Pat and Meghan’s elopement was one of my absolute favorite mornings from this year. They booked me one month in advance for their sunrise hiking elopement in Banff, Alberta. That’s pretty short notice, but since they wanted to get married at the beginning of October, I wasn’t as busy as I often am earlier in the season, so was able to fit them in! We kept an eye on the weather as the day approached, and it was looking quite snowy. But, we don’t stop for the weather! And you’ll sure see why.
Me, my assistant, and Cole Hofstra, the officiant, met up with our clients in Lake Louise to catch the Moraine Lake Bus Company shuttle to the trailhead, at Moraine Lake. The only way to access this trailhead is by shuttle, and thankfully some shuttles travel super early! We caught ours at about 5am! The shuttle was great, and got us to the lake before we could even see a speck of light. As we started up the trail towards Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass, we were sprinkled with a continuous but light mist of rainy snow. We trudged on through the darkness.
It didn’t take us long to reach Larch Valley, where we could see that the larch trees were past the best of their colour. But that didn’t bother us because that’s not what we were there for. We were headed to Minnestimma Lake for the elopement ceremony. As we emerged into the open at the top of Larch Valley, we could faintly make out the 10 peaks to the south. However, they were mostly covered in clouds, which was a bit disappointing. Pat and Meghan started to get changed into their wedding attire, and we tried to decide what direction to shoot for the ceremony. The aim was to get the beautiful reflection of the peaks in the lake, but it wasn’t looking to promising.
We were about to start the ceremony on the opposite side of the lake, when we looked back one more time and were thrilled to see the clouds lifting from the mountains! Quickly, we walked to the other side of the lake, and were met with the most perfect moody reflection. Wow!! We stood in awe for a few minutes and I snapped a few photos. What luck! Cole started the ceremony and I was in complete awe as I photographed this beautiful moment. It really could not have been better! The ceremony was amazing, and Cole incorporated personal moments from their experience, making it emotional and funny. We even had crows flying overhead to witness this moment.
After the rings were exchanged and the papers signed, we headed up from the lake to Sentinel Pass. It was quite snowy, and the wind gusts were ferocious at times. We were hoping to make it to a lookout point above the pass for some sweet photos, but we decided to turn around early as it wasn’t safe to continue. On the way back down, we stopped in the larch trees to get some fallish photos, and then continued our hike back down to Moraine Lake.
Pat and Meghan met teaching English in Korea, and boy am I ever glad they did! I absolutely LOVED working with them, and I can’t wait for more sunrise hiking elopements like this next year, in Banff, Kananaskis, Canmore, or wherever your heart desires!