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Grand Teton National Park Elopement

 head due north

Eloping is about doing exactly what you want on your wedding day–no matter what that looks like to you. 

Hiking a few miles in your wedding attire? Sure. Having a family-included ceremony in a stunning outdoor setting? Absolutely. Rafting on an alpine lake, eating pastries in the parking lot, saying private vows, and having a reception at an amazing restaurant right after a Grand Teton National Park elopement?  Of course. 

For Rachel and CJ, their dream elopement day actually looked exactly like that–and they managed to scramble all over the Grand Teton National Park in one day to fit it all in. 

For both of them, it was truly important to have private, secluded moments together where they could sit back and soak up the reality of getting married. They wanted chances to slow down, do what they love together, and embrace a day designed exactly for them.

But they wanted to include their closest friends and family, too. 

A groom awaits the first look with his soon-to-be wife during their Grand Teton National Park elopement.

A bride and groom, standing in front of the Grand Tetons during alpineglow, say their vows during their Grand Teton National Park Elopement.

Rachel and CJ created a unique elopement experience–one that so beautifully blended alone time and celebration with loved ones it almost felt like every wedding had always happened this way. 

They began their day with just the two of them right before the sun came up. 

I met them at their Airbnb in Wyoming, just outside the Grand Teton National Park. They each got ready as secretly as they could in their small space. Rachel put on a large coat to hide her dress while we scurried off to a gorgeous spot for their first look. 

We found a breathtaking spot with the gorgeous Tetons in the background. As the sun came up, the alpenglow took full effect. As Rachel and CJ had their first look, the first glimpses of golden-pink light were stretching out over the mountains, illuminating them in a glow that felt other-worldly. 

They immediately started their private ceremony, sharing their vows with each other in total seclusion. 

A bride and groom have a private ceremony in front of the Grand Tetons during their national park elopement.

After their private ceremony, we piled in our cars and headed over to their second ceremony–one that included their family and friends at Snake River Overlook. Before the ceremony began, Rachel had another first look–this time with her mom and dad. As she removed that large coat again, tears started forming in her dad’s eyes. It was a touching, sweet moment that I could tell was so special for not just Rachel but for her parents, too. 

Her dad took her arm and walked her down the overlook aisle. One of their dear friends officiated their short but incredibly sweet second ceremony. Then, two other friends signed their marriage license as witnesses. 

A bride and groom share their vows in front of their family and friends during their Grand Teton National park elopement.

A father walks his daughter down the aisle during her Grand Teton National Park elopement ceremony.

Rachel and CJ took the parking lot to pop champagne for breakfast mimosas with their family; they opened up boxes of delicious pastries and had a makeshift party right there in the parking lot. They took a little time together, hugging their families, spending time with their loved ones, and fueling up for the next epic part of their day.

They waved goodbye to their guests and set off for another just-them part of the day–a hike up to the Teton’s gorgeous Taggart Lake. Before the hike, Rachel and CJ changed out of their wedding attire, donning some hiking gear, and packing up packraft paddles into their backpacks for the way up. 

The hike up was intense, but once we got to Taggart Lake, Rachel and CJ–who both love hiking and being active–agreed the effort was worth every moment of incline. They made some quick snacks, ate some sandwiches, and got ready to explore the gorgeous lake. 

A bride and groom explore Taggart Lake in Wyoming during their grand teton national park elopement.

Rachel and CJ changed back into their wedding attire so they could snap some more memorable photos together in their surreal elopement location. They were in awe–but they weren’t the only ones. 

One of the only people we saw on that day hiked up to us and asked if they could snap a picture of Rachel and CJ–otherwise, no one would ever believe what he saw all the way up on this hike. Rachel and CJ, too sweet to say no, obliged for a quick photo in their wedding attire. But after that, it was time to do what they came there to do–blow up the Kokopelli pack rafts and explore the lake in a totally different way.

They climbed into their rafts–wedding attire and all–and kayaked out to their hearts’ content, exploring the lake, laughing together, and enjoying every second of the moment together. Before long, though, it was time to paddle back in and head back down the trail–their family and friends had set up a stunning spread and reception at The Kitchen in Jackson, WY. 

CJ and Rachel are proof–the perfectly balanced wedding day does exist. They didn’t compromise a single thing, did every just-them thing they wanted, and got to celebrate alongside their loved ones as much as they wanted. 


Join the Facebook Community, Mindful Elopements, filled with free resources, free videos, engaging conversations and questions, and other couples that are exactly like you, in the same place, trying to book an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer.



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Alex, Coastal Elopement

"We loved our experience having Marcela as our elopement day photographer.

What was even more special about our experience was her ability to set us at ease months before our day. Through constant communication leading up to, and during, the day we got eloped. Her personality is that, in just four days time, we felt as if we've known her for years. 

Ah, but you're wondering about her photos. We loved every thing about them especially the raw emotion captured in many of the shots."

Caitlin, Alpine Lake Elopement

"My husband and I have been trying to put into words how simply amazing working with Marcela was.

From the start we could tell she truly cared about us, our relationship, and our story. She asked us so many questions, valued what we wanted, and kept up with the ever changing plans that came along with planning a wedding.

She made us feel so comfortable, made us laugh till we cried, and captured our true wholesome love for each other."

"We loved every moment of the day she helped create. Marcela was the perfect photographer for our adventure elopement! She worked tirelessly to make our adventure into marriage happen after our first options were snowed in! Great Sand Dunes felt like the perfect unique place for two Floridians who met in the mountains.

She made us comfortable to be ourselves throughout the whole day while making her job look effortless and fun. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, laughing and a few tears.

Marcela captured every precious moment! Her photography is absolutely stunning every way! I highly recommend Marcela for your elopement or wedding!"

Lauren, Sand Dunes Elopement

Amy, Forest Elopement

"Instead of telling us how to pose or interact with each other, Marcela gave us prompts that seemed simple but made a huge difference.

She asked us to talk about our first date. We discussed the weirdest things we loved about each other (which made us laugh) and how we could fulfill each other’s love languages. Amy and I played games with each other and Marcela captured the energy that happened naturally between us.

I love this shoot because it perfectly captures the love we share. It’s incredible to see that love and admiration encapsulated in a photo! Thank you for this!"

Chris, Anniversary Session

"The photos we just got back from Marcela are giving me CHILLS!! They are absolutely stunning!!!

She did SO MUCH more than just photograph us — she created special moments that I’ll cherish forever. She encouraged Con & I to genuinely interact & share intimate moments together. She prompted us to tell each other things that we love about one other, ways that the other person inspires us, & how being together has positively changed us.

It was more than just a beach shoot. We ended up giving each other precious, heart melting encouragement & that makes these photos all the more treasured to me."

Andrea, Red Rocks Elopement

"We had a pre-meet with her before the big day which definitely helped me feel more relaxed going into the wedding day. She gave us great suggestions and things to think about to be ready with on the wedding. On the day of she showed up early to help scope out the venue. She was creative to try and pull extra joy into our photographs.

When I look at these photos I see more than just beautiful images. I feel the moments that Marcela helped us experience and the connection we had.

I can't thank Marcela enough! We will treasure these moments forever!"

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