NC Elopement | Sunjay & Karissa’s Hiking Elopement Inspiration Shoot


NC Elopement Inspiration

When I began chatting with Sunjay & Kerissa about what their big NC elopement styled shoot should look like, one thing kept coming up—”we want it to be peaceful.”

So we began planning their Asheville NC Elopement inspired day with all the right mixture of peacefulness, adventure, and meaning—all the things that a trip to Asheville brings to them. We started location scouting with a few things in mind: “Where can we have privacy? Where can we hike? And where can we get some stellar views?” Sunjay & Kerissa decided on a lakeside adventure with just them and me! So their day began.

Sunjay and Kerissa’s hike wasn’t too long, so they opted to hike the entirety of their day in their wedding attire plus hiking boots plus their packs full of their elopement supplies—puffy coats, their vow books, canteens of warm tea, and their rings. As we headed up the trailhead to the lake, the scene was just too beautiful to not stop and let them relish in the beginning of the most meaningful day of their lives. Sunjay and Kerissa danced around, and Sunjay literally just couldn’t wait to kiss her. Every chance he got, he would dip her like in those cheesy romance movies and give her a big smooch. He handled it pretty well considering all the added weight on their backs from their packs. 🙂

They took a moment right before we picked our packs up again to lean into each other and sync their breathing. I heard some whispers from them, and they were really breathing in how special their day already was.

We had seen no other person on the trail.

They were truly full of that peacefulness they wanted.

And their NC elopement styled shoot adventure together had only just begun. 🙂

We packed up our belongings and headed towards their ceremony site, and Sunjay let out a big cry, “LET’S FRIGGIN DO THIS!!!” Kerissa giggled and shoved him playfully until the weight from his pack caused him to stumble. They continued to play the entire way up the trail. A mile or so later, we reached their ceremony spot.


NC Elopement Cermeony Ideas

A big and beautiful golden field that matched Kerissa’s dress showed up on the side of the trail (completely unplanned lol) so we chose this spot for them to exchange vows for their NC elopement styled shoot. It was a bit chilly, so they decided to exchange their vows in the sunniest and coziest part of their golden field. Kerissa went first and shared things about Sunjay she loved—his creativity & humor. She vowed to grow old beside him and always be an encourager to him. Sunjay shared a few things he loved about her too—her drive & spunk! Then he cracked some jokes about how she’ll still be smoking hot when they’re gray sitting on rocking chairs together and knitting one day. The two exchanged rings, and it was a done deal. They were now married!!!

So how do you celebrate being officially married during your elopement? You can dance!! So Sunjay and Kerissa danced in the middle of the field to Kerissa’s childhood nursery rhymes and Sunjay’s occasional Jackson 5 rendition until their dance was through. And that’s the cool part. They got to decide how to celebrate and how long they celebrated. There was no rush, because this time on their day was really for them.

Once their first dance was finished, Sunjay and Kerissa ran around the field together, kicking up dirt, getting poked by thorns, and giggling the entire time. They spun around and laughed until they realized the temperature was dropping a bit, and they had a few more spots they wanted to explore together.

We packed up their vow books, put on our puffy coats, and danced down one more trail to get to the lake for their NC elopement styled shoot.


A Windy NC Elopement Post-Ceremony Adventure

Sunjay and Kerissa found a big rock as they explored the edge of the lake and sat down for a breather. The wind whipped off the water, so they snuggled up and spoke in funny accents to help the other person warm up. <3 After they caught their breath from the hike, they went down nearly into the water to take in their commitment to one another surrounded by so many great witnesses found in the great outdoors—the waves crashing onto the rocks, the wind ripping through pine trees, and woodland cutie creatures scurrying into their dens for the night. All this surrounded them as they just breathed deeply and looked pensively out into nature. They felt their peace. They felt at home.

But, they had one more place to explore for their NC elopement styled shoot. They knew of a fun bridge nearby overlooking the lake where they could take in even more of the scenery, so we packed up and raced (RACED) the sun to get to their next adventure spot. Sunjay & Kerissa bounced around that bridge as if nothing was holding them down. The freedom on their faces was shining as beautifully as the sun on the lake. Once we found ourselves on the other side of the bride, we had a few minutes until sundown, so they rested, warmed up with some tea, pulled out a few more layers—gloves & hats!!

As they watched the sun set on their NC elopement inspired day, Sunjay and Kerissa were still. Sunjay leaned his head over on Kerissa, and she put her hand on his cheek saying, “I couldn’t imagine my wedding day ending any differently than sitting here watching this sunset with you.”

The sun went over the pine tree horizon, and we only had one thing left to do—hike back. Sunjay & Kerissa put all their layers on, gave one final kiss, and we started back.

What really made their NC elopement styled shoot so special?

THIS was their perfect wedding day. Just them, a meaningful spot to them, and all the peace and solitude they needed on their wedding day. Their day was full of dancing, running about, listening to nature, giggling, and some solemn moments between just them. Their adventure was meaningful, authentic, and creative and allowed them to be 100% themselves.

We were stoked to be a part of their NC elopement styled shoot! We are stoked to be a part of any elopement day, because we believe couples like you deserve a wedding experience where you are really heard and where your day is truly your own.

That’s why we photograph elopements. Because we believe you deserve a wedding day you love, sister—one you can actually remember. And one that is really focused on your love for one another and your commitment. So check out these cuties in the meantime! And we can’t wait to talk with ya! <3


Des and Dan

Hey, it’s us!

We’re Des & Dan! Husband & wife elopement photographers, planners, and officiants! We help couples like you create elopement days full of meaningful details, authentic moments, and creative experiences because we believe you deserve a wedding day where you are truly heard—a wedding day you can truly remember.

We’d love to help in any way you can, so check out our other free planning resources or send us an email by hitting contact! We’d love to hop on the phone and see what you’re envisioning for your elopement day.

You deserve this.

Des & Dan


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