Chelsea and Colton made the private decision to elope in 2019, shortly after getting engaged. They wanted a day completely to themselves that was intimate, meaningful and free from the opinions of others. They planned on having a big, traditional celebration with all of their friends and family in the fall of 2020… but we all know the ending to that story. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, they decided to cancel their “Part 2” wedding.
After it was all said and done, they were beyond happy with their decision to elope, despite the seemingly abrupt change in plans.
Getting Ready at Sunrise
We started the day just before dawn, so we could make it to the waterfall by sunrise and have the trail all to ourselves. Chelsea and Colton got ready in their cozy, tiny home they had rented for the weekend, and we made our way up to the Miners Falls trailhead (special thanks to my boyfriend, who acted as our private chauffeur!)
The Hike to Miners Falls
It was a muggy, warm summer morning. The hike was quiet, empty and peaceful, with nothing but the sounds of nature and the roar of the upcoming waterfall. We were met with a nice cool breeze as we neared our destination. Chelsea picked a bouquet of delicate wildflowers along the trail (which she now has tattooed as a representation of their wedding day) and it was absolutely perfect.
The Intimate Ceremony
Once we reached the waterfall, the two of them exchanged vows, recounted their beautiful love story and were officially pronounced husband and wife by their best friend, Justin. It was a truly unforgettable and intimate moment overflowing with love. With just the 5 of us present, the magic and beauty of it all was ethereal.
The Champagne Celebration
After the ceremony, Chelsea and Colton finalized the legalities by signing their marriage license (using each other's backs to write on) and celebrated with a pop of champagne and a toast to their forever. We took a few portraits, and finished off the day by hiking through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (this is an absolute must if you are in Michigan. It is stunning!) before heading back.
Telling their Loved Ones
Chelsea and Colton eventually told their loved ones about their secret elopement after realizing they couldn’t wait a whole year to share their wedding photos! I am so grateful to have been a part of their special day and wish them all the best in their journey together.