Five weeks before her elopement in McCarthy, Alaska, Meredith reached out to me with a request to capture her special day. Despite the last-minute nature of the celebrations, I was thrilled to say yes, knowing that Meredith and her talented wedding planner, Lee Ramsay, would make it all come together. Meredith and Tobias had already exchanged their vows on her family's ranch in Wyoming, but they wanted to celebrate their love in the rugged, remote beauty of McCarthy, Alaska. The day was filled with breathtaking hikes and stunning weather, and culminated with an unforgettable aurora display at the Golden Saloon bar. It was truly a day to remember.

The Planning Process

Meredith and Tobias's choice of McCarthy, Alaska for their elopement was a perfect reflection of who they are as a couple. The location seamlessly blended Meredith's cowboy roots from her Wyoming upbringing with Tobias's adventurous spirit as an Alaskan pilot. Their wedding planner, Lee Ramsay Events, was a true blessing and made their dream elopement a reality. With her expertise and knowledge, Lee ensured all aspects of their celebration were taken care of, from coordinating travel and lodging to adhering to National Park Service policies by obtaining necessary permits.

As a Leave No Trace photographer, I believe it is important to not only follow local laws and guidelines, but also to leave the area better than it was before. Lee's attention to detail and commitment to preserving the beauty of McCarthy made this elopement not only a unforgettable celebration of love, but also a responsible and sustainable event. If you're considering eloping in McCarthy, Lee is the person to talk to - she knows how to make your dream wedding come true.

The Adventure

The elopement celebration began at 10 am with a stunning 5.7-mile round trip hike to Root Glacier. Meredith and Tobias were joined by two friends, Meredith's father and sister, and myself for this adventure. Despite a few unexpected rain showers, the sunny September weather and the excitement of the newlyweds made for a memorable day. During our 45-minute visit on Root Glacier, I captured beautiful photos of the couple, surrounded by their friends and family who not only provided emotional support, but also helped navigate the slippery terrain.

If you're planning to hike Root Glacier, I have some tips to share. It is important to bring plenty of water, food, and warm clothing, especially if you plan on spending time on the glacier. Additionally, I highly recommend investing in crampons, especially if there has been recent rainfall, as the hike up the glacier can become quite slippery. By following these guidelines and being prepared, you can make the most of your visit to this stunning destination and create lasting memories.

The Intimate Reception

After our exhilarating excursion to Root Glacier, we took a well-deserved break before the evening's festivities. In honor of their elopement, Meredith and Tobias held an intimate, rustic dinner party at the historic Kennicott Rec Hall, a beautifully restored building of the abandoned Kennecott Mine.

Adding to the charm, the couple arrived in style, driving a vintage Ford Model T to the reception. Guests were welcomed with a display of delicious food, including an impressive appetizer tree, expertly crafted by a talented chef from Kennicott Glacier Lodge.

The night was filled with memories, starting with a heartwarming presentation by the newlyweds, chronicling their love story with the motto, "When You Know, You Know." Dinner was served, showcasing the chef's use of local ingredients, including a mouth-watering four-course meal featuring Kenny Lake raised Angus.

With all guests seated at one beautifully decorated table, dressed in 1920s-inspired attire, the evening was filled with laughter, conversation, and delicious food. The night came to a close as the wedding party danced the night away to live music at the Golden Saloon, all while being treated to an incredible aurora borealis display in the sky above.