Golden Sunrise Elopement & Day After Adventure in the Dolomites – Emily & David

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The Engagement Story

Very quickly in our relationship, we realized that we were meant to be and started talking about marriage. Less than a year into dating, we both decided we were ready to get married and started making plans! We had the absolute best time choosing a ring together, and then the rest was up to David. David took on planning a surprise and went about making all the arrangements. Several key elements were booked through my accounts, so he took care to move things out of my email, and into a “surprise” folder for safekeeping. The surprise was all set and carefully under wraps, until…. a few weeks later when I scrolled in my Google calendar checking out our Christmas plans and happened to see Gmail had auto-populated a flight to Jamaica! I was so excited, but the surprise was burst by the calendar lol

David had chosen this location early on in our relationship when he stumbled upon a photo from my family’s first trip outside the country together when I was a child. The picture captured my family and me climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica our faces all smiles. He took note of it, deciding right then, that when the time came to propose, this would be the spot.

Before the proposal, we embarked on an adventure-filled day that perfectly captured the essence of our relationship. We climbed the cascading Dunn’s River Falls from the ocean into the jungle. Parts of the climb made us pause and look to each other for encouragement and a little cheer of support. It was one of those rare moments where something was actually bigger than you remembered it as a child! The thrill of ascending the falls and snorkeling on the reef earlier in the day heightened our connection and anticipation.

As the sun set, casting a golden glow over the ocean, David got down on one knee on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. There was so much love and joy on his face. He delivered the sweetest, most heartfelt proposal speech that brought me to tears and I was so moved that I couldn’t remember a word he said afterwards lol We were so overwhelmed by love and joy. It was a beautiful moment.

With tears streaming down my face, I eagerly said yes and jumped into his arms 🙂 As the light faded into darkness, we were lead down from the cliff to the other side of the beach where a glittering walkway of candlelight patterns lit the way to our table for dinner. It was so romantic. We had an amazing dinner by the ocean, just the two of us, under a palm tree wrapped in twinkling white lights facing the ocean. The proposal was made even more meaningful by the fact that it took place in a location that held a special place in our hearts, chosen with so much thought and love.

Any funny stories leading up to your wedding day?

We rarely drink alcohol, but when we were ring shopping, we got day drunk on champagne nearly every weekend in a row for 5 weeks running lol We were down to two rings, had placed a deposit on one and ended up choosing the other. When we went back to request our deposit back on the first ring, they offered us champagne and we said “oh, no, thank you!” and they looked at us like we were crazy. We just simply couldn’t have another drop of alcohol. We didn’t think we’d see the day when we turned down free, fancy champagne 🙂

How did you decide on your location?

It was truly just a feeling and a knowing. I felt such a strong sense of knowing we didn’t consider anywhere else. Neither of us had been there before, nor knew a single person who had been to the Dolomites, so I can’t provide any particular rationale for it other than trusting in my sense of knowing as divine inspiration to get married in the Dolomites. I am sooo very happy we did. When people ask where the most beautiful place I’ve traveled is, I always answer, there’s incredibly unique beauty everywhere you go! I cannot give you an answer for any single place. David knowing this, exclaimed while we were there, “This is it! This MUST be the most beautiful place on Earth. You have to be willing to say that now.” Hehe it was really cute. It really felt like the most lovely place on the planet to celebrate our love and start our marriage together.

What is your favourite moment from the day?

My absolute favorite moment from our day was when we exchanged our vows and love letters against the backdrop of the breathtaking mountain sunrise. Standing at the base of the majestic Cinque Torri, overlooking a valley blanketed in ethereal clouds, our hearts overflowed with emotion. We felt as though we were bursting with love. Promising to spend our lives together in the presence of such natural beauty felt like a fairytale. The love letters we exchanged held our most intimate thoughts and dreams, binding us together forever. We felt so incredibly cherished and loved. I’ll never forget these moments.

As we danced together, our spirits soared, and it truly felt as though we were floating on air. The panoramic view of the valley filled with clouds served as a breathtaking backdrop to our celebration of love. It was a moment where time seemed to stand still and we were filled with the overwhelming emotions of joy, love, and promise. This, without a doubt, is the cherished memory that defines the essence of our special day.

