Christina + Tanner: A Rainy Day Mount Baker Elopement

Images courtesy of  Forthright Photo .

Images courtesy of Forthright Photo.

Christina and Tanner met in Texas on a summer internship at an animal sanctuary. Both of them were studying animal care at their respective universities and share a heart for service and furry things. After school, they decided to take jobs in Minnesota and haven’t looked back since. They love spending as much time as possible together in the great outdoors, so when planning a wedding proved challenging, they enthusiastically decided to elope and made a cross-country road-trip out of the event!

While they balance opposite schedules living in Nashville, they make the effort to spend time together with their dogs at the park, swimming, hiking, and watching Netflix. Tanner proposed to Christina on their weekly walk with their dogs. They make a habit of unleashing their dogs and playing fetch together. Tanner surreptitiously packed along a stick with “Will you marry me?” carved into the wood inside his jacket. When Christina wasn’t looking, he pulled it out and told her, “Here’s a nice stick to throw”. Mid wind-up, she noticed it has writing on it and while she was reading it, Tanner dropped to one knee behind her with the ring waiting.

“I want to bind our love; I want to commit to her that for the rest of my life I will do whatever I need to do to make her happy.”

-Tanner Michels

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Since that day, they had been trying to get a wedding together for awhile but found it impossible between job promotions and a move. Christina and Tanner found themselves more excited about an elopement than anything else. They love the mountains and came to realize that an elopement meant they could have their vision, their way, including a traditional ceremony and a laid-back approach to the day. Not only that, but they could also bring their two dogs: Loki and Riley.

So how did two Nashville residents (and their fur babies) decide on Mount Baker?

Tanner and Christina had never been to the Pacific Northwest before. The mountains are really what sold it for them. They’re an adventurous couple and road-tripped all the way from Nashville in their CR-V to the North Cascades to make this day happen. Their stops along the way included plenty of National Parks and historic sites and hikes. The photography team at Forthright Photo helped them select the perfect, off-the-beaten-path locations for their ceremony and portraits, ensuring that we would be undisturbed by the stray hiker or passerby.

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Of course, the weather had a plan all its own. Our team arrived to meet up at the bottom of the Forest Service Road mid-day to start our adventure. A very short distance into the drive—up potholed mountain roads and a snowed-in trail—it started to rain in the middle of a sunny June day. We tackled the mountain until the snow stopped us from going any higher, threw our backpacks on, and started our hike up the mountain in the direction of Twin Lakes. We stopped a short way up with a view of the mountain range in the background, changed in a pop-up tent, and laughed through the rain as we started their ceremony. Loki and Riley kept us lively and on our toes and Christina and Tanner shared their vows with one another.

“I feel like marriage is that extra piece to prove that you're really committed to a person. It's easy to sit there and live together and raise a family and do all of it together without actually tying the knot, but to me it just shows that much more how committed a person really is to a relationship if they are willing to give up their separate identities in a way and become one with another person.”

-Christina Michels

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Where does their adventure go from here?

We hiked around the mountain surrounded by views of rain clouds and the North Cascades while Christina and Tanner celebrated their commitment, Pacific Northwest style. They scribbled their signatures on their wedding certificate until the pen didn’t work any longer. The photographers and newlyweds then traveled from the mountain top down to some groves of fern, moss, and pines to have their first dance under the trees and share a The Office themed cake out of the back of their car. We were soaked to the bone but brimming with the warmth and love shared between these two. After sharing our Washington and Oregon Coast recommendations, Christina, Tanner, Loki, and Riley took off to continue their road trip down the West Coast and into their first day of marriage. I feel so blessed to have witnessed their story and their commitment to each other, and sang in my car down windy mountain roads the whole way home through the rain.

Are you ready to get out there and do the deed?

I would love to meet the two of you. I want to hear your values and vision for life together. Click the link above, tell me a little bit about you two, and you’ll hear from me in the next 48 hours to schedule our first face-to-face hang. Thanks for taking the time, beautiful humans!

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The Vendor Team.

Photographer: Laura + Devon // Forthright Photo // @forthrightphoto // forthrightphoto.com // Seattle, WA

Officiant: Kate Faoro Wright // Tapestry Event Co. // @tapestryeventco // tapestryeventco.com // Seattle, WA & Beyond

Florals: Carlee // Rusted Vase Co. // @rustedvaseco // rustedvase.com // Seattle, WA

Hair + Make-up: Olive + Opal Beauty // @oliveandopalbeauty // oliveandopalbeauty.com // Lake Stevens, WA

Dress: Wear Your Love // @wearyourlovexo // wearyourlovexo.com