Full Day Elopement with Family in Sedona, Arizona on an Off Road Adventure w/ Romantic Dinner
Cassie and Tyler met each other in Kentucky when Cassie was doing her masters and happened to go into the bar that Tyler owned on a night typically wouldn’t be working. And from there, it all began. As they dated and moved in together they went on many adventures traveling, all over the world. One of their favorite places being Turks and Caicos. When they got engaged, they knew that they want a wedding that would focus more on the commitment and celebration, without all of the stress, and, of course, involves a little bit of adventure. Once they reached out to me after deciding Sedona was the perfect place for them they fell in love with Merry Go Round rock, a popular elopement location in Sedona, and the planning began!
A couple of days before their elopement, some bad weather was set to come in to Sedona. While usually we shoot rain, wind or snow, the road up to Merry Go Round Rock closes if it gets too wet. We thought it was best to move everything to the day before so they could continue their plans in the location they most desired. As it turns out the universe also thought this was a good idea because everything that had their date on it either broke or was unusable at the wedding. So the big day came a day early we met up with them at their super cute Airbnb rental to capture as Cassie was spending time with her mother and closest family members writing her vows, drinking mimosas and getting ready. It was a relaxed morning, with time well spent connecting with family and prepping for the fun of the day ahead. After getting ready, adding the final touch of Cassy’s grandmother’s pearls she opened up a gift from Tyler. He had found her a rare pair of shoes she had been wanting to order for a long time now, perfect to wear on the wedding day! As was Tyler getting ready he added a few special things to his outfit before starting the day. He got to wear his grandfather’s bolo tie and he had special shoes made with paintings of their two huskies on the top and their cat on the side. Their pets are definitely their babies and it was super cute to be able to see them include them in their day in a fun way. Cassie, gifted, Tyler a watch but also a journal that she had been writing for a year. She journaled memories together throughout their adventures together and thoughts and wishes for this day and beyond. It was a really special touch and gift for him to read through before setting out to get married. As everyone finished getting ready, Cassy and her father shared a first look and we all hopped into the Jeeps and to make our way up the mountain road.
We arrived to the top of the mountain and a group walked to the ceremony location. We all organized for the ceremony ready to go as Cassie and her father walked the rest of the way down the trail together for Tyler to see her for the first time in her wedding dress. The ceremony was beautiful, their personal vows touching on their journey together and their wishes for the future, filled with such a joyous emotion. It was wonderful to see their family gathered around them, supporting them through their ceremony and clearly supporting this marriage. After the ceremony, there were hugs in celebration and after family photos the guests headed back down the mountain to head back to the Airbnb to hangout and prepare for dinner. Cassie and Tyler stayed up at the top of Merry Go Round to explore all the depths of what Merry-Go-Round has to offer. They had so much fun scrambling to the top of the rock formations and ended the evening with one of the most beautiful and colorful sunsets I have seen in Sedona. The evening was quiet and serene it was nice to soak in all of the blue purple and pink colors in the sky quietly together as we had the entire place to ourselves, probably due to the bad weather due to roll in the following day. Once the sun dipped, we’re headed back to the jeep for the adventure back down the mountain. We talked about their future travel plans, past travel they have shared and their goals for life. As we headed back into the house, we were greeted by family and of course, two shots of tequila. They signed their marriage license with each of their mother’s signing as their witnesses making it legal! We left them to enjoy some pizza after a day of exploring, and of course, getting married.
We broke their elopement event into two different days since the chef they had booked wasn’t able to switch their dinner date. It was actually really nice to have it broken into two days so they could fully enjoy and embrace each part of the elopement: ceremony + adventure and family + emotions! So the following day, we were set to arrive at the they were staying at to capture them getting re ready in the cutest cabin. During the day before we had arrived Tyler and some of the family had set up their dinner set up. Tyler had put together a romantic dinner set-up with a lovely blue decor, a chandler and more. He had even handled the floral arrangements as he told his mom later said that he things the Boy Scouts was really coming in handy. We headed back to the Airbnb the family was staying where everyone mingled over appetizers and dinner was served: a fantastic steak, duck fat fries with Brussels sprouts. Following dinner several of the family members stood up in give a toast to the newly weds, there was so much laughter, several tears of joy and reminiscing. Cassie’s sister gave an emotional toast, definitely roasting her sister just a little bit here and there, but it was beautiful to see them welcoming Tyler into the family officially after years of memories all together. Tyler’s sister also gave a speech that was emotional and you could tell that she was so excited to finally have a sister and welcome Cassie into the family.
Their first dance music was played on a record they had gotten made with a photo on top of their engagement session. It was a fun touch and I love that it is something they can listen to over and over again at their home. The dances started with their very own first dance which was flirty and fun ending in one of their epic deep kisses. This was followed by emotional first dances with their father and mother. Their intimate reception was one for the books with so much laughter, joy, and tears shed as everyones connection with each other truly showing. Before the night started to come to an end with the formalities of the evening, Cassie’s father sang and played them everyone a song on his guitar. It was a quiet moment and a perfect way to end the evening. Before everything finished up Cassie and Tyler thanked to us for all of our their help in making their day, special, and come true with their family chiming in with good words as well. In return, we really just had to thank them for planning an elopement based on their values and who they are as a couple and everyone truly embracing the experience of an elopement creating a really authentic space to create memories for everyone.
A lot of times family elopements can run behind and kind of add stress to the couple which is essentially the opposite of what I know what an elopement day is all about. I think a tip for planning a family elopement that Cassie did that really helped was she made a very detailed spreadsheet. It included information on their elopement day, on Sedona in general, locations etc and easy to follow so that everyone knew exactly what to expect and even with us, changing our plans last minute everyone was ready to go and knew exactly what what was going on. We couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of their day and all of our couples days. This elopement day was a true reflection of them, fun, adventurous, memorable and special to those around them. We stayed for a while and hung out after the elopement coverage was complete. We chatted about life and places, there were cigars smoked, cocktails toasted and laughter before we headed out. Before leaving we reached out to Cassie’s father to see if he would be willing to do their song for their elopement video. He agreed to rent studio space and make the song for the wedding video, such a special touch for them to be able to look back on throughout their whole life together, and hear his music and their wedding day.
Congrats to Cassie and Tyler!!! We can’t wait for that one year anniversary somewhere epic and we wish you a guys, all the best.