Alta Via 1 Dolomites Trekking Elopement – Shelly & Kyle

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Hiking the Alta Via 1 wasn’t Shelly & Kyle’s original plan for getting married. Their original wedding plans had been cancelled by the pandemic, and when they were able to postpone their trekking honeymoon trip to the Dolomites into 2021, they thought “why not get married while we are there too?”

Since Shelly & Kyle were hiking the classic Alta Via 1 trek in the Dolomites over multiple days, when we were planning the logistics for their elopement, there was a lot to consider. They were going to leave their main luggage with their wedding clothes in their first night hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo and we arranged that I’d collect it on my way to meet them. That way, they could hike in without too much extra stuff and I’d bring things up via the lift access.

After lots of planning, we decided that since they were staying overnight in a mountain hut, it would be amazing to make the most of the opportunity and get sunrise (and potentially sunset) photos up on the mountain. That meant we could split the adventure over two days. And on the second day, they would also be joined by their parents too for a short ceremony and some celebrations before taking the lft back down and spending the night in a hotel again before continuing their trek along the Alta Via 1.

With the morning weather forecast showing some clouds, I suggested that after we scouted ceremony locations the afternoon before, that Shelly & Kyle actually changed into their wedding clothes already that evening for a first look and some sunset photos. And thank goodness they did. That night we were treated to some incredible skies as the sun started to set.

The next morning I woke up and there was a cloud inversion, but by the time we all headed outside everything was fully in the clouds. Not being deterred by anything, Shelly & Kyle took some photos in the fog before we had a break for breakfast. Then it was time for Shelly’s parents to meet us (unfortunately Kyle’s couldn’t make it) and we hiked out to find a spot for their ceremony.

After their short ceremony we spent some time exploring and enjoying the scenery at the top of the mountain before heading back down to the pass so Shelly & Kyle could have a well-earned rest day before continuing the rest of their epic trek along the Alta Via 1 the next day.

I asked them to tell me a bit more about their story too and this is what they said:

How did you get engaged?

Kyle proposed just underneath the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro! It was just the start of our crazy trekking adventuring ideas.

How did you decide on your location?

This was actually plan B! It was going to be our honeymoon hiking trek and when the pandemic cancelled our original wedding we decided to just elope on the honeymoon trek and it turned out more amazing than we ever could have imagined!

What were the biggest challenges you faced in planning your elopement?

The 2020 pandemic of course. Travel and planning for family/friends was so impossibly unpredictable — eloping with just our parents was the best answer for us.

What is your favourite memory from the day?

Definitely saying our vows as the sun broke through the fog on the summit of Mt. Lagazuoi is our favorite moment.

Is there anything you are really glad you did? Or didn’t do?

We are beyond thrilled that we had Cat capture everything! That we were able to plan for her to be up on the mountain with us the night before and chose to take advantage of the weather at sunset since the next morning was nothing but fog for sunrise.

What advice would you give to other couples planning their wedding?

Listen to the experts like Cat when deciding location and advice for prepping.

What was your favourite thing about working with Cat?

Cat is absolutely brilliant! She has the expertise and insight to plan and subsequently capture the joy that was our elopement. I almost cancelled it all in a panic at one point and Cat was so easy to work with and helped quell all my anxiety over every little detail. I 100% recommend working with Cat for any and all adventure photography needs and especially for all crazy adventure trips that you want captured to remember!


Mountain Guide – International Alpine Guides
Dress – Enzoani
Rifugio – Lagazuoi

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guide to mountain huts

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