As a couple that had spent the last five years together adventuring and traveling, enjoying experiences these two knew an adventure elopement somewhere they had never been was right for them. Jennifer and Bryce wanted an intimate elopement somewhere beautiful with a dinner to follow that looked like it had appeared in nature. We set up an epic elopement location that their family could also get to, via off roading. We ventured high up into the desert for an awesome view of Sedona, Arizona. Jennifer's mother and father walked her down the trial to her soon to be husband as the rest of the family gathered around. They wanted their ceremony to be more than vows and be interactive for the family. They made a unity cocktail that was passed around to each family member to start off the ceremony. The cocktail they chose was a new one to them and meaningful to their personalities and story. The cocktail consisted of champagne and a little Crème de Cassis. After the vows and formalities they had a family member from each side come up to sign the marriage license before sealing the deal with a kiss! It was beautiful to see all of the love that surrounded them, I do not think there was a dry eye during there ceremony. After the ceremony we set out to explore the rock ledges for couples photos, share a beer and soak in the sunset. During portraits the family headed back to their jeeps to drive back to the Airbnb where dinner would be held. While some of the family members stayed behind to take some of their own photos and hang out on the ledge. We took in the last big of light hanging out, enjoying the view and watching them enjoy an intimate first dance where they had said their vows to each other.
We returned to where the couple was staying for dinner on a beautiful property surrounded by the river, lots of land and under the beautiful starry sky. While these two eloped in Sedona, they opted for a place to stay in Page Springs, which is not too far of a drive but offers a lot more amenities and privacy. Did I mention this is wine country of the Northern Arizona area? The dinner set up was stunning, just like a fairy-tale. They had chefs prepare a salad and cheese board for appetizers as everyone trickled in from the trail. Following that was a variety of wood fired pizzas. The family shared laughs, stories and toasts before the couple cut their cake for everyone to enjoy. One of my favorite moments from the dinner was when the newly wed couple resolved the debate on if its better to resolve an argument before going to bed or sleeping on it and talking it out in the am. They decided it was best to take a short nap and then talk it out before bed lol. Following dinner everyone retreated inside to relax and reflect on the day as Jennifer and Bryce joined me for star gazing on the balcony.
Jennifer and Bryce's day was a perfect example of an adventure elopement that was connective, fun and beautiful all while including family. It was the best of both worlds tying together a traditional ceremony and reception, but also having a unique intimate day in nature. While these two didn’t decide to split up there day like Ashley + Daniel, they still got their alone time to just be together, soak it in that they just got married and enjoy the stunning place they had selected as their wedding location. Their elopement day is also a really good inspiration to heck yes, you can have that epic adventurous wedding that is authentic and connective, but not miss out on the beautiful reception/dinner details that maybe you have always dreamed of or traditions like being walked down the isle for that first look with your future husband.
Ashley and Daniel met in college while both living in Colorado. From the first moment she saw him, she knew Daniel was who she would marry. While Daniel never thought he would get married, Ashley was going to be the one that completely changed his mind. Through the seven years of dating each other, their love with stood long distance and big moves to a different state. When they moved to Arizona together, they visited Sedona, Arizona and it was a memorable and special trip for them, leading them to choosing it for their elopement location where they wanted epic backdrops for their wedding day celebration.
The morning of their elopement, Ashley and Daniel met us before the sun came up and the stars were still twinkling in the sky. We started our ascent up one of the red rocks for a cliff side view overlooking all of Sedona. We got to the top just as all of the colors started to pop during the morning blue hour. The stunning greens started to show up more, the red rock with its purple tones from the dewy blue sky. The two got changed into their more formal wear and prepared to share their vows together. We gave them some space to share this intimate moment together without any distractions. Daniel lost his bet that he wouldn’t shed any tears during their wedding day. One of my favorite parts from their day was after their vows when Ashley looked at us laughing and smiling saying that she felt like she was just looking into his soul. We love elopements for the sheer fact that couples get to share this super special moment together, free of stress or expectation and be moved in such a beautiful place together. I’m not sure about you, but I think it’s the perfect way to start out your wedding day. We hung out up top as the sun rose over the red rocks shining light down onto the trails we had scrambled up. We hiked down looking back on where we were before leaving the area.
We took a break for them to be able to catch up on some sleep from the early am and get ready for the rest of the big day! They set up their reception space in Amara together. It was a super special moment for them to be able to create this romantic space they would later join their family for dinner after the ceremony. They decorated with candles, flowers and photos from their last seven years together. It was the perfect space for them, that they got to do together before not seeing each other until the first look. We arrived back at the Amara resort to capture them getting ready into their wedding attire before seeing each other for the first time. We did the first look down by the river in an intimate setting. Their smiles were big and you could feel all the excitement to finally get married! We left the resort to drive to their ceremony location where their family had already started the short hike. They hiked the trial together towards their family and the location they had hand picked to become husband and wife at sunset. Daniel walked down the hill to the plateau overlooking Cathedral Rock first to start the ceremony. Followed by Ashley accompanied by her brother, mother and the two flower girls that carried her train. During there ceremony they both were able to include their moms. Daniels mom brought forward the ribbon for their hand fasting during the cermeony and Ashley’s mom brought forward the rings. The location picked up some intense wind, which happens in Sedona sometimes, so we moved family photos following the ceremony to a spot along the trail with some protection provided by the Juniper trees. We ended the evening with a beautiful sunset taking portraits with views of Courthouse Butte and Cathedral rock before heading back to Amara to rejoin the family. The newly married couple entered the ceremony space with cheers from everyone and hugs of congratulations. We signed the marriage license, grabbed drinks and cut the cake before leaving the couple with their family to enjoy their intimate dinner together.
