California Couple Renews Vows in Jaw-Dropping Cliffside Photo Shoot: 'It Was So Worth It'
A photographer and couple hiked Norway's famous rock formation, Trolltunga, to get these stunning photos
An adventurous couple hiked miles to a jaw-dropping scenic cliff to capture stunning photographs as they recited their vows.
Tim and Kylie Healy have been married since February 2015, but they were unable take the wedding pictures they imagined back then due to some unfortunate weather problems and unforeseen circumstances. So the couple, along with photographer Priscila Valentina, recently flew to Norway to hike Trolltunga, a famous rock formation that has become a major tourist attraction. Translated to “Troll’s Tongue Rock” in English, Trolltunga sticks out about a thousand feet over Ringedalsvatnet lake, and gives photographers the perfect chance to take seemingly isolated pictures in front of a gorgeous backdrop. For the couple, Trolltunga seemed like a perfect place to renew their vows and get a new set of memories in the process.
“I’ve known I was going to marry Tim since I was 14 years old,” Kylie, 26, of Orange County, California, tells PEOPLE. “Obviously, that wasn’t a reality at the time, and the love I had for Tim then was completely different than it is now. But as we matured and grew up, the feelings I felt at 14 were confirmed over and over again.”
The couple met in high school and dated for more than eight years before becoming engaged in July 2014.
“I always knew I loved Kylie and hoped that one day she would be my wife,” Tim, 29, tells PEOPLE. “When the timing became more realistic for us to consider marriage I had to ask myself, ‘Can I see myself without this person in my life?’ The answer was no.”
After the disappointing pictures from their 2015 wedding, Tim and Kylie joked about traveling to a far-off place, like a “cliff in Norway,” for a re-do. But the more they joked about it, the more possible it seemed, so the intrepid couple found the “perfect photographer” for the shoot in Priscila Valentina, and then booked their flights a few days later to make it a reality.
During the first week of September, the group arrived in Norway and woke up at the crack of dawn to make it to the base of the rock formation. Valentina hiked the path carrying a heavy load of camera gear through rain, snapping pictures all along the trail—all while running on 24 hours of no sleep since their arrival.
“I had never done something like that before,” Valentina, 32, from California, tells PEOPLE. “However, even though I’m not an avid hiker, the weddings I photograph normally last for 10 to 12 hours. It was physically difficult, but your brain is so stimulated from being surrounded by such beauty that makes it enjoyable.”
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Once they made it to the Trolltunga, the couple set up a tent to serve as a makeshift changing room to prepare for the shoot. Once they emerged—the groom in a sharp blue suit and the bride in an elegant white wedding dress—they strolled along the cliff, and Valentina captured wonderful photos as the couple exchanged vows in front of the epic scenery.
“I like to think of myself as a fit and active person, but, oh my gosh, the hike was the hardest thing I have ever done!” Kylie recalls. “The hike itself was would have been difficult enough, but add 30 to 40 pounds of gear and supplies to your back. I literally had my wedding dress, shoes, makeup, and bouquet stuffed into a backpack and got ready in a tent. But, it was so worth it!”
Tim says the cloudy and rainy weather made him anxious about whether they would indeed capture the wedding photos they had traveled so far to get.
“When we reached our destination I was nervous about whether or not we would even be able to capture the photos we wanted. The weather reports predicted rain all day,” he says, adding that they waiting in a long line behind other tourists to wait their turn. “Thankfully, the timing of our shoot was perfect. Other hikers were so excited for us and allowed us a little extra time to capture every moment. Although it was cold and a little rainy, we were able to get everything we wanted just in time.”
The couple faced freezing temperatures in a wedding dress and suit, but they say their pictures are everything they could have wanted, and more.
Despite the cold weather, Valentina—who runs the business with her wife—says she was completely focused on trying to capture the trip, the beautiful surroundings and the couple.
“On this particular hike, the main goal was to be intentional in capturing the story of what was happening, really zoning in on the dialog between the couple and the place,” she says.
In all, the entire trip took 14 hours from start to finish, but they all say it was worth the sore muscles.
The entire collection of photographs is available to view on Valentina’s website. And for other couples looking forward to an upcoming wedding, Valentina has some suggestions.
“If you’re a bride and groom be authentic to yourself when planning your wedding. Don’t follow formality and tradition that doesn’t mean anything to you,” she says. “Trends will come and go, staying true to who you are throughout the process will give you an authentic and timeless experience and memories.”
As far as the future, Tim and Kylie are looking forward to their next big adventure.
“Where are we getting married next?!” the couple excitedly say.