilometers from the parking lot to see this density of Larch.