Ashley and Daniel’s elopement day was so beautiful, intimate, purposeful and authentic! We loved getting to hike different locations with them and grabbing coffees together when we were in the same part of Arizona! It was a perfect mixture having family along for the adventure wedding and getting to celebrate with just the two of them in an intimate space, but also bring so much joy to tying two families together! Read what Ashley said about their elopement day with us:
“There are not enough good things to say about Traci + Bill! They made all of our elopement dreams come true! From the moment I saw Traci's work, I knew she was the photographer for our elopement. From the first time I reached out to her she was so friendly and had excellent communication - and I know that as a bride trying to work through all the details of getting married.. communication from a vendor is so important. Traci was key in making sure that our day was connected to us and was meaningful. We are absolutely in love with our photos and the video - both the photos/video perfectly captured our intimate day with our families and all the emotion that was involved.
Bill was our officiant and did such a beautiful job writing our ceremony and added such a nice touch to our day. They both truly take the time to get to know their couples and it is so appreciative. Thank you, Traci + Bill for helping Daniel and I make our day everything we dreamed of and more. We can't wait to get together again sometime soon and look forward to taking anniversary photos before we know it!” - Ashley
Here at Adventure and Vow we strongly believe in couples having a wedding day experience that is true to who they are, that is authentic and connective. We know that often times elopements come with the stigma that you’re getting married on a whim with no family. Each couple, relationship, family and wedding day is different. Some folks get married with just them two and some people get married with their family, this doesn’t mean you cant have an epic adventure wedding!
Before we dive into the eloping while pregnant guide, I want to share with you Alicia and Matt’s beautiful elopement day story that took place in Sedona this spring. Matt and Alicia had come to me looking to help plan their elopement. Their love story started out at one of Alicia's favorite bars in Detroit, after she had just moved to the city and was venturing out by herself for a Moscow Mule, which happened to be the same bar Matt was at with his sister at the time. When Alicia arrived, there were only a few people sitting at the bar and Matt says that right before Alicia got there, the bar was full, but then cleared out for her. Either way, shortly after sitting down, Matt attempted a pick-up line. An amoretto-7-up and a few Hop Slams later, Alicia and Matt couldn't stop talking and Matt couldn't stop winking. Matt and Alicia went on their first date the very next day at the Detroit Institute of Art. They were inseparable ever since. During the first month of their relationship, Matt had met most of Alicia's family. The next month, they went looking for houses together and ended up taking home a stray cat. It wasn't before too long that they were officially living together with 2 cats (Alicia brought home by surprise) and they moved to an apartment overlooking the water in Detroit. Meanwhile, Alicia and Matt would do fun things like go on motorcycle rides, hike Angels Landing, be avid goers of the theatre and comedy shows, tan in Jamaica, and much more. Eventually, right before Alicia started grad school, they moved to a green little suburb where they settled in a home with their sweet pup named Teddy. Alicia and Matt are now pregnant and are so overjoyed that they are able to share their love and life with someone else.
When it came to looking into eloping, they were interested in going this route because "We are both not ones for big parties, especially ones focused on us. We also wanted to do something sooner than later, with COVID and the baby on the way. We just felt like something more intimate feels more like us and what we value." So we planned a beautiful sunrise hike, headlamps at the ready, to get married on a plateau overlooking much of Sedona's beautiful red rocks. Before getting on way to hike, we did a first look at their bed and breakfast, with the moon still high in the sky, where they took a moment to soak in the approaching "I do". Alicia had hiked all the way up Doe Mountain, in her beautiful touch of pink ballgown dress all while pregnant. Once we reached the top, the sun was starting to peak, and they spent some time admiring the views and enjoyed a light hearted first dance together. As we had prepared for the ceremony, a birthday celebration group cheered them on and gave them many congratulations, the birthday girl signing as one of their witnesses for their marriage certificate. They had decided to self-solemnize on the rock ledge, for a beautiful and intimate vow exchange. After their ceremony, they sat down to enjoy a breakfast picnic, complete with a one tiered cake, and Alicia's favorite chocolates from back home, that actually moved to this area, Gayle's chocolates. It was a sweet surprise to find a small chocolate shop she used to work at, now local to where she had got married. Matt and Alicia had drank coffee from Matt's grandmothers cups, and the day before their elopement, they had saw a hummingbird and a butterfly and it reminded them both that their grandmothers were present with them throughout this experience. They were both so excited that their little one also got to be a part of their wedding day experience. They are so excited for this next big chapter of their lives.
