How to Add Adventure to Your Wedding

Here is a “How to Add Adventure to Your Wedding” guide that will help you create a wedding beyond the traditional and expected. You want gorgeous views and the beauty of nature. You want a ceremony and a backdrop that’s as adventurous as you are.

There are so many ways to infuse your wedding day with adventure, from hiking mountain trails to trekking across creeks—even skiing! I’ve put together several tips to help in how to add adventure to your wedding to reflect your personality more!

How to Add Adventure to your Wedding Tip #1 – “let go of tradition”

Don’t stick with the usual wedding traditions just because you feel like you should. If you want to skip the bouquet toss or the cake cutting, then skip it! Your wedding is about you and your partner, and the day should reflect your unique personalities. This is a great time to start a new tradition, one that holds meaning for both of you. Wedding planning becomes way more fun once you realize you can choose what the day looks and feels like. 

Leave the heels at home.

If you’re planning on trekking up a mountain for your ceremony, you’ll want to wear sturdy shoes that will allow you to move comfortably over uneven terrain. While high heels may look glamorous in photos, they’re hard enough to walk in on paved ground and are an absolute nightmare when hiking over rocks and up inclines.

Once you have the wedding day shoes, make sure to break them in to avoid blisters the day of!

Embrace a little dust.

Adventure is rarely clean—and that’s the amazing thing about it! Don’t be afraid of a little dirt or dust on the hem of your wedding gown. A touch of dust won’t show up in your photos. Plus, the images you’ll take against stunning natural backdrops will be well worth it.

Protect your portrait time.

Your couple portraits are one of the few times during your wedding day when you and your new spouse have a chance to just be in the moment with each other. When you’re creating your wedding day schedule, be sure to carve out plenty of time for a first look. Make your portraits the first thing you do together on your wedding day—a time to enjoy each other and to appreciate the momentous occasion that is the day you say “I do.”

Don’t be nervous about your portraits or feel like they’re something to endure. These are images you’ll look back on for years to come. Embrace your portrait time together and relish the moment.

Bring plenty of water—and a few snacks.

Especially if you’re planning a long hike, it’s important to stay hydrated and energized. Pack water and some healthy snacks to keep you going—and to keep your mood buoyant. After all, no one likes to be hungry.

Choose a low-maintenance hairstyle.

It’s pretty unlikely a complicated updo will survive a trek along a mountain hiking trail. Keep your adventurous plans in mind when choosing a hairstyle and pick something that it’s easy to maintain and quick to fix once you get to your stunning photo location.

Pack some umbrellas.

You never know when rain will strike. That’s just one of the hazards of getting married outdoors. Rain definitely won’t ruin your photos, but it may make a mess of your hair and dress, so be sure to bring along a couple of umbrellas just in case. For a more thorough guide, check out my Rainy Day Tips.

Pick a venue that has strong ties to nature.

If it’s adventure you’re going for, choose a wedding venue with its own natural beauty. California is full of great choices, with access to so many natural wonders and hiking trails. For a more extensive list of elopement locations, check out my San Francisco elopement venues guide.

Another great way how to add adventure to your wedding is to do things in unconventional ways. For example. you could ski or canoe down to your ceremony! (any parachuters out there?!) Brides have previously gone downhill mountain biking, who crossed a creek in their dress, or took a sip of mountain water in their cupped hands. The sky is the limit!  

Mt Rainier Elopement with indian couple in traditional wardrobe walking with mount rainier in the background

Choose the right season for you—and know the risks.

A winter wedding can be gorgeous, but sudden snow can keep your guests from getting to the venue, while an outdoor wedding in the summer can subject everyone to blistering heat. You should choose the time of year that’s right for you as a couple, but it’s important to be aware of the hazards that each season presents.

If you want to keep it safe, go for a wedding date in between seasons, like spring/summer or summer/fall. This way, you can avoid the temperature extremes that come in the middle of summer or winter and still have beautiful images of your chosen location. And regardless of season, it’s always a good idea to have a solid Plan B, just in case the unexpected happens. This is especially important when it comes to outdoor weddings, as you never know what kind of weather could force your party indoors.

Try to keep it small.

Adventurous weddings are often designed to be intimate events. After all, there’s a good chance only your closest family and friends would follow you up a mountain to watch you exchange vows! If you’re going for a wedding outside the norm in a stunning location, think about who you need there and who you could celebrate with at a later date. With Mother Nature as a witness, your wedding day is guaranteed to be epic, so consider keeping the guest list small and sharing the moment with the most important people in your lives. 

Assemble the best team.

To pull off an adventurous wedding, you’ll need to choose vendors who are up for the challenge. Not every caterer is willing to trek through the woods to help with your reception dinner, so make sure to discuss your unique wedding needs with every vendor you interview.

And to get those amazing images you dream of, take time to choose the right photographer who’s willing to go the extra mile—sometimes literally! You need someone who loves adventure just as much as you do and isn’t afraid of lugging their equipment across rocky terrain, creeks, and even snow. Put some extra effort into searching for a photographer who can capture the images you want, especially since your photos will be one of the few mementos you’ll have once the wedding day is over.

No matter how you define adventure, with a little thought and a lot of planning, you can pull off an adventurous wedding that you’ll look back on with smiles for the rest of your lives! Hope you’ve gotten a few more ideas on how to add adventure to your wedding  and remember, don’t be afraid to step away from the normal wedding traditions and expectations and create a ceremony and day that’s entirely your own.

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