Banff National Park Elopement
I mean… I’m not even sure where to begin with this elopement, sent over by the fantastic Brittany Esther. Ashley and Nick married atop the Canadian Rocky Mountains with only their photographer and the lodge receptionist as their witnesses. Not that you could miss it, but make sure you take a while to ogle over Ashley’s red wedding gown — we love her bold look to add some whimsy to the day!
Would you guess that my dress is actually from the 1960s? :) ! I found it in a vintage dress shop in Alameda, California :) (http://junipertreevintage.tumblr.com) I had always wanted to wear a red wedding dress as it’s my favorite color. I also always wanted to bare foot and in trees for my wedding…beyond that I hadn’t planned anything else. I was never one of those girls that planned each detail of her wedding. Ultimately, it was too cold for bare feet but luckily I had warm boots. :)
Nick and I’s relationship can be defined by serving others, adventure and living spontaneously. We actually met in Scottsdale, AZ where I am from, he was visiting the area with some friends. Two weeks after we met, I flew to Houston, TX to visit him. Although it sounded crazy to fly to a big city where I didn’t know anyone to visit a guy who I had only known 2 weeks, it actually felt surprising natural. After dealing with the distance for 6 months, I moved to Houston on Oct 1, 2011. It was almost exactly a year after I moved that we were married at Storm Mountain Lodge on Oct 5, 2012.
Nick proposed in Bali, Indonesia in May of this year, and we both agreed that we didn’t want a long engagement or a big wedding. We had seen so many brides and grooms so stressed out about the ceremony and reception that they couldn’t even enjoy their wedding day. We had visited Storm Mountain Lodge during a previous trip to Calgary in Nov. 2011. We were in Calgary for business and had a few hours before we flew home to go see the mountains. We stopped at Lake Louise, then at a souvenir shop to buy Christmas ornaments for our families. The lady working at the shop recommended we have lunch at Storm Mountain Lodge. The lunch was divine and so romantic sitting by the fireplace in the lodge. We had actually talked about how perfect that would be for a wedding.
Thus when we began our wedding planning we quickly realized we just wanted to run away and get married. It seemed like the perfect way for us to celebrate our love and commitment.
We both wanted to be outside in the trees so without hesitation we picked Storm Mountain Lodge. We asked Storm Mountain to provide references for wedding officials and photographers.
Our advice to couples who are considering elopement is to follow your heart and do what you want. We think the wedding is about the couple, not about everyone else. We did have a small party in AZ a few weeks after the elopement for friends and family as we did want to celebrate with those we love. Another thought that was so helpful to us was to limit our expectations. We made the plans and then just enjoyed each moment rather than creating stress around expecting everything to be perfect. We also kept the budget within what we wanted to spend. It’s easy to get caught up in spending lots of money for this one day. We prioritized where we wanted to spend more and where we would cut back. For example, my dress was a used vintage dress that only cost $100 when I could have easily spent thousands on a dress.
I would also recommend finding a really fantastic photographer to document your elopement. That way everyone can share in your love even if they weren’t there. This was one the most important pieces to our wedding day. Brittany was a wonderful asset not only as a our photographer but was also a witness. We are so very pleased with her talent and artistry.