This elopement was nothing short of a poetic love story. I met the bride Kelsey as a venue coordinator herself at one of Floridas most sought after destination beach wedding locations so it was only fair that she have the same epic scene to promise her love. For this couple, the search for that scene brought them to the crystal blue lakes of Banff, Canada.
Having planned and designed weddings all over the globe I was honored and thrilled when they asked me to create this adventure for them in a place I too had never been.
The goal for our elopements is always to build up to the nuptials from the very start. To collect little memories along the way while we curate the moment when Kelsey and Chris promise their love to each other. We want to make that moment so moving and so incredible that that feel like the only two people in the world.
The itinerary most often begins with a trip to the neighborhood market to gather trinkets or nibbles for after ceremony dining. In this case we bought local honeys, cheeses and mead fr a picninc. Then we scout locations for the following days ceremony to be held followed by a spot for an intimate picnic and a final location for a shoot at sunrise to celebrate their new title as husband and wife.
For Kelsey and Chris we had planned a picnic for the two of them after their ceremony so after picking up the bouquet and boutonniere, thats what we were on the lookout for at the market as we made our way to Banff. Once we arrived, we searched for remote locations and encountered the local wildlife at one point coming across a heard of elk making their way up the mountains.
The river bank and dense forest made for a perfect little pre ceremony location to get the butterflies out and get everyone comfortable with each other. Unfortunately the area had had a terrible run in with wildfires making it almost impossible to see the mountain peeks the first two days we were there. We could only hope that it would clear out in time for the ceremony.
The morning of the ceremony the sun was out and the room filled with light so the team, Cody of Hunterryan Photo and Nicki and Christian of Fidelis Films and I began working on shooting and styling details. Since this was an elopement, the only real guest to the ceremony was the bride herself so I helped the groom create a beautiful invitation with Lorena with Script Me Pretty to invite his bride to join him in the mountains of Banff. I also try to create the design so that it reflects the environment the ceremony is to be in. For Banff, we went with a beautiful blue to resemble the color of the lake meeting the sky and accented it with a mustard yellow to bring out the joy that Kelsey has when she speaks about her love for Chris. We mixed in elements like leather and stone in the tags on their gifts to each other and their placards used for their sweet little lakeside picnic. Vow books were accented with the leather as well and raw deckled edged completed the rustic tone.
Just as we were on the last bit of details it began to pour outside and the entire house went dark. We were confident that this has to be a good sign and it certainly was. As soon as the rain subsided we opened the doors to a beautiful clear view of the mountain peeks. The rain had forced down the smoke and the sights were stunning. Kelsey and Chris helped each other get ready in the peacefulness that only the moments after a storm can provide and we headed out to Lake Moraine.
The ceremony was conducted by the groom himself and even included communion from his grandfathers set he brought with him from home. There wasn’t a dry eye while we captured the moment that Chris promised to buy their future daughter pearls on her wedding day just as he had bought his bride that morning.
The temperate was a very brisk 37 degrees but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the photos. They were in their own little world. A world were they were at the top of a mountain with the most glorious backdrop and they were husband and wife.
The evening ended with a sweet little lakeside picnic that I set for them as they enjoyed local treats found from the market and reflected on the last few hours spent together.
The next morning we retrieved the veil to catch the foggy intimate sunrise that Banff delivered that morning. Their first morning as husband and wife was captured in all its glory and the entire team was reeling from the experience.
Images by Hunterryan Photo