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!

Bride and groom walking down a dock for an Alderbrook Elopement to a seaplane headed to Hope Island. Bride getting ready for her Alderbrook elopement and headed on a seaplane to Hope island to get married. Family and friends gathering around seaplane for an Alderbrook elopement and champagne toast send off to Hope Island. Friends and family champagne toast celebration for the bride and grooms Alderbrook elopement.Bride and groom walking down dock for their Alderbrook elopement before heading out on a seaplane to Hope Island for their ceremonyBride getting ready at Alderbrook on the ferry boat for her Alderbrook ElopementBride and groom on a seaplane for their Alderbrook elopement headed to Hope island. Bride and groom on a seaplane for their Alderbrook Elopementbride jumping off seaplane onto Hope Island during Alderbrook elopement Bride and Groom roshambo for who goes first for their wedding vows for their Alderbrook Elopement. Bride laughing during ceremony at their Alderbrook elopement Bride and groom exchanging rings during their Alderbrook elopement on Hope Island while taking a seaplane back to Alderbrook Resort and Spa. Groom spraying champagne during a toast for the bride and grooms Alderbrook Elopement on Hope Island while headed back to Alderbrook Resort and Spa Friends toasting for the bride and grooms Alderbrook Elopement on Hope Island while headed back to Alderbrook Resort and Spabride drinking from a champagne bottle after a ceremony on Hope islandBride and groom signing their wedding certificate on a seaplane wing on Hope Island for their Alderbrook Elopement. Bride and Groom walking on Hope Island together with a seaplane for their Alderbrook Elopement. Bride and Groom walking on a dock headed to the Gathering Grove for their dinner during their Alderbrook elopement. Bride and groom enjoying a moment at the Gathering Grove during their Alderbrook Elopement Gorgeous reception dinner in the Gathering Grove for family and friends during an Alderbrook Elopement. Bride and Groom laughing during their Gathering Grove reception dinner for their Alderbrook elopement Bride and Groom spraying champagne during their epic Alderbrook elopement reception.

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

Ambassador Affiliates: MagMod | Holdfast Gear | Visual Flow Lightroom Presets | SLR Lounge
Superfeel | Fundy Designer | DVLOP