Jes + Tyler’s Two Day Adventure Elopement in the Desert from Sedona to Southern Utah
Day 1 – Rock climbing and Off-roading adventures in Sedona, AZ
Meet Jes and Tyler, the two met on Bumble just as Jes had really had it with the app and was about to delete it, but she met her perfect match! Their first awkward kiss ending the first day to the first I love you after a concert and their proposal via a very sweet and intentional letter was at home on the couch while having their morning coffee, they define their relationship as authentic. Jes and Tyler, leading up to the elopement told us a lot about how natural their relationship was and wanted a wedding that would fit this same energy. Originally they were getting married in Croatia but due to covid changed their plans and were supposed to get married in Hawaii, but due to covid travel restrictions this was not going to happen without a long quarantine, so they started looking into the PNW and the southwest. They ultimately chose to elope in the desert for all the variety of adventure and scenic views they could have.
I met up with Jes and Tyler at their Airbnb for a first look in what was going to be THE wedding dress. Before the dress got dirty, before hair and make up went through a desert adventure, she wanted to show it all off! Jes ended up with four dresses for these two special days. The other three dresses started to come into play when we started planning their day with climbing involved, different backgrounds and locations. Jes was really excited about the dresses and to be supporting this awesome company back home called, Wish Upon a Dress, where all profits go towards Wish Upon a Wedding. After the first look we loaded up all the water and gear we would need to set out for our hike. Tyler and Jes were really excited to get to a secluded cave in the Sedona wilderness and truly adventure. During our planning states we had chatted about climbing, repelling into slot canyons, cliff jumping and more, but once they saw this place with its unique experience they were sold! They climbed up together and Jes had a blast spinning around in her “short fun” dress and getting way too close to the edges, according to Tyler, which was an adorable theme where he wanted to be sure to keep his wife safe. It was fun hearing all about how her mom had taught her all about how to do the perfect spin for their adventure elopement! The cave is a hidden place a lot of locals know about in Sedona and that we had gone up in prior to their elopement to check things out again. During this time we noticed that there had been graffiti put on the walls of the cave. We decided to do a little surprise for Jes and Tyler, Jes loves surprises! We gave them a book to sign and be the first signatures in the cave register which we left in the cave for more folks to sign when they summit the climb in, hoping to bring our community together and stop people from leaving their personal notes on the walls. After spending time in all the nooks and crannies of the cave, we had setup to rappel out. The two of them rappelled out together and half-way down enjoyed jumping off the rock together, taking full advantage of the fun things you can do while being roped in.
On our way back to the car we passed several snakes on the trail. We chatted about all of the wildlife in the desert and adventures they had planned all throughout Arizona during their honeymoon after the elopement. We started for the next location only accessible by a long hike or in our case an extreme off road adventure. We had gone down as far as we comfortably could, but since it was only a mid clearance vehicle on a road that needed high clearance, we got all of our gear and clothes together quickly and hiked the last two miles in. We got to the location in perfect timing and the two helped each other get dressed in their more formal outfits for sunset photos. Their friend had bought them a nice bottle of champagne and recorded a video to surprise them with and right towards the end of sunset it was really nice to be able to pass this surprise along to end the first day. We had just the perfect amount of light for the drive out to make it past the more intimidating parts of the drive and made it safely back to pavement. After our road trip back down the road we all dined together in town at the Hudson and shared all of our excitements for the next day. They dropped us back off at our van parked back at their Airbnb where I pointed out that the Milky Way was visible. It was such a special thing since they had never seen it before and to be able experience it in Sedona’s dark skies right before the day they become husband and wife.
Day 2 – Page Off Road Elopement
We met at the courthouse in Page, marriage license in hand to begin yet another off-road adventure. Before-hand my partner and I had picked up some amazing pizza since dinner options in Page are limited later at night. This way they could still enjoy a dinner and adventure. Pizza was definitely the themed meal of their trip, trying many of the pizza places in Sedona and other parts of Arizona. In case you want a recommendation, Jes highly recommends Rotten Johnny’s pizza in Sedona or the Justino pizza from Pisa Lisa in Sedona.
As we drove the two took in the wild desert beauty around us and settled in with their excitement that they were about to tie the knot! The long off roading got us to a breathtaking viewpoint for them to hold their ceremony. While it started windy and with the slightest sprinkles of rain, as we started the ceremony with a surprise scripture chosen by Tyler’s mom , the sun broke through the clouds and a rainbow stretched across the sky. I am telling you these two had my partner and I in tears reading their hand written vows to each other with the sweetest background music. Right after they said ‘I Do’ and kissed the folks in the camp spot down the way from to us cheered and congratulated them, they also signed as one of their witnesses! As we were in the area where the other people were camped, Jes and Tyler popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate and the helpful camp witnesses extended themselves by making sure we didn’t lose the cork as it shot off the bottle. After the final dress change, they shared a first dance to ‘I’m with you’ by Vance Joy. They cuddled up together on the chilly evening along the cliff edge to read their letters from family with pizza and cookies from Cheryl’s cookies back home. Jes and Tyler had also written letters to their parents for them to read at the same time of their wedding ceremony back home! Before heading out they took out an adorable just married banner and stretched it across the front of their car for some photos with their Mr and Mrs masks on for the last bit of the sunset. As the sun set completely and the skies were only left with starlight, we stopped for some Milky Way photographs on top of orange boulders that looked like they came from Mars.
As a bonus, Tyler, Jes, myself and my partner had met up about a week later in Sedona to find a cave that I have been looking for for a long time now to add to my Best Places to Elope in Sedona list. I finally had gotten ahold of some coordinates and asked them if they wanted to go along with us and they were excited to do so. We hiked two miles out, mostly on a well known trail and then through a wash to find absolutely stunning views, Indian ruins and yes, the cave. We had a great time climbing around and shared some rainbow sherbet beers in commemoration of Jes’s love of rainbows and them having gotten an incredible one for their wedding day. Naturally we named this new location, Sherbet. It was so great getting to know each other better, share stories from our past, hopes for our futures and fully enjoy an adventure and sunset.
I couldn’t think of a better way for these two adventure loving people to get married, and I personally couldn’t have enjoyed a better day than to have spent it scouting for a spot with Mr and Mrs Thurn. We truly feel we made best friends with these two and know we just have to find time to visit Ohio lol! Congrats you two!!! Can’t wait to celebrate an anniversary of yours in Sedona!
Looking for a desert elopement photographer?!
Hey! I am the gal that is most likely going to be zipping or buttoning up your wedding dress right before that first look with your forever person. If you are looking for someone who will help you plan a day that is truly driven from who you two are as a couple, help you through all of the adventures on the big day and capture those authentic moments you share the day you become married I would love to chat! The desert holds a very special place in my heart and I think it is a great place to connect on this special day and of course, explore!
The Jeweller’s Store (The bride’s ring was from the groom’s parents jewelry store!)
Calla Blanche Dress
Wish Upon a Dress