Cara & Travis reached out to me several months back, eager for an adventure– my kind of ppl. Originally, we were planning on a session in the Blue Ridge Mountains for their engagement, but that eventually evolved into something I could have never dreamed up on my own. Over the course of the few months we emailed back and forth, we ended up rescheduling our session to the weekend after their wedding while they were honeymooning in the area. Travis spontaneously threw out a last-minute idea for a location in Dolly Sods Wilderness, and I’m so glad he did. Although a slight trek from Richmond, Va, I was happy to make the drive out to this gem in the West Virginia Allegheny Mountains.
Usually I’m the one scouting out locations. I search diligently for these off-the-beaten-path scenes of beauty to share with others, adding them to a growing word doc in hopes that I’ll get to one day explore them for work/fun or revisit them again with my couples. But this time I was the one invited along for an adventure. Travis did all the research. I just hopped in the car and drove to a dropped pin on the map. Despite all the advantages of social media in understanding a place prior to arrival, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I drove up a sketchy, gravel road for miles in the forest, just me + my sappy tunes, and then there it was– the clearing. The place where the darkness of the forest opened into a bright, expansive highland. I could see for miles in each direction, spotting patches of evergreens, blue ridges just an arms reach away, acres of natural blueberry/huckleberry bushes, and rocky peaks that would act as our personal playground.
I felt a surge of gratitude and humility stir within me, something I truly hope all of my couples feel when it’s the other way around. We took a picnic basket full of goodies, hopped some rocks out to the best viewpoint, and snacked as we got to know each other better, reliving sweet memories from their wedding day just a week prior. It was there that they told me this was the last stop on their honeymoon before they went home for the first time together. I immediately turned into a pile of mush and was ready to celebrate them big for inviting me into such a significant moment. Thank you, you two, for giving me this cherished venture; a night where your joy infectiously moved me to feel my own. I wish you a lifetime of the giddiness & giggles that we shared as we wandered new & inspiring territory.