A winter elopement at Tumalo Mt. This is the first half of Rachel + Patricks adventure elopement day, if you haven’t seen the second half at Smith Rock, keep reading to the end for the link to that blog post!
We started the morning off with arriving at Tumalo Mountain in separate cars, so we could do a first look on in the snowy forest before the ceremony. If you’ve spent any time on my wedding blog, you won’t be at all surprised to recognize Rev Chris Lewis! He is an english gentleman who officiates many weddings and elopements in the Central Oregon area. I personally love working with Chris, he is so kind and warm. I see him several times a year and recommend him to all my Bend engaged couples!
Rev Chris’s ceremonies are always so beautiful, and the elopements we work together are even more enhanced surrounded by nature. We had the ceremony at really the base of the mountain but it was about a 5 minute walk from the parking lot upwards so it was still a pretty good incline. R + P are avid snow shoers and so this was of course perfect to include on the adventure elopement!
After the marriage ceremony, the bride and groom and I hiked up the 2 miles to the top of Tumalo Mountain. Heres where I have to be so honest with you guys…… I had never snow shoed before, and so I did rent snow shoes from REI. However, the short walk to the ceremony site from the car ended up being hard packed snow and I had knee high snow boots on, I really figured I would be okay walking up the mountain without snow shoes. Guyssss this was such a huge error LOL (In my defense, I assumed since I had no experience with snow shoes it would be easier without them)
Not 5 minutes up the trail from the ceremony, the trail began to be less packed. The snow became so fluffy I was falling through to my knees and thighs each step. I am a decent hiker, but this sucked so bad haha the only thing that saved me was they hired a private driver for the day (my brother!) and he ended up carrying my heavy camera bag up and down the entire mountain. I will say I am in great shape and normally hiking is no issue, but with the higher altitude, the sinking in ever single step, and recovering from a cold this was so rough haha I’m so grateful my couple was chill with the slow steady pace <3
When we reached the top of the mountain, it was completely fogged-in which we didn’t expect. The view is usually INSANE with the cascade mountain range so close you can almost taste it. The fog was very romantic though, and we did see the sun for about 5 minutes and of course the bride and groom did a happy dance in the rays 🙂
Heading back down the mountain, we caught a glimpse of Mt Bachelor !! Adventure elopements can be uncertain when you’re dealing with the elements and can’t plan every single detail with the weather, but we got so so lucky on this winter elopement day! Patrick tied a few ribbons on the trail to help Rachel find her way to him for the first look, and we took them down on our way home. (so freakin romantic right??)
From here we headed back to the car, and headed to get burritos! You can find the second half of this adventure winter elopement where we went to Smith Rock State Park, HERE
I’m thrilled couples continue to trust me with photographing their most special days, from adventure elopements, to big romantic classy weddings, each wedding day is something new and beautiful for me to capture.
Like my approach to shooting weddings and elopements? Get in touch with me here! I cannot wait to hear from you <3