I helped Marissa and Mitch plan a winter adventure elopement in Redwoods National Park near Crescent City, California. They had been engaged for a couple of years and finally decided to elope in December. Like many of my couples last year they had to change their original wedding plans due to Covid, but they realized having a day to focus on themselves in a magical forest was what they always wanted.
We started with getting ready photos at their Airbnb overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was a bright, cheery place with incredible views of the sea. Marissa’s Mom and her Aunt were able to join the celebration, but Mitch’s family wasn’t able to travel due to health concerns. It was hard for him to get married without his family, so they decided to do a video call while he was getting ready. It was so sweet and you could really see how important it was that he took the time to do that with his family on such an important day. Thank goodness for the incredible technology at our fingertips that helps us connect with loved ones. Especially these days.
After they were done getting ready we headed to the Redwoods! It was their first time seeing these massive trees and seeing the shock on their faces was incredible. They were in awe and completely loved the experience. We chose an easy trail along the Smith River that ends at an incredible Redwoods grove. It is absolutely perfect for elopement ceremonies.
After getting ready photos we were off to the Redwoods! They were staying in Crescent City so we had a quick drive to the trailhead. This is a great place to stay if you don’t want to do a lot of driving on your elopement day. There are also a lot of cabin rentals along the Smith River and campgrounds inside the park. Brookings is also a great option for this area…it’s just a little farther away on the edge of the border in Oregon.
When we arrived at the ceremony location we started with a few getting ready photos of Marissa so she could hike in without getting her dress dirty. It’s a quick hike but can be a little muddy during the winter months. Then we did a first look so they could enjoy a private moment together before the ceremony. It was such a magical spot for those first look feels.
Another highlight of their day was when we encountered a woman hiking with her friend while we were exploring after their ceremony. She was so happy for Marissa and Mitch and handed them a piece of foil with excitement. We were a little confused and weren’t sure what was inside. They opened the little present together and it was a $100 bill! We called her “the magical trail fairy.” It was a wonderful surprise and they were gitty with excitement!
After we explored the magical forest we headed to the beach. We found an amazing spot in Crescent City near the Airbnb cottage and they enjoyed their first sunset as hubby and wifey! It was a perfect way to end their elopement day.
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