So when preparing to write this Ecola State Park elopement I knew it was going to be a long one. When I write these blog post I really like to talk about the planning and events that brought us to our final story and this elopement has quite a story. In the 3.5 years of being full-time, I never thought a natural disaster would mess up a wedding or elopement, I would be hired to document but this year showed me that if I am to be an elopement photographer there is a high chance either the weather or say a forest fire could change plans very quickly.
To understand we need to start back in April of this year when Velvet & Neal reached out to me they were looking to elope at the beautiful Wahclella Falls in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. Since doing our styled shoot in July 2016 at Wahclella Falls I have gotten quite a few inquiries for elopement or shoots at the now famous waterfall. Even in June this year I did a small wedding at Wahclella so when Velvet & Neal hired me I felt quite confident I could create something beautiful for them as well. As the summer went on we continued to plan not knowing that just the weekend before the big day all our planning would be changed and a whole new elopement would be planned.
If you are local you know August came this year and so did the fires. It got so bad here in the PNW that we had smoke from BC fires and fires from the east side of our state just sitting over the whole Puget Sound area we felt like we lived in LA and at points the air quality was very unhealthy. So when I got an email from Velvet that there was a fire near the Columbia River Gorge I didn’t think much of it because there was NO way affect where we were going to be, OH how I was so wrong. On Saturday of Labor Day weekend, two teens decided to have some fun with fireworks near the Eagle Creek Trail starting a fire that not only destroyed thousands of acres of trees and landscape but also trapped hikers and threaded homes and business all around the Columbia River Gorge area. The Eagle Creek Fire as it became to be called totally changed the landscape of the entire area breaking so many hearts and affecting so many people who love that area of the PNW including myself.
It became clear that the fire wasn’t anything little and was a pretty big deal, Velvet & Neal and us the 3 vendors all part of this elopement got to work on looking for a new location for the couple to get married at. Since the couple wasn’t from our area they relied on us to help find new locations that would work. Knowing that a waterfall was out of the question we talked them into looking at the coast, specifically the northern Oregon coast near Cannon Beach. I personally think this part of Oregon is one of the prettiest places in the world and it’s one of my favorite places to visit. After a few last-minute changes, we decided that Cannon Beach area offered the most variety and the couple would look for a specific location the day before the big day.
So the day before I headed down to the Oregon coast very early so I could scout and help come up with some ideas for ceremony and photo spots. I check out one location but then headed over to Ecola State Park which I absolutely fell in love with and knew it should be where they got married. While I was scouting I ran into Velvet and Neal which was very exciting to finally meet them in person since we had only had Skype and phone meetings up until that point. After looking at a few different spots we finally found the perfect location for their ceremony and a few spots for photos afterward within Ecola State Park.
The next morning very early we all met at the couple’s condo, Velvet got her hair and makeup done and I stayed behind to help her get into her dress while Neal and everyone else headed to the location so that the first time Neal saw Velvet in her dress would be right before the ceremony. The weather was foggy and cool such a perfect PNW day especially for the coast it was perfect! After their ceremony, Jonathan of Atelier Pictures and I did the couples photos and documented them cutting their cake & getting their wedding lunch pizza.
Guys seriously this elopement was such an awesome day and I love getting to be part of these more intimate ceremonies where I really get to know my couples. I would love to do another Ecola State Park elopement or another location on the Oregon coast including Haystack Rock. And congratulations to Velvet and Neal I seriously feel like I share almost all your photos because I love that many of them!
Location: Ecola State Park
Officiant: Loretta Rossini Wedding Officiant
Videographer: Atelier Pictures
Floral Designer: Floral Sunshine
Photographer: Jenny Storment Photography
If you are interested in hiring me for an Ecola State park elopement or another Oregon coast please feel free to check out my elopement packages HERE.