Leah + Will decided to have a mountain elopement at an alpine lake after 11 years together.
Leah and Will’s mountain elopement was extra special to us for a few reasons. First, Leah and Will are great friends of ours and secondly, Leah is a bad-ass wedding photographer. She is one of the best big mountain photographers we know, and photographing a mountain elopement for a photographer sets the bar exceptionally high.
Check out their teaser video by Paul Cameron Productions
Here is a little bit of insight from Leah about her mountain elopement.
“After 11 years with my partner, this past summer, we decided to elope. As a wedding photographer who has seen 200 + weddings, secretly getting married, seemed like the right thing for us.– Leah Kathryn Photo
Big weddings are fun. I love the party, the pretty details and the gathering of all your favourite people in one place. But it didn’t feel right for us. I wanted the day to be as casual and stress free as possible, as well as different then all those I have had the honour of being apart of. Having our parents be there, would have been nice, but given that Will’s family lives in the Maritimes and COVID making travel undesirable, we decided on no guests. We chose not to tell anyone, except those that were involved. By doing so, we removed all outside opinions and ran with our vision. Well let’s be honest, Will let me run with my vision. We trusted Tara, Steve, Paul and Erin to help turn my ideas into reality and it was an incredible day. I had a few things that were important, and I feel like we nailed them all.
(In no particular order)
1. GOOD FRIGGIN’ LIGHT!!!!
2. A relaxed and casual day
3. Our dog
4. Delicious, easy to deal with food. Cheese, meats, seafood, crackers…. yum
5. Something different than any wedding I have photographed
6. At a location away from people, in a different landscape then where I typically shoot. Although it was mountains, and lakeside, it wasn’t the same scenery I shoot in often.
7. Glamping. Feather duvet and pillows for true comfort in a beautifully large and photogenic tent.
8. Videography. If you aren’t going to have any witnesses, get a videographer. It may be a luxury service, but you are saving so much on the bar and food tab, splurge and get this for your parents. They will want it if they aren’t in attendance.
9. A photographer you love and trust
10. A second hand dress. I wore mine for 2.5 hours. Why spend full price if you don’t have to.
11. Personal vows. They are the hardest shit to write, but worth it
Leah, Tara and I did some pre-elopement scouting to find an amazing location that was suitable for the vision that we had – a sunset ceremony and photoshoot, with a picnic dinner and camping in a beautiful bell tent from Wild Havens. The location we found was perfect. It had a viewpoint that was over 1000m of elevation higher than the aqua blue alpine lake. It created for two drastically different locations, both with amazing views, and only a 15 minute drive from the top to the bottom.
We built the timeline for the day around the best lighting conditions possible. We arrived in the afternoon and got the campsite all set up on the up high viewpoint, and Erin from Bliss Events and Design set up the florals and ceremony decor down at the beach. Our plan was to have the ceremony during sunset on the beach, enjoy a celebratory toast and then head back up to the viewpoint to catch a second sunset from the higher elevation. Perfect lighting for as long as possible and taking advantage of the landscape to extend that time made this mountain elopement extra special.
Having discussed Leah’s dream elopement for a while, we also knew that there were a few important elements. First and foremost was that Leah and Will needed to have their fur-baby present. Pickles (one of my favourite dogs) was part of the entire day, wore a flowered collar and laid at Leah and Will’s feet during the ceremony. The other thing that Leah had dreamed about was going in a canoe in her wedding dress. We weren’t sure that it was possible, but we surprised her with a beautiful red canoe. The wind was howling across the lake, and they needed to brave the waves, but the photos of Leah chugging Prosecco from the bottle while Will paddled are some of our favourite. It was just pure joy.
Leah and Will’s luxury mountain elopement continued after we caught the last of the sunset from the campsite. We all shared a picnic of cheese and charcuterie while sitting on a Moroccan rug under string lights and enjoying a specialty cocktail. Fresh margaritas for Will, and negronis for Leah. When the sun was fully gone, we started a campfire, and plugged some string lights into the generator to create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the warm summer’s night.
Later that evening after the fire had burned down, Leah and Will climbed into their luxurious glamping tent for a little sleep, before awakening to an amazing sunrise over the mountains. The perfect way to wrap up a perfect mountain elopement.
Here is the full highlight reel from Paul!
Planning – Whistler Elopements
Photography – Tara Lilly Photography
Videography – Paul Cameron Productions
Officiating – Whistler Steve
Design, Decor and Floral – Bliss Event + Design
Hair + Make-up – Natacha Trottier
Rentals – Event Rental Works
Tent – Wild Havens