Corri and Mike wanted to have an Oregon elopement doing what they loved. So when we got on the phone together, it quickly became clear that they loved exploring old ghost towns and mines. Hence, this ghost mining town elopement was born.
They didn’t want the day to be stressful, and also chose to just include a few family members/friends. A few of those people met us at the trailhead to our final mine that we checked out and where Corri and Mike would have their ceremony. After those family members said farewell, Corri’s friend and Mike’s daughter accompanied us to this epic, abandoned mine in the Ochoco Mountains.
Now, this isn’t your typical elopement, with pampas grass, alllllll the vendors imaginable, and a designer dress with epic details meticulously planned. It was so much better.
Corri’s mother passed away when she was nine years old due to ovarian cancer. She wanted to include her mother in her ceremony somehow, so she wanted to try on her mom’s wedding dress for size. And it fit beautifully. Corri did her own hair and makeup at her campsite where all of us stayed the night before up in the national forest, and I was their officiant.
With florals from a nearby floral designer (Thanks Posie Shoppe!), and our hiking boots on, we spent the day waking up at our neighboring campsites, then checking out abandoned mines and ghost towns that are more authentic and truly “ghost” than the likes of Shaniko and others. When we arrived at the ceremony mine, Corri and Mikes’ families were waiting for us. Corri put on her mother’s dress, and her stepmom helped with details like Corri’s necklace, and dress buttons. When Corri came around the corner, there wasn’t a dry eye anywhere. Family and friends (and yes, me too) were crying. Corri was a vision in her mother’s gown, complete with long sleeves and puffy shoulders. Little did Corri know until after she decided to wear her mom’s dress, that her grandmother informed her that Corri’s mom had also kept her dress, hoping one day her daughter might want to wear it. It fit perfectly with the surrounding pipes and flews that resembled pipe organs in a church. And arguably, this was a church in its own way.
Now, don’t get me wrong, those detailed weddings that get featured in big magazines and feature sites like Junebug Weddings, and Green Wedding Shoes are beautiful, but this wedding day meant so much more to everyone involved than if we were all up on top of a mountain in some epic place like New Zealand. That connection and significance that was evident during the day was palpable. That is what every adventure elopement should strive to have. Not the big designer gown or the huge bouquet or an epic backdrop, though all those things are great in their own right. What every adventure elopement should have is connection, a dream (for your wedding and your life), and a partnership.
I know Corri’s mom was looking down that day and smiling at her daughter and her new husband, as sure as I’m typing this right now. If you’d like to donate, even just a few dollars, to ovarian cancer research, please click this link to learn more: