Sunrise Mountain Hiking Elopement – Lizbeth & Conner

A wedding ceremony with bride, groom, two friends and officiant on top of a mountain with a cloud inversion.

Eloping in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC at Sunrise

Many couples LOVE the Blue Ridge Mountains for their elopement day because this area offers up some of the most enchanting views with so much variety! One type of mountain scenery my couples LOVE are the meadowy, mountain-top views on ridge-lines!

Those mountain-top views, to me, have a tendency to make you feel small, as though you’re a part of a beautiful fantasy world! A lot of folks feel the same, and as such, this type of mountain view can be super popular for elopements on public lands!

So, if you’re private and introverted like a lot of my couples are, eloping at sunrise on a weekday is the best time to elope to avoid crowds! Lizbeth and Conner here decided to have their sunrise mountain hiking elopement in the beginning of October on a weekday to have more privacy and to enjoy the most beautiful light!

Read more about how to elope and how to gauge privacy on an elopement day in my How to Elope free guide!

The Couple and Why They Chose to Elope

Right from the beginning, I could tell that Lizbeth and Conner really thought about their day. They were intentional, and cared deeply about choosing activities that reflected exactly who they are as a couple, and they wanted to avoid the list of expectations with planning a bigger, more traditional wedding day.

In one of their messages to me, they wrote about why it was important for them to elope: “We don’t want our lives’ most important events to be swept in the current of traditions which have no personal meaning to us. It always felt like this should be more intimate, and this is our way of making this ours.”

Eloping allowed them to really take ownership of their day, and allowed the space for them to do exactly what they wanted. And, their day was a perfect reflection of that! They did exactly what they wanted, and rested in each and every moment.

This is How to Plan a Sunrise Hiking Elopement in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Lizbeth and Conner started their elopement at 4AM at their Airbnb. They listened to music, and got ready with their two best friends. For their getting ready photos, they planned for two hours so that they didn’t have to feel rushed or stressed getting all of their details together. 

After they left the Airbnb, they drove to the trailhead. Once they arrived at the trail and got geared up, they trekked up the mountain in the dark to get to the summit before sunrise. They trekked through beautiful fir forest and once they got to a clearing, they could see some faint stars and clouds nestled into mountain valleys. It was such a lovely morning!

Tree silhouette with the night sky and a lone star shining.
Four people standing in the darkness on a mountaintop waiting for the couple's sunrise mountain hiking elopement

When they got to the top, their friends helped them get into their wedding attire. After they were all spiffed up and ready to go, Lizbeth and Conner had a special first look at blue hour, and said their vows afterwards in the stunning morning light! Not only did they have beautiful morning light to accompany them, they had an incredibly gorgeous cloud inversion that you can see in the photos! That cloud inversion was SUCH a beautiful surprise for them for their ceremony–their ceremony just felt like a dream! (:

A bride and groom having their sunrise mountain hiking elopement ceremony with their loved-ones.

Their sunrise ceremony was carried out by the amazing Vanessa from Adventure Officiant. She helped make their ceremony beautiful and intimate and helped them have a perfect hand-fasting ceremony. Yep–she’ll hike with you and meet you before sunrise on a mountain-top! She’s pretty great, and definitely worth the hire if you’re needing an officiant that can tough it out with you! 😉

An officiant tying a bride and groom's hands together for a handfasting ceremony.
A handfasting ceremony with bride and groom.

After their stunning ceremony up on the summit with their friends, Lizbeth and Conner adventured around with their friends for some photos. And afterwards, they hiked back down to enjoy a charcuterie board in the forest. 

Fruit from a charcuterie board on a picnic blanket.
Friends enjoying a charcuterie board on a picnic blanket.

Lizbeth and Conner followed their early lunch up with some more hiking in the beautiful fir forests – taking their time, looking at beautiful ferns, mushrooms, and insects. Along the way, they found a beautiful log AT shelter and laughed and cried while reading letters from loved-ones on a tree stump surrounded by beautiful ferns. (: After reading letters, they danced in the forest and began making their way back down the mountain to their vehicles.

