This Paradise Mount Rainier Backpacking Elopement was a really special one, but the road to get there was a bit rough! Hannah was shooting with her photography mentor, Andie Avery. But since Andie is from Oregon and Hannah is from Washington, they ended up driving separately. Malia and Joey (the couple) are from Washington, but they had a 3+ hour drive to get to the park. We all left early with the intention of hiking a longer trail at Mount Rainier, and finding a private spot for Malia and Joey to say their vows.
Hannah was an hour from Mount Rainier when her car broke down, though. She was obviously very upset and made a lot of phone calls to try and solve the problem. Funny story actually, Hannah was the only one who had used AAA last year… 3 times. But anywayyyy, her car was overheating and she didn’t know it at the time, but the head gasket had blown (even though it had already been replaced). Hannah knew how far Malia and Joey had driven and how excited they were. Plus, she was extremely excited to hike with all 3 of them! By the time her grandma saved her and AAA came to tow her car, Hannah wasn’t going to get to the trailhead until 6 pm. They had originally planned to start hiking at 4 pm. She was so upset, but she also knew that all of it was out of her control. Hannah did everything she could as quickly as possible to make sure that she made it to the park. (Thankfully this was a styled elopement, but now she is aware + tries to plan for car issues before any elopement or wedding)
When Hannah finally got there, Malia and Joey were so kind! Andie had told them everything, and they had all hiked up the trailhead a bit before Hannah got there. She hadn’t met them in person yet, but they were just the sweetest couple ever! Andie and Hannah had an absolute blast with them, getting creative before and after the sun had set. We hiked up the trailhead and found a beautiful spot with a stunning view of Mount Rainier! It was smokey from the summer wildfires, so the sun was a reddish-orange color. But as the sun went down, the sky turned into cotton candy! It was awesome! Malia and Joey said their vows in a private spot among the wildlfowers (don’t worry, we followed the ethics of Leave No Trace by not stepping on any wildflowers, but instead finding durable ground to stand on) as the sun set behind them.
Hannah couldn’t have asked for a better mentor, a more incredible couple to photograph, or a more perfect night! Sure, the car situation sucked, BUT everything worked out. We were still able to capture special moments, and make some fun memories together! It’s always important to remember to find the good in everything!
Photographer: Hannah Falk
Florals: Copper & Currant
Sign: Check out this instagram reel to see how Hannah made it (: