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An Intimate Northern Michigan Elopement | Chelsea & Colton

Bride wearing a brown hat and groom holding a wildflower bouquet standing in a Michigan river holding hands

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.

Bride and groom portrait walking through a stream at Miners Falls in MI.
Bride and groom kissing in front of a waterfall in MI with their officiant cheering.

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!)

Bride getting ready in a tiny home, putting on her earrings.
Bride standing in front of a rustic tiny home with a blue door in Michigan.
Bride and groom portraits in Miners Falls holding a wildflower bouquet.

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.

Miners Falls, MI sign and elopement location.
Bride and groom portraits after elopement in a Michigan forest trail holding a wildflower bouquet.

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.

Bride and groom standing in front of the Miners Falls waterfall in Michigan after they eloped.
Bride and groom hiking after their elopement in Miners Falls, MI.
Bride and groom getting married in front of a waterfall with their officiant.
Bride and groom eloping in Miners Falls, MI.

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.

Bride wearing a brown hat and groom exchanging rings at their elopement.
Bride and groom opening a bottle of champagne in front of a waterfall after their elopement.
Bride and groom drinking champagne after their elopement in Miners Falls Michigan.

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.

Bride and groom on the Miners Falls trail in Michigan after their elopement.
Bride holding her wildflower bouquet and groom standing in front of the Miners Falls waterfall in Michigan.

Ready to plan your elopement?


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