Hollie Kirwan and David Leonard

The middle of winter on Mt. Washington, the temperature at -10 degrees, the snow several feet deep — that’s not the venue that most couples would choose for their wedding ceremony, but for Hollie and David — backcountry skiers, mountaineers and climbers — it was perfect. They could combine their love for each other with their love of nature, and at the same time provide their family and friends with an experience they’d never forget. All photos by Anne Skidmore Photography.

On that cold January day, there was little wind and lots of sparkling snow as Hollie and David led their wedding guests up the challenging Tuckerman Ravine Trail to a sheltered spot near the Harvard Mountaineering Club Cabin. “Just behind the cabin, there’s a small bridge, overlooked by an enormous boulder,” says Hollie. “It formed a natural chapel for the ceremony.” Their family and friends lined the bridge, humming “Here Comes the Bride” as Hollie and her Dad walked down the aisle. A close friendperformed the ceremony and Hollie’s sisters each did a reading. At the end, instead of confetti, they were showered with snow. Hollie and David, originally from Ireland and Northern Ireland, traveled to Belfast in July to celebrate with friends and family who were unable to make the trek to — and up — Mt. Washington. 

Their family and friends were a “fit and active bunch” so the distance up the mountain didn’t concern them.

Hollie and David had a first ski instead of a first dance. They skied down an icy trail with their more adventurous guests. Hollie’s advice for other brides: “Throw the rule book out the window and do whatever makes you happy!”

How do you top getting married in the winter on Mount Washington? Answer: Spend your 27-day summer honeymoon living in a tent while you hike Denali in Alaska.


Reception Hardy Farm • Caterer White Mountain Cider Co. • Music Spotify • Hair Divinity Salon • Makeup Anna Kirwan • Jeweler La4ve • Groom’s ring Graham Harron • Dress salon BHLDN • Rentals Showcase Rentals


Categories: Real Weddings