Colorful Promise Ridge Elopement – Pocono Mountains

Cristal and Callan eloped in the middle of the day at Promise Ridge, with a beautiful ceremony officiated by Alisa Tongg. This wasn’t always their plan, but it was the best plan C ever.

Cristal and Callan had planned to get married in Gettysburg this past Spring, with all of their favorite people by their side. Then COVID happened. So to keep everybody safe, they reschedule everything for next year. Everything was set, and then I got an email from Cristal asking if I could photograph their elopement in a few days. They still want to celebrate with all their loved ones next year, but they didn’t want to wait so long to get married. We figured out a plan in about 10 days, and during that time I decided I wanted to make them a cake. Even though it was just going to be just the two of them, I wanted to help make it feel like the mini wedding that it was. So I learned how to make a mini marble wedding cake, and Scott got to drive with the poorly temperature controlled cake for two hours to meet them at Promise Ridge. -There’s conflicting info in the internet, but I know better now.-

It was the sunniest day, and the place is even more beautiful in person. They each got ready in that awesome room with the mural that’s giving me ideas, and then the ceremony started. Alisa brought their story and their relationship into it in the most natural way. They shared their heartfelt and funny vows, exchanged rings, and finished with el lazo (the traditional Mexican Lasso ritual). I can’t say how happy I am that we got to be there with them.

After that, they headed to see my little gift, and Alisa told us all about the origin and meaning behind wedding cakes. It happened to be very fitting because flour and baking ingredients were hard to find at that point, but mostly because I wish Cristal and Callan all the prosperity and good fortune in the world.

Then, as we were walking to take some portraits, Alisa and her dad had their playlist going, and they shared an impromptu first dance with the most amazing view. We finished with a few photos with the huge elephant ear plants that I want so bad, and we headed to a little trail to take photos by a waterfall. There wasn’t a soul around when Scott and I checked it out earlier. But when we got there with them, there were a couple of families hanging out and grilling by the water. But we embraced it, and they were very kind. They tried to give us space, told Cristal how beautiful she looked, and the smoke looked kind of cool in some of the photos.

This year was not what anybody expected, and I feel for the struggle and loss that so many people have experienced, but some beautiful moments have also come out of it. Moments and days like this one. I am couldn’t be happier we got to be there with Cristal and Callan for this, and we will happily do it all over again next Spring.

Also, thank you if you read all this!

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