From the Photographer, Elisa of Elisa Watkins Photography: I had two main pieces of inspiration for this shoot; the first one being the Pacific Northwest. I fell in love with Washington and Oregon within the first minute I visited. The quirkiness, the forests, the moody light… It just shouts romance and adventure! And the second was the "budget bride" who still wants a stunning wedding. I wanted brides to see what's possible when they choose to spend their limited budget on an intimate elopement vs. a big wedding. Instead of stretching a small budget to have a large wedding, brides can channel those funds into statement pieces and exceptional vendors to have a lovely elopement. This allows brides to say yes to getting married without forgoing a luxurious event.

One of the key elements we wanted to bring in was an upscale picnic. Bin 707 Foodbar is a local business practiced at combining food and art to create a downright amazing experience. For the shoot, they put together local wine, artisanal cheeses, and seasonal foods, and arranged them inside a lovely little aubergine-colored picnic basket. The picnic basket was an up-cycled piece from a thrift store, and with a little spray-paint, fabric, and ribbon, it became a gorgeous basket to showcase the couple's elopement meal.

Other elements included a half-naked caramel cake with chocolate ganache and a caramel drizzle topped with fruit and locally sourced edible flowers, a diy chandelier created using river-glass and twine, and a chalkboard globe decorated with beautiful calligraphy. Not to mention the stunning floral arrangements created by Kelly from 3 Leaf Floral Design. The bouquets she crafted used vines, berries, and other foraged pieces to create an elegant and wild display

We chose to use a real engaged couple for this shoot, and they were so authentic for us. I get goosebumps every time I hear their vows in the video! Cheyenne and Jake fell into every hug, smile, and kiss so easily that it felt like they were the only 2 people for miles. After rowing the canoe across Island Lake, Jake and Cheyenne overlooked the lakes and forests below while the thunder, lightning, and rain rolled in. They danced and kissed over and over as the sun set and the rain fell around them. The whole experience was simply magical.

// CREATIVES //

PHOTOGRAPHER: Elisa Watkins Photography | VIDEOGRAPHER: Vow of the Wild |SWEETS: Cakelady Creations | CALLIGRAPHY: Harlow & Finn | CATERER: Bin 707 Goodbar | DRESS DESIGNER: Lillian West | DRESS SHOP: Victoria Rose Bridals | MENSWEAR: Jim's Formal Wear Co. | FLORAL: 3 Leaf Floral | RIBBON: Silk & Willow | HAIR STYLIST: Emily Garcia | LOCATION: Island Lake in the Grand Mesa National Forest | MODELS: Cheyenne & Jake

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