colchuck lake hiking elopement
Karaline & Robby were stationed in Washington state, with Karaline’s family in Virginia (+ also scattered about the US), and Robby’s in Georgia. They were torn between having a large wedding + intimate elopement with their closest family and friends, so they decided to do both! Within the span of two weekends they were going to have an elopement in Washington state and wedding in Virginia. Karaline & Robby LOVE the outdoors + are avid hikers, and since they were only going to be in Washington a short time, they wanted to incorporate its beautiful landscape into their elopement day. After doing some recon, one week before the elopement, they discovered Colchuck Lake, hiked it, and after seeing the towering North Cascade mountains reflect on the teal blue water, they knew instantly this was where they wanted it to happen.
The Weekend of July 28th 2018, Karaline & Robby’s families flew in from all over the country. During the elopement day, we had a 6 am wake up call. Everyone packed their backpacks to the rim full of makeup, gowns, dress clothes, water, wipes, & snacks. We rigged a cooler to carry the bouquet, and drove an hour to the trailhead. Karaline finalized her vows on paper in the jeep, and we began our hike 5.5 miles up (one way) to the ceremony spot. To also note — a few people got lost and had to hike an extra few miles (in total, most hiked over 14 miles). Everyone changed + got ready in the woods, Karaline’s little sister, Chloe, did her makeup, and through many tears, the people closest to Karaline & Robby witnessed the most beautiful exchange of personal vows.
During the few hours we were at the top of the lake, we managed to get sunshine during the ceremony, directly followed by a thunderstorm + pouring rain, followed by sunshine again. Their families hiked back down shortly after the vows, while Karaline, Robby, and I ventured around for a few more hours. We even got a visit from a chipmunk who was infatuated by Karaline’s bouquet! Karaline & Robby did not officially “get married” until the following weekend (full post of that beauty wedding here), but to them and their families, it finally all started to feel real.
After the day long hike, we all headed back to the cabin + cleaned up, and Karalines mom cooked us up the most delicious family style dinner. The next morning everyone took to the nearby lake, where we later said our farewells. These two families took me in like their own this special weekend, and that is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my days. Thank you a million times over Karaline & Robby, you guys are some real beauties, both inside & out.
Together Journal is also featuring this elopement in print, and you can snag your copy here! & lastly, I wanted to say a HUGE thanks to my great pal Brady Bates for being a rockn second shooter + friend, and for traveling all that way out there with me.
Happy scrolling! This one’s a good one folks.