When you think about your perfect wedding day, is there rain involved? Probably not. Is there a flood involved? Most definitely not. But did Hannah & Joe roll with what the universe sent their way? Absolutely they did! They had the option to wait until the next morning when the weather cleared, but they were sold on making their wedding day happen on the day that they chose, and that's exactly what we did!
Hannah and Joe chose Taughannock Falls State Park in the Fingerlakes region of New York for their elopement adventure, and can you blame them? It's one of the most impressive natural features that the northeast has to offer, and looks absolutely breathtaking with the autumn leaves! I met them at their accommodations at the Taughannock Falls Inn, which is a charming and historic hotel right beside the park. Though a bit nervous, they were very much excited for the day and ready to get rolling. They were dressed and ready to go sooner than planned, so we hung out and took some portraits in the hotel's bar and lounge area knowing that it would probably be the only opportunity to get photos of them in their planned wedding attire without rain jackets.
We drove a short distance from the hotel to the falls overlook, which was an easy walk from the cars. The good thing about heavy rain was that there were little to no visitors to the park during our time there, which is highly uncommon since it's a large attraction for tourists visiting the region. They took in the impressive sight of the falls from above while we waited for the officiant to arrive. It was an amazing experience seeing the falls that powerful, especially having seen it during normal weather conditions in the past!
The ceremony was short, but nonetheless romantic and meaningful. At the end, they sealed the deal with a kiss and received some cheers from a few people who had stumbled upon their wedding ceremony in search of the overlook! Then it was time to head down for our adventure to the base of the falls.
We hit the trail towards Taughannock Falls as we watched the waters rise on the river that ran along us. We were a little nervous about the water levels getting too high, but obviously we made it out unscathed to tell the tale! It's always important to be cautious though and know when to call it quits. Safety is always a top priority with adventure weddings!
When we arrived, you could feel the mist blowing heavily, and normally you can get closer to the base than where we were standing, but the wind from the falls was so strong that it was literally blowing us backwards! The water in the wind made for a challenge, but I think what we did capture from these moments tells the story of their experience perfectly. We moved back a bit and they stood together just to observe the falls and take the moment in. It's easy to get lost in the whirlwind of the adventure, but it's important to pause, take a few minutes, and be present with each other in a defining moment, just like they did.
After their adventure, they went off to get dry and ready for dinner! The rest of their trip consisted of them visiting other parts of the Fingerlakes region together, which is a huge destination for wine lovers, and surely they shared more adventures along the way. They actually kept it a secret that they were getting married and decided to surprise everyone with it afterward! Having this day to themselves was important because they're very much a laid-back couple who doesn't like the spotlight. They also wanted to spend the day focused on being present with each other and enjoying their time together.
When they look back and tell the story of their wedding day, they will definitely have a memorable story to tell! And that's one of the fun parts of an adventure elopement. It won't be the same old wedding tale people have seen and heard about a million times - it'll be unique, exciting, and romantic - the kind of story people want to hear about! And now they have the photos to prove how cool it really was.
Documenting Hannah & Joe's wedding story was one of the biggest challenges I've faced as a photographer, but also one of the most rewarding experiences of my career! I'm so grateful to have been present for their day and to have shared this experience with them.
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Hey there! I'm Carly D'Angelo-Hall - a photographer specializing in documenting weddings and elopements across the U.S. If you love adventure, experiencing new things, and if you like to live "outside of the box", let's talk about how I can help you create and capture the wedding day of your dreams! Visit wildnorthweddings.com to view all-inclusive wedding day and adventure session packages.
New York Elopement and Adventure Wedding Photographer and Guide - photographing weddings across Upstate New York in locations like The Fingerlakes, Ithaca, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Taughannock Falls State Park, Watkins Glen, the Catskill Mountains, Lake Placid, the Adirondack Mountains, Thousand Islands, Ithaca, and more!