Who says you need sunshine & blue skies to have a magical engagement session on the beach? ✨Chelsea and Dayton sure didn’t – their stormy engagement photos at Alki Beach turned out absolutely beautifully, brimming with romance, childlike fun, and a little (alright, a lot) of PNW moodiness. What an absolute joy it was to capture their love & the light it was even on the stormiest of days.
I often see couples leaning toward summer or fall for their engagement photos in the Pacific Northwest, and I can’t blame ‘em – sunny summers & colorful falls are truly something else in this corner of the country. But I also believe that winter can be just as beautiful of a time to take your engagement photos, and has so much potential for a different type of magic; a type that’s slow, peaceful, and oh-so-cozy. I love a good summer of adventure, exploration, and experiences, but fall and winter bring about a certain space of reflection that makes my soul happy! It’s safe to say that I’ll always say yes to a winter engagement, whether it takes place in the comfort of your home on the couch (like this one), or outdoors in the rain like Chelsea & Dayton’s.
It wouldn’t be right for me to give you this gorgeous session without a little bit of fashion talk – or without an acknowledgement of the bubblegum pink coat that Chelsea styled for this stormy engagement. Sprinkling pops of color into your engagement outfits is always a good idea, especially if you’re surrounded by earthy neutrals, or the sky above you is gray, rainy, and lacking in color itself. And if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that Seattle will decide to be rainy no matter how sunny the weather app predicted it would be – so bringing along a few colorful pieces is a must!
While I adored Chelsea & Dayton’s wintry outfits full of black, gray, and tan, as well as plenty of cozy layers, the pink jacket that Chelsea threw on halfway through absolutely made this session. Who knew that one simple coat could make such a difference in the mood & bring a little life back to this rainy day? Add that to her matching pink nails, rose gold wedding ring, and ruffled black turtleneck and you’ve got one iconic outfit
You know the one – when Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams set the world ablaze with a dramatic kiss under a torrential rainstorm? That’s the only scene I need in order to convince you of the magic of photos in the rain, and maybe Chelsea & Dayton’s engagement will, now, too.
While this engagement at Alki Beach started out just with gray skies and soft winter light, by the end we were absolutely drenched thanks to a quintessential Seattle rainstorm, the waves of the beach rolling high up on the shores and the wind blowing our umbrellas around everywhere. Chelsea and Dayton fully took the rain in stride and were more than ready to pull out the umbrellas & walk through the puddles like little kids out in the rain – and let’s be honest, who doesn’t need a little more childlike joy in their lives?
We took advantage of the bad weather & lack of other visitors, and explored the whole Alki Beach area; Chelsea and Dayton walked hand-in-hand along the little streets next to the beach and ran through the sand like it took no effort at all, leaving footprints everywhere that were washed away in minutes.
What started as a sprinkle quickly turned into an absolute downpour, and that’s when they said to hell with the umbrellas – they weren’t doing much anyway, and it was too late to try and stay completely dry! Chelsea and Dayton embraced the storm and twirled around in the sand, kissing and snuggling with the same passion that Allie & Noah had in that iconic scene, as if nothing else in the world mattered between them in that moment. It was such a joy getting to photograph not just a couple in love, but a couple who was ready to take on anything that they’d get hit with, rain or shine; a testament to the strength of their relationship and the way they face unexpected obstacles together. Documenting moments like these is still such a gift, and one that I’m not sure how I ended up receiving 🤍
Before I leave you with a few last shots of these two cuties & the Seattle skyline just barely peeking through the fog, I wanted to give you a little insight into the location they chose for their engagement – Alki Beach! Alki is a lovely, spacious beach strip that runs along Elliott Bay in West Seattle, known for its picturesque views of the water, skyline, and surrounding mountains. It’s an absolutely lovely spot for engagement photos thanks to not only its beautiful views, but the abundance of little cafes, restaurants, and shops along the water that make it such a fun place to explore! It would be so much fun to kick off your engagement session with a yummy drink or bite to eat at a local eatery along the beach, then head to the water, and maybe take a stroll along the paved path to end it. It’s also not too far from downtown (depending on traffic, of course), so you could absolutely make a day out of it and explore the beach, then head into the city for dinner or drinks!
This was such a lovely winter afternoon with Chelsea and Dayton, and I’m so happy that they were able to fully embrace the storm and, of course, dance in the rain (literally). Cheers to the happiest future! 🥂
Looking for more rainy-day engagement and wedding inspiration? Check out the blog posts below for more proof of just how magical cloudy skies & stormy days can really be!