Antonya + Dusty’s Elopement in Alabama Hills

A groom jumps off of a rock while the bride celebrates.

Planning the elopement day!

When it came to getting married Dusty + Antonya knew they wanted to elope because, “We wanted an intimate, rich, personal experience to celebrate our love with the people closest to us.”

When it came to picking the right location, Bishop, felt like the right place. Dusty + Antonia had visited there a few times with each other and both times had such an incredible time. They love the local ice cream shop and even shared their first time saying I love you to each other in Bishop. They were excited to share a place they love dearly with their loved ones and celebrate their marriage there.

They chose late May for their elopement day in Bishop which can be perfect temperatures and the wildflowers just start blooming. However, in the mountains, this is the time the snow is melting. We made Plan A in the mountains, a hike to a beautiful lake. Then we made Plan B, in Alabama Hills, among the big boulders in the desert with Mt Whitney as the backdrop. Then we waiting for the day to get closer to decide which would the best option based on conditions.

Getting Ready for the elopement

Antonya + Dusty stayed and got ready at Eastside Bivy Guesthouse. It was the perfect cozy and beautiful stay and space for getting ready. They got ready separately while spending time with their family + closest friends. It was a time of relaxation before setting out for the adventure. They took the time to write their vows in their vow books, keeping the words fresh before reading them soon to each other. Once ready they loaded up in separate cars with their guests so they could share a special first look down the aisle, aka, trail.

Elopement at Alabama Hills

Some of the moments and photos that Antonya + Dusty were most excited where the first look and walking down the aisle to start the ceremony. We were able to scout the day before picking the most perfect location for their ceremony that offered privacy, easy access for the guests from parking and stunning imagery for this special moment for the two of them. The guests gathered at the location and Antonya’s father walked her down the trail to her future husband.

Bill officiated the ceremony paying homage to the beauty around, touching on their story together before they shared their touching private vows. Excitedly, they shared their fist kiss as husband and wife before sharing congratulation hugs from their guests. It was a beautiful, dreamy ceremony.

Following the ceremony they set up a picnic with their loved ones. They brought with them sandwiches from a local shop in Bishop, and set up a blanket and camping chairs to comfortably eat. To end their lunch they cheered their pickles! They wanted to share a toast with all their loved ones, the important people in their lives they had asked to be here for this intimate, intentional celebration. They shared their thanks and admiration to each person. In turn, each person went around the circle sharing their own toasts with the couple including admiration, stories and of course words of good luck in their marraige. There were happy tears and of course some laughter!

In life, we often go through the days busy. Moments like these feel monumental and so special. The moments you share with the people you love why you love them, how they shaped you and simply being present together to enjoy somewhere so incredibly beautiful.

With full tummies, it was time for a little adventure!! Antonya and Dusty hiked out to Mobius Arch to see the sunset and take some couple’s portraits together. The family decided to hike along behind them to also check out the view and watch along for fun. As we started our hike the sun popped below the clouds shining on the boulders and warming our skin. Antonya and Dusty ventured off exploring the different boulders, having fun holding each other and jumping off the rock. After the sun set their guests ventured back to the picnic area and they cuddled up under the arch holding each other and reflecting on this incredible day together. As we hiked back, we stopped along the way to enjoy the tones the desert faded to during blue hour, the depth of the mountains and pops of color from the wild flowers. Alabama Hills really showed off it’s beauty for them.

They walked hand in hand back to where their loved ones were sitting and enjoying wine. They sat with them to chat and hang out while there was still some light to the day. Antonya and Dusty had also brought with them cake and dessert to end the evening. They cut their cake and shared a bite before passing around the cookies for everyone to enjoy as dusk set in.

Before leaving to head back to Bishop together, it felt like time stood still for just a second as everyone let the day settle and took in the last views of the incredible mountains and desert. It was a beautiful, stress-free, fun way to celebrate the start of their marriage! It was perfect balance of nature, family, wedding and adventure.

We wish a huge congrats to Antonya + Dusty! We hope you get to continue to come back to this area to reflect on this beautiful day shared and make new memories throughout your marriage!