A bride was left glowing for altogether different reasons after hiking up a mountain with her groom to exchange vows.
Camille Buttles told Newsweek she first got talking to her now-husband Robert on the dating app Hinge after noticing a photo of him posing in front of a lake.
“Being an avid adventurer myself, I messaged him asking where the lake was,” she said. “He told me that it was in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas, which he said was one of his favorite places he’s been to, and coincidentally also happened to be one of my favorite places in the world. I guess you can say the rest is history .”
According to data compiled by the Pew Research Center in 2020, 30 percent of US adults have used an online dating site or app to find love. Of that number, 12 percent said they were either married or in a committed relationship with someone met through one of these platforms.
Robert and Camille are among this lucky number. Their relationship blossomed after discovering a shared love of the outdoors during those initial conversations on Hinge.
“The Eastern Sierra Nevadas has been our favorite place as a couple since that first conversation,” Camille said. “Through the years, we’ve done multiple hiking, camping, backpacking, ski/snowboarding trips up there, and it was even where my husband proposed.”
So when it came time to planning their wedding, both the bride and groom were determined to incorporate the area into the event.
Camille said they initially hoped to tie the knot in the California mountain range of Inyo National Forest. However, the logistics of holding the ceremony there – and getting their guests to join them – proved too difficult to manage.
“We originally wanted to have a small wedding out there but when plans didn’t work out, we decided to do a mini-elopement to say our private vows out there the week before our actual wedding,” she said.
The resulting hike to their special place was captured on video and across a series of pictures taken by photographer Jade Bourdeau-Hernikl, who joined them on the excursion.
A clip, showing Camille dressed in a bridal gown alongside Robert in a suit enjoying their special moment together in the American wilderness was uploaded to TikTok.
At the time of writing, the video, shared under the handle camilleexplores, has been viewed over 1.2 million times with viewers stunned at the sight of the happy couple enjoying the great outdoors in their finest wedding attire.
Drink.read.repeat said: “Turns out, when some people list ‘hiking’ as a hobby on dating sites, they actually mean it” with quesadilla.maria commenting: “Love the bouquet in your backpack pocket.”
Lynn.se, meanwhile, confessed they were left “sobbing uncontrollably” at the video while konakafe said: “Hiking is not for me but I love this story!”
Others shared their own stories of finding love online. “I put my husband on hinge too,” Karain.bloom said. “Almost a year married now.”
Madmaxofalltrades also commented: “My fiancé and I met on Hinge too! Congratulations y’all.”
This was Camille and Robert’s moment though. While the couple were not able to get married in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas, the trip up still provided them with the ideal setting for them to tell each other how they truly felt.
“It worked out perfectly because we preferred to have our vows done in a more private setting and this way, we were able to do it in a place that meant a lot to us,” Camille said.
A mountain hike may not top every couple’s lists of pre-wedding activities but Camille said they would not have had it any other way and would encourage others to follow their heart and do what feels natural to them.
“It meant so much to us to be able to say our vows in a place that holds such a special meaning within our story,” she said. “It made the whole event feel extremely authentic and personal, and simply about the two of us which is what we wanted our wedding experience to be about. I wouldn’t change anything about it!”