All the Reason You'll Ever Need To Marry on a Mountaintop
April 26, 2016
I'm just going to say it - mountains are the new beach. At least when it comes to wedding backdrops. And thanks to Jake and Anna of Sweetlife Photography you've got more reason than ever to plan a day set in natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Get inspired with a trip to The Vault for every last image.
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From Jake & Anna... This bridal editorial was inspired by the feeling that only a mountaintop can give. Bon Iver’s “Holocene” captures it perfectly:

"And at once I knew I was not magnificent
Strayed above the highway aisle
Jagged vacance, thick with ice
But I could see for miles, miles, miles”

As we planned our shoot, we envisioned bright sunlight and a view clear to the horizon. On a clear day, we might have even glimpsed the ocean. The mountain had other plans. Our brief sunlight quickly turned to rolling mist, dense fog, freezing rain, and snow—all within a two hour window. It was different than we had hoped for but now seeing the photos, we wouldn’t have had it any other way. The mountain taught us an important lesson this day: sometimes the greatest beauty is found in the unexpected.

With the mountain and its views as our inspiration, we tied its character into each element of the shoot. We knew we wanted a weightless dress to dance in the wind sweeping over the ridge. It was love at first sight when we discovered Sarah Seven’s “Lafayette” gown in coffee color! With it’s soft flowing silk chiffon and delicate shoulder detailing, it conveyed the natural movement and femininity we dreamt of. Austie Eckley’s coffee-colored chapel-length veil paired perfectly—the soft tulle flowed down the length of the dress, adding an ethereal layered effect to the bride’s look.

The natural beauty of the mountain is represented in Austie Eckley’s makeup and hair work. We wanted a look that would compliment the scene and highlight the breathtaking beauty of the model with her natural glowing skin tone and flowing red hair. Austie kept the makeup minimal—a delicate art in and of itself—using only the model’s natural lashes with simple mascara, light eyeshadow, and a bold lip to create balance and add a pop of color. For the hair, our priority again was catching the mountain wind and creating movement, so Austie kept it mostly down with only a simple, loose braid across the back. Austie’s limited edition headpiece with light green opal beading and thin gold wiring added the perfect finishing touch.

Ponderosa & Thyme created the perfect bouquet to introduce color and whimsy. With the rest of our styling in muted tones, the pops of red and magenta in the florals created a pleasing balance in the photos. The bouquet itself is breathtaking—a true work of art. Every corner and angle introduces a new floral element, even a few unexpected but perfectly integrated dried floral buds. The shape of the bouquet is beautifully asymmetrical, creating an artistic focal point throughout the photos, and Silk & Willow ribbon hanging from the stems added elegant, floating movement.

Trumpet & Horn’s one-of-a-kind “Palo Alto” engagement ring makes a statement with it’s center Contra Luz Oval Cabochon opal displaying a play of peachy-orange and green. This authentic Art Deco vintage piece dates to the mid-1930s and tells a story of classic romance and style. We chose this ring for it’s color and uniqueness—adding a touch of understated boldness while complimenting our overall minimalistic appeal.

The invitation suite by Kelsey Malie Calligraphy included non-traditional verbiage inspired by the location, inviting guests to “come to the mountain”, as well as display-worthy inserts such as a poetic quote about “seeing for miles and miles” and a simple watercolor painting of the mountain scene at dusk. Adding uniqueness and breaking from tradition, Kelsey utilized a different brand and shade of fine paper for each piece in the suite, creating a visual and textured experience for guests as they peruse each element. Verde Studio contributed a selection of unused vintage stamps that coordinated perfectly with our color palette and completed the unique experience of the invitation suite.

We chose our inspiration for this shoot carefully and created a short list of filters to run each styling decision through as described above. Even a natural, minimalistic aesthetic requires great attention to detail and intentionality, whether designing an editorial shoot or an actual wedding. Working with vendors who share your vision is critical because ultimately, you have to trust them to bring that vision to life.