Looking for locations for a Virginia Mountain wedding with the most epic views? Check out this wedding day at sunset in the mountains!
Imagine a Zoom first date, then a walk in the park together, to the commitment of a lifetime! Nick and Ashley met through online dating when a traditional venue wedding was a challenge, and they didn’t really want that anyway, so we gave them the perfect solution–a Virginia mountain wedding!
This is the story of their special day of eloping in the Virginia Mountains.
Virginia Mountain Wedding | How their Story Started
At the beginning of the pandemic, online dating was the only way to meet new people. When Nick and Ashley connected on Bumble, their initial meeting was a Zoom call. While other people were meeting to discuss work on Zoom, Nick and Ashley were getting to know each other for the first time on the platform.
Their online meeting led to a walk in the park since they both lived in Virginia. With each meeting, their relationship grew into a deeper connection. Nick was kind and gentle, an exceptionally patient listener. Ashley was witty, intelligent, and unselfish.
They were both Christians who valued their faith and wanted to grow in their understanding of God. Falling in love felt effortless and natural, so when they decided to get married, they both knew the focus should be on their marriage before God rather than a worldly event like a big wedding. For them, a StoryBright Elopement was the ideal fit for their Virginia Mountain Wedding.
An Elopement close to our Hearts
For us, this elopement was especially sweet because of our shared faith. From our very first call together with Ashley and Nick, we loved sharing thoughts on marriage and being able to pray for each other. Watching any wedding day unfold is always a delight, but theirs was special because of the ways they celebrated their love for one another and God.
Nick and Ashley trusted us to plan their entire elopement weekend at Shenandoah National Park, and for that we are so grateful! Starting with their Questionnaire answers to make sure we wouldn’t miss any details about what they wanted in their day, we got to work arranging an elopement they would never forget!
Location Scouting – Why we do it
Our goal at StoryBright is to worry about the many details of your elopement so you don’t have to. We want you to feel loved and cared for in the most personal way throughout your wedding day. We are here to be your biggest fans, anticipating when you might feel stressed or anxious, so we make it our mission to anticipate everything you need from start to finish.
This is why we include location scouting in each of our elopement packages. Getting married in a publicly accessible outdoor spot leaves many variables up in the air. Maybe the grass is mowed differently at the overlook than expected, or not mowed at all. Or there could be road closures due to unexpected construction. It’s our job to anticipate these things and make sure we have backups in place just in case.
That’s why the day before Nick and Ashley’s wedding, we scouted the mountain overlook for a perfect spot for their vows. They needed a ceremony spot within easy walking distance from parking for family members who could not hike. We made sure everything was ready to go the day before!
Virginia Mountain Wedding | Their Epic Elopement Day
Getting Ready at Massanutten Resort
Nick and Ashley rented two Airbnbs – a larger one at Massanutten Resort in Massanutten, Virginia & another that would be just for them at the end of their wedding day. We started the day for their Virginia Mountain Wedding at the big Airbnb where their whole family + a few friends were present. They wanted everyone to wake up rested and enjoy a leisurely brunch together on the wedding day. This was a relaxed time with delicious food and mimosas. No wedding day stress here at all!
Later, Ashley moved upstairs with her mom to get her hair and makeup done for the wedding, while Nick moved downstairs at the Airbnb to get dressed.
As they were getting ready separately, we took the time to photograph their details. Ashley’s dress was a lovely & unique two-piece design, custom modified for her. Something unusual about his wedding attire was that his tie was custom-made from the fabric of Ashley’s dress, a unique symbol of how they were connected in their faith in God.
The Best Mother of the Bride
One of the things we were so pleasantly surprised by was Ashley’s mom. She was so involved and offered to help in any way she could. She was so incredible that we joked about hiring her for other weddings!
As we were taking portraits of Ashley, her mom was such a natural for prompts that we just followed her lead! “Turn and look towards the window…. now look back here…” She helped make our job much more fun! Her input was super valuable and we could tell it helped Ashley stay relaxed and calm.
“First Prayer” together
Nick and Ashley requested to pray together before the ceremony, so we took them to a beautiful, old tree in the backyard of the Airbnb. They had decided to wait until the ceremony to see each other, but wanted to have time to themselves before leaving – so a time of prayer together, back to back, was perfect! This was a sweet time of thanking God for bringing them together and asking for His blessing on their future. The love in Nick’s prayer for Ashley was so evident … we could not wait for him to see her for the first time later at the ceremony – she was breath-taking!