What makes a great location for a pregnant bride to consider when planning their elopement is partly is this accessible? You don’t want to go on an intense off road adventure while pregnant and probably want to avoid extremely long or hard hikes. It may also be important to pick a location that is not too remote from a city with amenities depending how far along you are, not too far from a hospital. Here are some of the areas/location that I think offer a lot of options to our expecting brides:
Tip from the bride herself when it comes to an adventure elopement while pregnant:
“I would say my tip would be if you're hiking a mountain (or anything rigorous) do it between months 3-5. It’s now month 5 and my body is changing rapidly and I am much more sore and I can't tolerate heat so well. Some mommas have a rough trimester 1, so as long as they're up for it closer to month 3, go for it! Also, about the dress, make sure it is not tight or restrictive, and opt for an empire dress, or something that hits above the baby bump. Your boobs and belly and (most likely other parts too) will grow!”
If you are flying or road tripping to your elopement location consider packing these items: travel in something comfortable shoe wise and outfit wise, have luggage that can be easily wheeled over carried, letter from your doctor approving travel (3rd trimester), ginger chews, compression socks, healthy snacks, water, list of local doctors to where you will be traveling to, etc
If you have guests at your elopement tell them all in person of the exciting news!
It is my personal opinion as an Arizona local photographer that Winter is the best time to elope in the Grand Canyon. You are probably thinking, WHY it’s cold then! Well, yes, it is cold, but it is also empty. The Grand Canyon is a super busy National Park and if you are wanting privacy and freedom from having to take the bus around to the locations then you for sure want Winter and not to mention you get the stunning view of a snow covered canyon possibly!! Outside of Winter the spring and fall are great times to elope in the park. I would highly suggest avoiding the Summer months due to the heat and crowds. Timing wise you want to elope at sunrise or sunset in the canyon for the best lighting within the canyon and for yourselves. Blue hour, the time right after the sun dips down or comes up, is truly a treat in the canyon because the colors pop!
There are two sections of the Grand Canyon, the North and the South rim. It is important to note that the North Rim is closed in the Winter months because of snow fall. At the North rim you can get married at Cape Royal Amphitheater or Point Imperial Viewpoint. Along the South Rim you can get married at Pima Point, Rim Worship Site, Grandeur Point, Shoshone Point, Moran Point (where most of the photos in this blog are taken) or Lipan Point. Each site has a specific number of people you are allowed to have for the wedding listed on the National Park’s Website. It is extremely important to note that you must pull a permit with the National Park at least 4 weeks in advance, but not longer than one year out. Pulling the permit can be done via the application and fee found on their site.
While these are the only places you can hold your ceremony you can also hike down some of the trails for a different perspective after/before the ceremony for photos. If you are seeking a true adventure wedding then consider hiking rim to rim to stay the night at Phantom Ranch then hike back to the top just in time for a sunset ceremony! Keep in mind you need a reservation to stay at Phantom Ranch and will need to book this well in advance.
When working with Adventure and Vow we include officiating services in our packages. You can self solemnize or you can have us do the ceremony for you. We also have several officiants we can recommend out if you are looking for a specific ceremony that involves saging or things like that. In the state of Arizona you need an officiant, two witnesses (this is not hard to find at the Grand Canyon if you do not have any quests attending your ceremony) and you both must be 18 years or older. You will need to make an appointment at a Clerk’s office somewhere in the state of Arizona to obtain your marriage license together. I would recommend the Flagstaff or Page (depending which direction you are coming from) clerk office. If you are an Arizona resident you can get your marriage license mailed to you currently, due to covid. After the ceremony and the license being signed your officiant will mail it back to the clerk office and just like that you are married!
The application fee for the wedding permit is $120, but the actual fee for the wedding can be anywhere between $200 and $500, the cost depends on the location you choose for the ceremony. Outside of permit costs within the park things you would want to budget for are:
Travel (rental car, place to stay to stay, flight, food) - estimated budget $1250-2500
your Arizona marriage license - $83
photographer - estimated budget $2500-$4600
officiant - estimated budget $0-250
dress - estimated budget $500 - $1500
suit - $500
potentially flowers - $300
Here are my top recommendations for Airbnbs in the Grand Canyon area coming from Flagstaff, Kanab or Page - all of these are the gate way towns to North or South rim.
Getting to the Grand Canyon slightly depends on which rim you are going to (north or south). If you are going to south rim I recommend flying into Phoenix or Flagstaff. From there you can rent a car for your stay. If you are going to the North Rim I recommend flying into Las Vegas and renting a car from there. Alternative options are flying privately in to Page, Arizona or taking the train from Williams into the South Rim.
Things to do near the South Rim include: exploring downtown Flagstaff, Skiing on Humphreys peak, hiking/biking/climbing in Sedona, etc.
Things to do near the North Rim include: Zion National Park, eating in downtown Kanab, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, etc.
