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When you leave Port Angeles, heading west on Highway 101, the highway plunges down into the Elwha River valley and offers glimpse up into the Olympic Mountains as you cross the Elwha River bridge, the water below swollen with recent rains. Anytime after October, I’d be surprised if your windshield isn’t dotted by raindrops by the time you reach Lake Sutherland! The road winds around the foothills surrounding the smaller lake before the forested hillsides begin to part, opening to a panorama of water and mountains that bears the name Lake Crescent. On this particular day, the lake was nearly wild, with dark waters tossed by autumn winds into frothy whitecaps. Windshield wipers on high, the final fifteen minutes of driving consisted of careful navigation along a wet, twisting roadway while branches above whipped back and forth and gusts of wind nudged the car from side to side. After turning off the highway, the road leading to our destination was comparatively quiet, protected from the wind and weather by colonnades of mossy firs and maples that were nonetheless dripping with rain. It’s a reminder that the Pacific Northwest, while always breathtaking and awe-inspiring, is still wild, wet, and unpredictable.
After the harrowing drive, Lake Crescent Lodge was a welcome refuge for Laurella & Zachary’s intimate wedding. Laurella got ready in one of the Lodge’s cozy, historic cabins, and we were able to take advantage of some beautiful window light for a few portraits while preparing for the ceremony. After a quick dash through the rain to to the main lodge, Laurella and Zach shared a sweet first look on the beautiful sun porch, whose mullioned windows offered views of the waves tossing outside while providing the warmth and protection of the indoors! We couldn’t let the scenery go completely to waste, however, so the bride and groom braved the elements for a few images under the relative protection of the canopy of bare winter branches.
Back in the warmth of the Lodge, the candlelit ceremony was all kinds of cozy and romantic. Afterwards, the bride and groom were joined by only their closest family and friends for a champagne toast and an intimate dinner lit by the twinkle of candles and the reflection of happy smiles and laughter off the darkened window panes. Though the wind still sighed outside and the patter of rain on the glass could be heard in quiet moments, Laurella and Zachary celebrated the beginning of their marriage in the warmest company of their nearest and dearest.