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!
As an elopement photographer I often get asked what would you do for a full day elopement? Or why would you book a full day elopement? I ask you to think of an elopement more as an adventure wedding. Your wedding day, like every other day is approximately 12 hours of day light. Your wedding day is your entire day, and it is a very special day that deserves the attention of that. I can not think of a better way to explain the magic and purpose of a full day elopement any better than sharing with you Rhonda and Jeremiah’s elopement story…..
Rhonda and Jeremiah reached out to myself and John (wedding videographer) to start planning their epic day, originally thinking they would elope in Zion with some big cliff views and then go elsewhere to spend the rest of the day together. We met with them on Facetime to introduce ourselves, hear more about what they are looking for in a location, things they want to do on their day and hear more about their love story. After several different ideas within Zion and elsewhere in the Southern Utah and Northern Arizona region we had a plan, an epic off road location for sunrise in Flagstaff, going down into the canyon for lunch and ending the day at a beautiful cliff in Sedona. Sadly, a few days before their elopement a big snow storm hit the area, and roads closed everywhere. Obviously when getting married in the great outdoors, sometimes things are out of your control and that is why we are always sure to have an epic plan B.
John and I were able to get to the Airbnb prior to Rhonda and Jeremiah due to road issues, so we decided to make dinner! We made a nice Italian dish and dinner was on the table just in time of their arrival. After dinner we went over the game plan for the big day and helped Rhonda select the best dresses out of the options she brought for the locations we would be. With that, we all went to bed for maximum rest for a early am start! The alarm clocks went off at 2:50am. John and I met outside of Rhonda and Jeremiah’s bedroom waiting for the welcome. They had asked us to capture their daily morning prayer and scripture reading on this day. This is something they do every single morning together, no matter what time they have to get up and it means a lot to their relationship. On this morning the scripture said something about a big event happening on this day, and it couldn’t have been more spot on. After the prayer I went back to rest for a bit as Courtney, with Seventh Ave, started doing hair and make up for Rhonda. I woke back up before our departure to capture some detail shots of them writing their vows, the dress and getting ready. We set out with dark skies for our first destination. Before we lost service Rhonda was able to Facetime her daughter who had been anxiously waiting to hear if they were married yet!
We arrived just as the sun started to come up. They each got into their wedding attire for the first look together. Jeremiah waited along the cliff edge overlooking the water for Rhonda to come greet him in her stunning wedding dress! As she turned him around his face lit up and his smile was undeniable. They share some time together before walking over to a different overlook to say their vows and exchange rings in a completely private and emotional ceremony. After they sealed the deal with a kiss and said I do we explored there a bit longer before heading out to the next location.
An off roaded adventure through deep snowy sand surrounded by desert plants and nothing more to the second location. We arrive in a snowy wonderland all to ourselves. With a change of clothes we set out to explore a beautiful slot canyon. I always like to think slot canyons kind of bring out the romance or the children in a couple. It is a perfect place to just have fun together and enjoy each others company. These two I dont think ever stopped laughing in the canyon, they both have the brightest laughter together. After walking through the slot canyon together and enjoying the snow it was definitely time for lunch. We made our way back towards our last destination, but I knew the perfect spot for these two to have their picnic lunch they had spent time picking out things together that held meaning to their relationship to set up. As we drove to our next spot they were able to Facetime another one of the kids to check in and share how their day was going. I loved that even though their kids were not with them they were still a part of the day and joy. We arrived to a sandy beach shore with no one around on land or water for a great view with blue skies. They set up their adorable picnic for lunch together in the sand eating fruits, nuts, breads, cheese and more. It was a perfect moment to refuel, but also take it all in before the day came to an end. They laughingly said to us they’re not sure they had taken in any of the beauty around them so far during the day because they were just enjoying looking at each other and connecting with each other so much they forgot to look around them lol. As the picnic came to an end these two changed one last time for sunset. We set out on an easy stroll to an iconic desert location for the final moments, light and images of the day. It felt so surreal. It was hard to believe the day was over already. It was so beautiful, all of it from the moments together, the views, the privacy and changes in weather. As John and I packed up to head back home we asked what they were going to do for the rest of the evening. They said probably sleep or enjoy a cocktail in the hot tub of the airbnb, I can’t imagine a better way to end such an epic day.