Look no further! Hi, I am Traci the owner of Adventure and Vow. I have been planning and capturing adventurous weddings all over Arizona for the last three years and I love being able to help couples plan a day that truly speaks to them and allows them the space to really connect on this big day! Reach out about your Grand Canyon elopement or adventurous wedding in Arizona and we will be with you every step of the way!
To get married in the state of Arizona you will need an officiant to perform the ceremony and two witnesses. You can pick up your marriage incense at the court house and mail it back or bring it back to any Arizona offices. During covid the process is a littler different, buy typically you both need to go in person to pick it up together with your legal ID. You both must be 18 years old or older. (side note: myself and my assistant are bth ordained and can perform your ceremony for you if you do not want to hire this out or want to elope with essentially no one else there!)
As you may know Phoenix is HOT lol. This doesn’t mean that it is out of the question for an epic elopement though! If you want to elope in Phoenix consider a date between mid to late October and early to mid March for the best chances of mild temperatures. I strongly urge you to stick to these months. As you know it can be cool in the evenings and mornings in the desert, but that mid day heat and sun while in your wedding attire is a killer. It’s not just about what is logistic, it’s also about what the experience will be like and you want to enjoy this day! I also tell all couples eloping anywhere also try to avoid weekends so the trails are less crowded and parking is smooth.
The Phoenix region has an abundance of location options from the surrounding mountains to within the city. Some of my favorite locations are within the Superstition Mountain range. There is a state park just outside of the city called, Lost Dutchman State Park with amazing views and epic hikes it is a perfect place to elope. It offers a great space for family too with communal fire pits, cabins, tent space, rv space and locations where family wouldn’t have to hike for a ceremony but you could after! The Salt River where Nat and Jon eloped is also a great location since you can fish, watch for wild horses or relax by the water, just out of the Mesa area of Phoenix. Within the city limits you have the South Mountain area with great hikes and vista views, Squaw peak and Camel Back Mountain! If you want to go further out look into the Cave Creek region, Four Peaks, White Tank Mountains or even more south you will find more mountain ranges. Outside of the peaks there are also many lakes in the Phoenix Region: Canyon Lake, Reflection Lake, Roosevelt Lake and more. These are great options if you want to hop on a boat, kayak or have a picnic by the water for your elopement.
This all depends on where you elope in the Phoenix region! A lot of the areas are within the Tonto National Forest region and if you are eloping with no guest and no set up you do not currently need a permit. South Mountain, Camel Back, Papago Park and other things within the city will be apart of Parks and Recreation and you would need to contact them. You will notice with permits every location is different. What I urge my couples to do and I do myself is call the park service to get the initial information and get in contract with the right ranger. From there I email over all the specifics of the day to see if permits are needed.
The desert is a little different that those high alpine elopements. You may not need bear spray, but there are some things to keep on hand! You may for sure want sunscreen or a lite hat if you are going on a long day hike. I suggest hiking in pants and high socks so in case you brush a cactus you are safe from the prickles. For sure bring the right hiking boots so you are steady on the rocky trail. And it goes with you say, but WATER!!! How much water depends on how far you are hiking, how hard the hike is and how hot it is. Staying hydrated in the desert is so important. No matter what you are doing keep at least one liter on you.
I personally recommend Airbnbs or VRBOs so you can have a cozy space to hangout and get ready at. Outside of Airbnb’s you will find there are SO many hotels in the region. Some of the top resorts or hotels I recommend are Boulders Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona Baltimore or Royal Palms. Anything in the Scottsdale area will be super nice and near a lot of the great places to dine. If you are eloping at Lost Dutchman and looking for something quieter I recommend one of their cabins. Not wanting to stay inside somewhere or maybe you’re a van lifer like me and you dont need a place? There are countless places to camp and/or disperse camp on the outskirts of the city near the Superstitions and Cave Creek.
Top 5 Airbnb Suggestions for Phoenix:
Elopement cost is so different per couple, it all depends exactly what you want your day to look like. A simple way to break down costs is:
If you are eloping in Phoenix you are close to an Airport which makes travel easier. It can be cheaper to elope in Phoenix due to travel and the cost of hotels and food since it is not based around tourism much like Sedona. The trails will be less crowded on the week day than Northern Arizona trails and finding any other vendors that you need will be easy. If you elope in the Phoenix region you can go out on your adventure, but also come back into town for great cocktails or food since there are so many awesome places to dine, maybe check for a private room dinner?! You also get the chance for many different options of adventure on your elopement day in Phoenix. Starting with a hot air balloon ride, picnics, off roading, horseback riding, climbing, or water activities. From Phoenix your honeymoon options are vast as well since just a short drive away is Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Page, Tuscon or Joshua Tree. Phoenix is urban meets adventure elopement.
Are you ready to elope in Phoenix?! Reach out to me! I am an Arizona Elopement Photographer and Planner. I am here to help you have the very best day designed specific to you two and your relationship!
Now that you know a little bit about eloping in Phoenix, here is some full day elopement inspiration for you!
