Are you thinking of eloping in Tulum, Mexico or somewhere else around the world? Send Heather an email at: email@example.com and set up a coffee date to talk about all of your plans! You can also see where Heather is traveling to next HERE.
Let’s just take a quick moment for me to admit my obsession with Wes Anderson. At legitimately every shoot, I try to get one shot that’s Wes Anderson style like. Growing up in theater and going to plays, the 2D visually yet 3D immersive nature of Wes Anderson’s stories has captured me for YEARS! Fantastic Mr. Fox may or may not have been one of the first full-length movies I ever showed my kids.
Now that we have that out of the way, we can proceed.
Storytelling is everything to me. I love getting to know couples, find what makes them THEM and then just rolling with it. It can be just a couples or engagement session or a full-blown wedding, I’m going to do this. Why one may ask? Because. I don’t take it lightly that I’m granted the opportunity to come into a couples sacred space and be allowed to tell their story of that moment in their lives. I’m telling stories with my camera. Small little looks, the crooked nook in your smile when he looks at you, fingers intertwined. Are all elements to your story. And this is just the way that I operate.
And one day back in November(ish) I got this intrinsic need to create something so bombastically different than my clientele had ever seen before. Something that was so iconically me. What is iconically me? Well, I’m actually, though a proud introvert, am a huge goofy, whimsical and quirky person. There’s a subtleness to my crazy and colorful heart. And what better way to share this than with the creamy pinks, royal purples and pops of red of Wes Anderson’s sensational, The Grand Budapest Hotel. I put together an inspiration board and shared it with numerous vendors until I had found the right person for each little itty bitty piece I was envisioning.
And finally, on the first Saturday of February, it all came together.
The result…my soul has been on cloud nine since.
The team that helped make this come together with such beautiful nods to Wes Anderson’s film was all and more that I could have asked for. I’m so over the moon with the photographs and home you all enjoy them as well.
HUGE shoutout to the AMAZINGLY creative and imaginative vendors who made this all come together! If your planning a wedding with some fun quirky twists, go and hire this team of BA women killing it!
Venue: Montvale Hotel
Event Planning & Paper Goods: Wild Wood Design and Coordination
IG: @ wildwood_wedding_coordination
Photography: Heather Woolery Photography
IG: @ coffeewithheather
Pastries: Bang Bang Creative Co
Flowers: Flowers Decor and More
IG: @ flowers.decor.and.more
Hair: Hair by Sarah Patterson
Dress: Honest In Ivory
IG: @ honestinivory
Clothing Props: Storm Cellar
I was in Germany last September visiting family when I got an email from this bride saying that in less than a month she and her man were eloping in Joshua Tree. They had been trying to get married for a while and life just kept happening, causing them to just not be able to tie the knot. I had little to none of my stuff with me that I typically send brides nor was I able to just call them up and talk with them as I was on vacation, but I just knew in my gut I had to help capture this elopement for them. We built an email relationship quickly and two weeks after landing back in the States I was flying out to run a 48-hour marathon. A marathon of wake up, fly out to California, photograph this amazing elopement and then fly out the very next morning. And it was every bit worth it.
From the moment I drove up to their venue I was greeted by the sweetest humans who just kept making me feel so welcome and a part of the celebration through the whole night. After the sweetest and intimate ceremony I’ve ever been a part of where the brides grandparents officiated, they celebrated by sharing toasts of champaign and all the family and friends hugs one could imagine.
While everyone else went back to the reception site, I snuck these two off into the park to take bridals which included honks of congratulations from other Joshua Tree park visitors, some sisterly love and finding the perfect Joshua Tree to take photos with. Driving in the car with them back to the reception site, I was filled with the absolute of knowing that I was so humbled that I got to photograph Remy and Lukes elopement. Not because it was a “destination elopement” but because of their love and their sweetness towards one another.
When we got back to the venue for the reception, the bride, grandma and the rest of the family helped set up the dessert table while the groom, an incredible chef out of Bend, Oregon helped set up the most magical array of drinks and set up the taco bar (this couple had Manchego cheese and a taco bar…it was like they knew my soul!) Not to mention I had my own spot at the table. The toasts had me wrecked, as each sweet friend and family member rose to toast this couple whom I’d only met less than 24-hours ago and whom I was so in love with and moved by. And after the coyote visitor who wanted to join in the taco festivities left and the cake was cut I went back to my hotel with my heart so full. It was the best way to end the 2018 wedding season and I’m still to this day so humbled that my bride and groom not only trusted me to come out and capturing this magical day but also made me feel so welcome and apart of everything.
