This has been the year of backyard weddings and I don’t mind it one bit. Tina and Nick wanted to have a ceremony in whatever manner they could, so they ended up ditching their original 200-person wedding plans and decided to spend the day doing what they love most: hiking and mountain biking with their fur baby, Lenny. We started the day with a beautiful morning ceremony in her parent’s backyard that was full of gorgeous flowers and huge blueberry plants.

Tina had a handmade belt that matched Nick’s tie (which he spent HOURS learning how to make!) and that also matched their dog’s bow-tie. It was so sweet watching her mom tie her belt on once her makeup and hair were all done! These two spoke sweet vows to one another while their best friends filmed and live-streamed for their online guests, and Tina’s brother, Andrew, and parents stood beside them, and Nick’s brother, Rob, officiated. They both, surprisingly, brought up how Tina had beat Nick in an Ironman, and I don’t think anyone will ever let Nick live that down, haha.

After the ceremony, they celebrated with homemade zucchini cake and macaroons from two of their friends, and toasts from Tina’s dad and Andrew. After that, we took a few sunny portraits out at the wetlands, and then headed to their favorite hike: Silverstar.

The road was super dusty as we made our way to the trailhead. Once we were there, we started our steep hike up to the viewpoint. This hike was special to Tina and Nick because it was where they had one of their very first dates: Nick took Tina here in the winter and they night-hiked to catch the stars at the top. On that night, he had brought his stove kit and cooked her Brussell sprouts, so, he did the same thing for their wedding day.

We took some gorgeous portraits in the brightly lit sky, with all the mountain peaks showing off (we could see Rainier, Adams, Helens, and Hood!) and then they popped some champagne and had their traditional meal of sprouts.

After we got back to the car, these two whipped out their bike pads and helmets and got ready for their true calling: mountain biking. With the ceremonial cutting of the wedding dress, these two had smiles that spanned across their entire faces they were so happy to be mountain biking on their wedding day! I think one of the coolest things you can do on your wedding day is to make it your own and completely unique to you. They went off jumps, with trusty Lenny living his best life chasing after his favorite humans, and we ended with booty grabs and tons of laughter on the trails. Rob and Andrew had tagged along and were very impressed by their sibling and their new in-law.

On my way home I couldn’t help but feel so thankful for days as genuine and unique as this one was. To come away from the day feeling like these two really stuck to what they loved was the coolest thing to witness and document. Congrats again, Mr. and Mrs. Gruenenfelder! Love you two to pieces!