Britney and Michael met through mutual friends. They had attended the same high school so they knew who the other was, but thei had never spoked to one another! One day Britney was invited to a friend’s hour for her birthday. She hadn’t spoked to the friend in forever, but she eventually decided to go on a whim (thank GOD!) At that party, she met Michael for the first time!! They both hit it off INSTANTLY and were surprised how alike that they were! They began texting immediately but didn’t end up dating until a year later. They spent the year platonically texting about pizza, sharks and music before eventually realizing that they were meant to be together!
Michael proposed last year when Brittney was expecting it the least. They were celebrating Christmas with her family and they were having a huge christmas eve party. Brittney’s family is Latino so they have this tradition of someone dressing up as Santa at midnight and passing out gifts. During the gift passing out, Santa called Britt up to get her gift. She goes up to get it and then all of a sudden EVERY ONE STARTED SCREAMING!! She turns around and there was Michael, down on one knee. Ugh, tears come to my eyes just thinking about it!
Brittney and Michael wanted to elope in the North Cascades. It was important to them that they only have a few of the people that were the most special to them be there to witness the ceremony. Even though the ceremony was quite small, Brittney and Michael wanted to save their vows for just each other’s ears so they said it to each other at their first look, when it was just them, standing in the forest.
The ceremony took place at the edge of a gorgeous Diablo lake. Pretty ironic that two perfect angels got married at a lake named after a devil! Diablo lake is pretty cool and is normally a gorgeous turquoise color, because of the powder from the surrounding glaciers! The powder stays suspended in the lake and that’s why it has that unique color! The weather had been snowy all week, but on the day of the elopement, the snow paused and it was perfectly clear. We could even see the mountains! After the ceremony, we hung out at the lake and explored the shore together. And then we all went and got pizza! Best day ever!
Four tips to keep in mind when planning your North Cascades winter elopement
Be flexible because the weather might change
When planning any elopement in the winter, you have to be aware that the weather could always change! The Pacific Northwest is normally quite rainy, and when its raining down here, its snowing in the mountains! And snow in the mountains CAN be quite magical, but it becomes less so when the roads close due to too much snow! I always tell my couples to stay open minded about their elopement location in the winter and we always come up with backup plans for if we have to pivot! But snow in the mountains can lead to your perfect Narnia elopement, so I always am excited to shoot in the mountains in the winter months!
2. Get a special use permit
If you are planning your winter elopement within the limits of a national park, you will need a permit! You can get these through the national park service. The north cascades vary in regulations depending on the size of your elopement so I always say to call the office and check! Here is the website with the info!
3. There are several roads closed in the North Cascades in the winter
Because of all of the road closure, I usually tell my clients to elope at Diablo Lake or Artist Point. Diablo lake is a gorgeous alpine lake that is surrounded by mountains and artist point is a winter wonderland that looks at Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan. Both are gorgeous in the winter. The road to Artist point is USUALLY plowed everyday because of the ski resort that is located close by so usually the roads are accessible unless we have extreme weather. This is the place to go to if you want to get married in snowshoes and build a snowman with your new spouse! Diablo lake is a lower altitude and hence gets much less snow, but when it does snow there, we have a chance that the plows will not plow it if the weather continues and we may need to find an alternative location.
4. Plan your North Cascades winter elopement NOT on the weekend.
I always tell my couples to NOT get married on a weekend because of the crowds! Because we have so many trails closed in the winter, hikers flock to the trails that ARE open and hence it can become much less private on your elopement day. You also have to think about parking and parking lots can fill up quickly on the weekend and you may not get a spot! Let’s have the most awesome day possible and keep it to weekdays so we can have the parks to ourselves!