Oh my goodness, these two amazing humans. I knew from our very first phone call, when Christopher answered the phone on an early Saturday morning and the very first thing he said (sang) was, “Goooooooood Mooorniiiiiiing!” that we were going to get along *great.* And I’m so beyond excited to share their magical elopement with you.
Chris and Ash were going to be married in Hawaii, but as is the tale for the year, COVID had other plans. Ash and Chris actually reached out interested in a slot canyon in Arizona, and I was bummed to have to tell it was closed. But with their criteria for their elopement spot being “we want to feel like we are on drugs, but not actually be on drugs” (which will never cease to make me laugh) I threw Moab out as an option. Chris and Ash did a quick google search then and there on our call, and after many minutes of “Oh WOW!” and “Look at THAT!” they were sold on a Canyonlands National Park Wedding.
Chris wanted to “get amongst the rocks” but the couple also wanted some epic views- so we settled on my most favorite of timelines, splitting their coverage between sunrise and sunset. (Protip: this is a GREAT way to avoid the crowds and also get the most of the very best light possible.) The day-of timeline when through a few rewrites. That is the beauty of elopements though- SO MUCH flexibility, even last minute. So we arrived on a sunset ceremony for their Canyonlands elopement- and they would great their first full day as married couple exploring the rocks in Arches.
Their elopement day started at the Sorrel River Ranch, where the Ash and Chris enjoyed their time with each other to get ready, FaceTiming family, and jamming to some tunes (Christopher, a musician, randomly broke out an instrument that I now cannot remember the name of but looked sort of like an accordion? I know that’s wrong, so sorry Chris!)
We met up with Ash’s Dad and Step Mom (who were- and still are as of this writing- on an eternal road trip across the United States) in Canyonlands for Ash and Chris’s ceremony. Canyonlands is *such* an epic backdrop for an elopement. Smoke from distant wildfires had been drifting in and out of the area all week but we lucked out with clear skies and killer views. We enjoyed a short hike out to their ceremony site (a spot that Ash and Chris picked on the spot). Ash’s Dad presided over their ceremony- which started with a silent meditation taking in the desert around them. He also pointed out- and I quite agree- that Ash and Chris are a perfect fit.
I know I know- I’m an elopement photographer. I’ve come into contact with so many couples and so many fit together in ways that are perfect and special and uniquely them. But Ash and Chris? Magical puzzle pieces.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention their absolutely RAD style. It was quirky and chic and perfect. When Chris told me that he was going to be wearing a pink suit and mint leather shoes you could probably see my heart eyes from space. And Ash’s Daughters of Simone dress was a glittering, boho dream. It made sense their wardrobe made a statement- Chris appeared on their first date in an alpaca fur coat, and also proposed to Ash on Christmas dressed as, and I am not making this up, *Santa Claus*.
Once their Canyonlands National Park wedding ceremony came to a close (and ended in a family group hug) Ash, Chris, and I wandered off to explore a little of the cliffs. Chris claimed to be afraid of heights but really impressed me with increasing boldness as he got closer and closer to the edge to gaze down to the canyons below. There’s one part the the view where I think the canyons look like a giant (like… *very* giant) dinosaur footprint so enjoyed that for a while 🙂 The couple ended the perfect evening with a champagne toast out of emerald Waterford crystal goblets (a gift from Chris’s family) as heat lightning danced on the horizon. It was a magical evening.
The next morning the couple braved early sunrise hours and we got to “get amongst the rocks” just as Chris wanted. It was so fun to explore around at the early hour (which Ash and Chris were total champs about!). We explored a few different spots in the park, stopping along the way to watch the ground squirrels or examine some beetles, and were basically like little kids in a playground.
As we walked back to the car the topic of travel came up (as it often does) and I offhandedly asked Ash and Chris what their favorite trip was, and without skipping a beat Ash said, “What, you mean besides this?”
My heart did a little happy dance. It was suuuuch an amazing time spent with these two.
And here’s some kind words from the couple!
“We were so happy with our photography services from Aimée! She was such a delight from start to finish, and was so flexible with any changes in our plans. She moved around our ceremony like a stealth butterfly, capturing the most awe inspiring images that we could never imagine. She was so careful with Covid safety, and took care of us from start to finish. She even guided us through a very sweet couples meditation/intention setting before we started our shoot that really set the tone. We highly recommend Aimée. She is the ultimate peak experience.”
Want to know more about how to elope in a national park? Check out this blog post.