I’m a wedding & elopement photographer for laid back couples that value the idea of being married more than just having a party. They want photos that show their true selves and represent their love of nature, and prefer to be more natural than overly posed.
I may be the worst blogger ever, as it’s been almost two years since Leah & Sean’s Tumalo Falls elopement near Bend, Oregon. This elopement truly was special and I can’t believe I’ve yet to share it. Sean contacted me about 6 weeks before their elopement day, and we set up a Skype call to talk about their elopement. These two were planning a move from San Diego to Portland and decided they wanted to elope near Bend. They wanted a waterfall with relatively easy access for their small guest list (Leah’s dad & sister, Sean’s mom, and their good friends), and a sunrise ceremony. After discussing a few options, and sending them a few galleries of sessions at nearby waterfalls, they picked Tumalo Falls for their perfect location!
Sunrise in August is pretty dang early here in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s always worth it to get up early to beat the crowds and the take in that gorgeous morning light. We all convened in the parking lot right around 5:30am, and made our way to the overlook with the perfect viewpoint of Tumalo Falls. Leah & Sean’s dear friends officiated the ceremony as the morning blue hour gave way to a gentle sunrise in the canyon of Tumalo Creek.
During the ceremony, Leah’s father spread her mother’s ashes, making sure she was there for her daughter’s wedding day. It was an absolutely beautiful moment and something I will never forget.
After the ceremony, Leah & Sean celebrated with their family & friends by sharing in a shot of whiskey, some cold brew and some delicious pastries from Sparrow Bakery. We then went for a short uphill hike as the sun was rising above the hills to the east. We found a nice Ponderosa Pine forest to take some formal portraits of the guests before we sent them back to town. Sean asked if he could get a nice portrait of each of the guests individually. When you elope, you have time for things like wedding guest head shots!
It’s probably pretty clear by now that Leah & Sean are outdoor enthusiasts! They both are avid trail runners, and enjoy climbing as well. A Metolius carabiner (made right here in Bend, Oregon) was the perfect way to deliver their wedding rings! I love little details like this that really show a couple’s unique personalities. Leah & Sean are very environmentally conscious, which shows in all these details of their day. Their clothing and shoes were all sourced from ethically sustainable companies and their rings were handcrafted by a local PNW designer.
The trail leading down to the falls is a little steep, slippery and rocky in sections, but it’s so worth it to get up right next to the waterfall! Leah wore her hiking boots, and wasn’t worried about her dress getting dirty, which is essential for an adventurous elopement. The fireweed was in bloom and the morning light was absolutely magical. It was such a perfect day for a Tumalo Falls elopement!
I truly had the best time adventuring around with Leah & Sean during their sunrise Tumalo Falls elopement! These two are genuine, kind, and their love for each other is so strong. Intimate weddings and elopements are definitely my jam and moving forward I’ve made the decision to specialize in them. I wrote all about why here. Also, if you are looking at eloping in Oregon, check out this waterfall elopement I photographed at Crater Lake. There’s so much beauty here in the PNW.
Florals: Bend Bouquets
Leah’s Dress: Reformation
Sean’s attire: Bonobos
Leah’s shoes: Teysha
Sean’s shoes: Bedstu
Rings: Aide-Memoire in Seattle
Hey, I’m Erica. A sentimental elopement & intimate wedding photographer for free-spirited and natural couples based in Bend, Oregon. If you are getting married soon, and deciding to forgo the big wedding for an elopement, let’s talk! Send me a message. I would absolutely love to help you plan your adventure!