Arizona is full of hidden gems. Way back in 2018 (when this business was an idea, not a real thing), I found a special spot while traveling with friends. I remember thinking it looked like a baby Yosemite – and also thinking it would be a totally perfect spot for an elopement. It was very, *very* off the beaten path. Only dirt to get there, no cell service, no stores or restaurants or even gas stations in a 2 hour radius. I visit this spot regularly, and every time I would visit I would think about what a great spot it would be for a camping wedding. If the right couple came along.
This last spring, that couple did. Right from the get go, they made it very clear they had two priorities. Pretty views, and total privacy. I remember on our initial call they said that if it was a spot other people had eloped at before, they weren’t interested. They also wanted waaaay early spring, and didn’t want to be freezing cold. It’s funny, because as they described what they wanted, this spot popped into my head. But before I could even suggest this location for their camping wedding, they mentioned seeing a random landscape photo on one of my blogs and liking the looks of it. And it was this spot.
We didn’t really even consider other options. This was it. And I was SO excited to share this special place with a couple. B + J wanted a quiet, relaxing, no pressure day. They day of their wedding I rolled up to their camping site, greeted by the sight of their jeep, rooftop tent, and B getting ready to put on her makeup at the picnic table, grinning from ear to ear.
While she finished getting ready, I took some photos of her dress and *incredibly* rad jacket that she had made for the day. I love when couples bring in little details like this- and her amazing leather jacket gave the “badass bride” vibes she was going for.
Then it was time for the first look! Using their jeep as a way to block the view, the couple tiptoed forward and then… saw each other for the first time in their wedding clothes. J’s jaw dropped (haha, pictured below) and B was overcome with smiles and giggles. It was *unbelievably cute.* With that, the couple packed up and we headed to the short hike to their ceremony site.
I love this spot. I actually went scouting in the are about a month prior, and found a similar spot- but had a touch more hiking than the couple was hoping for on their day. But, as previously mentioned, the facilities out here are limited, so there are only a few hikes and overlook options (I spent a great deal of time bushwhacking and hiking that day- but settled on that one hike). But on the day of their elopement, with the wind blowing a bit colder than expected, took one last look as I was driving to met the couple, hoping for something a tad easier to get to. I looked in one area and said “I want there to be a trail right *there*” and then, as if I manifested it, noticed that a path that I had somehow missed the mont prior (???). I took a quick peek, and was sold. I showed the couple some photos on my phone, and they said they trusted me. And it worked out *perfectly*
The couple said their vows with the desert mountains behind them (and cacti! B *loves* cacti so the little natural arch of prickly pear behind them was perfect) B + J exchanged vows, cried, and danced as the light started to fade.
To the comfy part of this camping wedding. B + J put on their campfire comfier, J started a campfire, and B strung up some romantic twinkle lights. They shared s’mores (with reeses peanut butter cups as the chocolate. I die) and homemade London fog’s- their favorite tea beverage. We grabbed a few snuggly photos under the twinkle lights, and I departed!
I loved they way they chose to incorporate details that were meaningful to them. Their whole day was 100% their wedding; their way. I couldn’t support it more. This camping wedding was *theirs*. There isn’t anything cooler.
Love Arizona and want to elope here? Check out my blog on the best places to elope in Arizona.
— Ryan + Styhiln