WHEW! Where to even begin for Lauren and Corey's intimate Cathedral Ledge Elopement? Besides them choosing the most stunning location, their wedding day was so intimate and perfect. Let me go into some details.
Are you looking to have a Cathedral ledge wedding? Hey, I'm Kelsey - a New Hampshire based elopement photographer. Click here to learn more about me!
Lauren and Corey were supposed to get married a little over a month ago, but with COVID-19, the plans had to shift a bit. While they were able to move their wedding to July 4th, they just didn't want to wait any longer. They decided to do the damn thing a month beforehand with just 5 of their friends/family members.
A few days before the elopement, Lauren sent me a note with some news. Unfortunately because of COVID, the Cathedral Ledge road was still closed. This put a little damper on the day but, being from New Hampshire, I know our people are pretty darn amazing. So I told Lauren, let me see if I can work some magic. I called the State Park and the nicest man, Alan, answered. I told him the deal - there would be 9 people total for 5pm. He made an executive decision that since it was so few people, he himself would let us through the gate. Alan became the elopement day saver! Yay for Alan.
Summer mountain elopement at Cathedral Ledge
Now for the actual day. I arrived to the Airbnb they rented and they were all getting ready. As soon as I walked in I honestly felt like I've known them all forever. Such an amazing friend group. A few of the key moments that I loved while they were getting ready were:
- Lauren bought adorable vow books from etsy. Such a great idea!
- Corey had to have Lauren help with his bow tie - but they weren't seeing eachother until the ceremony! So he had to close his eyes.
- The girls helped eachother with their hair and makeup and crushed it.
When it was time, we all drove to Cathedral ledge where Alan was awaiting our arrival. He let us through the gates and we drove all the way up. We then walked to the most perfect ceremony location overlooking the mountainous views. When we were all set up, it was time for Lauren to walk through the woods. It was so adorable watching Corey see her for the first time.
The ceremony was intimate and beautiful. They said their vows - which were so sweet, silly and filled with so much love. Then had their first kiss as a married couple! It was seriously beautiful.
Afterwards the two popped champagne, drank it with their peeps and celebrated the day. We took pictures then headed off to do some portraits where I really got to see their personalities come out. It's so important to me that photos tell the story of the couple and who they are together. And my gosh, they are such a mixture of overly in love plus so silly. Their Cathedral Ledge wedding was incredible, and I feel so lucky I got to document it.
Are you looking to have a Cathedral Ledge Wedding?
Getting married at Cathedral ledge is a perfect place to have an intimate ceremony and celebrate afterwards. Whether you are eloping with just the two of you, or even with your closest family and friends, there is plenty of space on the mountain. It has grand views, has an adventurous vibe, but still simple to drive up for those who can't hike.
However, you do need a few things to make it official if you plan to get married there. Here's what you need:
- You'll need a permit: At Cathedral Ledge, it is a state park, so you need a permit. Just simply call the New Hampshire National Park service and let them know. It's $100 for the permit and you can get it right in Conway! You may also need to make a reservation. You can contact them at the website information here. One thing to note is that if it is just the two of you, you can surpass the permit if you are just exchanging your vows. The permit is necessary if you have an officiant and/or have guests.
- An officiant: In New Hampshire, you need a licensed officiant to marry you for it to be legal. As an elopement photographer, I am also ordained and can sign off on your marriage license. Most couples love this since they want as little people there as possible. To understand who can marry you, head on over to my How to Elope in the White Mountains blog.
Take a look at my full guide on eloping in New Hampshire here.
"I literally cannot even express enough how amazing it was to work with Kelsey! My fiancé and I decided pretty last minute to elope a month before our big wedding day due to Covid, and my best friend got us “an hour” session with Kelsey as a wedding present. What we got was WAY more than that. Our first meeting with Kelsey was great, just over the phone, and she asked us to fill out a questionnaire for her - questions about us, our relationship, what we want to get out of the session, etc. All of our initial contact had me convinced that Kelsey very much cared about personalizing our experience and the photos of our day. Our plan was to get married on top of a mountain, but it turned out the gate to drive to the top was closed because of the pandemic, when it would normally be open. When I told Kelsey we would need to find a new spot, she provided some really good suggestions, but also took it upon herself to call the town and ask how we could get up there for the wedding because she knew it was so important to us. She arranged a time with a park ranger to open the gate and for us to get a permit. ABOVE AND BEYOND the call of duty and made a stressful experience so much easier! The day of the elopement went amazing. The pictures came out incredible. My fiancé and I were very comfortable being ourselves and really enjoyed Kelsey’s way of getting us into poses without making it look forced. I’ve never had so many professional photos that I liked!! She sent us a sampling of edited pictures that night (you can tell she’s really excited about her work)!! And then we had the whole gallery in less than 48 hours. Absolutely incredible, and I will recommend Kelsey to everyone I know from here on out!"
Cathedral Ledge elopement
review - Lauren + Corey
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