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A red dirt girl from Oklahoma turned mountain woman, with a camera in tow.

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  Kayla

8/20/2020

Lauren & Justin – A Mountain Elopement

After 7 years together, building a relationship across the states and amongst the chaos of the medical lifestyle… these two said I do among the wild, Big Horn Mountains. We settled on a location that was easily accessible with views and space to be alone, creating an idyllic late spring wedding where the backdrop was a mountain that was still mostly covered in snow. 

Together, Lauren & Justin headed up the mountain with their officiant, Spencer. A few friends followed along behind us to help ring in their big day, while providing a helping hand to be witnesses, so that everything could be official! But – to kick this blog post off – I feel like we should rewind and address the hilarity of this COVID elopement! 

Navigating Getting Married During COVID

After COVID hit, Lauren came to me asking about an elopement. Her and Justin were a bit more non-traditional and hadn’t really planned on getting married. But then the pandemic set in a new mentality and they, like many couples, started to re-think the benefits of marriage, along with the love and dedication they have for one another. 

At first my question was if they could even get a marriage license and how we were going to create the most intimate, stress-free wedding we could during the chaos of a pandemic. Luckily, the court house was open and, to our surprise, they only required ONE person to get hitched. That’s right folks, Lauren went to the courthouse with a single friend and was able to get their license with zero Justin in sight. 

She asked if they at least wanted to talk to him or anything, and they said all they wanted/needed was his drivers license. So soon we had the business side of the marriage behind us, and we could head off to the fun planning of an elopement. 

Lauren wanted to try to stick to a lower budget and keep sustainability in mind for their wedding. As a couple who is passionate about our environment and being as sustainable as possible this was critical! Which was fabulous because we were limited in a small community with most businesses closed due to COVID. 

Luckily, Lauren had a gorgeous, white designer dress she picked up a few years back at Nordstroms and found a unique set of earrings on Poshmark for a little pop statement. Justin already had a suit, so it was easy to create the wedding without COVID impacting the details. 

Scouting the Elopement Location

Next was LOCATION… cue me in because I friggin’ LIVE for location scouting. I sent Lauren several options and with weather playing a huge part (spring snow storms suck, y’all), we had to keep in mind that it could be wet/muddy. 

Lauren and Justin settled on a great location off one of our main mountain roads as they really wanted to incorporate their love of the outdoors – after all it’s one of the main reasons why they moved to the Big Horns. Because the weather is unpredictable, along with Lauren wanting a warmer day, we found ourselves planning for a day in May… just when the mountains were waking up and starting to get a little color. 

Adding Special Touches with a Unique Floral Bouquet

Because we were planning this all last minute and had to change dates a few times due to weather, it was difficult to order a floral bouquet. I adore flowers (oh, guess what…I offer elopement florals to help make your day as fun and stress free as possible) and my amazing friend Myca over at Whirly Girl was doing weekly, curbside flower pickups, so as soon as we settled in on the big day, I sent her Myca’s weekly flower selection. We both went and picked up some of the tulips she had available and then I cut fresh greens out of my yard. 

Because Lauren grew up in Florida & Puerto Rico and still has family there, I loved the idea of incorporating a palm leaf to bring in a little detail with a whole lot of meaning. In the end, we created her bouquet by pairing some of the florals from Myca with the greens and ribbons I brought.  

A Perfect Mountainside Ceremony

The ceremony was simple, charming, and intimate. We walked up to the spot – and then the emotions hit. There is no way to fully prepare for the love and respect couples have for one another till they are in the moment. Every couple is so unique and this intimate elopement was just as emotional and intricate as a big wedding… maybe even a little more… 

When the moment settled in, Spencer began the ceremony, the Wyoming wind helped to dry the tears as Lauren and Justin started their first moment as husband and wife. Just as the two kissed, our small group erupted into cheers along with a small group of folk down below us who had stopped to watch the ceremony take place. We all erupted into shouts of joy and laughed as strangers and friends cheered the two on. After the ceremony, hugs, kisses, and well wishes were expressed before we took our adventure a little further up the mountain for some sunset photos with mountain views.

Even in elopements, I still treasure getting to have alone time with the couple. It’s so special getting to capture them at the beginning of their newest adventure together. 

 

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