Here is some of the highlights that had me blown away from this magical intimate Joshua Tree Elopement:
Last September we had it all planned.
I had made a schedule for everyone, researched, checked google maps three (possibly four times) all to make sure that we would all arrive at the same spot, at the same with ample amount of time to hike into the lookout and have time all before we had to hike back so we wernt’t walking in the dark.
So I drove up Sunday where we had all planned to meet at the parking lot at 12. After stopping to grab lunch and gas up the car, according to my Google maps it said I’d be 5-10 minutes late, not bad. Following the google instructions it took me down a road that is in no way maintained, taking my new RAV4 on an Indiana Jones excursion. When I finally made it down this ridiculous road I was now a solid hour late, and I started to panic. I had been the one begging everyone to be on time. This is what we like to call karma.
Google then tells me now (now when I’m good and far away for any sort of service) to turn left. This road it want’s me to turn on looked better then what I had just gotten off of so that’s what I did...I turned left.
2-minutes into me turning left Google cheerfully announces that I’ve made my destination. My destination being...Google had brought me to a river, and across that river is the mountain where the Lookout is...so good job Google yeah you got me “there” but really, you didn’t! This is why you need to check to google maps FIVE times, and print out the instructions and map like we used to do with Map Quest (does anyone else remember Map Quest? Yeah those were the good ol’ days!)
So up and down my RAV4 went on this out of service road as I tried to figure out how on I’m gonna get there. Miracle by miracle, on one of my up and downs, I ended up going down enough and finding the road number I’d jotted down after calling the ranger a week ago who had told me to pop it into Google and it be straight forward!!!! Yeah, that ranger LIED.
So at about 2.5 hours late and I’m finally heading in the right direction when the florists drives towards me, rolls her window down and asks “do you have jumper cables?!” Yeah, I was showing up 2.5 hours late and we needed to jump the event planners car! So 3-hours behind schedule with all cars fixed and all the vendors there, we quickly grabbed our packs and we were on the trail. A 3-mile hike in which the ranger had said is straight forward and simple, which she must have meant “its straight UP the dang mountain, so you better do some mountainer training before you go on that thing”. Let’s just say, Heather got a wake up call and realized she needs to be working out more often because my gluteus grew vocal cords in those 3-miles in started screaming obscenities at me!
But let me end this long drawn out story on a good note. When all of us came over the ridge we knew all of those struggles and mishaps were 110% worth it! In the presence of 360 views of the Bitterroot Wilderness we made magic happen. I was once again reminded how beautiful my state is (really, I’m not going to stop yelling from the roof tops how magical Idaho is) and how truly #communityovercompetition is the most amazing thing.
The one thing I cannot get over is how much 2018 was about growth and becoming. I traveled to four different countries and seven states to capture births, weddings, couples, elopements, graduations, engagements, and families. Each time my camera came out of the bag I learned and gained…but the biggest thing I gained was relationships. I worked with the most amazing vendors, magazines and clients who all became so close to my heart there have been times throughout this year where I thought my heart was going to burst.
So here’s to all of you wonderful souls and places that made my 2018 so magical and inspiring. And here’s to the new year and all that is yet to come.
I was born and raised in Southern Idaho. Weekend trips to Stanley and Ketchum just sort of “came with the package”. And to be frank, I wasn’t complaining. The Sawtooth mountain range is one of those hidden Idaho gems that will literally take your breath away. So when Kat and John sent me an inquiry telling me there location was set in Stanley underneath those magical mountains I was literally butt hopping on my bed with my laptop.
On an October day where Stanley had 80% chance of snow and it was just downright cold, everyone curled up in their puffer coats and wool blankets to witness these two bomb fisheries scientists say “I Do”. From their personal vows to dancing to Hooked On A Feeling for their first dance, I was either misty eyed from their words to tears pouring down my face from joy and laughter.
