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SEPT 15, 2020



  • Angela Walsh

Paul and Catherine's Mt. St. Helens Elopement | Mindful Media Photography

Updated: Feb 19

Paul and Catherine reached out to me after getting frustrated trying to plan a full wedding during Covid. Unfortunately the story for a lot of couples of 2020. When they found out there was a different way to get married, they were all for it and wanted to do it in the place they met, Mt. St. Helens!

How they met, is a pretty great story! They were both hiking in the area when a big storm came and forced them into a random friends van to wait it out. Their two separate groups then conversed while they waited it out and Paul and Catherine talked the entire time! The connection was real and the adventure brought them together! Which is why this was the perfect place for them to say "I Do"!

The Elopement Day - (Half Day - 4 hour elopement)

Getting Ready

Paul and Catherine had just bought their dream sprinter van that they are planning on converting and really wanted to incorporate it in their day, so we scouted out the perfect place for them to do so and have a nice intimate location with a great backdrop to get ready in. Paul had created these awesome curtains to create privacy and was to get dress first. Once he was dressed, he then came outside while Catherine got ready in the van. While she was getting ready we took some pics and looked around for the perfect first look location. We found the perfect spot and captured such a beautiful moment!

A bride touching the shoulder of her groom for their first look at their Mt. St. Helen's elopement

The Ceremony

After the first look, we then drove down to our first hiking location to meet the family for the ceremony. It was a small hike with a nice paved path with many lookouts to choose from. Paul and Catherine really wanted to have some of the family involved in their day, so they invited their parents and siblings for the intimate ceremony. My husband then proceeded with a beautiful ceremony with the snowy mountain backdrop and then went straight into a first dance for the two of them. I'm so glad the sun had come out this day as it was absolutely perfect! The day before the mountains were completely covered in fog!

A intimate wedding ceremony in front of a snowy backdrop at Mt. St. Helens for an elopement

The Reception Cake Cutting / Champagne

After the ceremony the family took pictures and then hiked back to the parking lot where there were picnic tables available to have a small reception. They first started by signing their marriage license while their sister set up the wedding cake and champagne toast. I love how they had a mini wedding cake made special for their adventure wedding! They proceeded to do a cake cutting and shared a few toast and then said their good byes to the family for the day. It was off to an adventure hike for the couple!

A bride and groom cutting a small mountain cake for their reception for their Mt. St. Helens Elopement

The Adventure Hike!

It was time to adventure! Paul and Katie had met because of a hiking trip so it was only fitting that they incorporated a hike into their elopement day! In April the trails around Mt. St. Helen's are a bit limited, but there was an absolutely beautiful spot that is open all year round that fit their needs perfectly! The hike was a shorter one, about 1 mile in and 1 mile back. We hiked in and set up a picnic to have a little breather from the hike. We found an amazing spot overlooking Mt. St. Helens with panoramic mountain views and set up the picnic there. It was also the perfect place for a champagne toast and some pictures so we we spent some time at this location. As we were getting closer to sunset, I recommended that we go to this amazing vista point that was on the way out of the park and grab some epic sunset pictures to top off the already amazing day! We got there just in time for the perfect lighting! Paul and Catherine had said that they never had seen the park this late in the day so it was a very special moment for them and the perfect way to end the elopement.

I'm so glad we got to be a part of Paul and Catherines special day and adventure in such a beautiful place. For some reason it is not one of the top "popular" Adventure Elopement locations in the US but for that reason it was even more special as the crowds were limited and the privacy perfect! Ultimately unique for this couple. Shh, let's keep this hidden gem on the down low 😉

A bride and groom popping their champagne for a toast in front of Mt. St. Helens for their elopement

A bride and groom standing in front of the sun going down holding each other in front of the mountain backdrop in Mt. St. Helens

A bride standing behind her groom looking up at him in front of a mountain sunset for their Mt. St. Helens elopement

A bride and grooms backpacks laying on the ground with their Just Married signs and personalized wedding sige with their date on it in front of Mt. St. Helens for their elopement

A bride putting on her hiking shoes in her wedding dress in her conversion van getting ready for her Mt. St. Helens elopement

A bride and groom walking to their sprinter van in front of the mountains

A mountain wedding cake with a topper that says Mr. and Mrs with a bride and groom kissing with a mountain backdrop

A bride and groom kissing in front of Mt. St. Helens for their elopement day

A bride and groom hiking in their wedding attire with hiking backpacks that have signs that say Just Married overlooking Mt. St. Helens Mountain

A bride standing behind her groom looking up at him in front of the mountain sunset for their Mt. St. Helens elopement

A groom running with his bride in front of Mt. St. Helens for their elopement

A bride and groom holding each other with their foreheads together and a mountain backdrop of Mt. St Helens

A bride and groom having a picnic in front of Mt. St. Helen's  with their hiking packs on the ground

If a Mount Saint Helens Elopement is something you would be interested in us helping you with please contact us here! We would love to chat!

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