A hiking elopement in Whistler was always the dream for Amanda + Josh. They chose Russet Lake in the Whistler backcountry as their perfect location.
Amanda + Josh’s first date was at a lake in Whistler, when Josh joined Amanda and 8 of her closest friends for some afternoon sunshine. After receiving her friends’ approval, their first ‘hiking’ date was a 7-hour bushwhacking and trail-breaking mission to summit a mountain. Whether snowboarding in the winter or hiking and camping in the summer, most of Amanda and Josh’s free time is spent in the mountains. In November 2019, Josh lead Amanda on a 10km hike to Ring Lake in the Callaghan Valley – while she was 35 weeks pregnant. Upon reaching the lake, Josh proposed and they welcomed their daughter the next month. With hiking being such a huge part of their lives and many key points of their relationship, it made perfect sense that they planned a Whistler hiking elopement for their wedding day.
I asked Amanda a few questions about her experience with planning and enjoying a Whistler hiking elopement. Her responses are below.
Why did you choose to elope at Russet Lake?
It was always our dream to hike to where we would get married. We love the mountains and we love Whistler. We chose Russet Lake because we wanted to get married on a mountain somewhere in Whistler that we could hike to, but wasn’t too much of a mission to get to (i.e could take half a day or less to get there). This way we can take our daughter back every year to celebrate our anniversary and eventually she will be able to hike there too. We also love that you can see Fissile from the village and it will always bring back memories from our wedding.
How did you choose who to invite with you?
Pre-covid times we probably would have invited more people. We wanted to keep it pretty tight (and knew only some people would be down to hike 4 hours to get to our wedding spot). We invited some of our closest friends that we have been friends with for many years.
What were the challenges that a hiking elopement presented?
From a bride’s perspective, trying to keep my hair looking nice was a challenge when you’re getting sweaty hiking and have a backpack rubbing against the back of you. Not to mention the baby in the backpack pulling at your hair. Another challenge was going from hiking 4+ hours to trying to look nice in a dress and not look like a sweaty mess. Luckily for Russet Lake and the water available to have a little bird bath and for friends who are good at doing make up. Fitting everything we wanted to bring was a bit challenging. We wanted to have some bubbly and food for everyone so we ended up having to divide stuff up among peoples bags. Luckily i had a dress that packed well and didn’t wrinkle, but this could have been a challenge if i had a different dress.Lastly with a hiking elopement in the mountains you never know what the weather will really be. Most of the forecasts were calling for sun. Then at 11:30pm we got rain and lightning. It made for a good story and all part of the adventure.
After experiencing your elopement, is there anything that you would do
differently next time? –
I would bring more sweets! If we didn’t have a baby i might have done two nights of camping so we could go explore a bit more around where we were. Other than that, I probably wouldn’t change a thing 🙂
Advice for other couples planning an adventure elopement?
Anything is possible! Pick a spot that is meaningful to your adventure.Work with the Whistler Elopements team because they are amazing!
What was the highlight of your day?
Getting married with such a beautiful view and having some of my favourite people there to witness.
What is your favourite image (images are posted at the end of the blog) and why?
287 – the view, the friends. Everything about this picture brings me so much happiness because it’s everything i wanted for my wedding.
092 – i love this shot because this really shows us in our element – almost at our destination, baby on my back, visor on the protect my face from the sun and not mess up my hair and josh with his dress shirt hanging off his backpack.