Atlanta Wedding Photographer – Fine Art Film Photography – Elle Golden Photography » Elle is for Love. Based in Atlanta, GA with a love of travel. Fine art film + digital photography.

Michael + Lea | Elopement | Max Patch Mountain, North Carolina Wedding Photographer

I had the most amazing opportunity to photograph a mountaintop elopement last month. Lea contacted me just a few weeks before she and Michael planned to drive from Florida up to the North Carolina mountains for their elopement weekend. It was an incredible honor to be the only other person besides the officiant {and their pup Tico!} to witness Michael + Lea tie the knot! The drive up to Max Patch was one of the most beautiful and serene trips I’ve ever made. I don’t fancy myself a morning person, but I had no complaints leaving Atlanta at 7:30am that day! Even if I didn’t have the amazing mountains to look at, I had the promise of a sweet elopement at the end of my journey.

When I arrived, it took about 20 minutes and a mile or so hike to actually find Michael + Lea! I forgot how little service my phone gets out in the wilderness, so Hannah the officiant and I had a little fun playing “Where’s Waldo”. When we finally all crossed paths, Michael and Lea were ready to get hitched! I normally need an hour to photograph all the details of a regular wedding. This wedding? I only had an hour to shoot the entire thing! That’s ok, because the wedding rings were the most important and only detail they needed. Lea made an absolutely beautiful bride and mother-to-be. She created her own bouquet using flowers, herbs, and lettuce from the cabin garden where she and Michael stayed at during their elopement weekend. And their first kiss photo? Quite possibly my favorite first kiss photo ever! Tico ran off to explore the mountainside in the middle of Michael + Lea’s short ceremony. But he came back just in time to watch the officiant announce his ‘mom and dad’ as husband and wife! After the ceremony I left Michael + Lea to enjoy a romantic mountaintop picnic as husband and wife.

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Michael + Lea,

I cannot begin to express how lucky I feel to have been your photographer. The fact I was 1 of only 2 people in the world to witness you exchange vows on a mountainside is something I’ll cherish forever. You trusted me with the biggest day of life (well, until your little one arrives!). You thanked me for hiking up a mountain to photograph you two, but it’s me who should be giving thanks. I needed your elopement as a reminder that love doesn’t always have to be expressed with the big, fancy wedding. Sometimes with the hustle and bustle of a traditional wedding, I forget how important the vows are and how important my job really is. Every second of being with you two I remembered that importance. So thank you! I wish you so much more love and happiness in your marriage and new adventure as parents. Please give Tico a hug, kiss, and milkbone for me!

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“Remember the day
I set you free
I told you
You could always count on me
From that day on I made a vow
I’ll be there when you want me
Some way, some how

‘Cause baby,
There ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you”

~Marvin Gaye + Tammi Terrell, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

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Vendor Love
Venue – Max Patch Mountain
Officiant – Heart Light Weddings
Fleur – DIY by the bride
Rings – Tiffany & Co.
Bride’s Gown – Vintage

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