Valerie and Paul were originally scheduled to have a 200+ guest wedding at Timberline Lodge atop Mt Hood on August 29th, 2020. Timberline is one of our favorite places to photograph weddings but as everyone knows COVID-19 brought the world to a screeching halt! What to do? Originally Val and Paul were going to cancel everything and put things on an unknown hold. They were not interested in postponing and planning another wedding for next year. So difficult! But, the idea of an Alderbrook elopement began shifting things.
After several emails back and forth everyone decided to adapt and make a new plan. With the help of their amazing planners Sway Events and all of us together on an extended zoom call the decision was made. Val and Paul decided to explore an Alderbrook elopement. They wanted to do it in “007” fashion with all ideas involving water and the stark contrast between being dressed up and natural landscape. Elopement ideas ranged from taking a seaplane to Lummi Island, having a mini ceremony in Olympic National Park/Hoh Rainforest – Kalaloch Lodge, Cape Flattery, Dewatto Bay on Hood Canal, Pacific City, or Cannon Beach in Oregon. Another idea was to take a helicopter flight to a place near Rattlesnake Ridge.
For their wedding, Val and Paul decided to take a seaplane to Hope Island (near Olympia) from Alderbrook Resort & Spa. Paul and his guys arrived via seaplane while Val’s day began her traditional kayaking with her father on the water outside Alderbrook. Val walked down the dock for a champagne send-off. Six of us then flew to Hope Island for their elopement ceremony and more champagne toasts! They flew back to Alderbrook to have one of the most unique and private dining experiences in Alderbrooks Gathering Grove graciously hosted by the one and only culinary experts, Hook & Fork. The food and atmosphere were SO divine!
The challenge of planning a wedding amidst COVID-19 can be daunting, discouraging, and almost depressing. Yet there can be silver linings. Spreading out the experience into 2 chapters is a great option. Part 1: Adventure Elopement. Part 2: Reception Party next year. By satisfying an immediate need with an adventure elopement Val and Paul found new excitement exclusively focusing on just the two of them and reduced the stress of a larger wedding. They also now have the option of having something to look forward to next year. With adventure elopements, we are planning to hold a dedicated moment during the future reception to showcase a very special “wedding premiere” slideshow to music for all the guests as a substitute for not being at the ceremony. We believe this will help everyone emotionally connect with their wedding ceremony and put people into the mindset for a great reception party. So excited!
Photographers: Jos & Tree | Venue: Alderbrook Resort & Spa
Event Planners: Sway Events – serving Seattle & Puget Sound Area
Transportation: Northwest Seaplanes | Ceremony: Hope Island
Dinner: Alderbrook’s Gathering Grove | Culinary Adventure (a uniquely Pacific Northwest experience): Hook & Fork
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