It’s not surprising that a couple who is stressed out by wedding planning might dream of eloping with their partner. Alaska elopements are a classic way to celebrate wedded bliss.
They did not expect to win the Alaskan elopement contest sponsored by Outland Events. They also had no idea of the pampering and beauty they would receive if they won. The giveaway was hosted by a team of the best vendors for an Alaskan elopement. It included gifts and services worth over 15000 dollars for the lucky couple.
Adriana and Chester are two adventurers who have no problem dumping their wedding plans that would take years to complete and to book a flight to Anchorage when they win this once-in-a-lifetime wedding adventure. A completely planned, styled, and paid-for elopement.
The views were spectacular, with snow-capped Alaskan mountains in the distance. Cascading flowers in deep reds, dreamy purples, and rich plums. The couple were ready to exchange their vows when a misty rain fell. What did they do? They ran out to the showers and declared their love.
This all culminated in a memorable elopement that was uniquely theirs. Corinne G. Graves is the co-owner and photographer of Outland Events. She captured some of the most beautiful photographs as well as a fun Super 8 film. (Yes, I am my wedding photographer!) Try not to cry as you read Adriana’s story and Outland Events’ inspiration for this stunning and adventurous Alaskan elopement.
Our Love Story
We met a la Tinder. On our third date, we discovered that we shared a friend, and both attended her engagement party a few weeks before matching. We sometimes like to say that we met her.
Chester put a lot of effort into our engagement. Chester isn’t the best at keeping secrets and surprises, so this was quite a feat. Chester wrote his first love song after he picked out Adriana’s ring. *
Chester spent weeks researching and found The Columns, a stunning mansion located in Steilacoom. Chester invited her entire family to the surprise engagement. He kept everyone on track by using a Google Doc titled Top Secret Proposal, which included a timeline for the day and October as the date. Chester would play his love song the night before, and her family would emerge from the bush afterward. Chester recruited Adriana’s friend Clare from Bridal Musings to capture the moment.
*Chester insisted when we started dating that, as music, he “doesn’t do love songs.”
Chester and Adriana’s cousin Katrina planned a day out at a farmer’s market in Steilacoom to lure Adriana to the house. Katrina informed Adriana of The Columns’ haunted history and asked her to see it. She led her up the stairs, where Chester waited with his guitar. As predicted by the timeline, there were many tears and lots of champagne. After the proposal, everyone gathered for a meal of Vietnamese takeout from our favorite Vietnamese restaurant.
Win an Alaskan elopement
Claire posted Outland Events’s Alaska elopement giveaway on Instagram the day I thought about eloping. I entered the giveaway, thinking it was a sign from God or good timing. Chester agreed with the idea, and we both wondered, “Who wins Instagram giveaways anyway?”
We didn’t find out that we had won until about a month later, on a trip to Boston. It was an emotional rollercoaster as I also had some bad personal news on that day. We accepted the offer and began a month-long preparation for our big day. Cori and Erin made the process enjoyable.
The Dress with Florals
My community is very important to me, so I chose to buy my dress from Brides for a Cause. The time we had was limited, and I was fortunate to find the right clothing the first time. The beading and sweetheart neckline, as well as the tulle, were all things I liked. I wanted to wear something comfortable and unique that would allow me to spin around. Little did I realize it would collect some tundra during the day!
My bouquet was so beautiful that I think I may have gasped. The flowers were all unique, and I was delighted to discover that 90% of them were local. My favorite was the giant red flowers. The cabin was also pleasantly scented, which added to its coziness.
The Big Day
We spent the night in Anchorage and began our journey north at midday. We decided on a ceremony in the evening so that we could enjoy Hatcher Pass. We stopped at Palmer Reindeer Farm as a gift for the groom. Chester was determined to see a real moose, so we made sure that he did! We continued to Hatcher Pass after feeding a moose and a reindeer. The mountains and the natural beauty of this area left us in awe. We stopped at a few viewpoints to snap photos and enjoy our surroundings.
When we reached the Hatcher Pass Lodge’s red cabins, my hair and make-up were done. Chester took advantage of this time to go on a hike in the surrounding area. He may have ended up in the mud or rinsed in a stream. Hannah, a stylist at Ema Rose Hair Salon, was pampering me while I shared music and laughter with make-up artist Cathy. I chose a natural look for my make-up and romantic waves in my hair with a braid. Erin added a romantic touch to my hair with a gorgeous flower piece.
It was so much fun taking photos with Cori! She didn’t seem to mind us being silly as we danced and hiked in the tundra. (I also learned that dress shoes for men don’t work well when going downhill …). The day was going according to plan until…
Cori said that we were on time after we had finished taking photos. As an event planner, this is a bad sign. It rained within five minutes, despite the fact that rain was not on the day’s forecast. Chester and I took cover in the cabin as rain turned to hail, then more rain. We had to sign our paperwork and make a decision. We had to make a choice: do we stay in the cabin or brave the Alaskan weather?
We chose to go outside and stick with our original plan. Rain and hail continued to fall until we said, “I do.” Only after our vows were shared did the rain and hail stop. The rain and hail made us laugh, and the excitement of the moment added to the beauty.
Outland Event Planning
When we were planning this Alaska elopement giveaway, Hatcher Pass was one of our favorites. We wanted to include the iconic Hatcher Pass Lodge in the images and experience of the day. This past June, we gathered a team of talented vendors who created a curated all-inclusive experience for a lucky couple.
The photos and video of their wedding day show that we could not have chosen a more fun, loving, beautiful, and authentic couple. The couple trusted us with the planning and design of their wedding and embraced the nature and offerings of the giveaways. The clients explained their style and vibe (quirky maximalism, thrifted minimalism) through our custom questionnaire, phone calls, and emails. This allowed us to stay in touch with them at every step of the design and planning process.
The ceremony was a mix of heartfelt connection and inside jokes. It was a true reflection of the relationship between Adriana and Chester. The adventurous couple was applauded during their ceremony, but they rolled with the surprise of the weather with enthusiasm and good humor. The couple embraced Alaska’s unique elopement experience and were rewarded with a story and memories they will cherish.