John and Natalie met each other in college at Arizona State University. Natalie was in the all girls choir, The Pitchforks, and Jon was in the all Men's Choir, Priority Mail, that he started. They instantly clicked upon their first meeting and started seeing each other more and more. These two were initially supposed to get married in April on the anniversary of their very first date together. But due to Covid they had to change their plans. Since it was very important to them to get married on that specific date they got married in a living room with just their family present to still celebrate their marriage and then rescheduled the full celebration to October of this year. They wanted something casual and private. So we started the day on a weekday early in the morning at the Salt River. Since they live in Phoenix, they were able to come out and find the exact spot that felt right to them for their ceremony. Natalie and Jon shared a private first look over looking the river with the most excitement for the day ahead. Jon's twin brother officiated and was able to share stories of their relationship through the last ten years starting from when was first introduced to Natalie, their college days, travels and more. During their ceremony, they passed their rings around to each of their guests who was just close family members to bless the rings and put their love on the rings that they were going to wear forever. Also during the ceremony they made a burrito together and they chose to make a burrito because that's something that they both really have in common is their love for burritos and they wanted to physically make something together on this day. They planned to have the burrito for dinner later that day! Once the ceremony was done we headed closer to the river for family photos which was followed by a family picnic with sandwiches and fruits. Natalie’s father proposed a toast to couple and they spent some time enjoying themselves before the evenings adventure.
Once we had a small break to regather ourselves for the hike ahead we met at a trail on the opposite side of the Salt River in the superstitions to hike out for sunset for them to share their private vows with each other and quality time. Their vows were very sweet and talked about this year and how this year is kind of like marriage and how it's changed their perspective on life in a relationship and how they really admire each other's minds and their their ability to connect and share those deeper conversations with each other. After their emotional vows, they shared a first dance on trail and even some champagne. As the last light started to touch the desert mountains they sat down to enjoy their Sprinkles Cupcakes one of which was pumpkin and the other was caramel, true to fall flavors. It was a special moment as the day ended and they got to soak all the events in together just them and the desert. It was just a really beautiful day listening to them talk about their relationship, laughing together and connecting.
Amberleigh and Jeff contacted me after deciding to cancel their big wedding because they wanted something more intimate. Initially the thought was to go to Joshua Tree for their big day since they were already in California and they love the area and photos they had seen from elopements there. After seeing more and more of Sedona they decided to take a trip with just the two of them to visit the area and see if it felt right. We met at a local winery for snacks and a drink to talk about the areas there were going to explore. Either way star photos were for sure going to be apart of this special day! Upon returning home Amberleigh let me know Sedona was the place! We started planning the details and logistics to make sure the day fit their desire for intimate, beautiful and adventurous; but also easy enough that the family members attending could do the hike.
When the day finally arrived we all met at the trail head hiking ready! In all they had about thirty guests, including their kiddos! We hiked up passing the wilderness signs going deep into the red rocks. We stopped at a big plateau with 360 degree views of Sedona where they would have their ceremony. Jeff, Amberleigh and their officiant all set out behind different rocks or trees to get changed into their formal wear while family set up a zoom for other family members to be able to watch and took in the views. Amberleigh’s cousin officiated their wedding and it was by the funniest ceremony with the most character. Amberleigh’s two sons walked her down the red rock aisle to Jeff as he saw her for the first time in her stunning dress! Family gather around closer to enjoy the ceremony that started off with shots of fireball. They shared their touching hand written vows that went back many years of memories together of friendship, dating and parenting together. They sealed the deal with a kiss and after a few family photos everyone else started their hike back down the parking lot as we continued our hike up the mountain to even more big vista views. Together they enjoyed the views and the killer sunset full of orange and pinks we had on the walk down. The excitement was not over! The officiant left behind his totally custom jeep complete with a lift, lights and more. Before riding over to our location for night shots we stopped to take some photos with the jeep as the final light went away for the day. They danced in front of the head lights and got all settled in for the short ride. We arrived to a new location requiring only a short walk near their VRBO for starry night photos. Amberleigh had brought string lights for a romantic touch to the images and we even saw a couple of shooting stars!
When I parted with these two they still had more celebrating a head! That night they were heading back home for a simple night relaxing and eating pizza with family. The following day they were set for a more formal reception celebration on the balcony of their VRBO with amazing views for a fantastic dinner. I can not imagine a better day and trip for these two! They got to take a little vacation spend time with their boys, get married in the most beautiful scenery, share a romantic evening under the stars and celebrate with those closest to them! Big congrats to you both, I can’t wait to see where you all go together!
I am your gal! I am an elopement photographer and planner based in Sedona. I am here to help you plan the most YOU day family or no family. I fully beleive that eloping is the most authentic and connected way to say ‘I Do.’ I am with you all the way from planning, zipping the dress, the small moments and those big adventurous moments.
This Sedona elopement was one for the books with Hawaiian traditions, an epic sunset, some smooth dance moves, and lots of celebrating of love!
