I’ve been meaning to share the experience from one of my all time favorite elopements in Northern California, at the Sierra Buttes. This part of the Sierra Nevadas are generally looked over for elopement locations as there are so many other well known locations in the area to choose from, but this one is the local hidden gem. The mountain peaks are one of my favorites as it’s rocky and symmetrical and the views have super easy access! Since it’s more of a local gem, there isn’t near as many tourist and you really can find some private area all to yourself pretty easy. There are also really cute log cabin options close to the area and some mini lakes to explore.
Jon and Audrey originally had a different location/hike picked out for their elopement however due to wild fires in the area they had to pivot last minute. The Sierra Buttes was a local location that they had grew up around and they thought it would be a great options to switch to.
They started by looking for a lodging location to stay at. There are a few great ones to choose from in the area including a resort called the Sardine Lake Resort which is right on the bottom of the lake with amazing views and great amenities including boat rentals, fishing, a dining restaurant and bar. This location was already booked for their timeframe so they ended up finding another location right down the road called the Packer Lake Lodge. This location is even more private with rustic cabin rentals and a small lake with private boats you get with each cabin rental. Super cute and perfect place for these two!
Jon and Audrey and their little daughter ended up getting ready in these rustic cabins at Packer Lake and it was absolutely adorable.
Once the family was done getting ready, it was time to do first look. Jon did a first look with his daughter in the trees and then Audrey and Jon did their first look on the patio overlooking the lake and mountains.
Once the first looks were done it was time for a small picnic to make sure they were ready for the big hike to come! Jon and Audrey just had their picnic on the picnic on the table outside of their cabin.
Once everyone was all hydrated and packed up we drove to the trailhead for the hike to the ceremony location! The hike is called Sierra Buttes Lookout Trail. It’s a 12.5 mile hike, however this family only needed to hike in 2 miles in to get to their lookout spot they chose for their elopement ceremony. Their 5 year old and older parent was with them so the hike was just short enough for them to come Here’s a link to the trailhead for reference. link. This amazing spot has views of multiple lakes as well as the Sierra Buttes. There is also a little forest section when you walk through the trees. It is a little uphill and pretty rocky so the correct shoes are a must! I would make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks as well.
Once we had found the perfect spot, it was time for the elopement ceremony. Jon and Audrey got some last minute details ready and were then married by one of the best friends overlooking the Sierra Buttes. What a perfect landscape for a wedding!
After the ceremony it was time to adventure and take some pics around the area before we hiked back down for dinner. We started with a champagne toast to celebrate! Then as we were starting to take some pics there just so happen to be a rainbow that made an appearance right when we were talking about their family member who had passed and couldn’t be there. It was a pretty surreal moment that I will always remember. So glad I was able to document this for them!
It was time to hike down and go to the cabin for dinner! Audrey and Jon originally were not sure where they were going to have dinner but when they talked with the venue they mentioned that their main cabin with a kitchen was not being used and that they could use it for their reception area. It was absolutely perfect and rounded out the rustic themed wedding. Audrey found a local chef in the area to come cook them dinner (https://eightarmedchef.com/) and have it ready by the time they got done with the hike. They set up the table beautifully and it was the perfect way to end the night! I couldn’t of imagined a better elopement day for these two. So happy that I got be a part of documenting this beautiful family!
If you are interested in making a Sierra Butte elopement come to life, please feel free to reach out to us! We specialize in planning and documenting beautiful elopements happen all over Northern California!
If you're thinking about eloping or getting married in NorCal, our blog is an excellent resource for inspiration. We've got sneak peeks of recent weddings, tips for eloping in Northern California, and more. Let The Adventure Begin is the perfect place to start planning.
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