ASHEVILLE, North carolina

Rachel and Lee planned their Asheville elopement at Roan Mountain after postponing their wedding in Switzerland because of the pandemic. Their families rented a house close to Roan, and everyone met at the trailhead to hike together carrying quilts, a wedding dress, and coolers of food. The sun sparkled in the sky, but there was a heaviness in the air that signaled incoming rain. We continued along, hoping the precipitation would hold until after the ceremony.

Rachel’s sisters, friends, and mom helped her into her dress, disguising her spontaneous dressing room with quilts. Her dad walked her through a field where the mountains meet the sky. Before he joined his wife in the crowd, he beamed at his daughter with pride. Lee smiled, taking in his bride.

As the ceremony drew to a close, the clouds moved in and engulfed the bald. Lee and Rachel certified their marriage with a kiss, and their family erupted with cheers. They settled down on family quilts with napkins that Rachel’s mom hand-stitched for each couple. Everyone enjoyed their boxed dinners while listening to family and friends give toasts. 

While their families hiked down the bald, we explored for another hour, taking in the extravagant fog and wind. The scene had transformed quickly from mountains to an abyss of never-ending fog. 

Derek + Theresa planned a leap year elopement in Maui, a favorite place of theirs to escape to when they need a break from the bustling city where they live.

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