A Romantic Elopement in the Woods: Laura + Nick

elopement in the woods

There is something so idyllic + romantic about elopements and the thought of exchanging your vows surrounded by nature. Laura + Nick were married in a sentimental, private ceremony in the forest, led by a close friend. I love the reason behind why they decided to elope:

When Nick and I started planning our wedding, we knew we wanted something in nature and completely unique. We both love the outdoors and lead a pretty active lifestyle and wanted our wedding to reflect that. I had always dreamed of having a large Pinterest-perfect affair and never thought I would even entertain the idea of eloping. But inevitably, after realizing the immense social and financial strain that wedding planning was sure to become, Nick and I decided on a planned elopement at one of our favorite hiking spots: a mountain called Rattlesnake Ridge, nestled amongst the Cascade mountain range near our home in Seattle. We both have a ton of friends and family members and knew we would be distracted from one another on our wedding day if we invited everyone, so we decided to go a more selfish route and make things completely about us and not invite anyone – thankfully, with the support of our loved ones. I am SO glad we did. I would not trade the incredibly intimate day we enjoyed for anything in the world.

Thanks so much to Benj Haisch for letting me share these stunning photos and congrats to Laura + Nick for staying true to themselves.

elopement in the woods

first look

elopement in the woods

woodsy bouquet

elopement in the woods

We met at the base of the mountain to say our vows, and shared a very intimate 45 minute long ceremony in the forest. Then Nick and I hiked to the top of the mountain for pictures (yes, we both wore boots!) for a truly spectacular moment. We had no decorations other than the beauty of the forest surrounding us, and my only accessories were my headpiece and bouquet. The entire day was stripped down and incredible serene and romantic. We felt like Adam and Eve walking with God in the Garden of Eden.

elopement in the woods

elopement in the woods

vows in the woods

vows in the woods



ceremony kiss

elopement in the woods

elopement in the woods

elopement in the woods

elopement in the woods

elopement in the woods

elopement in the woods

mustard bow tie

elopement in the woods

elopement in the woods

elopement in the woods

elopement in the woods

Each detail from the day is perfectly cemented in my memory, which is the best part about eloping - you truly can focus on your new spouse and not attend to anyone or anything else. For me, the best moment of the day was reaching the top of the mountain after hiking for over an hour in my dress. The exact moment we reached the top, a thunderstorm broke out and large raindrops began to fall from the sky... like that scene from the Notebook, only better. Yes we got drenched, but it was worth it! It was as if the mountains surrounding us had broken out into a standing ovation - a truly spectacular moment that was a perfect gift from God.

lake elopement

bride and groom

lake elopement

lake elopement

lake elopement

free people wedding dress

What’s more amazing, Laura’s gorge dress from Free People or the view?

lake elopement

lake elopement

lake elopement

lake elopement

There are so many sweet moments captured in their wedding video by Janssen Powers Media.

I never thought I would want to elope, but I'm 100% glad I did and will never regret it. If you're considering eloping, DO IT! Your friends and family will come around - it's supposed to be about you and your new spouse anyway! Not having to worry about finances is a huge plus as well - we decided to use the money we would have spent on a wedding towards two honeymoons! Also, two days after our wedding, Nick and I met up with our parents, siblings and grandparents for a dinner in San Francisco for a small, intimate reception which was a great way to make our families feel included but still kept our special day just about us.

photography: Benj Haisch Photography – see more from this wedding on his blog // videography: Janssen Powers Media // location: Rattlesnake Ridge North Bend, Washington // floral design: Ballard Blossom // wedding dress: Mara Hoffman for Free People // hairpiece: Twigs & Honey // shoes: Steve Madden // hair + makeup: Janae Allanson – makeupbyjanae@gmail.com // groom suit + bow tie: Imperial Motion, Anna Runa

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  1. Good lord, this is GORGEOUS!!! Congrats :)

  2. i’m in total awe of the scenery. absolutely amazing.

  3. These are the most beautiful photos!

  4. Absolutely magical. It is clear that you two were completely in the moment with each other. It truly was all about the two of you creating a day/bond/promise that would be forever YOURS. I just love it. Congratulations! And cheers to the beauty of real love.

  5. So cool! My husband and I hiked here when we visited Seattle. So neat to see how they used that location.

  6. Amazing! So beautifully captured. Congrats Nick+Laura

  7. Absolutely love this post! Feel so blessed to live in Washington state!

  8. What a spectacular set of wedding photos. That’s mastery and vision at their finest. You captured this couple in an awesome setting, and yet, they remain the indisputable core of each photo. Terrific job.

  9. What a gorgeous setting for a wedding! I’ll bet it was an event to remember.

  10. So incredible! Wonderful work Benj!

  11. Wow these are almost unrealistically amazing!!! Ohmygoodness. That hair grab hug at the alter was darling and so TRUE. And the scenic photo of the bride? HELLO. What bride wouldn’t want a photo of herself like that? These are some truly inspiring images. Great work, Benj!

