Jaclynn Wilkinson


Hot Air Balloon Elopement



This was my first, and hopefully not last, Hot Air Balloon Elopement!

What a unique and amazing idea this was! If you remember the blog post I wrote a while back, Do’s and Don’ts of Eloping, you’ll know Allison and Alec NAILED using mother nature as their venue in the most amazing way!

We began the day by meeting up at Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn. From there, Chief Pilot Eliav Cohen and his assistant put a glow bead/tracker in a helium balloon and released it into the dark sky.

They watched and measured with an app on their phone which direction the wind was blowing to determine their take off point.

Once the balloon was far off, they made their decision and off we went!

We all drove together and Eliav told us stories about the history of ballooning and some of his journeys as a pilot. This was definitely some of the best quality time! I loved hearing stories of the French and how everyone thought the first balloons were dragons.

We parked at a big open field. Land they owned or rented. As Eliav and his assistant began set up, I pulled Allison and Alec aside for a few warm glowy sunrise portraits on the drive way!

We took a second to talk about some go-to poses when they maybe wouldn’t be able to hear me while I was on the ground and they were in the balloon taking off or coming down.

From there, I simply documented as they blew up the balloon, hopped in, and took off to become husband and wife alone in the sky! ♥

I rode with Eliav’s crew member as we followed and tracked the balloon! We were able to stop on many back roads and photograph the balloon on its’ journey.

The balloon landed in a field about an hour later. It was so fun watching them work as a team to manually push and fly the balloon as close to their truck as possible for reloading the basket into the trailer!

When Allison and Alec hopped out of the balloon we took some time for portraits in the field.

This is some of my most unique work as far as lighting and colors because I never photograph with the sun at that angle. It was neither high noon or golden or blue hour at this point. The sun was strong and formed about 90 degrees of split light or extreme back lighting. It was challenging and beautiful and unique.

Unique situations are a surefire way to get unique images. ♥

This was also my very first time in nearly 100 weddings being a witness!! I was so honored when they asked me to sign as a witness on their documents.

We all had a glass of delicious champagne and Eliav made a cute little hot air balloon memento out of the cork covering. He recommended they use it as a Christmas Tree ornament. I loved that.

Congratulations to Allison & Alec!!!

I am sure we all agree on highly recommending Seattle Ballooning to anyone wanting to take a ride, elope, or propose!

Hot Air Balloon Elopement

Previous Posts:

Edgewater Hotel Indian Wedding

Five2Five Buckley, Washington Wedding

Pacific Northwest Engagement Photos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Samantha Marthini says:

    WOW, what a beautiful shoot, and such a fun elopement idea. These are amazing!

  2. Maranda M Norton says:

    How magical!

  3. Rose Sater says:

    Such a cool elopement and beautifully captured moments!


Hi! How are you? Thinking of lots of my clients lately and hoping you’re doing well no matter where life has taken you! I’ve been laying low. Loving on my kiddos, friends, sisters, and partners. They’re all taking great care of me, too! Working my booty offf. Trying to eat healthy and navigate adulting more […]

The in between

Life has been very romantic lately. Unknown and confusing and both flighty and grounded all at once. I remember being 14 and seeing my entire life by your side. Life is wild. I remember a water bottle and abandoned bleachers. I remember axe body spray and the way I had never been kissed. I know […]

Nirvana & I think of you

I hope you know better than to think I’d want to be anywhere but here right now. It was true on NYE and it’s true right now in my car outside the café. This may have felt seamless. Too seamless. Happenstance. But I’m here on purpose, now. I see your soft heart and I see […]

I hope you know better

You’ll walk through a glittering white veil, uncharacteristically soft compared to what you’ll find behind it. It has no need to keep you out. You quickly realize it’s the aura within that turns most around. The texture disorients. I’ll already be inside. What do you see? Upon first impression, you’re in a desert. Interesting considering […]

What Do You See?