Elopement

Winter Elopement in Zion National Park

 

I’m always thrilled when I get to photograph couples in Zion National Park. I’ve been doing photoshoots and weddings in the park for about 7 years of my professional career and elopements are quickly becoming some of my favorite shoots there. Musetta and Jurg contacted me about photographing their elopement in Zion National Park on Christmas Eve. That’s not normally a date I would schedule a wedding, but they had the coolest story and Musetta and I really connected over the phone so I said yes! They are both from South Africa and knew they wanted to get married in Zion because it was such a special place to them. The story of how they met is pretty cool too. They went to school together when they were young teenagers but didn’t keep in touch as they grew up and went their separate ways. Years later, their paths crossed again when Musetta was living in the states and Jurg was in South Africa. A year and half later and lots of traveling back and forth, here they are exchanging vows on a cliff in Zion!

We trekked up Canyon Overlook Trail for their bridal photos on Christmas Eve, and waved to the tourists who shared well wishes and exclamations of wonder as the bride hiked around in her wedding dress. Turns out this is one of my favorite things about weddings in national parks- it’s so fun to see how delighted other people are for the bride and groom. It’s a wonderful way to feel connected as humans. We spent some time after the ceremony taking portraits at various locations in the park until the sun set. It was a beautiful evening. Congratulations to the bride and groom!

 

Moab Elopement: Wild with Love & Crazy for Adventure

“Say the most important day of your life is quickly approaching. And you’ve got two paths ahead of you. You can do what’s expected, or do something that truly represents who you are: Wild with love and crazy for adventure. To Ariel and Andrew, their path was clear: Take off and elope! To the canyon lands of Utah.”

Ariel and Andrew had the most epic adventure elopement in Moab back in 2015 before it was even a thing. When Ariel first contacted me about photographing their wedding in Moab she mentioned that her father is a backcountry pilot and that they fly together a lot, and that she was thinking about flying one of these planes to her wedding ceremony. As you can imagine I was pretty excited (and also terrified that I would have to ride in the plane, which thankfully, I did not). Joey and I photographed this wedding together and we truly loved it! Andrew and his production team/best friends were awesome to work with and the whole two days was like a big party. We started our day bright and early and followed the Jeeps into this beautiful landing strip at the base of a canyon, right near the river. The road getting there was a bit sketchy but Joey had a blast navigating it! We were on standby while the guys scouted the location to make sure it was still safe to land after the rain that week, but all looked good and clear, so we started our pilgrimage to this epic spot.

Ariel and Andrew built their wedding around their own ideas and relationship and said adieu to any traditions that didn’t felt authentic to them. I loved this. They made a pretty amazing film about it too. Andrew owns a film production company so the whole thing was incredible. Their film made its rounds on the internet when it was first featured on Style Me Pretty. I highly recommend watching it! The reason I say that they are the ones who made adventure elopements a things, is because, well they are! I can’t say I’ve a single bride after this who has flown a plane to her own wedding, or any groom who built his own chuppa the day before the wedding by foraging sticks from the desert where they would exchange vows.

The night before the wedding, we joined Ariel and Andrew and their families to photograph their lovely rehearsal dinner at Sorrell River Ranch. We met up with the couple before the dinner for a fun portrait shoot near Fisher Tower. The Moab desert is incredible. The day after the wedding we hiked Arches National Park and I got to see Delicate Arch for the first time. It was an incredible experience.

Thanks again to this wonderful couple, their production crew, and families! You can see the feature over at Style Me Pretty here.

And watch their wedding film below!