  12. wow, this is just incredible. The images are just unreal, love it.

  13. the most beautiful depiction of love I have ever seen. opened my eyes to the concept of creating your own rules. congratulations to the newly weds!

  14. Superbe, j’aime beaucoup!

  15. Wow! Gorgeous location, beautiful couple and amazingly unique and romantic. Makes me want to get married all over again and elope somewhere surrounded by the beauty of nature!

  16. Hi Laura + Nick,
    Can I ask what day you two eloped? We are looking into a park elopement or wedding (still undecided) somewhere in the Snoqualmie/Mt. Baker Nat’l Forrest, and yours is so inspiring. Rattlesnake Ridge is usually SO busy though! Any insight or advice would be incredibly appreciated! Thanks, Kelly

    • Hi Kelly!
      Congratulations, and thanks for the kind words! We got married on Thursday, May 16th. There was almost nobody on the mountain, and as you can see in the video, it started pouring once we were at the top so anybody that was there quickly left – it was such an amazingly surreal day. You’re right though, Rattlesnake is usually very crowded. Not doing it on a weekend like we did will help! Best of luck!
      xo, Laura

  17. Hi Laura,

    Whats the song that was played throughout your video?


  18. Kelly,
    What is the name of that free people dress in in love!

  19. That video was superb. So beautiful and moving emotionally…what a special wedding to be a part of. Congrats to the couple!

  20. Courtney @ Sweetchic on:

    Wow!! All the emotion and beauty in these photos will have everyone wanting to elope! So beautiful!

  21. Stunning and so romantic!! I have been searching for this dress for our elopement and cannot find it anywhere. Do you know where I could find it or are you possibly selling yours?

  22. This elopement is incredible! Congratulations to the beautiful couple.

  23. This is the only wedding post I have ever seen online of two people I don’t know that had me start to tear up.

  24. I fell in love!. To document moments like this is why I want to live for!!, Thank you God!, and thank you GWS for sharing ;)

  25. That dress! His reactions! Absolutely priceless and such a stunning wedding

  26. OMG! when i saw this the first thing i thought of was fairytale. not the fairytales we read as children but a more grown up version? anyways this is amazing!!

  27. THIS is the wedding I wanted for myself. We’ll be adding an office in the Pacific Northwest next year and I have been just dying to shoot on Rattlesnake ridge. I read about it in an adventure magazine, and the work the photographer and cinematographer did on this wedding is just more than I ever dreamed that place to be like. Which is exactly how every wedding should feel before-during-afterwards. Pure magic. Wonderful day- and a wonderful life to both of you!

  28. that dress is AMAZING!! went to the Free People website link and could not find it :(

  29. Oh my God!!!! I’ve been crying since he saw you for the first time in the video…..soooooo sincere! My dream wedding) I’m from Ukraine and wish I could have the same wedding!!!!!

  30. That was absolutely beautiful! Congratulations!

  31. Wow! The setting is stunning! The photographer has done a superb job with making the most of the awesome setting :) I love the way they have adjusted of depth of focus for dramatic effect. The photos on the cliff rock are very cool.

  32. this is just gorgeous – exactly what i would like to do for my special day! & where in the world did you get that gorgeous dress? im completely in awe over it

  33. Absolutely love the images in the forest. The image near the edge of the cliff gives me the eby jeebies:-)

  34. Hi Laura,
    Congratulations! You have inspired me to want to change my wedding into something like what you did. It’s AMAZING!! I can’t stop thinking about doing our wedding like this. ..But I have to ask, did you not regret not being able to take photographs with family and friends like one would do at any traditional wedding??

  35. First and Foremost Congratulations to the two of you. May you have a life filled with eternal love and happiness. Your wedding video was absolutely magical.. It gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. This to me is a picture of true love, and makes me strongly believe more so than ever in our choice to elope.

  36. Rattlesnake!!! Ahhhh my first love in hiking! Everything is absolutely beautiful and Benj Heisch is soooo talented!

  37. Beautiful photoshoot! A lots of inspiration and positive energy!

  38. I am in love with your wedding! Where did you find your dress?

  39. I saw this story back in October about a month after I got engaged. I’m getting married in August and having a small wedding with about 30 people. I’ve always wanted to elope, but never took it seriously because I knew my fiancé would never go for it. I think about this story often and if I could go back and redo my wedding planning I would 100% have been more out spoken about doing something like this. This is my dream wedding and I’m fairly disappointed I won’t have something like this, especially because there has been so much drama surrounding my wedding planning. If I hadn’t already bought my dress, put deposits on the venue and church, and asked the wedding party to be bridesmaids/groomsmen… I would ditch the plan and totally elope. hmmph. At least I still get the end result.. an awesome husbby to spend my life with :)

  40. Watching this made me teary! Such a beautiful and emotional wedding! Congratulations!! :)

  41. How did you get Jim Gaffigan to officiate? I didn’t even know he was ordained!

  42. Moved me with their heart … as deep as the soul!


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