I can not think of a better way to spend your wedding day and to have this experience to look back on. Everything was purposeful, there was so much connection and it held so much meaning. Full day elopements are just that, it’s not a full day being in front of the camera. Yes, I may be there with my camera documenting your day, but it is your day you are experiencing with your now forever mate. A day you planned around your relationship and the start of your marriage. Rhonda and Jeremiah plan to have a bigger celebration with their closest family and friends back home later in the year and I can only imagine their excitement to show them the photos and video captured on their wedding day and get to relive it all surrounded by all the folks that support them in love.
If you are looking for an elopement photographer that cares just as much about your experience as you do on this day, look no further! I am an elopement photographer, planner and I am ordained! I am here to help you create a day that is the wedding day you want to have and capture it so you can relive it during any hardship, celebration and every single anniversary! This day shouldn’t be about table cloth colors or what aunt karen wants you to walk down the isle to or planning traditions that make you uncomfortable. It should be about your love story, your relationship and what marriage means to you. I can help you find the perfect place to say I do, help you plan the logistic and more and be your best support system the day of!
The top proposal locations in Sedona are pretty much the same as the best trails to hike in the area or the best elopement locations. The three most popular locations to propose are:
These locations are the most popular by far due to their epic views. Devil’s Bridge is a 4-mile hike that can be shorter if you off-road part of it. I suggest my couples propose here at sunrise to avoid the large crowds and lines to take photos on the bridge; this way you get privacy and good light. Cathedral Rock is a 1-mile hike/scramble up a popular vortex spot known for its sunset cliff view. I recommend my couples propose here at sunset just because the light is incredible. Merry Go Round is reachable by a Jeep ride or tour, or you can get there by hiking 6 miles. This location is also best at sunset! If you are proposing at any of these locations, I recommend considering a weekday for even less crowds (and for sure not a holiday!)
These locations are less crowded but also offer more options to kind of find your own quiet nook for the big moment! Many resorts also offer options for proposals that can be mostly 100% private like L’Auberge.
Horseshoe Bend is a large tourist attraction in Page, Arizona. It is a hot spot for proposals, and for good reason! It is a romantic place to catch the sunset and take in massive rock walls of the desert. It is a short walk with big rewards. The drive from Sedona is 3 hours one way so it is a great day trip to check out Flagstaff, see Lake Powell, and end at Horseshoe popping the big question! Sunset is for sure the best time here, and again, try for a weekday!
**keep scrolling for more planning tips and info**
Everything I am telling you here is based on working with us at Adventure & Vow for your proposal. I cannot speak on behalf of other photographers, but I can give some good advice 🙂 Capturing this moment is so much more worth it than having a by-chance phone photo you can’t print. Hiring a photographer for your proposal can be so helpful when it comes to planning, putting the plan into action the day of, and of course preserving this moment in time to share with your friends and family. So how getting your proposal photographed work? Here at Adventure & Vow we recommend a few different ways to go about it:
Maybe the two of you already have plans for a hike or to go to dinner? You can call us (AKA your photographer!) Basically this option works by you telling me where you want to propose and already having a plan in the works with your partner to go to this location. Then I let you know what time will the BEST time to propose there based on light, crowds, and more. Then you try to get your partner there for that time. Sometimes you can get a plan together and it all goes perfect! Sometimes the timing may be different than the ideal, but that doesn’t make the moment any less perfect! If this is your plan and you want your partner to dress nice, but don’t want to spoil the surprise, the best thing to do to is have a brunch or dinner plan set for right after the hike/proposal! Then they don’t suspect anything and you don’t have to give any direction on attire.
This is still a surprise in a way, but as soon as they see the setup the surprise is usually over. This is a little more involved than selecting a location and just making sure to be there at the same time. A great example of this is a recent proposal we shot where we hiked in prior to the couple and set up a blanket with a basket of fruit and pastries with champagne, orange juice, and string lights so the person proposing could easily spot the setup. Their sunrise picnic was set up right where all of the hot air balloons take off in Sedona for a great morning start before they headed to brunch and more hiking in Sedona. This could be an option for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert! Other things that could be set up in Sedona are banners, music, lights, or flower petals as long as it is a location that is not super windy and all petals get picked up after the event.
This method is great if you are okay with there not being a huge element of surprise or if your partner will think nothing of doing a couples session together! Maybe you have been wanting to do pictures together for a while, or maybe it’s an anniversary, or maybe you’ve planned to go to Sedona for a long time and you can play the “no big deal, I booked us a couples session” card. If photos are a totally normal part of your relationship, like how Annie and John that I photographed at Cathedral Rock do couples sessions all the time with photographers back in their hometown, then they wont blink an eye! If you are going about it this way I suggest popping the question at the end of the session because at this point you are both comfortable with me (the photographer) and being in front of the camera. Also, they’re less likely to suspect anything if you do it at the very end. If you are feeling really nervous, I recommend proposing at the start of the session so you can both enjoy it!
