Eight miles, that’s how long Katie and Nora hiked (the last 2 miles in their wedding gowns) to say ‘I do’ at the magnificent North Cascades National Park.
Tell us about the proposal.
Nora– We knew early on that we had both found our person. We were living in Chicago (Nora’s hometown) and decided to have pictures taken of us by a fantastic photographer who was based in Cincinnati. I emailed the photographer to have the proposal take place during the photo session, and she was all in. Katie could figure out everything, so I knew she knew. However, she did NOT know that I had my parents, her parents and one of her sisters, and her husband waiting for us at our favorite brunch spot. As soon as our session was done, we were engaged, and our families were waiting for us with Mimosas! We spent the whole day all together and ended the night at Second City Improv. It was so much fun.
Talk us through the decision to elope.
We knew that a “typical” wedding was not for us. It took us a long time to decide what we wanted, but we seemed to return to the idea of eloping on a trail and soaking up the beautiful outdoors. Once Katie came across The Foxes website, we immediately knew this was our plan going forward.
Tell us about telling your loved ones that you’re now married.
We told our families ahead of time that we would be eloping, and we were fortunate that everyone was supportive of our decision. We did have a reception planned in Bend, Oregon, a few days later, but that was canceled due to the pandemic. That being said, we both love introducing each other as “wife!”
Talk us through the actual elopement.
We rented an Airbnb in Mazama, WA, steps away from a serene river. Instead of a typical rehearsal and dinner, we enjoyed an evening of snacks and drinks by the river and a cold refreshing dip. Without our elopement day even starting, we knew we had made the right decision in this type of wedding.
The morning of our big day was beautiful. We had coffee by the river, and our hair and make-up artist arrived around 8:30 am. We spent a few hours laughing while getting ready, and our photographers arrived around noon. Finally, we packed up our adventure elopement items and our dresses into our packs and drove the 30-45 minutes to the trailhead.
We met up with our elopement officiant in the parking lot, and while walking to the trailhead, we had many people come and ask, “Why do you have bouquets in your packs? Why are you wearing make-up?” Of course, we responded excitedly with, “We are getting married at the top!”
It was a hot day for sure – about 95 degrees when we started our trek to the top. A few miles into our hike, we approached a meadow and jokingly said, “Well, we found our bridal suite,” and used this space to freshen up and get ready for the reveal as we each kept our dress a secret. After our first look photos, we continued the hike to the top (another 2 miles!), fully decked out in our dresses!
Soon, we started to see snow and knew we were close to the summit. Once there, we placed our bottle of Cook’s champagne in the snow. Could we have brought a more excellent bottle of champagne? Absolutely! But it just felt right to bring Cook’s as we would soon be Mrs. and Mrs. Cook after we said: “I do”!
We had a magical ceremony in the snow and shared laughs as we each lovingly hit each other in the face due to so many mosquitoes. Sharing our first smooch as a married couple and celebrating with our champagne and wedding day playlist.
We hiked a little further and then stopped for cupcakes, a sip of whiskey, and a ridgetop red beer. After sunset, we had our first dance by headlamp and then changed out of our dresses and headed back towards the parking lot.
We made our way back to our cars a little after midnight – closing out the best day ever with the 5 of us dancing to the Spice Girls. What a fun 8-mile, 10-hour+ day on the trail.
Photography by The Foxes
Desserts Petunia’s Pies and Pastries
Dress Boutiques David’s Bridal, Asos
Florist Goldenrod Floral Design
H&MU Anne Timms
Location North Cascades National Park
Officiant Leslie Sundquist
Signage Oh My Custom Designs
Wedding Rings Kay Jewelers