• Emily Wilkerson

Self-Uniting Forest Elopement Ceremony

In the year 2020, small weddings called "#microweddings" and self uniting elopements became a massive trend. It's always been popular to do an #adventureelopment or #adventurewedding off in the middle of the wilderness with a small group of people or only your significant other, but 2020 was the year those intimate wedding ceremonies really hit the map. Though many weddings were cancelled or postponed in the early months of 2020, couples don't want to postpone their wedding days indefinitely so after a small lull in the beginning of 2020, matrimonial activities picked up again at a rapid place, in rural locations, with small groups of people.


Caitlin & Luke chose to have a self uniting ceremony in the Pittsburgh forest of Frick's Park in October of 2020. Their original wedding was scheduled to be earlier in the year but due to travel restrictions their families weren't able to come, so they chose to postpone with high hopes that their families would be able to come visit if the wedding was just a few months later. Unfortunately that was not the case, and their parents weren't among the small group of people who attended their small ceremony.



Caitlin and Luke got ready separately and then Caitlin went to the top of the mountain where Luke was waiting. They had a private first look alone together in the wilderness before their few guests arrived for the vows.




One of the special details of this wedding was the dress of the bride. It was originally her mother's and after some modification it was made ready for Caitlin to wear to her forest elopement as she said her vows to Luke.


Caitlin & Luke's parents recorded special messages to their kids, which were played as part of the ceremony.




Caitlin and Luke each took time to write their vows ahead of time and collect their thoughts so the vows would have structure and encompass everything they wanted to say to each other.




After they self-pronounced as man and wife, they headed to the dessert reception to cut cake! Cake and ice cream are a major factor in the relationship of Caitlin and Luke so it wouldn't be a celebration if there wasn't cake! Ice cream followed later on as well!






One the desserts were finished the brand new husband and wife hopped in the car and headed to the city to wander the streets of their college town and reminisce about the good times they have had together in the city of Pittsburgh.






After a few hours of heading to all the special spots in Pittsburgh and taking portraits, it was time for ice cream. Friends and family came by to congratulate the happy couple and enjoy ice cream with Caitlin and Luke! Thinking back about the number of times ice cream came up organically during this elopement, I remember it was part of the vows, the formal wedding send-off, and Caitlin even told me that during their honeymoon they went to five different ice cream shops in three days! So nothing is more fitting than ending a wedding day, and starting a marriage, with ice cream!





Congratulations, my friends. I am glad you chose to get married in 2020 despite the discouraging path this year has been for you weddings-wise. I am happy you're finally entered your marriage together and your elopement was charming, individual, full of genuine emotion, and so much personality. I am grateful to be among your close circle on that day. Cheers and ice cream to you both!


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© 2018 by Emily Wilkerson because she is too fussy to let someone else do this. Proudly created with Wix.com

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Lifestyle photography, documentary videography. Authentic, unposed storytelling.