Brooke and William decided to elope in Joshua Tree because they wanted a wedding that reflected their love for adventure and travel, which is large part of of their lives, but also because they knew the super moon would be super visible in this region. Brooke and William had never been to Joshua Tree National Park and after discovering elopement photos in a magazine, much how I came across elopements, Brooke’s ideas of what she wanted for her wedding shifted. Looking more into the idea of eloping she came across my starry night photos in Joshua Tree and considering they were wanting to elope on the full new pink moon on April 26th she reached out to me to help create the magic!! We got right to planning between their busy lives working opposite shifts and daily life with the kids, a day that would be centered around just them two and their love. They were able to find the cutest airbnb, that fit the whole vibe of their day, complete with a hot tub for them to enjoy under those night skies during their elopement and honey moon stay. Brooke’s sister pitched in to help book the florist, hair and make up and other details while Brooke got the most perfect ear rings and smaller details to match their day. We met them the day before at local restaurant in Joshua Tree for drinks and dinner to hang out and get to know each other before spending their elopement day with them. We were so excited to hear more of their story and giddiness for the next day. Which was much like their own first day where they shut down a cigar bar simply sharing stories with each other from their lives.
The day of the elopement we met them at their Airbnb outside of the park. We captured all those special moments before leaving of writing their personal vows, getting dressed and the hand picked details for their day. After they were each ready, the car packed for entering the park for the day it was time for their first look. They decided to do their first look in front of the old school bus and metal star and sun banner her sister gifted her. From the start it was a light-hearted, happy, playful day and I loved that so much for them! When we were planning before the elopement where to go in the park, since they had never been here we decided to hit a few of the main locations. We started with Arch Rock. The hike was a bit windy, but we got to the arch and the earth stilled for some beautiful portraits and even a little dancing. It was that first moment that was like, yeah we are doing this!!! Up next was the iconic skull rock. We happen to get there when no one else was there so they could get some moments in privacy together. Following that was their ceremony location, Cap Rock. If you are planning a Joshua Tree Elopement, note that you must pull a permit with the park to get married here, or anywhere within the park boundaries. We met up with Brooke’s sister and her fiancé to head out to a natural arch created by the Joshua trees facing the direction the moon would rise later for their ceremony. I loved how personal their ceremony was. It started out with a toast and pouring out of Champagne to those that are dear to them who had previously passed, watching this ceremony from up above. Their ceremony was filled with so many beautiful words from poems, prayers and of course those emotional hand written vows. Followed by a deep hug and kiss, these two were officially marred! We celebrated with a few photos before heading to the car to get out of the intense wind. We shared pizza and they shared their first toast as a married couple eating in the Range Rover (“come over”). Since the wind was pretty extreme we decided to do the rest of the days activities back at the Airbnb. However, before exiting the park we had to get the range off road for a few photos!
As we were leaving the park the beautiful moon rose, and its stunning slightly pink face shined over the mountain range. We stopped for a few more photos with its beauty in excitement. We stopped for a couple of coffees at the local Starbucks and headed towards the homestead to celebrate the event. Upon arriving to the Airbnb we cut their cake, traditional style to start the evening. After the signing the marriage license Brooke’s sister presented the two of them with a surprise. Her family, and his family and their friends and kids had put together a video of clips within them congrats, good luck and remembering stories of meeting each other. It was so special and brought so much tear and laughter to the evening. As we packed up and parted ways for the evening, they were headed to the hot tub to enjoy the night together.
Throughout the elopement they had both mentioned how special it would be to bring the kids back some day to show them where they got married. I love elopements so much, for hundreds of reasons, but this is one that stands out so much to me. To be able to go to a place that means so much that you can enjoy SO much, without it just being your wedding day is so special.
Hair/Make-up - @beautyby_lidia
Dress - @loveshackfancy
Flowers - Walden Florals
Ear rings - Wolf and Badger
Nails - @catladyclaws
Pizza: Pie for the People
Airbnb - @staycocoon
Bakery - Porto’s Bakery
Venue- Joshua Tree National Park
Officiant - Adventure and Vow
For starters be sure to check out the vendors that William and Brooke had, most are local or ship from online. Not to mention their Airbnb stay owns several properties in the area. Outside of that if you are looking for a place to stay in the area check out my, best places to stay in Joshua Tree National Park blog post.
Hey, hey! I am super excited to put this blog post together for all of you couples eloping in Joshua Tree, visiting for your engagement session or just going there to explore! I have previously blogged about How to Elope in Joshua Tree, but I want to tell you about some super cool and some super practical places for you to stay! After putting together the Where to Stay in Sedona for Your Elopement blog post and constantly referring back to it for couples I thought to myself, I must do this for Joshua Tree, after all in my opinion some of the cutest Airbnb’s are right in this sparce desert!