Meet Kamaile and Ash! These two met each other while Ash was stationed in Hawaii and Kamaile was living there. They have both lived in so many places in and out of the United States, but fate brought them together on the islands. They soon started dating and fell in love with each other. They soon moved their dogs and lives into one home back on the mainland as Ash was stationed elsewhere. Throughout their travel and adventuring they actually ended up proposing to each other three times! The first time they were camping in Oregon, where Ash is originally from, when Ash presented Kamaile with a beautiful gift of a post of what the stars looked like that night where they were. Kamaile simply replied with “we should get married,” and Ash agreed! Further down the road, they were camping in Sedona in their newly bought van, and Kamaile more formerly presented Ash with a ring to ask her hand in marriage. Who knew they would also get married in Sedona?!
On their elopement day these two had officially planned four weddings!!! Thanks to Covid-19, their first original plan for a traditional wedding in Oregon near the Gorge was cancelled. At the time that I met Ash and Kamaile they were planning an elopement on Mt Lemmon since it is a place they climb, hike, and camp at a lot. We had everything planned; we chose the camp spot, they scouted for the perfect places for the ceremony, and they had invited their friends. Then came the Bighorn Fire and we quickly had to come up with an entire new plan since the mountain was on fire just two weeks before the big day. We decided on Sedona! We brought plans together for the perfect location that would give them the views and experience they still wanted and would accommodate for family that was in town visiting and attending the ceremony. Between Covid-19, work, losing one of their beloved dogs, and applying for an advanced law degree, these two had the most intense couple of weeks leading up to their elopement that I could ever imagine, but it was the most beautiful day filled with joy. Kamaile said during the elopement that each time they replanned the wedding it actually became more and more perfect for them and what they actually wanted.
We met at Bell Rock for the ceremony and I have never seen the place so empty, they basically had the entire place to themselves. With friends and mom in tow, we found the perfect spot for them to exchange vows. There was a harsh wind in the air, but when it came time to start the ceremony Kamaile welcomed everyone speaking in her native Hawaiian tongue and then sang a song in honor of the land and it’s native people. Magically, the wind stopped for the rest of the ceremony. Kamaile’s friend from lake school in San Fransisco flew in to preform the ceremony, she had become an officiant the week that gay marriage was legalized! They shared laughter, tears of joy and exchanged hand written words of their love story and commitment to each other. As the ceremony concluded they celebrated and took a shot with their guests before splitting off for their sunset adventure. Before starting the bumpy part of the ride we stopped for ice slushees to cool off from the Sedona’s summer heat, it was the perfect remedy. We took an off road adventure to a higher elevation to one of the best views for sunset in Sedona. As we arrived it was nice to relax, not be in a rush and see these two just enjoy their evening. Kamaile had surprise up her sleeve for Ash and performed a dance that in Hawaii is a traditional dance bride’s perform for their new spouse. The dance she chose to do was her mother’s favorite, this was to honor her mother since she wasn’t able to attend the elopement. Afterwards they shared their first dance together on a rock ledge, these two for sure have no fear of heights! As we explored the area they stopped to admire bugs, told us memories of living in Hawaii and of course shared lots of laughter and dance moves. They popped champagne as the sun started to set and sat to watch the beautiful color show to gather, their first sunset as wives, and it was a stunning one!!! They both have some of the most beautiful tattoos I have seen, so I asked them which were their favorites of each other. Turns out they learned something new about each other here! Kamaile’s favorite of Ash’s was her leg piece displaying some of her favorite things about home, Oregon. Ash’s favorite of Kamaile’s was a piece on her shoulder and back that she was there for when she got it, four different flowers representing the four women that raised Kamaile. As we headed back down, the mountain excitement grew over the tacos their friends were grilling up back at the Airbnb! We arrived to excitement from their friends, home made guac, and yummy tacos! The night ended with romantic photos under the Milky Way back at their ceremony location! The show didn’t stop there though, we watched the largest golden moon rise over the horizon on the back to the Airbnb. I dropped them back off with their friends to enjoy celebrating their night. I checked in with them the following day with sneak peek photos from their elopement only to hear they had spent their first day married watching a sunrise and a sunset in Sedona, it doesn’t get much better than that!!
Congrats Kamaile and Ash!!! May you have so many beautiful years and epic adventures together! I hope to see you two this fall up in Sedona for some rad adventures and we will get up some spires!
Well you have come to the right place then! Here at Adventure and Vow we take great pride in helping our couples plan a day that is THEM, finding the perfect place for them to celebrate their love and capture images that tell their story. We are not just photographers, we are planners, friends, vendor gurus and trail trekers. We would love to connect with your about your own elopement day in Sedona or anywhere else!Contact us now!
Mel and Rebecca decided to elope in Sedona after their venue cancelled on them for their October wedding due to covid. Although the change to their wedding plans came after their venue cancelled, Rebecca really felt like eloping was the best way to get married because of the true importance of marriage and how special and intimate she actually wanted it to be. This day was super special because not only were Rebecca and Mel becoming one, but they were also blending their family of three kids. They reached out to me after hearing about Robynn and James elopement on the Good Morning Arizona news channel, Mel’s favorite show since moving to Arizona! We had a facetime meeting while Mel was away on travel for work and Rebecca was here in Phoenix. They knew they wanted to elope in Sedona, knew they wanted the kids to be an important factor in their day and knew they wanted to get married on their anniversary date, which by the time they contacted me, was coming up in about three weeks! So we started planning!!!
