Sun rays cut through the pines as we made our way down a skinny dirt road for this magical Manistee Forest elopement. We met Amy and Ted in the parking lot by the trailhead and got to work shooting the prettiest details. From there we set up the cutest picnic, complete with mini champagne grapes, gouda, and sparkling peach wine! (Shoutout to Trader Joes for having the best picnic foods) As golden hour quietly snuck up on us, they laughed and shared raspberries and cheese as we listened to the music of the forest. They even got a little chocolate cake to cut together and couldn’t stop smiling as they teased each other with frosting.
After the picnic, we cleaned up and made our way down to the main trail. The pine trees lined the road making the perfect background, and Amy and Ted danced, and ran around together enjoying the golden sun rays and each other’s company. Amy had the most magical cape and adventure hat, and looked like a woodland fairy as she twirled in the sunshine.
We then headed down the trail as the sun set, making our way to the ceremony location. Before they exchanged vows, we had to reapply bug spray for the fifth time to keep the mosquitos at bay. Then they shared vows overlooking the beautiful Manistee Forest. There were tears and laughter, and a sweet ring exchange followed by their first kiss. After cheering, and reapplying more bug spray, we headed towards the suspension bridge and did portraits by the river bank. As blue hour fell upon us, we got out the lanterns and captured such heartfelt moments. With only the lantern light, we hiked back up towards our cars, and saw over the horizon the prettiest full harvest moon. With complete dark creeping up we finished this gorgeous Manistee Forest elopement with popping sparkling wine in front of car headlights, and a sweet first dance.
This elopement had such magical-fairy-forest vibes and we absolutely loved it. It was so incredible to take things at their own pace, spend intentional time together, and have such a unique and authentic day. I’ll be swooning over this day and these photos forever.
For more info on Manistee National Forest, Michigan, visit here.