Ciera and Bryce were SO excited to explore a brand new place out West for their wedding day. They decided on the jagged peaks of Grand Teton National Park for their micro wedding. It’s an incredibly special place to me since this was the first place I lived with Ryan. So I’m always willing to leave Colorado and drive up to the Tetons to help couples celebrate and explore my favorite places 🙂
I went out to their ceremony site early in the afternoon to paint en plein air before I met up with them. I found this spot while searching for a place to paint back in the day. And of course, these spots where I paint en plein air are always beautiful for ceremonies too! I was so excited to meet them and for their family to see the gorgeous view of Cascade Canyon and the Teton Range. It was a beautiful Fall afternoon with bluebird skies.
When they arrived, their family stayed back while Ciera and Bryce had a first look together. Afterward, their family came out and set up for their ceremony. The nice thing about doing everything in the afternoon/evening is that nobody has to wake up super early. These two were not “morning people” and decided to celebrate in the afternoon and evening. It’s whatever works for each couple! 🙂
After their ceremony, we took family formals and Ciera and Bryce signed their marriage license! Woohoo! The family went back to town to relax while we drove over to one of my favorite easygoing hikes in the Tetons. It meanders across a creek, through an aspen grove, before opening up again to beautiful views of the Tetons and a gorgeous alpine lake. While I wouldn’t recommend bringing family or friends on any kind of hike, this hike is a great option for couples taking photos with me after their ceremony 🙂
We hiked up the lake just in time for the sun to start setting. We had the lake mostly to ourselves which was really incredible. There was a moose up near the lake recently but we didn’t see any wildlife on our hike. We explored the edge of the lake, had snacks, and had their favorite couple as a drink: coke zero! You don’t always have to pop champagne if that’s not your jam. You can bring your favorite beer, make a cocktail, or for Ciera and Bryce–bring Coke Zero 🙂
Before the sun had completely set, we started making our way back to the trailhead to avoid hiking in the dark for very long. We stopped a few times along the way back to take more photos (which almost always happens when I’m with my couples). And of course, we were just chatting and giggling the whole time. These two were so much fun to get to know. I’m so grateful they got to experience one of my favorite places in the world for their wedding day. I hope I get to hang out with them in the future!
- Always keep family ceremonies really easy and accessible. We can always hike or explore somewhere else for photos after! These two kept everything stress-free by having family go somewhere that was just a short walk (not every location has easy spots like this though, venues tend to work best).
- You can plan everything in the afternoon/evening if you’re okay with less privacy. Typically vistas or hikes “clear out” around dinner time anyway. So you’ll get some privacy but it’ll be towards the end of your day. But this avoids waking up early if you’re not morning people 🙂
- Embrace what makes you unique as a couple! Bring whatever drinks, snacks, or items that help you feel celebrated as a couple. Every year I see more new things that couples do together and incorporate into their day. It’s a lot of fun.
Dress- Top Hat
Hair- Nicki Ivey
Hat- Jill Bonney