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Rock Climbing Elopement at New River Gorge National Park - West Virginia


Elopement couple at New River Gorge Overlook

Drew & Adrienne's New River Gorge Elopement

Often when people inquire about an elopement, they come to me with no idea what they want their elopement to look like. But when Drew and Adrienne reached out to me, they already had a complete vision of what they wanted because it was an experience they had already shared and loved so much that they wanted to do it again. They are both rock climbers and had taken their first climbing trip together at New River Gorge on the same weekend 2 years earlier, so this was a special place for them and they absolutely wanted it to be a part of their wedding day.


As is common, they had already been legally married prior to their elopement so this day was to exchange vows privately, have a great time with friends, and have beautiful photos to look back on afterward.



Sunrise Vow Exchange and First Dance at Grandview Overlook

They wanted to start the day off with a private moment in a quiet place so they could exchange the vows they had written to one another, and sunrise at the Grand View Overlook was the perfect place for this. We knew other visitors would be at the actual overlook, so we chose a trail nearby where they wouldn't be interrupted. There in the thick mist on top of the gorge, they read their vows, part of which included tying the knot with a climbing rope around themselves, which was really cool play on the tradition that tied into their hobby. They also shared a first dance together - not by playing music aloud, but by sharing a set of Airpods. When the fog finally lifted, they took the moment in together and watched the sun rise over the Appalachian mountains on their elopement day.



bride walking in fog

bride approaching groom

bride hugging groom from behind

bride and groom first look

bride and groom during first look

bride in black and white

bride and groom hugging

groom hugging bride in fog

groom looking at bride during first look

bride and groom in a foggy forest

bride and groom with rope for rock climbing

bride and groom tying knot around them

bride and groom tying a knot

bride and groom tying a knot

bride and groom in a foggy forest kissing

bride and groom smiling in a foggy first

bride and groom dancing in a foggy forest

bride and groom dancing alone in a forest

bride and groom dancing alone in a forest

elopement couple dancing in a foggy forest

elopement couple laughing

elopement couple during first dance

bride and groom smiling with headphones in together

bride and groom laughing together

elopement couple walking to Grand View Overlook in New River Gorge

Elopement couple watching the sun rise at Grand View Overlook in New River Gorge

clouds over the mountains in New River Gorge

Elopement couple in their coats on a cold morning

bride and groom with foreheads touching

bride and groom in coats kissing by mountains

Elopement Couple at New River Gorge National Park overlook in West Virginia

Bride and Groom at Grand View Overlook at New River Gorge in West Virginia

Bride and groom at sunrise in New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia


Breakfast and The New River Gorge Bridge

After our time at the overlook, we returned to the beautiful house they had rented for them and their guests for the weekend, where they made themselves breakfast and planned out where they wanted to climb with their friends later. With some time to kill before they planned to meet up with everyone, we stopped at both the official New River Gorge Bridge overlook and then made our way down into the gorge towards the river where we spent time taking photos at the base of the bridge.


Bride and groom cooking breakfast together

bride cooking breakfast

Groom cooking breakfast

Bride and groom eating breakfast together on their elopement day

bride and groom eating breakfast in their wedding clothes

wedding rings on a New River Gorge guide book

bride and groom looking at the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia

Elopement couple smiling together

elopement couple laughing at an overlook

Elopement couple at New River Gorge Bridge overlook

bride and groom at New River Gorge bridge overlook in the sun

elopement couple under the new river gorge bridge in West Virginia

bride and groom under the New River Gorge bridge

bride and groom at the New River Gorge bridge on elopement day

bride and groom on elopement day hopping on rocks

bride and groom walking on rocks by a river in New River Gorge



Rock Climbing and Repelling at The Endless Wall

Adrienne & Drew geared up for a day of climbing at The Endless Wall where they started off by repelling down a huge cliff together, wedding clothes and all. When they were almost the whole way down, I scurried down a series of ladders to meet them at the bottom of the wall where their friends also met them. It was a seemingly busy day for climbing, so we hiked a bit to get to a location that hadn't yet been claimed. There, the group would spend the day together climbing, belaying, and basking in the sun on rocks like lizards since it was a bit chilly out. As we got closer to sunset, we walked to another point that would allow them to climb back up to the top of the Endless Wall whereeveryone would gather for sunset.



