| February 24, 2022

Erin & Steven’s SUP Adventure Elopement in California

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Erin and Steven planned an intimate and actioned filled day for their SUP adventure elopement in Lake Tahoe

How they chose to structure their day

  • Getting ready at a cute airbnb cabin
  • First look at a nearby basketball court
  • Morning hike to Lake Tahoe lookout point
  • Rock scramble to ceremony location
  • Sweet shoreside picnic
  • Paddle boarding in the afternoon
  • Sunset portraits before dinner

How Erin and Steven chose Lake Tahoe for their elopement

Surely we all have dreamt about Lake Tahoe at some point—-the impossibly blue, crystal clear waters surrounded by forest-covered mountain peaks. It’s literally a dream come true, which is exactly what drew Erin and Steven to this location in Tahoe National Forest. What better time to check off a bucket list travel location than your elopement?

Their spontaneous SUP Elopement

Last minute change of plans

Did we have a full timeline and plan for their wedding? Yes. Did they stick to it? Nope! This all started when the day before their elopement Erin and Steven decided to rent some paddleboards. Right then they decided that they wanted to SUP the afternoon of their elopement. Later in the evening, another decision was made…Erin didn’t like the cups in her wedding dress, so she cut them out. This was a clear preview of just how off the cuff this elopement would be—a true reflection of them as a couple!

Rock scrambling to the best ceremony location

When I pulled up in the morning Steven was securing their rented paddleboards to the top of their car. After their first look, the two of them were eager to head out to the first of the two hikes we had planned to a gorgeous lookout point of Lake Tahoe. Upon reaching the end of the trail, instead of a sweeping view of the lake, we were greeted with a hill of boulders. It was going to be a rock scramble to the top and Erin signaled she was up for the climb by tucking her wedding dress into the biker shorts she was wearing underneath. After picking out the safest path for us they begin helping one another up the viewpoint. Together they carefully picked a beautiful overlook location to privately exchange their handwritten vows privately. This is one of the most strenuous hikes I’d been on in a while, so it came as no surprise that they wanted to forego the second hike. They couldn’t wait to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the lake.

Stand-up paddle boarding in their wedding attire

Before hopping on the paddleboards they enjoyed a sweet picnic while watching the water ebb and blow. Now, I was under the impression that Erin and Will wanted to SUP for their elopement, because it’s something they enjoyed doing together…turns out this was Erin’s first time. She climbed onto the board wedding dress and all—determined to stand up and even more so determined not to fall in the water. Will had more experience under his belt and gave her pointers—ultimately they both retired to the stability of their knees. Smiling from ear to ear they paddled around the water, enjoying the summer sun until it set.

Things to consider if you want to SUP during your elopement

This was a day full of first times—for me too—I’d never had a couple SUP during their elopement before! It was a learning experience for everyone, but seriously such a fun activity and I can’t wait for the next couple that wants to do this.

  • Make sure you have the tools to secure and transport the paddle boards properly.
  • If you’re a beginner, practice prior to your elopement, because there is a learning curve!
  • Paddle boards are heavy so keep distance and beach access in mind when picking a location.
  • Keep in mind you’ll be getting wet—structure your day around that accordingly.

Unsurprisingly Erin and Steven are not the first couple that wanted to add a unique experience to their wedding day. For more inspiration check out these other adventurous couples in our blog about epic elopement ideas and experiences!

How Erin and Steven’s elopement reflected their spontaneous lifestyle

Believe it or not, immediately after getting home from their elopement Erin and Steven were moving. Steven had been hired to coach a team in another state. So with their Lake Tahoe tan lines still prominent on their shoulders they packed up their home and headed out on a new adventure, in a new city, at a new job, with a new team. Although this is a common occurrence for them, this time they were doing it as newlyweds. It’s no surprise they were ready to change plans around the last minute during their elopement with such ease because truly the only part of the plan that mattered was doing it all together—just like everything else in their life.

xx Tori

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Maddie Mae

Elopement Photographer

& Planning Consultant

Three photographers

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Adventure Instead

Your Elopement Photographers & Planning Consultants. We are Maddie Mae, Amber, and Tori. We're your photographers, your elopement consultants, your cheerleaders, and your go-to adventure buddy on the day you say your vows.

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