So stoked to be sharing Alyssa and Ian's Winter Elopement in Acadia National Park!! These two sweethearts planned their romantic (and chilly) adventure elopement for late February of this year (hellloooo 2/22/22). We bundled up and frolicked around the winter wonderland that Acadia becomes; and had the best day commemorating their love in the place they actually first met!!
They were introduced through mutual friends and the first time they met was on a hike in Acadia (how perfect is that!?) They immediately hit it off and have been together ever since. While Alyssa is originally from California (and Ian from Massachusetts) she headed over to the east coast to go to school, and fell in love with the all the seasons New England has to offer, particularly Winter! So it was naturally fitting that they chose February for their elopement month! While they were originally thinking of planning an international elopement, with the craziness of travel they ended up deciding on going with somewhere close by. And what better than to go back to the park that they originally met in. Thus came forth their plan for a dreamy winter elopement in Acadia National Park!
Sunrise Ceremony Hike
Alyssa and Ian really envisioned a fun, full elopement day; filled with as much adventure as they could fit in. So that is what they did! We got started before the sun was even up, hiking gear in tow! We set out on an icy trail (crampon spike 100% necessary for our shoes!) and had the place all to ourselves!
Once we got to the viewpoint it was time to get dressed. They changed out of the hiking layers and into their wedding attire separately so they could do a first look. Alyssa had this GORGEOUS hand-dyed blue, ombre wedding dress that made her look like a regal ice princess! Ian was so surprised, and they shared the sweetest first look on the rocks overlooking the ocean.
After they shared a few moments soaking in the views and swooning over how amazing they both looked, we went headed into the tree covering. While it wasn't too terribly cold of a day considering, it was very windy and there was a storm rolling in. The trees helped shelter us a little from the wind chill, and made it easier for them to have the intimate vow ceremony they dreamed of.
Sunrise Ceremony in the Trees
They wanted a really intimate and intentional ceremony, which they totally got! There's something amazing about saying your vows in a totally secluded area, no one else around, just you speaking your heart straight to your partner. They wrote their own vows, and I got to sign their marriage license, which was such an honor. A lot of people don't realize but you can completely customize your ceremony and make your vows totally unique to you. You don't have to repeat the old traditional vows, but rather speak from your heart and commit the words that mean the most to you.
After the intimate and windy ceremony on the coast, we enjoyed the views, took a few portraits, and then headed down the trail. We headed to another lookout point at the bottom of the cliffs where they popped champagne before heading back to their bed and breakfast for a little break.
Back at their lodging they shared a wonderful breakfast and had time to freshen up. The wonderful thing about a full day elopement is you get the chance to rest and re-feed, rather than rushing around sticking to someone else's timeline! Alyssa got her hair and makeup done, and they went and got their marriage certificate in town. Something great about Maine is there is no longer a waiting period from the time your marriage license is issued until your wedding can take place. So you can get it the very same day you say I do! And if you don't have any guests you can have anyone be a witness, like a fellow hiker, or someone at your hotel.
Getting Ready for Elopement day Part II
After a delicious lunch in town, we headed out to do some more exploring, in new and some old favorite areas. Alyssa and Ian had a couple of spots they loved, and then they chose some spots from my location guide. We went to the romantic Wild Gardens which has this lovely boardwalk surrounded by trees. It was super icy but absolutely gorgeous! Then we hit up Jordan's pond next for more portraits in the winter landscape. It was so beautiful all frozen over and we barely saw anyone else out there!
We ended the day at a secret location of mine on the cliffs. It was such a romantic ending to the perfect winter elopement day. With the moody skies; storms rolling in, and waves crashing around the cliffs. It was so calming and surreal.
Adventure Elopement Tip
The special thing about adventure elopements; the weather only affects you if you let it. While the blustery day could have been a downer for some people, Alyssa and Ian totally embraced it all day long. Their perspective was so inspirational, viewing the little challenges of the day as reflective of life and relationships. They chose to look at it with the eyes of adventurers. With smiles still on their faces and they shivered in the chilly conditions, and joy in their hearts as they traversed the sketchy ice covered trails. So my advice is to let go of all your expectations, and embrace the adventure together!
They also noted how they were glad they made their elopement just them two. Due to the winter conditions, it really would have not been feasible to have their family members join them on the adventure they dreamed of. They didn't have to worry about guests, just the two of them adventuring and exploring together. That was their vision, and I think we fulfilled it in the most epic way! Oh yeah and then they ended the day back at their room with all cozied up with an AMAZING wedding cake all to themselves!
Acadia Elopement Photographer
For more tips on how to elope in Acadia National Park be sure to check out this post here! And be sure to follow me on Instagram to see more behind-the-scenes look at what an Elopement in Acadia National park looks like.
And keep on scrolling to see the full Acadia National Park elopement in the winter!
Acadia National Park Elopement
Hey, I'm Kelsey!
A New Hampshire based adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer for the adventurous souls. I travel throughout New England and worldwide, empowering you to create the most beautiful, adventurous day and give you the memories you'll be able to look back on for all the years to come.
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