Valerie had been living in Portland while finishing up a teaching job, while Alex was in Chicago, working as a research scientist. Long distance love is never an easy feat, and soon they would both finally be living together in the same state, where they both found jobs at the same university. Before leaving the Pacific Northwest, they wanted to capture it's beauty alongside their newly said vows. Of course, we can't document the Pacific Northwest without including a waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge! After making that first stop, it started sprinkling [in typical Oregon fashion, even though this was a summer day!]. Rule #1 when choosing an adventure elopement or session out in nature: things don't always go according to plan, and we cannot stress the importance of being prepared for all scenarios! Weather can change relatively quickly, and although we keep an eye on the weather, there is always an element of unpredictability. Since our second spot would be a gorgeous lookout near Mount Hood, we knew that it could be cold at that high elevation. Hiking boots on, backpacks and waterproof jackets in tow, we made our way out on the trail. We were greeted by tempestuous skies and a chill in the air. Much to our surprise, it started lightly snowing! It wasn't quite cold enough to stick, but definitely unexpected. The closer we got to the lookout, the foggier it became. There is something so mystical about fog; whispy clouds hugging the mountainside. But Valerie + Alex really wanted that epic view, and seeing as we were completely encased in clouds, it didn't seem like they would get it.
It's easy to be disappointed when something you've envisioned ends up not working out. You do all of the right things [who could have predicted such cold and stormy weather in the summer?!] and it may still not pan out. We find that mindset helps tremendously! It is ALL a part of the adventure. making your elopement something you will never forget. Unexpected snow on your elopement day? How's that for a great story! As soon as we got to the viewpoint, the clouds shifted, revealing the rich green tones of the tree-studded mountain slopes. Hey, it wasn't the golden hour summer elopement that may have been, but a foggy, moody mountain adventure. Still their day, and still absolute magic.