Sunset Shenandoah Elopement

Virginia Elopemnt Photographer

Shenandoah Elopement: Kathryn & Chase's Mountain Love Story

Shenandoah National Park ElopementSeptember 9th, 2023, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

It was a perfect fall day. The humidity had chilled out, and there was a slight drizzle an hour before the ceremony, which made for a perfect fall evening.

The foliage just started to pop in Shenandoah! And I was prepared to follow Kathryn and Chase on their intimate elopement.

I’d hiked to the ceremony spot an hour before they got there, to scope everything out.

(Just one way I serve my clients, and bring my” A-game” for them)

At the top of Shenandoah National Park, right between Rattlesnake Point Overlook and Matthew’s Arm Campground lies the Tuscarora Overall Run Trail.

This secluded trail off of the AT is where Chase and Kathryn took their first hike together and fell in love. Since then, they have had a child, and decided to devote their lived to each other.

Nestled in a car park across from the trail, we nailed down some beautiful family and couples portraits, then began the journey to the ceremony spot.

Shenandoah Intimate Elopement

Mom, wearing flats asked me “Are these going to be ok for hiking up there?.

Ummm. I would bring hiking boots if you have them, I replied.

“But we’re not going to get feet in the photos then?” Mom replied.

“Correct”, I re-assured her.

Elopements are a blast! But they are meant for nice shoes once, until you are at certain locations for portraits.

We can’t have anyone rolling an ankle on the way to the ceremony.

At the peak of the trail stands a grand rock surrounded by bloomin’ trees, overlooking a breathtaking valley.. 

The trek to the ceremony spot amplifies the journey Chase and Kathryn’s have been on together and showcases their love for each other perfectly. I mean you’d climb a mountain for your partner right? You know? That whole “through sickness and health, through thick and thin part.”

Shenandoah Wedding Videographer

The hike up and down was one of my favorite parts. Not only because I got to sprint ahead of the couple to get images, and got my workout in for the day. But because they brought lanterns!

Lanterns! Love! And more lanterns! 

Oh, how I love some moody elopement photos with lanterns!

Shenandoah Elopement Videographer

As the sun began its descent, painting the sky with hues of orange, and purple, the couple’s parents ordained the ceremony. 

It was raw, heartfelt, and real. 

Chase’s Mom, balling her eyes out gave a heartfelt speech about love, commitment, and the journey ahead. 

Sunset Shenandoah Elopement

The air was thick with emotion as Chase expressed his love for Kathryn and their child, building an amazing life together. And as the sun kissed the horizon goodbye, Kathryn’s father presented the couple with their wedding rings, sealing their vows.

But the magic didn’t end there. As dusk morphed into night, the newlyweds began their descent, their path illuminated by their radiant love and, of course, those sick lanterns. 

Front Royal Elopement

Funny Story: We lost the parents on the way down, and had to wait for them in the dark car park. No one had cell service so we had to find the parents the old fashioned way, by waiting for them to find their way back in the dark.

But that time waiting in the dark, allowed me to whip out my flashes and take some moody portraits in front of their car headlights.

Shenandoah Intimate Elopement 

For those considering a similar adventure, one of the perks of such an intimate gathering in Shenandoah National Park is the absence of the need for permits for smaller parties. Kathryn and Chase’s elopement, with fewer than 15 attendees, was a testimony to the fact that sometimes, love just needs nature as its witness.

Eloping is more than just saying vows; it’s about capturing the essence of a couple’s journey. And for Kathryn and Chase, Shenandoah National Park will forever be etched in their love story, a place where two paths converged into one, both in love and life.

Shenandoah Elopement

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