Slide Rock State Park Elopement – Robyn & James

A groom gives his bride a dip kiss as they stand in a low river.

Slide Rock State Park Elopement

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

*** Recently Slide Rock State Park decided that weddings and elopements were no longer allowed to be held here. For more about where you can elope in Sedona please visit our guide on how to elope here!

Dress: Almond Tree Bridal // Scottsdale, AZ
Location: Slide Rock State Park // Sedona, AZ
Flowers: Sarah’s Garden // Phoenix, AZ
Hair: Traci Barrett // Phoenix, AZ
Cake: Honeybee Cake Co // Mesa, AZ

A detail photo of the brides flowers as the groom holds them.

“Amazing service and flawless photographs! We had to rearrange our wedding plans multiple times and even with only a weeks notice, Traci scouted locations, suggested multiple spots, took care of permits, and even gave me a ride to the first look spot. We also had to do the ceremony during the middle of the day and Traci handled the lighting like a true pro. We highly recommend Adventure and Vow to anyone looking to have the best photos, a beautiful ceremony spot, and no stress. Thanks Traci!”

— James Patterson, The Groom

Tips for Visiting Slide Rock State Park while in Sedona for your Wedding:

  • Slide Rock State Park is super busy and they only allow as many cars in that can park. So you want to go here very early in the day or late in the day.
  • This is a popular swimming hole in the summer, so it will be most busy then. Many people spend the entire day here.
  • I think the best time to visit in the Fall so you can see the leaves changing in the canyon and on the apple trees. Spring is also nice as the apple trees are blooming. The park also seems to be less busy during these times.
  • You must pay to enter and you can only enter by driving in and parking.
  • There are a few short trails, but they do not really have views. Truly this is simply a great spot for a picnic or to sit by the water.
Slide Rock State Park wedding photographer stands for a portrait.

Looking for an elopement photographer that goes above and beyond just photos?!

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!

Contact me about your elopement!

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!