Annelise and Duncan really wanted a wedding day that was focused on the union of marriage, two people and two families over a large event full of distractions. They were most stoked on getting to spend a day together that was so meaningful and celebrate their love with their family and of course their puppo - Wallace. These two met in Seattle, WA but have since moved to San Diego together. Throughout their relationship a steady bond has been spending time in the outdoors together back packing, camping in their van, hanging out with Wallace, but also their own personal adventures. When it came time to pick a place to get married, most importantly they wanted to be outside, somewhere that reflected this part of their relationship together. When these two reached out to me they had already booked their ceremony location in the park and it was time to plan the rest of their beautiful elopement in Joshua Treat National Park! Covid hit and shifted their plans a little bit. So they decided to get married officially before the wedding day celebration in Joshua Tree. They eloped at the court house in San Diego celebrating with donuts on the beach after. This did not make the day in Joshua Tree any less special thought, from the dress, to the gathering of family, the beautiful vows and dinner.
The day before the elopement we met them at their epic Airbnb to scout it out as most of the day would be happening there, and for good reason. The home they had found to rent for the event was this beautiful old cabin and stable on the hillside in the desert. It had withstood many years and was full of character and space for the family and friends to really enjoy the evening with everyone. The day of the elopement we arrived to the Airbnb to capture them writing their vows and getting ready for the most special moment. Those quiet moments before joining up with everyone else reliving the words you have written for this very special person are everything! While getting ready, Duncan realized he had left his suit shirt back at their hime in San Diego, but they did not let this effect their day, instead with joy decided to wear a hawaiian shirt he had brought along. They shared a casual first look together in the house as they were all setting out and the joy, smiles and love was so evident. After everyone was ready to go we all hopped into our vans and cars to head to the park for the official ceremony. it was a short walk to the spot we had chosen with a joshua tree that had a perfect natural arch for a wedding. Friends carried benches for the family to sit on and soon we were there. One of Annelise’s friends played a sound bath to start the ceremony, followed by a beautiful poem written and spoken by Duncan’s grandmother. They shared their commitments to each other in front of the folks that mean the most to them followed by hugs and congratulations before heading back to the trail head. We took a few portraits of the newly weds at the iconic split rock and headed back to the airbnb for champagne and snacks.
Following toasts we headed out for sunset portraits with just these two and of course Wallace! We had to get portraits in their new van, Vannallise. This will be the second van they have built out for all of their epic adventures and camping trips together, I can only imagine how many awesome memories will take place in it throughout their marriage. After dancing around the Joshua Trees, we headed back towards the house for dinner with the family and grabbed a couple of cocktails that a family member was whipping up in the ole bar area of the home. They hired Chef V, a private chef local to Joshua Tree, to prepare the most delicious dinner with the most romantic desert setting I have ever been a part of. From a perfect salad, to mussels and yummy vegetables, it was fantastic. We are so lucky and thankful for our couples saving us a seat at the table to join the dinner. We loved getting to know their family more and hearing stories from their lives together so far. Before dinner ended they cut into a cake complete with a Toyata 4runner in true fashion for Duncan. After dinner, several of the folks headed out to bed, but some gathered around the camp fire in the courtyard of the Airbnb to enjoy their stay. We waiting until the milky ways appearance was over the hill and we hiked out for some the last shots of the evening under the stars. Quiet and beautiful, it was the perfect ending to a perfect day.