Kiah + Chris are high school sweethearts. They really sealed the deal when Chris asked Kiah to prom, 6 years ago. Since then they have grown together, learned together and adventured together. Chris is an amazing outdoor/nature photographer and they are both strong outdoor enthusiasts, anywhere with a good adventure, they are there. He proposed at one of their favourite spots where they’ve been vacationing for the last 4 years, a small island off the coast of New Brunswick, Grand Manan. They knew that they wanted their elopement to reflect the adventurers they are, so they packed their bags and headed west.
Jack and I met up with them the night before the epic day to come for some food and drinks at The Grizzly Paw Pub in Canmore. The four of us instantly connected, we cheered on the Toronto Raptors as they defeated Golden State, discussed plans for the following day, celebrated with shots of tequila and reveled in awe of the mountains that surrounded us.
The next day we met them in their beautiful suite at the Coast Canmore Hotel where they got ready together and helped each other with buttons and suspenders as they expressed their excitement for the day. Kiah was able to pick up her beautiful floral arrangements from right across the street at Willow Flower Co (my favourite florist in the Rockies). Her stunning boho style dress is from Bella Promessa of the Wilderly Bride collection and Chris was well suited from H&M. Once we were all suited up, we made sure we had lots of snacks and water and hit the road in the Jeep that Kiah and Chris rented for their travels.
We explored some epic mountain views first in Canmore and then Banff before making our way to Yoho National Park. We knew we wanted to canoe in the emerald green waters of Emerald Lake and it was so sweet because Kiah and Chris ended up with number 8, the two of them in the 8th canoe on the 8th. We had to wait out a sudden downpour before heading out and thought it best to purchase umbrellas which did come in handy. Throughout our whole day of multiple destinations and adventures we experienced all 4 seasons. We embraced the rain as we canoed around Emerald Lake, trekked through snow to get to our spot at Peyto Lake, watched the skies clear up and the light shine to reveal the stunning turquoise of Peyto and watched the sun set behind the mountain peaks at Moraine Lake.
I asked Kiah and Chris to reflect on their rocky mountain elopement and any advice they have for engaged couples that are considering something similar.
What did you love about eloping?
Not having a large wedding and travelling to an awesome destination for beautiful pictures.
That it was intimate and just us two (four)
What is your favourite memory from the day?
Chris: Seeing the mountains for the first time.
Kiah: The amount of times Chris looked at me and said “look where we are right now, just take it all in” and I’m sure glad he did because we saw all of our photograph destinations for the first time with Sam and Jack. Also who could forget the bushy tailed pack rat who came over and nibbled my bouquet. The weather as well we experienced all four seasons that day it was pretty amazing.
What future advice do you have for couples planning an elopement or destination wedding?
Chris: Do it it’s fun
Kiah: Plan ahead, worry less & give yourselves enough time for travel. We travelled across the country from the East Coast to the West and with the time change (that really isn’t that large) I wish we would have given ourselves a day between travel and photographs because we were exhausted.
Sam + Jack