Once you decide which way you want to go about getting the proposal photographed, leave the rest up to me to help you plan, navigate, and make sure everything goes perfect!
If you have any control over what you and your partner will be wearing for this big moment, here are some outfit tips! If you have no control don’t worry about it, this moment is about you two and your love, not about what you are wearing.
Sedona is mostly red rocks and juniper trees so colors like black, teal, tan, white, blush, navy, dark green, and burgundy all look great! If you are dressing casual, try to avoid any loud patterns or things with big bold words on them. No matter what, you’ll be able to control what you wear, so think solid, natural tones for your outfit. Avoid wearing a hat unless its a toboggan (beanie) so I don't lose your face to shadows when taking photos.
If you are planning to propose while on a couples session, or for some reason you plan to dress dressy for this moment, there are a few things you want to consider. If you are are a fella, make sure your pants aren’t too tight! Yes, this is a thing, I have seen someone rip their pants front-to-back, make sure you can get on one knee easily! If you are hiking to the location in your dressy clothes, make sure you can easily move around and make sure to still wear hiking shoes!!! You can always change into a different shoe once you are at the location if desired 🙂 The same colors apply here as the casual attire.
Ready to do the thing?! We are here for you and can’t wait to help bring your plans alive and capture this special moment for you to get to relive the rest of your lifetime together. Below are our package options!
This includes arriving prior to you and helping you plan timing and location. It includes capturing the moment and about 30 minutes of portraits after. Images are delivered same day with a sneak peek sent to your phone asap. You have rights to download all edited images with high resolution and printing rights.
1 mile or less of hiking - $500
2-4 miles of hiking - $700
5-6 miles of hiking - $1000
+picnic add on is $100
No hiking, just a short walk down pathway - $600If hiking is involved down into the canyon - $750
Starting at $650
Here at Adventure & Vow we believe adventure is a lifestyle and something two people can be deeply rooted in shaping their relationship and life. We are here to capture all moments of your relationship from dating, proposal, engagement to elopement! I am in your all-in planner, Bill is the all-in carry whatever you want up a mountain, spire, etc. We are about it. When it comes to photography here we believe it’s the most beautiful way to truly capture who you two are as a couple and preserve moments in time that tell your story throughout your life. If you have a dream we will make it happen, just reach out and let the planning begin!
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.
I met Jennifer and Matt after they saw Robyn and Jame’s Sedona elopement featured at their community gym! We met for a hike to check out one of my favorite spots to photograph in Sedona several months before their elopement. It was so much fun getting to know them, hike the trail prior to the elopement hearing all of their ideas for the big day and of course hearing their love story! Their proposal story is so cute and hearing Matt relive it while on the trail was just as epic as I am sure the day was! He had been planning to ask Jennifer to marry him and he came up with an the best plan. He told Jennifer that they were going to go out to brunch to a beautiful place in Scottsdale where they live with a few friends. Little did she know he had also planned for some of her family to fly in from New York to be able to be there for the big event, that she also didn’t know was an event yet lol. Just as Matt stood up to propose her family walked in and the restaurant cheered and of course she said yes! They were able to spend the rest of the day celebrating with friends and family! Initially these two planned to have a traditional wedding this April, but covid had other plans as this year story goes. Jennifer quickly became excited about an elopement and doing something more intimate as she doesn’t like to be the center of attention. Jennifer said she was never one of those girls that always dreamed of the day she would be a bride, so it was exciting to her to get to something that fit more her style, but mostly she was excited about marrying her best friend. Matt for sure was one of those guys who wanted to be a groom and a husband, he was so excited for this day and the experiences that were going to come with it.
