A rainy forest elopement in the French Alps

Anna and Mitch contacted me because they wanted to plan their elopement in France, and they were hesitant between the beautiful nature of the French Alps and the thousand chateaux of Dordogne in South-West France. After we chatted, I sent them 6 options to choose from for their ceremony: 3 in the Alps and 3 in Dordogne. And they chose a beautiful, open-air location, top-of-a-mountain feeling location in the Chartreuse region of the French Alps. I was so excited to shoot there as the Chartreuse offers some of the most beautiful forests in France, as well as breathtaking views on the Alps.

The morning of their elopement, the weather predictions were pretty bad: rain all day, except around 8pm. So we changed our plans and decided to head to the forests in order to enjoy the safety of the branches from the gloomy day.

They rented a chateau for their handful of guests and themselves for a few days before and after their elopement day, and this is where I picked them up in the morning. They wanted to have a coffee date in Grenoble, so this is where we drove first. The coffee shop was intimate and perfect for a French-style shoot!

We then headed back to the chateau for lunch, and they got ready separately. Anna was upstairs with her mom, sister and a friend, while Mitch was downstairs with his father and mother-in-law. Everybody got ready within a few hours, and once Anna was all dressed up, we decided to do a first look going down the beautiful spiral staircase of the chateau. It was a very emotional moment for the couple and their guests!

We then took off in my car and headed to a nearby patisserie to pick up some cakes for an afernoon snack in the mountains. The choice was overwhelming but they chose an eclair and some other delicious treats. We then started our ascent into the mountains, until we reached a beautiful open view on Grenoble and the Chartreuse mountains. We found a spot to sit down and they ate their cakes overlooking the mountains.

After a well-deserved break to eat some pastries, we finished our ascent into the forest and started scouting for a new location for the ceremony. This was not an easy task: they wanted something intimate, not too far from the road but surrounded by nature. We stopped at different locations in the forest, until we stumbled upon an opening in the forest, with an old mossy stump, that was absolutely perfect for their ceremony. We did some couple photos at that location and headed back to the car to warm up while waiting for their guests to arrive.

Once everybody was here, we all headed back into the forest while we waited for the rain to stop a little bit. We almost started the ceremony, but had to stop right away as the rain came back on us. But once it stopped, we started the ceremony for good and it never rained again! The ceremony was conducted by Anna and Mitch’s friend and it was incredibly emotional. Everybody cried (even me!), surrounded only by the chirping of the birds and the gentle embrace of the forest.

After a little break for group photos, we headed back to my car and all the way up the mountain for some epic couple photos at sunset, while their guests headed back down to Grenoble for drinks at the restaurant. We were incredibly lucky: the clouds were heavy but across the sky from the sun, which created some outreal atmospheres in the sky and the mountains. In the valley, we could see the clouds on the city.

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