Halle and Kayden’s Mount Rainier National Park Destination Wedding
Sitting at 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. It sits as an active volcano and is the most glaciated peak in the U.S. With wildflower meadows and wildlife all around, this gorgeous and romantic spot was perfect for the lovers to sneak away to and have an intimate and private wedding. Halle and Kayden, along with help from their photographer Ashley Masters, knew just this and made it their spot to start their “forever” from.
Halle and Kayden flew out with their kids and family from Wisconsin to Mount Rainier National Park for their destination wedding. On a blissful day in August, amongst the wildflowers, they read letters from loved ones, exchanged vows during a glowy golden hour, danced and picnicked with a picturesque backdrop.
How did you meet?
We met on social media a few years before we started dating. Timing was never right, one was always dating somebody else. But one day we matched on Tinder, it took months to actually hang out, but once we did, we never spent time apart.
Give us all the details about the proposal.
Halle: Kayden proposed on New Year’s Eve (even after Halle said no proposals on any holidays). It was a casual night in, we ordered our favorite food and Kayden proposed much earlier than midnight! (We are foster parents and staying up until midnight is not in our vocabulary anymore.)
Kayden: I figured New Year’s was a good time to propose because I wanted it to be a surprise and Halle told me not to propose on a holiday. Just kidding, mostly. The timing felt right and I had been holding onto the ring for a year already! I didn’t want to go into another year without at least being engaged. We ordered in our favorite food and relaxed into the couch. I was so nervous, I think Halle noticed I was acting funny. When I finally got the courage to ask she was so shocked but said yes of course!
Tell us about your Mount Rainier National Park Destination Wedding!
We eloped at Tipsoo Lake in Mt Rainier. We initially were planning an entire wedding in our home state of WI, but after realizing the stress of planning and losing the excitement we had, we knew we wanted to elope!
Let’s talk wedding decor.
We wanted nature and a laid-back atmosphere. Neither of us had been to Mount Rainier before, so we relied heavily on our photographer, Ashley, and she did NOT disappoint with location and help. Our colors were maroon, navy blue and blush. The only decor we had was a blanket to stand on. The backdrop of the mountains and lake was enough for us!
What were the florals like in your wedding?
Our flowers actually came from the Yakima farmers! We picked them up the day before the wedding and they were perfect. We wanted little pieces of the state and areas we stayed at incorporated throughout the day. Kayden’s boutonnière was homemade and simple.
Did you personalize the day in any way?
We wrote personal vows and had a charcuterie board to share made of things we got at the Yakima farmers market. (With Wheel Line Cider beers for celebration afterward.) Both of us, along with our son, wore Dr. Martens. Halle had charms of family members who are no longer here so they could be a part of the day. They also had a “cozy” shoot prior to the elopement with all things Schitt’s Creek related.
Let’s talk wedding day fashion.
We definitely wanted more casual looks since we would be hiking throughout the park, and we didn’t want to spend too much money on our outfits. Kayden had velvet, maroon pants and a blue top, topped with a floral blush tie and suspenders (from Express & Kohls). My dress was from BHLDN (a Willowby by Watters Hearst gown)—I had been eyeing that dress for a couple of years and when I tried it on I knew it was “the one” (and it was on sale!). The one thing we both knew we wanted for the wedding were Dr. Martens. We got them for the entire family.
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
Kayden: It was seeing Halle’s “outfit.” She kept it a secret until the day of and gave no hints as to what it would look like.
Halle: It was our first dance: “Simply the Best” (Noah Reid’s version from Schitt’s Creek). Just being able to be present, to enjoy that moment and to reflect on the day with Kayden was so exciting. (Props to Ashley and Brooke for finding the best lookout for this.)
What is your wedding planning or marriage advice you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
Do what YOU want! There are so many societal pressures to have an extravagant, big day with everybody surrounding you, but if that isn’t your thing, don’t do it! Go alone, invite your closest, most important folks, whatever you want. It truly is you and your partner’s day, nobody else’s. Being part of the LGBTQ+ community is hard enough, make sure you do what makes you happy and what makes you, YOU. Also, enjoy the day! There will be so many little mishaps that could ruin the day. Choose happiness and understand that everything that happens during the day is what makes it unique and special to you and your partner’s story.
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Maria (Mo) Palladino
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