April 10, 2024

Waterfall Hiking Elopement in Girdwood Alaska | Kaira and Dan

FILED IN: Alaska, Elopements

Kaira and Dan

Kaira and Dan’s Girdwood waterfall elopement was anything but traditional. Two days before tying the knot, they hit road the with their closest friends, for a pre-wedding road trip. They started from their hometown of Fairbanks and drove the Parks Highway to Girdwood, to ultimately elope at Virgin Creek Falls. Their crew has always had their backs, so they wanted them there for the big day.

Virgin Creek Falls is a beautiful waterfall nestled within the towering trees of the Chugach National Forest. The short half-mile trail to Virgin Creek Falls meanders through a tapestry of lush foliage as dappled sunlight shines through the thick canopy of trees above, illuminating patches of mossy greenery below. The sound of rushing water grows as you walk through the woods and mist fills the air. When Kaira and Dan said their “I Dos” under Virgin Creek Falls, the only words I can use to describe it are: Moody, ethereal, and magical.

Before their elopement day, we talked about a few ideas of how they could celebrate, ranging from a picnic, a nice dinner at a local restaurant, to exploring trails around Alyeska, the nearby ski resort. They decided to keep their plans open ended and spontaneously decide on the day of. After their vows and some portraits around Virgin Creek and Virgin Creek Falls, the newly married couple decided to hike the Lower Winner Creek trail to Winner Creek Gorge. With frost on the ground, we hiked the 5 miles round trip to the gorge. At the gorge, Kaira, Dan, and their best friends Zack and McCoy, popped champagne on the wooden bridge while the water rushed and thundered below.

Despite living busy lives, Kaira and Dan always find time for outdoor adventures; whether it’s hiking, chilling by the river, or exploring new places with their dogs. Their journey together has been about growing, loving, and overcoming distance due to Dan’s job. When I asked them what the craziest adventure they’ve ever been on was, Kaira replied “I would say our entire relationship is the craziest adventure we’ve been on”. Their elopement perfectly captured their free spirits – adventurous, spontaneous, full of love, with their biggest supporters by their side.


Kaira’s dress: Lily Marks

Dan’s suit: Frank’s Menswear

Wedding ring and bands: Bishops Jewelry

Kaira’s shoes: Vans

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Hey there, I’m Sierra! I’m your photographer, travel guide, and biggest hypewoman. When you work with me, you can expect to dance, run, piggyback, motorboat, swear, laugh, and get messy. So what I’m saying is: wear comfortable shoes, throw the rulebook away, and don’t take life too seriously (none of us get out alive).

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