Mel and Rebecca found the most amazing Airbnb I had ever seen in Sedona to hold the ceremony at so they could get ready in comfort, be able to live stream with friends and family and so the kids wouldn’t have to hike. The space really created a romantic feel and perfect amount of space for everyone to enjoy getting ready. It was fun to see the family all being themselves and having fun as the day went on. In one room you had the girls crocheting and singing and in the other you had Mel helping Joseph, Rebecca’s son, get ready while Rebecca’s mom helped her with the dress. Family and friends were able to watch the ceremony, but also spend time with everyone as they got ready and hung out before the virtual ceremony.
As the time came for their first look Mel stood on the balcony of the Airbnb that overlooked Bell Rock, Courthouse, Little horse and more rock features playing “I Prayed for You.” Rebecca walked out to see her husband to be for the first time on their wedding day. There was laughter, moments of quiet and tears of joy shared before they joined their family for the ceremony. A friend from Phoneix came up to officiate for the couple and Rebecca’s sister surprised her and flew in for the big day! The ceremony was an extremely precious moment where they vowed to each other and vowed to their own children. You could tell the bond these two have is deep and unbreakable and their love is tremendous for each other and their family. After the ceremony and good-byes to the virtual guests, they shared a family toast where it was even more appearant how much these two have positively effected each other and their families. Then they cut the cake made by her sister with an adorable “Our adventure begins” topper!
Now it was time for the two to share some alone time before heading back to eat tacos and relax at the Airbnb with the family! We headed to Bell Rock for sunset. They trooped out a speedy little hike to a rock that overlooks the three main features you can see from this area and witnessed the most incredible light I have ever seen blanket Cathedral Rock. They chatted about their day sharing their favorite parts with each other and told us the stories of their love. They met on a plane, as Mel is a pilot and Rebecca is a flight attendant. She knew as soon as she met Mel that he was different and was touched by his big smile. Later he asked her to dinner and the rest is history. Mel knew he wanted to spend his life with her and planned a Christmas time proposal that would take place during nice Christmas photos out in Vegas. The photos ended up being moved by the Christmas tree and Rebecca thought it would be cute to do them in their Christmas PJ’s and Mel rolled with it!!! Now, here they were on their wedding day dancing to Bruno Mars as the most beautiful sunset happened in Sedona! I had been hearing about these dance move of Mel’s all day and Rebecca is right, they definitely have moves! This day was amazing! I truly can not imagine a more perfect day for this family, this couple or a better day to start their lives together as one in Arizona. I am forever thankful to help couples pull off a day that they imagine and be there to witness their love and photograph their love story. Many cheers to these two and I wish their family an entire lifetime of happiness!
There are many Airbnbs, VRBOS, resorts or hotels to stay at in Sedona. You can check out my blog, the best places to stay in Sedona for your elopement, for more or reach out and we can help you find a great option! It is super important to make sure where you are staying can accommodate your plans before booking! The Airbnb Becca and Mel used is no longer allowing any events, photography, etc on their property.Find more epic places to stay while in Sedona
I am passionate about bringing your wedding day to life and helping you create an experience that is authentic to who you two are as a couple. I have hiked countless miles in Sedona to find the perfect elopement locations for each couple. I am not just a photographer, but your planner, wedding guru, local Sedona expert and friend. I would love to capture your day <3contact me know about your wedding day!
Words from the couple:
“Wow! Wow! Wow! I can’t say enough about Traci! She truly exceeded our expectations and we couldn’t be more thankful to have found her. 🙏🏼 We were in the process of planning a “big” October wedding and the venue canceled in the wake of COVID. We saw Traci on GMAZ ( Good Morning Arizona) and immediately knew we wanted to elope and Traci would be the one to capture it! We only had a few weeks, ( which was plenty! I personally never thought we could pull it off in such a short time and Traci assured me that it was more than enough... she was right!) We knew we wanted something special and we wanted the memories captured and boy did we get just that! We shared with Traci that we were blending our families and that having our 3 children be a huge part of our special day was extremely important to us. The candid moments she captured couldn’t have shown it more perfectly the exact thing we shared with her. Traci helped us plan, gave us ideas, gave us vendors and her response time was instant. She truly made everything about “eloping” smooth and calming... which is exactly what we needed given the times right now in our world. Her approach is definitely in the name of her business “Adventure!” She truly makes it an adventure to remember. She’s not just the “photographer,” she is your everything and more. We are forever grateful for her 🙏🏼❤️”
Kerry and Jason met at Ragbrai on Kerry’s birthday. They both attended the event, despite the fact that Kerry had initially not planned to go. They had dinner the following evening leaving a lasting impression on each other with a strong spark of connection. As time passed they entered a long distance relationship. Their proposal was one for the books! These two hopped a fence at one of their favorite places that had closed down to share an evening together reading, watching hot air balloons and the moon rise. During this time Jason got on one knee and asked Kerry to marry him! When they hopped the fence to get back to the car, there were police waiting. After the police officers heard about the happy news of the engagement, they let them off with a warning!
