Nicole and Mario reached out to me about documenting their adventure elopement in Canada. They would be flying in from Florida and wanted an experience that would be both memorable and allow them to truly experience the Canadian Rocky Mountains. We discussed a few options on what that could look like.
A.) Utilize a helicopter to fly to a mountain top or
B.) We could hike to one that isn’t accessible via helicopter.
In the end we decided it would be fun and memorable to do a hiking adventure elopement. So we began the planning! We looked into a few peaks in Banff National Park, but ultimately wanted to have a summit to ourselves without a lot of onlookers. We opted to utilize Kananaskis, which is a Provincial Park that borders Banff National Park. It is a beautiful area that is often over looked as most people head straight to Banff, but it has equally amazing views and a lot less people on the trails. It’s one of my personal favourite places to go hiking. Nicole and Mario fully trusted me to determine our hiking destination. I narrowed it down to a ridge I’ve hike to before. Upon further discussion, we determined that for the ultimate adventure elopement and best light, we would be up on the ridge for sunrise.
Now how do you pull off a hiking adventure elopement when a bride typically wants to have hair and makeup done? You reach out to an amazing make up artist who is keen on being a part of a fun adventure. We contacted Jenah Walcheske from Blush and Coco. She was up for everything, even hiking to the top with us to do the final touches of hair and make up.
The whole event started with us all driving out to the trail head the evening before. We got a few hours sleep in our vehicles and woke at 1 am to get our bags ready and start the foundational hair/makeup process. By 2am we were on the trail with our head lamps on, slowly making our way through the dark up on to the ridge. We arrived on the ridge at 5 am, with the first hints of light in the mountain sky. We pulled out some lights and from 5am-6am Jenah worked with Nicole on hair and makeup. Mario managed to get a quick cat nap in before it was time for him to start getting ready.
Nicole and Mario wanted to have a ‘first look’. So we got Mario ready and then I took him to a nice look out of the valley where the first look would take place. Next, we got Nicole ready and walked her over to the look out for the two of them to experience seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. After embracing, the sun began to make it’s appearance over the Rockies and we began their photo session at sunrise. The light was beautiful and we were all excited for the views that came with that light. After documenting where we were, Nicole and Mario had a lovely, heartfelt vow and ring exchange. Following the exchange we packed our bags and began making our way back down to the cars to eat some food and catch up on some sleep.
I know a sunrise elopement isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is an experience I love sharing with my couples. If you are looking for a bit of adventure on your elopement or wedding day, I’m game to document whatever we can come up with. If you would like to do something similar to this, I know of several other ridges and peaks that would be perfect. Feel free to drop me a line and we can get the planning under way.