Congratulations Kat and John, thank you for letting me be apart of your amazing day (and for some of the best cheesecake EVER!)
see more weddings?
When a wedding is center focused on family, you can’t help but feel the love throughout the whole day. I met Jared and Kassie in April when I did their engagement session at one of my favorite gardens in Spokane, Washington and was moved by their honest deep love for one another then. But it didn’t prepare me at all for how their wedding would cause me to go misty eyed more then once.
Every little detail was to celebrate their love for one another and their family - both those who could and couldn’t be there. Friends and family alike traveled from all over the States to come celebrate Jared and Kassie saying “I Do” in the NE Washington on a stunning property lined with tree’s on the river. (also this was my second wedding this year that had a flash mob of the Macarena so I can’t complain!)
Congratulations to Jared and Kassie on their marriage, and thank you once again for allowing me to be apart of your stunning day.
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I love when couples make their wedding unique to them and who they are. From picking a location close to their heart, handmade cakes, table decor collected from various shops, beer from the brewery they work at, and of course filled with their closest friends and family. These are the weddings that never leave me heart, simply because the couple puts their whole heart into the day. And this was how Cody and Tylers wedding was this September.
They reserved a campground and filled with with BBQ and beer from a brewery Tyler works at, the tables were decorated with the brides vintage camera collection and I cried at their first look and during all the toasts. I am always a lover of details, and this sweet wedding was full of them from the groom’s Sasquatch socks to celebrate the North Idaho heritage to the table with Minnesota and North Idaho details to bring love to both the bride and grooms homelands.
Here’s just a few highlights from Cody and Tylers North Idaho Wilderness Camp Wedding.
Hi! I’m Heather. I’m an adventurous elopement photographer & traveler based in Idaho that travels national and worldwide to help couples like you capture your unforgettable wedding experience and telling your story that is completely yours for generations.
Finding the right wedding photographer is sort of like going on a first date. Let me help make planning and capturing your special day with no regrets.
I will never tire of couples who love to hike into their session, or go running into a lake with a bottle of champaign. Glacier National Park NEVER disappoints (I mean NEVER! As in, this was taken during a horrible forest fire) and when I was asked to be apart of this special day I almost did one of those heel clicking deals in the air…almost being I can’t do them even though I was a theatre kid my whole childhood (shame, I know, I know). No matter what hurdle came flying at us, we just kept rolling with the punches and by the time we were all done, and I’d poured myself into bed, my heart was so dang full I struggled to breathe.
It’s hard to say which part was my favorite. From the chocolate stout cake to the florals on the brides hat…all of it was just sheer perfection, iconically the couple and 100% worth it. That being said, So brides getting married somewhere a little more “out there” just know there’s a slew of vendors who are willing and ready to help make your “I Do’s” as epic as you’ve got envisioned.
Photography: Heather Woolery Photography & Creative | @coffeewithheather
Event Planning/Design: Greater Good Events | @greatergood_events
Dress Shop: Storm Cellar | @thestormcellarmoscow
Bride’s Boots: Frye | @thefryecompany
Bride’s Hat: Gigi Pip | @gigipip
Grooms Suite: H & M | @hm
Florals: The Wild Blume | @thewildblume
Venue: Glacier National Park
Jewelry: Bess Blakey Design | @bessblakeydesign
Neck Scarf: Madewell | @madewell
I can’t help but love that feeling when I show up to a bride and grooms venue and one of them see’s me and it’s just instant hugs. I really cherish my couple and I’s relationships and it just is that “yeah let’s do this thing!” sort of feeling when I walk into a venue and feel that warm greeting. And nothing less happened when I showed up to the Blackwell house in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for Ciarah and Kramers wedding.
I was instantly greeted by Ciarah and then given a grand tour of this incredible venue (which I may steal the stair case and the honeycomb tile in the bathroom one of these day’s when I figure out how lol)
There were so many sweet details to capture, from Ciarah’s gorgeous gown from Anthropology to the simple yet statement bridal bouquet all the way down to the hand stitched ring pillow Ciarah’s mom made for her and Kramer (insert heartfelt tears here please.)