These two have a relationship full of passion, communication, connection and deep love. Their ceremony could not have been a better reflection of what they share together. They were set to get married on Cathedral rock as the sun rose, but due to Covid-19 the trail was closed. They choose to get married on a beautiful open plateau with Cathedral in the background. Jessie, a local Sedona flute player, played several different flutes as they got ready for the ceremony, during the ceremony and after. One of the flutes he played was the Twin Flame. This flute is rare and can only be played in a still environment. It was magical when the wind stopped just in time for Jesse to play the Twin Flame during their ceremony and then the wind started up again just as he finished. It was a beautiful touch to reflect their chemistry. Jen, their officiant, put together a lovely ceremony recalling their relationship, allowing a space of gift giving and ring exchanging. She also preformed sage smudging for purification. The act of smudging is done to clear negative energies and provide a healing and sacred space for the ceremony. The smoke attaches itself to negative energy, and as it clears it takes that negative energy with it, releasing it into another space to be regenerated.
After the ceremony, their excitement of finally becoming husband and wife shined! They were excited to hike a trail that they had felt drawn to in the red rocks for portraits. After we finished taking photos in celebration these two went back on the trail in their wedding attire to just enjoy the time and space together in celebration. Covid has changed a lot of folks weddings and elopements. Luckily for these two they only had to change their travel plans from flying to driving and where they were staying! I am so thankful that they got to share this pure, connective experience and I wish them many years of hopping fences for their moon-versay, laughter and growth in their love!!! <3
Robyn and James were set to get married in Malibu until Covid had other plans. Still determined to tie the knot, Robyn reached out about eloping just over one week before their wedding date. We were able to plan a beautiful day for the two of them with what trails were open, hold an emotional ceremony with their closest family and get them back on the road to Scottsdale for their evening celebration!
Robyn and James met on Bumble (cue the hints of yellow!) a few years ago. Oddly enough though, they grew up just a few streets apart and went to schools near by each other. They even went to the same college, left Arizona after college and then were drawn back to their home states after some time away. Robyn knew fairly quickly she loved James and first felt the feels while attending a friends wedding together. James proposed to her while on a trip to Fiji. He knew he wanted to marry this beautiful women that made his life better in every way before the trip and felt like why wait longer when this would be the perfect trip to pop the question. He asked her to marry him the very first day of the trip on the Mamanuca Islands on the beach with no one around, just the two of them. They enjoyed celebrating during their entire trip. They even made close friends with another couple that was on a trip there as well from Phoenix!
Robyn and James chose an elopement wedding because it felt more like them. They wanted to get married somewhere beautiful that they could go back to for anniversaries. While Sedona is not Malibu, it definitely makes for a great anniversary trip! Since they love water and were originally getting married by the ocean they wanted to keep water in the picture, lol no pun intended. So we set to have the first look at portraits at Slide Rock State Park in Oak Creek Canyon. They kept things traditional the day of the wedding not speaking or seeing each other the day of until the first look. We found the most beautiful, private nook in the trees of the park for them to see each other for the first time on the day they become husband and wife. It was such a surreal moment to watch Robyn venture over the fallen trees as her husband to be waited nervously and excited to see her! After photos by the water and red rocks we headed to meet up with their families for a short hike to the ceremony location. They had the entire place to themselves to share this moment with the most important people to them. Robyn’s brother officiated the wedding and her dad walked her down the aisle. The ceremony was very emotional as Robyn’s mom read a verse from the Bible and they shared their hand written vows. The ceremony ended in laughs after many tears of joy and celebration, a joyous moment to be celebrated during this time. The family hiked back after the ceremony and family photos to give the couple some time to celebrate becoming husband and wife and take a few more photos before heading back to Scottsdale. They celebrated the evening in an Airbnb with dinner with their guests, drinks and time by the pool and not to mention a beautiful three tier Bumble inspired cake.
I have seen so many couples having to make changes to their wedding day due to Covid and I have gotten to capture several folks elopements due to Covid. I think it is so beautiful though that the day is still everything they have dreamed of and works out so nicely. Though Covid is changing plans, it is important to remember it doesn’t change your love. I am so glad the day was so beautfiul, connective and special for Robyn and James even though it wasn’t their original plan. Everything worked out perfectly and things started opening back up in the Phoenix region after their wedding so they have gotten to celebrate even more enjoying dining out in restaurants again! Cheers you two to many, many anniversaries in Sedona! <3
I would love to chat with you about your elopement day! I care greatly that you have a day that is meant just for you two and is everything you have ever dreamed of in one day! Here at Adventure & Vow I help you plan, find the perfect location and capture your elopement day. If you’re planning one week, one month or one year in advance I am here to help!
Robyn, James and myself were recently interviewed on Good Morning Arizona about their elopement day! Check out what they had to say about their elopement experience and hear more from me on how to plan your own elopement during covid!