A newly married couple reading letters from loved-ones in the middle of a forest on a stump surrounding my ferns.

Below is what Lizbeth and Conner had to say about their elopement day and their experience working with me as their photographer! 🖤

Kayla lulls you into such a comfortable state that you forget that she’s there photographing your intimate moments.

5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
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5 star rating
“Kayla is a phenomenal planner, photographer, and person.

We reached out to Kayla a few months prior to our elopement. We had no idea what we were doing or how any of this would work. Luckily Kayla is experienced, and she has a talent for making you feel comfortable. She was in constant communication with us, through email, phone calls, and Zoom calls, and we could really feel the dedication she has to making elopements personal and as stress-free as possible.

Kayla crafted an itinerary for us that hit all the important notes we wanted. She scoped out an absolutely gorgeous spot for our sunrise elopement. And since we had requested a spot in North Carolina (we live in Georgia), Kayla even had recommendations for an excellent officiant. We felt completely taken care of in Kayla’s hands.

On the day of the elopement, this poor woman must have woken up at some obscene hour to brave the winding mountain roads in darkness and arrive at our Airbnb at 4:00am to get photos of us as we got ready for our big day. She really is dedicated to getting all of the intimate, candid shots.

What followed after our trek up a mountain in the morning darkness were the most beautiful shots of the scenery and natural world. Kayla has a talent for effortlessly capturing the overwhelming view we had. She helped us choose the perfect location: a tucked away mountaintop clearing at sunrise, overlooking a cloud inversion.

Kayla is so easy-going and friendly that she immediately puts you at ease. And this is where she flexes her other strength: candid photography. Kayla lulls you into such a comfortable state that you forget that she’s there photographing your intimate moments. My partner and I are super uncomfortable people, especially with being photographed, but Kayla melts away the apprehension with her personality.

We also contracted Kayla’s services for a reception dinner with our family a few weeks following the elopement. At this event, Kayla showed that she not only excels at small, intimate gatherings, but she can also confidently handle photographing a party. She made sure to capture beautiful photographs of every person at the party. She truly is dedicated to her craft and dedicated to making sure we had our important moments immortalized.

If you’re looking for your elopement photographer, Kayla is the one.”

Lizbeth & Conner 🖤
Sunrise Blue Ridge Mountain Hiking Eloping in NC

Meet the couple and the best North Carolina Mountain Elopement Photographer!

Lizbeth and Conner, truly–I can’t thank you both enough for trusting me to come alongside the two of you to help plan and capture such an incredible elopement day. It was an absolute honor to witness your special day, but even better to get the opportunity to capture all the beautiful moments and help take some of the planning stress off your plate! You two and your special day remind me of why I do what I do, and why this work matters so much to me. I got to be your collector of precious memories so they can be cherished forever–that means more than I can express in words. Thank you. 🥹

– Kayla, your elopement photographer 🖤

A smiling newly married couple celebrating their sunrise mountain hiking elopement.
A bride and groom adventuring for their sunrise mountain hiking elopement in North Carolina

For L&Z’s elopement, I photographed their day using one of the best lenses for elopement photography, which, to me, would be the 35mm! See more of why I chose this lens as detailed in this blog by Montana elopement photographers!

The Best North Carolina Adventure Elopement Vendors:

Meet Your Adventure Elopement Photographer:

Hi, there! I’m Kayla, the face behind the photos from Lizbeth and Conner’s beautiful sunrise hiking elopement in NC ! (: I’d be honored to come alongside you two and help you plan and capture your amazing elopement, whether in the Blue Ridge Mountains or beyond! I do my best to give you all the tools in your toolbox to help make planning so much less stressful and–dare I say it!?–fun! Learn more about what I offer or contact me below to start planning your incredible elopement day!

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