Bride and groom with rock climbing equipment gearing up for a climb


Bride and groom with hiking backpacks walking on a trail in West Virginia

elopement couple hiking through a forest in New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia

elopement couple crossing a bridge

Rock climbing elopement groom tying ropes

Elopement couple getting ready to repel down a cliff

Elopement couple kissing on the edge of a cliff before repelling

bride and groom looking over the edge of a cliff

bride and groom repelling down a cliff together in New River Gorge

bride and groom on elopement day repelling down a cliff

bride and groom on elopement day repelling down a cliff in New River Gorge

bridge meeting with friends in the woods

bride and guests hiking through the forest

bride and groom eating a sandwich in the woods

bride and groom's feet with hiking shoes

bride holding grooms face

bride laying in the forest with coat on

groom rock climbing on wedding day

elopement guests hanging out in the woods

bridesmaid rock climbing

bride belaying a bridesmaid on a rock wall

bride and bridesmaid with rock climbing equipment

bride's hiking boots


Diamond Point

I hustled back up the ladders to get to the top of the wall and over to the Diamond Point overlook where the couple would be climbing up to the top. I couldn't see over to them so I waited and listened until I could hear Adrienne approaching the top, where I caught her amid the challenge of pulling herself up over the edge. Afterward, she and their friends helped ensure the line was ready for Drew to make his way up the wall as well, and when he finally did make it up, their guests were there to greet him.


The wind was brutal, but we took photos with everyone at the top of that cliff during sunset, where they also took the time to thank each person for coming to spend the weekend with them and for being there on their elopement day. Just as they watched the sun rise on their elopement day, they watched the sun set again over the gorge. We walked back toward the cars with headlamps to help guide us through the darkening forest, before departing for Pies & Pints for their pizza dinner celebration.


bride climbing over the edge of a cliff

bride rock climbing on elopement day

bride and guests with rock climbing equipment

bride with rock climbing rope

groom climbing over the edge of a cliff

groom climbing over a cliff edge in New River Gorge National Park

bride and groom with their friends in New River Gorge National Park

elopement couple with guests in West Virginia

Wedding couple and their guests on Elopement day

Elopement couple at Diamond Point in New River Gorge

bride and groom looking into the sunset

elopement couple in black and white

elopement couple at sunset at Diamond Point in New River Gorge National Park

Bride and groom talking to wedding guests at sunset

wedding guests group hug

wedding day group huddle

elopement day group huddle with friends

bride and groom on elopement day with new river gorge bridge in the background

bride and groom at the end of their elopement

bride and groom smiling together on a cliff

bride and groom watching the sun go down together on the elopement day

elopement couple sitting on a cliff together

bride's pearly dress skirt

elopement couple watching the sun set at New River Gorge

elopement bride with a dirty dress


Three things that I loved about this day ...


  1. The creative challenges that rock climbing added to my work

  2. The amazing group of people who brought joy, laughter, and positive vibes to their wedding experience

  3. Drew & Adrienne fully embracing the best parts of eloping - sharing an experience together, having time for just the two of you, and allowing yourselves to get dirty and have fun


So grateful to have had the opportunity to tell the story of their wedding day! Thank you and congratulations again to this amazing couple!



 


Are you excited and ready to begin your wedding adventure?

Begin your New River Gorge elopement journey with Wild North Weddings!

View more information on how to elope, packages and pricing in West Virginia and beyond at wildnorthweddings.com or click the buttons below.




 


Carly D'Angelo - Owner of Wild North Weddings | U.S. Elopement Photographer

Hey there! I'm Carly - The owner of Wild North Weddings and a photographer specializing in documenting weddings and elopements across the U.S. If you love the idea of a wedding with adventure, excitement, and a little romance sprinkled in, let's talk about how I can help you create and capture the wedding day of your dreams!


Destination Wedding and Elopement Photographer for weddings across the United States including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Upstate New York, and New England




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