We planned a ceremony with family and one even officiating their marriage ceremony, at a location that was beautiful but accessible for everyone they had invited. They knew they wanted the time together as well though so the day prior to the wedding we hiked out on the trail we had previously hiked for them to spend a sunset together surrounded by nothing but red rocks. They started the hiked in yellow panchos due to a random rainfall, but the hike ended with perfect temperatures and stunning sky colors and calmness in the air. They shared a private first look and drank champagne as they watched the sunset chatting about the big day and how it was finally here! The next day the family hiked down with me and the guitarist to set up and prepare for the ceremony. Matt walked down the hill to everyone ready to see him marry Jennifer, something he couldn’t wait to do since spring of this year! They had decided to go more casual the day before so it was fun to see Matt in his entire wedding attire, including a beautiful feathered bow tie his mother had gifted him for this day. Once he was in place Jennifer walked down the hill with her sister and brother and finished getting her wedding shoes on and veil. Once she was ready her brother walked her down the isle to Matt. They shared emotional personal vows going back over their love story, the very special day that they met and how they have changed each other for the better. After their ‘I dos’ and ring exchange they celebrated with family with hugs of love and they all enjoyed the sunset together as it dipped behind the mountain leaving the Cathedral full of color for their hike out. I headed back to Amara Resort in Uptown Sedona to photograph the reception space where they would share an intimate dinner together that night with their family before everyone arrived. Earlier in the day Matt’s mom had decorated the space and I have to stay it was stunning!! There was so much beautiful detail from flowers, candles, twinkle lights, bits that showed off their relationship and love travel. It was the perfect space to celebrate their marriage! Before I left I asked Matt to give Jennifer a spin in front of the tables cape in her stunning elegant dress. These two busted out some dance moves like I had never seen! Turns out they had previously taken dance lessons together for the first wedding they had planned, I am glad they still go to use some of those moves and in such a stunning place!
Congrats Jennifer and Matt!!! The two days were both so beautiful and such a peaceful wedding experience. It may have came later in the year, but it was perfect! Cheers to many anniversaries in the red rocks!
Well, hi!! I am Traci and I am your gal! I have been a Sedona local for two years and have hiked as many miles as you can imagine here in Northern Arizona to bring you the best elopement locations and experience! This is one of the most important days in your relationship and should be just as epic! Reach out if you would like to connect for your own elopement day <3
Sedona has a lot of beautiful places to elope, but there tends to be one that captures the heart of so many couples! If you are willing to do the six mile hike or take an hour one way off road up the mountain you will find one of the best places to elope in Arizona!
Natalie and Dan reached out to me once they knew they had to cancel their big wedding back home in Texas because of Covid. Initially they just wanted to tie the knot and say I do by the Aspens in Flagstaff, but after more research decided to go with an off road adventure in Sedona. They brought along Dan’s parents to witness and a friend couple that was ordained and could marry them! So we took three jeeps, rented from Barlow, up the side of the mountain to the most stunning sunset view in town! As we headed up the mountain Natalie handed me a gift bag with some amazing chocolates in it where the proceeds go to help wild life, elephant socks and a donation to the World Wildlife Fund! I was so touched and couldn’t believe how well they knew me. Turns out Dan had put his lawyering skills to use and researched things I liked on my website and social media to give me the perfect thank you! We arrived with plenty of time and casually hiked down to the location from the parking on the road. They selected the exact spot they wanted to say their vows to each other and everyone separated to get ready by different tires so the first look down the isle would still be possible! Dan’s mother helped Natalie get into her dress and put her pearl necklace on that had been a gift from her uncle that was previously owned by President Reagan’s daughter, Maureen. Natalie walked down the isle to a violinist playing a beautiful song, a romantic surprise from Dan. A few weeks before the elopement Dan reached out to me asking if I knew a violinist in the area that he could surprise Natalie with. From there we went into helping Dan plan the most romantic thing ever! The Violinist, Sonja, we found ended up having a Celtic music connection with Dan! He asked for Sonja to play Offenbach's Barcarolle from his Opera, "The Tales of Hoffman." This is his and Natalie’s song, they knew of the song from the movie “Midnight in Paris,” but they LOVE Paris and it is one of their favorite places to travel. Dan proposed to Natalie in Venice and the band at the piazza was playing it! The second song that Dan asked for Sonja to play was Greensleeves, for his parents as it was the song that was played at their wedding in the 1970’s and he felt that it would be moving to them to get to hear it again at their son’s wedding. I love the little details like these that make elopement days so special, connective and memorable. After the ceremony and photos with family Dan and Natalie explored the rest of the rim area with me as the sun dipped behind the red rocks. Towards the end of their night they popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate! As they changed to get ready for the drive back down I captured some details of their day from the flowers, special cuff links Natalie had made for Dan for this day and an ornament Dan had bought Natalie here in Sedona. As they have an ornament for all of their travels, they had to one from Sedona on their wedding day! We headed back to the Jeeps to sign the marriage license before heading back down the mountain! We said our goodbyes at the base of the mountain and I wished them a happy time here in Sedona for the rest of their weekend where they had nothing but relaxing plans form couples massages and taking in the views here in Sedona together for their first few days as a married couple!
