Y’all already know I love a small wedding, but this sunrise elopement at Snooper’s Rock in Chattanooga truly checked all the boxes for me. An intimate guest list, stunning location, killer officiant, and an amazing couple – what more could a wedding photographer ask for?!
Enjoy Janet and Philipp’s intimate Chattanooga elopement, and reach out if you’re planning your own!
OCTOBER SUNRISE ELOPEMENT AT SNOOPER’S ROCK
Knowing Janet and Philipp, a sunrise elopement on the side of a mountain fits them perfectly. They met at their current workplace, the local hang gliding park. (How cool is that?!) Philipp, who’s originally from Germany, rode a scooter all the way from California to work in Chattanooga, met Janet at his new job, and fell in love. They’ve been living and working here in Chattanooga ever since!
Janet and Philipp chose to elope at Snooper’s Rock on Lookout Mountain, and they specifically wanted a sunrise ceremony. Since they eloped in October, sunrise wasn’t until about 7:40am, meaning their guests (and their wedding photographer) didn’t have to roll out of bed super early.
Philipp’s mom and brother flew in from Germany, and Janet’s family drove over from Raleigh. We met on the mountain before sunrise and helped the couple get ready. Janet decorated this super cool denim jacket, and her mom helped her pop on her veil. The couple was kind enough to bring chairs and blankets for their guests, so just as the sky started to brighten up, everyone settled in for the ceremony.
INTIMATE ELOPEMENT CEREMONY AT SNOOPER’S ROCK
As the sun started to climb over the mountains, Janet met Philipp at their makeshift altar. They had laid out a beautiful rug, and Janet carried a bouquet she’d put together herself. She shed the denim jacket (props to her because it was chilly) and exchanged personal vows with Philipp.
While there are tons of location options for a Chattanooga elopement, Snooper’s Rock holds a special place in my heart. From this overlook, you get an unmatched view of the Tennessee River Gorge. The golden sunrise reflects off the bend in the river, creating this ribbon of light that winds through the hills below. And since you’re so high up, you can see mountains and woodlands for miles in all directions. It’s magical.
As if the stunning backdrop wasn’t enough, Janet and Philipp also had a perfect ceremony. They exchanged personal vows (my favorite!) and hired one of my favorite officiants, Cathy Haven Howard. If you’re looking for an officiant in Chattanooga, I can’t recommend her highly enough. She offers both secular and religious ceremonies, is a ton of fun, and – best of all – she’s a freaking style icon. Love ya, Cathy!
After some sniffles, lots of giggles, and a sweet hand-fasting ceremony, Janet and Philipp shared their first kiss as husband and wife before the rising sun. Their guests cheered, Janet’s brother jumped in with a blanket for the bride, and we all celebrated this beautiful union.
WHY I LOVE INTIMATE WEDDINGS & ELOPEMENTS
Since their guest list was so small, Janet and Philipp really got to enjoy their family’s company after they said “I do.” This is one of the biggest reasons I love intimate weddings. When you throw a big wedding, you really only get a few moments with each of your family members. If your guests fly in from far away (like Philipp’s family from Germany), it can be really sad to miss out on that connection. With a smaller wedding, you can really focus your time and energy on your nearest and dearest.
Another plus of a small wedding is the budget. When you’re feeding and entertaining a couple hundred guests, a big chunk of your budget has to go to a larger venue, food, drinks, and music. Since they opted for an elopement, Janet and Philipp were able to use their budget in a way that felt better them. They found a photographer they loved (yours truly!), wore what they wanted, and saved their money for their future. I’m all about it.
BACK DOWN THE MOUNTAIN & ON WITH THE DAY
After some family photos and portraits of the bride and groom, we all packed up and headed back to town. I stopped with Janet and Philipp in this overgrown field halfway down Lookout Mountain for a few more shots, and then they met their guests for brunch. The perfect end to a gorgeous elopement, and the perfect beginning to a killer marriage.
PLANNING YOUR OWN CHATTANOOGA ELOPEMENT?
Janet and Philipp’s Snooper’s Rock elopement was all-around goals, and I’d love to shoot more intimate weddings like it. Whether you’re eloping in secret to a far-off destination or gathering your nearest and dearest at your favorite local spot, I’ll help you plan a stunning, heartfelt ceremony and wedding day.
If you’re planning your own Chattanooga elopement, I want in! Head over to my contact page, shoot me a message, and let’s plan the perfect ceremony for you and your partner.
For more elopement inspiration, check out the blog!