October 18, 2023
When Erin reached out to me about photographing her and Frank’s mountain elopement, I did a little happy dance. Okay, so it was a big happy dance. I met them through my husband, at a faculty retreat. They all work at the same university. When they announced their engagement and plans to elope in the mountains, I wanted so badly to photograph it. Then she messaged me and I jumped for joy!
Their mountain elopement took place at Hanging Rock State Park in North Carolina. I did so much research for different photos and locations, and my silly Florida girl self thought a mile and a half hike wouldn’t be a big deal. Ha! Allow me to explain how silly I am.
We didn’t even get to the longest trail. The elopement took place at Hidden Falls, which was only .4 miles. Downhill, which was very nice. It was sixty five degrees, and considering back in Florida it was eighty, I was feeling good! Their elopement was gorgeous and their vows made me tear up. Once the license was signed, it was time for photos! We took a couple there, then headed over to an overlook not too far away. I was blown away!!! Absolute gorgeous and everything I was hoping for with a mountain elopement.
Then we had to hike back uphill to get back to the visitor center, so we could do another trail. It was only .4 miles, how hard could it be?
I was wrong. So wrong. My very used-to-Florida body seriously misunderstood how elevation and altitude change a hiking experience. While I made it up the trail, we definitely had to take a pit stop to hydrate and eat some energy boosting snacks. A cold banana out of a cooler has never tasted so good.
Note to Self: When doing another mountain elopement, wear better shoes.
Once we were refreshed and ready to go, we did the Upper Cascade Falls trail. It was a smaller hike, and the perfect length to finish out the day.
Despite being unprepared for the hike, I had the most amazing time! Frank and Erin were gorgeous, so in love, and such a fun couple! The weather was beautiful, especial for mid-day sun. I fell in love with all of the colors, the absolutely breathtaking view, and the intimacy and simplicity of elopements. It was SO worth the drive and the hike!