Ethan & Chelsea Smith Eloped Saturday, June 26, 2021

The alarm went off at 4:30 am, camera bags were triple-checked, and hiking shoes were laced up. The birds were still sleeping, but my assistant and I made our way to Hanging Rock State Park to meet with the sweetest couple to elope mountainside at sunrise.

“I work at a distillery. We make moonshine, whiskey, and vodka. Ethan is starting his personal training business. And we live on my grandparents’ farm with our 2 dogs, 1 cat, 5 chickens, 2 donkeys, and around 20 cows. Ethan and I met through teaching. We were both first-year English teachers (our classrooms shared a wall). He asked me out at the end of the school year for a kayaking/camping date, and the rest is rock-n-roll history! We’ve been together for three years now and were engaged March 2020 (prime quarantine time).” – Chelsea

Massive amounts of preparation and communication took place to ensure that their elopement went perfectly. My assistant and I hiked up the moderately difficult trail along with the small wedding party and officiant. We arrived at the top, sweaty and out of breath, but the view was spectacular. Fog set in as the sun began to rise but was gone within an hour.

“We went back and forth on what to do about wedding stuff for a while, which was made more difficult with the pandemic. And finally decided last minute to elope at Hanging Rock. Ethan grew up in Danbury, so that’s how we landed there.”

The ceremony began just in time for the sun to make her entrance, and tear-jerking vows were exchanged as the golden light bounced off of their skin. Quietly sitting there on that rock, overlooking the trees and listening to the hearts of two people being poured out while the warm sunshine danced on the glistening rocks was more than just a moment in time. It was a deep feeling of gratitude, a glimpse of a couple’s pure love for one another, a timestamp that will forever be etched in my heart.

“Our wedding day couldn’t have been more perfect for us, and honestly I couldn’t imagine a better photographer than Sierra. She captured our day perfectly. All I really wanted from our day was great pictures, and she knocked it out of the park.” – Chelsea

Vendor List:

Photographer: Grace & Jade Photography

Attire: Lily Mae Bridal

Videographer: @vo.flicks

Florals: Piedmont Triad Farmers’ Market 

Officiant: Kyle Hylton