So let’s do a small recap first, Joshua Tree National Park is wildly known as an epic place to tie the knot from true elopements in the park to traditional weddings in Palm Springs with couple’s portraits at the park afterwards. The park is super vast and you can for sure find your own nook without anyone around. If you are doing a couples session or elopement here and looking for something out of the ordinary, you could come during Milky Way season which gives you the chance for stunning star photos together, or you could even rock climb together! One of the biggest things to figure out when planning to go to Joshua Tree is, where are you staying?? There are several options: camp in the park, camp outside the park, book a hotel in 29 palms or book an Airbnb. Let’s explore those options deeper and dive into my top five Airbnb’s for you to stay at when in Joshua Tree!!
October through May camp sites usually fill up and some camp sites close during the Summer. Camping in the park is an epic experience, everything is right there!! Keep in mind there is essentially no cell service at the campgrounds and you will need to bring in your own water, so be prepared. If you are camping in or out of the park for an extended period of time, the Coyote Corner, just outside of the park, will be your best friend for a good shower!There is also no photography allowed in the campsites, so if you are camping prior to your wedding and want getting ready photos you will need to do them on location. As always, for questions about the park or camping at the park, call to speak to a ranger or visit their website.
Campsites that are first come first serve (sept-may): Belle, Hidden Valley, Ryan and White Tank
Campsites that require a reservation (sept-may): Black Rock, Cottonwood, Indian Cove and Jumbo Rocks
Group campsites for 10-60 People: Indian Cove, Cotton Wood and Sheep Pass
To make a reservation you can visit Recreation.gov, campsites are $15-$20 in the park. I would recommend booking your camp site at least two months in advance, these campsites are a hot commodity and go fast! If you are going to first come first serve your best bet is a morning on a weekday to snag a spot! It isn’t uncommon to see people circling around early in the morning, trying to find a spot that will be opening up. You can also back country hike/camp in Joshua Tree, but you must pull the proper permits through a ranger of the park.
If you want to camp and want photos getting ready at the campsite you can camp outside of the park. This is also a good back up plan if you can not find or reserve camping in the park. Please keep in mind that if you choose dispersed camping that you must follow Leave No Trace Principals, you are responsible for your own water and there are often fire bans. For a full list of your camping options outside of the park you can visit Joshua Tree’s website. For more options you can also visit HipCamp.
So if camping is not your thing or you want those epic in home photos of you two getting ready for your big day, an Airbnb may be the way to go! It is also a great way to get out of the desert if you plan to spend long days in the park and want to come home to relax. Joshua Tree has some very stylish Airbnb’s so I hope they inspire you for your stay! Please note that if you plan to hold any sort of event related to your wedding day you can search on Airbnb by “event friendly” places and always make sure you message the host before booking to get permission to have a photographer come and take photos if that is something you wish to do at your Airbnb. It was super hard to narrow this down to my top 5 options so if these places are booked or are not your style, I highly encourage you to have fun surfing the web exploring what else is out there!
Casa Luna - This Airbnb has three bedrooms, a living room, a back yard, a kitchen and small dining area. It is located not far from the parks entrance and is super close to town, which means it is super close to the best pizza ever: Pie for the People! You may have seen this Airbnb already from my session with Jax and Octavio in Joshua Tree. This is where we all stayed, got ready, made an amazing breakfast the following morning and did archery in the back yard! You can check out more photos of this rental on Instagram.
Cielito Lindo Retreat - A place for you and your guests! This retreat stays booked 2-3 months in advance so you want to get on it to reserve your spot! This has all the amenities you could ever want from a deck, a boulder garden, a hot tub, an amazing kitchen, a dining room and not to mention a design that is perfect for getting ready photos or a small reception. You can check out more photos on their Instagram.
Mojave Desert Cabin - Maybe it is just you two and you are looking for something smaller and more cozy? This cabin will fit your needs perfectly! it even has a claw-foot bathtub for you to relax and unwind in. You are bound to feel refreshed after a day in the park coming home to relax here and cuddle up together. The kitchen is perfect for making breakfast together in the morning or finding a spot to write your vows. You can check out their Instagram for more photos.
'Desert Wild' Joshua Tree with Pool and Hot Tub - If it is you two and one other couple you for sure want to check out this place! It has some stunning unique designs, a space meant for enjoying yourself, a fire place, hot tub and amazing outdoor areas for enjoying the desert. This place is a dream for getting ready spots or maybe just photos of you two relaxing after your wedding in the park. You may actually never want to leave this place! Follow their instagram here.
Beavertail Artistic Loft - If you are looking for something super fun you may want to check out this colorful stay with hammocks, yoga mattes, and a hot tub for you to enjoy the outdoors. You are bound to have a romantic night here while listening to music on the vinyl and enjoying the full kitchen. This space only allows four people on property and two cars max so please keep that in mind if you are booking it for your stay for you elopement day! Check their Instagram to see more.
Check out Joshua Tree Acres for plenty of Airstream rental options near the park!
If you are looking for a unique stay like a yurt, bell tents or outdoor cottages you can search through what Glamping Hub has to offer.
You can look further out into the town of 29 Palms or Yucca Valley for Airbnbs, Hotels and more. I recommend Pioneer Motel in Yucca Valley!