The idea for this styled shoot was born out of a mutual love for hiking of a couple of befriended vendors in the Vancouver wedding industry. For many Vancouverites, the outdoor lifestyle is a big part of who they are. So our team wanted to show couples that it’s possible to have the ultimate adventurous elopement: hike to a remote mountain location to tie the knot.
Of course, there are some practical challenges, but here are some tips to get started and information on how we pulled it off.
When choosing your location, know your limits! Choose a spot that is realistic to reach within a certain time frame and keep in mind you’ll bring more weight than usual. A lot of people love the outdoors, so it’s certainly possible to find an active officiant and a photographer (and/or videographer) that are willing to join you on your trip. Just know that not every wedding professional might be up for it and that there can be added costs for the time spent hiking.
In the case of our shoot, we chose the beautiful First Peak of Mt. Seymour Provincial Park. This hike is a 7km round trip with a total of 5oom elevation gain. We were a little surprised to find snow in June but came prepared for all circumstances.
Never skip the regular safety precautions you’d take when going out for a mountain hike! Bring enough water and food, make sure someone knows where you are going, and don’t forget your first aid kit.
Hair + Makeup
The hair and makeup artist for our shoot, Amber Rodan, was prepared for the challenge! She had to ensure we were not only protecting our models (and real-life couple) Meghan and Drew from the sun, but she also made sure Meghan’s makeup would cover up some redness and not budge.
To do this, she started with skin prep, one of the most important steps to any makeup application. She placed a Dermalogica’s Precleanse on a dry cotton pad, one of her favourite products to fully remove any leftover makeup, excess oils, while also de-clogging pores. She also opted for the Dermalogica UltraCalming Mist, which not only hydrates dry, sensitive and redness-prone skin, it also helps to reduce redness by 30% within 30 minutes!
How perfect for Meghan to use as she hiked up the mountain. The artist then topped her off with a moisturizer with SPF 50 to ensure she was protected from the harsh sun rays. The makeup had a light, feminine look with a dewy skin texture using high quality, non-toxic and cruelty-free products, finishing with a setting mist to hold the natural minerals in place. We also took some powder and mist just in case it’d be necessary to freshen up the look on top of the mountain.
For Meghan’s hair, Amber constructed a loose low bun with various sections twisted and pinned back for texture and added structure so it would stay put as she climbed. Because all her hair was set first, as she moved up to the top, any pieces that came undone looked perfectly planned and effortless. This is a great Summer look for any occasion!
Drew also had some redness to conceal. He received an application of light layers of concealer and powders. She finished off his look with the same Ultracalming setting mist to reduce any redness that developed during the hike.
Wardrobe + Accessories
The dress, The Corta from Laudae, had the perfect fabric not to get wrinkled when hiking up. Of course, we wouldn’t recommend hiking up while wearing a dress, so consider hanging your dress on the side of your backpack while going up. The Corta dress is incredibly elegant and yet feels fitting for a more adventurous environment, not being a typical ball gown.
For the suit, our event planner chose a timeless Hugo Boss Suit, with a modern twist in the blue textured colour and the choice of a patterned shirt. The suit can also easily be hung on the side of a backpack in order not to wrinkle it while hiking up.
Meghan wore South Sea Pearl studs and necklace from Foe and Dear. The wedding bands from the same brand were the “In The Starts” ring for Meghan and the “Cigar band ring” for Drew.
Drew’s finishing touch to his outfit was wooden cufflinks with mountains engraved by Cabin and Cub.
Florals + Details
The bouquet for this shoot consisted of many local wildflowers, combined with a couple of more classic roses. As a tip, we’d recommend either having your bouquet made on the morning of your wedding or choose a lot of greenery, as flowers and heat often don’t go well together. The florist also made a gorgeous boutonniere for Drew with a double magnet system in order to not have to puncture his suit.
When hiking up a mountain, it’s of course much harder to take extra items, but we’d recommend setting up a very basic picnic because it’s so fun and will improve your experience! While planning this shoot we were considering champagne glasses but ended up choosing hammered stemless goblets from Mikasa. They are very light and don’t break! We also brought two cutting boards and cutlery to show it’d be fun to bring some bread and charcuterie or … anything you like.
Cake artist Dalana made cookies for the occasion. She created fun mountain-shaped marbled sugar cookies with messages as an extra festive touch.
The stationery for this shoot was specifically created for an elopement without any guests.
Alya, from The AYLA view, created an elopement card announcement to share the news of the elopement with their families. She found her inspiration in the natural beauty of the mountain range, adding a Pacific Northwest vibe. The card is digitally printed on textured handmade paper and paired with a navy blue envelope. The handmade paper and calligraphy all throughout added an organic feel to the suite. A wax seal with a mountain design was added as the final touch.
A sketch of the Mt. Seymour mountain range works both as a map and a keepsake of their elopement. The beautiful vow booklet is not only practical but also a memory to keep forever.
– Vancouver Wedding Photographers, Jelger + Tanja