Extreme wedding photo shoots see brides climbing mountains and dodging airplanes

To have and to have rights – bragging rights.

A white dress and a chapel, or a ring and a bent knee just isn’t enough these days — so couples go to extremes, braving hurricanes and dodging planes to ensure their wedding and engagement photos stand out.

Brooke Westbrook, 36, was overcome with emotion after realizing she was in love with her friend Julia, 30, as they flew over the Grand Canyon during a helicopter tour.

When the couple got engaged last summer, they knew they wanted to exchange their vows with another stunning view to honor their relationship.

After a year and a half together, the Georgia couple tied the knot in the middle of Knick Glacier outside of Palmer, Alaska, with none but their best man, the helicopter pilot, photographer and videographer.

“It was so magical,” Brooke told The Post.

And her photos of relic photo, owned by Hanna Thimsen and her sister Heidi Burtch, show it; Her wedding album is filled with stunning photos of women descending from a helicopter onto snowy mountain peaks, standing on massive frozen cliffs in their wedding dresses and kissing in front of clear blue rivers cutting through walls of ice.

Some dresses might have been damaged when these photos were taken – but the newlyweds, who “love adventure”, didn’t mind.

Brooke, 36, and Julia, 30, of Westbrook, married on a glacier outside of Palmer, Alaska last month.
Brooke, 36, and Julia, 30, of Westbrook, married on a glacier outside of Palmer, Alaska last month.
relic photo

Brooke and Julia get on a helicopter
When the couple got engaged last summer, they knew they wanted to take their vows with a stunning view to celebrate a special moment in their relationship and their spirit of adventure.
relic photo

Brooke and Julia are standing on the glacier
“We were in a euphoric state,” Brooke recalled. “I think for us it was like we wanted to make it big or go home. We wanted it to be very special.”
relic photo

“We were in a euphoric state,” recalls Brooke, a hairstylist. “I think for us it was like we wanted to make it big or go home. We wanted it to be very special.”

From perfectly staged kissing photos in a chapel to scaling a mountain in a white dress, wedding photography trends have changed drastically in recent years, with the photos becoming far more individual — and intense.

“Couples don’t just have to pose and hold hands. They want to stand out and are more willing to do fun things,” wedding photographer Kelli Carrico told The Post.

Brooke and Julia climb the rock
Wedding photography has become more intimate, intense and unique in recent years as couples consider their photos more important – sometimes the only way for friends and family to enjoy the day.
relic photo

Carrico would know. She went viral earlier this summer 6.3 million views on TikTok as she shared shocking video of a plane taking off over a newlywed couple on their wedding day.

Amanda and Kevin were getting married on a small airstrip in Fayetteville, West Virginia when Carrico was alerted that a plane was about to take off from the runway. She quickly grabbed the newlyweds, wowing them with the impromptu shot and snapped a snap as the plane took off.

The picture was taken at the last minute, but Carrico has noticed a trend toward more extreme and characterful wedding photos in recent years. She has taken engagement and wedding photos on unmarked hiking trails, at canyon lookouts, and in the midst of an approaching hurricane.

Photographers are hired by 85% of engaged couples and are among the most frequently hired wedding contractors around the world. according to The Knotwith most couples spending thousands of dollars on engagement and wedding photo packages.

With couples spending a large chunk of their wedding budget on the perfect photograph, the demands of brides and grooms have become more specific.

And Carrico, a 15-year industry veteran, claims the proliferation of social media has pushed couples to become more creative.

Leigh, 29, and Joe Ferraro, 33, are in a rowboat
Leigh, 29, and Joe Ferraro, 33, knew they wanted their engagement photos to celebrate the life they’d built on the west coast.

“Social media gave people ideas and permission,” she explained. “These couples find their niche and aren’t afraid to ask for it.”

Leigh, 29, and Joe Ferraro, 33, were one of those couples. The couple moved to California together from the New York area in 2015 and knew they wanted to honor the life they’d built on the West Coast in their engagement photos.

The stunning photos show the couple from a bird’s-eye view as they snuggle up in a rowboat, float through the waves of the Pacific Ocean and lie on a rock on the shore as the water rips around them.

Leigh, 29, and Joe Ferraro, 33, row into the sunset
The couple felt like they’d seen so many of the same engagement photos from friends and online, which motivated them to get a little more creative with their shoot.

“Personally, we felt like we’ve seen so many of the same couples photoshoots over the years, which really motivated us to try something different that felt more like us,” Leigh told The Post.

“Ultimately, our engagement shoot was inspired by the California dream we shared all those years ago and the photos will forever represent this chapter in our love story.”

Photographer Shrey Bhagat, Raabta’s founder and creative director, said he’s noticed a clear shift in wedding inquiries due to the pandemic: “Couples are looking for unique and adventurous wedding or pre-wedding shoots.”

Leigh, 29, and Joe Ferraro, 33, lie on a rock on the shore
Photographers have noticed a shift in wedding photography trends, driven by social media and the impact of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the $74 billion wedding industry upside down as many couples have had to cancel, postpone or downsize their large, lavish weddings. As some couples continue to opt for small, intimate alternative ceremonies, they’ve turned their attention to each other — and to their photos.

The West Books fall into this category. “[The pandemic] It’s been such a scary time and put things in perspective, which is really important. That inspired us because together we wanted to show that intimacy,” Brooke said of her private ceremony in Alaska.

Bhagat predicts that “with the advent of social media and couples’ desire to stand out and create unforgettable experiences, the demand for extreme wedding shoots” will likely continue, with “weddings in remote or exotic locations, unconventional venues and extreme outdoors.” -Settings”.

Couple standing in the desert in wedding attire
Experts predict the extreme wedding photography and travel destination trend will continue as more couples are inspired by what they see online.
Raabta Studios

The sisters from Relic Photography are sure of that. They have seen an increase in demand over their 13 years of existence and are already booked for several upcoming adventure weddings with more glacier and mountain shoots.

“These adventure weddings are extremely personal, very stress free, totally exhilarating and allow couples to really enjoy each other and their day,” Thimsen told The Post.

“Standing on a mountaintop, holding hands with your lover, kissing, laughing, playing on the literal top of the world, taking your vows on miles of ancient ice… that’s what matters. It just doesn’t get any more profound, poetic, beautiful or intimate.”

Caroline Bleakley

Caroline Bleakley is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Caroline Bleakley joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Caroline Bleakley by emailing carolinebleakley@ustimetoday.com.

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