Congrats to Natalie and Dan! I know you may not have gotten your big wedding in Houston this year but I am so happy you got to do something you love on the big day, travel and off road! I am so happy you got to bring along a few of those folks that are close to you to celebrate! Now you have a stunning place to go back to on anniversaries and were blessed with a stunning colorful sunset on such a special day. It was so beautiful!!! I am so happy we got to work together and maybe one day we’ll come across each other out in the Superstitions!
I pride myself on knowing all the epic locations for your adventure elopement in Sedona and Northern Arizona. I enjoy spending my free time scouting out new locations and making sure I know everything I need to know about an area for you to enjoy your big day. I’m here to help you every step of the way from planning, to buttoning the dress the day of, and making sure we preserve all of those authentic important moments. Feel free to reach out if you’re looking for an elopement photographer who is down for any adventure and will be just as stoked as you on your wedding day!
“Traci has an eye for out of this world photos! She goes above and beyond to help orchestrate anything you need to make your elopement perfect. Highly recommend her for anyone wanting to capture the most memorable photos of your special day!” - Natalie
Do you remember Genevie and Kory!?! These two had their sunrise engagement session in Sedona this past summer! Plans came together quickly for their wedding day since they knew from the start just what they wanted. They had a few minor changes due to covid, but the party was on. Myself and their videographer, Sean Michael Images, met them the evening before in Payson to see the spot they had chosen along the rim for their ceremony. The Mongollon Rim is quite long and has two sides. I like to tell couples to find the spot that feels right to them to share their vows with each other and these two had found just the spot when they came up for visits to Payson during the Summer! Then we headed to the reception location along the lake to pick the best spot that had room for the family, a picnic table and would be somewhat private. As we parted ways Kory was off to camp with his boys out on the forest service land and Genevie back into town for a night with the girls.
I was first to arrive to the location in the morning, van life makes it easy to do that when you can camp a couple of minutes a way!! It was quiet, a slight chill in the air, but so peaceful and beautiful! As family started to arrive they helped set up a place for each other to sit and watch these two tie the knot! Everyone was in their place as Genevie’s mom helped her get into her dress at a nearby over look and her dad began to walk her down the isle once she was ready. Genevie and Kory shared emotional vows to each other on a rock cliff surrounded by pines overlooking the rolling mountains. There were tears, giggles and laughter before sealing the deal with a kiss! Following celebrations from the family everyone packed up to head to the lake as Genevie and Kory stayed with us to take some photos and spend some alone time together along the rim.
As we arrived to the lake the family had set up up a beautiful charcuterie spread, mimosas station and had a table for the beautiful cake! Genevie prepped to get into her second dress, one that was more flowy and easy to move around in for the reception, in Kory’s words one that was more her, had more sparkles! Her and Kory shared a first look, complete with a spin for the second dress, since the first dress he saw her in it for the first time as she walked down the isle. So these two got the best of both worlds experiencing both together. They had their first dance on a large rock nestled right over the lake to the “Perfect Duet” by Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé. As they finished the dance with a grand dip kiss and everyone on the lake in their boats and along the shore fished, clapped and cheered for them!! As they enjoyed time with their family they enjoyed the snacks and drinks as well. It came time for some to leave so they popped open the champagne and shared a toast with everyone! Their family blew bubbles in celebration for a beautiful morning becoming husband and wife. Kory and Genevie ended their day taking a boat ride together in a canoe along the lake. We said our goodbyes waving from ashore as they boated away.
The wedding day was relaxed, beautiful and everyone had a great time enjoying themselves. Since they got married in the morning they planned to regroup and spend the rest of the day with the friends and family out camping on the forest service for the rest of the weekend! I am so happy to have captured these two on their wedding day, big congrats Genevie and Kory!!!!!
I am passionate about helping you two have a wedding day that is perfect for your relationship and who you two are! This may mean picnics by a lake in the pines, sky diving into your ceremony in the desert, hiking under the stars or boating around lake powel for the day! However you see your wedding day I am here to help you plan and capture those authentic moments!
“Literally the most amazing woman to work with! My partner and I have never taken photos together, and we are also camera shy. Traci came in and took our engagement photos earlier this year, she made it look like we belonged infront of the camera. She made us love taking photos, so for that we will forever be grateful!! This past weekend we got married and she was there to capture our day! I was an hour late and she was so sweet! When she says she more than a photographer, believe it. She literally kept everyone going and helped with the mishaps along the way! Could not have imagined another photographer capturing our day with as much grace as she had. We could go on and on!!! But most importantly, we cannot wait to work with her again!
- The Pottorffs
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.
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!
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