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

We’re so happy we opted for an intimate wedding with just the two of us. It created a profound sense of intimacy as we exchanged vows, allowing us to fully focus on each other and the significance of the moment. The privacy allowed us to fully express ourselves and our deepest thoughts in our handcrafted love letters. It was an enchanting moment professing our love for each other in the peace of nature we’ll never forget.

We’re so glad we wore our hiking boots all day! It was such a fun, whimsical feeling to be dressed to the nines and wearing hiking boots in the mountains. We loved it.

We’re so happy we decided to get married at sunrise. Best decision ever! The way the lights shines on the mountains is unreal and such a magical time of day. The 2:30AM start to our day was intimidating, but we didn’t sleep anyways with the massive excitement and anticipation, so we would have been so bummed if we didn’t since we were up anyways! The morning moments were the most special of the whole day.

We’re really happy we worked with all local vendors. Their knowledge is unmatched by elopement specialists from overseas. They guided us through all the decision points with ease and helped us curate the most wonderful day.

We’re so happy we skipped the big wedding!

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

My advice to other couples first and foremost would be to choose the style that feels best for you as a couple. Whether it’s an intimate elopement or a grand celebration, it’s essential that your wedding reflects your unique personalities and preferences. Don’t feel pressured to conform to any specific expectations; let your wedding style be an authentic representation of your love story.

Dream big when envisioning your special day. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, so savor the opportunity to write an unforgettable start to your love story. If you’ve always dreamed of a certain style, venue or detail, go for it! Your wedding is a way to celebrate your love in the most beautiful way possible, so don’t hold back on your vision.

Lastly, don’t forget to shower yourself and your spouse in love throughout the planning process and on the big day itself. Weddings can be stressful, but remember that the most important thing is the love you share. Cherish each other, take moments to appreciate the journey, and ensure that all the little details that matter to you both are included. These details are what will make your wedding uniquely yours and create lasting memories. Ultimately, your wedding should be a joyous celebration of your love, so enjoy every moment of it!

What wedding planning resources did you use whilst planning your elopement (if any)?

During the planning of our elopement, we heavily relied on a few key wedding planning resources. Pinterest was a go-to for creating inspiration boards for florals and hair. Wedding blogs were helpful for crafting the ceremony and drawing inspiration for the day. Local vendors were the absolute most important resource in bringing our vision to life. All the local vendors we were wonderful to work with and invaluable resources in curating the most magical day perfectly suited to us. I felt very comfortable and minimal stress throughout the planning process knowing we had a team of expert locals to rely on.

What was your favorite thing about working with Cat?

What stood out most about working with Cat was her fabulous personality. She was not only easy-going and good-natured but also had a fantastic sense of humor that added a vibrant energy to our entire wedding experience. Cat’s flexibility and ability to change plans on the fly were invaluable. She took the initiative to develop a relationship with us before our wedding day, which made it feel like we were connecting with a friend rather than meeting a new photographer for the first time.

Cat’s expertise in capturing the wildness and natural beauty of our surroundings was simply amazing, and she was an absolute pro at what she did. Her photos are unreal! They capture the day as a dreamy fairytale in the mountains. Her zest and passion for her career as a photographer were palpable. We absolutely loved it. It was wonderful to see. Furthermore, her unique talent lay in making even the camera-shy among us feel completely at ease, ensuring that our wedding photos reflected our genuine emotions and the joy of our special day. Working with Cat was an absolute delight, and her contributions made our wedding day even more memorable.

Cat’s expertise extended beyond her photography skills; her intimate mountain knowledge was a game-changer. She had an uncanny ability to select the perfect locations for us based on our abilities and interests. It’s clear she knows these mountains like the back of her hand, ensuring that every backdrop and vista was not only stunning but also perfectly suited to our adventure. Her guidance and understanding of the terrain added an extra layer of magic to our elopement experience.

Vendor Team:

Wedding planner – Jlenia Costner
Hair & Makeup – Viki Aichner
Hotel – Mi Chalet
Helicopter – Elikos
Dress – Winnie Couture
Suit – BLVDier
Florals – Paola Simone
Cake – Garage Patisserie

The Photos

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