The day was filled with sisterly love, excited nieces, aunt’s dancing on the dance floor, cookie dough bites that were to die for and one very happy Goldendoodle named Ollie who’s mom and dad got married. The love in this wedding was everywhere on this perfect summer day and I couldn’t have been more blessed to be able to be apart of it.
Congratulations Ciarah and Kramer! And thank you for letting me be apart of your special day.
Wanting to see more weddings? Go browse the wedding gallery.
My love for the Oregon coast is life long. I grew up a days drive from is cold brisk waters and towering rock formations and spent many weekends there as a child growing up. I even wrote and got a piece published on my childhood spending time on that coast line. My husband proposed to me there. It was where my son affirmed his love for water. It is a place that holds a million of my memories.
So any time any shoot, wedding, elopement, or engagement session involves the coast, there's just a sense of place and home and a little bit of magic there for me. And this shoot with Mike and Lily was nothing short of magical. When the coastal fog plays in your favor, all you can do is frolic like a small school girl who's out for the summer and then refocus to take advantage of it.
It's no secret that my love for the state of Oregon is extensive and passionate. I love that state for every corner of it's terrain, for all that it is. It's valley's, fields, mountains, rivers, forests and of course ocean, all have my heart on a whole special level.
This last week I've been in Oregon for various photoshoots as well as my five-year anniversary with my husbabe and I've got so much I want to share with you it's insane. But I'm going to start with this shoot I did along the Molalla River in Oregon.
Kara and Rahmeen were the sweetest couple! They were down for all the crazy ideas I had, even when it required scaling and hiking in full bridal garb. (I love my adventurous couples with everything I am!) This session was defiantly the peak of what an Adventure Bridals session looks like with me: lots of laughs, lots of hiking, jumping, kissing, walking through grass/brush, all for the sake of showing your love for the outdoors or a place and your love for one another.
Here's just a few of my favorites from Rahmeen and Kara's Molalla River Adventure Bridals.
If you'd like to book an adventure bridals session with me, I'd love to hear from you and hear where you want to take you photos at. Just hit the button and let's connect!
When the first time your going to meet your bride and groom is on the day of their wedding, sometimes it can be a little nerve wracking - because - well, I invest so much of my heart and soul into each of my couples and I want them to have a wonderful experience. But from the moment I got out of my car, I was embraced with so much love and kindness.
The bride was Disney's Princess Aurora in the flesh. From her loose curl up-do, straight down to her heart which is so devoted to loving all creatures, including her two fur babies.
It seemed as if the invitation was not just made out to their relatives and friends but to all the owners dogs as well, as I had a hard time taking a photo without a fur baby in it somewhere...which let's be honest...isn't a bad problem to have!
They served BBQ and Mac and Cheese (let me get an Amen!), the DJ conspired with the grooms mother and played The Macarena getting both the bride and groom to dance, and little kids ran up and down the field hills while the adults drank, talked and loved on the sweet couple!
This was probably the best way I could have kicked off the 2018 wedding season, and I feel so honored and blessed to have been able to celebrate Kylee and Lance's I Do's. So here's a little sneak peek at their sweet wedding out in the Uniontown Washington countryside on the groom's folks' working wheat and pea farm.
Where are all my ladies at?
Something I truly regret from my own wedding was I hated my engagements and I never even thought of taking photos of just me. Juuuussst me being me...all dressed up in the worlds most perfect dress for me that I'll most likely never wear again. I think our photographer delivered two photos of just me and to this day it's something I wish I had more of.
Ladies! It's your freaking wedding! You've been stressing out planning and designing and putting together every little detail to make sure your wedding goes the way you have it envisioned in your head. But maybe take a couple moments to just take a few breathers and focus on you. (Of course the amazing groom who's swept you off your feet and now after popping a question and you saying yes has had you running around like a headless chicken) but you.
What elements of your wedding, of you do you want to shine, want to remember, want to capture?
I met with the designer/planner from Wildwood Design at a friend of a friends Spirit Lake Cabin in Spirit Lake, Idaho where we put together something we'd like to call "an Idaho brides dream oasis". For 90-minutes we captured this incredible woman in her honest raw beauty against one of the most incredible backdrops I've yet to work at. It was an autumn paradise in the middle of July with hints of heirloom fur, leather boots, wool hats and pumpkin spice donut holes.
