Two Day Southwest Elopement

A couple stands for a portrait in Arches National Park.

Dani + Troy's Elopement Story from Arizona to Utah

A couple kayaks at dawn in Northern Arizona.
A couple paddles on Lake Powell.

After getting engaged Danielle and Troy started planning and brainstorming about their wedding day. At first thinking to do a traditional wedding in Canada, where they call home. After putting some ideas together they decided to elope instead. Cost wise their dollar would go further. They were excited to do something new together, like how they would do big new first together when they first started dating. They decided to rent an RV and go on a road trip from Canada to the Southwest US. Having never been here they were very excited to see all the different colors, textures and to experience as much as they could.

Day 1 | Page, AZ

Danielle and Troy started their elopement celebration off on the water. We met at Lake Powell before dusk, getting to watch the sky change from dark to a deep blue than a light purple. The colors were so soothing along the rocks, listening to the water. We loaded up in our kayaks by the shoreline to set out for an adventure! A bucket list item when visiting the desert is often the slot canyons, and that was exactly where we were headed. 

We paddled our way in the lake as they admired the wall colors and textures changing as we started to get into more narrow channels. Eventually, we hit another sandy shore deep into a wide canyon. From here we had to hike! Arriving so early in the morning, we were able to have the slot canyon completely to ourselves, which is the best way to experience a canyon – no rush, no sound – just a random skeleton perched up on a rock looking down on us as we entered. 

Danielle stopped to feel the sand and the rock walls. It was so fun getting to play and just soak in the experience. We made our way back through the canyon to where we had pulled our kayaks to land. As we headed back, we ventured through much rougher water as the lake had started getting lots of boat traffic making for a whole new adventure!

Lunch by the Lake + Offroading

Now that we were back on dry land and had worked up an appetite it was time for lunch! Dani had planned a beautiful picnic for them to enjoy. We drove to a sandy beach area overlooking part of Lake Powell. It was nice to see it from the water and from a beautiful view point. 

Dani laid out her lovely set up complete with delicious foods from back home in Canada. They brought some their favorite items to enjoy during lunch, some of which Troy’s mother had even cooked. They also brought some new treats like desert decorated cupcakes to have! It was a perfect little pit stop for the day to full up for the next adventure ahead!

We took a day for everyone to travel from Page, Arizona to Moab, Utah about a 5 hour drive stretching across the North to North East side of Arizona entering Utah at the most South East corner. After a day of travel, sight seeing and rest the wedding day had arrived!!! 

We started early in the middle of the night so we could catch another sunrise. Dani went into town to get her hair and make up done with Troy got ready back at base camp, Under Canvas. Once ready Tory made his way into Arches National Park to wait until the first look. Dani came back to camp to get into her dress and then was off to meet Troy! 

They shared first look in front of the tallest arch in the Windows section of Arches National Park. Dani walked to Troy and when he turned around you could see the instant admiration in his eyes. They checked out each other’s outfits and embraced in a hug. Today was the big day and you could feel it. Dani told Troy she had been waiting for this moment, for him to see her in a wedding dress, for years. 

It was perfect, just them two on a lovely fall morning in the desert surrounded by massive beautiful rock walls. After the first look we took some time exploring the different arches in the park, stopping to see Turret Arch, North Window, Sand Dune Arch and Park Avenue. It was a fun way to kick off the start of the wedding day!

After exploring the National Park, we all headed back to Under Canvas where the couple had breakfast waiting. Danielle and Troy love good food and they really wanted that to be a part of their day and share a new experience together by having a personal chef do the meals for them. They sat at a table for two overlooking the glamping tents and a canyon wall as breakfast was served. Instantly, you could tell the food was AMAZING. They sat together, taking their time to enjoy the meal and morning together.

Once breakfast was done we walked back to their tent so they could write their vows, read letters from loved ones of notes of love and congratulations. Before leaving the tent for their ceremony they Facetimed their parents back home in Canada so they could seem dressed up in their wedding attire and wish them a final good luck! It was so wonderful taking the middle part of the day to just hangout together and slow down their adventures and travel to let the day slip away too quickly.


The Ceremony

We arrived at the ceremony location – Dead Horse Point State Park!! One of the coolest thing about all the locations Danielle and Troy explored during their elopement celebration is that they were all so different for each other. We were stoked for these two to see the massive overlooking canyon. We walked over to their permitted elopement ceremony location. 

Upon arrival Danielle and Troy took some time to enjoy the view before setting everything up. The brought a table and cacti that they named ‘Utah’ for their unity ceremony. The also brought a “we eloped” sign and played some romantic music to during their ceremony. They started off by walking hand in hand together to Bill who officiated. The ceremony began with them planting their Cactus together into its new home with two different soils that Danielle and Troy had brought from back home and traveled with. Then they shared personal vows which brought happy tears and even a few rain droplets fell from the sunny sky. 

It was a quiet, emotional and beautiful ceremony. Once announced married they shared a kiss, a long embrace and turned towards the canyon over look to hold each other letting this moment soak in.

After the ceremony, we ventured around the edge of the vista checking out the different views it offered and capturing portraits. Dani had showed me on her phone a photo she had taken and loved of monument valley so we recreated that with them and the rock features at the state park. We took some silly photos too as we admired all the holes Dani’s veil had earned from exploring the desert. Then they loaded up back into their RV and we headed back to Under Canvas. Chef Emily had prepared a lovely dinner at the private fire pit area they had reserved. They sat at the romantic set up and started off with a toast and glass of “I do” champagne. Chef served a lovely appetizer and delicious dinner as they sat together chatting and enjoying together.

Once dinner was finished they stoked the fire and headed over to the main stage to have their first dance together surrounded by twinkle lights under a colorful sunset sky. They showed off their moves in a beautiful dance in complete privacy. It was a romantic way to soak in the last moments of daylight on their wedding day. The night was still young though. We gathered around the fire making smore’s checking out the starry sky and just chatting about the day, the trip and what was ahead as they would continue their desert road trip for their honeymoon.

The entire experience was so incredible. From off roading, kayaking, hiking, scrambling and eating amazing food. It was two days filled with what seemed like a desert fairytale. So many beautiful memories made to kick off their marriage. A huge congrats to Dani + Troy!!!! We hope you can come back to the desert sometime for more new adventures and memories. A huge thank you for having us along to share in this with you!

Vendors a Part of Their Elopement Day

Seventh Ave Beauty

Chef Emily