Their Virginia Mountain Wedding Ceremony
Once she was ready, Ashley and her father drove up to the ceremony spot in Shenandoah National Park that we scouted the day before. Her mom met her on the far side of the car to say hello again, hidden out of Nick’s view. Nick and Ashley wanted a ceremony that was also a meaningful worship service. As she and her father walked toward the chosen spot, Nick saw her for the first time as there was worship music playing, with family and friends standing near to share in this long-anticipated moment.
Their home pastor performed a lovely ceremony, while Nick and Ashley shared this time with those they love most. This was a beautiful time of a heartfelt message from the pastor, singing and worshiping God, and sharing their vows to each other.
Afterward, they shared a funfetti cake, toasts and champagne for everyone beneath the shade of a nearby tree!
After hugs all around, Nick and Ashley drove off in his car where some siblings put a bumper sticker that said, “Please be patient. New driver.” They definitely had us all laughing! Since Nick’s last name is Driver, and Ashley was the “new Driver!”
Nick and Ashley’s Private Vows to Each Other
Their second request for the day was to say their private vows to one another at sunset. So, we had also scouted out a hike to an overlook with wide open views to the west where they could pledge their love and commitment to each other with personal words. This was so much fun as they took off their wedding shoes and tied on the hiking boots to hike in their wedding clothes!
After a stormy few days, the weather was sunny, and the sky was clear. We had so much fun together on the trail up the mountain, photographing these two (who were all smiles) in different spots alongside the trail. Once we reached the top, they swapped their hiking boots for their wedding shoes once again.
Their Letters to Each Other | Virginia Mountain Wedding
Once they reached the lookout, Nick and Ashley read their letters to the other. This was such a sweet time for them to finalize their commitment to each other with personal thoughts and words. We were struck with how sweet and intentional they were with each other – although we had to laugh when it was clear that Ashley couldn’t resist cracking a joke at the end! You’ve got to watch their Highlights Video to the very end – after the credits – to hear it!
As the sun dipped closer to the horizon, we were awestruck being surrounded by God’s Creation as we captured this beautiful couple in love. Photographing them on the rock outcroppings, seeing them immersed in joy for their first dance, enjoying the epic view and the beauty of the surrounding forest and mountains – we were absolutely speechless. Just as the sun went down, the sky was a rich, multi-colored hue that was an ideal end to a flawless day, ending with a champagne toast between them.
Back to the Trailhead
After sunset, it got dark quickly, so we had headlamps for them to see as they made their way back to the trailhead. Just before we said goodbye, we caught some photos of them looking at one another in the darkness with only the headlamps for illumination. This seemed to be a perfect metaphor for their love which shines brightly in a dark world.
What We Loved About Nick and Ashley’s Virginia Mountain Wedding
One of the things we loved most about their wedding was how they entrusted us with their entire elopement adventure, just leaning into the day and all it held for them. That is one of the reasons we love what we do so much—the ability to give a couple the chance to have a wedding in the beauty of nature with no stress or worries.
Along the way, we shared in their laughter, some tears, and sweet worship. We hope you see their love and unique connection shine through when you look at their photos.
StoryBright – Why You’ll Love Working with Us
The difference we bring to an outdoor elopement experience is our gratitude and love for the ability to create the one-of-a-kind day you desire. Our goal is to provide you with the ultimate carefree experience, personalized to what you want – no cookie cutter weddings here – and created for your desire for adventure. StoryBright started with just Mark & Carolyn and over the years we have grown to include more lead photographers on our team who share our vision for elopements. We are so grateful for how we have grown!
From the first questionnaire to get a feel for your wedding vision to anticipating your every need along the way, we are there with you, planning and celebrating your epic moments.
Whether you want a Blue Ridge or Shenandoah Mountain wedding; a sunrise or sunset ceremony; or to get married at an epic waterfall, our elopement packages include everything you need to have the best day ever! To put it in a phrase, eloping with us is “all the best things about getting married without the stress of a big wedding.”
Contact us to discuss your wedding elopement dream and we will make it happen!