Autumn doesn't have to be pumpkins and orange leaves. Bridals don't need to be stressful or on the day of your wedding. When your getting married the sky is the limit and even then I think theres some leeway.
When your getting married, let you and who you and your soon to be spouse are be the inspiration for how you approach your wedding. Big or small, court house or outdoors, whatever feels like you...go with that...and I promise it'll make you a whole lot happier in the end.
Getting married in Idaho? Check out these amazing vendors who helped make this photo session so special.
Photography: Heather Woolery Photography + Creative
Event Design/Planning: Wildwood Design
Dress: Cloud Nine Bridals CDA
Hat: Gigi Pip
Shoes: Steve Madden
Drinks/Catering: Whiskey Barrel Cider Co.
Paper Suite: Amanda Scott Creative
Florals: Fleurtations Floral
Desert Table: Flours In My Hair
Something that came to my attention a while back is that Idaho (where I was born, raised and still live) has always been one of "those" states...you know what I mean? Like, everyone drives through it to get to Seattle or Portland or Salt Lake City and that's about it.
And not to blow to cover that it seems Idaho has been holding onto...but Idaho is really an incredible state. We've got everything from sage brush deserts, prairies, mountains, all the rivers one could hope for and dang all of the local businesses that make up this state really are some of the best I've ever been too...and I've been a lot of places.
So yeah, I'm pretty enamored with my home state. So, I can't explain how elated I was when everything came together for me to take Abi and Cole's bridals on a local alpaca farm a mere 15-minutes from my house!!! Every vendor and creative that was apart of this was all local based, which made my little heart soar because HELLO! Idaho brides need to see these vendors!!!
From the moment Cole saw Abi for the first time all dressed up in her dress, I knew this was going to be an amazing shoot. I literally could go on and on about my love for everyone who came together for this...but I'm going to leave it here and share some of these photos from their bridals.
Congratualtions Cole + Abi on your recent wedding! All the love!
The AMAZING Idaho/Palouse based vendors who I would recommend to any bride/groom are as follows:
Photography/Videography: Heather Woolery Photography + Creative
Venue: Stirling Ridge Farm
Event Design + Planning: Wildwood Event Design + Coordination
Florals: Swallowtail Flowers
Makeup Artist: Britt Lee Nelson
Place Settings: Smith Clay
Bakery/Cake: Goose House Bakery
Rentals: Bully For You Colfax
Jewelry: Grey Jays
Everyone in my life can attest that I've been chomping at the bit to go to Joshua Tree/Palm Springs, CA for years...long before it was a photographers paradise, simply because I thrive when I'm in the sun. I figured Joshua Tree would be the ultimate place to get sunshine among the tree's that made me feel like The Lorax would pop out any minute.
Back in February, a random spot opened up for Mae & Co's StyledYOU Retreat in Yucca Valley i.e. Joshua Tree paradise. I'd just gotten paid and instead of paying x, y, and z....I bought a plane ticket to Palm Springs, told Manda I was coming and that was that. And I'm so flipping glad that I did.
This workshop allowed me to work along side more than just photographers (florists, calligrapher/watercolorist, stylists and so many other amazing boss babes). Being in the wedding industry, it's so important to know how to work alongside all the other creatives and vendors that come together to make each wedding a magical dream, and being able to work with all of these creatives and vendors Manda from Mae + Co had brought together was a pivotal shift in my own personal business.
So for four-days I hot tubbed, worked along side some of the most amazing boss babes in the industry, drank a ton of champaign and mimosa's, got attacked by jumping cactus, revived my passion for water color, played with the most beautiful florals, and danced stupid under the stars with women who I now consider friends for life (in fact I'm working with one of these amazing boss babes in August which I just I'm bubbling over with excitement and y"all's socks are gonna fall off!) and at the end of the day, my daydreaming of Joshua Tree was everything and more than I had hoped it would be. It's safe to say I felt so at home amongst all the cacti and jack rabbits and I will for sure be coming back. (In fact I'm planning a trip for the end of fall...and I'll have 2-3 slots available while I'm down there...so message ya' girl if you want me to capture some magic of you and your boo or fam in the desert's sunset.)
