Okay, I have to start off by saying that Jen and Ian were troopers through this whole day — it was DUMPING rain all day leading up to (and well into!) their shoot but they were completely down for whatever. Literally any and all weather phenomenon. 🤯 They’ve been together for 12 years (and I actually photographed their anniversary session two years ago!), and it was so fun getting them in front of my camera again! When I asked, they immediately signed up for this styled elopement I designed — pouring rain and all. We weren’t going to let the rain ruin our day, so I put together some activities for them, before trekking out to an incredible vista in the mountains. So if you’re needing some inspo, you’re gonna want to scroll the photos from this rainy day mountain elopement!
rainy day activities
With the rain literally pounding and coming down sideways outside, we stayed ultra comfy inside with plenty of throw pillows, string lights, and cozy rug and blanket textures. Like, this is a rainy day scene out of my boho Pinterest dreams! Jen and Ian cuddled up together just being the cute lovebirds they are, while they snacked on a charcuterie board and sipped champagne. They have an insane ginny game streak going so they played cards for a bit, while I looked on with utter confusion. It’s fine, I’m just not a cards person okay?! 😂
After a while, they put that away and Ian strummed Lifehouse tunes on a guitar while Jen looked on next to him. She said that that was something they naturally do at home all the time, and I absolutely loved that if this were their elopement day, they would have brought that element in. That’s what elopements are all about — doing all the things that bring you joy and feel natural/familiar in your relationship. Whether that’s the mutual passion of exploring new places in the Sierras (and say, renting a helicopter to explore a mountaintop), or loving the safe familiarity of sitting at home together (and playing cards/guitar).
Towards sunset, we headed out in the mist to a very secluded mountaintop that I had scouted the previous week. Ya’ll, I’m telling you: I’m a 21st century Nancy Drew. The power of my digital location sleuthing skills astounds even ME! I had never been to this location, and even though I knew it would have these views (and picked it for that reason), they were even more incredible in person. Like I said in the beginning, these two were onboard with anything: including getting soaking wet in the rain, which we expected to happen. And I completely believe that it was that utter acceptance for ANY weather, that the universe aligned for us and gave us this incredible clear sky and a surprise cloud inversion! What the what.
We juuuusstt made it for sunset, and if you look carefully, you can make out the very last of the sunlight across the tops of the treenlines as it sets! Just wow. Oh, and then I noticed some horses off in the distance and managed to call them over!! What you can’t hear from these photos is me shrieking behind the camera: “OH MY GOD they’re coming back over, WAIT WAIT WAIT STAY RIGHT THERE I have one framed between you!!” while Jen and Ian cracked up in front of me.
After it got dark, we drove back down the mountain. I’d always wanted to experiment with photos of a couple in front of a car’s headlights at night, so I spontaneously stopped in the middle of the one-lane road, in the rain. Jen and Ian were (you guessed it) totally down to indulge me, and I ended up getting some shots I’m super excited about! My fave is the first one in the series — I love that you can see the rain in my headlights, and also the different color casts of them! (incandescent and LED next to each other)
What an incredible day. I hope you love the photos from this rainy day mountain elopement as much as I do!!
Also, in case you don’t know, I live in Guerneville — so if the idea of having a local guide to spots like this sounds great to you, you know where you can get in touch! 😉
If you made it this far… bonus fun fact for you! There are THIRTY individual images composited together to make the panorama above. Wild, right?!