So as I spent my last morning, watching the sun rise bleed into my window across the desert I knew that I was exactly where I had needed to be. Becoming exactly what I was meant to become. Finding life amongts the Joshua Tree's and the road runners and like minded women whom I will forever be grateful for.
That being said...here's some of the beauty and magic that came out of my 4-day's in the desert...
Style + Design/Workshop: Mae & Co
Venue: The Hi Desert
Photography in blog post: Heather Woolery Photography + Creative
Florals: Good Seed Floral
Hand lettering: Seek Paper Co
Make up: Makeup By Whit
Hair: Kayla Nicole
Tablewear: Margaret and Beau
Dress: Rue De Seine and Sarah Seven from The Dress Theory San Diego
Suit: Top Man
You know the phrase; "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"? Well let me tell you all about the lemons.
I've been dying to do something out at the Big Four Ice Caves in North Washington for about two-years. I have daydreamed and envisioned exactly how I would do it and this January we all decided we were going to spend my kids Spring Break in Seattle....a mere 1.5 hr drive from the ice caves.
There was so many up's and down's all the way up to the day of the elopement but where the big lemons came is was 2-miles away from the Big Four Ice Caves trailhead. 2-miles away from the trailhead the road was closed due to heavy packed snow. So my couple and I packed up all of our stuff and hiked the 2-miles in the snow to the trail head to hike another 1.5 miles to the ice caves. with less then .5 mile to go a group of hikers coming back let us know a recent avalanche had covered the ice caves, meaning we were not going to be able to see them, take photos in or around them...nothing. Both my couple and I had driven hundreds of miles and hiked in the snow to find out the whole sole purpose was covered in about 10ft of snow.
We still hiked forward and got to where the ice caves lived...though now just a whopping heap of white. But here comes the lemonade...though we were surrounded by snow we were having summer like warm breezes flow all around us. I got all my camera gear ready and we made the best of what we could and in all honesty I'm so over the moon.
My couples newly wed love was adorable and endearing to watch. When all was said and done and we were hiking back they gave each other a fist pump and later that night got milkshakes (that's my kinda couple!)
Here are just a few of the 100+ amazing captures that happened at the base of Big Four Mountain on a sunny warm snowy day in the Snoqualmie National Forest.
Back in September, Oregon's beautiful Gorge broke into the horrible thousand's of acres burning Eagle Creek Fire. This fire broke out simply one week before Ben + Dara were scheduled to get married, just a hop, skip and a jump from where the fire was burning.
Two day's before the wedding I got an SOS e-mail from the bride and groom telling me of a last minute decision to move locations. From a however many acre farm full of llamas and chickens and mountainous views, to a friends Portland backyard.
As a photographer, it's my job to make sure the bride and groom have a beautiful day, and photos to capture all the memories...no matter what the backdrop is, no matter what last minute changes need to happen.
I showed up on the wedding day, and was instantly blown away from all the love, community and magic that had occurred in this little Portland backyard. This became the theme of the evening. I was constantly reminded and shown by all their closest friends, neighbors and family members how wonderful and pure of souls both Ben and Dara are. How much love everyone shows them because of how much love they show everyone else.
I couldn't have been more humbled to share this amazing day with Ben + Dara and I could only with them the best, all the whiskey and mountain tops possible.
Congratulations again Ben + Dara!
I have come to learn (and continue to learn) that there is beauty in the stressful, ugly, and sad. I first met Nathan a few years ago, shortly before my daughters custody case broke loose into the mess that it is. Nathan was one of the first who gave his love and support to help my husband and I through this hard time. I came to meet Skyler while working at a coffee house, a job that I had landed after being laid off while my husband was deployed. Both of them I had gotten to know simply because of awful things I was going through, and this was a blessing.
Little would I have put two and two together that these two creative, talented, loving souls would actually end up being the answer to each others lives. And as midnight struck and we waved 2016 good-bye and welcomed 2017 into our lives, Nathan and Skyler said I do downtown in our tiny town.
On Friday the 13th, the three of us tromped through feet of snow, muscled through freezing temps and zig-zagged through downtown's alleyways, and I was a lucky one to capture these two. Lucky enough to be just a small puzzle piece in their new life.
Here's just a taste of the day. Happiest of blessings to you Nathan and Skyler, and congratulations again darlings <3